April 2, 2013
Of the four components that make up a lawyer’s brand, the first three (technical skills, client service and dynamic approach) deal directly with the law: executing legal skills; delivering those skills and refining them along the way. Although it’s important to focus on the first three components of your brand, the 4th piece, “personality”, can be the secret weapon differentiator that helps you stand out from the crowd. It’s a chance for you to leverage all the things that make you interesting and appealing in your interactions with people.
With respect to your brand, the more positive things people remember about you the more they will remember to remember you. At the root of “personality” is the question: are you somebody who people want to spend time with? Could they envision being stuck in a conference room into the wee hours of the night eating take-out food and having a pleasant experience with you? That’s the goal here.
On the flipside, what you don’t want to happen is what I call the “door duck”. Are people ducking into their doorways when they see you coming down the hall? If so, you might want to reflect on how your personality maybe compromising your brand?
Here are some things to consider highlighting with respect to the personality piece of your brand:
1.) Interests: What is it that you do in your non-work, non-legal time? Have you climbed Mount Kilimanjaro? Have you done an Ironman? Are you an expert marksmen? The more extreme (albeit appropriate) the better. All of these can set you apart from the competition. They send a signal that your disciplined, committed and not afraid of challenge.
2.) Impacts: What impact do you have on people? What impression do you leave? Are you a morale booster? Are you the class clown who makes everyone feel light and happy? Are you witty and charming making people want to stay in conversations with you? All of these can leave a positive impression and encourage future interaction.
3.) Values: What are your greatest core values? How can they leave a positive impact on people? Are you involved in a charity that you love dearly? Are you known for being the absolute family man/woman? Are you deeply involved in your political party? These all create opportunities for connection.
The key take away here is that being a lawyer doesn’t mean you have to talk about the law 24/7. In fact, quite the opposite. To build those lasting relationships and leave those positive impressions, you’re going to want to have a few things in your pocket that are just about you to weave into conversations. Sometimes, those are the positive things that really stick in other people’s brains. Especially if it relates to a connection or shared interest you may have.
Believe it or not, there is more to life and your career than the law.