We’re lawyers. We’ve been trained to be impartial and unbiased, until we’re on a specific side, of course. Because we know the law, we know how tricky it can be to pick sides, to take a stand. Celebrity lawyers often advise their celebrity clients to be neutral, to not make sensational statements because of the potential for public backlash. You get my drift.
But think of your favorite celebrities: Ellen Degeneres, the ladies, and gents on Saturday Night Live (SNL). They all take sides, and we remember them because of it.
If you want to be similarly memorable you will have to take a stand. Champion something.
Why? Because you can build a strong bond with your target audience over shared values.
Your brand should also show the world the values you uphold
Do you make a statement whenever something happens in the world of social justice? Do you post your opinion?
Now you might ask me, “But Ally, isn’t that a little self-aggrandizing, to think people care what I think about this or that?”
No, it’s not. It is far from being self-aggrandizing; you’re simply being true to yourself. When you feel passionate about something, and you post about it on social media, you allow your audience to see your humanity, your thoughts, and your feelings.
And suddenly, in their eyes, you’re a real person. They want to engage with you. They share your post with their own thoughts as the caption.
And remember this: you’re a lawyer. You might have a unique perspective on current events. Share it when you take a stand.
For example, during the heights of the #MeToo movement, a lawyer who represents women in harassment cases might have statistics on how many such cases end in settlements, and silence. Share that. It gives people facts from a credible source about how many women out there are silent victims because if they’re not silent, they only suffer more.
Don’t try too hard. It should be natural.
If you represent women, it’s natural that you’d take a stand for women’s issues.
If you specialize in car accidents, it makes sense that you’d take a stand when road regulations aren’t as stringent as they should be, or if your city seems negligent on road safety, and so on.
How do you take a stand?
In what causes does your target audience believe? What are their concerns? What scares or angers them? Identify these areas of interest and determine your stance on them.
And yes, that will mean taking aside, and it can be scary because, of course, you’ll attract dissent from the opposing side. But if you do it right, the positives outweigh the negatives by a large margin.
Look at how Gillette took a stand with the #MeToo movement. They made their slogan: “Be Better.” This is a huge brand that men have believed in for decades, and this brave approach showed that Gillette takes a clear stand on the issue– no more toxic masculinity; just be better.
It’s admirable. Yes, it’s a gamble, but the good guys out there were proud of Gillette!
Don’t be shy about taking a stand: It’s not about PR
Some companies and lawyers would say they already “support causes.” They’ll say they don’t post about it on social media but they donate money and don’t feel the need to use their stance for public relations (PR).
Well, what are those causes? Greenpeace? The Red Cross? The World Wildlife Fund? Are the causes you support in any way aligned with your audience’s concerns?
If you appear to be playing it safe with the causes you support, you are. You don’t have to look far for community causes you can support, not just as a lawyer, but as a woman, as a mother, or simply as a citizen of your state.
It’s not about PR– it’s about giving a voice to the voiceless (that’s dramatic, but it’s true), and adding your voice to the conversation. Someone in your audience might be having a hard time putting their thoughts into words and your post could be just the thing that captures exactly what they have been trying to say. You never know who you may reach.
Make your brand consistent with your causes.
Examine your company policies and website content. You might already be supporting your cause unknowingly! That’s great– speaking up for your cause will therefore come naturally.
And if you’re just starting out, then this is the best time to integrate your cause with your brand. Why? Because when you take a stand, you will invite scrutiny. Persons will take a detailed look at your content and your history.
For example, if you’re taking on a cause regarding women’s rights, would someone challenging you find that your firm only has two female employees? Or if you take a stand for children’s safety in schools, it would be counterproductive if you happen to have published content in favor of homeschooling. That would mean you’re contradicting yourself. So championing a cause from early in your career will provide a guidebook for aligning your choices and content for the future.
But when you’re truly consistent to your causes, your clients and prospects will see that, and they will appreciate it.
Customers or clients these days no longer simply buy services and or products. They buy you based on what you believe in. They buy your presence. They buy your brand.
So establish your brand, and in doing so take a stand. Don’t be bland and cookie cutter in your social media posts. Be passionate. Even when talking about your office’s standard operating procedures (SOP) with your fellow lawyers, be passionate about what you hate and what you love!
That’s what makes you human. That’s what makes you memorable.
If you can believe it, I have even more knowledge to share on this topic! If you’d like to learn more about how to build a brand, sign up for my Six Figure Solo program! Six Figure Solo now comes in three tiers – Executive, Solopreneur, and CEO. Sign up here!