A long, long time ago, I promised a sixth, and final, installment of a series of posts covering the progress of our inaugural LOMAP marketing group. I bet you thought that I forgot. But I didn’t. I’m like Santa Claus in that way. Previously, I had posted five installments, covering the five phone-in conference calls that the marketing group (Rodney Dowell, myself, special guest star Alan Klevan and 12 disciples other) undertook together. (For the sake of perpetuity, or at least until the sun burns out, you can find those five archived posts here, here, here, here and here, that order being that of their appearing.) This is the sixth, and final, installment, of that series.
For the final meeting of the LOMAP Marketing Group, we tried something crazy: old-fashioned, in-person networking. We called each other up on our rotary dial phones, and got together for lunch. The Bat Place (Cave)(Channel): G’Vanni’s Ristorante in the North End, a swinging little jointed, that was secured for us by LOMAP Marketing Group veteran, Matt Trask, of Kelsey & Trask P.C. (Thanks, Matt!–And, don’t forget to check out Kelsey & Trask’s new bankruptcy website, and blog.) The Bat Time: October 1, 2009 at 12 pm. So, yeah, I’m a little late.
Anyway, I’m fresh out of new ideas for structure, so I think that my best bet is to play it safe, and to continue with the theme that I have always exhibited within these sorts of posts.
So, thinking back, What is it that I learned, and, really, What is it that we can all learn (in the form of marketing tips and tricks) from this meeting of the LOMAP Marketing Group?
Well, I can come up with five things before I can’t think of anymore. And, I like lists, so here we go:
(1) The Importance of In-Person Marketing. We preach quite a bit, here at LOMAP, on the virtues of the use of social media and non-traditional marketing options for attorneys. The advantages to these is fairly obvious to us. People aggregate online, and, increasingly, in social networks, online, meaning that online is where your potential clients and referral sources will find you, and where you will find them. Further, these online marketing tool options are free or cheap and easy to use. And, if you’re a regular reader of the blog, you’ve heard me say these things many times over. However, I still believe that the vast majority of attorneys, especially more experienced attorneys, and even those younger attorneys in large firms, are not exploiting social media to the extent that they can. Steve Seckler, in his initial post to this blog, wrote about the solo and small firm advantage of the use of alternative billing. A similar advantage exists in the use of non-traditional advertising. You just need to leverage it. That being said . . . that ain’t all. Just because you are utilizing new forms of advertising yourself and your practice doesn’t mean that you should leave those old, tried and true methods behind. You should use those, instead, in conjunction with, and in agreement with, the new tools in your belt. It’s one thing to send someone an email, it’s another to shake their hand. It’s another thing to Tweet a mention of someone, it’s yet another thing to talk to them, in person, and to reference friends and colleagues, and their ideas. It’s quite another thing altogether to add someone to a Twitter list . . . wait, scratch that, I haven’t done that yet. Anyway, the point is that people, attorneys included, despite their general social awkwardness, ultimately do get more out of a personal engagement, than a tenuous, online one. Despite the fact that we have created thousands of inventions to help us to keep apart, we still want to get together, and perhaps even more now than before, because of the added novelty of it all, found in the context of the present day. And, beyond meeting with other lawyers, for the purpose of increasing your expertise, finding mentors, for collegial talk and gaining referrals, remember that your potential clients will be more comfortable with you, and I believe sincerely, more likely to hire you, the more personable you are; the more human you can become, via the more you get out. So, remember to market yourself abroad, as well as at home. And, think of the last person you emailed. Now, think of the last person whose hand you shook. Who was more memorable to you? (If you just got a really memorable email, that won’t work; so, try again later. Just after you shake someone’s hand.)
(2) Social Media Leadin’s. In addition to allowing you to do more marketing from home, to save you more time, and a number of other attendant benefits, social media also allows you access to persons of note within and without your community, persons to whom you would never have had access to even five years ago. Want to talk to a law practice management consultant in California? Friend her on LinkedIn. Tweet a public message hello. Post to her Facebook fan page. But, the uses of these new technologies do not only mean that you can access those persons you cannot travel to, unless expensively so. This all also means that you can find and communicate with the luminaries in your local area, as well. Now you have more options. Parlay that online relationship into an offline one, and so solidify it. Offer to buy your grail carrier lunch, or a coffee, when you’re in the same general area. Take an instant connection and turn it into a more lasting one.
(3) Putting Down (for) Stakes. The folks in your community, the legal community, that you wish to talk to, unless we’re talking about direct colleagues, with similar experiences, have, let’s face it, something that you want: experience that you wish to access, contacts that you wish to be placed into closer touch with, ideas and suggestions that you have not yet stolen . . . When you’re leveraging these online, and building these offline (whether generating from an online contact or not), relationships, you must conceive of the respective positions of those you are contacting. Even if you are agnostic enough to want to talk to persons for the sheer interest of it, and wish to access nothing more than their wisdom for the direct pleasure of being exposed to it, keep in mind their positions and niches within the community. One of the things that stakeholders can provide you with is, not only their thoughtfulness passed on, but a closer connection to their own contacts, persons and institutions that you may not have easily accessed on your own. The term “lead” is instructive beyond the first instant, because leads lead to leads lead to leads . . . and on . . and on.
(4) And Theeeeen . . . People love free food. Failing free food, people love cheap food. We had cheap food. We got people out to lunch. See how simple networking is?
(5) On Inclusion. We began the LOMAP Marketing Group as a closed group. Mostly we were afraid of being overwhelmed by the administration of a large group. The smaller group worked well, and we have succeeded very well in becoming overwhelmed in other respects. Check. But, since we’re crazy, we’ve decided to open the marketing group to more participants. Why you ask? Well, we had some folks with mild interest that we had to close out of the group the first time around. And, we had some people outside of the initial group attend the wrap-up lunch, and that went quite well. So, we’ve scheduled some informal, one hour long, “check-in” style calls, over web conference, over the next six months. If you’re interested in jumping in on these calls, great. We’d be happy to have you. Just send me an email at email@example.com, and I’ll provide you with all the info you need. Keep in mind that these sessions will be participant-driven; so, if you do come, come with questions, for group discussion. Should these next six months’ sessions prove popular, we will likely offer further closed versions of marketing groups, which will proceed as more formal presentations, more along the lines of topic-driven participation groups. But, that is for another day, and pending some other days.
Will I write another series of blogs based on these new calls? Probably not. I have not the strength.
This is Friday, and the weekend cometh.
. . .
Since last week’s version of “Liner Notes” was so well received, I might as well empty some more of the vault. Here are some more of my favorite cover songs, uncategorized, and now, as well, uncovered, so to speak:
Some of my favorite covers, however, are not even available on YouTube. Yeah, I’m that eclectic. I am talking stuff like: the Traveling Wilburys’ cover of Del Shannon’s “Runaway”; The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s cover of Hank Williams’ “Honky Tonk Blues”; The Gourds’ cover of Snoop’s “Gin and Juice”; and, of course, the High Class Family Butchers’ cover of Boney M.’s “Rasputin” (off the “Saturday Night Hay Fever” album).
Last week, I thought I found the greatest cover songs websites out there. I was wrong. The Covers Project is the greatest covers songs website out there, “there” being the world wide web.
Having fully covered the covers genre. I think I will retire from the game, Brett Farve-style.
Anyone want to cover my covers columns?