Although we are your digital marketing team, I think we agree it’s important to talk about your branding as a whole to ensure both online and offline messages are in line. I recently discussed the importance of telephone presence matching a prospective client’s expectations after having visited a website, read an eNewsletter, or viewed a social media profile of a company. While some are tough to see or measure, nearly every aspect about a person can be considered marketing.
“So, John, what do you do?”
Most people are inclined to respond with their credentials in their industry or field of study.
As an attorney, what is the typical response you receive when you answer?
Are people open to hearing more about your day-to-day process? Do they assume you stand before a judge in court every day? Do you find they step back and quickly run out of questions? Or, are you asked for free advice for a situation that their brother-in-law’s cousin’s nephew is going through right now (probably in a field of law outside of your niche …)?
Law has been known to have a bit of a “stuffy” perception. I’ve also heard that certain clients tend to feel a bit intimidated by the thought of working alongside an attorney. We combat this online in several ways. Whether it’s classy yet comforting colors and fonts used throughout your website, a “Welcome” or “About Us” message that confirms your credentials next to a warm, smiling, professional photo of the attorney or staff, together we are actively managing those perceptions – aligning them with your overall marketing message.
You probably don’t think about marketing much until you get to work (if, even then). But, did you know that you are marketing yourself from the moment you select your clothing from the closet in the morning? What about the way you part your hair on the left after your shower?
Now, I am in no way a fashion expert, and this is certainly not a fashion police blog. But your appearance certainly does impact your marketing.
Stacie Zinn Roberts of Ragan’s PR Daily recounts the reactions she received from a recent “rebranding” renovation of her own. After returning from a haircut having parted ways with eight inches of long locks, co-workers and friends were (positively) overwhelmed. Stacie’s brand was now more professional, mature, and experienced.
Will a haircut make Stacie less “messy, unorganized or unprepared” at her job? Of course not. But leadership experts find that dressing your best for the day, each day, helps you feel more confident, more energized, and therefore, potentially more profitable!
Take a moment to look in the mirror. What does your current hairstyle or outfit tell others about your company? What does it say about what you think about yourself?
If you are like me, you may have had the same hair cut since you can remember. Oh, sure, I’ve gone from a face full of bangs to just pushing them over to the right, but mostly: same color, same length, same cut. It’s really tough to change things up once you find a system that works, that’s easy to manage and style in the mornings. I get it!
However, if you can open your High School year book and notice style similarities … it might be time to at least consider these three tips:
- A drastic hairstyle change may really not be necessary; but general maintenance might be. Keeping your ‘do cared for regularly can actually be inexpensive and in the end, portray those desired qualities of an attorney any client would want – polished, professional.
- If you are still reppin’ big 80’s hair, you need a new hairstylist. Why? Because they should have told you that went out of style 20 years ago. Ask close friends or co-workers for hair stylists they have had success with and trust. If you are uncertain how you would like to revamp your look, ask the hairstylist for styles recommendations based on the shape of your face as well as the activities you participate in most. For example, if you enjoy running, you may want to keep enough length to pull back into a pony tail.
- A good rule for finding professional attire is quality vs. quantity. It’s okay to spend a little more than you usually do on a few pairs of nice slacks or a couple of higher quality sets of shoes. You’ll be wearing them multiple times every week. You will get your money’s worth and they will also likely last.
I can tell you right now I didn’t expect I’d ever write to lawyers and attorneys about haircuts, clothes and shopping. And honestly, I’m probably the pot calling the kettle black, here. But, these things actually are important – especially if you own your own business.
Life is busy. I know that hair appointments are usually the first thing to get rescheduled when your week gets too full. It’s also possible you can’t remember the last time you bought new pants. So maybe this will be just the reminder you need to take a moment for yourself to make sure you match your marketing message in all that you do (and wear!).
But remember, consider the wise words of our graphic designer, Emma, “Please, no selfies!”