Building your Professional Profile
How to Enhance your Career and Win Business
This Special Report will show you how to build a stronger public, professional profile in order to attract opportunities, enhance career progression and win new business. At the end of the report, you will have put together your own practical, personal profile plan and will be able put it into action.
With so much information available about professionals online, it is essential to actively manage your own profile and not leave it to chance. Most lawyers do not manage their professional reputations and so there is clear opportunity, for those who do, to become much better known, enhance their career progression and win business through strong reputation and new opportunities. However, with all the information clutter out there, how do you stand out in the market place?
This report will address:
•Why it helps to have a strong professional profile;
•Why people choose to work with you and what influences their decisions;
•How you present yourself and build your personal brand;
•What psychological tools you can use to build your network;
•How to enhance your public credibility;
•Practical activities to raise your profile; and
•How to avoid damaging mistakes.
Building your Professional Profile will help any lawyer seeking to build a professional profile to win work and open up more business opportunities. It will also be of value to lawyers wishing to progress their career, whether by becoming a partner, gaining promotion or moving firms. Those wanting to build credibility in the marketplace, or with clients and colleagues, will also find it beneficial.
Table of Contents
|Table of Contents||3|
|1. Why do we need to take control of our professional profile?||7|
|2. How will this Special Report help me?||9|
|II. Your personal brand||11|
|1. Getting started||11|
|2. What does this mean for us?||13|
|III. How do people choose their professionals?||15|
|1. The power of digital developments||15|
|2. You cannot afford not to engage online||16|
|IV. You are the business||17|
|1. Seeing yourself as a brand||17|
|2. Promoting your profile||17|
|3. Consolidating your thoughts||18|
|V. What do you want to achieve?||21|
|1. Identify your objectives||21|
|2. Case studies: Alice and Matt||21|
|VI. Who do you want to reach?||23|
|1. Identify your audience||23|
|2. Think about your area of focus||24|
|VII. Who are you?||27|
|1. Your USP||27|
|3. Key messages||30|
|VIII. Your approach||33|
|1. How do you interact with others?||33|
|2. Friends first, business second||33|
|3. Tapping into the emotional decision-making process||34|
|IX. On the couch: some useful psychology||35|
|X. Where to be seen||37|
|1. Choosing your channels||37|
|2. Getting the most impact from your channels||38|
|1. Social media||39|
|2. Your own profile||42|
|6. Building up followers||49|
|7. Putting a post together||50|
|8. Social media policy||54|
|XII. Seize the day||55|
|1. If you don’t ask, you don’t get||55|
|2. Make the most of your personal and professional networks||56|
|XIII. Ensuring that you are at the forefront||59|
|1. Think like a leader||59|
|2. Tactics for developing your ideas||60|
|3. How can you ensure that your ideas stand out?||60|
|XIV. Pick up your pen||63|
|1. The power of the written word||63|
|2. Avoiding common pitfalls||64|
|XV. Time to speak up||69|
|1. Face your fears||69|
|2. Maximising opportunities||70|
|XVI. Productise yourself||73|
|1. Turning your ideas into products||73|
|2. Your internal profile||74|
|3. Be committed||75|
|XVII. Put together your plan||77|
|1. Choose your layout||77|
|2. How to make it work for you||79|
|3. Establish a routine||81|
|XVIII. And finally…||83|
|1. So, what have we discovered?||83|
|2. Get going!||84|
|About the author||86|
|About Globe Law and Business||88|
The central message of this Special Report is one of empowerment: taking control of your own business profile and leveraging it in a way that is best calculated to achieve maximum impact. I recommend it highly to all aspiring and established professionals seeking both to make a name for themselves in their chosen field, and to grow their business successfully.
The structure of the publication is simple, with short chapters, each conveying clear points. Content-wise, the key aspects of one’s professional profile are addressed, along with real-life “soundbite” quotes extracted in support of, or to illustrate, the points being made throughout. These are quotes from attendees of courses on the subject (understandably, without attribution); they add authenticity and a sense of how the ideas and concepts covered apply in practice. In terms of style, the author, Rebecca Harding, practises what she preaches throughout the report: a readable account that is concise and easy to digest. The use of practical pointers and the assigning of “tasks” assist the reader to apply the approaches and techniques advocated to his or her own situation, and will no doubt figure heavily in business plans which are formulated to put into action the recommendations in the report.
Harding encourages the reader to re-evaluate their current approach to profile-building, and succeeds in doing so, in an open and constructive way. She presents new ideas and approaches, which, although they might not come naturally to certain professionals, are explained in a clear and well thought-out manner, such that their application in practice will soon begin to feel second-nature. The practical guidance provided is particularly insightful: Harding discourages natural tendencies to downplay key attributes and selling points, and outlines methods by which professionals can sell their strengths more effectively, and differentiate themselves from their competitors. There is a clear emphasis on promoting interactions and positive engagement with existing and new business contacts, particularly in the use of social media – where contributions by professionals sometimes can fall flat.
More traditional means of business development and profile-raising – notably, writing articles and public speaking – are covered, too. Refreshingly, here, Harding presents her recommendations through a modern lens: the focus is on leveraging the limited time available to many busy professionals in a way that will help them to achieve maximum coverage and impact with their intended audiences.
For me, a key takeaway – and something that resonates with my own professional experiences – is what is said about putting into practice best-laid plans, once all the learnings from the Special Report have been assimilated. Here, Harding says: “Implementation is what makes the real difference and that is where others often fall down”. She goes on to describe how effective implementation can be achieved with some helpful suggestions and tips.
The publication of this Special Report is timely. There is no question that the COVID-19 era has been a game-changer for professionals in many aspects of their working lives. This has been particularly noticeable in the field of business development and building one’s professional profile, with many of the conventional “routes to market” having been cut off during the pandemic and the lockdown measures that it has brought. Although this has presented challenges, the situation has nevertheless meant that those affected face similar disadvantages, resulting in something of a levelling of the playing-field – in certain respects, at least. This creates common opportunities for many professionals seeking to build their profiles, networks and grow their businesses. Those who are armed with this Special Report will be particularly well-placed to steal a march on the opposition.
Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright
I really like the way the book was pitched. It takes a “help clients help you” perspective, encouraging you to take control of your professional profile rather than leaving it to fate. Rebecca Harding does a good job of providing practical tips to help you think beyond the narrative in term of putting your plans into action, which will be very useful for lawyers. I also found it helpful that the author tried to spin it around so one looks at, for example, self-promotion in a more positive light. It is not something that comes naturally but the author is right in pointing out that you wouldn’t judge others in this way. I also found it enlightening that the author takes a “friends first, business second” perspective, i.e. still being professional as well as warm and kind, something I really think is important, and the importance of personality in terms of building your brand; that emotional connections are also important even in building business relationships.
Director, Family Law in Partnership
Communications, marketing and business development expert Saltwhistle Communications
Rebecca Harding is a communications, marketing and business development specialist. She is the worldwide chairman of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists, and was recently awarded Highly Commended Finalist in the UK Institute of Directors’ Non-executive Director of the Year award. She is a professional member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and is a retired vice chairman of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Rebecca founded Saltwhistle Communications in 2000 and has developed a portfolio of clients within the professional services industry. Clients range from multinational firms such as accountants Deloitte, PwC and EY to law firms such as Stephenson Harwood, Norton Rose Fulbright and Weightmans, as well as international businesses such as WPP’s Mediacom, J Walter Thompson (now Wunderman Thompson) and Mindshare. Each client benefits from a range of services, including partner and board advisory services, digital and classic communications and marketing solutions, pitching and business development, and courses for professionals. Much of Rebecca’s current work is international and she works with firms to increase their international effectiveness, as well as helping to draw together their international tenders/pitches.
Prior to establishing Saltwhistle Communications, Rebecca was responsible for communications at Andersens. She also worked in marketing within the energy industry, with corporations such as BNFL, BP, ESSO and Shell. She appears on a chat show for the BBC and has been quoted and published widely in trade journals, as well as national newspapers such as the Sunday Times.
In her spare time, Rebecca has qualified as a yacht skipper and has trained as a game ranger in Kruger National Park, and as a falconer.