Welcome to part 7 of a 10-part series, Nine Ways You’re Losing Business—and What to Do About It.
Reason No. 6 You’re invisible.
How do people find you? Are you visible on your website, in publications (offline and online), as a speaker named in conference materials, at networking meetings, in organizations relevant to your practice, in community organizations, and/or on social media?
In today’s economy, if you aren’t credibly visible in multiple channels, you’re losing business. Invisible lawyers (I call them the anguished invisible) don’t get as many clients. If you’re invisible, you won’t advance in your firm or your community. You won’t advance in the profession, and you’ll tend to bemoan your bad fortune in marketing and in practice. What you won’t realize is that the root of your troubles lies in your status as a best kept secret. That’s no way to live, and it’s certainly no way to build a viable practice.
To be credibly visible means that you appear in a variety of channels in a way that’s relevant to your practice. In other words, you can be found:
- Speaking about your practice area or related topics at conferences;
- Teaching about your practice area or related topics;
- Publishing articles, blog posts, books, book chapters, etc. about your practice area or related topics;
- Engaging on social media and sharing references or resources (your own or others’) relevant to your practice area;
- Curating content about your practice area or related topics;
- Working within an organization that has some nexus with your practice area or the kinds of clients you represent; or
- Serving in a leadership role in an organization that has some nexus with your practice area or the kinds of clients you represent.
Must you be active in all of these channels? No. You have to select the channels that fit your marketing identity and are reasonable calculated to reach your ideal clients and referral sources.
Are there other channels in which you might be active? You bet. You could serve on a board of advisors that’s somehow related to your practice. You could testify before Congress on a topic that’s relevant to your practice. You could sponsor an event that has some connection with your practice. The channels in which you might become visible and the ways in which you might appear in those channels are potentially limitless, and they’ll shift over time, especially as technology changes.
If you’re an anguished invisible, here are a few steps you can take today to turn it around:
- Join a substantive committee of a local bar association (if you receive referrals from lawyers) or an industry group. Work toward attaining a leadership position, as well as speaking or publishing.
- Use LinkedIn to ask and answer questions relevant to your practice. 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, which is focused entirely on Q&A.
- Develop a list of topics on which you could write or speak and send inquiries to organizations that could offer you a forum. Make sure that the organization is geared to your ideal clients or referral sources to gain real benefit.
- Research local radio or television shows (or podcasts) 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.
Ask yourself: how visible are you today? Are you visible to the right audiences? (If you suddenly win the lottery, you’ll be visible, but you won’t be credibly visible because you won’t appear in a practice-related capacity to those who might hire you or send you referrals.) If you’re unhappy with your answer, start creating your plan now to raise your profile in the marketplace.