Advantages of a Founder’s Personal Branding for Startups

This guest column is by Vikram Upadhyaya, Chief Mentor and evangelist at GHV Accelerator

Startup founders should be aware that as heads of future MNCs they carry a lot of weight on topics of business development, innovation & technology, corporate strategies, CSR, community affairs & development. These are low hanging fruits, which a lot of founders can target to shine light on their own businesses. Have highlighted a few more below:

1. Humanizes Your Startup

A founder’s personal branding creates an image of the company in the minds of people beforehand. That’s because a brand is usually considered as an extension of the founder’s personal brand and is directly impacted by it.

A friendly face helps you to be in the consumers’ TOM (top of mind) or spontaneous consideration set. These are important KPIs (key performance indicators) for every marketing team and are crucial for a startup’s survival during its formative years.

Another key aspect is how your startup is seen because of this. Would you want to be seen as an expert of your industry alone, or a host of other associated industries that are close to your line of work?

There’s an interesting example of Tony Hsieh, CEO of  He believes that he is here to deliver happiness to his customers and is always heard or seen talking about it. He has also written a book, ‘Delivering Happiness’ to further reinforce the message. So much so, that delivering happiness is now built into Zappos’ DNA and everyone there breathes it.

When Zappos had just started, they were an online retailer of shoes. Sometimes they would get orders that they could not fulfill, so Tony ensured that these customers were directed to the right retailer who could service their request. All his talk about delivering happiness attracted a lot of customers and they have successfully humanized what could have been just another corporate strategy. What Tony has successfully done is fixed Zappos as the TOM for consumers when they think of happiness. It really can’t get better than that!

2. Attracts & Retains Talent

One of the biggest challenges any organization faces is recruiting and retaining good talent. Having a founder with a lot of followers gives your startup more credibility, even when it’s fairly new. That makes potential stakeholders and prospective employees view you in more positive light, thereby facilitating in hiring good talent.

A report highlights how an organization’s agenda, when shared on social media by its employees, is better talent and customers because it’s actually very similar to a word of mouth campaign.

A brand reflects the founder’s personal values, beliefs and personality. Think of how Sir Richard Branson established a cool and approachable image for himself, which his company, Virgin, mirrors too. In fact, his personal branding worked wonders in attracting the best talent to his businesses.  Every youngster in UK wanted to work for him.

3. Easier to Garner the Interest of Various Stakeholders

It’s hard to get people to work with you if no one has heard of you. When you are new in the ecosystem, bankers and investors don’t trust you with their money and vendors don’t give you a good deal as they don’t feel you are credit worthy simply because you are an unknown entity. However, if people have heard of you as an expert of a particular industry, it may not matter that you run a small business, as people feel that you are not a fly-by-night operator.

It is important to note that your vision as a founder is also what can inspire your suppliers/ vendors. It is important to convince them of the bigger picture, in person or otherwise, as these people realize that at a time when you have very few real assets, it is the founder who is the real driving force and the asset for the organization. So in essence, the founder’s personal branding is the golden ticket that makes it easier to achieve the milestones that have been set for the startup.

4. Better branding = more trust = better conversions

There are far too many products, which solve the same business problem, so how do you stand out? Ask any salesman about the secret to good lead conversions. His answer will be good relationships that are built on trust, a whopping 9 out of 10 times.

So how does this work? Building a personal brand requires that the founder be seen at the right conferences, seminars and other networking events. This, coupled with his online presence allows him to build a solid network of interested customers. Keeping these customers engaged continuosly can lead to better conversions in the long run.

The best example is of Baba Ramdev of Patanjali Ayurveda. Baba Ramdev is a much bigger star than the sum total of all the brand ambassadors of other FMCG products. He is well known in India and abroad for promoting yoga and a healthy lifestyle. So when Patanjali was launched, the ‘swadeshi’ and natural herbal products that were on offer did not take long to gain acceptance from the customers because of the trust people place on Baba Ramdev, the brand’s ambassador. And we all know how within such a short time span since its launch, Patanjali is giving FMCG market leaders like HUL and P&G a run for their money!

5. Product development

As somebody who is constantly active online and offline and in touch with the startup’s key stakeholders, getting feedback about the startup’s products/services is easier. With the advent of social media, this is one aspect that has shortened the lead-time for a company to know what is working and what is not. A founder can easily keep his ear to the ground and keep his organization aligned with the users. The most important advantage as it’s easier and faster to get feedback on your product for free rather than taking it from a market research company which could cost you a lot of marketing Dollars and take far more time.


For a startup to become successful, a lot depends on its branding. And there’s no simpler way to quickly build your brand than by piggybacking on the founder’s brand. The founder must, therefore, make a conscious effort to showcase the personal values and beliefs that he wants to mirror in the startup’s brand, since people normally place their trust in a person, and not really the startup, when they are dealing with them.

Image Credit – CNBC

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The problem with personal branding –

One of the problems with personal branding is that we tell people that they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. We scare people with stories about college students posting inappropriate pictures, employees complaining about their bosses, and search engines remembering everything. Then we tell people that they need to be on LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter and their own blog if they’re going to have a chance in today’s job market.

And we wonder why people don’t make the most of these tools.

I think the cautionary tales we tell people are interesting. We tell people to remember that search engines have a long memory, so you shouldn’t post complaints about your work or drunken pictures of you at parties. I think that’s focusing on the surface and not the roots. It’s not about keeping rants offline. It’s about getting better at focusing on the good stuff and taking responsibility for shaping your life.

Here’s the difference:

Personal branding tip: Don’t gripe about your work on your blog.

Life tip: Figure out how to make your work better so that you don’t want to gripe all the time. Accept that there will be times when you want to gripe and being frustrated is part of learning. Focus on the positive.


I think people are getting stuck, not because the tools are hard to use, but because people don’t know what to share. We can talk about how personal branding and social networking are great ways to build your reputation and demonstrate your expertise, but many people don’t feel like they’re experts.

I care about this because thanks to connection and opportunity compounding, the gap between the people who get it and the people who don’t get it will get wider and wider unless we do something.

In my case, that something includes demonstrating that you don’t have to be an expert to create value. That you can admit you don’t know something and you want to learn. That you can make mistakes and deal with your weaknesses. That you can build on your strengths and interests, and that the path from mediocre to good is worthwhile. That you don’t have to have a “voice” right away and you don’t have to sound like a polished writer. That you can be human.

When we tell companies to be human, we don’t mean that companies should use toilet humor or lie. We mean the best part of being human – connecting authentically, being real. We should encourage people to be human, too. I don’t want people to think that they need to be these polished and carefully-controlled brands. (Particularly considering we’re telling companies that they don’t control their messages!) I want people to find and share their best – as well as the seeds of what could be great. I want to build a world where people don’t have to worry about the rough, unfinished parts of themselves. I want to build a world where people can learn out in the open if they want to.

I think under-sharing is more of a problem than over-sharing. Yes, it’s a good idea to think before you post, and there are plenty of examples of failure. There’s that occasional exhibitionistic streak—the rebel in us that likes to shock others—that we need to rein in. But the bigger and more interesting challenge is that people don’t know what would be good to share, what other people might find useful.

Sure, thinking about personal brands can help you figure out what you know that other people might find useful. Truth is, practically anything can help someone out there. I’m often surprised by what people pick up from what I do – even little things like the way I use [  ] and [X] and [-] in my weekly review. So there’s a ton of things you can share, and the fun challenge is prioritizing so that you can get more valuable things out first. When you think that way – starting from a position of abundance and opportunity, rather than from a position of fear and anxiety – things get much easier.

So: Stop worrying about personal branding. Focus on what matters. Share. Create value. Don’t worry about whether you’re on all the right social networks and you have a complete profile with lots of recommendations. Start figuring out who you are, what you know and do, why it matters, what you can share, and how you can share it. Don’t worry about whether you look good. Focus on how you can help others. Everything else flows from that.

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4 Personal Branding Myths

/ Pixabay

As personal branding has evolved certain myths have formed about how to do it and what it is. In this post, we attempt myth busting which should steer you clear of how not to brand. If you are new to personal branding you can see all of our executive personal branding posts here. If you are more experienced, then grab a coffee and read.

Personal Branding is about Fame!

Personal branding is not about fame. Instead, personal branding is about building a good reputation among those you wish to influence. To do this, you have to be authentic and provide genuine insights whenever you can. Your aim, is that should someone need something from your skillet, you’re the first name they think of. No matter how much you blog, update your social profiles, and speak at events, you probably never will become famous unless you become CEO of an established global brand.

Personal Branding is a Narcissistic Exercise

The aim of your personal brand is not to say ‘hey look how great I am’, but instead give real insights and share your experience. The idea is to demonstrate and pass on value to your colleagues and peers. To be able to do this you have to be authentic. If you say ‘hey look at me and how great I am’ and cannot backup this claim, you’re going to look very narcissistic and in turn, you will damage your reputation.

Building your own Personal Brand Damages my Company’s Brand

This could not be further from the truth. The better and stronger your brand, the better and stronger your company’s brand. Every organisation is as good as its people. So the better you are perceived the better the company. If it held true that an organisation’s brand was damaged by its employee’s brand being ‘too good’, then the better sports teams’ brand would be in ruins.

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Social Media use is for Senior Executive use only

Now social media is here, every employee has become a brand ambassador. As such, your personal brand should shine through as well. Your aim should be to convey your insights and skills. This can be done by combining company announcements with the part you played.

In many respects, your social updates should reflect who you are. If one of your social media followers meets you in person, they should be able to link your real self to your online persona. Authenticity counts.



The Importance Of Business Stationary In Personal Branding – Business

Business stationery is an important part of building a company’s image. No matter how big or small the company, branding your business stationery will help you to increase your sales.

However, business stationery does not mean just the letterhead of your company. Besides this, you need to have your company logo printed on every piece of stationery that your clients might see or use. These include envelopes, shipping labels, invoices, calendars, calling cards, folders, compliment slips, labels and more.

Just putting your brand on the stationery is not enough. You need the formatting to be consistent throughout the stationery. Remember, the formatting of your brand logo will help with the image you wish to convey. A consistent logo will imprint the brand image much more easily. It also shows a united front for your company and delivers the message that you are efficient.

Business stationery is important because it gives prospective clients the first impression of your business. If you do not seem professional, the client will not want to do business with you. However, a good first impression will definitely bring you more business. Whenever you communicate with your clients, leave them with a piece of your business stationery. It delivers a subtle, but powerful message about the kind of business.

When you design your business stationery, ensure that it delivers the right message across. A youthful business can afford to be more creative. However, if you deal with a very serious line of work, such as law, you need to keep the business stationery curt and professional.

You can print either in colour, greyscale or in black and white. Colour printing is usually much more effective compared to black and white and greyscale stationery. This is because colour printing usually portrays you as an established and trustworthy company. Whichever kind of printing you choose, you need the branding to be effective. It should be simple enough that people can remember it easily, and complex enough that people will take you seriously.

You can hire a business stationery printing company for your company’s stationery. Many companies offer services of not only printing, but also designing the stationery. You can either send them a design made by your company for printing or ask them to design a logo for you.

Ultimately, it is all about building the image of your business. Thus, the power and utility of business stationery should never be underestimated.


The top 5 Big brother Nigeria housemates have vital lessons you can learn about personal brand building, and OLUMIDE is here to help you spot them.

Nina rode on the “Miracle” Factor to get into the top 5. It all began with her choice of a partner, and somehow they were able to create an interesting partnership and won fans. But be that as it may, she didn’t have enough equity in the partnership. It was all about Miracle. She rode on his goodwill until they fought. At that point, fans of the partnership had to choose where their loyalty rested. Nina however flattered to deceive, only for the final polls to reveal her true weakness.

Lesson: while it’s good to ride on partnerships at some point in your brand building, you must bring something to the table. You need to have strong equity that can make you stand alone if/when there is a need to.

Alex was supposed to be one of those boring and easily dispensable housemates until her dancing talent came to the scene. Her partnership with Leo came with a unique story of its own that was rather uninspiring and childish to viewers. And it would not have been enough to keep her in the house if partnerships had not changed. Her switch to Tobi was the game changer for her.

Although Leo’s eviction seemed like bad news, ironically, it was the catalyst to her coming out of her true shell. With Leo, she was nothing more than her dancing, and a sulking baby. But with Tobi, she had a voice, a personality and mind of her own. She became enjoyable, and of course, her talent was a plus. And that was enough to ride her to the fourth position.

Lesson: Talent is great, but it’s not enough if you are inhibited. Watch who you are with and your environment. You need to surround yourself with people who give you inner freedom, and not with people you need to always depend on for survival.

Tobi was the dark horse of the competition, but he wasn’t meant to be. He was destined to be a top contender who had all it takes to win the game. But his dysfunctional relationship with Cee-C lost him fans before it was even time to gather fans. And you’d have to agree that he never quite recovered nicely from that. Everything he did after then was not very much in his favor, especially when his image had to continue to suffer from the “gossip” tag.

He was able to form a good partnership with Alex and maintain a good relationship with most people in the house to escape eviction as often as was needed to reach top 5. His stock rose again after the dispute with CeeC in the final week that went viral, but “pity” couldn’t do enough damage control to restore his goodwill among Nigerians. He had to settle for third, even when people expected him to land the second position.

Lesson: You may have all it takes to become a big brand, but you need to be careful with your brand image. Every piece you put together to build a brand matters, and you need to be meticulous about it. One early mistake in your brand building, and you may never get the chance to put things right again; not even with a perfect damage control strategy. At that point, what you earn is a pity, and not trust.

Cee-C was quite a handful in the house. Her highlights were mostly about her fights than her good moments. Her journey began with a largely dysfunctional relationship with Tobi. The switch in pairings gave them some much-needed break and landed her with Lolu; that partnership was also headed for the rocks after an altercation.

She soon became notorious for her difficult nature and got into fights with different housemates at different times while going on and off with Tobi. Almost everyone that had issues with Cee-C got a bad tag; Nina (dumb), Alex (wicked), Tobi (gossip), Lolu (cocky). Everyone was to blame except Cee-C. Tobi eventually withdrew from her to be with Alex, and that made her bitter. She was sidelined by most of the housemates, but remained strong and would not back down in a fight.

This won her fans on the outside, but the opposite on the inside. She did more to dent her image when she rained expletives on Tobi in the final week of the competition. Nonetheless, her stubborn will and more importantly, dauntless fans on the outside were still able to buy her the second position.

 Lesson: You can’t build a good and lasting brand on controversy. As much as publicity either good or bad is publicity, the long-term effect of Branding is key.  People are still more of an emotional consumer than logical. People will buy into you based on how they FEEL about you (perception) and how you make them feel. And the referrals you enjoy is from these two factors.  More often than not, controversy won’t yield you a good result, no matter how close you get to achieving it.

Miracle, by all estimation, was the true alpha male; the one we came to love effortlessly. There was a real plan to his game. He bossed the game in every way you can think of it, had his emotions in check, had an emotional partner in Nina, and even when there was friction between them, he didn’t allow that affect his game. He also had a bromance going on with Tobi, and they shared a healthy rivalry at the Payporte games, which he won most of the time too! What more? He emerged Head of House a couple of times and won wagers for the house in his tenure.

As quiet as he looked, his victories were loud. While Cee-C was getting popular for being hated, Miracle was getting popular for being loved. Everything worked out fine for him, and he had males and females joining his fanbase on a weekly basis. And boy! They voted, massively! It was no surprise that he won the game eventually.

Lessons: there has to be a plan or strategy for your brand building, and you must remain focused on the big picture. Let your victories do the talking, and keep a healthy atmosphere around yourself. You will earn respect, love, and speed on your journey to success in the brand you are building.

This is not exhaustive. I am sure you have lessons you have gleaned from them too. Please be free to share in the comments.

Personal Branding For Attorneys And Lawyers

Why lawyer branding is important

Whether you’ve just passed the bar exam or have been a partner at a top law firm for twenty years, lawyer branding is essential.

Today, online screenings – both formal and informal determine whether or not people will hire you, work for you, or refer new clients to you. The legal profession has historically been slow-moving when it comes to adopting online lawyer branding and law firm branding as standard practice.

But over the past few years that has changed significantly when you look at increases in social media use, personal website development and blogging by individual attorneys and law firms alike. Just take a look at the findings from the most recent ! Online reputation management is a necessity for successful attorneys and law firms.

Attorneys report that they choose to pursue online lawyer branding and engage on the web for a number of reasons. The attorneys surveyed in 2017’s ABA Techreport listed the following as their reasons for social networking use:

  • 69% for career development or networking
  • 56% for client development
  • 39% for education or current awareness
  • 21% for case investigation
  • 4% Other

In addition to understanding the reasons that attorneys invest their time in social networking, it’s important to take a step back and consider how potential clients use the internet when seeking legal counsel.

Important stats about lawyer branding and law firm branding:

  • According to a Google Consumer Survey, 96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine.
  • 74% of consumers visit a law firm’s website to take action.

Whether you choose to actively manage your (or your firm’s) brand online or not, the data has spoken. Potential clients are looking for attorneys and law firms online, and what they find matters.

This guide will show you how to make online lawyer branding work for you so that you land and retain more clients and win more professional opportunities.

Before getting started, we’d like to discuss some of the most common questions and concerns voiced by attorneys and law firms when we first start working with them.

FAQs about lawyer branding from attorneys

Q. Online branding isn’t a priority – attracting and maintaining clients is. What is the ROI of executing a lawyer or law firm branding strategy?

A. Attracting and maintaining clients by being great at what you do should be a priority. However, lawyer branding and law firm branding directly contribute to those two goals.

Online search is a common tool that people use to find and evaluate everything – even legal counsel. If what they find about a lawyer or law firm online isn’t informative, is negative, doesn’t look credible, or doesn’t exist – they will just go to competitors who look better online.

And in terms of ROI, consider this:

  • According to a study from Rocket Marketing, 40% of small law firms don’t have websites. If you work at a small law firm, you can really stand out by having a well-optimized and well-executed website.
  • 27% of respondents to the 2017 ABA Tech report indicated that they had a client retain their legal services directly or via referral because of their use of social networking sites for professional purposes. And that statistic doesn’t even explore the quality of the strategy used to acquire and maintain clients. With the right strategy and execution, this percentage is likely much higher.
  • A shocking 80% of lawyers in firms of 500+ attorneys who personally maintain a legal blog report getting clients as a result of their blogging activity. (ABA Techreport, 2017)
  • Lawyers who blog in firms of 2-9 or 50-99 lawyers each reported a greater than 50% success rate in client retention as a result of blogging. (ABA Techreport, 2017)

When it comes to devoting your energy and resources to lawyer branding, the data speaks for itself.  Proper law firm branding strategy helps you beat your competition, attract more clients, and retain existing clients.

Q. Clients, attorneys, judges and juries wouldn’t take me seriously if they ever found my Facebook account – and you’re telling me I should make it public?!

A. You’re probably right. If anyone that you know in a professional capacity ever found your Facebook account they might seriously question your credibility.

But if you’re convinced that that’s the case, you need to perform some edits on the social media profiles that you control ASAP. Regardless of the privacy settings you (think you) chose, or how clever your pseudonym, there’s a good chance that anything you’ve posted there could become public information.

You need to clean up your now, and any other social media profiles that you control. Eventually you will be able to leverage these accounts in part of your quest for successful lawyer branding. But before that can happen, you must ensure that these profiles are in line with the professional online brand that you’re trying to develop.

Q. My firm has a strict policy that limits and monitors the online activity of the lawyers, how can I build an online brand?

A. This kind of policy shouldn’t discourage you from investing time in building out your personal brand. In fact, this should encourage you. Make sure that you fully understand what the actual guidelines and policies are before assuming that you can’t post anything online.

These rules will help you in being even more selective and strategic about what it is that you choose to create and share online. We often encourage our clients to imagine that their bosses or parents read everything that they post online. In this case, your bosses actually are monitoring what it is that you choose to share online.

That should make you feel even more intentional and strategic about what you’re doing. Don’t share anything confidential, clearly state that all opinions are your own and cannot be construed as legal advice, avoid red flag behavior, and focus on developing reinforcing positive content (more on those last two later).

Q. Building a website & being active on social media could trigger compliance issues, how can this be prevented?

Luckily attorneys can build and maintain an informative and effective online brand without violating any compliance issues. Whether you create your brand on your own, use BrandYourself’s software or work with our Managed Services team – you get to set the boundaries.

You get to determine the type of content created, published, shared, engaged with and endorsed under your name.

Furthermore, it’s easy to include language that explicitly states that all of the content found on your site or profiles is your own opinion and shall not be construed as legal counsel.

Disclaimers on your site, blog, newsletter content, embedded in social media content or on social profiles are more than acceptable when it comes to developing your online presence. You don’t have to choose between compliance and having an online brand. Instead, go for the third option – a compliant lawyer branding strategy!

Q.  I don’t have time to build an online brand because I am busy practicing law, what are my options?

A. At BrandYourself we pride ourselves on empowering everyone with the information that they need to take control of how they look online. That’s why our offerings include everything from free access to our to customized boutique branding services led by our in-house Managed services department.

As an individual attorney with little time to spare, we are happy to help you choose the Managed Services package that aligns most closely with your goals. Don’t think you’ll have time to share your thoughts, but you want your brand voice to be as authentic to you as possible? Our brand strategists are extremely creative and driven when it comes to working around a client’s schedule and delivering the desired results.

We also work with law firms to create a customized law firm branding strategy, as well as executive branding options that include executing strategies for each attorney and any other key personnel.

Q. A negative search result comes up when you search my name, can you remove that?

A. Whether a competing attorney mounted a smear campaign against you, a disgruntled client wrote awful things about you on a website, you lost a case, or someone with your name has a criminal record – negative search results are costing you business.

Depending on what the negative search result is, you may be able to get it deindexed (so that it won’t come up as a search result) with a takedown request. However, rules regarding takedown requests in the US are pretty strict, so if that search result doesn’t fall under those guidelines, your request won’t be honored.

Your best bet is to build an informative, high-quality online brand with properties that you do control.To learn more about dealing with negative search results, make sure to , and see how else BrandYourself can help in the last section of this post.

Key steps to a successful online brand as an attorney or lawyer

Regardless of your area of expertise, level of experience or where you work, a is a must for lawyers and attorneys who want to increase their professional opportunities. When it comes to successfully building a brand that attracts clients, impresses (and retains) existing clients, and encourages growth opportunities – follow these three pillars:

  • Pillar 1: Build a basic brand
  • Pillar 2: Build credibility & an audience
  • Pillar 3: Target Opportunities

Pillar 1: Build a basic brand

Whether you already control a number of social media profiles and websites or not, you need web properties that are working for you. That means building or optimizing key profiles and websites. When looking to improve your brand, this foundational phase is critical to the health and long-term success of your online presence. Building a basic brand should include the following steps:

  • Scan and audit search results for your name.
  • Clean up any content you control that doesn’t support the professional image you want to project online.
  • Build an online presence that reflects your personal mission statement and showcases your areas of expertise.
  • Devise and follow a personal branding strategy that addresses your professional priorities and stick to the deadlines you set.

To learn more about each of these steps, make sure to read our . And if you sign up for BrandYourself’s free online reputation management software you can automatically scan search results for your name, flag damaging content on your social profiles and learn how to create & optimize your accounts step-by-step.

When it comes to building a strong online foundation for attorneys and lawyers, we suggest that you start with the 10-12 online properties suggested in the . However, it’s especially important that lawyers create or optimize their profiles on law-specific sites like Avvo or Martindale (and its associated sites). That way you ensure that people who are seriously looking for legal counsel have the chance to find you.

Additionally, when it comes to the foundational phase of law firm branding strategy, we highly recommend that lawyers and law firms establish themselves on sites like:

  • Yelp
  • Google+
  • Glassdoor
  • And other review sites

Not only do these kinds of sites garner a lot of traffic, but there’s a good chance a basic profile has already been automatically generated for you there. That means that the information there is likely sparse or inaccurate, and people seeking legal counsel are not seeing a very polished version of you. That’s why it’s up to you to manage and monitor how you look on these kinds of sites.

Once you’ve established a strong foundation with this lawyer branding strategy, it’s time to move on to Pillar 2.

Pillar 2: Build credibility & an audience

Whether you are building this professional brand as an individual attorney or as part of a law firm, online branding can reinforce your credibility and cultivate a broader audience (which ultimately leads to more clients).

Great ways to strengthen your credibility online include:

  • Writing strategic content on the platforms and in the communities where interested parties will find it.
  • Getting third-party placement through pitching and syndication on trusted sites that speak directly to your desired audience.
  • Use data to your advantage by tracking how your content performs on different platforms and reverse engineering the most successful cases
  • Use social media management tools to stay organized and help you publish high-quality original content consistently.

Tips for building the right audience:

  • Identify the gatekeepers of the audience and opportunities you want to reach.
  • Start building out your audience with people in your own network who are likely interested in what you’ll publish and would likely share your content with relevant communities.
  • Connect with gatekeepers & influencers via social media & strategic publications to better understand how they execute their own branding strategies, and engage with their audience.

Do your homework on attorneys and lawyers who are well-known or considered thought-leaders in your field. While you don’t need to copy their branding strategies, this is a great way to get inspiration for tactics that might work for you. They may also give you some ideas or even a direct in on connecting with your target audience to increase your client pool.

Pillar 3: Target opportunities

Landing new clients and enhancing the experience of existing clients probably top your list of objectives with brand building. And once you start to see the fruits of your labor from phases 1 and 2, it’s time to leverage that work to target more professional opportunities that encourage client growth and retention. As you become more visible online, accept and cultivate offers for opportunities like:

  • Speaking gigs with reputable programs or institutions
  • Blog exchanges with reputable content creators in your field
  • Interviews with trusted news outlets, academic institutions or content creators
  • Mentorships from respected leaders in your field, or the opportunity to mentor others starting out in your field
  • Promotions

While there’s a real chance that these sorts of opportunities will just come to you, and you’ll have to weed through a bunch of offers, that’s not always how it works. Typically you’ll need to use some advanced audience building techniques to find and shape these opportunities with members of your network and audience.

Strategically work with your audience through:

  • Outreach & Networking – Make sure that people know your value and what it is that you’re looking for. Be specific in what you ask for and who you’re trying to meet.
  • Ongoing content creation and engagement – Stay active on social media and on your website to ensure continued growth and maintenance of your audience. Remember to engage with prominent people and news sources in your industry in addition to interacting with your growing audience. Demonstrate that you are active in the conversations in your industry to prove your credibility and ultimately encourage more potential for new opportunities.
  • Link building – Seek out targeted link building opportunities to improve the visibility and credibility of your online brand and ultimately find more opportunities. Link building is a search engine optimization tactic where you try to earn links to your website or social media profile from a high-quality site.
  • Advanced keyword strategy – This is another SEO tactic to make sure that people looking for you and your content find it when they search online. Use free tools like Google Adwords and Keyword Planner to create a list of words related to your personal brand and industry. Create high-quality content that ranks well for these searches to ensure continued growth with your desired audience.

What does the ideal personal brand for lawyers look like?

Counsel to the New York City Bar Association – Neysa Alsina

Below, you’ll see page one of Neysa Alsina’s Google search results which includes a combination of personal social media profiles, positive third-party news articles and her biographical information on the New York City Bar Association’s website.

All of this serves to create a credible, informative and compelling personal brand.

Attorney General of New York – Eric Schneiderman

Below we’ve included Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman’s current Google Search Results. We consider his online brand to be a strong example of attorney branding.

The combination of his well-managed social media accounts, personal website, Wikipedia page and respected news outlets make for a strong first page of results.

Lawyer and Managing partner at Rosenberg & Estis – Luise Barrack

The first page of search results for Managing Partner, Luise Barrack includes a combination of lawyer branding must-haves.

Barrack’s biography on the Rosenberg & Estis site, her LinkedIn profile, and tons of listings for her various profiles on legal directories and social networking sites are examples of solid online lawyer branding.

How BrandYourself can help

As an attorney, lawyer or law firm, there are a number of choices when it comes to building an online brand. However, there’s no point in dedicating time and resources to this without a plan that focuses on long-term success – since the number of people looking you up online continues to grow.

At BrandYourself, we’ve spent years refining our software and Managed Services to make online branding accessible to everyone. Check out what we offer below:

DIY online reputation management software

At BrandYourself, it’s our mission to empower lawyers and attorneys with the information they need to take control of their online presence and reach their branding goals. BrandYourself’s DIY reputation management software features include:

Your Reputation Report- A comprehensive report that identifies all the risk factors in search results & on social media that are putting your career at risk as well as the positive factors that are contributing to your personal brand. Your Reputation Report features your Reputation Score (like a credit score, but for your online presence), identifies who is googling, how your results compare to those of other users, and how much money you or earning or losing based on your current online presence.

Google Results- BrandYourself’s algorithms pull your top Google search results and show their potential impact on your overall online presence. Here You can mark them as positive, negative or not you to ensure accuracy.

Reputation Builder- BrandYourself’s Reputation Builder features a custom Action Plan which shows you next steps to improve your personal brand and informative guides. The software also shares damaging Google search results, and harmful social posts & images from your social media accounts that you can review and delete right in the dashboard.

Properties- Here you can submit links to existing profiles and websites that you control, as well as build or optimize each profile with in-depth step-by-step guidance from the software.

Managed services

BrandYourself offers world-class branding services for individual attorneys, lawyers and law firms.

Schedule a free consultation

Talk with a Reputation Advisor about your options and how BrandYourself can help you develop your personal brand.

BrandYourself’s Managed Services include:

Individual Lawyer and Attorney Branding Services

Once you’ve discussed your objectives and decided on the best package with a Reputation Advisor, our in-house team of experts will conduct a personal branding session with you. From there we develop a customized strategy to build or optimize the best site and profiles for you. During your campaign we follow the three pillars listed earlier to ensure that you reach new clients, maintain existing clients, develop new professional opportunities, and meet your goals with lawyer branding.

Executive Branding Services

BrandYourself offers Executive Branding Services for law firms wherein our in-house experts manage the individual online brands of partners, lead attorneys and other key personnel. If you’re looking to maintain a successful online presence for your firm, the attorneys that work there need to be credible, findable and active online. By actively managing the individual reputations of these attorneys online, we strengthen the overall brand of the firm itself. Our team of brand strategists and content creators also has extensive experience managing the online presence of the actual law firms.

Negative Suppression Services

Whether you’re dealing with a negative search result as an individual lawyer or as a law firm, you need damage control to avoid ruining your prospects and existing client relationships. We recommend BrandYourself’s Managed Services department where our in-house team of experts creates a customized strategy for this. When it comes to lawyers dealing with negative search results, the damaging results are often directly related to your area of expertise.

Because of that, you need the experience of our branding professionals to come up with a custom strategy that highlights your assets without calling attention to the damaging result. Our experts will help you walk this delicate balance and ultimately create high-quality content that people engage with to restore your reputation.

For a complete listing of our offerings and customizable options, contact us by phone at  646.863.8226 or to discuss your options with a Reputation Advisor today.


Memorial High and Personal Branding

Question of the day: would you rather present in front of a high-stakes client or a group of high schoolers?

We’re willing to bet more than a few adults would opt for the client presentation. (Those status quo-disrupting, social activism-touting, global perspective-wielding, Snapchat-snapping Gen Z’ers are scary. We get it.)

But, if the kids at Memorial High are a fair representation of the younger generation, we’d be more than happy to present at high schools all day e’erday.

TDR Goes Back to School

Last week, we had the opportunity to spend an afternoon at Madison’s Memorial High School and speak with students about a topic near and dear to our hearts: personal branding. Understandably, the crew felt just a bit of apprehension at the prospect of presenting to a group of teenagers. We think we’re cool – but would they? (Cue self-conscious anxiety and formerly repressed memories of awkward teen years.)

To our delight, the afternoon went swimmingly. With the help of Beyonce gifs and Drake music vids (included just as much for our personal entertainment as for that of the students), The TDR Account Exec team shared the fundamentals of personal branding, asking students to consider how they’d like to be perceived online.

“What are two words/phrases that you’d want associated with your brand?”

“Social activist”

Pretty heartwarming if you ask us. These kids know what’s up.

We also included a gentle warning: “The internet is written in ink. Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want your mom, dad, grandma, college, or future employer seeing. Also – get your privacy settings on lock, but understand that people can find you regardless.” (We did have to reassure a few individuals that, no – college admissions offices cannot call up Evan Spiegel and access an archive of your Snapchats.)

A few brave members of the TDR crew included in their presentations now-deleted Facebook photos from college that they no longer want associated with their personal brand. Despite the fact that the students thought we went to college eons ago – wayyy back in “the 1990s” – the message hit home.

After a general discussion about marketing – what it is, why it’s important, how to jumpstart a marketing career – we said our goodbyes, returned to our lockers, and rode the school bus home.

Just kidding, we drove home. We’re adults here.

We’d like to say a big THANK YOU to Memorial High for having us. Your students are a delight. We’ll come back anytime.