Simple Habits for Increasing Publication and Speaking Opportunities
Professional development is important, but you don’t need to devote several hours every week to it. In fact, many tasks can be completed in one or two, 20-minute power sessions. By scheduling out the tasks you use to connect with colleagues a little each day, you can steadily propel your career forward.
Connect on LinkedIn
Whether you use LinkedIn or another professional networking site, make sure you spend some time connecting with others in your field on a regular basis. This does not necessarily mean other attorneys in your area of practice. You might connect with those in related areas of practice, like professionals in agencies that serve the same client base as you, or fellow members in the same professional associations as you. If you haven’t met them in person before, it just takes a few minutes to send a quick message and a request to connect. Share a little information about yourself and why you were hoping to connect with them.
Write or Request a Review
You should also make the most of the professional connections you already have. Look at your list and find someone you have not yet written a review or commendation for, then write a specific, positive review on your networking site of choice. This builds rapport with them and encourages them to do the same for you. If you are particularly proud of the work you have done with someone, take a couple of minutes to send a message and ask them for a review when they have time.
Find (Virtual) Events to Attend
Oftentimes, getting a speaking engagement is just a matter of connecting with the right person at the right time. You expand your network substantially by attending events, introducing yourself to people, and following up with a connection request on a networking platform. Take a few minutes to check your local legal association listings for events that are relevant to your area of practice.
Write a Short Blog Post or Article
You know your area of practice inside and out, so you can likely jot a rough draft of a blog post or short article in less than half an hour. Whether you get an outline done or a fully polished piece, it gets you one step closer to another piece of content and getting your name out into the world.
Adapt an Existing Piece of Content for a Press Release or Repost
If you have resources such as blogs or articles on your site, take a look through the archive on your website. If there is a piece that has not done quite as well as you had hoped, either in terms of views or conversions, turn it into something new. Use the main idea and key points to create a new press release or piece of content for another site. Both press release sites and legal blogs can be excellent sources of traffic and help your content reach new eyes, expanding your influence and your network. If you link these pieces back to your own site or blog, you can also improve the SEO of your domain.
Post on Social Media
Law firms with strong social media presences have a good chance of establishing themselves in their target audience’s minds. It does not matter if the people you initially reach are not currently in need of legal services. Your post will still introduce them to your brand, making it more likely that they will think of you when they do need legal representation. In 20 minutes, you can write one social media post and adapt it for several other platforms. Use your favorite social media scheduling tool to set up the posts to drop at different times.
Look for Industry Awards
The recognition you get from an award can do a lot for your speaking engagements and publication opportunities. However, waiting around for someone to nominate you often means passing up on valuable chances. Spend a few minutes every month refreshing your memory of upcoming award deadlines and set aside time to nominate yourself (or your firm or colleagues) for awards that accept self-nominations. You can save even more time on this by saving the key points from an application to use on subsequent applications. Many awards ask for the same basic information, including your leadership skills and accomplishments, major cases you have been involved in, and how you have contributed to your community. Keeping a shortlist of these points on hand makes it easy to finish a nomination in record time.
Set Up a Mentorship Call
No matter how long you have been in the field or how much experience you have, there is always something more you can learn. If you have not reached out to your mentor in some time, use your professional development time to set up a call and plan out some questions you would like to ask. You can also use the call as an opportunity to ask about upcoming awards or events that might be a good fit for you.
Find a Podcast
Good podcasts with a solid listener base rely on experts to provide accurate content. As a legal professional, you could be the ideal guest for a podcast relevant to your target audience. If you are a family law attorney, look into podcasts aimed at single parents or people co-parenting with difficult individuals. If you work in immigration law, check out podcasts that provide commentary on current events and legal updates. Once you have a feel for a podcast’s style and content, you can reach out to provide your insight on an upcoming episode.
Professional development is a key part of your business, but it does not have to come at the expense of client work and billable hours. These easy tasks let you fit professional development into even your busiest days.