2019 LMASW Region Conference Recap: Who Do You Think You Are? Building Your Personal Brand to Drive Success

LMA Southwest chats with 2019 LMA Southwest Region Conference presenter Chief Marketing Officer Michael Blachly to discuss his presentation, "Who Do You Think You Are?  Building Your Personal Brand to Drive Success" 

What inspired you to speak on this topic?

Originally this presentation was designed as an internal presentation to my firm’s attorneys to give them a better understanding of “owning” their personal brand (and in particular to take their online bio seriously as we were in the middle of a website bio audit).  But I realized that as much as we talk about what our attorneys need to do to develop business, we as legal marketers can also utilize those same tactics to promote ourselves within our firms and to the rest of the industry. By implementing these practices ourselves we can build a stronger role in our firms (or have a better chance of getting a promotion or new job if that is appropriate) but it also allows us to practice what we preach. 

What are the top three things you hope the attendees took from your presentation?

  1. We need to understand who we are and what we bring to the table
  2. We need to take ownership of marketing ourselves as much as we work to market our attorneys
  3. We need to understand the changing market both within the legal industry but also the impact of the “Zero Moment of Truth” and how that is changing how we buy products and services across all markets.

There’s a great show on TV right now that asks celebrities who do they think they are, then has them do a deep dive into their ancestry. The show is challenging for almost everyone who appears because of what they unearth. I think your presentation did that as those in the room were challenged to identify what they love or are good at and apply that to their personal brand. Why do you think it is so important for us to ask these tough questions of ourselves and then apply that to our work as marketers?

Only good can come from reflecting on our skills and capabilities as legal marketers.  It helps us understand what we bring to the table in the various roles we play so we can maximize who we are and minimize our negatives.  We would never promote a product that we didn’t have a thorough understanding of.  And much of this is reflecting on who we are so we can best promote ourselves but also own our greatest assets in what we bring. 

What's one thing you didn't share during your presentation that everyone should know about this topic?

If I had another 30 minutes I would have done a deep dive into emotional intelligence.  EI is something everyone needs to work to improve.  Whether you work for someone, have a client or even dealing with a parent, improving your EI can greatly help you understand the perspective of that person as well as your own emotions and how they impact others. 


Michael Blachly is the Chief Marketing Officer for Gray Reed & McGraw, a full-service, Texas law firm with over 150 attorneys. Michael brings more than 15 years of experience in corporate marketing, business development and corporate communications primarily centered on driving business in the professional services sector.

Michael provides Gray Reed strategic direction on the firm’s business development and marketing initiatives and leads a team responsible for business development, marketing/branding, marketing technology, creative production, research, public relations and events. He is collaborative, a consensus-builder, highly organized, and a results-oriented problem solver.

Prior to joining Gray Reed, Michael directed the marketing and communications for the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, Cornerstone Credit Union League and his own political consulting firm, Hamby & Blachly.

Michael graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in journalism and from the SMU Cox School of Business’s Graduate Marketing Program.

He is a founding member of the Legal Marketing Association’s Texas Chapter, recently served as President of LMA’s Southwest Region and has held numerous leadership positions within LMA.

Michael regularly speaks on marketing and business development and has presented to numerous organizations including the Legal Marketing Association, Southern Methodist University, Baylor University and the International Association of Business Communicators.

Michael is also a passionate photographer and has pursued the hobby for most of his life. To view Michael’s photography portfolio, go to www.michaelblachly.com.

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