Greetings today from Boston, where at 9:00 AM I will be speaking to young lawyer members of the Boston Bar Association at the Brand Yourself Event.

My presentation will be Starting Right for Career Success. If you are interested, I put the slides on Slideshare.net.

Among other subjects, I will share thoughts on building their profile and building relationships. In my case my writing and speaking led to many “Weak Tie” relationships.

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I recently posted a blog titled: Client Development: Use the Internet to Amplify Reach of Weak Ties.

In the post I told the story of how a large contractor found me based on a recommendation by a lawyer co-presenter on a panel presentation.

When I look back at other significant new clients who hired me to help them, almost all of them first considered me based on a recommendation from a “weak tie.” So, as a practical matter, what do you need to do? The answer is client development in a nutshell. As shown below there are four main stages:

  1. Become visible and credible to your target market and weak ties in that target market. I wrote articles and gave presentations to industry groups to become visible and credible, but there are a wide variety of other ways to do it.
  2. Build relationships and be in the mind of weak ties.
  3. Keep your website up to date with representative matters and downloadable articles and presentations. After you are recommended, your potential client will go to your website bio to see if you have the expertise and experience to handle their matter.
  4. Build trust and rapport by asking good questions and listening. When you get the meeting with your potential client representative, she will be weighing whether she can trust you to handle the matter effectively in a manner that will make her management compliment her for choosing you. She also is weighing what it will be like to work with you. In this stage too many lawyers mistakenly try to sell themselves and their firm, instead of asking good questions and selling by doing.

Want to be more successful next year? Develop a game plan to become more visible and credible, to build relationships with potential referral sources and to develop trust and rapport with potential new clients when you get the opportunity.

If you want tips on how to do it, take my 7 sessions Video Coaching Course. It only costs $49.