Cinch Audio Blog – 11 top tips for young lawyers in business development

Posted on: March 11, 2011

Just when you thought you were up to date with technology – something else comes along. As if it isn’t tough enough to have your material out there through web sites, blogs, YouTube and social media tools like LinkedIn and Twitter you can now audio broadcast. Yep, micro audio blogging.

So to show willing I’ve done a short (under three minutes) broadcast to demonstrate the technology. I used Cinch which is a free and easy way to create and share audio, text and photo updates using your phone or computer. Cinch enables you to capture and report on your experiences in a way that simple text just can’t do. Using a simple interface, you can make and broadcast your content creations through Facebook, Twitter, CinchCast.com and more.

So go to www.cinchcast.com/kimtasso or download the Cinch App on your smartphone and find me. I’ve linked it to my Twitter account (RedStarKim) also. In case you can’t be bothered, the script for my mini-podcast is below. I’d be interested to hear your views on Cinch and similar platforms.

What does a newly qualified lawyer need to know about business development?

I’ve done numerous training courses, seminars and webinars on this topic over the years – and even wrote a blog in October 2009 – and yet the answer is constantly changing – and depends on the size and culture and marketing sophistication of the firm where they work. And the situation is complicated with the arrival of new tools and channels such as social media…

But here’s a list of the top 11 essentials, and I’d be delighted to hear your views:

1. Do a great job – The first rule has to be to do a great job for those clients with whom you are working. Build the relationship there with your peers – socialise and share.

2. Know the BD Basics – Law school doesn’t really address the fundamentals of business development – and in marketing terms it is a specialist area called “Professional services marketing”. There are plenty of books written for lawyers which introduce the subject.

3. What’s the plan? – Find out about how business development is organised at your firm. In larger firms, track down the business development plan for your department or practice area. Read through the analysis, the aims, the targeting and the campaign of planned activities

4. Be a great ambassador – Your first and most important job is to be a great ambassador for the firm – both in terms of your personal presentation and your knowledge of the range of the firm’s specialisms, clients and services. Keep up to date with the latest developments

5. Network – Start by attending internal events for practice and start attending external events where you can start to generate your own contact base

6. Register your personal profile – Ensure that your biography is up to date on the web site and consider where your profile should appear on social media networks – such as LinkedIn. Check your firm’s policy though

7. Learn about markets and clients – Legal knowledge is great, but it’s your knowledge of markets and the commercial issues affecting clients that will set you apart. Understanding the clients’ buying processes will really help too. Research and learn.

8. Use your research and writing skills – Most firms produce newsletters, e-alerts and blogs for their clients and as part of their communication programmes. See what’s planned and volunteer to help

9. Prepare talks – Start with the internal audience for practice. Choose low-key, safe events for your first public speaking outings. Consider how you follow up and nurture the precious contacts you make.

10. Help on pitches – Offer to get involved with pitches and tenders, attend the meetings, undertake research and draft sections. Volunteer to be the youngster at the presentation. And prepare and rehearse well.

11. Start building a contact base – Whether you use your smartphone, Microsoft Outlook or your firm’s own CRM system, start logging and grading your contacts and ensure that they receive the right sort of contact and material from you at the right frequency.

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