The PBI Blog


How do people remember lawyers? Creating a personal brand is one way. Try these ideas and note they all require consistency. Remember, a lot of products and services rely on consistency to get business. Here’s how to play your A game every day.

INTANGIBLES

Consider making these traits part of your core as you build your personal brand:

Integrity.

Never consciously take the low road. If you do, recover quickly and honestly. Be consistent.

Knowledge.

Be confident, but not full of baloney. Take work you can handle competently. Never put the client, co-lawyers, your staff, the judge, or referring counsel in doubt. Be consistent.

Timeliness.

It is easy to beat the competition here. Many clients and opposing counsel view lawyers as ignoring or avoiding them. Stay in touch, create reasonable expectations in your client of milestones in the case, and meet those expectations. Be consistent.

Tone of Voice.

Channel the person you want to be. Is the voice confident? Clear? Pleasant? Be consistent.

Lexicon.

Be understandable. No tricky ten dollar words and no profanity. Why confuse or offend? Be consistent.

Courtesy.

Show respect to everyone from big clients to the janitor in your building. It’s just the right thing to do…your mother said so. Be consistent.

Apologies.

Take ownership of problems, even if your associate was the one who booked the wrong flight. Be consistent.

Forgiveness.

Carrying a grudge can break your back and make you seem mean or small. Be consistent.

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TANGIBLES

The Uniform.

Steve Jobs always wore the same outfit. You knew it was Steve. What is your best look for your position, your public, your body type? Be consistent. Pick a look that is not a passing fancy.

The Accessories.

If a bow tie is your thing, go for it whenever the occasion calls for business dress. A woman might wear a Hermes scarf with all business outfits. If spats are your thing, think again.

The Office.

A messy office says a lot. An office full of comic books definitely says something. Think about what you want to project to those who see your office and the public spaces you control.

The Car.

Again, what do you want to communicate? You’re a regular person? You’re rich? You’re humble? Business is great? You are ecology-conscious? Think of Pope Francis rolling through crowds in his teensy Fiat—his message was clear. Whatever you choose, keep it clean. To the outside world, your car is an extension of you.

MORAL OF THE STORY

Be clear. Be consistent.

Be just a little bit different. Be memorable, in a deliberate way. Most importantly, be authentic. When the referrer or the potential client is rifling through his or her mental contacts list, you surface quickly.