Over the years working at Passle I have acquired expertise in how to use thought leadership (online content) to influence experts. Our Clients are mainly law firms and our Users are mainly lawyers. However, we also work with and partner with plenty of experts who are also actively seeking to influence lawyers. This post has been written to share my experience and best practice when it comes to influencing Partners at law firms:
A few things before jumping into the best practices:
- There are plenty of ways to build your relationships and influence your key contacts. Content is one of many different tools you can use to drive business development and raise your profile online.
- Doing something is infinitely better than doing nothing.
- Have an active profile online that demonstrates your market-specific knowledge. This will position you online as the "go-to" trusted advisor for the services you specialize in delivering.
- Stay Human! When it comes to working with Law Firms, remember that you are working with Lawyers and not the firm. The people part of building influence and driving connections is incredibly important.
- Finally, the steps shared below can be executed to influence lawyers in private practice as well as in-house.
How to influence Lawyers & Drive Business Outcomes with your Thought Leadership
- Connect - make sure that you are connected, or at least are following the lawyers you want to influence on LinkedIn. If you are not connected with them, it will be far less likely that those individuals will see your insights. Follow their firm's corporate channels as well to stay abreast of the news & insight they are sharing.
- Read - observe the content being published by the lawyers you want to influence. This will identify topics that are relevant for you to share your opinions around... that you also know will be of interest to those lawyers! One of the Practice Leaders at Alvarez & Marsal, Phil Beckett, does an amazing job of this. He uses the lawyers' posts as the basis for his thought leadership. See linked here how Phil then leverages his posts on LinkedIn to commend the lawyers' original insight.
- Tag - the tagging feature on LinkedIn is incredibly powerful. Particularly when you know someone will be interested in a topic/ has a reason to join the conversation. Creating opportunities to engage and tag relevant contacts will make sure your content is distributed in front of the "right people". If you are speaking at an event or giving a presentation then you can tag the other folk who were also involved in the event. People love to be celebrated and given kudos for their work.
- Promote internally - make sure your relevant colleagues are aware of the content you are creating. Your colleagues should be your biggest cheerleaders. This works both ways, make sure you are also sharing relevant insights from your peers. Opening up your collective networks will help to drive more impactful results.
- Share - "create once, distribute widely". After publishing a piece of thought leadership, spend 5 minutes thinking about who this would be relevant to and the best channel for sharing it with them. Definitely share your content with the people who are most likely to recommend and refer you. Sending content with a personal note over email is also a powerful way to show that you're mindful enough to explain why your post is specifically relevant to them as an individual. Email newsletters are also a great way to scale up the distribution of your insights - provided that the subject matter is relevant to the contacts you are emailing! Also, as you want to get in front of lawyers, check out the legal subscription networks like Lexology, Mondaq and JD Supra.
- Invite - your clients & contacts to feature on your content. Co-creating content is an excellent medium to showcase the results your clients are driving and why the work your clients are doing should be celebrated. The global consulting firm, Ankura, launched their "Fireside Chat" series earlier this year. By getting their clients involved in their content, they are able to produce authentic soundbites from their experts with industry leaders.
Hope that helps.
NB. At Passle we work with some of the world's largest professional services firms and legal businesses. If you are a publisher on the platform then you can look at what other experts are writing. This is particularly helpful for seeing what your peers are writing and if you want to see what Partners at Law Firms are publishing on Passle then you can use the search function linked here.