In this article, I provide 16 easy ideas to incorporate into your social media, business development and branding efforts for professionals at all levels because it’s never too late or early to shake up your marketing efforts, and the new year is a great opportunity to start fresh and add new activities to our business development and marketing mix.

A word to the wise for young professionals – you should build your network before you think you’ll ever need it. Your peers will be tomorrow’s business leaders. And a word to the wise for seasoned lawyers who don’t think they need to spend the time on business development – today it’s not enough to just be a great lawyer.

You need to market yourself as well as churn out exceptional legal work. One day your steady stream of work could dry up or something unexpected could happen where you need to rebuild your practice.

Also, you never know who can turn out to be a client, referral or future employer. I always tell the lawyers with whom I work to never underestimate the importance of every person and connection. Be friendly and kind to everyone. Because you never know. Read the full article for the 16 tips

The full article was originally published by JD Supra and includes ideas such as how to be a smarter networker, how to make clients more satisfied, the importance of developing a smart and inexpensive visual content strategy, how to become a LinkedIn master, why you should create a target list and what to do with it once you have it and perhaps most importantly, how to set attainable business development goals for yourself for the year.

As I note, set new business development goals for yourself by reflecting and planning ahead: First, reflect on your marketing and business development activities in 2018 – what went well and what didn’t? What was worthwhile and what didn’t pan out from an ROI perspective?

Then think about what you want to accomplish in 2019. Be aspirational but realistic. Write down these goals along with the steps that you would need to take in order to accomplish them. Aim to add at least 10 objectives to the list. You can refine this list throughout the year but you should aim to hold yourself accountable for accomplishing these goals.

Then, create a target list. The cornerstone of your business development efforts should center on building strong relationships because it is human nature to want to do business with people we like and trust. So who are you going to reach out to this year? I recommend grouping leads by using the buckets that Karen Kahn talks about in her must-read book Daunting to DOable:

  • Individuals inside your firm (think cross-selling)
  • Past and present clients
  • Alumni (from former firms and educational institutions)
  • Personal connections
  • Industry contacts
  • Mentors/aspirational connections

Try doing at least one BD/marketing activity within one of these groups per day (online or in-person). In her book, Karen talks about building greater connections with individuals in your network by helping and providing value to others, you can easily incorporate this into your daily and weekly BD and social media efforts. Remember, you’ve got to be in it to win it – you won’t get business simply by just doing great legal work – you must also actively cultivate relationships.

Read the full article.