As advocates, there’s very little marketing we can do for ourselves without being on the wrong side of the law. We cannot put hoardings, banners, solicit work through websites explicitly because the BCI Rules bars us from doing so. However, with the use of digital technology and smart approaches, we can create a virtual presence for ourselves, which can, in turn, help us gain recognition, without violating any BCI Rules.
There are several ways in which advocates can make themselves and their practice is known in the largest industries in India. However, the digital approach requires a lot of diligence, effort, and regularity, the reason being, every day there is a new blog, a new website, a new person who establishes his/her presence. Amidst this virtual competition, one needs to be consistent in upholding one’s presence online.
Linkedin and Personal Branding
LinkedIn, one of the best social marketing network for professional. Almost every professional has a profile on LinkedIn and more often than not uses this platform to connect with other professionals and to establish a virtual presence.
One of the best and the worst things about LinkedIn is that one can share anything that they deem fit, whether it is experiences, updates, accomplishments, etc. It makes establishing an online presence on LinkedIn a bit tricky because there is a lot of good quality content that is already present there. The challenge is to get past the noise. However, if the content one posts are worthy of people’s views, there is no stoppage to the post’s viewership.
If an advocate makes a LinkedIn profile, interacts with other people through his or her posts, keeps the audience interested with the content that is posted, the online presence is thus established, and with posts being uploaded duly, personal branding gradually gets established. Simply put, one can start by posting updates on cases that they have dealt with, a lesson they have learnt in the court, their experiences in dealing with a client. It goes a long way if there is an open discussion that one initiates about a certain law, a policy or a rule, for example.
Personal branding and LinkedIn go hand in hand. When your profile starts gaining traction and the number of posts increases, there’s a brand that you create for yourself on LinkedIn. People start knowing you through the posts, works, practices and accomplishments. The more interaction there is, the more is the personal branding.
Working on personal brand virtually can be taxing because of the already existing work. However, if even an hour is devoted to writing, for example, a useful and meaningful post, once in three days, it is still worth the time. As is with any other media, even with LinkedIn, content is king! If the content is attractive and informative, virtual presence and branding get successfully established.
Websites and Content
These days, websites can be easily created through website creation platforms like Worpress and Weebly. However, the tricky part here is to post content that does not breach BCI Rules. As per the BCI Rules, law firms cannot solicit or advertise their work. However, this rule can be followed without explicitly advertising the work by generating content that does not expressly advertise but gains a lot of traction by viewers. One such way to successfully establish a law firm website without advertising the services is by writing and publishing articles on topics related to the services that the law firm provides.
If the law firm deals with Arbitration and IPR, the advocate can publish articles under these practice areas in the form of blog posts, judgment analysis, or newsletters that readers can subscribe to. This way, even though the firm does not explicitly advertise its practice areas and accomplishments, the articles, write-ups, and blog posts do the work.
The same could be shared on top social media websites and other relevant websites through links of the posts increasing viewership on the same article that is published on the blog.
Online Webinars and Videos
Being part of seminars is a great way of building a professional profile. With the current Pandemic, ‘webinars’ have taken the place of ‘seminars’.
With so much happening around us, having one’s own YouTube channel, or own series of videos explaining judgments, laws, cases, the news is the new trend. YouTube is hands-down the best way to establish an online presence through videos. While making YouTube videos demand a lot of efforts and time, a simple 2-minute video that talks about the latest advancement in one’s practice area or insight about judgment or a law can be uploaded on the relevant websites, where audience view it with ease and can interact through your profile, directly.
It helps in increasing your brand value and also establishes your face value since a lot of your personality shows out, which is a bonus point for high-end recruiters or potential clients who might relate to your content and want to collaborate with you or hire your services.
Virtual Profile is the new Business Card
Handing out business cards has been the norm for professionals for a long time now. While business cards still rule the physical world, the advent of technology has made it possible for these cards to take a step back, while the virtual profile does the speaking. Cards are still handed out, but nowadays even these cards carry virtual profile ids, so one can look the person up online and decide further.
We live in a society where everything is online, so establishing a little virtual identity for yourself could come a long way in helping with professional growth. However, making videos, writing blogs, etc do need a lot of time and energy. In any case, there are content creators and editors, personal branding consultants and other advocates who are ready to help.
There is huge competition everywhere, even virtually, but, having a virtual presence is almost imperative in this day and age.