If a tree falls in the forest and no one's there to hear it, does it make a sound?
I'm sure that you've heard this philosophical conundrum before. The resolution hinges on the answer to the question of whether something can exist without being perceived. Woody Allen, Gary Larson and Bart Simpson have all proffered answers, which you can find on Wikipedia here.
The conundrum is raised not only in Western philosophy, but in Hindu and Buddhist texts, in the latter as "Hui-neng's Flag" (if a flag blows in the wind, is it the flag or the wind that moves?).
All very interesting for a trivia night, but how does this relate to lawyers?
It's about making noise, at the right time, and in the right place. It’s about getting noticed. It’s also about using the scarce time that you have to market your business by deploying your resources effectively.
At Crowd & Co, we’ve been tracking some of the most effective marketeers from within our lawyer membership. Without naming names, this is what we’ve noticed from those making some of the loudest noise in the forest, without felling a mountain ash.
1. Share and share alike.
One of the unwritten rules of social media endorsements, likes and thumbs up is a vast network of reciprocity. Try endorsing your contacts before asking for endorsements yourself. Share and re-tweet. Your network will follow suit.
2. Do you have to invest in a smart website?
Much has been trumpeted about web presence. But if you’ve got a good social media strategy and have worked on raising your personal profile, do you need a website? Many of our members are eschewing static websites for active social media campaigns.
3. Demonstrate how you help your clients.
Reeling off your credentials is great, but the best legal marketers say what they can do and ask for the work they want right now. “I can help clients with X” is better than “I have advised on Y”.
4. Think value.
“I lowered the transaction cost for my client by approximately 30%” sounds a lot better to prospective clients than a complex list of the types of transactions you have negotiated. And if you want to market your work for a particular client, use them as a referee or to vouch for your work, they’ll be much happier endorsing you if you articulate that value back to them. So it’s win, win.
5. The virtue of the unexpected.
There’s a lot to be said about being part of the conversation. But part of providing value is about thinking a little outside of the box, and giving your clients something a little extra that they didn’t ask for. As one law firm leader with whom I have worked once said, “Don’t just please clients, surprise and delight them”.
The original conundrum is attributed to George Berkeley, the 18th century Irish philosopher, after whom the University of California's Berkeley campus is named. He is featured in the photo on this blog. You can read more about George Berkeley here. He's an interesting guy.
And make some noise...