Wednesday, August 5, 2009

ILN Business Development Webinar Series: Review of How to Increase Results from Speaking, Writing and Networking

In coordination with Jim Hassett of LegalBizDev, the ILN put together a series of five educational webinars available to member firms on a monthly basis. Jim is the founder of LegalBizDev, which helps lawyers to develop new business by applying best practices from other law firms and professions through coaching, webinars and workshops, retreats and much more. Jim comes highly recommended by the Legal Marketing Association, who regularly relies on his expertise for their conferences and webinars. More information about working with Jim and his colleagues can be found on their website.

The fourth webinar, How to Increase Results from Speaking, Writing, and Networking, took place on April 29, 2009. Jim described the session: "For some lawyers, speaking, writing and networking are very successful marketing techniques. Other lawyers give speeches, write articles, and/or go to networking meetings, but never seem to get enough business from them. This presentation will review how the most successful rainmakers use audience targeting, follow-up, and other tactics to increase results."

Some of the highlights from the session included:

* Jim started off by letting the audience know that these tactics are not for everyone. He said that the best sales people understand their strengths, and find the right fit, so he encouraged the audience to focus their limited marketing time on their strengths.

* Speaking: In terms of speaking, Jim emphasized the importance of choosing a specialized topic that has business potential. Once a topic has been chosen, it is essential to find the right audience. Jim discussed the process for doing this, as well as how to gain a speaking invitation. In terms of writing speeches, he encouraged the audience to follow emerging business trends and to keep folders with articles, quotes, and data to draw from. If speakers and writers do this consistently, they will always have source material to draw from. He added that these source materials can also be used as excuses to build relationships with contacts. Jim also went into detail on tips for the actual speech, as well as how to effectively follow up. He said that although speeches won't directly generate business, they can help to build relationships.

* Writing: Similar to speaking, Jim said it was important to find the right publications to target. He gave tips on how to do this, as well as how draft a query letter. He went into a list of the types of articles that are more attractive for publications, and therefore, more likely to be accepted. In addition to writing for publications, publishing a white paper on their firm's website or association websites is another way to attract attention through writing. Jim also listed blogs as another means of publication, but cautioned that he thinks these are overdone by lawyers. He also discussed how it is possible to network while writing, saying that authors can call people to interview and follow up with them with a draft, as well as using published articles to keep in touch with clients and prospects.

* Networking: Jim started by giving the audience Bob Burg's (of "Endless Referrals") Golden Rule of Networking, which is that "Clients do business with people they know, like and trust." He said that if you help others succeed, they will help you. Networking takes patience and perseverance, and case be a time waster if it's done with the wrong people. Jim then discussed how the audience could consider their personal network, and gave some advice for how to make the most of a networking meeting. He also spoke a little about having an "elevator speech," including its definition, the goals, how to develop one, and testing it.

* Jim ended with a few comments about social networking, listing some of the many options available. He felt that there are some powerful tools out there, but there is a need for caution.

The webinar recording and materials for this fourth session are available to ILN member firms at a low cost- please contact me for more information.

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