When all spirits are running amok in NYC in the movie Ghostbusters, the mayor knows to reach out to the Ghostbusters. Why? They have cultivated an image of the most adept and prestigious ghost capturers (if not the only ones). Like the Ghostbusters, you also need to develop a robust professional profile to build a successful career or business.
You do this by leveraging your brand channels - which is how the world hears of your brand, aka professional reputation. Below are examples of brand channels that can help you amplify your professional profile. Because when someone asks who are you gonna call? You want the answer to be you.
These career documents are how you communicate to the outside world who you are, what you do, and how you do it. These are platforms you can utilize to showcase your skills, expertise, education, experience, etc. Recruiters, potential clients, and organizations looking for speakers search LinkedIn for people that meet their needs. These documents need to be well-written and protect your brand.
Speaking & Writing
For attorneys, what you speak and write about (including podcasts and LinkedIn videos) tells the world what your expertise is, how you think, and what is important to you.
For outside counsel, you want to make sure that what you discuss demonstrates your expertise and also resonates with what your ideal client wants to know about. It doesn’t help you if no one reads your article or tunes into your webinar.
Inside counsel should also speak to demonstrate their expertise. However, the more senior you are or want to be, the more critical that you opine on leadership topics and not just legal expertise. You want to highlight skills such as innovation, collaboration, being a strategic partner, and developing talent.
Having a great profile is not all you want to do to amplify your brand on social media. You want to share thought leadership and be there for others. LinkedIn is undoubtedly right now the number one place for professionals to be at the moment. However, many attorneys are developing strong professional reputations and brands in other channels like Twitter and Clubhouse.
The organizations you belong to and the work you do for them become part of your brand. Where and how you choose to spend your precious time tells the world what is important to you and who you are.
The Stories You Tell
People remember stories, and more importantly, when you tell someone about something you have accomplished and how you did it - it has more credibility than just saying it. For example, you can tell me I am an accomplished trial lawyer and that is nice. But if you give me a blow-by-blow description as to how you undermined a crucial witness in a way that did not alienate the jury, I will be wowed.
For those in-house, stories about how you used a tax code provision to save millions of dollars are okay. But if you tell me how you strategically partner with a client or an innovative initiative you sponsored, I think this is someone who can lead a team or department.
Stories matter - tell the right ones.
Your Actions and Behaviors
When people think about how their brand is broadcast, they often overlook their actions and behaviors. You can have the right profile and speak on the right panel, but if you are in the room and your actions and behaviors don’t align with what you put out there, you are doomed. It is best if you walk the talk. You cannot say you are calm under pressure and then have a meltdown or throw someone under the bus. How you act matters.
Your stories and behaviors cause your contacts to speak about you, and what they say can significantly impact your career. You can tout a terrific brand, but if your network does not speak the same way about you, that branding will not have the impact you want it to have. You should walk the talk and be there for your network so they will be there for you.
There are so many ways to let the world know about your assets and why you would be a value add to an organization. You need to develop a strategy to use brand channels to broadcast that message effectively.
Want to learn more about how to heat up the job search?
Check out Sheila's TOP 3 REASONS THAT YOUR IN-HOUSE SEARCH IS ICE COLD IN THE HOTTEST LEGAL MARKET & HOW TO FIRE IT UP. In this guide, Sheila shares the three top reasons that in-house counsel are stuck in their current roles and strategies to heat up their job search in both the short and long term.