How do you create a personal brand? You make a commitment to do something every single day.

This week we asked: My personal brand is…

  1. Crystal clear to me. 0%   
  2. Somewhat clear to me. 8%
  3. Needs some work. 90%
  4. I haven’t thought about it. 2% 

My Thoughts:

Surprisingly, almost all of you who voted said your personal brand "needs some work." It’s fine to admit that your personal brand may not be instantly apparent, it simply means that it’s time to sit down and take inventory of what makes you stand out from the other millions of attorneys in the world.

As I said on Tuesday, creating and furthering your personal brand is an important part of building a foundation for all of your marketing and business development efforts. Not everyone wears black everywhere (but I do!), not everyone has worked with high profile clients (have you?) and not everyone is an expert in your field (aren’t you?). These are all basic elements of personal branding. The key is figure out how to make them work for you.

In my opinion there are 4 basic steps to creating your personal brand:

  1. Create the package…your VISUAL identity
  2. Stand for something… your VERBAL identity
  3. Narrow your market…FOCUS, focus, focus
  4. Increase your visibility… STAND OUT from the crowd

In the coming weeks we’ll be discussing all four points in-depth. For now, as my friend Dr. Andreas Bittner of the German law firm Grützmacher/Gravert /Viegener says:

Show your personality and charisma, it is not necessary to be always in line. We and our firm need to differentiate from other law firms and their art to handle business. In a people business we must show our individuality and not be afraid of it.

Black Pearl: Those of you who are a little skeptical about personal branding will enjoy this column from The New York Times. It’s a great first-person account of one woman’s foray into the world of personal branding. My favorite quote? "If you don’t brand yourself, Google will brand you." How true that is.