By Aron Solomon
Imagine you’re new to a city and adore coffee. Like borderline obsessed with it. Okay, not really borderline.
How do you find the best coffee?
I moved back to my hometown of Montreal in 2020 after almost four years in Berlin. In Berlin, a truly world-class coffee city, there are a few iconic coffee spots that anyone new to the city will quickly hear about.
Montreal is different. The city is much more divided into neighborhoods and people tend to take their coffee more hyper-locally than they do elsewhere, at least in my experience.
So once I found a few places I liked in the city, I took to Instagram and sent this question via direct message to the cafes I enjoyed the most:
Aside from your place (which I really love – I’m a regular!) who do you think has the best coffee in the city and why?
Everyone I asked replied. Some of the responses became a really engaged and engaging back-and-forth, while others just listed their places and the reasons.
I had at least heard of all the places I hadn’t been to and these detailed answers have encouraged me to go and try some new spots or even revisit a couple of spots where my initial experience wasn’t stellar.
We justifiably put a lot of trust in recommendations given to us by people we like and trust. Moreover, we crave the kind of personal contact and connection in these interactions.
So what does this mean for your legal business? That you now have an insider’s trick to get the best coffee? Well, sure, but you can also use elements of this technique to benefit your firm.
How do people hear about you? If you’re a solo, small, or mid-size legal business, what will your competitors say about you. Are you really on their radar? If not, is there a relatively easy hack?
I think there is. And it’s the most simple tip you’ve probably ever heard.
Leave good reviews for other firms and reach out to them directly on social media.
I’ll break it down for you:
Google reviews are a powerful tool for any business. Why don’t law firms, especially solo, small, and midsize firms, share on a Google review positive things they’ve heard or experienced about other firms.
While we run a local firm in a different spreadsheet of practice, we’ve heard really nice things about how (name of firm) deal with their clients and how committed they are to help people. It’s great to see other lawyers in (name of city) doing such great work.
It’s painless, genuine, takes almost no time, and will 100% get noticed. It doesn’t matter if your kind words are immediately returned – what does matter is that you’re now on their radar in a very positive way.
The second part of the plan is to reach out to as many firms as you can through social media direct messaging. This can be Facebook messenger, Twitter and Instagram direct messages, and the like. Follow my coffee lead – introduce yourself and ask them a relevant question where they can provide information that helps you. Or turn the tables and let them know something helpful.
This doesn’t need to be just businessy stuff. Maybe you’ve been to a great new hipster grilled cheese shop near their office. Try:
Hi friends! Just wanted to let you know that a couple of us from the firm went to (name of said hipster cheese palace) last week and it was really outstanding. Since it’s so close to your office, thought you’d like to know in case you haven’t been yet!
At its core, this is straight-up simple relationship-building. These kinds of outreach always come back to you in one form or another. Not often immediately, and sometimes but not always in tangible ways that you can measure. But professional and personal good will has a way of becoming exponential and there is honestly no downside to doing any of this as long as you’re genuinely interested.