six degrees of separation

When I was coaching lawyers I was frequently asked for my top tip on attracting new clients. Over the last year, while I have been recruiting lawyers, I’ve been asked the same question. Put simply, my answer is:

You want to increase the number of “weak ties” who influence your target market and know what you can do to help those potential clients.

I’m a big believer of the “6 degrees of separation.” Click on the link to learn more about the concept.

While we were at Diamante Los Cabos in December, I introduced a young real estate executive I know to a very successful Virginia Tech grad. My fellow Virginia Tech grad has a huge network of friends. Now, the young real estate executive may get to meet people in that network.

Lawyers I coached over the years know I introduced them to other lawyers I coached and to people I know. Those connections were “weak ties,” and in many cases, one lawyer referred business to another lawyer.

Do you know what “weak ties” are? You can read the science behind it here: The Strength of Weak Ties. My simple definition is:

Contacts that are not in your inner circle of family and friends.

I owe the success I experienced in my legal career to recommendations by “weak ties.” My most important client found me in 1984 when a government lawyer with whom I had spent three hours on a panel recommended me to handle a matter on the subject of my presentation.

How do you increase the number of “weak ties” who know what you know? You need a strategy aimed at giving them a greater opportunity to find you.

I suggest you create content they will value and find important. More specifically, I suggest you provide information your target market does not know and needs to know.

Once you create the valuable content, use the platforms where your “weak ties”  hang out to publish and distribute it. Those platforms might be social media sites, or it might not be.

So,

  • Who is in your target market?
  • Who influences them?
  • What does your target market need to know right now?
  • What platforms can you use to get the answer to the target market and their influencers?