Focus on Professional Development and Your Personal Brand at the Annual Meeting’s Lunch and Learn Sessions

Published: March 15, 2019

Work on your professional development and gain tips on how to proactively sell yourself and your business at the two dynamic Lunch and Learn sessions at INTA’s 141st Annual Meeting, May 18‒22, in Boston, Massachusetts (USA).

The featured speakers, at separate sessions, are Kaplan Mobray, a Wharton-educated business speaker who has gained worldwide acclaim for his leadership and branding insights, and Mark Beese, president of Leadership for Lawyers, LLC, whose presentations focus on helping lawyers become better leaders and business developers.

The INTA Bulletin spoke with both of these dynamic and innovative speakers to find out what Annual Meeting registrants can expect from their sessions.

Mr. Mobray’s Lunch and Learn session on “The 10Ks of Personal Branding” will take place Monday, May 20, 1:15 pm – 3:15 pm.

Why is developing a personal brand crucial specifically for lawyers?
Kaplan Mobray: Success in the legal profession is built on your reputation. The level of professional referrals you get is contingent on someone else’s perception of you; if you’re a lawyer with a great reputation, it drives your value and your credibility, and ultimately improves your personal brand. Your brand is one of the most important elements that you can embrace in this profession because it gives clients a reason to invest in you for your legal advice.

How does being a well-rounded person affect someone’s professional success?
KM: It’s important to be well rounded because it can help you build a more expanded network, and it gives you a new level of professional competence across multiple fields and multiple skills. You can be more relevant if you have many perspectives that you’re drawing from-in your expertise, in your knowledge, and in the network you can provide. It comes down to giving yourself as many opportunities as you can to deliver a unique perspective or offer something from an angle that only you can provide.

Given that INTA’s Annual Meeting provides numerous networking opportunities, how can registrants turn these encounters into “lasting opportunities”?
KM: The question you should consider is: how do you leave a positive impression that allows someone to know you, know the contributions you make, and know how you provide value?

The best networkers are going to be intentional about shaping their ability to be remembered. They’re going to want to showcase the value they can add-or will be able to add in the future. At my Lunch and Learn session, I’ll talk about the power of your elevator speech: who are you, what do you do, and how do you add value? When someone leaves a conference like this, which draws 10,000 people, they’ll remember you for the narrative you create in their mind.

You also serve as a brand coach to professional athletes. How is consulting an athlete about his or her brand similar to consulting a lawyer or business professional?
KM: Athletes are relevant for the time they’re playing their sport, but that ends as soon as they stop playing. They can be remembered for their on-field performance, or the quality of how they position their off-the-field brand after their career.

That comes down to the same challenges that lawyers face: what are they known for, what have they done to shape their personal brand, and what can they take from their experiences to shape future opportunities to remain relevant?

I ask both: what can you do to be remembered? There should be a signature trait that comes to mind when someone mentions your name; it’s about creating real estate in someone’s mind that leads to a positive narrative surrounding your persona and your brand.

After attending your Lunch and Learn session, what skills will registrants walk away with that will help them in their personal and professional lives?
KM: The biggest takeaway should be the intentionality to focus on how you show up every single day for your clients. It’s important to build your brand and shape what you want to be known for, and those who attend the session should understand the narrative, the words, and the attributes with which they want to be tagged.

It’s going to be a high-energy, interactive session. I want people to be inspired and have a memorable experience. The session is about giving you the tools to be the best lawyer you can be and to be able to show up better for your clients.

Mr. Beese’s Lunch and Learn session on “Business Development Skills for Lawyers” will take place on Tuesday, May 21, 1:15 pm – 3:15 pm.

Why do lawyers need to become better leaders, especially in today’s environment?
Mark Beese: Lawyers need to adapt better. The profession is changing drastically. Technology, including automation and artificial intelligence, is changing how lawyers deliver legal services, and clients’ expectations in terms of price and delivery are changing. We need to become better leaders so we can engage and retain these clients.

What are some things lawyers take for granted-but should not-when it comes to business development?
MB: A belief I hear all the time is that “my clients and prospects know what I do so they’ll call me when they need me.” That may have been true 30 years ago, but it’s not true now. You have to be proactive about business development and trying to build relationships. You must be proactive and have conversations to reveal opportunities where you can bring up your unique value proposition and your selling points.

Business development is something you need to do on a regular basis, especially in today’s Internet age. Your network needs to evolve on a regular basis. You have to keep meeting new people and leveraging your network to find new opportunities.

We hear a lot about the changing role of intellectual property lawyers today. What is the new normal for them, and how can they best adapt to remain competitive?
MB: There is no new normal; the environment is dynamic. The drivers of that are the fact that technology is changing and is pushing some repetitive tasks to artificial intelligence. We’re seeing more clients bringing work in-house and relying on alternative service providers.

Firms and lawyers need to learn to adapt, get close to your clients, and get to know what they want from a legal process. Understand your value to them. It might be different than it was last year. Lawyers need to be innovative and redesign your legal process to lower cost and risk, while increasing predictability and business outcomes.

In this age of consistent innovation and change, how can lawyers best demonstrate their value to the brand?
MB: Every lawyer should have success stories, where the moral is how the client got more than what they paid for. When doing business development, every lawyer should be able to explain a situation, a risk, and how the client benefitted, because people understand stories.

It’s good for lawyers to figure out free- or low-cost services they can offer to clients that add value to their relationships. Ask: what do you want, and how can I help you? Whether it’s doing training sessions for managers or working with technology folks, it’s important to help clients understand how you can offer value.

Should social media be a tool in every lawyer’s toolbox, and why?
MB: Do your prospective clients participate on Twitter and LinkedIn and other places? If not, why would you want to be there? That may be a contrarian point of view, but I think you should get to know your niche and determine what the best channels are to reach that niche.

That being said, if your community is on social media actively, then social media can be a great way to brand yourself. If you’re posting actively, over time people will say, “that lawyer seems to know something about this,” and that can be very helpful in the personal branding element.

After attending your Lunch and Learn session, what skills will registrants walk away with that will help them in their personal and professional lives?
MB: We’re going to talk about how the profession is changing, and how your business development needs to adapt. We’re going to look at skills and habits that will make your business development more effective, and we’re going to look at why business development matters. It’s not just to make more money; a strong plan is a path to having control of your own career. Aligning your business development efforts with your career goals will give you control, and that makes for a happy and fulfilling career.

INTA’s 2019 Annual Meeting

Register for INTA’s 141st Annual Meeting here, and learn more about the Lunch and Learn sessions here. Separate registration and payment is required to attend each of the Lunch and Learn sessions.

Already registered for the Annual Meeting?
To add events, sessions, and guests to your registration, log into the Registrant Portal and click Add Sessions/Events on the top menu, and then click Add Guest/Session on the right menu.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

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