Featured Guest
Rebecca Harding

Rebecca Harding is a marketing & business development specialist and founder of Saltwhistle communications, where she provides services including...

Your Hosts
Gyi Tsakalakis

Gyi Tsakalakis founded AttorneySync because lawyers deserve better from their marketing people. As a non-practicing lawyer, Gyi is familiar...

Kelly Street

Kelly Street is the Marketing Director at AttorneySync, a trusted legal digital marketing agency. With almost 10 years in...

Episode Notes

Gyi and Kelly are joined by Rebecca Harding of Saltwhistle, a business development, marketing and communications consultancy based in the UK. They discuss how to connect better with clients on a human level, how firms can address the generational divide on digital literacy, and the most common problems Rebecca’s seen in law firm marketing.

Rebecca Harding is a marketing and business development specialist and founder of Saltwhistle communications.

Transcript

Lunch Hour Legal Marketing

Your Clients are Humans, Be One Too

06/20/2019

 

Kelly Street: Hey Gyi Tsakalakis.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Kelly, what’s happening?

 

Kelly Street: I was just heading on over to the tweeters, Twitter. I don’t know, am I like an old man where I am going to talk about tweeters?

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, the older part is that you put a the in front of it.

 

Kelly Street: Heading over to the tweeters.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: We are doing the tweeting.

 

Kelly Street: We are doing the tweeting. Looking at a tweet from Wayne Pollock about a PR nightmare for a local Minnesota company.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Oh, please tell me more.

 

Kelly Street: So Children’s Theatre Company, which is a great local theatre made a boo-boo with their legal PR and had an employee who sued for sexual harassment. Jury came back and said yes, you deserve this particular amount of money. Children’s Theatre decided that they were going to file a motion to get the attorney fees back against that person who won the suit. Not a great public thing to do to ask for some of that money back, so people were not super happy.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: I am sure the Twitter mob did not like that one.

 

Kelly Street: Yeah, more than — I think more than the Twitter mob did not like it. But the big boo-boo was that Children’s Theatre then put a statement on their Facebook page and then removed it after the outrage happened, like hey, we are justified in doing this. The Minnesota law “makes it clear that the prevailing party shall be awarded its cost by the court”.

 

And people were like yeah, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Needless to say, Children’s Theatre ticket sales are down.

 

Kelly Street: Kids going there on Friday, hopefully it will be great.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: What is your kid going to see?

 

Kelly Street: Matilda.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Matilda?

 

Kelly Street: Yes, by one of my most favorite authors in the world, Roald Dahl.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Yes. What are some of your favorite Dahl books?

 

Kelly Street: Matilda. What are some of yours?

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Okay. I was big BFG, which is Danny, Champion of the World.

 

Kelly Street: Danny, Champion of the World.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: James and the Giant Peach.

 

Kelly Street: Oh, such a good one. You know what Roald Dahl and our guest today have in common?

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: You know what, I was hoping that you might have some idea about that.

 

Kelly Street: They are both British.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: There it is. You found a way to work it in.

 

Kelly Street: There it is.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: You are a true pro.

 

Kelly Street: We have decided that on every episode of Lunch Hour Legal Marketing, you either need to sing or I need to do an accent of some sort.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, I appreciate that contribution because you are very good at it.

 

Kelly Street: Well, thank you. That was more my like cockney version of a British accent.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: High society next time.

 

Kelly Street: Yes, next time I will go there. Anyway, I am super excited to talk about our guest — or talk to our guest today I should say.

 

What do you think we are going to talk about, Gyi?

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Roald Dahl.

 

Kelly Street: No. We are going to talk about PR and branding and what big firms are kind of dealing with in the legal space that might be different than small firms, might not be, we will see.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Fantastic. And with that, dear subscribers, we welcome Becca Harding with Saltwhistle on today’s episode of Lunch Hour Legal Marketing.

 

[Music]

 

Intro: Welcome to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing, with your hosts Gyi Tsakalakis and Kelly Street, teaching you how to promote, market, and make fat stacks for your legal practice, here on Legal Talk Network.

 

[Music]

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Kelly?

 

Kelly Street: Hey Gyi.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Are you out there?

 

Kelly Street: I am out here. I was just waiting for you to say something.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: And I did it.

 

Kelly Street: And you did it, and now we can let our guest say some things.

 

Everyone, we are joined by Becca Harding, the Founder of Saltwhistle, which is a business development, marketing and communications consultancy firm in the UK. And without further ado, Becca, will you tell our guests a little bit about yourself.

 

Rebecca Harding: Yes. Oh, it’s lovely to be talking to you today and I appreciate the invitation. Yeah, so I work with professional services firms, lots and lots of lawyers, but I also work with accountants and other professional services, like digital agencies and so on. But I spend an awful lot of time with lawyers and probably have more lawyer friends than most normal people do.

 

(00:05:06)

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Than you would like.

 

Rebecca Harding: No, I would never say that, no. I know lots of fantastic people in the industry. I really enjoy the work that I do. I get out a lot. I travel a lot, seeing people. I do a lot of speaking to lawyers and a lot of listening to lawyers, which I think is more important actually some time and listening to what they do with their firms and what they want to achieve. So I really enjoy it.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, that’s an area I think we just can dive right into, because you have had a lot of experience really globally with listening to lawyers. What’s on lawyers’ minds these days? What are they talking about?

 

Rebecca Harding: Well, it doesn’t matter where you go, and I have been — since November I have been to Sydney, Auckland, New York, Brussels, I am going off to Amsterdam and Singapore in the next couple of months and I am talking to small, medium-sized and large firm lawyers everywhere, they are all saying exactly the same things. So recruitments and finding good people is a real issue, particularly with rounded skills, so that they have the potential to go on and become partners. So often they are very good technically, but trying to find people that will bring in the work and 00:06:20 for them is very difficult and can develop clients as well.

 

They are also really concerned about AI, artificial intelligence. So I was at a conference in Israel, in Tel Aviv a few months ago, I was talking to somebody from a small Polish firm, and everything they were saying was exactly the same as I have heard in the UK. He is worried about the impact that AI will have in terms of his clients going forward that he is going to lose some of his basic work, and what that’s going to mean to him financially in his firm.

 

And sort of also trying to keep on top of the developments, because you invest in new IT and then it’s out of date. So what are the best programs to invest in, how do you keep your network up-to-date so that it’s going to be functional over the next few years.

 

The other big issue that people are facing is keeping up with business itself, even small businesses now are being pushed to becoming global. If you look at me, I am a global business, I am a small business, but I am global, and with that pressure it’s going to mean that lawyers themselves even in the small firms are going to have to have more experience in the global scene.

 

So just sitting in your hometown thinking oh, this will do is not going to really help you in the next sort of five to ten years. So that means that even small firms are going to have to join global networks, get to have contacts in other countries, learn from people in other countries and build up that case file of experience that they have built up abroad.

 

So for example, in Amsterdam I am talking at the Legalink Global Conference, which is an international network with lots of small to medium-sized firms and they are working with each other to put together joint pitches, looking at cross-referring work to each other. So that they can build up that experience of working in the global sphere and also to be able to offer that service to their clients as well as all these businesses become global.

 

Another thing that’s affected people is the move to digital communication. So clients are inundated with messages through digital media. How do you get your clients to hear you? How do you get them to be aware of you? It’s a complete sea change in the way the firms are communicating.

 

So it always used to be the seminar and the newsletter and all the traditional things that I did when I first started working with professional services firms. Those things have had to be rethought and relooked at, and I think clients — my clients and the law firms that I work with are really struggling to get their heads around how to do that and how to make the most of digital media in the professional services field.

 

Another area is innovation and that is for me, that’s what real marketing is about. It’s not just about sort of fantasy stuff in the future and maybe we will do that one day. Real innovation is what real marketing is. It’s looking at the needs of your clients of the future, what they are going to want and actually come up with solutions for them and for the way that you and your firm are delivering those solutions to your clients.

 

(00:09:46)

 

And I think an awful lot of law firms and lawyers really struggle with innovation. I think on accounts of confidence; confidence in their own ability to create. And also, people tend to be naturally risk-averse, so they don’t want to try things that might have a huge amount of risk attached to them, but actually that risk is where real developments are coming now and where the future will lie. But it’s weighing up risk and doing a proper analysis of that risk so that you know in a way that it is safe risk, does that make sense? So you have actually thought it through and you have thought well, actually the gain here is so great that it’s worth taking this chance on it.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Right, exactly, it’s quantifying that risk.

 

Rebecca Harding: Yeah, and it’s quite a difficult thought process for a lot of lawyers. So sometimes it’s nice to have creative people in there with them helping them look at things differently and helping them with that process of innovation.

 

Another area that people have really struggled with is the aggressive competition and the fact that there are a lot of lawyers and how do you compete in this aggressive — this sort of overly aggressive marketplace I think.

 

A friend of mine, Tim, he is a lawyer, he is a corporate lawyer and he went to see an in-house counsel and he put a pitch in, responded to an RFP, Request for Proposal, and he went into this in-house counsel’s office and said what did you think of our proposal? And the guy had a pile on the side of his desk of about 25 different proposals all piled up, and he looked at my friend Tim and he said, I have no idea which yours is. He said they all look the same. And he really couldn’t tell them apart.

 

And I think that was a real lesson to Tim in how to make yourself stand out in such an aggressive marketplace. And that also comes back to marketing and sort of how you differentiate yourself and how differentiation now is very different compared to how it was some years ago.

 

So one of the exercises I often do with law firms is everyone has those little strap lines under their firm name about we are trustworthy and reliable or something like that. And you take all those away, you take the brand name away, you take all those strap lines and put them up on a board in front of a bunch of partners from all sorts of different firms and say, so can any of you work out which is yours, and they rarely can because they are all so similar.

 

Kelly Street: Oh, that’s so good.

 

Rebecca Harding: And that is differentiation is like, what is it that you are saying about yourself that is actually different. And it takes quite a lot of courage again to say something that is genuinely different.

 

And that was very interesting when I was in New York. So I went to see a small firm on Wall Street, and I absolutely love them, because they had no pretensions, they weren’t trying to get into the whole sort of we are cutting edge, all these things that everybody is saying when you go on any website at the moment.

 

They had basically written that they only recruited lawyers from college. They weren’t looking for the people that had performed the best at law; they were looking for people that were the best with people, that actually were human beings, that had something about them. And that in itself was such a great message to clients, because it’s saying we want to be part of your family, we want to be real people for you, not pretentious, not artificial, not saying all the things that are so predictable in the marketplace at the moment. And their whole website reflected that and their strap lines reflected that. And it’s probably the best bit of differentiation that I had seen in a law firm for a while. So I really liked what they had done.

 

But does that make sense, that sort of differentiation and having to really find something that is completely different about you and I think that again is going to become more and more important in the digital age, because it is so easy to say yes, we do all the IT, we do the cutting edge stuff, we are bland, like every other firm out there, whereas actually what people are now looking for is something human in amongst all that digital.

 

And there is something within marketing that everybody is talking about and people may have heard of it called tribalism. So if you look at things like Facebook and Instagram and what’s happening just sort of in general media, people are joining groups that they believe in.

 

So for example, at the moment the climate change is a massive issue in the UK and we have had lots of demonstrations; I don’t know whether you have seen that on the news in the US, but it’s been absolutely massive in London and people are joining that tribe, it’s something they care about, and that is something you can harness within the professional services sector.

 

(00:15:04)

 

So for example, a firm that I work with in Brussels, they have gone completely paperless. They absolutely have no paper in their office at all, because they take green issues so seriously. Now, what that’s done is, because they can promote themselves, it’s differentiated them in the marketplace and what it does is drawing younger people in business that feel as strongly as they do about those issues.

 

So they are differentiating on an issue rather than saying well, we are as good at law as everyone else and we are as good at client delivery as everyone else, because actually there probably isn’t a lot of difference between the way a lot of people deliver, so how do you make yourself different and that’s how they have chosen to do it.

 

Kelly Street: Becca, that makes me think of — that’s a really good example and something that is so real and tangible, because we do hear from our clients at the agency and from just lawyers that Gyi and I know and speak to is, it’s like oh, well, I stand up for my clients, or I do this, or I do that, or I also offer business advice in addition to the actual legal IP work that I do for companies, but having something where it’s like hey, actually one of the things that sets us apart, like you said, is the going paperless or one of the things that sets us apart is being virtual.

 

Gyi and I just spoke to a woman who has — started a firm where they are 100% virtual and that is all that firm does, and if you want an in-person experience as part of your — she does estate planning, then she refers you to her other firm that she has, where it’s in-person, but you don’t work with the virtual firm.

 

And just kind of doing those other little things that you can think of to set yourself apart, I think that’s really important other than just personality or kind of the lawyer-based thing, setting yourself apart more on business or ethical decisions.

 

Rebecca Harding: Yeah, absolutely, there are a couple of things I will come back on that. I think really people, your clients expect you to give them business advice. They expect you to be good at the law. They expect you to deliver a solution for them. Trying to use those as selling points doesn’t work. That’s what they are paying for.

 

So to sell yourself and differentiate yourself, you need to be giving them something more, exactly as you just said. That’s the bit that takes you to a different level, and it’s finding those things that take you to a different level above and beyond what a sophisticated customer, and these days people are sophisticated, they know what’s out there in the market and they know what all the other firms are offering. So you have got to go above and beyond what all the other firms are offering.

 

In terms of the virtual, we have had a firm actually very local to me that’s just set up as a virtual firm and that really appeals to a lot of younger people in the marketplace, particularly young people setting up their own businesses who are dashing around and they are much more used to the digital environment. And so that for them is much more comfortable, not having that human contact, because actually that reflects the way they are communicating in their everyday lives.

 

However, something else that I have encountered is that from that you get a lot of young lawyers now that don’t have the skills on the telephone. So we are running courses across the country and in other countries on how to use the telephone, because young people are so frightened of picking it up, because they completely communicate digitally now, which just seems fascinating.

 

Kelly Street: Okay, speaking of telephone and not — well, I mean I think I am actually fairly good on the telephone as a Millennial, but I have said I think on a different interview on this podcast that I have a pretty hard line that I generally won’t work with a business unless I can make an appointment online, just because the calling and maybe not getting a hold of anyone or the intake phone call. It’s like if I can just pick a date online from my calendar that I know works. I can fill out a form. I am happy to fill out all of the information that somebody needs and I am reliable. I will stick with that appointment. But I just want to be able to make the appointment online instead of having to call and possibly get put on hold for minutes or that sort of thing.

 

(00:19:50)

 

And it’s one thing that law firms are starting to do more and more, but is definitely another differentiator and something that I am seeing them do more and more is just kind of embracing that technology, and also you mentioned AI earlier and innovation, that’s another one of those things that it’s just kind of all wrapped up in there.

 

Rebecca Harding: Yeah. Well, the funny thing is — the flip side of it is you run courses for the youngsters like — I mean really young people on how to use the telephone, but the older partners, the ones running the firms utterly lack confidence in anything digital. So they are finding it very hard to make decisions about some of the IT and some of the things that you are talking about.

 

So it’s quite an interesting situation at the moment with these two groups of people with very different IT experience and doing those sorts of forms and those things. They are fantastic. I mean I do everything online now, because it means I can work at any time, which again I think is a much more modern approach that a lot of business people are taking. They are far more flexible in their working hours. And I think businesses are really far more flexible and firms have to keep up with that and the kind of provision they are giving people to approach them and to communicate with them. So again, that’s where AI comes in.

 

But in terms of helping, partners are often the managing teams of these firms and they don’t have the same IT experience as some of the youngsters, one of the things we have done is set up shadow boards within firms, so that you have a bunch of younger — either younger partners or manager level who can input into decisions about the firm that are much more interested in IT, in sort of innovation around AI, and can support the actual board of the firm in making these decisions.

 

And of course what you are actually doing then as well is bringing people on from succession issue, so you have got people who then can move in to taking over the firm as old partners retire. So it’s kind of solving quite a few of these issues.

 

Yeah, I just think dealing with this whole AI issue and bringing firms on is going to — and just how you do that within the firm and the communication within the firm and the decision making within the firm is crucial in bringing AI through and innovation.

 

Kelly Street: Absolutely. So just kind of thinking about all of the things you mentioned early on and just kind of getting a more maybe diverse team, I know you are talking a lot about creating winning pitches is one of the things that it specifically lists on your website that your firm does, and I have kind of found over my time and working with lawyers is that often they fit into these categories of being a lecturer, because that’s what they were used to in law school and in the lecture halls often, storytelling which falls into more maybe of lawyers who are used to being in court, personal injury attorneys. They are used to kind of creating more of a setting and a story to everything they are talking about or the filibustering.

 

And are there types of pitching that fall into these categories that are more effective or do you look at this completely different and on and on?

 

Rebecca Harding: Yeah. Well, I suppose I look at it slightly differently really. I mean the thing is I also know an awful lot of very good actors who are lawyers as well; I went to see one of my clients performing quite recently. I actually find quite a lot of lawyers are very good with language and very articulate and expressive, but they sometimes need a little encouragement, because they get quite used to sticking to sort of contractual law and speaking in that way, and to encourage them to be more colorful within the pitching process is great fun actually.

 

But I mean the real key to pitching is thinking about who you are presenting to. It’s all about the client and this often gets forgotten. What I usually see, either in written pitches or then going on to the presentation, or even when you are pitching over lunch, I mean this applies in any situation where you are trying to win work, it’s all about me. It’s all about selling me the lawyer and my firm and there is not enough listening going on and not enough thinking about who the person is that you are pitching to.

 

(00:24:47)

 

So for example, you talk about storytelling. Well, if I was up in front of the management team of a marketing agency or a creative agency, advertising or something, they are going to love the storytelling. They are people that work on pictures, on stories, they want color. So if I went in with a whole bunch of figures and facts and legal language, I am probably going to lose them in the first five minutes.

 

If I go into an accountancy firm who are looking for a lawyer and I start giving them storytelling in color and pictures, I am going to lose them in five minutes, because what they want is evidence, facts, figures, and more of a sort of lecture, more of a lecturing approach.

 

But what I would say with all of it is asking questions even when they are in a pitch situation and getting it to be a two-way conversation is so important, because it makes the client feel that they are being listened to and understood. I mean it’s amazing what you can do, particularly with your market research as well, if you really put the effort in. So you can find out huge amounts about people.

 

For example, at one pitch recently I discovered that one of the main guys in it had been a professional tennis player when he was younger, just by looking online. So we started the pitch talking about his tennis career and he was so chuffed that people had gone to the trouble to find out that much about him, instead of just standing there going my firm was set up in this year or whatever and we do this; it was all about the client, and that was really exciting for him.

 

Another firm I was working with, we managed to find — online I managed to find the CEO speech to his staff annual conference, and in it he listed all the things that he wanted them to worry about over the next year and to put time and effort into, so all the objectives. So we used those objectives to create the presentation and the written pitch that we put together. So we based it around their objectives, so your Objective A is, and we can help fulfill that objective by doing this for you. So they could then go through and go wow, they are actually helping us do what we need to do to report back with it internally for us.

 

So can you see how — it’s that listening and really paying attention to your client that is singly most important thing that you can do in a pitch situation, and it’s not really about you at all.

 

Kelly Street: Yeah, absolutely. I think about how — I am kind of thinking about how this would apply to more solo or small firms and I can see how that fits in for business attorneys and maybe even estate planning or those type of practice areas, but can you think of more for like personal injury or criminal defense firms, how finding out more about their clients or kind of some — maybe some tactics for that sort of a pitch or I guess in the consultation phase to try to win that business?

 

Rebecca Harding: Again, it’s about really listening and understanding your client. I think — again, I would say it’s always about — people love to talk about themselves and they love to feel that they are understood, whether that’s in a business context or a personal context, being understood and feeling there is empathy there and understanding from a lawyer is going to be far more powerful than anything else that you can deliver for that client and that will set you apart.

 

And if you talk to clients, because I often do — ring around clients just to say well, what do you feel you had from your lawyer? What was it you liked? It always comes back to well, I felt they really understood me. I really liked talking to them. I felt that I was talking to a human being. It is that empathy always that wins with people.

 

And I don’t think it matters whether it’s a small firm or if you are just a partner out for a lunch with somebody you have met and you are networking, listening to them, talking to them about their problems, and actually when you start to chat to somebody about their problems, it can give you an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge without having to sell, because you can comment straight away and say well, have you thought about doing this or would this help you, or a way to approach this is X, Y and Z, and that demonstrates what you can do very quickly, but it’s doing it from the client’s point of view. So they immediately feel an association with you. They feel a kind of bind to you, and they feel that they are already receiving help. So they start to feel a commitment, they start to feel a loyalty to you. They feel they have got a friend. They have got someone they can talk to.

 

(00:30:11)

 

People will say that they buy for all sorts of reasons, but essentially those human motives and that emotion is far more a driver than a lot of people will actually admit to in the buying process.

 

Kelly Street: Yeah, it’s easier to say afterwards that you chose someone for some rational reason, but really in the beginning it’s like oh, they actually listened to me or they seem to understand my issue.

 

Rebecca Harding: Yeah, absolutely, and that is why people buy. People buy people in this business. The brand is a great framework for you, about what you stand for and the kind of values you stand for, but people really want the person, which is why it’s so important to recruit the right people within your firm that share your values and are similar types of people to you, that you can go out as a cohesive front to the world and say, these are the types of people we are here, we are going to listen to you, we are going to be good to you. We want to be somebody that helps you, genuinely makes you feel good about what’s happening. We are going to take the stress out of this for you.

 

And people very rarely admit within business or in their personal lives quite the depth of emotion that they experience in what is often a stressful situation when they are dealing with lawyers. And even in business, if it’s litigation or whatever, or in personal life, even worse if it’s personal injury or criminal, whatever, there is a huge level of emotion in there. So having that lifeline thrown to you by somebody who seems to understand is incredibly important at that point.

 

Kelly Street: Yes.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: I am kind of curious just about tactically whether it’s specific platforms or beyond, and I understand that this is why we all have businesses to help lawyers be able to communicate in ways that their clients understand and understand how they help. Tactically, what are you seeing working the most for lawyers, whether it’s a platform or a specific strategy or even if you had some examples maybe of firms that you think or lawyers that you think are doing a great job of this?

 

Rebecca Harding: You mean in terms of AI?

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, I was saying more just digital communication. I think in terms of messaging where you are — if you can share, whether it’s clients you have worked with or just lawyers you have seen out in the marketplace that you think hey, they have really adopted this empathic approach to their communication with understanding clients?

 

Rebecca Harding: Well, I think if you are looking at digital and doing much more sort of general sweep rather than one to one, LinkedIn can be fantastic if it’s used well, and I see it used very badly a lot of the time actually, where people have put on very lengthy, rather dull articles that to be honest don’t get read.

 

What I have seen work very well with partners who have really presented themselves well and built their profile up publicly is by doing very human pictures and human relationships and show the site isn’t just business on LinkedIn, but photographs are hugely powerful and show a very different person, but can also be very good at demonstrating what you are capable of.

 

So within psychology there is something called association, which is where if you are seen with somebody else, you are almost attributed with being in the same sort of status, having some of the same attributes and so on. So if you show pictures of yourself with interesting people, people by association therefore attribute some of their qualities to you.

 

And if you think very carefully about the type of people that you are seen with and whether it fits with the type of person and the type of firm you want to be seen as, it can really enhance your profile as a human being and as a person.

 

So for example, say just going back to the green idea because it’s on the top of my head. If you were to be associated with firms that are doing a lot of work or business people who are doing a lot of work or somebody in the community who is working on green projects, that sets you up then as being somebody who really cares, who is bothered about these things, and again, it’s building on the fact that you are a human being and not just a business person.

 

(00:34:55)

 

A lot of people now focus on building their profiles, and if I can talk just quickly a bit about brand and then come back to the profile because it will make more sense. Brand has gotten far too big within professional services. The way I look at it is that the brand is — it should be like a picture frame and all the lawyers are inside in your firm. So it’s there to make you look good, to show you off to your best, just as it would a piece of art. So if you have got an old-fashioned piece of art, you are not going to have a brand new modern picture frame around it. You will have something that shows it off to its best, and that’s exactly the same as a law firm. So your brand should represent the type of people you are, what your firm stands for.

 

Where it’s got to at the moment is that the brand has become the picture and all the little lawyers are hanging off the picture frame, if that makes sense, so they are not as important as the brand itself. What we are now – people need to be moving back to is the solid fact, that has never changed, which is that people buy people. They want to know what your set of values are and what your firm differentiates itself out, because that helps them look where to find those people, but what they want to know is who are they going to be working with.

 

And so by building up your profile as a human being and thinking about what your messages are, so you do a plan, like you would for anything else, you think about how you want to come across, what your key messages are, the tone of the material that you want to do; are you going to be humorous or serious, and again that goes back to your brand. Do you want to be known particularly in any niches or for any issues? Do you have any particular positions that you can — on committees, for associations or trade bodies, something that you become identified with that is perhaps different to other things that people are doing. And use those opportunities to photograph yourself, to do video clips, to make yourself look a human online, so you become a real personality rather than just another lawyer putting something out about the latest bit of tax legislation or something.

 

It’s about becoming that human being, so that people feel, that then when they come across you they might be tempted to ask your advice, they are talking to a person, a real person. And I think people over the last sort of — particularly during the 90s and the 2000s, this idea of brand became so overwhelming that I think we forgot a lot of the basics that people buy people. And I don’t think that will ever change and I think putting that in the modern digital context is really important.

 

Kelly Street: What a perfect note to wrap up on. I have so many more questions for you, but I know we have hit our end time. Gosh, I would love to just keep picking your brain because you have so much good information here, but I am so delighted that you could come on and share all of your knowledge and years of experience in working with law firms of all sizes.

 

Rebecca Harding: Well, thank you. I have really enjoyed it. It’s been fun. It’s been really good.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: And Becca, for those listeners that would like to continue the conversation with you, how do you prefer people connect with you?

 

Rebecca Harding: You can find me on LinkedIn or my website is saltwhistle.com, so they should be able to find me there as well.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Fantastic.

 

Rebecca Harding: Thank you.

 

Gyi Tsakalakis: Awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time to share that wealth of knowledge with us. And as always, listeners, if you found this valuable, please don’t hesitate to check us out on your favorite podcasting tool and leave us a review, positive or constructive, and if you would like to participate in the Lunch Hour Legal Marketing Podcast, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

 

Thank you so much everyone and have a wonderful day.

 

[Music]

 

Outro: Thank you for listening to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing. If you would like more information about what you heard today, please visit legaltalknetwork.com. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts and RSS. Follow Legal Talk Network on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram and/or download the free app from Legal Talk Network in Google Play and iTunes.

 

The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own, and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders, or subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.

 

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Episode Details
Published: June 20, 2019
Podcast: Lunch Hour Legal Marketing
Category: Legal Marketing , Legal Technology
Podcast
Lunch Hour Legal Marketing
Lunch Hour Legal Marketing

The podcast version of this free webinar featuring nationally known legal experts discussing a variety of marketing topics.

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