Elevate your personal brand by spending $250 on this

You’ll boost your personal brand and look and sound like a million bucks when you invest a few dollars in this.

It never ceases to amaze me how many attorneys I see on video and webinars and hear on podcasts who don’t make this particular $250 investment—a ridiculously small one in the scheme of things—that could elevate their personal brand to a whole new level.

That investment? Good video lighting and a microphone.

Whenever attorneys appear on camera with bad lighting or they are talking on a video or a podcast without a professional microphone, they come across as unprofessional. They come across as not taking the task at hand seriously. This sends subtle signals to any current or prospective client or referral source that the attorney might not be an effective, polished attorney.

The importance of looking the part (if you want to be seen as the part)

If you doubt this, think about another situation where the way someone in a learned, regulated profession comes across could impact your trust in their ability to help you.

Imagine you are in a waiting room at your doctor’s office when they eventually come through the door. If they were wearing a traditional white coat with a suit or a freshly pressed shirt or blouse and tie, you are going to view them in a positive light and expect that they will be able to help you. You might be more willing to trust their advice than the advice you received from any other source.

Now, imagine that the doctor walked in wearing a stained t-shirt, gym shorts, and tall crew socks while wearing flip flops. What would you think about their advice? Would you be willing to trust it over the advice you could get from other sources?

Your clients and referral sources are thinking the same thing whenever they see you or hear you through your multimedia thought leadership content.

When you do not invest in a basic set of lights and a basic microphone, which today should set you back $250 or less combined, you are putting your worst foot forward. You are inviting the people who consume your content and don’t know you well to doubt your abilities. It’s the equivalent of walking into a meeting disheveled with your hair messed up and your clothes wrinkled.

You would never dream of doing that in real life. So why do the equivalent when it comes to digital media?

(In addition, with so many client meetings happening virtually, poor lighting and sound can work against those attorneys who want to continue receiving work or referrals from clients if those clients have a less-than-optimal opinion of their attorney based in part on how they’re coming across during virtual meetings.)

You’ll be judged against professional content creators

But good lighting and sound aren’t things you should invest in only for your “owned media” efforts, like YouTube and social media videos, webinars, and podcasts. They’re equally important for your “earned media” efforts, like when you’re being interviewed by a reporter through Zoom or Teams while you’re in your office.

If you appear on a local or national TV station or cable channel, or you’re interviewed for a popular podcast, and you don’t have good lighting or sound, you’ll look doubly worse because you’ll be talking to someone who likely has the benefit of working with high-quality lighting and sound.

(Yes, that $250 budget I mentioned earlier can buy you darn-near-close-to-professional-quality lighting and sound.)

Instead of looking like you’ve been there, done that when it comes to media appearances, you’ll look like a media rookie, which could cause people to jump to conclusions about your skills and abilities as an attorney.

The bad-lighting-and-bad-sound bug will strike again when you or your marketing colleagues repurpose those interviews by sending links to them to clients and referral sources and posting clips on social media.

On a related point, many attorneys don’t realize that once they start creating multimedia thought leadership, they begin competing for their target audience’s attention against professional content creators like media outlets, influencers, and consumer brands, along with lawyers and law firms who have invested time and money to create high-quality content with good lighting and sound.

Think about your LinkedIn feed, your Instagram feed, and any other social media feeds. You have a lot of different people and entities pushing out professional-looking content. If your poorly lit videos and your terrible-sounding-because-you’re-using-your-computer’s-speakers podcasts look and sound bad on their own, wait until they’re competing with content creator heavyweights who consistently churn out high-quality content.

A small investment that can provide big returns

You can look and sound like a million bucks in your multimedia thought leadership by spending .025% of those million bucks to do so.

For $250 or less, you can elevate your personal brand in the eyes of the people who are consuming the kind of content you’re putting out and appearing on.

If you’re going to go to the trouble to create or appear on videos and podcasts, present on webinars, and communicate regularly with your clients via videoconferencing, the least you can do is make this small investment.

It will make your content pop, it will improve your personal brand, and it will allow you to come across as a more serious, thoughtful, and authoritative person, which should help convince the clients and referral sources consuming this content that you are THE person to help them or the people they’re going to refer to you with their legal or business issues.

Thinking about bringing on an outside writer to help your law firm strategize and create compelling thought-leadership marketing and business development content? Click here to schedule a 30-minute Content Strategy Audit to learn if collaborating with an outside writer is the right move for you and your firm.

Wayne Pollock, a former Am Law 50 senior litigation associate, is the founder of Copo Strategies, a legal services and communications firm, and the Law Firm Editorial Service, a content strategy and ghostwriting service for lawyers and their law firms. The Law Firm Editorial Service helps Big Law and boutique law firm partners, and their firms, grow their practices and prominence by collaborating with them to strategize and ethically ghostwrite book-of-business-building marketing and business development content.

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