Associates at law firms have a lot of client demands on their time. It is hard to fit business development and thought leadership in. At last week's Insiders Club event, Senior Associate, JJ Shaw, of London law firm Lewis Silkin and Head of Business Development Operations, Siobhan Moriarty, were asked "How do you make room for Business Development" by Passle's Sarah Strachan.
Below is a summary of how Lewis Silkin enables and empowers their busy fee earners to create regular content: For the record, they should know: In 2020 alone the team of lawyers at Lewis Silkin using Passle have created over 500 authentic insights. These insights have been viewed over 80,000 times!
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- Internal Culture - Lewis Silkin recognizes Business Development efforts in their target billable hours. Lewis Silkin recognizes time spent creating thought leadership and other Business Development activity is factored into their internal rewards scheme.
- Leadership - At all sector meetings what content could be created by the team is discussed by. Having a champion on the fee earner side is very important. The more senior the better. Siobhan's approach was to get one team with good leadership going first. Proving it works and then rolling out across the firm has worked for Lewis Silkin. The Partners' leadership is important. Often partners at Lewis Silkin will decide that teams should have targets.
- Career Development - Ensure Associates understand that creating regular insights is good for their Career Development. Creating content in a niche 'helps you carve out specialisms you are interested in" said JJ. It helps you get a reputation internally as a thought leader in what you are passionate about. Your insights are a part of Associate appraisals at Lewis Silkin. They matter in a personal sense.
- Be proactive - If you are an Associate chat with colleagues and schedule content around what you know is coming down the pipe legislation and what will work with other marketing efforts your team is involved in. event-wise. Also, be reactive - read the news and think about what you clients would like to know. Siobhan suggests lawyers 'do what works for them'. There is no one size fits all but creating goals, action lists, and scheduling just 15 minutes BD with lawyers works very well. The key is to build momentum and celebrate success.
- Keep it bite-sized and show personality. Write shorter, more concise pieces. As JJ said "everyone's attention span is a bit shot and we are used to consuming short-form 'snackable' content".