Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Step into my Lair

People go to great lengths to get someone to walk into their store. Websites give away lots of free information to get visitors and get them to come back. This same technique can be used for professional services to create buzz. It is not easy or quick, because you must approach it with sincerity, but it can be very effective. I will illustrate this with a current experience. Thompson Hine is not my law firm. However, they are very engaged in economic development and growing the region. I have been invited to be on committees, to come to presentations at the firm and to get free advice from a round table at the firm. I have also attended a party at one of a partner's home. They have never asked me to become a client. They are always helpful, kind and serve good lunches. I know six attorneys at the firm. I am in their offices every few weeks and I have to drive an hour to get there. My point is this. They are giving. I am sure it is not cheap or easy, but they are giving back and I have a better rapport with them than my own attorney. [Who also threw a great party this year] Professional service firms are not easy to differentiate. However, this kind of active engagement is the way they can create buzz and make the news on a regular basis, while feeling good about helping people and businesses. We frequently get asked by professional service people how to create buzz. Giving back to the community is a very good start.