Professional branding is the process of packaging and presenting yourself and your career as a recognizable brand. In today’s competitive market, this type of branding is vital.
Many large corporations have realized that a large part of their success comes from employing individuals with strong personalized brands, such as CBS with Katie Couric and Google with Matt Cutts. However, professional branding is in no way limited to corporate individuals in the public eye.
Successful professional branding is important for expert witnesses as well. Attorneys are not simply interested in an educated and experienced expert witness, although those things are indispensible; they are also looking for the personality and skills needed to communicate with judges and juries.
There are a number of ways to strengthen your brand. The following paragraphs outline four important aspects of strengthening your professional brand.
In the broad field of expert witnesses, there are those that specialize in a specific industry and those that specialize in a very narrow niche market. While both are effective, a successful expert witness needs to understand his/her strengths and know how to market them.
Knowing the competition is very important. If there are multiple industry-wide expert witnesses, you may consider targeting a narrower niche to generate business. Knowing the end client is also important. Are you targeting the top law firms in the country, regional firms or boutique firms?
Have a consistent, unified message
The next step is to create a unified message to communicate your brand. This message is meant to communicate your distinctiveness and uniqueness within a market of many other experts, what is commonly called a unique selling proposition.
Your message should typically appear on all of your online and social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, your personal website and your business website. It should also appear on your print materials, such as business cards, brochures, flyers, letterhead and resumes in order to maintain continuity.
Develop a communication plan
Because most expert witnesses are trying to appear to a narrow clientele, it is not always necessary to brand yourself in every medium.
There are a number of books and articles that can recommend a catch-all branding campaign that includes revising your resume, utilizing social networking sites and developing an elevator pitch. While those are all good suggestions, each campaign should be personalized to your skills.
You may decide to brand yourself through your blog or newsletter while others may utilize social media. Some focus on developing a strong company website or academic profile.
Manage your brand
Remember, your brand needs to be constantly updated to stay representative of your skill set. After selecting your niche, creating a message and implementing a communication plan, your professional brand must be maintained and revitalized on a regular basis.
For further suggestions, Expert Communications has created its own list of ten tips for effective self marketing.
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