Just when I thought I wouldn’t put myself under the stress of monthly blogging deadlines, the thought of not sharing what I have learned to help you develop your best legal career possible was unbearable. So here I am with renewed vigour and new insights.
My pain, your gain
My year-long sabbatical from writing for you was devoted to amping up my knowledge and practical skills to help lawyers develop and monetize:
- Personal branding
- Client service
- Business development, and
- Digital marketing skills in purposeful, interactive and inspiring ways.
In fact, I created and tested many ideas last year and look forward to sharing them with you if you follow my Canadian Lawyer blogs in 2019.
The innovative dean of law from the University of Calgary, Ian Holloway, has been leading the charge in adding practical law courses to the university’s curriculum to help new lawyers be business savvy and productive earlier, rather than later, in their careers. He and associate dean Nickie Nikolaou invited me to co-create and co-teach a new course last semester with Adam Pekarsky, lawyer and owner of his recruitment firm. The course was for graduating law students and covered the subjects of business, personal branding, marketing and client development.
Our goal for the course was to give soon-to-practise law students more real-life business, marketing and client skills so that they could help discover their career passion sooner and understand the direct impact of excellent client service and business development skills on retention, growth and acquisition of business.
If the students’ thank you card wasn’t enough of an indicator of the value they placed on these topics, their answers for the final exam definitely were. I cried as I read the responses to one of the questions on what they learned creating, editing and re-editing their biographies and LinkedIn profiles and re-positioning them in client-focused and business developing terms. Many students expressed a total shift in their thinking about the business of law and client service, and I hope to impart some of those insights and more to you through my 2019 blogs.
Marketing technologies and social rainmaking
Keeping up with your careers is about continuous learning in this fourth industrial revolution that blurs technology and humanity. It is imperative and career-sustaining to stay current with disruptions in the legal, marketing and technology industries and how to continually adapt and evolve.
Developing legal business is changing rapidly and being found online is one of the most important business development activities you can undertake — or have someone do for you. You might have a ton of online content, but if it isn’t optimized, others will be found before you are.
Search engines almost daily change the methods they use to order search results and it is impossible to know them all. But you can have a sense of what is going on and stay visible.
While referrals are still the lifeblood of lawyers’ business-development efforts, marketing technologies are firmly intertwined with today’s online process of referral verification and validation. You don’t even know the business you have lost by not being digitally relevant. My 2019 blogs will have a ‘do better’ legal tech tip for you.
Generational shifting positively impacting service and innovation
It is so exciting to see the new generation of tech-savvy and communication-oriented lawyers build momentum in the workforce — both in-house and in firms. There is a distinct energy and appetite to do better than the traditional ways legal services have been provided and consumed. More innovation and collaboration are definitely taking place and I aim to highlight those efforts that contribute to making your career as a lawyer count with this Make it Count blog. Thank you for having me back and feel free to send questions and comments. Cheers! — Simone.