I have worked with Paul Grabowski, Esq.
at two well known Texas law firms, Andrews Kurth and Porter Hedges, where he led the marketing departments.
He just wrote this post for Thom Singer's blog (Thom Singer
is also an Andrews Kurth marketing team alum), which should resonate with
many of the lawyers who read my blog.
The first time I heard the statistic,
"70% of lawyers test as 'thinkers' in the ISPEAK Your Language survey," it
was from Bill Flannery of the WJF Institute. This
is an instrument published by Drake Beam Morin along the lines
of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
(MBTI), but it measures communication style rather than personality types.
I've found that it's wise to stay away from personality discussions in the legal
profession. But, everyone admits that communication is at the center of everything
that lawyers do.
The four ISPEAK communication styles
are intuitors, sensors (both risk oriented) and thinkers and feelers (both risk
averse). Thinkers and sensors are task-oriented. Feelers and sensors
are people-oriented. Thinkers' combination of being more at home with tasks
than people and avoiding risk makes them more prone to be introverts.
I am pleased to repost Paul Grabowski's
Using Social Media for Networking - So
Easy Even an Introvert Can Do It.
The new emphasis in the world of individual
professional business development is the use of social media to build ones networking
presence. Sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook currently dominate the world of social
media while literally hundreds of others are available with more sites and the development
of applications (apps) by companies and businesses appearing on an ever increasing
basis. In fact, according to Grabstats.com, the use of social media has grown 93
percent since 2006. Yet, there are still those who have not jumped on the bandwagon
of connecting online or are not using the power of this medium to its fullest extent.
Most business professionals have come
to understand that having a presence online is important. Company websites abound
with individual profiles, v-cards, and the latest information on business deals,
educational backgrounds and the obligatory memberships in professional/civic organizations.
Yet, these pages are static and unless the individual or someone in the marketing
department takes the time to update, the information is not pushed forth to those
who would find it interesting or pertinent. On the flip side, for those seeking
new opportunities, demonstrate an expertise on a particular subject, connecting
to other professionals in a similar industry or recognizing the latest company success,
social media has become a gold mine as an easy, yet effective medium through which
to spread the word.
While LinkedIn just surpassed 100 million
users, a casual review of many professional profiles reveals that outside of posting
the most generic biographical and contact information, many users are not using
this medium to its fullest potential. Reasons for this abound from not enough time
to discounting the importance, but in reality many business professionals are still
not comfortable utilizing these sites.
For the extrovert, networking and posting
the latest personal or business successes comes easy. Think about the last business
conference or cocktail reception you attended and there is always someone there
who you think can naturally "work a room". They easily introduce themselves, talk
about their company, its successes and strike up a conversation. At the same conference
there are those who dread the idea of attending the social hour and would rather
retreat to the confines of their hotel room under the guise of having "work to catch
up on" or "need to return some phone calls." For those introverts, social media
can be an opportunity to spread the word about the latest personal and professional
successes, post about the conference or whatever else they find might be of interest
to their target audience and ultimately build their professional presence.
So the question becomes, how does one
- particularly an introvert - utilize social media effectively? In reality, there
is a simple plan that can be followed that does not require a great deal of time
Complete and Update Your Online Profile - First and foremost, take the time to complete and/or update
your social media profile. Take a look at others in and out of your network that
you believe are utilizing this medium effectively and use it as a guide. Sites such
as LinkedIn have made it easy for its users by indicating what parts of your profile
are complete and which need attention. When you have something to add, however mundane
- change it. Once completed, it should not take more than five minutes of your time
to update your profile on a frequent basis but this should be done no less than
every six months.
Find Friends and Business Associates
First - For those who are new to social networking
or don't have many connections, take baby steps and find people you know first.
Once your profile is complete, the social media sites will provide you with lists
of people you may know based on the high schools and colleges you attended, previous
work experience, etc. It's always easiest to connect with people you know before
you reach out to others. Going forward, on a frequent basis scan the list of "people
you may know" and determine if reaching out to connect would help professionally.
Remember, just because you request a connection does not mean they will accept your
invitation, but your goal should be to make at least one to three connections every
Find Groups with Similar Interests - With over 100 million users, there are literally thousands
of groups on LinkedIn. Additionally, whether through Facebook, Orkut, or any other
social media site, new groups and memberships continue to develop. Take five minutes
each week to search for those groups within your chosen social media platform for
those in a similar industry, profession or other personal and professional interest.
Keep in mind that becoming a member is only part of the process. Those who participate
on a frequent basis soon are recognized for their expertise on a particular subject
or topic. This can lead to further networking and business opportunities.
Become a Thought Leader - The beauty of social media is that you can reach everyone
in your network just by posting one piece of information. Once a week, attempt
to post an article or other newsworthy item that would be of interest to your group
of associates. This is an easy way to reach out with a value proposition and stay
top of mind.
Social networking allows even those most
introverted business professional an opportunity to network and build a formidable
presence with colleagues and business associates alike. The suggestions above take
no more than five to ten minutes a week, however obtaining just one new piece of
business through this effort is a small price to pay and can only lead to further
Paul S. Grabowski, Esq. has over 20 years'
experience in law firms, Fortune 500, private facility management, and professional
and collegiate sports marketing and business development. He has been recognized
for his efforts in building effective marketing and business development campaigns
for businesses and individuals and can be reached at email@example.com.
Read more insight at the Law Firm 4.0 Blog.
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