6 ways to raise your personal profile today
Many lawyers simply don’t see any benefit in investing time raising their personal profile, especially when they already have so much on their plate. Profile building is seen purely as something you do when you’re at partner level or if you’re planning to move firms. However, those lawyers who reject this thinking and start planning for their long-term career early on will have a substantial advantage over their peers.
Reputations and professional networks take years to develop, so the time to start building them is now. Raising your personal profile increases the visibility of both you and your firm and expands your personal reach, giving you better access to clients and referrers. It’s also a great way to demonstrate your grasp of marketing and business development, which will help you win new jobs or opportunities for promotion.
Here are some of the best ways to start building your personal profile:
LinkedIn is the obvious place to start, as it’s not too time-consuming but gives you access to millions of professionals.
- Add a professionally shot photo – having a photo makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others
- Change your headline from the default of your current job title to something more compelling that tells visitors what is unique about you
- Write a proper summary about you, your achievements, values and passions – don’t just talk about your employer
- Ask for recommendations – a testimonial from a client can be much more powerful than anything you write yourself
- Join relevant groups and participate in discussions – this is a great way to build relationships whilst gaining or passing on knowledge
Twitter tends to be very polarising in the legal world – you either love it or hate it. But it’s undeniably a communication tool that’s increasingly used by both businesses and professionals and is a great way to keep your finger on the pulse as well as raising your own profile.
- Follow your clients and competitors to see what they are doing
- Share content that is interesting and useful to your network
- Tweet about any events you’re attending and invite contacts to meet you there
- Almost all journalist use Twitter to source stories, so sharing a story or opinion can be a great way to generate some PR
- Use hashtags to give your tweets a wider audience – #law and #uklaw are the most obvious, but new stories and events usually have a dedicated hashtag
- Become a trustee
The UK charity sector is chronically short of trustees and charities typically welcome lawyers to their board in order to benefit from their knowledge and expertise. Joining the board of a charity involved in your practice area can be a great way to demonstrate your commitment to that cause. You’ll need to be cautious about conflicts of interest, but it’s an opportunity to build contacts and get a different point of view on the issues facing your clients.
- Speaking and writing
One of the best ways to demonstrate your expertise and build your reputation is by seeking out opportunities to speak or write about the law in your area of practice. If many of your clients are coming to you with similar problems, why not use that to write an article about the best way to tackle them? Local news or industry press also usually welcome articles on topics of interest to their readers, so consider approaching them to pitch. If you do write something or are featured in an article, don’t forget to share it on your social media channels.
Conferences and business events are always looking for speakers who can educate their visitors, so it’s worth submitting proposals to speak at events in your field. Building relationships with suppliers targeting a similar audience, such as recruitment agencies or software suppliers, can also pay off, as they may be looking for speakers for client events.
- Attend events
Even if you’re not speaking, attending business or industry events aimed at your target clients can help to raise your personal profile. As well as meeting and building relationships with potential clients, you’re also demonstrating your enthusiasm and support for the sector. Attend enough of these events and it will start to position you as the resident expert in that field.
- Find a good recruiter
These days, a recruitment consultant is not simply someone who you only approach when you need a new job, but can be a partner for your entire career. Even if you’re not planning a career move in the near future, a good consultant to give you valuable advice on what you need to be doing right now to build your personal profile for the future. They’ll also keep an eye out for vacancies that might suit you, as you never know when the opportunity of a lifetime will come up!
Zest was founded by qualified lawyers, so we really understand the challenges you face and the best way to achieve your goals. If you’re looking for a new role or would just like some advice and a chat, get in touch with us on 0333 370 46 16 or firstname.lastname@example.org.