I recently wrote about social selling from the the standpoint of Jen McLure, the Vice President of Digital and Social Media at Thomson Reuters.

With the advent of the Internet and social media, McLure saw it as a no brainer for accounts and sales people at Thomson Reuters to be using social to build reputations as trusted resources and to grow personal relationships through social networks. After all, people buy in large part from the people they like, trust and view as authorities.

I’m proud of what we’re doing at LexBlog. With the work we’re completing on a new digital publishing solution for professional services people and organizations, we’ll have the best offering in the industry.

But LexBlog and I can’t sit back and wait for folks to come to us to learn about what we’re doing and offering, we need to get out at press the flesh, so to speak. I need to talk to both existing clients and other law firms who I think could benefit from our technology.

It’s not that difficult to find law firms who could benefit from our offering. I can go to their websites look for blogs, publications, alerts, informational sites and email newsletters. In most cases, the firm could do better on multiple fronts – cost, presentation, format, technology and reach.

Armed with this information there are multiple ways to approach a law firm. Cold call them. Drop them an email cold. Ask someone for an introduction. And what have you.

I’ve done the “You don’t know me from Adam, but here’s who I am, what I do and while in town I’d really like to meet.” It’s actually worked in the case of incredibly large law firms who became LexBlog clients. It may have helped that someone in their firm knew me from my blog.

But with everyone now cold selling via email and phone that may not be the best approach.

So my team and I am are going to take a page out of McLure’s playbook and start social selling.

We’ll start by identifying law firms which we think we can help. Rather than immediately reaching out to them, we’re going to learn a little about them and their people. Not by just reading their website and what not, but really trying to get to know the firm and the people we’d like to meet.

What’s it mean for me personally?

  • Following relevant law firm blogs and third publications their people contribute too
  • Following relevant firm names through Google News/Feedly
  • Following and engaging the firm and relevant professionals through Twitter
  • Befriending people on Facebook as appropriate (I have a really nice network of professionals as Facebook friends which often results in worthwhile discussions)
  • Connecting on LinkedIn, again as appropriate and with personal notes
  • Re-energizing my LinkedIn Legal Blogging Group which already has about 8,000 members who have shared information and discussed social media, blogging and social networking matters as they relate to law firms
  • Inviting folks to join our LinkedIn Legal Blogging Group

There’s probably more that could be done, but that’s more than enough. It’s also being done in grass roots fashion. There’s no way to automate getting to know people in a real and authentic fashion.

Don’t get me wrong either about the need to personally meet with people. Despite my networking online via my blog and social media, I am a huge believer that there’s no substitute for spending time with people. The Internet enables us to get to know people better and, for me, build relationships of trust, but if I expect to work with people for the long haul I better be meeting with them.

I shared my thoughts with you for a few reasons.

One, hopefully this gives you a roadmap of how you as a lawyer or other professional can use social selling. Two, I am going to be more transparent about the goings- on at LexBlog – much like I did via this blog when I was first building the company. And three, sharing my goals will make me a little more accountable.

I’ll let you know along the way how things are going. I’d welcome your thoughts on any social selling you’re trying to do as well.