If there’s one thing that sets you apart from any other estate planning attorney, it’s you: your history, your personality, your interests and even your quirks, which all contribute to making you different. Capitalize on your uniqueness to further your personal brand.
Do some strategic thinking. Your overall goal is to inspire confidence and help prospects, clients and colleagues to feel that they can trust you. You also want to be someone that others can relate to. Remember that this goes beyond technical competence. It is expected that you are legally talented. But the connection is made between people, and that is what personal branding is all about.
Define what makes you different. There are hundreds of attorneys practicing in your target market (not to mention online competition). What makes you a better choice than any other practitioner? The conscious decision to work with you may seem to be a rational choice, but the process begins on an emotional level.
Provide the “clues” so that prospects can see the reasons they should work with you. Don’t hold back on sharing your story in your attorney profile. If there was a turning moment that spurred you to law school (for younger practitioners), then share that in your bio. If you went to an excellent law school or made Law Review, share that also. Service to the community, published articles in legal journals and a strong network of professional colleagues are also clues that clients look for when evaluating estate planning attorneys.
Personal appearance counts. Not every attorney wears a suit and tie to the office, and in some communities that’s fine. Know what your clients will accept. Here’s a clue: if prospects who come to your office for a first in-person meeting do not retain you, it may be time for a closer look. Is your dress or demeanor too casual? Too formal? Are you overdue for a new hairstyle or a visit to the orthodontist? We like to think we judge people on their character and skills, but personal appearances matter.
Does your personal brand align with your personal life? We are known by the company we keep, and that includes our personal and professional social circles. If your personal brand includes hanging out with a group of CPAs and attorneys who ride motorcycles on weekends, that’s great. But if you live in a small community where everyone spends their time at the lake, sailing or fishing, and you are the outlier, it’s going to be hard for many people to connect with you.