Using your Best Assets in Networking

Networking for Lawyers
This guy knows what his best assets are

If you’ve got it – flaunt it.

Marketing for lawyers takes many forms.  Maybe you’re a fan of having coffee with clients.  Maybe for you, it’s more about developing relationships through being approachable and friendly.  Perhaps you’re more in the space of giving presentations?

Whatever your situation, and wherever your preference is, as a lawyer you have a significant asset to work from in any ongoing marketing or networking endeavour that you may care to have.

Regrettably, most lawyers don’t appreciate what they have.

What’s your Best Asset in Legal Marketing?

I’ve never seen this on a balance sheet.  I’ve never heard it discussed in a marketing meeting.  And I’ve never seen or heard a seminar to lawyers where this concept was discussed.

That leads me to a number of alternative conclusions:

  1. I’m a pioneer in the field of legal marketing
  2. I haven’t been to enough legal marketing meetings or seminars; or
  3. I’m completely wrong.

Whatever the situation, this is my article so I’m going with either 1 or (after people inevitably email me links to all the other people’s articles on this topic), 2.

Here’s the asset: permission.

Why is Permission an Asset?

Recently I wrote about what you’re really getting when someone hands you a business card.

But let’s think beyond just business cards for a moment.

What is it that you need in order to develop your network to the point of asking for a referral, for work, or to up the level of engagement in some way?

You need an opportunity to speak to, email or otherwise interact with the person.

Lawyers get that every day.

The email list, business card holder, contact book – these are assets of significant value to a law firm (if you want to find out how significant – try and take a firm’s email contact list with you if you leave your job, and see what happens next*).  These resources are what keep us able to contact our clients, our suppliers, our staff and everyone else needed to run our businesses as lawyers.

But it’s not the list itself that has the value, it’s what comes with the list – it’s the permission to get in touch with people.  To invite them to to things, to provide them with value, and to develop the relationships with those people that have voluntarily given you the requisite permission.

*don’t do this.

Time to Embrace Permission Marketing

Permission marketing is not a new concept.  However for whatever reason, it doesn’t have a lot of play amongst lawyers.

It’s time to change that.

Take a few minutes now – think about all the times that somebody has given you permission to provide value to them.  It might be paid.  It might be free.  But either way, lawyers as a service industry have an almost unparalleled ability to provide value to people who have asked for it.

Over the next few articles we’re going to explore just how valuable that can be, and what we can do to develop that permission to everyone’s benefit, rather than risk destroying it.

In the meantime look around your office – how many examples of permission can you see?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy Lawyering!

  • Good stuff Chris…

    Allied with permission is the need for an understanding that marketing doesn’t involve selling anybody anything, so lawyers young and old can have confidence that they can provide information that adds value to the business and private lives of their contacts without much risk of rejection, miniscule…

    Permission plus value provided without selling…very, very powerful “personal brand” building…

    I can vouch for its effectiveness from personal experience…

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