Scaling Reputation- Overcoming Distrust In The Market

Mel Telecican

Mel Telecican ​

Author Kiarah Grace Kelly

When I saw that Mel Telecican featured on the program for the Retreat 2019, I couldn’t help but to have a little #happydance. Mel is a marketer by trade and uses her tips and tricks to help us lawyers use our reputation, at scale, to spread the word about the good work us lawyers do. 

"The First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Lawyers"

Mel began by reminding us that, when you dig down deep, the law is a profession deeply trusted by the public. Put simply and when taken broadly, we do good. But, on the surface, do lawyers have a PR problem? 

Mel asked us to recall all of the unpleasant moments where we’ve had all the unhelpful feedback from potential clients, current clients, a grumpy uncle, the public at large (eek!) and where lawyers are deemed the bad guy. Mel used an example in her life where she was chatting with a recently divorced friend and she told her “the only winners were the lawyers.” It’s a tough wrap, indeed.

But why the doom and gloom? Whilst we may spend our time in a distrusted profession, we don’t need to take that sitting down. Mel talked us through how to rise above the distrust and then build a reputation that stands out. 

The Good, The Bad (and then some more of the good)...

Banking, money, royal commissions. Wait, did you just skip to another blog? 

Mel told us all about how, in the banking industry, rankings are often published all about trust. Banking regulators keep a tabs of complaints from consumers and then compile a list of the worst offenders. This posed the question- is the banking industry all bad? Who features at the better end of those worst offenders lists? Are those banks just the ‘not so bad?’

The most trusted bank in Australia in recent years is the Bendigo Bank. What sets them apart? Mel, after showing us some examples from their socials, explained that the Bendigo Bank had gone very public with their policy not to invest in, or back, thermal energy products. Bendigo Bank also made waves by intervening in a community dispute in Bendigo where one side was accused of being Islamophobic. Importantly, Mel says, Bendigo Bank was living their values and their brand benefitted hugely.

And another example? The Queensland Police Service. If you have even the quickest of squizzes at the QPS socials, you’ll see the brand of humour that has become uniquely theirs. My favourite take away from this portion of Mel’s presentation is the power in QPS’s humour. Mel pointed out that, due to the popularity of QPS’s funnier posts, when they really needed to get their message across, in times of danger or tragedy, they had the audience there waiting.

The Crucial Stuff

So what do we need to do to build one of these brands that makes people watch, but more importantly, think. Here are my key takeaways-

  1. To start, remember this: you have to start somewhere. Mel reminded us that, when Clarissa started on this crazy journey that we’re all now on, it was a stand-alone blog called ‘the Happy Family Lawyer.’ So, start somewhere;

  2. When things get tough on this personal branding mission that we’re all now on, tell yourself over and over; that without a personal brand, you’re one person, sitting at a desk, trying to convince one person at a time to pick up what you’re putting down. With a strong personal brand, and an audience, you can do it at scale;

  3. You have to be a ‘good friend’ to your audience- real, visible, you must tell your story and be in control of your narrative;
  4. Once you’re able to control your narrative, you must ‘pepper’ your services throughout your branding.

The example of the charity-

Mel reminded us that even the most trusted organisations there are, charities, require all the strategy and planning as any business would. Charities lead with their values, contribute to the betterment of our society and have all the assets of emotion to draw an audience. However as a warning to us, a charity, despite all its trust, can be unsuccessful if they don’t capitalise on their opportunity to tell the world their values. It’s not enough to do the work. 

My key takeaways from Mel’s presentation? Tell stories. Be visible. No matter your wins, you can’t use them at their best if there is no one listening. 

Thank you to our partners for helping us bring The Retreat 2019 (a law conference like no other!) to you!


Our platinum partner Automio are thrilled to a part of the Club Retreat 2019. If you have been wanting to find out more about Automio’s combination of legal automation software and world-class training to scale your law firm to 7 figures you can book in a demo session with Business Development Manager, Mike Mullins here.

Automio love working with entrepreneurial lawyers just like you to help you scale up your law firm. And the final ‘Automio bedazzle’ we have for you is a special offer for you on Automio’s ‘Scale Up Springboard Training Program.’ 

If you enrol in Scale Up by 5pm AEDT 12 November you will get these fabulous free bonuses:

– A new, high-converting law firm website OR have our fabulous copywriter write high-converting copy for your firm’s website. 

 – A bonus small group VIP Event with Claudia King in Sydney before the 2 day Intensive. 

 – Up to $500 off your travel to the Sydney Intensive paid for

You can learn more about this offer at the Automio booth!

Kiarah Grace Kelly

Kiarah Grace Kelly

Blogger and Happy Lawyer

Hi! I am Kiarah Grace Kelly, I have just finished a dual Bachelors degree in Law and Government and International Relations at Griffith University on the Gold Coast. I tested my legal toes in the water at a boutique Gold Coast law firm before starting as a Law Graduate at Brisbane Family Law Centre in November 2018. I’ve just been admitted here in Queensland which makes me a Brand New Lawyer or #babylawyer as the BFLC gang likes to say. My sole practice area is Family Law.

I’m looking forward to writing about and sharing with you all that I can at this crazy-exciting but daunting stage of my career. I think there’s a need to talk about our experiences as early career lawyers so that we can all lean on each other as much as we can.

I would love to connect with you on Linkedin and Instagram!