The indented part of this post contains information Â taken verbatim from the monthly newsletter ofÂ Harlan Schillinger,Â Vice President/Director of Legal Marketing for Network Affiliates, Inc. I’m sharing it here, with Harlan’s permission, because he makes some great points I want to share with you.
Although people go to law school for a variety of reasons, I believe most lawyers who represent consumers, families and small businesses became lawyers because they genuinely wanted to help people. Harlan Schillinger of Network Affiliates, a legal marketing firm, “get’s it.” This article reminds us that being a lawyer is about more than merely making money (although Harlan can help you do that, too).
Here’s Harlan’s newsletter from today (full disclosure, this is not an affiliate-link post, I am not being compensated for the post, and I don’t have a financial interest in Â Network Affiliates). I just thought Harlan’s advice was too good not to share.):
Do NOT Get Involved In Community Service If Your Heart Isnâ€™t In It
Community service is a great activity to participate in for many people and businesses. The difference between a business being involved in community service and a person engaging in community service is that a person will very rarely become involved in community service without having a passion for the cause. Businesses shouldnâ€™t engage in community service unless the people representing the business have that same passion.
Community Service Wonâ€™t Build Your Business
While stating that community service wonâ€™t help you build your business seems contradictory to our position on community service, it actually makes perfect sense. The act of performing community service isnâ€™t what helps your law firm when your firm volunteers its time. People gravitate towards the thought behind your firm volunteering, not the volunteering itself. Community service is an expression of the values your firm holds. The act of getting out in the community and helping out is merely a demonstration of what is important to your firm. But without having the underlying values that support your community service efforts, what is your firm actually doing?
Your Firm Has to Walk the Walk
If your firm does engage in community service without caring about the cause, people will see right through it. People will be able to tell if your brand cares about the cause based on your firmâ€™s interest level at the events. If people see members of your firm in a general state of malaise and disinterest, it reflects poorly upon your brand. In fact, performing community service without caring about the cause you are volunteering for can actually have a negative impact on your firmâ€™s brand. People will not want to do business with a firm that makes a mockery out of community service and sees the community as a means to an end. Your firm has to â€œwalk the walkâ€ when it comes to community service. If your firm doesnâ€™t actually believe in community service, it will be painfully clear to others and people will not want to bring cases to your law firm.
How Do You Feel About RÃ©sumÃ© Builders?
Showing up for community service events just for the sake of being at events is like being a member of professional organizations just to put it on your rÃ©sumÃ©. So, if you are invested in the cause, support it. A stronger, more reputable brand will result in more cases for your firm and a higher chance of developing referral sources. What is your firm contributing to its community? For ideas on how your firm can get more active in your local community, contact Network Affiliates today.
This article was also published on Network Affiliates’ blog today.