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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Want Connections? You’ve Got to Get Where the People Are

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Where are the People at?
Where are the People at?

The days where you could simply shout “I’m a lawyer – give me attention” are gone (if they ever existed).

There was a time when the education, training and experience of lawyers was held in high esteem, but if you haven’t noticed they were some time ago.

Now, we are a profession in heavy competition for the attention of all clients.

As a young professional you are probably wondering – how am I supposed to get myself noticed in a world this noisy?

And that’s a good question, with a straightforward answer:

Go Where the People Are

Of course, simply going where people are is not necessarily the most effective use of our time. After all, people are everywhere – I could go to the shops, that doesn’t mean I’m in the right environment to break out the megaphone.

No – we need to consider what people we actually want to be in front of.  Most likely these are people who fall into either our practice area or industry. If you work solely in appellate work on large scale tax litigation, then it’s unlikely you are going to find many relevant people in the classifieds of the local newspaper. Likewise, if you work in the Building and Construction industry then focusing your efforts on cafes that make good high tea is probably not the best call.

So let’s make a slight correction:

Go Where the Right People Are

OK so now we’re cooking with gas.  But it doesn’t sound quite right – just going somewhere doesn’t seem to have the amount of impact that we’re looking for. I mean – as a rule I don’t just “go” to the beach – I might go for a bit of sun-baking, a game, an adventure with my kids or a swim in the ocean – but I don’t generally just “go” and then consider that I’ve done something meaningful.

All this begs the question – what should you be doing if you’re not just “going” to where the right people are?

There’s got to be some point to all this.  Perhaps it’s to get yourself “in” with the people?  But how do you do that? Communication is a big factor, but it’s hard to communicate when you don’t know the people or the rules. So I guess we need to start with a bit of understanding.

After all, you need to understand people if you’re going to communicate with them, right?

So let’s amend again:

Go Where the Right People Are and Learn about Them

There – now we’re actually starting to interact with people. We’re getting to know them, listening to their stories and ultimately finding out what their cares and their worries are.

But why?

Well, in the spirit of many current authors (Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi and Youtility by Jay Baer to name just two – and those are affiliate links to those books) what you really need to be doing is adding value to their lives.

If you’re just lurking around listening and understanding, then that’s not actually that helpful to people.  It’s like those people on forums who read every single post for 5 years but never comment.  They could be the world’s greatest expert and know every single forum discussion off by heart – but they’re not prepared to share, and as a result nobody sees them as valuable.

How can you do that? Well, it depends on the people. But information is pretty big these days.  If you can answer questions people have, offer them efficiency or productivity, connect them with people you know, or otherwise utilise what you have for their advantage – then you’re on the right path.

I guess another adjustment is called for:

Go Where the Right People Are, Learn about Them, and Add Value to Their Lives

Excellent – we’re nearly there.

Meeting the right people? Tick

Understanding them to communicate better? Tick

Adding value to their lives? Tick

But let’s head back to where we started – we wanted to get noticed in a world of noise. And that’s how we round out our little proposition. We need to remind ourselves of the point here, now that we have a methodology:

If You Want to Get Noticed, then you Need to Go Where the Right People Are, Learn About Them, and Add Value To Their Lives

There we have it (you can highlight that to share the quote, you know?)

You go now, and do the same.

Happy Lawyering!

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