Relationship Development

Michael Roch is a Zurich-based software entrepreneur and advisor to Managing Partners and CEOs, who has been consulting for over 20 years to law and professional services firms in the US, UK, Europe, Africa and Asia. He is the founder and managing partner of a global consulting boutique for the last ten years, and is

Unless you’re new here (and if you are, welcome!), you’ll know that I often say that networking happens everywhere. So what happens when your “everywhere” gets slimmed down during a pandemic, and even when you ARE out and about, your (hopefully) smiling, open and friendly face is hidden behind a mask?

We adapt!

I know how much lawyers love change, and how much change you’ve already embraced in 2020, but this is the year to throw out old systems, test new ideas and see what works and what you feel comfortable with. The GOOD news is that we’re not changing what has always been true about how you get new work – by doing good work in the first place, and then through word of mouth. For lawyers, we’re in a people business, and that’s not going to change no matter how much technology we add into the mix. What IS going to change is the how.
Continue Reading Networking Happens Everywhere – the Quarantine Edition

It’s true – running an organization that is built on in-person personal relationships has it’s challenges. But what doesn’t have its challenges in 2020, right?

A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post about how lawyers and law firms can leverage their referral networks to achieve more value, whether these networks are formal or informal (I happen to run a formal one). There’s no reason that this has to stop because in-person events have been put on pause; in fact, many of our members have said they’ve never felt their membership has been more valuable than it has been this year. In part, that’s due to the historical relationships that they’ve built over many years. But we’re welcoming new firms too. And it’s possible to forge new relationships and create new business – it simply takes a little creativity.
Continue Reading Leveraging Your Referral Network for More Value…During a Pandemic

It’ 2020. Many of us had grand plans for the way that our business development and relationship building was going to go this year. We were going to spend the year connecting, deepening our engagement, forging new contacts!

I won’t remind you what threw a wrench in that.

But engagement isn’t over.
Continue Reading Lawyers: Think Outside the Box to Connect with Your Network

We often hear that legal content is lacking in personality.

Lawyers have the talent and the intelligence to communicate their valuable legal expertise, but often, their passion for the subject doesn’t translate well for someone who’d prefer that they “give it to them straight” instead of filling an article, post, or video with legalese.

But what does that mean – “add personality” to your content? And how do you do it?

The Content Marketing Institute’s Sarah Rickerd authored a great post with 13 Easy Tips to Give Your Content More Personality, and two of them really stuck out for me. Before we touch on them, I know your first question is going to be “why bother?” The reason is simple, and Sarah addresses it early on – it’s about engagement.
Continue Reading Lawyers: Create Engagement with Your Content Through Your Personality…Yes, Really!

Last week, we talked about content as a means for building relationships, while some of our more traditional methods for relationship-building are on hold. “But HOW do I do that?” you may ask?

Lawyers and law firms often think of content marketing as a solo activity. While you may have a strategy that is firm or practice-wide, in general, you’re thinking of the producers of the content for that strategy as individuals.
Continue Reading Two Ways to Use Your Content to Build Relationships

It’s week ten of lockdown in my state, and while there are some places that are entering a phased reopening, some countries have extended their border lockdowns and many of the firms I have talked to are planning to continue remote working for a while because it has proven so effective. As a result, we all continue to have to find new ways to network, build relationships, and yes, even in some cases, develop business.

I think we can all agree that at the moment, the only thing we should all be doing is finding ways to relentlessly deliver value, and if business comes from that, then great. One of the ways we can do that is through content. We’ve already covered the two biggest problems with legal content as well as how to really deliver exceptional content, so today, I’d like us to think more about how you can make your content about building relationships. It can often seem like it’s a one-way conversation – you write or say something, push it out into the world, and that’s it; your content lives there and does its thing, and hopefully it brings in some business for you. But what if you used it more strategically than that, particularly in this moment when it’s harder to have in-person relationships?
Continue Reading In the Age of COVID-19, Make Your Content About Building Relationships

Our second quarter of the year begins tomorrow, and for many of us, we’re facing a new normal that didn’t seem possible three months ago. One of my lawyers emailed me last night and said “what a year this past week has been.” I don’t think truer words have ever been spoken.

Lawyers are all in different places at the moment – some firms are exceptionally busy, but may have clients who aren’t able to pay them at the moment. Others are making the difficult decision to lay off staff or cut salaries. Some are shuffling resources to accommodate the influx of questions to practice areas like employment and insolvency and bankruptcy. Everyone is unsure what the future brings.
Continue Reading Business Development in 2020? Let’s Take a Breath.

As travel restrictions increase, and law firms begin to close their offices and reduce their client meetings, it’s time to get creative about the ways in which we keep in touch. “Collaboration” sounds like the sort of thing that requires you to be in the same room to achieve, but in fact, you can use content collaboration as a way to build relationships with clients, potential clients, and others all while remaining in your office (home or otherwise).

I recently read a great piece on 9 Free Tools to Co-Create Content, which not only included some great resources, but also some excellent inspiration for ways we can be better content collaborators in pursuit of building better relationships.
Continue Reading Lawyers: Don’t Let Coronavirus Stop You from Collaborating – Here’s How

Coronavirus.

The hot topic on everyone’s mind at the moment (unless you’re in the US and then it’s pretty evenly split between politics and germs). I almost hate to join the fray and discuss it, but with so many events being cancelled, and travel restrictions being enacted, I wanted to add some suggestions for how to continue networking during this time, so that you don’t lose momentum on your relationship building efforts.

For some of us, travel and events still move forward. Travel guidance varies – it depends on your destination and the size of the gathering. Common sense and good hygiene are essential, and for our group, we’ll be instituting what we’re fondly referring to as “Operation Fist Bump” at our upcoming Annual Conference (which may be further downgraded to “Operation Wave Hello.”
Continue Reading Lawyers: Networking During the Coronavirus Outbreak