Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Keeping It S.I.P.S.

By Megan Quinn

What do you do for a living?

If you answered by naming your company or your title or your general field, you just missed out on a golden business opportunity – to create interest in what you do and open the door for further interest.

That was the main takeaway from a recent conference, LMA Metro Philadelphia’s Half-Day Educational Conference, presented by the HUB City View. The July 16 conference was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about legal marketing from local and visiting marketing experts and it was interesting to switch over to the marketing side for a day and shift my mind out of the PR gear.

The breakout session 2 program, “Wildfire: Creating Interest in Your Practice With Everyone You Meet,” really struck a chord with me. It was presented by Steve Hughes, president of Missouri-based company Hit Your Stride, LLC. The main theme was, how can we brainstorm new ways to market our profession or help our clients to do the same when networking?

For example, when asked at a cocktail party or event, “What do you do for a living?” it’s easy to just state your profession or company name outright. “I’m a lawyer,” “I work in public relations,” or “I work at Furia Rubel Communications in Doylestown.”

That’s all well and good, but there’s no hint of mystery to it. If we aren’t proactive about coming up with new ways to explain our jobs in a fun, interesting way, does that make us sound disinterested in what we do?

For tax attorneys, Hughes recommends saying this: “I’m Uncle Sam’s biggest nightmare” or “I help add to the national debt.” For estate planning attorneys, try “I work with dead people” or real estate attorneys can say “I play with dirt all day and get paid for it.”

The point is to make our explanations S.I.P.S. (short, intriguing, pithy and simple). If we can succeed in doing this, we can engage our audience in a way that presents opportunities for follow-up questions. Don’t give it all away at once; leave them guessing!

I often have a hard time explaining my job to friends and family, as I wrote about in a previous blog post, so this is a way to explore how we view our clients and their impact on the world. So, what do I do? For my job, I came up with, “I help law firms and banks look human.”

How would you explain your profession to others?

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