Business development is a skill everyone must learn during a professional career. The challenge is finding ways to productively integrate business development activities into an already busy day. There is a simple method that accomplishes this goal very effectively – Commenting.
Lawyers, like all professional service providers, deliver expertise as their service. Expertise is applying knowledge to facts and rendering advice. The beauty of what we do is that it changes with each new client and matter. The difficulty is its intangibility. Clients can’t see, touch or smell it.
Marketing an intangible is hard because of these difficulties. Referral work comes from existing clients who know of us and recommend us to others. But how can we reach new clients outside the referral channel? Traditional marketing techniques – advertising, sponsorships, etc. – are possibilities, but they can be very expensive.
One oft-applied technique is educational marketing – the demonstration of expertise through published materials or delivered presentations. The most significant downside of educational marketing is that creating content is time consuming.
What if there was an easier, quicker and very effective way to conduct educational marketing in an ongoing manner? What if it could be easily fit into the existing frenetic pace?
Commenting – Lazy Educational Marketing
Commenting on articles posted on the Internet by others is an excellent way to demonstrate our expertise without all the hard work of crafting a publishable work. That’s because the author of the article has done the heavy lifting of original creation. All we need to do is respond to the points raised in the posted piece professionally and with value-added insight. Simple, quick, productive and effective!
Here are the recommended steps to begin using this highly productive business development technique:
- Follow: Follow writers who are talking about the things you find most professionally and personally interesting.
- Join: Create accounts with the web sites you follow or the comment services used by those web sites, e.g., Disqus. Include a full bio and add a picture where possible. (See image above.) This is a business development effort, not a place for anonymous soapboxing.
- Comment: Write comments on their posts. Always respect the hard work the author has done and the opportunity being presented to comment. Disagreement is fine. Criticism is hard to do well, so take great care if criticism is necessary.
- Extend: The point of commenting is to extend the conversation and demonstrate your expertise. Always offer more on the topic, be it facts or suggestions.
- Track: Check all boxes allowing you to track replies to your comment or other people’s comments to the same post. Anyone taking the time to also engage on this topic is a kindred spirit and a possible business partner and/or client.
- Post: Check all boxes that allow you to post your comments (and the original article link) to your social media accounts. This spreads the word even further.
To Comment is Sublime
Commenting is indeed lazy educational marketing. Commenting is also engaging and interesting, as well as quick and easy. Instead of carving out a large block of time to write an extended article on a point of expertise, try commenting on someone else’s!