I spend a great deal of time helping my clients find ways to showcase their expertise and to raise their profile within their communities. My clients love the charge that comes from sharing useful information through writing or speaking and building a reputation as a highly-skilled practitioner in the field. Even better, they learn how to create business rewards so that their clientele grows.
But sometimes, it isn’t that easy. Clients come to me never having written an article, never having presented anywhere. Especially when a new client has been trying to have an article published or to find a forum to speak but he’s been thwarted in that goal, discouragement hangs like a dense, dark fog. Being invisible hurts.
Invisible lawyers don’t get as many clients. (And in our economy, in which the number of legal jobs continues to shrink and client demands continue to rise, that’s an ugly reality.) They don’t advance in their firms or their communities. It becomes all too easy to question why things are so difficult.
I talked with a potential client recently who was feeling the pain of being a “best kept secret” in his community. I offered some suggestions and projections of the likely result. He could see the opportunity to shift his experience right away, and I could feel the fog lift. After we talked, I turned to send an email to another client, and I saw this message in my Google Chat account:
You are invisible. Go visible.
I chuckled: that summarizes exactly what I’d said to my new client. Google offers a handy link to “go visible”, but the good news is that it isn’t really that much more difficult for an attorney to go visible — but you will have to invest more time than just clicking a link. Maybe.
If you’re ready to go visible, consider these five ideas of steps that will raise your profile:
- Use LinkedIn to ask and answer questions. Depending on how you phrase your question, even asking can position you as an expert, and answering allows you to showcase your knowledge and experience. Other forums exist for similar activity, including Quora, a newer site populated by key high-tech players (among others) focused entirely on Q&A.
- Join a substantive committee of a local bar association or industry group. Think carefully about whether working with lawyers will advance business development goals, but if your objective is to develop your reputation by speaking or writing, bar association groups are an ideal first step.
- Host your own seminar. Select a topic that would generate substantial interest and could be covered in an hour or ninety minutes. Invite your contact, your clients and former clients, and your clients’ contacts. I recommend you consider a breakfast seminar for reasons of convenience and cost; whatever time you select, be sure that you’re working with traffic flow and at a time likely to be convenient to the bulk of your potential attendees. Start with a free seminar and allow time for networking. Whether you speak or simply host/moderate, you’ll raise your profile.
- Research local radio or television shows that speak to your audience and pitch an idea for a segment or a show. Don’t expect to start on the hottest show, but if you establish your usefulness as a resource and make a good showing, you’ll likely be able to leverage one appearance to future benefit.
- Use the power of video. You can create your own video series (effectively an Internet-based television channel) to give you a forum for discussing whatever is new and important in your field of practice. If you create a descriptive name for your channel, you can create a go-to resource for a small group of people who will be passionately interested in what you’re sharing.
These are just five examples of how you might go from invisible to having a significant platform that helps to establish your expertise in your field. If you’ve been hungering for a way to raise your profile quickly, try one of these. The results may amaze you.