For many of us, there are not enough hours in the day to get the job done, balance our family obligations, keep in touch with old friends and hit the gym. The idea of marketing oneself, in addition to a stable of attorneys, is daunting and often times it is “us” who will take a back seat.

You cannot afford in today’s economy, and in today’s ever-changing marketplace, to not market yourself and your career every single day.

But before I go further, I don’t want you to confuse your career with your job. A job is what you’re doing today. A career is your pursuit. You get paid for your job. You invest in your career.

When it comes to “marketing me,” on a daily basis you must take time to market yourself on the job, and take time to manage your career.

The Job
It all begins with doing a great job, every single day. If I am not at my best, I can’t bluff my way through it. Each and every day I dress the part, because first impressions count. If I don’t understand what makes lawyers tick, how can I get them to HEAR me when it comes to their marketing and business development? They need to know, like and trust me as much as their clients need to know, like and trust them.

As a legal marketer, I spend a lot of money. I’m a cost center. I need to justify my expenses, especially when I am asking for more money. I promote the return on investment (ROI) and return on opportuntiy (ROO) of any given expense. I am diligent about the vendors I hire. I only hire people I know, like and trust. Why? Because they are a reflection on me, my decision making process and my knowledge base.

I circulate articles on the business of law, our clients, the industries we represent, our competition. At any given moment I am capable of having an in-depth conversation on any of these topics. But, more importantly, I have an INFORMED opinion on these topics.

I am visible, to the best of my ability. I walk the halls. I’ll pick up the phone with my response, rather than just hit the return button on an e-mail. I deliver things in person, rather than send via interoffice mail.

The Career
And then there is your career. This is where you position yourself in the marketing place. Where you decide for what you want to be known, liked and trusted.

Define your personal brand: What do you want to be known for? How do you differentiate yourself in an extremely crowded marketplace? How do you promote this to the industry? To the people who are in the position to hire you or refer your services. This is different for every person, and it applies to both consultants and in-house professionals.

Promote your personal brand: How do you promote your brand? Are you living it each and every day? Is your “brand” hollow? Or is it reflected in the actions you take?

Live your personal brand: I started The Legal Watercooler to have a conversation, because I am passionate about the business of law. I continue to volunteer for LMA committees, because I believe in giving back to those who have given so freely to me. I never hesitate to say “yes” when someone asks for my assistance.

Positioning of your personal brand: Google yourself. I’ll wait …. What did you find? The first time I Googled myself, this is what I found. Through some strategic actions and some good SEO, I now dominate the first page for either variety of my name. If you Google “law firm layoffs,” you will find me right after Not too bad.

I understand. Branding and marketing yourself takes time. It takes effort. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. What good is it to be great at your job if no one knows it, either inside your company or within your industry? You just need to have a purpose and a plan. You need to find the time. But, in the end, it’s all worth it.

Part 3. Where do you find the time?
Part 4. My 4 point 2.0 plan
Part 5. Why it’s worth it