Personal branding is a valuable way to build out your authority in the legal industry. It can help drive more prospective clients to you and your firm.
People in the legal space throw the word "branding" around all the time. But there's typically a misconception about what it really means.
A strong personal brand is a strong reputation. It enables you to connect with your followers by sharing not just who you are but how what you do serves their needs.
Follow the right approach to boosting your reputation, and you can go far. It'll help grow your online presence, establish trust with your ideal clients and make you stand in a crowded marketplace.
Enhance Your Reputation
Make no mistake: your personal brand is your reputation.
With your law firm brand, the brand itself and the firm's reputation each stand alone. They inform each other but are separate. A lawyer's "personal brand" is inseparable from your reputation.
Everything you say or do feeds directly into that reputation. This is why it's so important to invest in your personal brand. A positive reputation in your region and practice area leads to referrals from previous clients.
It also builds a positive association with you and your law firm. People who have never worked with you before may still know you by reputation alone.
Build Your Online Presence for You and Your Firm
Developing your reputation online will contribute to your law firm’s reputation, by extension. The same is true for every attorney at your firm. You can raise your law firm's visibility and online presence while focusing on your brand and reputation.
If you're a solo attorney, your personal and firms brands are also the same thing.
If you work at or own a law firm with multiple attorneys, each of your individual reputations contributes to the firm's reputation as a whole.
Here's an example from Ohio injury lawyer Kyle Wright.
He successfully displays his reputation with his own website and billboards in Ohio. But he's also found in firm-wide advertising, too.
Establish Trust and Authority with Your Target Audience
People have a very low public opinion of lawyers. You must do everything you can to overcome typical perceptions.
Putting yourself out there in a way that enhances your reputation will build trust and authority in you from your ideal clients.
This is where many lawyers have a hard time building their reputations. You can put yourself out there as much as you want and still fail at this point.
Too many lawyers think that establishing trust means talking about yourself and how great you are. Avoid stepping into this trap and instead provide real value.
Stand Out From a Crowded Market
When you offer value to your audience, they are much more likely to trust you. When they trust you, they'll begin considering you an authority in your practice area.
Most lawyers are not willing to put in the work to build out their personal brand online. If you're committed to doing that, you can stand out in the competitive market.
Plenty of lawyers are willing to volunteer in their communities every so often. But it's a whole other ballgame to put in the effort to show up on a regular basis on social media.
If other lawyers refuse to play because it requires too much effort, this is a chance for you to step in. This is your chance to really make an impact with your target clients.
Where Can Lawyers Build Their Personal Brands?
There are a few great avenues for establishing and building your reputation as an attorney.
The best places to build your reputation are on social media, through a podcast, and in your community.
Building a website is not the same thing as building your brand. Your law firm website and the legal SEO efforts you put into it can help demonstrate your brand, but it will not build it alone.
Using reputation-forward content like case studies, testimonials, and reviews can reinforce your reputation. Site visitors who see that will be reassured by your previous clients' endorsements.
Lawyers can use social media platforms to reach a large audience of people and build a positive reputation with them. You can do so by sharing informative and engaging content with your followers and potential clients.
Some lawyers already have incredible traction on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn. They get a lot out of social by using it to connect with their audience at a helpful level.
On YouTube, Legal Eagle does this through engaging and informative content. He's built a reputation through creativity and consistency.
On TikTok, Mike Rafi breaks down complex cases and concepts into understandable and interesting posts. He comes across as relatable, empathetic, and knowledgeable. This builds his personal brand and reputation as a lawyer.
Many people in the cases Mike talks about are in the middle of really difficult legal situations. He simply talks about the situation and why he took on the case. This demonstrates empathy and value.
Law firm podcasts can help you prove your expertise and authority in a longer form way than social media can. Content marketing with a podcast can showcase your credibility as you talk about solving legal problems. That may make listeners more likely to trust you when it's time to hire an attorney.
The Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Podcast is a powerful example of positioning yourself as a market leader by sharing relevant content relevant to your audience.
Within Your Community
Helping out in your own community shows you're dedicated to your local region. It also makes you more visible to other community members. That's two great ways to build trust with the people around you.
Getting your whole team involved in community events is excellent for building brand awareness, too.
Pick something you're passionate about for your community event. Or identify a clear need in your community to figure out how you want to help. Here are some examples:
- Support local groups like Boy Scouts, 4H, and school clubs
- Contribute to a park or roadside clean-up day
- Build a house for Habitat for Humanity
- Volunteer your firm to cook meals for a homeless shelter
- Participate in fundraisers to raise awareness for issues
- Start your own charity initiative and partner up with others
- Participate in 5ks or walks for Alzheimer's' or breast cancer awareness
The sky's the limit when choosing how to get involved in your community. If you can, choose something with a personal connection for you or a staff member.
Building a Great Personal Brand
The best way to build your reputation is by providing real value to your ideal client. It's not by imitating influencers.
Too many lawyers spot something catchy on social media and then lose steam imitating it.
Don't get sucked in by the idea of building a "personal brand story." It's far better to put the focus on your clients and how you help them. Niche down into your audience's needs by thinking about things like:
- What pitfalls or challenges do you help them navigate through?
- What questions do your potential clients have before hiring a lawyer?
- What concerns do your clients have about hiring an attorney?
When it comes to the content you create, you're not the hero of the story. Your client is.
It's not authentic to tell your "personal brand story" if it doesn't relate back to how you serve your clients.
Look for ways to shift your focus to solving people's problems and owning your niche. That's when you'll provide something new, different, and valuable to the world. That's also where you'll build a real, sustainable reputation.
Check out more of the shares posted by Mike Rafi on TikTok. At first glance, it seems like he's taking the influencer route of talking about himself. But he's not. Instead, he's telling stories about how he served his clients facing difficult legal situations. People viewing that begin to imagine what it's like to work with him.
Build Your Brand and Business
Building a law firm means thriving on multiple levels. For an online reputation that connects with potential clients, consider working with a law firm marketing expert.
Work with an experienced marketer to build the marketing strategy that's right for you. Someone with law firm marketing experience is best equipped to help you create a strong reputation online.
Contact Rankings.io to learn more about how we can help you succeed. Whether it's building your brand, advertising your legal services, or another digital marketing need, we're here to help.