How we can help

Today’s newly-minted partner has to learn to project themselves on a vastly broader, possibly even global, canvas through mostly digital and at-a-distance channels to build their market reputation.

Many individuals who shine as brilliant ‘cogs in the wheel’ of large professional service firms suddenly find themselves thrust onto the stage after about ten years into their careers and told to ‘put on a show’.

From being almost 100% a technical expert ‘back at the ranch,’ to suddenly be a leader, ‘out on the trail’ selling new work, sometimes to new clients, being personally responsible for client relationships and expected to influence client perceptions and compete against rivals in pitches.

And, often toughest of all, to instantly become thought-leaders in their field, find followers and an audience for their expertise and opinions on social media platforms, specialist publications and event stages.

In short, asked to transform overnight into being sophisticated brands in their own right with little or no training or guidance.

As an individual partner, strategically rethinking your personal brand involves asking some searching questions and being prepared to accept that some things need to change.

Our approach 

We work directly with your partners — individually or in small groups — via Zoom-style interfaces, to first introduce them to the partner branding methodology and then to coach them in developing their own brand narrative and development plan.

A typical programme involves 4 x 1 hour facilitated sessions with each partner (or small groups for the first and second sessions). All sessions are led and facilitated by Principia’s CEO, Ian Stephens, who is able to bring the necessary experience to ensure any scepticism or sensitivity on the part of any partners is managed effectively.

Session 1 / Introduction

This session can be conducted individually or in small groups (up to 6).

The objective of the first session is to introduce the partners to the programme content and methodology in order to tune them into what’s going to happen over the course of the programme and begin to engage them in thinking in a brand-led way about their market profile and reputation.

Session 2 / Building blocks

This session can be conducted individually or in small groups (up to 6).

In the second session we discuss the three-circles model (below) and ask them to think separately about:

  • Firstly, ‘what’s true’ and can be built upon in building their brand — look at their strengths, client experiences, things that can credibly be built upon.
  • Then, think about ‘what’s in demand’ or for a new partner what will be in even more demand in 5 or more years. What qualities, experiences and expertise will be in demand and which might, despite being valued now, are likely to be oversupplied in the future.
  • Finally, to think about ‘what they can do that others can’t.’ What’s their speciality? Their stand-out strength.

By the end of the second session, partners should be clear on the building blocks task and have made good progress in beginning to flesh out the model. Partners will be asked to complete the task offline before the next session.

Session 3 / Brand narrative

This session is conducted individually in order to allow partners to be open about perceptions of their strengths and weaknesses.

In this session we build on the insights developed in session 2 and begin to form the brand model for each individual partner. Looking at:

  • The ‘qualifiers’ that are commonly held by many individuals in the market but critical to have nonetheless.
  • The ‘differentiators’ that are less common (not necessarily unique) and important to the market being targeting.
  • The most important part — defining a narrative — a concept, a thought, a sentence, even a paragraph, that galvanises all the rest together and can sit at the heart of their personal brand strategy.

Session 4 / Development plan

This session is also conducted individually.

The final part of the programme is focused on using the brand narrative as a template and beginning to define the specific steps that they can take to make it a reality.

  • Which projects to get involved in to reinforce strengths or gain missing experiences.
  • Which business development initiatives to commit to that will help them build towards the goal.
  • What thought-leadership content to initiate, either as an individual or involving others.
  • What voice to begin to project on social media platforms such as LinkedIn.
  • What training courses or other learning to sign up for to expand knowledge and contacts.

> Get in touch at enquiries@principiaconsultants.com to learn more about how we can help.


Ian Stephens

CEO and Founder of Principia, the world's most experienced branding and innovation consultancy for professional service firms.