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.
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.
If you enjoy writing, one of the ways you can share your knowledge is to use Facebook and/or LinkedIn as your very own blog. There’s no need to go to all the trouble of creating your own site. Once you have your profile up, you can use your social media sites to post your own content, and share other content that you deem appropriate for your target audience. And you can set it up to automatically post on Twitter if you have an account. You can include published articles, partial presentations and links to information valuable to your contacts. It’s a great way of raising your profile and demonstrating your expertise. On LinkedIn you can share it with your network, post to groups or send it to individuals.
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.
A great article on the top 5 legal considerations for business on Google +
This is a very brief introduction to using LinkedIn to raise your profile. Keep and eye out this month for a more in depth article in The Lawyers Weekly.
First create your profile. Then search for current clients and invite them to your network. Then ask them for recommendations. Do the same for past clients, other professional connections, University contacts etc. Join appropriate groups and become a part or start discussions.
Use LinkedIn as part of your market research. Search out companies you wish to serve and find the people who you need to start building relationships with. See what groups they belong to and join them. Begin to build lasting relationships. The possibilities are endless.