Don’t take a break from marketing yourself or your organization during the summer – in fact ramp it up!
As we start to re-emerge from quarantining, the summer is a great time to focus on your business development and branding efforts especially since many of your competitors may not be – use that to your advantage.
We are also in the hottest job market since the dot com boom – this is THE time to focus on your own personal branding – especially your social media persona.
- Make it a weekly practice to connect with VIP contacts – mentors, former professors, former colleagues – anyone who you think can be a valuable connection or a referral source. Remember that everyone you know could be a potential source of business or a new position someday. Continue to invest in and cultivate those relationships.
- Volunteer on a bar association committee, for a social cause or a pro bono project – this is a great way to meet others.
- Consider teaching CLE seminars or a course. Adjunct professor work is a great way to connect with people who can be future referrals or colleagues.
- Become involved with your alumni associations – make sure you join the online alumni groups of your former educational institutions and employers – they often have robust online presences.
- Find ways to help your contacts. Always give without expecting anything in return. This is key for building strong relationships.
- Every day, like and/or share others’ social media posts. Strategically congratulate the successes of others using the notifications section (birthdays, job anniversaries and new jobs).
- Write content that you can then also share on social media. This will help you build your personal brand and stay top of mind with your network.
- Make a connections plan for LinkedIn and strategically increase your network. Ensure the contact information in your address book is updated so that the great content you are creating is actually reaching your intended audience. Make sure to reconcile your LinkedIn address book with your email address book. You can export your LinkedIn contacts into Excel, but depending on the user’s privacy settings, their email address may or may not make its way into the spreadsheet and you still need to abide by CAN-SPAM and GDPR rules.
- Write a client alert, a blog post, an article or all of these! If writing isn’t your thing, buddy up with a colleague and co-author a piece together. Remember, content no longer needs to be long to be good. Most individuals skim articles.
- Learn how to use hashtags if you don’t already know how to – and if you don’t know what a hashtag is, well, then we really do need to talk.
- Update your bio. Make sure that your bio accurately reflect what you do and for whom – use keywords throughout to help your search engine results. While you’re at it, use this bio as a basis for updating your LinkedIn About section (formerly known as the Summary section) but write your LinkedIn bio in a casual tone.
- Ensure that all practice area and industry descriptions reflect current market conditions and what you can do for clients. Again, this will help with SEO. If you don’t say you do it, someone searching for you may not think you do.
- Look at the analytics of past blog posts and client alerts to see which ones did well and which did not. Use this information to inform your future content strategy. Perhaps write a part 2 or update a piece that did well.
- Google yourself regularly and set up Google Alerts for yourself and your top clients/prospects. I call this the reputation management part of your brand – it amazes me how many people don’t have Google Alerts set up for themselves or Google themselves. Think about it this way – your clients and potential clients are Googling you – don’t you want to know what they see when they search for you and even more importantly, don’t you want to take control of the results? Information is power when it comes to your clients/prospects and gives you reasons to reach out to them.
- Start thinking about fall and winter conferences – make a list of the conferences you’d like to attend or even better, speak at. Craft strong proposals for them and get to know the conference organizers. Send emails to get to know the faculty and organizers. Invest in building relationships during downtime.
Make the time for business development and marketing – consider this an investment in yourself. There is no time like the present to develop these skills, and it’s never too late or too early to market yourself and your unique skill set.
Remember, that marketing is not selling yourself or creating an elevator pitch – it’s about being helpful, showcasing your expertise, being client-focused and being someone with whom your clients want to work.