How to leverage your social media efforts to secure more clients

In today’s modern world of the provision of legal services, it is imperative that lawyers, law firms and law firm practice groups establish and maintain as strong a social media presence as possible.  The ability for solo practitioners to senior level partners in AM 100 law firms to project their message and professional identity via social media globally – is tremendous.

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Lawyers should pay close attention to social media trends - how it’s changing – and how you can best establish, expand and improve your social media presence

From highly effective LinkedIn profiles to Google+, Twitter, Facebook and regular blog posts in your area of legal expertise and much more - social media for lawyers is increasing in importance daily in the future of how legal services are sought and secured by clients.  It is imperative, therefore, that every lawyer secure his or her place in this new environment.

Importantly, social media provides lawyers from around the world who possess the drive and determination to commit themselves to establishing, maintaining and improving their social media posture – the ability to compete effectively for new business and build law practices they may not have thought  previously possible.

Lawyers must also be acutely aware of the necessity to establish and maintain a dedicated sales effort to leverage your social media and marketing efforts.

For example – as a result of dedicated social media and marketing efforts, it is highly likely your practice will reap the benefits of increased referrals and new inquiries from new potential clients – because you made the effort and became an identifiable subject matter expert in your particular practice area.  In order to amplify your ability to secure more clients from this presence – you also must proactively sell your services in an organized fashion – by identifying all your saleable services from within your practice, identifying as many potential clients as you can who may benefit from these services, actively contact these new prospective clients with an aim to discussing how you may help them – and following up diligently with each — from initial contact to discussions about how you can help — and ideally — to discussions about scope of representation and remuneration and the beginning of a new attorney-client relationship.

Effective business development allows small firms to compete globally 

Should a solo practitioner commit themselves to actively selling their services as I describe above and write about in detail here – he or she will, over time, build their practice and perhaps need to hire more attorneys in order to service the needs of a growing client base.  If you happen to be the managing partner of a mid-sized law firm operating in one city or one region – you have the ability to compete with AM Law 100 sized law firms for clients globally.  The global marketplace is becoming increasingly international – and new potential clients exist not just locally – but globally.  Should a mid-sized law firm commit to a dedicated sales effort – you may grow far beyond your current size and profit margins.

Lawyers in large firms: Etablish personal business development plans

Should you be a partner in any large law firm anywhere in the world – it is in your best interest as well as the interest of your law firm – for you to conduct a personal business development effort aimed at securing new clients.  This will amplify your ability to achieve a higher levels of income, as well as increase your ability to remain an independent source of new revenue for any firm – thereby increasing your professional security in an age of uncertainty about how the provision of legal services will be  structured in the future.

A social media and marketing presence will provide you with a tremendous boost in your efforts to be noticed, acknowledged as an expert in your area of practice – and referred new business by new colleagues and new inquiries from new potential clients exposed to you and your practice via social media.  Not to mention it’s an enjoyable exercise to be in contact and interacting with peers within your profession from throughout the world.

But just as important as any social media effort, you must commit yourself to proactively selling your services to new prospective clients.  Do not remain motionless when it comes to proactively (and in an organized fashion) selling your services. 

With this in mind, and with a commitment to hard work to actively engage in social media and selling your services – I believe you’ll find long term professional success beyond that which you may not have thought possible.

John Grimley helps law firms, law firm practice groups, individual lawyers, financial services and governmental relations professionals develop and implement custom business development initiatives. To enquire about his services, contact him at +1.213.814.2855 or at jg@jgrimley.com.

How to identify numerous saleable services from within your law practice

Lawyers can significantly increase the number of potential clients they might be retained by, if they are able to effectively identify numerous saleable services from within their legal practice.

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Identifying saleable services from within often complex legal specialities is a vital component of an effective legal business development process.

The process of identifying saleable services

Let’s first assume I am interviewing a client attorney, for the purpose of identifying a saleable service.  I would generally approach the matter by asking what that attorney is working on at present or has worked on recently – maintaining strict attorney client privilege by only discussing non-privileged, generic information.

From that discussion, I would usually be able to identify one or more matters where that attorney has been able to provide a highly specific service or series of services to a client which can then be sold to new potential clients who will realize a significant benefit from that unique and timely assistance.

There are a myriad of examples of where an attorney is providing assistance that is highly unusual and valuable to a client (and often simply not recognized by attorneys as something to sell to a new potential client) - where that assistance can then, subject to conflicts checks – be used to identify other similarly situated potential clients who may also benefit from that assistance.

Once that universe of potential clients is identified, a process of contacting them with an aim to discussing how they may also benefit from similar assistance – provides an attorney with a new pool of potential clients – all from an often highly specific provision of assistance to a previous client.

I have found that — given an opportunity to speak with an attorney about his or her current or recent activities – I have been able to help that lawyer identify saleable services he or she has not otherwise been aware of.

Why would he or she not be aware of them?  More often than not – lawyers rightfully focus their attention on the instant needs of their clients – and are not considering the commercial value of those services to future new similarly situated clients.

I’ve also found that in a single discussion lasting no more than an hour – I have been able to help lawyers identify a number of saleable services they were not previously aware of – then work to identify a universe of new potential clients they would not have contacted otherwise - then assist those lawyers by conducting a program of contacting that new pool of potential clients – articulating the highly unusual and highly valuable assistance that my lawyer client may be able to provide to a new prospective client.

Next step is to secure meetings with prospective clients

This exercise often results in enough interest to generate a new meeting or series of meetings with new potential clients.  And from there – the attorney has an opportunity to speak directly with a new group of potential clients he or she would not have known about previously – with an aim to representing those clients.

Essentially, this process is the fundamental building block of any legal business development initiative:  Translating a complex practice into saleable services.  From that beginning, all other legal business development initiatives follow.

Build your client base

Should attorneys use the method which I have generally outlined above – they will identify numerous new saleable services which they can then in turn offer to a larger and larger pool of new potential clients.

This why it is imperative that attorneys actively work to identify new saleable services within their practices and then contact new potential clients on a daily basis – with an aim to meeting with those new potential clients to discuss representation and remuneration.  Should you as an attorney make the commitment to embark upon a business development initiative that includes the active identification of saleable services – you will build a lucrative practice beyond what you may have ever imagined.

John Grimley helps law firms, law firm practice groups, individual lawyers, financial services and governmental relations professionals develop and implement custom business development initiatives. To enquire about his services, contact him at +1.213.814.2855 or at jg@jgrimley.com.