Coach's Playbook: Buzz Building

By Elizabeth Joliff Build a buzz and you will build a bigger book of business. And, no, I am not just referring to building a bigger medical marijuana defense practice. Being an excellent lawyer is not enough to build a book of business if no one knows what you do and for whom. Help them and help yourself by building a buzz. Assuming you have already identified your target market, you can start with this outline. * What do you want build a buzz about--what is the message you want people to receive? * What are the key bits of buzz? * Who & what will help build the buzz? * When will you start? * How will you sustain it? Example of Building Buzz About Your Legal Services: * Message: You are an exceptional lawyer for small, ongoing businesses. * Buzz Bits: Experienced, practical, responsive, helpful, understanding and creative in working with small businesses. * Who/What Will Build Buzz: You, current & former clients, referral sources, family & friends, media relationships, out of state classmates, lawyers who don't do what you do, mavens and connectors, as well as articles, social media use, speaking engagements and a website all directed to reach and appeal to your target market. * When: Insert the date. * How to Sustain Buzz: A weekly business development plan with daily elements of connecting with your target market and referral sources (in person, telephone, email, LinkedIn & other social media, putting people together or providing them with other value), working on your next speaking engagement, next article or next post directed at your target market, reading/ other continuing education in your practice area, and getting out into your target market (even if that just means getting out of your building for a cup of coffee, lunch, to run an errand, etc.) Example of Building Buzz About a Subspecialty: * Message: You are a business litigator with a knack for handling embezzlement cases and using tools to prevent them. * Buzz Bits: Experienced and knowledgeable about preventing, detecting and resolving embezzlement situations, and/or defending against claims for failure to detect embezzlement. * Who/What Will Build Buzz: Same as 3 above but with a specific focus demonstrating your knowledge on the topic of embezzlement. * When: Insert the date. * How to Sustain Buzz: A weekly business development plan that reaches your target market, including potential referral sources, as in 5 above. The plan should highlight your knowledge about the topic of embezzlement, but not to the exclusion of your knowledge and experience in other business litigation. You have to stay at the top of mind with your target market, including potential clients and potential referral sources, so that they think of you when they or someone they know needs the services you provide. You want people to say, "call Darryl, he'd be perfect for this, he's the one you should talk to." Or "call Dana, that's exactly what she does." Obviously, people can't say this about you if they don't know what you do and if they have no reason to know whether you actually good at it or the quality of your client service. Start building a buzz for a bigger book of business. Elizabeth Jolliffe is a certified career management and business development coach for lawyers. She practiced for 19 years as a business litigator and partner at Clark Hill PLC in Detroit. Elizabeth helps her clients take charge of their practice and career. Elizabeth Published: Mon, May 21, 2012