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February 03, 2007

Recipe for Branding Success

As a Solo Practitioner you are going to be branding yourself in order to bring your services to market.  I talked about branding here. Branding, however, is a very misunderstood word.  Yet we indiscriminately create identities and tag lines and don't really give much thought about how it will truly impact our potential clients and "brand" ourselves, quite often, incorrectly. And to make matters worse, we test drive those tag lines on colleagues rather than our potential target audience.

Rob Frankel, branding expert to Disney and Burger King among others, gives you his insight into branding and how you can start to target your potential client base more effectively with your blogs, websites and all literature that bears your name:   A few ideas he shares:

  1. "Most people think branding is about identity and awareness.  This is just a very small part."
  2. "You need to be perceived as the "only" solution to your customer's problem.  By only, you don't have to be the best or the cheapest; you have to be the "only" because once you are the "only", they can't shop anywhere else."
  3. "Brand isn't about you; it's about them (your clients)"
  4. "Brand from the outside in......."

"Remember, people don't really need to hear how wonderful you are.  They need to hear how you are going to help them out."


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Chuck Newton

Great video. You can sum it up by saying it is not about you. It is about your clients and what you can do for them. I think that speaks to a niche practice so much. Lawyers want to sell themselves. Consumers, especially, want to know what service you provide that can help them. That is what I have noticed with your "hung a shingle" group. They have both focused on a practice area. It is just hard to sell or market "I'm a good lawyer...if you ever need a lawyer...come to me." It is easier to market an immigration solution, a real estate solution, and estate planning solution. If anything, these areas are not specific enough. Will, trusts, estates could be shortened to probate. Real estate could be shortned to turning "sale pending" into a reality. Immigration could be "get or keep your green card". Lawyers worry too much how to sell me as a person. This is especially hard for new lawyers going out on their own. Big Law actually figured this out a long time ago. They have started to transform their practice areas from law related areas to industry related areas. So to summarize, they need to niche it and brand it. If they can do that, they will be fine.

Ben Cowgill

Susan, I like the quotation that appears directly below Rob Frankel's video. Here's a pithy way of saying the same thing:

"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

Susan Cartier Liebel

I just want to clarify for my readers the quote Ben Cowgill refers to was made famous by the founder of the National Speaker's Association, the late Cavett Robert, who said it not only first but best, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care...about them and their problems."

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