I was so pleased to have spoken at the In Practice law conference today in Hartford, CT. My co-presenter, Kirsten Lovett, and I presented a program called: “Repurposing with Rewards: A Guide to Creating Website and Social Media Content”. We had a fantastic room of attendees (who I hope walked away from the presentation with very applicable skills!) I am going to highlight just one of our slides in this post: How Content Helps You.
Creating and using informative, easy to understand content is crucial to see the results depicted in this graphic. From one single piece of content (press release, advisory, news item, sponsorship… you name it) you can stack up multiple touchpoints. Create a teaser sentence or two and you can use the same content on your website, blog, linked in, twitter and facebook pages. When you post your content on all of these platforms, you gain better visibility and improve the likeliness that someone will find you in an internet search. So, if you want to differentiate yourself, earn higher SEO ranking, be found easier, position yourself as a thought-leader, show you are current and be attractive to reporters as a resource…. try it. Take one piece of content and repurpose it in multiple places.
We all have skills, albeit some stronger than others. Some skills we use more frequently, some with more success. I often get asked to look into the future and determine what is needed to remain relevant in such a fast changing environment. But, what are the key skills for succeeding in marketing your practice or business? The more I think about what makes successful people tick, the more I realize that a few essential components rise to the top. In my opinion, the common denominators boil down to a very straight forward trio:
- Relationships. Building and maintaining solid, long-term relationships is possibly the most important skill anyone can employ. It is vitally important to add new people to the mix while maintaining long-term contacts. It is no secret that people keep business moving and changing. They make buying decisions based on trust and refer business based on proven success.
- Technology. There will always be a new technology to help us perform in our jobs. Today, we live in a social media driven world. Last decade, we lived in an email age. The technologies will always come in and out of fashion. It is our jobs to embrace new technologies in a way that keeps us relevant. If you don’t, you will find yourself quickly outdated and unable to communicate on a very basic business level.
- Persistence. Good, old fashioned ‘elbow grease’ will continue to drive you towards your goals. Working hard, being aware of what is happening in the world and employing stamina to perform will help you outshine those who wait for things to happen to them.
Of course there are many other skills that individuals need to use in their specific jobs, but relationships, technology and persistence are common threads for all successful professionals. There is not a doubt in my mind that if you continually craft your skills in these areas, you will continue to be relevant and successful.
As I pondered a topic to write about in my post today, I stumbled upon an interesting list of business tips from Bill Gates. The article I read says these are his ‘secrets’ for business development. But, as I read through them, I realized these tips should be anything but secret. They certainly are simply stated strategies that may be difficult to act upon consistently over time. In my opinion, these points should be communicated clearly (and often!) across every organization that wants to be successful. They are great tips and so I would like to share eight of Bill’s ‘secrets’ with you:
- Set clear goals and work tirelessly to achieve them.
- Firmly believe in yourself and your ideas, even if others do not see the benefits of what you do.
- Never let anyone convince you that something is not possible.
- Partner with intelligent and capable people and believe in that team.
- Give high priority to the elimination of bureaucratic obstacles in your business.
- Give high priority to cost reduction.
- Optimize communication within your organization.
- Create an identity for your company and promote it relentlessly.
These tips are a great foundation for any kind of business. They are clear and to the point. The trick is determining how these points get acted upon in your particular business environment. I recommend starting with one of these thoughts, expanding upon it and building an actionable plan to achieve it. Once you have a plan in place, move into the next one until each point has been addressed and planned for. Of course we can’t all be Bill Gates by just following his advice in these bullets, but we can certainly improve ourselves and our businesses by being actively aware of these best practices and putting them to good use.