Which Business Development Activity Is Best For You? Consider Your Personality...


The good news is that there is at least one type of marketing activity out there that will fit your distinct approach to things...

Whether you’re an attorney or a legal marketing professional, one common struggle is just trying to determine which marketing activity is best for your time and resources. One approach: consider your personality (or, if you’re a legal marketer: consider the personalities of the attorneys with whom you work).

The good news is that there is at least one type of marketing activity out there that will fit your distinct approach to things, so don’t feel discouraged if a particular undertaking doesn’t work out. Attorneys: start to understand what interests you and go for it. Legal marketers: tailor your marketing tools and coaching to individual attorneys.

Which of these appeal to you?

For the socializer:

Attend a networking event in an organization to which you are connected, whether it be your alumni association, industry group, or local bar association. Make sure to add anyone you meet to a spreadsheet of contacts to follow up with (or for those advanced firms, add them to your CRM and track any touches with the contact using the database). And, of course, connect with your new contacts on LinkedIn!

For the writer:

If the thought of big circles or small talk is not appealing to you, then maybe writing a thoughtful and practical short piece is the better route. Note, I said “short piece.” Out are the days where you write long, citation-filled essays; in are the days of “blog posts”, “quotes”, and “short paragraphs.” If you have the urgent need to write a very long piece, here’s a solution: break it up into a series of posts. Stuck on choosing a topic? Pay attention to your clients’ problems/issues, or pick an emerging industry trend – the goal is to show your expertise.

For the millennial:

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ should already be your best friends. Make sure you are constantly sharing your firm’s resources and industry news on these platforms. Be consistent, re-tweet, re-share, engage and establish relationships through social media. The necessary part: moving the online relationship into the real world. Who said dating was easy?

For the traveler:

Plan an out-of town trip to visit multiple clients in a common city at least once a month. Set up a lunch or dinner, or attend an event at which you have mutual ties – any activity that provides you face time with a potential client in their home territory. Bonus tip: schedule an in-house presentation or ask for a tour of their facility in an effort to understand your client and their business needs.

For the entertainer:

Love sporting events? Take advantage of a client entertainment opportunity and set up a situation where casual talk is unavoidable. The extra step: be strategic with the current client you want to wine and dine. Maybe this client only uses your firm for a certain service and it’s time to cross-sell. Maybe they have a recent problem with their company that you have the perfect solution for. Play hard, work harder.

For the niche expert:

Do you have an expertise in a specific sub-industry or obscure government regulation? Well here’s the chance to market the life out of that topic. Write an article or a blog post so you have key points in written form. Secure a speaking engagement at a conference that would be interested in this topic. Host a firm-sponsored webinar (don’t forget CLE if your target market is in-house counsel!) and select a client as a co-panelist to present it with you. Shower social media with all of the above. Email specific clients (current and prospective) with links to all of these resources. In the legal world, you just started a roadshow.


[Sheenika Shah is the Business Development Website Coordinator for Knobbe Martens. She combines her love of law, technology, and marketing by focusing on digital and social media initiatives for the firm. As an attorney herself, she enjoys coaching other attorneys on their digital presence and business development efforts. Connect with Sheenika on LinkedIn.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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