Say “law firm webinar” and most people correctly assume you’re covering legal analysis of breaking news – a lawyer talking about a change in law or regulation and why it matters.
As valuable as that programming is for your thought leadership and visibility (and it is indeed valuable), it need not be your only approach. Also consider building webinars around your clients’ stories – their challenges and their successes. Why?
1. Clients appreciate publicity
When you showcase a client success during a webinar, you are educating a potentially untapped audience about the client and their business. Not only are you showing that you pay attention (and adopting a broader role as business advisor in the marketplace), you’re also creating excellent publicity for your client.
...the firm is seen as a strategic business partner, rather than just another provider of legal service.
Perhaps your firm has long represented a community hospital. Use your webinar to describe how the hospital has evolved, even re-invented itself, as the health care industry has changed. Describe the transactions and litigation you have been through together – from an acquisition of an orthopedic practice to Medicare reimbursement rate litigation – and how each has allowed the hospital to remain independent and open, providing local access to a rural population who might otherwise have to travel 30+ miles for care.
Obviously, anything you cover in such a webinar will need to reviewed and confirmed by the client – but the benefits of such an approach are worth the time. (And you can start collaborating with a client simply by asking: what do you want us to focus on in this webinar?)
Along with creating a useful conversation other businesses within a given marketplace will find instructive, the firm is also seen as a strategic business partner, rather than just another provider of legal service. You show your firm’s industry knowledge, and you deepen the relationship with the client.
The implicit message: clients like what they get from our firm and are loyal to us. We care.
2. It proves your competence without being boastful
Focusing on the client’s story can also establish why you, your practice group, or your firm is best for the job without succumbing to boasting. The audience will still be able to understand what you do and how they might benefit from working with you. And they will view you as a real and approachable human; all done while using your “air time” to focus attention on others.
3. Showing is always better than telling
Any firm can (and most do) say they are excellent at achieving results and providing superior client service. It is an overused and assumed message, and it is no longer especially compelling.
Alternatively, we hear all the time that narratives are powerful. This is true. People respond to stories. Contrast these two messages:
We assist our economic development clients in property acquisition, securing tax incentives, and establishing operations.
Our India-based client was establishing their first operations in the United States. Hindu culture necessitates certain requirements as to the location and position of the property and the time of day transactions are completed. Once the right location was chosen, the documents had to be processed between 11:05 and 11:30 am, or the closing would have to wait at least an additional month, incurring further costs for our client. Our team made sure the property was acquired at the minute our client preferred. Our respect for their cultural norms and dedication to those details allowed our client to have a positive start in coming to the U.S.
The first tells of a list of the services the law firm provides. The second demonstrates the firm’s ability to provide services required, as well as the way it customizes its approach to be a valued business partner.
The narrative format is what makes us human – and being human is what cuts through the noise.
Spend some time thinking through your most interesting client stories, even those beyond the scope of legal service. Why did they interest you? What challenges did your clients encounter that you helped them overcome? What could others learn from them? These are the stories waiting to be told - and there are potential clients ready to listen.
[Samanatha McKenna is Senior Director, Sales at leading webinar platform ON24. Connect with Sam on LinkedIn.]