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Practical Law Firm Business Development


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Practical Tools for Law Firm Business Development: Increase your Sales with Social Media

Scott Lichtman

Published in: Business
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Practical Law Firm Business Development

  1. 1. PRACTICAL TOOLS FOR LAW FIRM BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PRESENTED BY: Scott Lichtman Teten Advisors ( / Vital Access ( 203-321-8641 Stamford, CT © 2009, Vital Access
  2. 2. Overview Presenter Background  Practical business development tools  Social networks and contact management   Speaking opportunities and press coverage  Tracking clients, prospects and trends  Finding templates and advice to improve productivity Steps You Can Take Now 
  3. 3. Scott Lichtman Experience 20 years in marketing, business dev. and  online services MIT (computer science), LSE (economics),  Harvard (MBA) Ran licensing at Oracle  Introduced secure instant messaging service for law firms  Most recent company built network of 30,000 industry experts for  witness testimony and investor advice Have used blogs (, podcasts, webinars,  video streams, social networks (, IM, e-newsletters to expand clientele Currently working with IP attorneys on business development –  wrote online best practices guidebook
  5. 5. Results vs. Efforts Online Efforta Online Objective Results Present “Sure, I’m online and 1-2 hrs upfront + welcome connections.” 1-2 hrs qtrly * Credible Prospects who know you 5 hours upfront + are impressed enough to 2-4 hrs monthly pursue relationship ** Facilitative Impression is strong; multi- 8 hours upfront + site presence encourages 6-8 hrs monthly referrals, speaking, quotes Leader New clients and orgs. 10 hrs upfront + approach you as domain 5 hrs wkly expert ** Sweet spot for most law firms a Effort is at least 1/3 less per person if a team engages in parallel. Doesn’t include in-person networking time .
  6. 6. Business Development & Marketing is best done as a Team Effort  There are strong efficiency and impact effects of coordinating business development across a practice area or entire firm. Avoid a “he/she will try marketing for the firm and see what happens…” approach.
  7. 7. SOCIAL NETWORKS & CONTACT MANAGEMENT Scott Lichtman / Vital Access
  8. 8. Social Networks, Profiles & Contacts * LinkedIn – best for cross-industry business & clients  * Martindale Connected – complete lawyer coverage  Also,  ZoomInfo – automatically collects information from your career  mention online but needs correcting Plaxo – Outlook add-on that informs you of colleagues’ job/address  changes, good if you have hundreds of contacts Legallyminded is ABA’s social network; still improving  Facebook – school friends and “hip” factor  Strategy  Build one client-oriented personal profile for LinkedIn and use in  multiple sites Build a list of everyone relevant you know and connect via 1-2 sites  Find reasons to stay in touch – questions, group lunches, b’days 
  9. 9. Checklist for Your Profile on LinkedIn and Beyond Professional headshot photo – clients choose people to work with, not resumes  A noteworthy title – e.g., “Practice Leader in Trademark and Copyright Law” vs.  “Attorney” Description of your services that speaks to your audience, e.g. “I help your team  design and protect its brand” instead of “Relevant services are trade marks, trade dress, unfair competition.” Note all relevant credentials – articles published, classes taught, Bar affiliations,  community awards Mention industries you have served and public cases – quote that conference  Join online affiliation groups in the network – both alumni groups and respectable  industry discussion forums; 4 – 8 groups is reasonable # Make connections with clients, affiliate law firms, former employer colleagues, law  school friends – compile your list, import in spreadsheet format, find those already in the social network to link to; a dozen is reasonable, 25-50 is impressive If you are available for quotes or speaking, note the topics  Use consistent style across lawyers at the firm; and enter Company profile if available  See this link for a superlative, mock profile example: 
  10. 10. LinkedIn Sample One – State Qualifications in Terms of Client Benefits I help clients design and protect their brands - including  naming selection, copyrighting original content, implementing e-commerce sites, negotiating licensing rights, monitoring competitors’ use of similar ideas and litigating/settling disputes. In each situation, I teach my clients the most relevant legal  considerations around the world, enabling your management, marketing, inside counsel and other teams to make informed decisions and trade-off business protection with agility and cost considerations. Together we evaluate and apply each tool available to you,  including trademarks, copyrighting, design patents, and unfair competition law. From Text is from a Vital Access attorney client.
  11. 11. LinkedIn Sample Two – Establish Credibility [NAME] represents clients in general corporate, antitrust, intellectual  property and business litigation matters. His practice focuses on assisting clients in navigating the unique challenges that businesses face in the rapidly growing e-commerce market. He is an attorney in [FIRM’s] Corporate/Securities, Business Litigation and Intellectual Property Practice Groups. [NAME] is a founding member of the firm's Brand Equity and Strategic Distribution Group. He helps companies devise distribution strategies that focus on growing and promoting a company's brand in the ever-evolving online marketplace. Previous strategies have successfully limited unauthorized resale of product in various online markets (eBay, Amazon, etc.) and have quelled the importation of grey-market and counterfeit products by targeting a myriad of international websites (Alibaba, Marktplaats,, etc.). [NAME] is a member of the Anti-Trust and Litigation sections of both the American Bar Association and the Boston Bar Association. From This content is not associated with a Vital Access client or colleague.
  12. 12. LinkedIn Sample Three – Indicate Your Specialties within a Practice Area I have worked extensively with both manufacturing and non-  manufacturing technology entities, such as universities and the NIH, and have developed expertise in assisting in the transition of technology among such organizations. I focus on both the planning and execution of intellectual property strategies for both emerging and mature businesses. I and my colleagues participate often in intellectual property-related business activities such as due diligence inquiries, freedom to operate analysis, portfolio planning, and opinion writing. While I have background in wide ranging technical fields, my recent work tends to concentrate in chem/bio/pharma, medical devices, and in nanotechnology. I look to integrate intellectual property in the overall scheme of business planning in order to maximize cost effectiveness.  I am a senior partner in one of America's largest law firms dedicated solely to patent, trademark and copyright law. While I have a background in intellectual property litigation, in recent years, I have concentrated upon client counseling, patent planning, patent procurement and the business opportunities and challenges which attend these activities From This content is not associated with a Vital Access client or colleague.
  13. 13. Martindale Connected Sample Account
  14. 14. Plaxo An add-on to  Outlook Checks if your  contacts are among its 10m members, then keeps their job and address information up to date for you (if you mutually agree) Now also  updates you on their questions, blogs, connections
  15. 15. GETTING THE WORD OUT Scott Lichtman / Vital Access
  16. 16. Broadening Your Presence Strategy  Focus on 1-2 compelling themes that drive new business, for  branding Repurpose your content, for efficiency  Get published on others’ sites, for awareness  Tactics  Systematically seek speaking opportunities  Be quoted in an article or blog  Use surveys and Q&A to create dialogue around you 
  17. 17. Find/Create Speaking Opportunities Hone a speaking theme that’s business-oriented,  interesting to clients, timely and repeatable Optional: back it with a survey or paper  Build a list of associations and partner firms that use or  would value speakers Focus on a few associations you will spend time with, but make it  easy to contact other organizations with letter/call Optional: find affiliates with complementary themes to co-present  (eg financial firms), or moderate a panel Nurture your pipeline of speaking opportunities 
  18. 18. Sample Speaking Topics for IP Law “Before” Topics:  Trademarking primer; Licensing Do’s and Don’t’s; Trademark vs. Trade  Dress “After” (identified a target market and their interests, wrote letter &  Protecting Your Fashion Brand in Tough Economic Times – Budget-Conscious Trademark and Copyright Steps abstract): You Should Take Now The current economy isn’t limiting the creative ideas at fashion firms, but it is forcing them to think deeply about how much to invest in protecting their brands. Holding back on protection now saves budget, but it can cause a high-potential brand to lose profitability just when success arrives. In this presentation, NAME explains the cost-effective steps that fashion firms should take now to protect their names, designs and products. She draws on case studies from well-known brands including clients of her own. Questions she addresses include: •Why have copyrights, design patents, trade dress and unfair competition protection been limited in protecting fashion firms? How can you select from among these protections? •How to pick and protect names for your company and product lines. •How do you best defend against copycats and ensure you’re not sued as a copycat of a brand you’re not aware of? •How is brand protection diluted when your items appear on sites like Facebook, YouTube, or eBay? •What protective and value-enhancing steps must you take before distribution and marketing licensing agreements? What about when you’re outsourcing manufacturing? •When is it worthwhile suing, or threatening to sue, infringing brands?
  19. 19. Sample Speaking Opportunity List List of 40 speaking opportunities for IP lawyers in pharma, e-commerce, fashion sourced from industry calendars, blogs, Gary’s List, industry associations. Build once, little maintenance thereafter.
  20. 20. Backing a Presentation with a Write-up • Sample paper produced by a law firm • Became basis for a college class • Simpler approaches include: • Share your talk slides online ( or LinkedIn) • Have a junior staff member or organizer blog your talk for you
  21. 21. Distributing Your Content Reporters and bloggers are seeking content  Pick 1-2 compelling themes you will promote repeatedly  Build list of 10 writers you read and want to be covered by  Friendly bloggers will reprint anything of value / interview you  Reporters want ideas for trends and colleagues to quote,  including you Create a dialogue that gives you content  Build a quick online survey of market concerns and publish  results LinkedIn has a Q&A section for quick polls  is one free survey builder 
  22. 22. Sample Article Quote I let the writer know my interest, introduced her to others for interviews, and became the lead quote.
  23. 23. Sample Q&A in LinkedIn I used this question and 4 responses as the basis for a consulting proposal to a midsize financial firm and obtained new contacts in the investment field. NAME NAME
  24. 24. Sample Survey • 6-question survey designed and published in 60 minutes for free at • Survey responses also identify prospective clients and the best ways to reach them.
  25. 25. TRACKING CLIENTS, PROSPECTS & TRENDS Scott Lichtman / Vital Access
  26. 26. Use a Blog Reader as Your Personal Client/Prospect Tracker Blog readers can work as a page in your browser  Compile the most relevant alerts, advice and business news in one  page that’s always up to date Event (speaking oppty) calendars can be read in blogs,  e.g. for comprehensive NYC area tech events Google and Yahoo accounts let you monitor custom searches every  day in your blog reader, e.g. any news about clients
  27. 27. Read Blogs for Legal/Business Commentary Try ABA’s blawg directory or Larry Bodine blog, highest rated for law marketing 
  29. 29. Sites with Sharable Resources & Advice  Free online publishing for legal documents and work product  Includes court filings, decisions, forms, articles, newsletters  Suggested: try a few document searches to validate depth   Specialized search engine for law cases, government regs and  forms  Access to decades of state and federal case documents for  $95/mo.  Social network of a few thousand, best for advice sharing  Robert Ambrogi’s blog tracks useful web sites for lawyers 
  30. 30. NEXT STEPS Scott Lichtman / Vital Access
  31. 31. Achieving Traction Pick modest goals to start  1-2 “Credible” presence actions, plus  1-2 “facilitative” networking activities  Agree that a critical mass in the practice will participate  Reward staff for being the go-to’s for a technique  Consider additional resources – writing, speaking  arrangements, data input, – to supplement your time Allocate time each week / move purposefully 
  32. 32. Suggested Early Steps Connect  LinkedIn & Martindale Connected profiles & connections for  everyone Plan to touch ‘x’ contacts / month / person… & measure activity  Be recognized  Identify 1+ theme per practitioner you will demonstrate expertise  in Use 2+ outlets for your ideas and materials outside MLC website  Reach out  Identify 2+ associations or affiliates you will invest in co-  marketing Senior practitioners to organize 3+ presentations/gatherings per 
  33. 33. Contributing when You’re not the Most Senior Professional (Yet) Perform research, draft surveys and papers for industry themes  Be credited as co-author  Reach out for your partners’ speaking opportunities  Begin relationships with influential associations  Get invited on committees  Be the firm’s eyes and ears on important trends and issues  Coordinate events at your practice or at an association  You are the host for speakers and every guest at the door  Be a technology or marketing champion, e.g. coordinate LinkedIn  Hone your skills for promoting your brand and that of your firm’s 
  34. 34. Starting Checklist Are all your contacts stored electronically?  Have you identified ideal prospective clients?  What prospecting techniques work best for you, and  which online techniques complement those? How much time can you invest in client development  and how can you leverage others’ time? What associations, complementary firms, affiliate law  firms, are you prepared to invest time with? What topics are you especially well qualified to speak  about (versus others in your specialty)?
  35. 35. Client Development is a Relationship Skill… …but online tools make it easier.
  36. 36. PRACTICAL TOOLS FOR LAW FIRM BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PRESENTED BY: Scott Lichtman Teten Advisors ( / Vital Access ( 203-321-8641 Stamford, CT © 2009, Vital Access