A great benefit about marketing is that sometimes the lowest hanging fruit can yield major benefits with little effort. First thing’s first, what does “low-hanging fruit” mean? It is “a thing or person that can be won, obtained, or persuaded with little effort.” Since we spend so much time and effort on most of our marketing and business development strategies, it’s nice when we don’t have to work so hard on everything all the time! Sometimes all it takes is picking up the phone, or crafting a thoughtful email or just letting Google work for you.

  • For example, just being the one who responds to an email or call first (and thoughtfully) will make you the one who gets the piece of business. One of the lawyers with whom I work answered a query on a list serv for someone who was looking for a lawyer in her area. She wound up getting the piece of business.
  • Another lawyer just picked up the phone on a Friday afternoon while driving up to his summer house even though it was a number he didn’t recognize. He smartly had his work phone forwarded to his cell phone, which is something I highly recommend that you all do. The call was from a potential client who got this lawyer’s name from a mutual friend. He wound up getting the matter. On the flipside, I know a lawyer who waited a week to return a phone message from a new potential client. He did not get that piece of business, and the lesson there is do not wait a week to return a call from anyone and always check your messages!
  • One of the lawyers with whom I work spoke on a webinar and then took the time to answer some follow-up questions that were sent to her from a participant. She impressed him with her thoughtful replies and strategies, and he asked her to work on a matter as a result. So speaking engagements really do lead to new business, especially when you go the extra mile afterwards to do proactive follow-up. I’ve got many more examples like this and on the flipside of lawyers who ignored emails like this or thought it was too much work to reply.  Go the extra mile, take the time and you’ll set yourself apart.
  • Credentialing from outside organizations also helps especially when it comes to teaching CLE programs. For example, one of our lawyers received a phone call for a potential matter because his name came up as a speaker for a New York City bar event from two years ago during a Google search. This again underscores the power of Google and why you should speak at conferences and write articles, and post all of these activities to your web site bio for SEO purposes. Credentializing gives you authority. Ultimately he didn’t get the piece of business due to a conflict, but she became a referral source. This is a great example of how CLE programs can lead to referrals and new clients – demonstrating subject matter expertise by teaching is one of the strongest ways you can build your brand (and business).
  • LinkedIn is an easy way to keep your professional network “warm.” It takes little time and effort to use the platform to build your brand and generate leads. Here are some examples of little actions you could take to help you stay top of mind with your contacts and referrals.

– Did someone important in your network just announce they got a new job? Send them a note to congratulate them and ask them for lunch.

– Are you headed to an industry event or upcoming conference? (Or better yet, are you speaking at one?) Post it as a status update so you can find others in your network who are also attending.

– Did someone you admire write an article or publish a book that you enjoyed? Share a link to it along with why you recommend others read it. This will greatly strengthen your professional relationships.

– Did you discover something innovative or insightful in your field that would be of interest to your network? Write a quick post just as I am doing here. I drafted this in the notes section of my iPhone. Use what you have.

  • One final thought – I encourage you to also think outside the box in terms of how you bring in leads especially with so many online tools available today. One of the lawyers at my firm asked us to try out a Google Ads campaign to help him bring in new clients. It’s been successful so far in terms of leading to several new client matters. It’s a great example of the new ways in which we can generate leads. More than 3.5 billion Google searches are conducted each day, and that makes Google Ads worthwhile. Google AdWords is Google’s online advertising program, which enables you to create online ads to reach audiences that are interested in the products and services you offer. The AdWords platform runs on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, so you have to pay every time a visitor clicks your ad. You bid on words that make sense for your efforts and you have the ability to set a budget and monitor the performance of the campaign.

While an ad word campaign won’t work for every practice, it’s food for thought when you’re beating your head up against the wall on how to generate new business. This can be a very helpful tool for small/mid-size firms. Sometimes a paid ad is your best bet for driving traffic to (and conversions from) your site, but keep in mind that the legal industry is one of the most competitive and heavily saturated markets out there, so you need to invest to truly compete.

 

Now that we are in the fall, you only have a few months to make a real impact in your BD and marketing efforts before the year is over. Use every tool that you have wisely, and while you’ll have to be more proactive about some of them, there are those that will work for you behind the scenes with little to no effort, including those I’ve mentioned above. I hope these tips have given you some fruit (ha) for thought.

 

LinkedIn enables you to quickly build and grow relationships, strengthen your brand, and stay top of mind with key individuals in your professional network regardless of where they live. The platform also gives you a treasure trove of valuable competitive intelligence, which can help you gain a serious advantage over your competitors.

Many of you have LinkedIn profiles but aren’t maximizing the platform because you’re busy, or you don’t know really how to use it or you just aren’t convinced that it’s worth your time. It is 100% worth your time, especially given that we have five generations in the workforce right now and clients are getting younger and are using social media more frequently.

To show you just how easy (and beneficial) it is to use, read my latest JD Supra article for quick and easy examples of actions you can take today to more meaningfully engage with your connections, strengthen your brand, position yourself as a subject matter expert and bring in leads.

I wanted to share a few thoughts for some little things you can do in your marketing efforts to go the extra mile and stand out from competitors.

When you’re at a conference, don’t just sit on your phone checking your email. Really detach from your day-to-day work and immerse yourself in the conference experience. Even better, write a key takeaways piece from what you learned and send it to clients. That’s how you can truly differentiate yourself from others.

Don’t forget to send lateral press releases and high-profile media mentions of your lawyers to the alumni publications of their alma maters. I’ve always built in alumni publications into my social/PR strategy and have had great success with it helping lawyers get back in touch with former classmates who have gone on to do great things (and become clients/referrals).

Be thoughtful with your clients, prospects and referral sources when it comes to the joyous and also on the flipside, tough times, they have in their personal lives. Send flowers, condolences, baby gifts, etc. Going the extra mile is just the right thing to do and will enable you to stand out from your competitors and be top of mind when they need a lawyer like you in the future.

Take a look at a Q&A with me and my 2019 LMA Northeast Regional Conference co-chair Bob Robertson by Jacob Eidinger about our plans for #LMANE19. what we are each most excited about with regard to the conference and why you should join us in the Big Apple on November 14/15!

Read the full story.

I was thrilled to recently be a guest on Jay Harrington’s terrific podcast “The Thought Leadership Project.” In my episode, we discuss content paralysis, which is the concept of when you spend too much time tinkering with a piece of thought leadership rather than just saying your good is good enough, and so you can miss the boat on having the maximum impact on it.

In the podcast, Jay and I had a wide-ranging conversation on thought leadership marketing topics, including:

  • How content marketing and thought leadership fuel legal business development
  • What “content paralysis” is and why it stops lawyers from creating content
  • Tips for overcoming content paralysis
  • The importance of using a client-centric tone and voice with your content
  • How to find time to create content
  • Tips to help you get started creating content

Also, you can read my story on the same topic, which Jay saw and then invited me to speak on his podcast series. Have a listen, and thanks again Jay for inviting me to be a part of this series!

I know all of you are really busy with work, and and you probably feel like there are never enough hours in the day to get what you need to get done actually done while balancing your spouse, kids, dog, goldfish, sick parent, fill in the blank.

You likely have a daily/weekly must do and a would like to do list. I have both of those and unfortunately my would like to do list sits there uncrossed for months and gathering dust because something just has to give.

There are days when I can just respond to the high volume of emails I get each day – but I really try not to do that unless it’s a crisis situation – that alert at the bottom of my screen telling me I have a new email drives me absolutely crazy so that’s been turned off for a long time. I need time to think without interruption, which can be a luxury to get in a fast-paced environment where I work.

If you’re anything like me, you just wish you had more time to read over or edit a piece of your work and make it perfect – but you just can’t – and by the way, it will never be perfect! Because time is of the essence, and like I’ve said before, oftentimes, your good is good enough.  Continue Reading Why and How to Make Time for What’s Really Important in Life

I was thinking a lot about networking today as I worked on a project for the lawyers at my firm who are participants in our pipeline business development program where we meet monthly and discuss lead generation and client retention, as well as branding strategies. It’s open to lawyers of all levels – from the most junior to the most senior – proving that you are never too young or old to start building your book of business.

I put together some thoughts for them and an exercise for them designed to help them build their professional network, and I thought I would also share it with you in case it was helpful in expanding your networks too.

Continue Reading Networking Best Practices Designed to Generate Business and Enhance Your Brand

LinkedIn continues to be the most important social media channel for business development. LinkedIn enables you to quickly build and grow relationships, strengthen your brand, and stay top of mind with key individuals in your professional network regardless of where they live.

The platform also gives you a treasure trove of valuable competitive intelligence, which can help you gain a serious advantage over your competitors.

To show you just how easy (and beneficial) LinkedIn is to use, take a look at my new JD Supra article on some quick and easy examples of actions you can take today to more meaningfully engage with your connections, strengthen your brand, position yourself as a subject matter expert, and bring in leads. For a quick sneak peek, I broke them down above in the graphic.

Last night I presented a program on how to encourage lawyers to use LinkedIn more effectively for the New York LMA MarTech SIG Group.

It was my first time back on the speaking circuit since going through a rough personal patch that sent my life into a tailspin. I had been dreading getting back up in front of an audience (which is very unlike the old me), but I’m glad I did it. It was great to be back doing what I love to do, and I thank everyone who joined me for the program, especially SIG co-chairs Dean Carey and Jennifer Lapper, who invited me to speak at the event.

We had a great conversation about what each of our firms (both large, small and in-between) are doing on social to bring in leads and engage with target audiences on LinkedIn. It seems that using hashtags and writing CSR and diversity content is working well for everyone. Also, make sure your lawyers are comfortable using the platform and really understand how to share content from your company page. Lots of lawyers think they do but they don’t really know the difference between sharing, commenting on or liking posts. Sometimes you just need to visit them and show them in person. You need to tap into their valuable personal networks to obtain maximum engagement and reach.

I’ll post a more in-depth synopsis of the program shortly. Until then read my latest JD Supra article on “Why You Should Say Yes to LinkedIn (and Six Easy Ways to Engage with Your Connections).

Kindness is something I have been writing about a lot lately, and we can do so much to give back to others who really need help in a time of need or crisis. For example: 

Maybe they need a hand with childcare, a shoulder to cry on or extra help at work. 

Also, people get laid off and let go every day, check in on someone in this position and offer to pass along their resume to someone you know who may be hiring. Help to keep their spirits up during this time.

When people are struggling they never forget those who went out of their way to help them. Likewise they never forget those who were not there for them. 

A simple check-in email/call/text is all it takes to make someone’s day and demonstrate that you are thinking of them, just say “How are you doing?” or “I’m thinking of you.” It’s so easy to show you care and there are many benefits of doing it. You will deepen your relationships and become known as someone who truly cares about those around them.

Be a better, kinder person who goes out of their way for others without expecting anything in return and you will feel better and watch your network flourish as an added bonus. Doing good just feels good.