Posted in Future of the Law Firm, Law Firm Client Service, Law Firms, Leadership

The Case for Collaboration in Law Firm Networks: the Value Proposition for your Clients

In our discussions over the last few years about the future of the law firm, the one thing that has become abundantly clear is that for lawyers and firms to be successful, they will have to learn to collaborate effectively and efficiently. In her book, Heidi Gardner calls this “Smart Collaboration.” I had the chance to see Gardner present at the CLOC conference in February, and recently finished her book, and I can’t recommend it enough – for anyone in professional services looking to be successful over the next ten years, this is a must-read.

Gardner looks at collaboration from a few distinct viewpoints, and makes the case for it in a variety of ways. The one that strikes me initially is her final chapter, in which she discusses collaboration from the point of view of the client. Clients are deeply committed to the idea of collaboration, but obviously, they want to make sure that they’re paying for good value. Not surprisingly, collaboration is good for both the firm and the client. I’m not going to go into the reasons why your firm should be investing in the idea of smart collaboration (think better success in the war for talent/clients; doing higher value work more efficiently and effectively; being a differentiator, etc.) but instead, I want to look at the reasons why collaboration adds value for your clients, and specifically, how members of a law firm network can use their membership to effectively communicate this value and enhance their collaborative skills.  Continue Reading

Posted in Law Firms, Legal Marketing, Rainmaking Recommendations

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Don’t Slack Because It Is Summer

In today’s Rainmaking Recommendations post, expert and coach, Jaimie Field is discussing a pet peeve of mine, slacking on your business development in the summer. Read on to find out why you may want to double down instead.

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Want to be a Rainmaker? Then it doesn’t matter what time of year it is.

Many people, lawyers included, tend to go on Rainmaking hiatus when summer rolls around. For some, the kids are out of school, vacations are being taken, and there are half-days on Fridays.  But now is not the time to slack off.  Continue Reading

Posted in Law Firms, Legal, Relationship Development

Two Ways to Use LinkedIn to Attract Your Ideal Client

Of all the social media platforms out there, I’d venture to say that LinkedIn is the one that lawyers are most comfortable using. It has a reputation for being the most professional, and as a result, it’s had the widest adoption within the industry. In recent years, LinkedIn has really expanded their offerings, and provided a robust, deep platform that allows us to engage in new ways, all which make it an even more valuable platform than it was at the beginning.

Like any social platform (or any tool, really), LinkedIn is what you make of it – you can treat it as a place to broadcast from, and as long as you have something valuable to say, you may find that many people are listening to you. But if you want to use it as a business development tool, then you need to get serious about the steps that you take to leverage its features. I read a great article recently on Inc. which talked about three ways to use LinkedIn to attract your ideal customer. Since “sales” is a dirty word for lawyers, we’re instead going to talk about using LinkedIn for business/relationship development (which, by the way, is really the same thing, but said in a more palatable way). Continue Reading

Posted in Firm of the Month

ILN Firm of the Month – Shutts & Bowen, Florida!

The ILN is proud to announce our latest firm of the month, Shutts & Bowen, Florida!
Shutts & Bowen is a full service international law firm, with approximately 300 attorneys, in eight offices located throughout Florida – Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Tampa, and West Palm Beach.

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Posted in Legal, Legal Marketing, Relationship Development

Three Reasons Attribution in Your Content is the Right Thing to Do

Depending on your business/relationship development goals and strengths, one of your strategies may be to write and share content. When you’re considering augmenting your reputation and building your practice, it might seem counterintuitive to share the spotlight with someone else by quoting or referencing them in your articles and posts, but I’m here to tell you that it’s both essential, and a good business development practice. How so?  Continue Reading

Posted in Rainmaking Recommendations

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Getting to Know You: Using Google Alerts to Find/Know Your Clients

In today’s guest post, rainmaking expert and coach, Jaimie Field, talks about using Google alerts to learn more about your clients and prospects.

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The last Rainmaking Recommendation discussed the benefits of using social media monitoring to grow your book of business.  In this recommendation, I will be showing you how to find and learn more about your current and prospective clients.

There are people out there who are having conversations every single day on the internet.  In some instances, they are asking questions about issues with which you, as a lawyer, can help them.  In other instances, they are discussing your competition.  And in still other cases they are discussing themselves or their businesses.   Continue Reading

Posted in Law Firms, Legal

USING SALES DATA TO IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

While I’m out of the office this week for our Annual Conference, I’m bringing you a guest post from Vince Robisch, of Minimalex – Vince coaches attorneys on improving their business development process to bring in more corporate clients. He practiced at an AmLaw 200 firm for eight years, and has sold millions of dollars of products and services to corporate legal departments and law firms, an experience that helps him to understand his clients and their clients. He currently coaches attorneys from specialized boutiques to some of the largest firms in the United States. You can learn more at his website. Vince is using the dreaded “s” word today – sales – to talk about an important topic, that of business development. It turns out that data helps your business. Who knew?

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Let’s be clear that lawyers don’t need to turn into professional salespeople to be good at business development.  In fact, sales and business development often get used interchangeably when in reality, sales is focused on revenue generation, while business development tries to identify a product/market fit.

For our purposes, business development is the action of growing existing clients and bringing in new clients.  Lawyers are in a much better position than the average salesperson to control the entire process and can leave behind all of the advice of slick, high-volume sales pros.  That’s not your business and it won’t help. Continue Reading

Posted in Law Firms, Legal, Relationship Development

Nice Recovery! Fixing Your Worst Networking Mistakes

Networking is not an easy task, which is one of the reasons that we discuss it so frequently here on Zen.

Since I’m spending this week with my lawyers in Milan, facilitating their networking efforts at our Annual Conference, I have networking on the brain, and wanted to share with you a couple of the worst networking mistakes you can make, and how to recover from them.  Continue Reading

Posted in Law Firm Client Service, Law Firms, Leadership, Legal, Legal Marketing, Relationship Development

Lawyers: What Makes You Worth Talking About?

Lawyers know better than most people that words matter – after all, who knows better than a contract lawyer that a nuanced clause can make or break a deal?

But who knows better than your marketing team that “marketing” is a four-letter word?

It shouldn’t be – and I’ll explain why in a moment.

But how many of you (raise your hands) think of marketing as something that some group in your office does once in a while?

How many of you think of marketing as brochures and advertisements?

How many of you think marketers are just people who ask you for money and then put pretty logos together or make sure you have enough business cards?

Okay, put your  hands down. I’ve got news for you – marketing is everything you do. Continue Reading

Posted in Lawyer Interviews

ILN-terviews: Arthur Li, Lee and Li

Welcome to ILN-terviews, a series of profiles of ILN member firm attorneys, designed to give a unique insight into the lawyers who make up our Network. For our latest interview, we chose ILN member, Arthur Li of our member firm Lee and Li in Taiwan, China.

In one sentence, how would you describe your practice?
I am a general practitioner, especially focused in IP-related matters.

Who would be your typical client?
Those who seek assistance to enter the Taiwanese market.  Continue Reading

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