Too Busy For Marketing? Tap Into Your Social Web Communities.

Who has time for business development when you’re really busy with client work? Since the beginning of 2010 I’ve been struggling to balance the time I devote to taking care of my clients-who deserve 100 percent of my attention-and the time I  can devote to writing my blog, following up with the great people I’ve met at conferences and on social online networks and building exposure for my business, LawGravity. Every time I’ve wanted to say,

“I’m too busy with client work or writing my book, social.lawyer, to spend time on marketing,”

I think about all the lawyers over the years that have told me, “I don’t have time for marketing right now, when things slow down, check back with me,” and I replied, that’s not a good strategy, I’ve had to bite my tongue. That would be on more than one occasion, recently.

Fact is, the social Web is an excellent destination for “having it all.”

Even though I wonder how many opportunities to connect to new people I’ve missed because lately I’ve been too busy to write any decent blog posts and I’m tempted to beat up on myself, I remind my self that….

How can ANYONE be too busy to set aside the job of expanding or growing their business?

It’s the easier path, I guess.

But then I remember that everything I do is business development. When emails are returned promptly, when I deliver projects on time or communicate their progress with detail, when I  keep my promise to send a proposal on Friday and deliver it on Thursday exceeding their expectations, or when I take fifteen minutes to help out a colleague or introduce someone to new a connection, that’s all business development. And I do it all the time!  Even when I’m busy. When I do all those things with excellence, people notice. When people notice, they actually do my business development for me by spreading the word—word of mouth marketing is very effective. It’s a natural part of the flow.

The social Web, social media or social networking all make it easier for me stay in touch one-to-many AND open up new opportunities.

Adding a social Web dimension to the communities I’ve nurtured over the years has been very valuable and in fact increases my business development WOM (word of mouth) exponentially. Not just in marketing terms, but also for the support my communities have been to my work. They are a lifesaver in enabling me to do both my client work and my marketing….it can work for you too! We all get by with a little help from our friends.

My client work is amazing (thank you wonderful clients!) and I just finished my massive book project — well not finished entirely. I’m still writing the last chapter. But the manuscript for social.lawyer has been submitted to Thomson West and that’s a huge relief. Except of course for the last chapter. And that, readers, colleagues and friends, is where I need your help, again!

Do you have a story?

Social.lawyer is full of strategy. In the book I’ve included a few stories that illustrate how lawyers are using social tools for touch points with clients, prospects, referral sources and the media to make my points. However, in the final chapter I want to give readers more stories! Stories from social lawyers who have used online tools to get exposure to new connections and turn those into relationships that resulted in new business. I’m looking for very specific stories. Along the lines of…I did this, then that happened and I did that and a connection introduced me to…or as a result of my blog I was contacted by….and I built a relationship that turned into a client, a new job, or a new opportunity. (Thanks in advance to Jonathan Handel who has a very fine story and also to Lance Godard who interviews lawyers in 22Tweets. He always includes a question about their online success. They’re really great if you’re looking for ideas. And, Robert Thomas the amazing story captured here. )

Of course we all know that it takes many different touch points and that often we can not point directly to one single action that returned the tangible result, but if the story can pull together the touch points -both online and offline– and map them to the result that would be terrific.

Just a few short paragraphs would do it. (I do not want names of clients or anything confidential.) Just your story that says…this is how I did it and yes, it can work for you too! Important to note that the book spends a lot of time talking about the buying process and how the fundamentals don’t go away just because your involved in an online community. It’s important to understand how people buy and sell things. It is not an ugly or crass reality, helping clients through the buying process is…well, helpful. I also talk a lot about how buying and selling takes place in the marketplace which is essentially a community where people gather to talk about what they do and eventually get to know each other better and trust each other with their business or referrals.

If you have a story you’d like to share with me and the readers of the VMO, please add to the comments here. If you’d rather share it via email send it along here or Twitter @jaynenavarre. Stories that are included in social.lawyer will be attributed or if you’d rather not, that’s cool too.

Doesn’t social media make keeping in touch easier when you’re busy?

The whole experience of writing a book is somewhat like a lawyer going through a big trial–I literally slept only 4 hours a night for over month while I frantically juggled everything from client work to personal obligations. I was totally focused on social.lawyer and it was really the only way I could do the best job on it. Still, I found a few minutes here and there to reach out to those in my network and keep my valued community connections in tact. I think that when marketing isn’t an add-on, when it is integrated into your work flow, even for a lawyer in trial or working a big deal night and day, there’s no reason reaching out to your community has to be a separate chore. And social Web tools and communities can really help. It’s a great way to keep in touch one-to-many especially if you have limited time.

How do you manage to keep up with business development when you’re really busy with client work? Do social communities and social tools help you? Or are they just another chore added on to your already busy schedule?

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