Column

Don’t Change You!

We all know the power of personal branding – what it is that makes you unique, stand out or differentiate from the rest. We know that personal branding is huge in our business. The question is how can we help clients make that connection to you? Your brand is a great place to start.

Personal branding is about you. More specifically it is about embracing aspects of who you are rather than changing who you are. Often I hear lawyers talk building their brand while failing to realise that what they are trying to achieve is not part of their personality.

For example, if the image you are trying to push is of Harvey Specter but in reality you are more Louis Litt, there is a problem. Louis dreams of being as cool, smooth and confident as Harvey. Truth is, Louis is at his best when he is Louis enjoying mud baths, fluffy cats and getting people “Litt Up”. Being Louis is great; the goal should be to be the most authentic Louis possible.

In the overly produced world we live in, influencers tell us how to think and feel. Lawyers are told how to look, feel and act. There is a lot of a noise and yet what our clients crave is authenticity, honesty and trust. They want Louis or Harvey not Louis trying to be Harvey.

Most people’s personal brand can use a little polish; very few need a major overhaul. For many years I worked with a lawyer who yelled at everyone – clients, other lawyers, and staff. He is not the devil; he is actually a great guy who would do anything for you. His approach is not for the faint of heart yet he was one of the highest earners at the firm because clients that worked with him loved him as did so many people within the firm. Every so often he would need a reminder that he had gone to far and he understood when that happened but to get rid of the fire would have changed who he was – he wouldn’t have been authentic. Polish not overhaul.

As you evolve as a person, your brand evolves with you. Your brand is not created overnight rather it is crafted, built and will change over time. Making sure your brand represents who you are in a real way will help you stand out from others ensuring your clients have an authentic experience.

Comments

  1. The idea that “a lawyer who yelled at everyone — clients, other lawyers, and staff” was “one of the highest earners at the firm” and needed only a bit of “polish” speaks eloquently to how our profession, or at least the law firm model, seems to have lost its way. A lawyer who disrespected and abused clients (!!), staff and other lawyers was periodically called in for symbolic and apparently futile slaps on the wrist because, well, $$$. Of course the other people in the firm professed their “love” for him — he was “one of the highest earners at the firm”. What else were the people around him supposed to say? They certainly wouldn’t be the first to express love for someone in a position of power who abused them. I am not at all criticizing the author — I am criticizing the model that slowly persuades us to believe that this is somehow OK.

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