How to Make Money with Your Brand, Part One

Last week we talked about why your brand matters as a lawyer. “Branding” is such an overused and nebulous term so I attempted to demystify it and show you how it’s relevant to your practice. If you didn’t read that article, I recommend you do so before you finish this one because the concepts build on each other.

It’s important to understand that everyone has a brand. It’s not optional. Last week I gave you a simple working definition: your brand is How you are perceived by the outside world. So unless you’ve managed to go through your entire life without making anyone aware of your existence… you’ve built a brand. The question is: what is your brand – and is it helping you make money?

A brand that positions you as the go-to expert in your niche will make you more profitable. This happens because when you’re perceived as the expert, clients seek you out rather than the other way around. You have the ability to charge higher rates because you’ve flipped the supply-demand equation in your favor. (When you’re a “generalist,” just one of many interchangeable lawyers, potential clients have options – there’s an endless supply. If you become THE go-to guy or gal – now you’ve restricted supply because there’s only one of you. You’ll have clients seeking you out, and Economics 101 means that you can charge premium rates.)

So let’s talk about how to get there.

Step One is assessing your brand as it presently exists. You probably have some ideas, but it’s very difficult to be objective about yourself. So the way to accomplish this is to ask other people who know you well. Compose an email and ask the following:

  • What words come to mind when you think about me?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What makes me unique?
  • If you had to describe me to someone in one sentence, what would it be?

Send this email to trusted friends, colleagues, and clients. It’s uncomfortable, I get it, because none of us like to feel vulnerable. But if you explain that you’re looking for honest feedback because you’re trying to build on your strengths to provide even better service to your clients, most people will be happy to oblige you. And the responses might surprise you. Often, you’ll discover strengths and positive traits about yourself that you didn’t know existed.

Step Two is defining your goal. What does your “ideal” brand look like? How do you want to be perceived? This requires strategic thought. Remember, the more focused your brand is, the more success you’ll have at positioning yourself as the best at what you do. Questions to consider are:

  • What kind of work do I enjoy doing? Your brand has to be authentic – don’t chase the dollar signs, because even if you can fake it for a time, sooner or later you’re going to burn out if you hate your work.
  • Where is there an underserved market or an unmet need? This requires some market research, and it’s important to be realistic. If there are already established competitors who have built premium brands for themselves in the niche you’re considering, it’s important to be honest with yourself and understand that you’re going to have an uphill battle at first. In this case, you need a strategy to differentiate yourself from those competitors.
  • What are the traits and attributes that this market values? What are potential clients in your chosen niche looking for in a lawyer? Convenience? Flexibility? Stability? Innovation? Concierge-level client service? Efficiency?
  • How can I leverage my unique strengths and abilities to serve this market well?

Again, this isn’t a five minute exercise – it takes time and strategic thought. But answer these three questions and you’ll have a rough sketch of the brand you want to build. You’ve identified an area of focus that you’re passionate about, that has an unmet need (or at least, a need that you can meet differently), and you have an idea of how to structure your brand to appeal to this market.

Next week we’ll dive into the mechanics of moving from Point A (your brand as it exists today) to Point B (your ideal brand.) Stay tuned!

 

If you found this post helpful, please share it!Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someone
The following two tabs change content below.

Daniel Decker

Daniel Decker is a co-founder and Partner at Spotlight Branding. In addition to helping lawyers stand out from the crowd, he spends his time writing, dreaming up new marketing strategies, and coming up with catchy subject lines. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys playing sports, guitar, politics, and Minnesota sports.

View Our Work with Client Examples

View Our Work with Client Examples

Click below to see some of the work we have done for other lawyers.


Testimonials

Testimonials

See what other attorneys say about their experience with Spotlight Branding:

“Our law firm has been using Spotlight Branding for all of our internet marketing for nearly two years. The te…
Brielle MarkWeisberg Kainen Mark, Attorneys at LawMiami, FL
“I would call myself a website connoisseur. I review lists like, ‘Top Ten Lawyer Websites of the Year.’ I had …
Jane MuirGersten & Muir, PAMiami, FL
“Top notch company to keep you in front of your clients. Spotlight Branding has been with us from day one and…
John TottenJohn M. Totten, P.C. Attorney at LawAthens, AL
“Spotlight Branding is very responsive, proactive and easy to work with. Great results. I highly recommend th…
Anis SalehSaleh & AssociatesMiami, FL
“There is so much that Spotlight Branding has done for me over the last year to make my business that much bet…
Melissa PearceLaw Office of Melissa M. PearceMilford, MI
“Spotlight Branding helped me create a blog that was awarded the 4th best in the country for my practice area.
Barry WaxLaw Offices of Barry M. WaxMiami, FL
“I hired Spotlight Branding to recreate my website, which I had built myself. Spotlight Branding actively soug…
Bob Boeshaar Law Offices of Robert V. BoeshaarSeattle, WA
“Best company ever! John is awesome and he does a fabulous job. I am very grateful to have him and his team wo…
Jeffrey HensleyHensley Legal Services, PLLCTulsa, OK
“Spotlight Branding has been terrific. They know their stuff and do great work. We have been with Spotlight fo…
Gregory McCollumGreg McCollum Complete Legal Defense TeamMyrtle Beach, SC
“I have been extremely pleased with Spotlight Branding. My website is beautiful and I LOVE it! Big applause fo…
Kayleene WriterLaw Offices of Kayleene H. Writer, PLCIrvine, CA
“I could not be more pleased in working with Spotlight Branding! They really caught my vision for my website, …
Christina HollwarthHollwarth Law Firm, PLLCLongview, TX
“As the owner of a growing law firm, it is impossible to spend the amount of time necessary to keep up my firm…
Amy HoffmanAPH Law, PLLCPuyallup, WA
“Spotlight Branding took my idea and made it into a wonderful brand. The development process was quick and eas…
Jaime TophamTopham Family LawGrantsville, UT
“Can’t say enough about Spotlight Branding and the work they do for me, particularly my account representative…
Neil TyraThe Tyra Law FirmRockville, MD
“When I started with Spotlight Branding, I was a year into having my own practice.  After utilizing Spotlight’…
Brett TremblyThe Trembly Law FirmMiami, FL
“I have worked with a number of other online marketing firms over the last few years and Spotlight Branding ha…
Lewis LanderholmLanderholm LawPortland, OR
“My law firm has been using Spotlight and John Hinson for about 6 months. We are very happy with their level a…
William O'LearyLegacy Planning Law GroupJacksonville, FL
“Since hiring Spotlight Branding, I have seen significant measurable results. My referrals have steadily incre…
Chris ClarkThe Law Office of Chris Clark, PLLCCharlotte, NC
“I have recently worked with Spotlight Branding on creating a revised website for my firm. They were very easy…
George HoughProActive Legal Care Law OfficePalm City, FL
“Spotlight Branding designed our web site and now provides our ongoing  web marketing. The Spotlight Brandi…
Ray GarciaLaw Offices of Ray Garcia, P.A.Miami, FL
“From start to finish, Spotlight Branding has exceeded my expectations.  Their team of professionals jumped r…
Lori HulbertHulbert & Associates, LLCSterling, CO