We wanted to develop a sophisticated law practice that would grow with our clients. We found a niche market in the legal industry that was under-served, particularly young professionals that were turning an entrepreneurial leaf. At some stage they would need quality, yet affordable, legal services. As young professionals ourselves, we found this to be particularly true in a recessionary environment. The idea is simple: we want our clients to succeed, and we do what can to ensure that. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs face serious legal issues simply because they did not have a lawyer on their side to begin with. We provide them that utmost confidence on the legal end to go forward in their ventures.
How did you go about branding your company?
We worked with a company called Global Executive Board (globalexecboard.com) that focuses solely on social and digital media strategy in order to brand a company through its thought leaders. It’s a small, niche company in New York that delves into the needs of the company brand through the executives. They did a great job understanding what our firm is about, what we wanted to put forth to our clients, and how we wanted to do it. They work closely with us, and often some of our clients, and adjust their deliverable structures to the needs of their clients. We highly recommend that entrepreneurs get in touch with someone to do this for them – it will save a lot of time and hassle.
How are you using face-to-face networking to grow your business?
It’s an active component, as integral as social media and online marketing. Too often businesses do not understand the value of face to face communication. We believe that you have to go out there and make in-person connections which will often help seal a deal. People want to invest in other people, much more than just a simple idea. Grow your network online, but then take out the time to meet that online network in person.
What’s your best advice for someone just getting started with face to face networking?
Take it one step at a time. It’s not easy to go from online-only networking to face to face, but it is well worth it. Ask someone on your Twitter feed to have coffee to discuss mutually interesting ideas. Find someone senior in your field that you want to take out to lunch to pick their brain, they will be happy to oblige. And then use online media to follow-up. In the legal field, person-to-person contact in real time is essential. It makes your client/consumer more comfortable when they can put a physical face and presence to the name.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you see entrepreneurs make?
Not getting legal counsel on the outset. It is something I cannot stress enough. Legal counsel can see risks coming much earlier and can help entrepreneurs develop sound strategy via well written contracts and formations to protect themselves and their businesses. More often than not, entrepreneurs use the internet for legal forms and legal documents that are not thorough, are not validated and may not protect their assets or their ownership interests. It is imperative to have tailored contracts developed for every transaction you partake it. Further, legal counsel should be on your payroll as early as possible so you do not waste precious time looking for counsel when an emergency comes up.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are using social media to market their companies?
Embrace it but be aware of its risks. Make sure you have an internal social media policy for all employees/partners should they use social media tools to market your company. Social media is the new frontier in terms of law and it may take some time to parse through it. However, it is best to protect yourself early on and not take unnecessary risks.