If You Want to Be a “Celebrity Lawyer,” You Have to Lay the Groundwork First

You are probably familiar with all the celebrity lawyers in your area—the attorneys who constantly pop up in news broadcasts, newspaper articles, and local talk shows, and whose names are instantly recognizable to the “man on the street.” The fact is that these lawyers aren't well known because of their charisma (though that certainly helps), but because they've laid the necessary groundwork, over the preceding months and years, and are now reaping the benefits.

You can be a celebrity, too! There are many lawyers out there who scoff at the idea they can be a "celebrity," but you don't need to be Kim Kardashian. Shift your paradigm and think of building celebrity as brand building. Your "brand" is your unique story that you can tell to every client, every web visitor, and every lead that comes through your law firm. Your personal story has more value than you think. My personal brand is that I am a family man. I am father of nine, four of which are adopted from China. This simple statement sticks into the minds of everyone who learns about me. From there, I build on my personal story and turn myself into a local celebrity.

You Can Turn Yourself into a Celebrity Lawyer

How can you transform yourself from an ordinary, working-stiff attorney into a celebrity lawyer? Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Tell your personal story as often as you can. In the "about me" section of your website, include information about your non-lawyer life as well as your professional life. Many of our members have built brands around their hobbies. For example, James Roswold from Kansas City has built his brand "Biker, Rocker, Lawyer." He serves a niche group, and those who meet him remember his story.
  2. Write interesting, concise blogs pegged to well-known lawsuits or news events in your area (or even nationwide). Sharing your legal opinion on national stories draws the attention of local web visitors and boosts some SEO.
  3. Supplement your websites with articles pertaining to your area of specialty, and what you do to help your existing clients. Talking about the cases you are working can be very interesting information for prospective clients and leads. Generally, people are entertained by stories of legal battles. Capitalize on what you are doing by telling your clients' stories in engaging ways.Becoming the "celebrity lawyer" in your local community.
  4. Issue press releases to keep the local news media informed about what you're up to. Press releases serve to get your name into headlines of local news sources. This is also a strategy to get media attention. If a reporter remembers your name, they are more likely to return to you if they need information about legal cases.
  5. Sent out regular newsletters to your existing and potential clients, which will keep your name uppermost in their minds. Our newsletter is not just bland topics about the new cell phone law. We keep our newsletter engaging by creating unique, and often funny, articles that people enjoy reading. We also have a special insert that are my thoughts on various topics. Don't be scared to share your ideas!

You Can't Build “Celebrity” Overnight

If these five steps sound like a hard slog, that's because they are: you have to put in a lot of sweat equity before you can reap the rewards of being a celebrity. Building celebrity is a long-term investment that grows over time. It is a snowball effect, and as your name gets bigger, so does your personal "celebrity" or brand. Once the people in your area do start to pay attention, though, you'll find that being a celebrity lawyer is a self-perpetuating process, and it will be hard for other lawyers to dislodge you from the top of the heap.

Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.