People have always enjoyed doing business with people. Prior to the industrial revolution we purchased goods and services from local professionals in storefronts. It’s only been in the last 100 years or so that we’ve ventured away from this, doing business instead with large faceless companies that we consider successful not because of our personal experiences with them, but because they advertise the loudest.
Like many things do, however, we are coming full-circle. Many seem to have realized that they prefer “local business” over “big business”. Cities are celebrating shopping and eating locally. Social media and the Internet are giving us more access to the companies that once seemed unapproachable. Company presidents are now tweeting about their personal lives. Real people are blogging about their passions and people are asking to do business with them, why? Because they LIKE them and connect with them. Yes, the world is progressing and changing, but really, we’re coming back to what we’ve always enjoyed: people.
Here are a few ways that your law firm can remind the world that you’re not only professional and successful, but that you are also “people”:
- Share your values out in the community. People want to do business with someone they connect with and share values with. Sponsor and run a 5K that raises money for a cause you care about. Participate in a local art walk and invite local artists to display their works in your office. If you’re in an urban area, invite the Girl Scouts to sell cookies in front of your office.
- Share your values using social media tools. Whatever your passion or cause is, be sure to share it online, as well. Take photos from the 5K you sponsored and post them on Facebook. Blog about a charity event and invite your clients and readers to donate items and bring them by your office. Start a scholarship and invite the community to donate via your website.
- Put a face to your company’s name. Personalize your firm’s website, newsletters and mailings and include “human interest” pieces. Post photos of your staff members at office or community events on your website or Facebook page. Include a favorite recipe from a staff member in your monthly newsletters.
- Be an influencer in professional organizations. Network and seek leadership opportunities (great or small) within your professional community and get to know the people within. If others connect with you and share your values, they may just WANT to give you referrals.
Put your best “face” forward and see what new opportunities open up for your firm!