Reputation, Not Ads

Posted: 12th Sep 2014


I’d bet every person who reads this knows who David Maister and Richard Susskind are…but you’ve never seen their marketing material, have you? There’s a simple reason for that – there really isn’t any.


Both of these men have built a considerable market presence and retained them chiefly on the basis of constant exposure mainly through speaking appearances (esp Susskind) and publications ( esp Maister) and being seen to be associated with other leading brands in their markets.


The result is that both are now ‘brands’ themselves and in turn, aspirational people and brands seek to be seen in their space so their brand value rubs off on them.


This is a pretty simple marketing technique and there are other proponents of it in your profession. In the early days of Words4Business I used conference speaking and seminars to add ‘brand value’ and fast growth to our proposition and when I ran LawZone (for you older people there!), the link with LawNow was highly beneficial (a big thank you to CMS Cameron McKenna, by the way).


It really isn’t hard, or complicated. So why do so few law FIRMS use it?


You can build a leading position in a target market fairly easily if you just go about it systematically, aligning yourself with other trusted brands and building influence and market authority. It is highly effective and offers excellent long-term returns. It also transfers very well to the Internet (one of the reasons you never see me speaking at conferences these days).


If you need help with any of this, do ask us – we have a lot of free resources and also have great contacts – people we can point you towards who can help you.


One last thought. When was the last time you heard/read anything from a ‘guru’ that you thought was really new or innovative. Never, right? That’s because although the mechanisms may change (eg. the internet), the way people work hasn’t…which is why ‘The Trusted Adviser’ (published more than a decade ago: the current edition has a testimonial from Tom Peters on it) is still the best thing on the selling of professional services there is.


So, pick your market and become the Godfather. It isn’t hard.