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What they don’t teach you in law school: How to establish yourself as a thought leader

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

Executives in every industry aspire to become thought leaders for their clients and peers. Having a personal brand isn’t enough anymore; with the influx of information available

online, clients are looking to connect with professionals they can trust, and positioning yourself as a thought leader can drastically increase the business opportunities that are available to you.

Working in the legal industry has never been easy, and the push for increased online marketing efforts during the pandemic didn’t make things any simpler. Consumers have experienced a shift in their buying philosophy and now make up to 70 per cent of their buying decisions online before they reach out to connect with a business they want to partner with. When others look to you for advice and expertise, you can quickly become a recognizable voice in any industry.

Here are a few simple adjustments in your current marketing efforts that can make all the difference in helping you stand out among your peers.

Answer the difficult questions

Legal matters can get confusing, especially for clients who don’t have a relevant background. Prospective clients can be left feeling vulnerable if they don’t have all the information they are looking for. By simply answering the questions that nobody else in the industry is addressing, you will be recognized as a trustworthy resource for clients who are looking for a little guidance.

Offer clear and transparent answers to questions about pricing and cost, best in class options, processes, comparisons and reviews. By providing your prospective clients with a general understanding of how things work and what can be expected, you will transform your personal brand from a professional to an industry resource.

Keep it simple

If the first step to becoming a thought leader is to create high-value content, the second step is to keep things simple. Break down complex legal terms and the extensive paperwork that is often involved in legal matters. Offer your clients a breath of fresh air with simple solutions that just make sense. It’s easy to search for textbook answers online, but being able to provide meaningful analogies and everyday explanations of the situation will make it easier for your audience to understand and follow along with the services and strategies you are promoting.

Create consistency

It is incredibly important to create a consistent content schedule when you are getting started. Identify opportunities where you can become a regular contributor, whether that’s by blogs or podcasts, and release meaningful content on a weekly basis. You have to be willing and able to share your thoughts and expertise in a coherent and concise way that appeals to readers or listeners. Consistency will help you practise it and improve the quality of your message along the way.

Work towards awards and accolades

Having extensive experience in your industry and a solid educational background is a strong foundation for building authority. Awards, accolades and honours will help you build credibility in the industry as well. The more impressive your platform is, the easier it will be for you to break into new media outlets, secure speaking engagements and attract a following.

Secure speaking engagements

Connecting with influencers and other industry professionals who already have an established following can increase your reach to prospective clients who may be looking for the services you offer. Share your expertise with their followers and remember to provide value no matter how large or small the event. This will help you become a household name in the long run and will bolster your professional reputation with other professionals as well.

Take your time

The journey to thought leadership is not a short one. It takes time, dedication and consistency to establish yourself as a thought leader. Continue educating yourself and with hard work, patience and perseverance you will become a recognized expert to peers and prospective clients.

This article was originally posted in The Lawyer's Daily

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