When it comes to self-promotion, are you your own worst enemy? Sometimes you just have to get out of your own way and simplify your thinking about establishing a public voice and a presence—be it via the traditional media, social media or a combination. Here are some actions you can take now to increase or expand your exposure.
- One step back, and two forward. Promotional opportunities for you and your practice exist everywhere—from articles, to product reviews, to guest blog posts, to LinkedIn group discussions and Twitter conversations. First consider what you want to achieve by getting your name out there, and then pick a few channels to try. Put together a one-page action plan, with main goals, two to three strategies (why) and three to five tactics (how will you do it).
- Be part of the conversation. How will others know you have expertise they need if they don’t know you exist? Find out where your targets go for advice, information, recommendations and feedback. Openly share your experiences and establish a genuine dialogue that will help you extend the conversation and convert it to action. Setup Google Alerts and Twitter Alerts to monitor your name and your competitors as well as a handful of topics that are vital to your practice. This will give you the knowledge to join the conversation.
- Remember childhood and share. It might seem counter-intuitive to share knowledge and expertise, especially if it’s not linked to immediate financial gain or can’t be billed back easily. But just as others have invited you in, ask them to be part of your conversation. Figure out the best way to share your knowledge, be it via a web seminar, a virtual lunch with a colleague or daily blog post. When’s the last time you wrote something for your local bar association? Reach out to your bar contact and ask how you can get involved.
- Toss formal rules of engagement out the window. The landscape for media exposure has long consisted of publishers of content and providers of content. Social media has blurred the lines. Now it is easier to get your content “published” and promote your subject matter expertise and to operate as a “publisher” of your own and others’ material. In other words, a blogger can act as a subject matter expert while at the same time promoting and publishing others. Find bloggers you value and invite them to write a guest column for your clients … in return, write something for their blog. You’ve just gained exposure to possibly twice your usual number of readers.
- Credibility and reliability … the secret sauce. When you start promoting yourself more actively and offering your expertise and insight to others, do so without pretense or expectation of a big pay-off. Instead, focus on getting back to others promptly and becoming that old reliable resource no one wants to do without. Take pride in building a reputation for credibility. Start now by reviewing your current list of promises and prioritize any to-do that is older than seven days. As Larry the Cable Guy would tell you, “Git-R-Done.”
Jobst Elster is Head of Content for InsideLegal.com, an online community and advisory resource for legal technology vendors, law firms, legal technologists and thought leaders. He has spent the past 13 years in the legal industry, working with vendors, consultants, the media and law firms on various marketing, public relations and market survey initiatives.