How to Market Yourself as a Lawyer
Shift to a self-marketing mindset, overcome your blockers, achieve your goals and grow your reputation.
In the legal industry, it's not just about what you know; it’s also about how you present yourself. In this article, we explain how to look at marketing effectively to achieve your goals.
Marketing yourself is essential, no matter the industry, as we live in a highly competitive world. If you think about it, you do need to promote yourself to become an intern in a law firm at your career’s beginning. Afterwards, you still need to promote yourself when changing your career direction - for example, moving from private practice to in-house.
Unfortunately, it is not something we’re educated in college or law school, but it is a prerequisite for success in your career or becoming self-employed. Developing marketing skills must be part of your continuing personal and professional development. And for that, you need to take time to reflect, set your learning goals, find appropriate solutions and monitor your progress.
In the meantime, let’s find out more about what it means self-marketing for a lawyer.
First thing first: What is self-marketing?
Sometimes self-marketing is called personal branding. Some see it as the process of promoting a person rather than a product or a service. Others define it as a strategy used by a job-seeker to improve their chances of acquiring the ideal position and advance in his career of choice.
And yes, self-marketing is about promoting yourself or "showing off" in more popular terms. Unfortunately, what not everyone is keen to say is that self-marketing is about putting yourself in your target audience's shoes - this means the client’s shoes in marketing jargon.
And once you’re in that position, try seeing yourself through their eyes, and asking these questions:
- What do they gain from you?
- What’s your attitude towards them?
- How do they perceive you?
- Do they understand everything you say when you speak to them?
- Do they trust you? Are you easy to trust?
- Why are they coming to you? Why did they choose you as their lawyer?
To do your self-marketing well, you need to develop an integrated, connected approach. You need to possess excellent communication skills, both verbally and in writing. You need to use your research skills to learn as much as you can about your clients. - before putting yourself in the spotlight.
Who you are is your message to the world. Protect your reputation by being intentional about the words you chose to speak and the actions you chose to perform.
When it comes to building your profile and being seen, some might say we are lucky, and some might disagree. At Avoteca, we’re looking at things searching instead for opportunities to pursue than excuses not to do something. Digitalisation created more and more chances to help anyone promote themselves, from building an online profile and being seen, to creating a community around a particular topic.
And in this vast pool of opportunities, you can do certain things as a lawyer, which can promote the excellent work you do for your clients. You can undertake these actions on your own, or choose a platform, such as Avoteca, and delegating administrative tasks. By doing that, you can focus on your career and clients.
So, for example, as part of your self-marketing process, you can once again make use of those rehearsed research skills and start writing relevant content to build your expertise. You can write blog posts - if you have a blog or a website, or publish your articles through niche platforms. No matter what others may tell you, don’t publish in-depth specialised articles on social media platforms. Most social platforms users are there to socialise, be entertained, or get small educational nuggets, not well-done research papers.
So far, all good, right? Going through the above paragraph and having this overview, it doesn’t seem that self-marketing is so tricky anymore, and most importantly, it doesn’t feel so scary.
Well, it is not - especially if you decide to use online tools and legal platforms that are there precisely to help you out. So why aren’t you doing it already? Let’s continue finding it out in this article.
What keeps people from marketing themselves?
As we’re always in touch with our community of lawyers, we noticed a couple of common reasons that block lawyers from promoting themselves. And some of these reasons are more common, especially among women lawyers, who themselves find marketing being intrusive and instead choose to work hard and hope to be noticed and rewarded. Unfortunately, in marketing, “hope is not a strategy, but a frustration generator". Many believe that marketing is a "necessary evil" and associate it with aggressive sales tactics. Unsurprisingly, lawyers who think like this end up not doing much, and in some cases, it can be costly to their career success or their emotional state of mind.
Other common reasons that block lawyers from promoting themselves include:
- lack of time and/or of confidence and/or of self-awareness
- fear of public speaking and/or of being wrong and/or looking stupid
- over-humility or modesty
- unclear goals
The key to successfully market yourself as a lawyer is to overcome any barriers or objections that your belief system is bringing up. Working with a marketing coach, finding a coworker, or exchanging knowledge and ideas are useful ways to improve your marketing skills.
Don’t add pressure on yourself, and don’t run towards new marketing and online classes. Remember what was mentioned at the beginning of this article - take your time, and be agile.
If your blockers are too many and working on all of them overwhelms you, then take one at a time and consider ways that make your life easier. For example, you can always become a member of our community and be present on our platform. In a couple of minutes you set up your profile, add your expertise, a professional photo, a short bio, and your contact details, and that’s it. Are you willing to create some content around your expertise area? Or perhaps to share from your experience with your fellow lawyers? Say no more, and you can have your work published on our platform, shared within the community and added to your profile. You can have access to a variety of tools and events that can boost your visibility.
Start now to set yourself apart as a professional and generous citizen for your niche communities, and you can take yourself much further than you may have dreamed.
Feel free to reach out to us for more information or to check our FAQ section.
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Marketer & Community Manager
01 February 2021