You have a particular problem and you need a lawyer with a particular set of skills, you have done your research, asked for recommendations, read through the websites of seven different firms and the bios of truckloads of lawyers. You have found ways to whittle it down to a choice between two individuals:

Lawyer A, whose profile says – A highly experienced litigator with deep experience of (Insert area of expertise here!) and over 20 years’ experience working with blue chip clients. Lawyer A appeared in the Legal hot 100 list in 2007 and is recognised by both of the main legal directories as one of the leading practitioners of (Insert area of expertise here!) in the UK. After qualifying in 1985, Lawyer A worked for several multinational firms including X, Y and Z before joining us as a Partner in 1999 and becoming head of department in 2006.

Lawyer B, whose profile says – Lawyer B appeared in the Legal hot 100 list in 2009 and is widely recognised as one of the leading practitioners of (Insert area of expertise here!) in the UK. A vastly experienced litigator with extensive experience of (Insert area of expertise here!), Lawyer B has represented some of the biggest multinational firms throughout her career and has headed up our (Insert area of expertise here!) sector team for 10 years.

Both have a hatful of qualifications, degrees and an interesting outside interest or two, but after reading their profiles you are none the wiser – they are as different as night and later that night (and it has to be said will probably both do an excellent job for you!). So how do you differentiate?

Back to the search engines… searching for Lawyer A turns up the usual results, his profile on the firms website, a LinkedIn profile and a twitter account with no picture and a tweet from 2012 that says “Here’s my first ever tweet” – you are none the wiser!

When you search for Lawyer B, you discover that she is a regular contributor to her firms blog , writing a short and interesting piece that demonstrates her knowledge of her area of the law at least once every two weeks. One of the blog posts talks about a problem that is very similar to the one you have and refers to a similar case that she worked on with a positive result. Several of her blog posts have been shared to LinkedIn and she tweets about the law (and other things) every couple of days. A quick glance at her list of followers shows several eminent sounding lawyers and the CEO of a company that you would view as a competitor!

The choice is suddenly much easier!!

Takeaways:

My example was a choice between two lawyers, but this could easily be a choice between accountants or consultants or any other professionals. No matter what field you work in, taking the time to demonstrate your expertise online will give your future clients a very powerful reason to choose you over the competition. Setting aside just an hour each week will have huge benefits in the long term. Initially it may seem like an unwelcome or unfamiliar thing to do, but if you can get those first few posts out, you’ll begin to see the initial positive effects – shares, likes, comments and conversations. As you find yourself moving up the Google rankings, the longer term effects can be huge – a call from a journalist, an interview or a speaking engagement or landing the great big juicy client that the firm has been after for a couple of years. Differentiating yourself from the herd will have a massive effect on your career – you just need to put the time in.