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? 

One: It makes you a good content citizen

We all already know not to plagiarize words, but ideas are a little bit more difficult, especially because there are essentially no new ones these days. None of us (and I wholeheartedly include myself in that) are writing anything that someone hasn’t come up with somewhere else before. So if you’re inspired by someone’s writing, or a presentation you heard, or a client question you get a lot, give them the nod in your text. It’s the right thing to do, ethically, and it also has the effect of making you look good to your audience.

Two: It’s a value-add to your audience

Our thoughts and words aren’t the only way that we can add value when we share content with our audiences – we also have the opportunity to introduce them to other smart people. So if you’re writing something this week because someone inspired you, why not link to that person’s original work or share their LinkedIn profile? Yes, you’re boosting their reputation as well, but frankly, there’s enough business to go around, and statistics show that the more collaborative we are, the more work there is for all of us.

Three: It’s a strategic move

You can actually use this tactic strategically in your business/relationship development efforts. Let’s say that there’s a potential client or an influencer that you’d like to connect with, and that person produces content. If you are doing your due diligence, you’re already following along, and you can use their content as inspiration for your own. Link back to the article or blog post that you’re expanding on, and then when you share it, make sure to tag them on your social networks. Even better, reach out to connect with them on LinkedIn, and send a note that tells them why you liked their piece, and that you’ve written additional commentary on it. It’s a way to open a door that’s flattering and unique, and gives them a reason to share your work with their own audience, as well as putting you on their radar.

As you’re gearing up to write your next article or blog post, consider where you get your inspiration from, and how you can best recognize that person – and then how you might leverage that for better business and relationship development. But at the very least, always reference where you get your ideas – it’s good karma!

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Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles recruitment, member retention, and a high level of service to members. She is engaged in the legal industry to stay on top of trends, both in law firms and law firm networks.

In her role as Executive Director, she develops and facilitates relationships among ILN member firm lawyers at 90+ law firms in 67 countries, and seeks opportunities for member firms to build business and relationships, while ensuring member participation in Network events and initiatives. These initiatives include facilitating referrals, the management and execution of the marketing and business development strategy for the Network, which encompasses all communications, push-down efforts, and marketing partnerships, providing support and guidance to the chairs and group leaders for the ILN’s thirteen practice and industry specialty groups, the ILN’s women’s initiative, the ILN’s mentorship program, the management and execution of all ILN conferences, and more.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

During her previous tenure as Director of Global Relationship Management, the ILN has been shortlisted as a Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer for 2016 and 2017, and included as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network since 2011. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry, and was recently included in Clio’s list for “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was recently chosen for as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February of 2009.