Last month, I had the pleasure of presenting at Lawyernomics 2017 in Las Vegas, a city where “betting” is a favorite but always risky, activity. My discussion, however, was not about betting the slots or roulette wheel, it was about betting on your brand – a bet that requires minimum risk and always results in a win.
Once you have perfected your excellent lawyering skills and are thinking about how to market yourself and your practice, branding is a term that often comes to mind. I defined branding for my Lawyernomics attendees as a concept that centers around “self-packaging,” and relayed some interesting thoughts about branding from great thinkers, both past, and present. One facet about branding that I think is so important is bringing out your best qualities and not trying to emulate someone else. Oscar Wilde sums this up perfectly when he says:
“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”
I developed my brand by finding something that I enjoyed doing, appearing as a legal commentator on television, and used that skill and others such as writing and public speaking to develop a brand for myself and my practice. When you develop your brand you must consider your authentic self and consider your goals. It is also important to define your audience.
You cannot be everything to everybody
In implementing your brand, having a limited number of avenues to focus on (I suggest three) assures a directed and not scattered approach. Equally important is devoting yourself to your brand and making it part of what defines you as a person and a professional. A brand should grow and develop with you and your practice and will evolve over time.
Betting on your brand is a safe and secure bet because if done properly, it can lead to better career opportunities for you and industry recognition. Most importantly, it allows you to define yourself and your professional image rather than allow others to do it for you.
So take some time and think who and what you want to be and how you want others to think about you. The more you define that for yourself, the more successful you will be in the long run.