I had little idea of what the practice of law was all about when I started law school. No one in my family was a lawyer. I had never stepped foot in a law firm. Most of my impressions were formed through popular culture depictions of lawyers.
Therefore, when I started practicing law, I assumed that to be successful and bring in business I needed to fit a certain stereotype: the polished, gregarious, glad-handing extrovert who commands the room and isn’t afraid to ask for the business.
The problem was that fitting the stereotype would require me to be someone I am not.
The good news is that, once immersed in a law firm environment, I learned that successful lawyers come in all shapes and sizes, have different personality types, and can be introverted or extroverted—in other words, they don’t fit into a single stereotype.
In fact, many of the lawyers I know who are wildly successful at developing new business exhibit strengths that many people perceive as weaknesses.
Their quiet, introspective, introverted natures allow them to ask great questions, be engaged listeners and, as a result, develop meaningful relationships with people.
Don’t try to be someone you’re not. It’s not necessary to fit some stereotypical mold. When it comes to business development, your biggest strength is bringing your authentic self to every interaction.
You have ideas. Your market is looking for solutions.
Finding that intersection between your expertise and those seeking it is the most promising pathway to growing your practice.
When you generously share what you know with the world, without expectation of reciprocation, the world rewards your generosity. You become recognized as an authority…eventually, as a thought leader. You then naturally make connections with those seeking your expertise, whether through prospect discovery or referral.
Domain expertise and a willingness to share it are among the fundamental traits of successful thought leaders.
Share your best ideas for free. Become a thought leader. Build a practice. And you’ll never have to feel like you’re “selling.”
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Jay Harrington is president of our agency, a published author, and nationally-recognized expert in thought-leadership marketing.
From strategic planning to writing, podcasting, video marketing, and design, Jay and his team help lawyers and law firms turn expertise into thought leadership, and thought leadership into new business. Get in touch to learn more about the consulting and coaching services we provide.