What does it mean to build a brand? Building a brand for yourself involves creating an identity that others will perceive you by. (It is very similar to your reputation). As an aspiring lawyer, the goal is to create a personal and professional brand for yourself.
For example, your personal brand could be that you are a writer and are ambitious about engaging in the arts. Whilst your professional brand could be that you are an aspiring lawyer, keen to pursue commercial business opportunities in a variety of industries.
As you are an individual, and not a business, these brands will probably overlap. For example, your brand could be that you are passionate about environmental issues and are pursuing opportunities as a commercial lawyer to advise on deals within the environmental industry.
In terms of building a brand via social media, you can achieve this by:
One of the best places to start to build your brand is on LinkedIn, which I will expand on later in this guide.
Social media is also valuable for networking with a diverse, wide range of people at the tip of your fingers. It’s a great place to make professional friendships, gain mentors, connect with people you wouldn’t necessarily have the chance to meet in real life.
As you begin to take networking into real life, you will find that you will start to recognise online connections as you meet them. The hope is that overtime, as you attend in-person events, you will see people from your pre-existing network.
Here are some key things to remember when making connections online:
Almost all graduate or career opportunities will be advertised online, so social media is a great way to keep up to date with these adverts and find a wide range of opportunities.
To keep up to date:
Social media can also be used to build your commercial awareness. Platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter posts millions of news posts on a daily basis – it’s all about making sure you are following the right accounts and hashtags.
Moreover, on the likes of LinkedIn, companies (including law firms) often post firm updates and deals. They may also post their insight on a topic or summarise insights shared at a talk or conference, for example. Start by following companies and news outlets you are interested in, and your algorithm will bring you more suggestions.
Start by setting clear goals of what you want to achieve from using social media as an aspiring lawyer. This can be a general brief goal or defined by numeric metrics. For example: “By the end of 2023, I want to be more confident when discussing commercial matters with others or I want to increase my network by 50 people”.
On social media, people will be consuming hundreds of posts a day at a very fast pace and therefore, it is important to create content that is engaging and makes people want to stop and find out more about you. Remember that individuality is so important when it comes to your online presence. Therefore, it is best to create and publish content that is engaging with your intended audience but is also authentic to yourself. Do not post what you think others want to see, but rather what you want people to know about you in the seconds or minutes you have your audience’s attention.
When it comes to all-things-professional on social media, LinkedIn is the best place for this. It is also the best place to start when building your professional presence.
What is LinkedIn? “LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the internet. You can use LinkedIn to find the right job or internship, connect and strengthen professional relationships, and learn the skills you need to succeed in your career”. LinkedIn is also a safer and more standardised way of sharing your personal details and staying connected to others.
Read our guide on how to make an effective LinkedIn profile for aspiring lawyers.
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