The image your contacts have of you is far more important than the image you have of yourself. I’ve spoken before about the understanding the importance of who you are to them.
While important, understanding the role our image plays is useless if we don’t shape that image into something beneficial. This is an absolutely critical and core point in marketing: The creation of your character is more important than your expertise as a lawyer.
Who Is 007 & what does he have to do with marketing?
Here’s an example of why this is so important.
007… License to Kill… “Shaken, not stirred”... flirts with Moneypenny…
Now, we all know we’re talking about here, right? James Bond. You may know nothing about James Bond other than the fact that are some movies about him, but when you hear these phrases, you know who it is. We all know who “007” is. We all know the phrase “License to Kill”. We all know “Shaken, not stirred”. Why?
We know these things because Ian Fleming (the creator of James Bond) - and certainly the movie producers - wanted us to know these things. They repeated them again and again to create a character in your mind. These repetitive traits give you a sense that you know James Bond.
Marketing Automation Won’t Work Without This
All memorable characters, even fictional ones, evoke feelings and beliefs through a connection with personal details and stories. This is the important point for our automated marketing. You must be a character.
Your audience doesn't know you, they can't know you the way they could in the real world. To them, you're a character.
Although it might sound a little abstract at first, let’s relate it to what we’re trying to do here. We are trying to manage a combination of personal relationships and time with the ability to magnify your effect on your flock - your audience.
The only way you can accomplish this is by your flock knowing you like a character. This doesn’t mean you have to be fictional about yourself - I’m not telling you to lie. But like it or not, you're conveying information about you, usually in writing.
To them, you're a character.
Unless this is the first time you’ve ever heard of me, then you probably know some things about me. You know I have two daughters. You know I retired from practice at age 40. You know I don't take unscheduled meetings. That in my practice, we set the rules of engagement - like that clients couldn't reach me on weekends or after 5pm. That now, and while I practiced, I always took vacations unplugged. Some of you on the corporate side might even know some of the clients I represented like Facebook and Yahoo!.
Why do you know these things? Because I wanted you to know them. It’s important for conveying the potential of your practice to tell you these things. To show you what's possible.
Instead of showing you these things and constructing my character, I could have just said “Well, come join me and my programs. Trust me, we’re going to be great for you.” Is that nearly as impactful? Of course not. By showing you that I could be successful and showing you who I am, I’m letting you know you that I really care about you. I’m willing to open up about my family, let you know how I live, and answer those personal questions.
It’s a much more powerful marketing tool than saying "trust me," and it’s still honest.
How to Apply The Strategy to Your Law Practice
The same thing goes for you and your flock. You don’t have to share the most private aspects of your life, but the more you can share about yourself, who you are, what motivates you, etc, then the more you can build this character through marketing.
You don’t have to write novels about yourself to accomplish this, either. By sharing little tidbits about yourself, you can bond people to you in a way that an informational article never will. Think about all the marketing articles you’ve received from some other lawyer. You may have read over it and then immediately toss it into the recycling pile. I even used to put them in my inbox and every two months, I’d toss them without ever reading them. That’s mostly because the typical marketing article isn’t interesting.
How do we move beyond this? Start asking yourself, “To be remembered, what must people know about me as a person? Not as a lawyer, but as a person.”
People hire people, right?
The next step: go through an exercise of constructing your character. What must they know about you? What are you trying to convey? Are you being truthful, but impactful?
[Note to Alchemy Mastermind coaching members: Go through the Character Construction worksheets to build a character that gets remembered]