Daily, we interact with lots of people – this happens in person, at our offices, in the coffee shop, at our kids’ sporting events or art classes. It happens online, through our group chats, text messages with friends, Facebook shares, LinkedIn comments, etc. We interact so much and so frequently, that we’ve reached a real saturation point with these interactions, and even with our professional messages, we can see a lack of care that a lot of us are giving to the details over the tools and the shiny new thing. Instead, we’re just blindly producing more and more and more and more, adding more noise (as Adrian Lurssen would say). 

If you’re sure that YOU are producing things of value, and not just more noise, ask someone in your circle if they can remember the last thing you shared on LinkedIn, or the last article you wrote. If they can’t, chances are, you’re not producing anything memorable. You’re not creating connection in your relationships. 
Continue Reading Building Relationships: Connection Through Storytelling

Content marketing can feel like the opportunity to be the author or podcaster or speaker that you’ve always wanted to be.

But when done strategically, it’s about building relationships with clients and potential clients, and providing additional value to them that will make you top of mind when they have a matter that requires your expertise. When you bear that in mind as an end goal, it’s a reminder that you can’t simply put out content – you need to build an audience. 
Continue Reading Putting the Cart Before the Horse: Why Building an Audience is Key for Successful Content Marketing

Content marketing is a tool in your arsenal for building effective business relationships.

But like any tool, it’s not going to be useful to you if you don’t use it efficiently. In the past, you could get away with producing *something* and getting the attention of a client or potential client, because you were the only one writing or talking about it. But today, content is so ubiquitous, that if you’re not standing out, you risk being relegates to background noise. 
Continue Reading Better Business Relationships Start with Better Content Marketing

We know and are comfortable with the idea that the legal industry is a business of relationships. Lawyers do good work, their clients talk about it (hopefully) and that brings them other clients. That’s the basic principle behind the standard “word of mouth” reputation.

But with the introduction of technology, and in particular, social media, the way that we form first impressions of people and build the relationships that lead to referrals has changed. It’s not simply about doing good work anymore – it’s about whether your online reputation matches your offline reputation, and meeting people where they are. Let’s look at two pieces of this, referrals and first impressions.

Referrals

As someone who espouses social media, something that I hear fairly often is “But am I really going to get BUSINESS from using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc?”
Continue Reading Technology has Changed How We Build Relationships. Lawyers, are you Ready?

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

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

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 Lawyers: What Makes You Worth Talking About?

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of participating in the inaugural New York City event for She Breaks the Law, a network of women leaders founded by Priya Lele, Christie Guimond and Nicky Leijtens. The group brings together women in the legal industry who are “breaking the mould and challenging the norm in the world of law. Our members come from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines, from female founders of disruptive start-ups to general counsel to innovation leaders in traditional law firms. They all have one thing in common: they are leading the change in the way that legal services are delivered.” Over the past two months since the soft launch, the group has grown to over 1,000 members, and officially launched with their London event last week.

At the New York event, as in London, in addition to general networking, we had structured “networking circles” – ours focused on legal tech and how we use it, the power of networking in the legal industry, legal design, and personal branding. I had the opportunity to chair the personal branding sessions, and it led to some thoughtful and interesting conversations around the idea of what it really means to develop your personal brand.
Continue Reading What Does it Mean to Develop Your Personal Brand?

While I’m out of the office this week, I’m really pleased to be bringing you a special guest post from one of the ILN’s member professionals. Alice Steen, Knowledge Manager at Holmes O’Malley Sexton LLP, discusses best practices for developing a learning culture in your organization.

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Alice Steen, Knowledge Manager, at Holmes O’Malley Sexton LLP reflects on ten years of learning and development (L&D) – providing strategic planning, specialist training, funding and supports for the staff’s further education, career and professional development at the thriving full service law firm.

Alice is a qualified solicitor with post graduate qualifications in higher education, teaching and learning, together with being a Lean Black Belt.

Alice joined Holmes O’Malley Sexton LLP (Holmes Solicitors) in 2008 when it had just one office and 26 practising solicitors, 2 legal executives and 3 trainees. She has witnessed the firm’s solicitors, legal executives and trainee numbers grow by nearly 300% along with now having four offices in London, Dublin, Limerick and Cork. The nature and demands of her own role have changed dramatically as a result.
Continue Reading Developing a learning culture in your organisation

The curse of the marathon runner – we’re either running, or we’re talking about running. Apologies to everyone around me who isn’t a runner who’s had to suffer through my running and running-adjacent conversations over the last several months.

I’m 12 days away from my first marathon (in PARIS!) and I’m both excited and anxious about it. I joke that my life is either about work or running or trying to take care of my dogs – with little room for anything else. But it’s not an exaggeration.

So it’s no surprise that as I’m well into my taper (the period before the marathon where you reduce your mileage so that your legs will be fresh to run the 26.2 miles that the marathon demands), all I’m thinking about is running. What can that possibly have to do with business development? Quite a lot as it happens.
Continue Reading Two Ways Marathon Training Can Prepare you for Business Development