Gary Mitchell's Biz/Dev Coaching Blog
To kick off 2018 I’ve created a new LinkedIn Group-Professional Services Marketing Group.
The purpose is twofold. 1st, to offer a forum where professional service providers can share insights and knowledge, wins and challenges as they grow their businesses. There is power in collective wisdom.
The 2nd goal of this group is to allow you to network ‘virtually’ with other professionals; build relationships and develop more referrals.
The concept of the ‘Mastermind Group’ comes from author Napoleon Hill, in his book “Think and Grow Rich”, published in the early part of the last century. I’ve always loved the concept and many of my clients have and continue to use this strategy to grow their businesses.
And then invite your best referral sources and contacts to join. The more members, the more collective wisdom and the potential to build more relationships leading to more referrals, leading to more business.
#businesscoach #mastermindgroup #growyourbusiness
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.
So now you have several strategies to get out there and find more people who need your services, find more referral sources and how to make it easier for them to find you. One last thing to wrap it all up.
You are a busy professional. You want to ensure that you get maximum efforts for your business development efforts. When you create content for a presentation, you likely have about two or three articles you can publish. Use the articles to send to contacts or include them with your newsletter. From those articles, you have several blog posts. Link your blog to your social media, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts and get your content out to an even broader audience this year.Post your articles on your website and link to them from your blog. In fact if you just did this one thing and considered where you can leverage all of your efforts, you will see better results.
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.
Just started with another new client. She spent the first part of the call telling me what she didn’t want for her firm and practice. This lead us to determining what she did want. And it doesn’t look anything like the traditional law firm model. It doesn’t have to. More and more law firms are looking to break the mold and create something new, innovative, inclusive, and flexible. Yes I said law firm and flexible in the same sentence.
Yesterday in coaching a group of associates, once again the issue of time came up. When and how do I make time for my business development is an age old question. In our brainstorming session, one tax associate came up with his own answer. He said “I don’t do anything unless it pops up in my outlook”. Well then, make the appointment with yourself using your outlook calendar. Sometimes it’s the simplest approach that works best. And it’s really about self-discipline.
Don’t fear making mistakes. I know, easy to say. When you make mistakes, you learn, or at least have the opportunity to learn and improve. Making a mistake on a document or argument could cost your client a lot of money. Making a mistake in marketing or business development only goes to support your learning. No one is going to die.
If you are still unconvinced, look at me. I am a living example of someone who has made all kinds of mistakes in business, and I am not only still here, my business is flourishing. In fact that’s part of the reason you pay me for my services. I’ve already made most of the mistakes you could make and in doing so can save you a lot of time and money.
So thank you mistakes. You’ve taught me a lot.