Gary Mitchell's Biz/Dev Coaching Blog
I am very pleased to chair “Raindance: The Business Development Bootcamp for Lawyers” to air September 24th. This Bootcamp is especially geared towards solo practice and small to mid-size firms who are looking to grow. Working closely with the conference organizers at The Commons Institute, we’ve put together a stellar group of presenters including legal practitioners and legal marketers who are leading innovation in today’s marketplace. You will hear from a Law Clerk who will share what she did to grow her network and bring in clients to her firm; a 4th year M&A Lawyer who will share her approach to business development, and a Managing Partner will share how he continued to make rain, lead the firm, manage his people, engage his team in business development and grow his firm. We also have Jana Schilder, my Co-Founding Partner of Legal A Team, who will cover the value of media relations in growing your firm, and Susan Van Dyke of Vandyke marketing, who will cover off effectively using Social Media.
In addition to the amazing content we will cover, each participant of Raindance will receive a copy of my 2nd book, “Raindance 2: A Blueprint for Growing Your Practice”, and a one-hour coaching session with me to follow the conference. If you are looking to grow your practice or firm, this webinar cannot be missed. GO to The Commons Institute and sign up today. Early bird rates are still available. I look forward to working with you to grow your firm.
This has become a hot topic of late. As a busy lawyer when do you have time to get on social media and make an impact? Here are a few suggestions to maximize your time, and produce better results. Starting with your blog, instead of having to rely on time becoming available in your busy schedule, block off a couple of hours and write your posts for the month. You can schedule them ahead of time. Make sure your blog gets posted to your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts expanding your reach. A good habit to get into is before checking your email in the morning, take about ten minutes and visit LinkedIn. See what’s going on, if there is something that might be of interest to your clients or audience that you can post yourself, or re-post someone else’s content.
Then throughout your day when you need to take a break from your work, or find yourself losing concentration, pop back on and again see what’s happening. It’s all about making it work for you, having the discipline to keep on it every day. And it really only takes a few minutes. The important thing is repetition and keeping top of mind with your clients and audience.
We read about it everywhere about how increasingly your clients, in-house counsel are using social media to research and source talent and stay informed. Research came out a couple of years ago with the fact that more and more of your potential clients were and are looking at your LinkedIn profile (if you even have one), before your law firm web site. In fact LinkedIn has released the numbers to prove it. According to a recent article in Lexpert by Bev Cline, Danielle Restivo, LinkedIn’s Head of Global Programs, Corporate Communications says the network has “over 3,000 members with the ‘In-House Counsel’ in their title, more than 33,000 who have ‘General Counsel’ in their title.” And that adds to the already 470,000 members who have the word ‘lawyer’ in their title.
Typically the article goes on to say, that in-house counsel are using social media in ‘listen mode’. That means that they are gathering information and learning about you and your expertise through the content you post and the contributions you make online. There are 410 groups on LinkedIn dedicated to in-house counsel. The numbers speak for themselves. If you are not using social media as one of your business development strategies in attracting clients, you are missing out.
There are so many reasons why as a service provider you need to have a fully developed profile on LinkedIn. And fully developed means when it is, a pop up will alert you that you are now a ‘rock star’. In addition to being a simple and low maintenance way of keeping in touch with people, it has so many more benefits. Remember this month I decided to fully focus on sharing ways you can find more people who need your services, find more referral sources, and make it easier for them to find you. When you have a well-developed Profile on LinkedIn and someone does a Google search of your name, your LinkedIn profile is likely to rank ahead of your firm or company website profile. If someone Google’s looking for the service you provide (and everyone is doing it now), with a well-developed profile, you are more likely to come up ahead of your competition.
As if that’s not enough to convince you, when you ask your clients to recommend you, others can see that. There is no other marketing tactic better, no amount of money in the world you could throw at marketing yourself that will even come close to having your clients rave about you.
LinkedIn, get on it.
I guess the title should be “One of the reasons I love LinkedIn”, there are so many. Here is just one example. Several years ago when I was just getting started I met a marketing professional here in Vancouver. We met, and at the time her firm was not interested in coaching. We connected on LinkedIn. Recently we re-connected on LinkedIn and are now in talks about what I can do for her firm in Toronto. That is the short version of the story. Professionals today must have a well developed LinkedIn profile, and that is only one reason.
The networking ninja arrives early at the event, enters the room, looks for people they don’t know and goes right up and introduces them self They ask a question like “What brings you to this event?” Followed by, “How long have you been coming to these events?” “What value do you find by coming here?” “What other events do you attend and why?” This gets the conversation started.
From there, the other person will likely ask similar questions. So the networking ninja has their story short and succinct What they do (not their job title), where they do it, and what value if brings their clients. Then the networking ninja makes some notes and follows up with this new contact within 24 hours. The ninja searches for them on LinkedIn and sends them an invitation to join their network. Then the ninja sends them a direct email referencing something they learned at the event, with an invitation to meet for coffee. The word ‘when’ and not ‘if is used. The networking ninja has learned that a natural and genuine approach to meeting for the first time always works best.
You too can become a networking ninja.
Raindance: The Business Development Guide Book for Lawyers is now available through Carswell. Click here to go to Carswell for more information and ordering.
If you are a lawyer just starting out with business development, or already engaged and looking to up your game, this book is your practical, step-by-step guide to follow in order to achieve your goals.
As part of his homework last week, one of my clients updated his Linkedin profile. He then sent messages out to a number of his contacts to add them to his network. He was totally surprised at how quickly one of those contacts responded. He hadn’t talked to this person in some time. And now that person is suggesting a meeting to talk about potential business.
Is your Linkedin profile up to date? Have you taken the time to look for contacts that you are targeting and add them to your network? You could be missing out on yet another potential client source. And have you approached clients on Linkedin to ask them for recommendations? Block out an hour or two of your time today and get your Linkedin profile up to date. And then approach contacts and clients. What do you have to lose?
A great article on the top 5 legal considerations for business on Google +
In the ‘good ole days’, you might have one, perhaps two rainmakers who’s main job it was to bring in clients for the firm. They would wine and dine and take to the golf course entertaining clients and prospects and over the years build long lasting and trusted relationships. While those ‘natural born rainmakers’ still exist, today’s competitive legal services market requires more lawyers to be out there generating business.
So what is different? The added ways lawyers can do that. It is afterall still about one thing, building relationships. Thanks mostly to technology, today’s lawyer has many more options of how to do that. From social media sites to blogging, video conferencing, texting, emails etc. So where do you start? First understand where your audience is and how they like to be communicated with, and match that to your own skills.