Be sincere, authentic, transparent about “why” you do “what” you do. Remember, the “why” not the “what” drives business development. Example: What I Believe Informs Everything I Do for You as a Client
Networking in the New Normal
Old-school networking where relationships are built face-to-face still matters but the digital disruption of law creates opportunity. The Internet presents new ways of discovering and finding lawyers. More and more relationships are being initiated online leading to face-to-face encounters later.
Make sure you’re looking in the right direction — 2.55 billion people will be online by 2017.
The posts Elevate Your Understanding of Social Media — 8 Mandates and How Online Networking Turns into Friendship then Collaboration showcase networking in the new normal. Eric and Kent Huffman met via Twitter. That online relationship led to in-person discussions and that led to the 8 Mandates book co-authored by Eric and Kent.
Writing Best Way to Demonstrate Expertise
Writing is the best way to build your narrative online. A blog is the most flexible social tool for showcasing your passion, authority and expertise. Blogging in an engaging way establishes you as the “go to” authority over time.
Keep in mind, unlike other social media tools, you have full control over your blog. You don’t have full control over Linkedin, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Use those tools to syndicate or distribute your blog content.
Key point: make sure you’re driving your agenda online — your competitors aren’t waiting for you.
TOP FIVE REASONS LAWYERS SHOULD BLOG
1. You Cannot Afford Invisibility
Are you sending the right social signals to Google? We want a Google search to return helpful information based on our search. We don’t want search to game us. If you write helpful blog posts then your blog post gets shared. People will link to your post or share your post on their social channels. Here’s an example:
The professional services industry [including the $280 billion legal sector] has the greatest potential of any industry to see huge return-on-investment benefits from social media.
Professional services firms (like law firms), more so than other businesses, are innately social organizations. They depend very heavily on social interactions – with clients and among professional colleagues — to carry out their work and develop new business.
MGI made me care and I think I just made you care.
In the legal sector, 74% of in-house counsel say they use social media in listen-mode only. What kind of digital tracks are you leaving online for in-house counsel to discover? Here’s an example of great digital tracks: LXBN
2. Share Your Expertise Exponentially
Effective business development is about smart targeting, identifying business drivers and connecting solutions to those drivers. See: Trevor Faure to Lawyers: Do Business Development in a Smarter Way (Bloomberg Law video). Trevor lays out your blueprint for business development strategy.
Cultivating a strong online persona exposes you to more people than you could ever meet in person. If you don’t understand the strength of weak social ties (and dormant ties), see:
See also the Three Degrees of Influence rule which I touch on in Transparent Leaders Don’t Indulge in the Culture of Over-sharing.
What’s rarely considered by professionals is that “the true nature of that impact is far greater – and wider – than any of us may have imagined” and this is especially so online.
Use that knowledge to your blogging advantage and do that math:
From a marketing perspective, the game of exponential is about arithmetic and blogging changes the arithmetic in your favor.
3. Your Future Clients Are Googling You
Even that coveted face-to-face referral is tied to your online persona. The referral gets the ball rolling but your prospective client will do more research online. They might drive by your website. If you’re a blogger, they’ll read a few posts. They’ll want to know if you’re active on any of their social channels. They’ll Google your name. Wouldn’t you?
Firms that ignore content marketing are living in the past, which is no place to live at all.
4. Your Competition is Already Doing it
I don’t care if there are 300 million blogs in the world—only a small sliver of these blogs are professional—but even then:
Blogging requires passion and authority which leaves most people out.
You can do this better than your competition — LexBlog clients do — in terms of tenure blogging and engagement. If you want to establish trust online be authentic and use your voice not the voice of a brand or firm-speak. People hire people — not firms. That means no ghost blogging or tweeting. See: Elevate Your Understanding of Social Media — 8 Mandates.
From a marketing perspective nothing differentiates you from your competition better than your own authentic voice.
5. Be More Profitable
If you care about “profits” see: The Bottom Line Benefits of Blogging. Here’s your cheat sheet:
- Firms getting 40-60% of their leads online grow 4x faster than those generating no online leads.
- The greater the proportion of leads generated online, the greater the firm’s profitability.
- The #1 technique among the fastest growing and most profitable firms was blogging.
Your Call to Action
Bring to life online what makes you unique – blogging is a great way to demonstrate your passion, authority and expertise.
- 2014 Report on the State of the Legal Market by Georgetown Law (see HBR quote on page 13-14)
- The Nature of Disruptive Innovation in Professional Services (Video)