Law firms are just getting used to the idea of marketing, but are lawyers ready for personal branding? Is personal branding the bright new frontier or the dark side?

You want to look good when people look you up on the internet. That’s why you need to know how to maintain a professional online image.

At Smart Street Legal Recruitment, we look for that every day, so we’re creating an 8-part blog series on this evolving area. We will provide tips on how to put your best foot forward online, so people will identify you as a savvy and engaging professional.

This series will cover personal branding and self-promotion, and will help you think like an ad agency. You can shine and be in the spotlight, while maintaining a professional image.

The Power of One Post

With one post, you can either enhance or damage your reputation. Every comment you write online is instantly accessible to all those people who are doing an online search. Online you are an open book! So now you must also think before you post!

As a busy professional in the legal field, you need to manage your online information. You want to project an image which is smart and sharp. You do not have to be a full-time content marketer, photographer, videographer or blogger to create and craft a professional and stylish professional image.

A Personal Brand Is A Micro Brand

A personal brand is a micro version of a macro corporate brand. A corporate brand is built on solid proof of quality service and products over time. Once the brand has consistently provided quality service or products to clients and consumers, trust and mindshare can develop. Symbols and design then can be used to connect with clients and customers who will recognize the brand’s logo, colour palette, typography and verbal tone.

For the brand of an individual, all the same rules apply. It pays to know your audience, build your network, offer value and create a connection.

Your ability to communicate how you can add value informs your personal brand. Your work, life experiences and stories can engage others and showcase your experience, value and growth. When all of this is packaged in a professional, trustworthy and engaging manner, you can create and manage a professional and dynamic image, which will allow you to capture mindshare like the the corporate brands are doing.

The Professional Image

A professional image, carefully crafted and maintained, is your greatest asset. It brings in business because it is a display of your competence and experience. Are you the right person for the job or file? That is the key question your potential client will be looking to answer.

You can demonstrate competence by highlighting your past education, work-related experience and social engagement. You can make yourself appear relatable and interesting by adding a touch of style. You can accomplish this by adding elements that make you someone a client would want to be associated and do business with.

Content Versus Conversation

Social media is often more about content than conversation. Social media interaction is quick and noisy. There is usually no ‘listener certification process’ before engagement on social media platforms occurs. It is important to understand which social media platforms are geared toward content and which ones a geared toward conversation. How to engage with social media as a professional requires some familiarity with the different types of social media platforms.

Man staring into the dark sky

Social Media For Business

Many people use social media as a substitute for entertainment, but professionals use it for business. As a busy professional, you should have an effective social media presence.

While blogs and podcasts can be great for research and entertainment online, platforms such as LinkedIn will be your online bread and butter.

LinkedIn is the first stop on your social media journey. It’s a great platform for establishing your online business presence. Potential clients will look you up on LinkedIn, as will legal recruiters, recruitment agencies, and law firm and corporate recruiters. LinkedIn is the new business card!

Other Platforms Important Too

This series will be a brief introduction to social media through the lens of a professional. This 8-part series will take a closer look at specific social media platforms. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and other social media platforms will be featured.

Social media knowledge and presence can ensure you have an online reservation in the new age restaurant. Welcome to the bright new frontier!