Every year the American Dialect Society, in conjunction with the Linguist Society of America, names a “Word of the Year.” For 2010 that word is “app,” as in “there’s an app for that.” If you’d like the in depth story on what’s been dubbed “the Oscars of new words,” check out the full story at Visual Thesaurus.
So, why am I writing about this? What does it have to do with your law practice? It made me think of one of my favorite marketing books: Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends, by Tim Sanders. In Love is the Killer App, Tim talks about the importance of building your personal brand. Your personal brand is integral to your firm’s brand because everything you do matters. Before you can effectively brand your law firm, you’ve got to build a killer personal brand. Here’s how.
Think of the acronym D.R.E.A.M. when building your brand. The D.R.E.A.M. concept of brand perception was articulated by Duane Knapp in The Brand Mindset. Love is the Killer App refers to The Brand Mindset, for a discussion of realizing your D.R.E.A.M. of becoming a great brand. Your “brand” is who you are, what you stand for, and how you are thought of in the community.
In the acronym, D stand for differentiation. Successful law firms need to find new ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors in order to build a great brand. What makes you different from your competitors? What makes you unique?
R stands for Relevance. In order to really stand out and apart from the crowd, you must make yourself relevant to others. Keep your knowledge base constantly expanding and share your knowledge with your colleagues and clients. Think in terms of providing useful knowledge via your web site, blogs, podcasts, eNewsletters or social media. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter provide great ways for you to share your knowledge. JDSupra is designed solely as a knowledge sharing website for the legal profession. Consider posting your briefs, memos and pleadings to this site.
E stands for Esteem. Esteem builds on relevance. We all want to work with people we know, like and trust. When you act in ways that build “know, like and trust,” you create high esteem. When people hold you in high esteem, they naturally want to work with you.
A stands for Awareness. The more you have to offer, the more people will be aware of you. The more people (clients, influencers) are aware of you the more business they will refer to you.
M stands for the Mind’s Eye. Being distinctive in a potential client’s mind’s eye means creating Top of Mind Awareness (TOMA). As Sanders says, most people have a number of credit cards in their wallet, but 80 percent of their purchases are made with the card at the top of the wallet. Do all you can to create that type of awareness – of who you are and what you do.
Build your brand every day by focusing on the D.R.E.A.M. And your brand will be your killer app.
For more great ideas from Tim Sanders, click here to check out his blog.