Can you attract an ideal client with your brand personality?
Most lawyers don’t get to learn the branding, marketing and content creation piece of their business while in law school. The challenge is, in order to be relevant in today’s digital economy, you have to have a presence online.
When it comes to brand personality, it’s so much deeper than the colors you pick or the fonts you use. It’s the psychology behind it, and how it creates deep and lasting connections with your potential clients.
Joining me for this episode is Kaye Putnam, the psychology-driven brand strategist for entrepreneurs. Through work with hundreds of clients from international corporations to solo-entrepreneurs, she developed her signature Clarity Code™ method. She believes that business should be more human and that all entrepreneurs have an inner-genius they can use to impact the world. She works with students in her Brand New Brand incubation program and with clients 1-on-1. When she’s not transforming brands, she’s exploring the world with her husband and two little ones.
Kaye gives listeners actionable tips on:
- Why thinking about your brand personality is necessary
- Decoding brand archetypes
- The impact emotional connection has on your brand
- Why branding is deeper than colors and fonts
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Connect with Kaye here:
Connect with me
[00:00:26] Kaye: I help entrepreneurs, particularly experts define their brand and their psychology driven brand. So the deeper meaning. Below the logo and the pretty website. And I do this through a mix of consumer psychology, brand, archetypes, neuroscience, and all sorts of other glorious geeky
[00:00:47] Karin: things.
[00:00:47] And ah, I love the glorious. We have known each other for a number of years and worked together. And, uh, so I’m so looking forward to this conversation because. K is one of [00:01:00] these people that you talk to and just provides a ridiculous amount of value in every conversation. Like she it’s just like every conversation you just like want to have a notepad next to wherever you’re listening or talking to her.
[00:01:13] And so this is going to be great. I mean, and if you don’t, uh, if you’re driving or whatever it might be, you’re going to want to save this one, because I know it’s going to offer a different level of insight into these topics. Big idea that we’re talking about is branding, but that goes in so many different directions and it can be, we were talking a minute ago about how it can be kind of woo, woo.
[00:01:37] And like people just kind of talk in these very, um, I don’t know, fluffy kind of ways, but where you come in and I feel like your conversations are so awesome is like this very psychology driven. Data-driven ideas about. Really how to get those results and how to tie your [00:02:00] brand with results. So all of that lead up is to our big question.
[00:02:05] Um, and we’re going to talk about how to attract clients using brand personality. So, first of all, let’s, let’s talk about. What that is, but it’s what is a brand personality?
[00:02:19] Kaye: I can imagine, like the
[00:02:21] Karin: successful, serious lawyer out there, that’s listening to this
[00:02:24] Kaye: and they
[00:02:24] Karin: are like, so ready to turn it off, but don’t do it.
[00:02:27] No, no, you will miss out. Oh
[00:02:30] Kaye: my gosh. Um, there’s a Harvard study. A couple of years ago, maybe 5, 5, 7, 8 years ago that pegged down the number 95% of our decisions as humans are made subconsciously on the emotional level. So if you’re not paying attention to that in your brand, in your communication, in the way that you’re showing up in the way that you’re expressing yourself, You’re losing out a 95% of the potential that your brand can do for you.
[00:02:58] So this is [00:03:00] incredibly important to talk about the personality of your brand as humans we tend to, and I’m going to mispronounce this word, but we add amorphous size. Like we. In an adamant object seem like humans, like seem like they have a character, like a personality. And we’re constantly doing that with brands.
[00:03:21] So we might describe a brand is like tough and rugged and, uh, like motivating. And then you might describe a completely different brand, even if they sell it the exact same product or service as soft and caring and empathetic. And. The visionaries of our brands. We yet to be deliberate and intentional about that experience that we would create with clients.
[00:03:48] And then we’re speaking to that 95% and increasing our sales are leading all of the systems in our brand when we do.
[00:03:56] Karin: So I’m going to bring up this comment that we got on, uh, [00:04:00] YouTube, which if you are listening to podcasts, this is available on YouTube. We’re not getting a lot of traffic there, but that’s okay.
[00:04:07] Because, um, so the comment was, uh, in terms of an earlier episode and they were talking about, um, kind of business development, like kind of more kind of how to build your firm kind of stuff, but in terms of really connecting with those clients, Once again, the emotional side of things. And the comment was some of us don’t care about all of this stuff.
[00:04:29] We just went to law school to be trial lawyers. And I brought this up a couple of times because I’m like of all the practice areas, I’m picturing a jury. And how could that not have a connection to the emotions and the brand and the presentation and all of that stuff. So. Let’s pretend that that guy or that person, that commenter is here talking to us and kind of sitting over in, you know, the peanut gallery.[00:05:00]
[00:05:00] So what, how, how would you respond to that?
[00:05:03] Kaye: Oh, I love this.
[00:05:04] Karin: I love this comment I did too. I was like, Ooh, I don’t even know where to begin. I know there’s like an essay as a response. So many places. The
[00:05:14] Kaye: first thing that comes to mind. To come back to the reason why you wanted to do that. Like, why did you go to law school?
[00:05:20] Why are you a trial lawyer or insert whatever practice you have here, probably you wanted to make an impact. You wanted to change the world in some specific way, and you don’t get to do that unless you have clients.
[00:05:34] Karin: Yes. And the impact when you originally started wasn’t necessarily about the money impact.
[00:05:41] I mean, it was about all of those other. All the emotional things, like all of the things that you cared about, right?
[00:05:48] Kaye: and that’s all part of this emotion that we build into brands. It’s we never want to be just another widget. Like we just don’t want to be a commodity. And I know, [00:06:00] especially in this industry, everybody starts to look the same.
[00:06:02] Everybody sounds the same. Everybody’s talking about the same services and products and charging a specific way. Your client, your potential person, human, that you’re going to work with has no way to discern any difference of quality of experience of whether one is better, quote unquote, better than the other.
[00:06:25] Yeah. So it comes down to the fact that because of. Our consumer is because our humans can’t discern better. We have to be different. We have to step outside of the norm if we want to attract that attention and ultimately make the impact that we set out to make in the first place.
[00:06:42] Karin: Okay. That makes so much sense to me, especially when you kind of go back to the beginning, like, you know, where, where did you start when you were in law school?
[00:06:51] Where, what was it that you were drawn to and why did you even choose this practice area? And, you know, what was it about all of these choices that you’ve made in your [00:07:00] career that has made this, the one and, you know, has made you successful at that stuff? So, okay. So you’ve decided you’ve kind of got back to that idea.
[00:07:08] You’re. Getting maybe comfortable with the idea that maybe we need to put some emotion behind it sort of, but where do you, where do you start? Like, how do you figure this, this personality stuff out? Um,
[00:07:20] Kaye: yeah, lots of options here. So one of my favorite tools, and we’re just really going to push your comfort zone here, but bear with me, there are a psychological function that comes from Carl Young.
[00:07:34] There has been more modern authors that have. Modernize some of this thought framework, but there are brand archetypes, brand archetypes. Are these 12 different. Categories or patterns that show up. And because our brain recognizes patterns, when we align our brand with one of these brand archetypes are humans, get us, they understand us [00:08:00] on a deeper level.
[00:08:01] It’s almost a shortcut to adding in some of this emotion. So I always like to start there. I have a tool on my website. It’s a quiz where people can identify with their top brand. It is. So I would absolutely start there. Do you want me to keep going
[00:08:13] Karin: cards? Yes. Yes, absolutely. Um, so, and Kay, I think you’re kind of downplaying the quiz a little bit because your quiz, it has been like, give us some stats on your quiz.
[00:08:27] It’s like an, an, a ridiculously successful quiz. It’s not just like, Hey, there’s this little questionnaire on my, on my, uh, on my site. This quiz is like a driver of, of your overall business. 100%.
[00:08:41] Kaye: Yeah. It’s not one of those like fun quizzes that you might find on Buzzfeed or in the back of a magazine it’s been taken over 200,000 times at the time of this taking it’s generated over a hundred thousand leads, qualified leads.
[00:08:53] And just in the last 12 months alone, it has converted. And of course I’m in a completely different industry than [00:09:00] your audience, but it’s converted a hundred and excuse me, $130,000 in core sales. So these are. $297 sales, but still reaching incredible value directly after the quiz. So it’s a primary lead in sales generator for me.
[00:09:18] Karin: Yeah. And so the quiz is it identifies which pathway you should be going on. And so the quiz. Definitely has shown it success for you and your business. A quiz. You know, I have a quiz that I don’t call it quiz on my own site. And this is a great way that we found to kind of pull that business in might not necessarily be appropriate for a law firm, but finding that right pathway for pulling people in and asking the right questions and doing that initial, it’s not really even intake.
[00:09:49] It’s the initial kind of. The questions that you’re asking, those clients is critical to find, you know, connect with the right, whatever the right path is for a law firm. But [00:10:00] on this quiz, I highly recommend you go to Kay’s site, take a look, take, take a, get a sense for which pathway is the right one for you and your brand.
[00:10:11] So. Tell us a little bit more about how that works and then how that all plays out in the whole, um, kind of personality of the, Hmm.
[00:10:19] Kaye: So once you know what your top archetype is, it is almost like a key or a shortcut or a decoder to help you make decisions about all of the outward expression of your brand, because that’s the next step.
[00:10:32] So like, what are your calls? And we always like to say in my orbit that we build brands on truth, not trends. So similar to not just looking at all of your competitors and trying to decide what color palette you should have based on them. You should start on the inside. What do I stand for? What is this unique experience that I’m creating?
[00:10:50] What emotions am I trying to elicit? When somebody comes into contact with my brand and then me and my team. Pulled together just like hundreds, [00:11:00] thousands of examples of not only colors, but what are the stories that you should be telling? What are the words that will elicit more of an emotional reaction than just the legal jargon?
[00:11:10] Well, yeah, what.
[00:11:13] Karin: What kind of, so where I usually start, when I’m explaining this, I’ve had, um, I’ve had clients or potential clients come to me and they’ll see an example of, of some work that we did on our site. And oftentimes it’s in a totally different practice area for what they do. So for example, the two ends of the spectrum, I always use that as an example are like a personal injury attorney and an estate planning attorney, and they have totally, it might as well.
[00:11:40] Different industries because they have different clients, they have different work, they have different approach. And once you figure out whatever that personality and the positioning and every, and the, the right things for that brand, a personal injury attorney is likely going to approach things in kind of a strong, aggressive, aggressive, [00:12:00] in a good way kind of method.
[00:12:03] And you’re going to use kind of bold colors and all of that. But if you apply that to that estate planning attorney, it would feel so weird and gross. And so they can come in and say, I really liked that site. And I can say that is great, but it’s kind of like, it’s the wrong pair of pants for you? Like, it’s, it looks so nice on the hanger, but that’s not for you.
[00:12:22] This is, this is for them. And we will find the great thing for you, but you can’t kind of apply. You have to figure out what the pants are that. You, it’s not a great analogy, but I get it. I’m like, yes, I am done that thing.
[00:12:37] Kaye: I put those pants on and it was like, oh
[00:12:39] Karin: no.
[00:12:43] Well, and I feel like a lot of people when they’re starting that they don’t know where else to start. And so they’re like, okay, where did. Yeah. And so let me just try their pants on. I don’t know why I keep sticking with this analogy. Yeah.
[00:12:58] Kaye: And I’ll say that the next [00:13:00] step after that is you need a place to express your brand.
[00:13:03] So most of, most of you have websites, so that’s a good start. Yeah. But similar to how we were talking earlier with the quiz and with Karen’s assessment, you need to have. Content. And I know this is a little bit of a stretch coming from marketing people like this is our language and it’s not something that the legal industry has done a lot in the past, at least in my view.
[00:13:25] But the more touch points that somebody has with your brand before they consider becoming a client, the more that you can build. Trust and relationships at scale. So by the time somebody comes into your office, into your firm or gives you a call on the phone, they’re already sold because you already demonstrated your authority and.
[00:13:49] Built a literal relationship with that person. So find ways, find a platform where you can express yourself as a brand in some way. So that looks different [00:14:00] for everybody. There’s no one perfect answer. It could be a podcast like this. It could be. A short little, yes. Speaking is great. YouTube videos,
[00:14:09] Karin: wherever your clients are.
[00:14:11] Exactly. Yeah. And you know that you’re doing it right when, so I recently have had a few clients where we’re starting their projects and one in particular, we kind of sat down and I am kind of the personality where I kind of said. Start to kind of go through the checklist, let’s get it all done. Let’s get started.
[00:14:28] And so I was starting to like get through the progress and they just kind of wanted to stop and say, I just wanted to let you know, we feel really honored to be working with you. And like, we’re really excited about this. And I was like, I’ve never met these people. Like they’re on the other side of the country.
[00:14:41] And I’m like, whoa, that’s amazing. And thank you to all of my marketing efforts because it’s, that’s the, it’s doing all of that work for me. Kind of behind the scenes and pulling those people in and kind of, you know, in gendering, all of that trust and everything. And so when they get to that point where we’re [00:15:00] starting, they’re already like excited and they feel like they feel like we, they do know me and they’ve kind of got that relationship even though I was like, oh yeah.
[00:15:08] Okay. Let’s be nice for a minute. Instead of giving. Yes. Yeah. So on the flip side, though, where do you see people kind of making this the mistakes? Cause, you know, in terms of. I think we’re starting to get the idea of like how this can pull the right people in. But, um, what’s, what’s the flip side, like where, where do you see people making mistakes in terms of, um, not, not necessarily attracting these like ideal clients?
[00:15:37] Kaye: Um, so we’ve already talked about the modeling and I was, I fell into that mistake when I was getting started in business. I kept looking at all of the successful people in my industry, and I thought that I had to be just like them. If I wanted to see success. People are smart. People can smell that inauthenticity a mile away.
[00:15:56] No surprise didn’t work. So we’ve touched on that piece. I think the [00:16:00] other side of the spectrum, if you swing a little bit too far in the other direction, some people get really enamored with branding and expressing themselves and this idea of personality and having all of these things so much so that they’re reinventing themselves every three or six months.
[00:16:15] And I don’t know how much of an issue this is in the legal space, but. Some people just do fall on that side of the spectrum where they either haven’t set the standards. So they haven’t decided and like really sat down to extract the brand in some way. So that’s what I do with my one-on-one clients these days is I just sit down with the visionary and be like, all right, let’s put your brand down on paper so that you stay consistent.
[00:16:41] So it’s either a lack of standards or just a lack of focus. Were there constantly. Being Madonna and reinventing themselves every three months.
[00:16:50] Karin: Yeah. And also, I feel like lack of standards, lack of focus, but also a lack of patience because some of these things like, you know, there’s new social media [00:17:00] platforms, every, you know, four days.
[00:17:01] And so all of a sudden, especially during the pandemic, like we, all of a sudden like what’s clubhouse and what are random things popping up. And, and we’re all sitting at home. We have extra time. So let me try all these things out, even though a better use of your time. Almost anything, go bake some bread or do anything, almost anything else.
[00:17:24] Then, then just kind of going off into left field into something that doesn’t align with your plan, like stick with a plan, watch what’s working and, you know, trying to, and be patient like figure out, you know, that this is going to take this little, little agenda that I have here. This can take six months.
[00:17:41] And so. Let it simmer for six months and then see how it goes. Yeah. We’re so
[00:17:47] Kaye: in the habit of expecting quick results, but you have to remember that you’re building a relationship. You don’t expect to get married after the first
[00:17:54] Karin: state. That’s hope not most of us, [00:18:00] unless you’re on a Netflix series. Exactly.
[00:18:02] Kaye: Exactly. We don’t want the. And brand we want the one that builds the
[00:18:07] Karin: relationship. Okay. Exactly. Exactly. It’s just so bizarre. Yeah, no, that makes so much sense. Okay. So Kay. You know that our audience is full of lawyers that don’t have time for a bad book that isn’t worth their time. So what book do you have to recommend that is worth it?
[00:18:27] Kaye: Um, I am a voracious reader, so we had to have a little chat to strategize my answer
[00:18:33] Karin: before we started
[00:18:34] Kaye: recording. I love this is kind of an oldie, but a goodie. I think it’s at least 20 years old now, but it’s called psycho cybernetics. Oh, wow. Actually written by a former plastic surgeon. And he speaks to the effect that our self image has on the way that we interact with life and the results that we get for life.
[00:18:58] So the [00:19:00] it’s not directly related to branding, but in the way that. These deep, underlying unconscious parts of ourselves. Yeah. That’s running the show for your clients and it’s running the show for you. So I love that book. I’ve gifted. It. All of my clients and it’s just,
[00:19:19] Karin: oh my gosh. That sounds so awesome.
[00:19:20] Psycho-Cybernetics we will definitely link to that on the page because, um, it sounds like it’s gonna be complicated to spell, but it’s, I feel like it totally ties into what we were talking about with the brand personality and making sure that, you know, you’re kind of starting with your end goals in mind and working back from that and figuring out.
[00:19:43] How your personality aligns with all of that and how to reach those ideal clients and attract them in the way that, um, you know, even though it’s those wrong ideas, get in the way and kind of, you know, put all those speed bumps in between you and what that goal might [00:20:00] be. So kind of that clear path.
[00:20:04] Kaye: I guess 100%. And I always like to say that my business has been the best life coach that I could have ever hired. There’s a lot, especially if you aren’t in the habit of like creating content or showing up as your brand, there’s a lot of internal stuff that gets in the way it’s like, oh, I’m too old.
[00:20:20] Nobody wants to hear me. Not as successful as XYZ person. So I feel like that book is a really powerful tool to help work through some of that internal junk that stops us from doing the things that we know are going to grow our business and our
[00:20:35] Karin: brand. Yeah. I feel like, you know, I’ve done a number of different kind of coaching programs and.
[00:20:41] Everything starts the first chapter of every interaction or, or whatever program starts with mindset stuff. And I know that’s such a trendy word. Like I almost hesitated to bring up that mindset, but without getting your brain in the right place and feeling like. You can do whatever it [00:21:00] is you’re accomplishing.
[00:21:00] I mean, even if it’s just like, I will do the laundry this week, if you start out with the plan, like laundry is never going to happen, like it’s just never, ever going to happen this week. Then it’s going to be a self fulfilling prophecy, like that is just going to happen. And when you’re taking it into bigger ideas than just laundry, Then the mindset just gets exponentially important as well.
[00:21:23] So, you know, if you, if you can’t start with those, like understanding and awareness of where your brain is and how that is playing into your level of success, then, and you just try to jump ahead. It’s not going to work. Ultimately,
[00:21:38] Kaye: your brain wants to keep you safe. It wants to keep you in your comfort zone, but that is not compatible with growth.
[00:21:43] You have to find a way to circumvent. Yeah.
[00:21:47] Karin: Yeah. And realize that growth exactly. The growth is going to feel a little uncomfortable. And so okay. When I feel that level of, of discomfort I’m I’m okay. Just gonna recognize it, say thank you and then move [00:22:00] onto the next thing. And yeah. And I’m still okay. I’m still safe, but you know, I’m going to be safe.
[00:22:06] A bigger level of whatever it is that I’m going after. That sounds amazing. Um, so we’ll link to that book, psycho cybernetics. I don’t know why I’m having a hard time pronouncing it down every time. Yeah, exactly. Um, okay. And what’s big w sorry, what’s one big takeaway that you would like to have listeners get from the app.
[00:22:32] Kaye: brand is so much more than how you look, take the time to cultivate and to reflect on the emotional reasons or the deeper reasons that somebody is going to buy into you and your friends.
[00:22:47] Karin: Yes. Oh, I love it. That was amazing. K Putnam is a psychology driven brand strategist. You have to check out her website.
[00:22:55] We will, of course, link to it on the show notes and page and check out her [00:23:00] quiz. Of course, because that’s the perfect place to start with. Just getting an understanding of where your personality is and how that, you know, that’s how that ties into everything else. So, Kay. Thank you so much for your time. I appreciate you being here.
[00:23:12] Thank you so much for having me. This was so fun.