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.  
These are the just some of the dialogues happening 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  And you can take advantage of it to find new clients or learn more about your current clients.

Google Alerts, just one of the many social media monitoring tools that exist, can help you discover your ideal and current clients’ interests.  Using the keywords that your current and prospective clients may use to obtain answers to their problems and setting up an alert on a social media monitoring site will help you wade through the mass of information that exists on the internet.  Instead of researching the industry or the question each time you need some information, if you set up an alert fresh content comes directly to your email.

What clients want to know is that their attorney understands them. Yes, they want you to handle their case or their transaction, but what they really want is an advisor – particularly in the case of attorneys who work with businesses or corporations.  At the most recent Legal Marketing Association convention, a panel of General Counsel for three of the largest corporations explained that in order to win and keep their business “firms must take more initiative in learning their client’s business.”

Setting up your social media monitoring with keywords that affect your ideal client’s industry will help you gain the knowledge you need to be a great advisor.  In addition, you should have another alert which includes the names of the bigwigs of the company.  You may find out information about that person which can be helpful to build the relationship necessary to win their business or even keep their business – information which has nothing to do with the matter upon which you are working.

Social media monitoring just makes it easier to find the newest information without having to go to a search engine each time you want to search the same keywords or names.  Once you have set it up, most social media monitoring sites will only send you the most recent content about the keywords you are researching.

What you are seeking to achieve, by setting up these alerts, is knowledge.  Knowledge that can be used to reach out to those clients you would like to have.  For example, the CEO of the company you want to work with just received a humanitarian award.  If you set up an alert with this CEO’s name, you would know about that award.  Then, I would go to Linked In and find their profile, connect with them and in the personalized message you send to convince them to connect with you, I would congratulate the CEO on this award.  They will be touched and surprised that you know about it.

This knowledge can also be used to shore up your relationships with current clients.  If one of your client’s competitors has done something innovative, you can send a link to the article to your client and suggest that they consider taking that innovation one step further.  Or if the industry is undergoing changes, you can advise your clients on how those changes are going to affect them.

And, as Schoolhouse Rocky once said: “Knowledge is Power!”