Building a Personal Brand

Success is built on and sustained by a confidence-inspiring personal brand.

Personal branding has become a catch-all term, encompassing the attorney as a person and as a professional with practice area expertise.  Legal prowess, reflected in the professional brand, will get most lawyers only so far.  Focus as much attention on your brand as a person as you do your professional brand.  If referral sources – including people you meet at networking events and past clients – are uncomfortable with you as a person, your business is guaranteed to suffer.  People have other choices.

Behavioral characteristics guaranteed to limit your professional brand:

  • Rude, abrasive or abrupt, regardless of the audience
  • Arrogant and dismissive
  • Disinterest and impatience during conversation, particularly if the focus is not centered on you
  • Unreasonably late to respond to communications or no response, and non-responsive content related to a specific request when you do respond
  • Gossip, including innuendo; so-called humor at the expense of others
  • Incessant reference to an electronic device

Behaviors confused as manifesting a “cool” quotient:

  • Over use of jargon or techno slang
  • Barely disguised boredom
  • Sloppy written communications
  • The hipster slouch
  • Communications ostentatiously made from a bar, the Giants game, or the aisles at the Safeway.

Behaviors more likely to build a professional brand, community and referrals:

  • Genuine interest in the practice areas of other attorneys
  • Polite attention to clients, opposing counsel, court or administrative staff…really, everyone
  • Reasonably timely, thoughtful responses to inquiries (these need not be lengthy)
  • Communications with zero tolerance for grammatical and spelling errors.  No exception for phone email messaging or texting.
  • Competence and integrity