Solo practitioners: do I have to brand myself?

If you have all the business you want and have to decline new cases then don’t worry about branding.  But if you are looking for more business, then yes you need to develop a brand.

This article does a good job of outline what is involved in the branding process.  The key element is to think about who your ideal client is and developing your brand with that person in mind.  What this means is that having a particular practice isn’t enough.  Because your ideal client isn’t someone who needs an employment attorney.  He or she is someone more specific than that.  Maybe its an HR director working in the public sector who needs help drafting employment policies.

Your brand needs to speak to that person.  They want to know that you understand them and their needs.  If you talk like an employment lawyer who is done a lot of work with high-tech companies, chances are they won’t connect with you.

Branding doesn’t mean excluding other possibilities for work.  It is a means of focusing your practice so that you become particularly attractive to a specific audience.  You become known as the person to come to for that kind of work.  It will help you get the kind of work you really want rather than just accepting work that you can do.

What happens if you don’t brand?  You are just  another lawyer who talks generally about how responsive they are to their clients’ needs.  And that’s not a brand, its a cliche.

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