Telling stories that resonate

Listening to the presidential debates reminds me of the importance of good story telling. Telling good stories that illustrate what you do is one of the best ways to make yourself memorable. Romney and Obama were at their best when they told vivid and simple stories about individuals. They were at their weakest when they lapsed into detailed policy discussions.

While I wrote about good story telling earlier in the year, it is such an important point that I am returning to it.

One of the big challenges in selling legal services is that it can take months (or years) before your referral sources actually have the opportunity to refer work to you. Therefore, it is important to find creative ways to ensure that someone in your network will think of you when they hear about a problem that you can solve. Telling good stories is a great tool to accomplish this.

But what makes a story "good"?

Simply put, a good story (for marketing purposes) holds the attention of the listener. It also positions you in a way you want to be known.

So a long winded story told with excruciating detail is generally not an effective tactic for making yourself memorable. Distill the story to its basic facts and choose something that highlights the kind if work you want to be known for.

Note, in some instances this will not be the work that you are most proud of. Remember, you are marketing, not documenting. Choose a case you are proud of; but make sure it is a good example of the work you want in the future. You may be very pleased with yourself for the results you achieved in a child custody case. But if you don't want to handle child custody cases, then find another case which describes your advocacy skills.

Tip courtesy of Stephen Seckler, president, Seckler Legal Consulting and Coaching.

Published October 25, 2012


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