Three simple ways to raise your visibility
By Ellen Keiley
Lawyers who stand out in their community have probably taken the time and diligently worked to build their brand. Visibility has numerous benefits. Lawyers who are known in legal and business circles are more likely to attract clients, be elevated in their firms and offered coveted leadership roles. It can take time to build a brand, but lawyers who make a consistent effort to get their name out there can develop a positive public profile that brings professional rewards. Here are three ways to get started.
Join a professional networking group
There are several large, widely known professional networking groups with both local and national chapters that can serve as strong brand-building platforms. The more a lawyer gives back to other group members, by being willing to make referrals and offer assistance, the more they become known throughout the organization. Additionally, if a lawyer is an active participant in the regular chapter group meetings and becomes a guest at other chapters, they develop strong networking bonds. The more you can participate, the better.
These organizations are prime for referral opportunities that lead to new client work. The national platform is particularly helpful in developing contacts in practice areas that are not state specific, such as intellectual property or federal civil rights law, and the local chapters offer excellent networking opportunities in state law areas of practice.
Being known as a connector of people and a resource for others is a great way to build a strong, positive personal brand. Involvement in networking groups is a long-term commitment, but well worth it.
Join a host committee and stay involved
Joining the host committee for a large, annual nonprofit or industry event is a terrific way to amplify a lawyer’s brand. Event invitations are widely distributed. The name of the attorney member of a host committee on an event invitation will be seen by recipients of the organization’s extensive mailing list, the host committee members’ individual networks and the committee members’ firms. Anyone involved in the organization will also likely share the event invitation via email. Then there’s the added impact of sharing on social media.
It is important to be aligned with and passionate about the mission of any organization a lawyer chooses to be involved with. By remaining on the host committee year after year, an attorney makes a contribution to the community and the profession, while gaining name recognition through repetition, similar to paid advertising. Being on a host committee demonstrates leadership and is a good addition to a lawyer’s bio.
Leverage social media
According to a Pew Research Center study, 72 percent of the public uses some type of social media. The social media user base has grown more representative of the broader population. Young adults were among the earliest adopters and continue to use these sites at high levels, but usage by older adults has increased in recent years.
Given those statistics, there is a business case for leveraging the power of social media to build a lawyer’s brand. The sharing power alone is incredible. It does not take a lot of time to “like” or “comment” on posts. One “like” a week is enough to stay visible. But again, building a brand takes consistent effort. Whenever a lawyer has a speaking engagement, publishes an article, wins an award, or is involved in an event, they should post to social media.
It is never too late to start building one’s brand and gaining visibility. Lawyers can work with their internal marketing professionals, public relations firm, business development coach, or seek their colleagues’ advice on which organizations offer the best opportunities. Start building your brand now. You won’t regret it!
Ellen Keiley, CPC, is president of EMK Consulting Group, a public relations and business development firm for lawyers and law firms. She can be reached at [email protected].