Dear New Barrister,
Whether you are in your first second or third six months or even in the early years of your tenancy, we know that you have some challenges ahead of you. You have worked hard to get where you are, and no doubt have incurred a raft of student debt too. You’re likely in business for yourself and every business has competition.
Whatever your background or circumstances, the most important investment you will ever make however is in your personal or human brand. Reputation is obviously important, however your brand which is who you are, what you stand for, and how you differentiate yourself goes beyond this.
This being so, we find that so few of you do take enough time to understand or properly control your brand and, so therefore, might be leaving some money on the table.
Because this is the case, I wanted to highlight in this relatively short note, the importance of getting the five aspects of your brand absolutely spot on. But why should you?
Getting your brand right will make your clerks job much easier in recommending you to instructing Solicitors; it will mean Solicitors will ask for you by name and end user clients will know of your work and instruct their Solicitors to make enquiries about your availability.
Senior Barristers will also trust you to be led in more complex cases and your diary will be full of the work you want to do.
In short, your practice will grow quicker, you will earn what you are worth earlier, and life at the Bar will be a lot easier (and profitable) by getting your human or personal branding right. Whilst your clerks are instrumental to your success, do be proactive and make every effort to market yourself too. This will earn you as many brownie points as successful days in court." In short, your practice will grow quicker, you will earn what you are worth earlier, and life at the Bar will be a lot easier (and profitable) by getting your human or personal branding right." Click To Tweet
There are five key brand foundations all Barristers need to get right. I hope you don’t mind if I provide some pointers but these are:
- Physical Identity
- Digital Identity
- Social Proof
Your Physical ID is how you turn up in the world from a physical point of view. It is about your personal style, the way you speak, the way you hold yourself socially, what you wear and how it all ties together seamlessly.
Most of you are already very well dressed and lets face it you probably needed to be for those seemingly endless dinners at the Inns of Court, but do keep it in mind all these factors when out less formally too. It really matters especially as everything these days finds its way onto social media.
Your Digital ID is how you appear digitally; it involves your social media accounts and your content. It also involves how you interact and engage on Linkedin and how congruent and relevant your content is to your area of practice or expertise.
Getting this right will help you rank higher in search engines and ensure you are seen as an authority in your area of expertise. One thing we see a lot of are debates online.
Don’t get drawn into online spats because not only can it ruin your career professionally, it is never good for your image even if you seemingly win the argument.
Your Story-Brand is your backstory and so within it will be the reasons why you do what you do and why people should be drawn to you and engage with your content.
It’s about your authenticity and again it’s about congruency. Do make sure that you create something unique, truthful, compelling and relevant.
Your Network is about who you are associated with. This matters because you are the average of the five people you hang around with most and ‘iron sharpens iron’ so to speak. Who you are seen with will ultimately impact on your own brand and reputation so please do carefully consider the company you keep. I am not saying ditch your friends from university or school but instead, just be selective.
Social proof is where people go to for evidence of your ability. Whilst aiming for Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 directories is imperative to a new lawyer’s reputation and brand, consider obtaining online testimonials, online case studies as well as recommendations on Linkedin. All of these things too will rank higher in the search engines when people are looking for your expertise.
These are just a few pointers as you embark on your career but if you do need a few more, my team and I are always on hand for a chat.
Gary Armstrong –
Co – Founder Impetus IQ.
Gary is the #1 Human/Personal Branding Coach for Legal Professionals and other experts. He is a digital marketer, expert in social media, and podcast expert. Being legally trained himself and because having been in practice for many years, he brings an unrivalled perspective to this essential but often misunderstood area of practice.