Whether you are a sole professional, marketing director or managing partner, find a way to require yourself or your law firm to meet these three basic requirements to get more from your professional network in 2012.
1. Create More Content
Write more articles that address your clients’ and potential clients’ most relevant concerns. Having excellent content on your website is the first step in a successful informational marketing strategy. Once you have excellent content (“information of value“), THEN you can worry about things like SEO, social sharing tools, e-newsletters and the like. In fact, content is so important that you should consider mandating your firm’s attorneys and professionals to meet a minimum requirement in 2012 to create content related to their specific business development goals and area(s) of expertise. New content does not always have to be an article — think also about creating video, audio, presentations, lists and more.
2. Share More Socially
Once you’ve written great content, don’t be shy about sharing your content via social media such as your Linkedin profile, your Facebook page, and any other sharing platforms you may use. (Yes, even if you use Facebook just for friends and family, letting your Facebook friends know what you’re working on professionally can also be a great way to tap in to the power of your personal network.) And don’t be afraid to share good resources created by others in your firm or referral network. Set a goal this year to try and share one item of interest to your network once a week — whether it is sharing a link to an article you wrote, or a comment and link to an article written by someone else. The key is to be an active participant in sharing information, and better yet, conversations around the topics that matter most to your clients and industry niches. Stay active. Keep listening. Engage. Be visible.
3. Connect More in Person
In your busy life, it is easy for relationships to shift from real to electronic as we use e-mail and social networking to substitute for phone calls and in-person meetings. In 2012, commit to meet face-to-face with your most important clients and referral sources in order to keep in touch with their needs and interests and to demonstrate how much you value the relationship. Use the phone more. And extend a personal contact to include a lunch or dinner, coffee or cocktail. Having completed steps 1 and 2 above can help provide “an excuse” to reach out to your contact — not that you needed one, of course! Not only is the in-person meeting good for the relationship… it makes work more fun!
Wishing you a great 2012!