A Lesson in Personal Branding: Brent Britton “Attorney 2.0”
Attorney 2.0 Brent Britton
One of the success stories in my book, Marketing 2.0 is about Brent Britton. Brent is an intellectual property attorney. Though he’s not that old, Brent has been on the Internet since the stone ages. He’s a former math and science nerd who graduated from MIT. He went to law school then went to Silicon Valley to practice law and help companies manage their intellectual property.
One of the Oldest Industries (not that one…)
Brent is definitely an exception, not the norm. Not too many lawyers use the social web. Brent is quick to point out that the legal field is a bit stodgy. The legal profession in general is made up of technology laggards. If you ask most law firms “why don’t you use social media” most will say “that’s not where we get our clients.” But, Brent’s use of the web has been second nature. I give Brent a lot of credit for his personal branding. I asked Brent how he does it while being part of a law firm and complying with strict industry regulations.
Brent is Human Before He’s a Lawyer
What’s brilliant about Brent’s social media strategy is its simple logic. Brent’s use of the social web is nothing more than an extension of his personality. He points out that we are all social creatures. The Internet has become a communication tool for him. And, since he’s been on the Internet since its commercial inception, it’s truly second nature to him.
Brent’s Social Media List
Brent’s blog is his primary communication platform on the web. But, he also podcasts, is active on Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn and guest writes for publications. Brent is also a regular speaker at events. His witty personality has earned him several emcee roles at events and conferences. Brent emphasizes that he has never been hired because because the client likes the firm he’s with. He is hired for him. Therefore, it’s important to allow his personality to be available and the social web is a natural platform for this.
Brent’s Advice to Lawyers Considering Using Social Media
Brent’s advice to other lawyers is simple. He says don’t obsess about getting on Facebook and Twitter every day. Just be natural. Brent posts as thoughts come to mind. He understands that our lives are mult dimensional but they can become one dimension on the web if you allow it. He advises to know who you’re speaking to when you blog, Tweet, or post on Faceook. Brent uses the same philosophy I advise in my book about your approach to using the web: educate, enlighten or entertain them.
Brent’s Blog Strategy
Many lawyers have not yet embraced social media. Brent’s blog strategy is very interesting. On his blog, Brent discusses intellectual property. Lawyers must play by the bar rules. Brent’s blog is not intended to give advice. It is meant it educate, enlighten or entertain. He admits it does require a careful balance. But, he also knows that most business people don’t understand patents, copyrights and trademarks. Therefore, Brent’s blog takes a lay person’s approach to explain what it’s about. You won’t get legal advice on his blog, but you may learn something about these topics. If you want legal advice, you’ll just have to contact him. The blog is where Brent can communicate his knowledge through informational content. People who like his content call him for real legal advice. The blog also has his picture, his Twitter handle and other tidbits about him that humanize him. Imagine, meeting a lawyer who is actually normal and even likable?! This brings it full circle. Someone who calls him at his firm for legal advice that got to know him on the web has actually begun a relationship with him before they have met him. That’s what his strategy is about.
It’s All Organic
Brent does not apologize to say that all his activities have been done simply and naturally over time without much effort on the technology side of things. For example, Brent has ignored SEO and analytics best practices on his blog. He doesn’t measure anything other than he gets phone calls from people who have read his blog.
Which Social Tool Would You Use?
I asked Brent which social communication platform he would use if could only use one? Brent said he would choose his blog as the medium. The blog is where he can communicate his knowledge and generally portray his personality. You just might say that a blog is the “mother” of all B2B social media communication tools.