In the Russell Conwell story "Acres of Diamonds," an old farmer is frustrated because his land isn’t yielding as it should. (This has everything to do with your practice, so stick with me).
He knows there are riches out there to be found. Just knows it. So he packs his bags and goes off with visions of finding diamonds, the wealthy life he'd lead, respected by all.
But the search is long, and it's hard. He sacrifices everything, and spends every penny from selling his farm as he seeks those elusive diamonds. He's wandered the earth, finding nothing.
Not long after, he passes away, destitute.
After his death, the man who purchased the farm is walking along a creek on the land and notices something unusual. Glittering, on the edge of a small creek that runs through the farmland.
Diamonds, sparkling in the water.
The farmer spent his entire life on a quest to find diamonds. In reality, he already had everything he ever wanted in his own backyard.
What's The Moral of the Story?
I use this story all the time to illustrate how attorneys should think about their marketing. Are you always looking for the shiny new thing, or spending time with the diamonds on your backyard - your existing relationships?
We work with a lot of practices that are infatuated with the idea of using SEO, pay-per-click, or some other form of advertising to find new clients.
That’s what consultants tell them to do, and that’s what everyone else is doing. Can it work? Sometimes, sure. But that's not the point. These attorneys are off chasing shiny objects to get new relationships while they ignore the relationships they already have.
Your relationships represent an enormous amount of inherent value. Every hour and dollar you've spend until this moment created those relationships. And if you don't prioritize them first, you're letting those diamonds slip away.
Personally, I'd rather spend more time with the people who already know, like and trust me than on a treadmill trying to find new relationships every month.
Every Dollar You’ll Ever Need Is Stored in the Relationships You Have Today
Consider the size of your Linkedin network. Now, consider the size of your network when you include second and third connections (the people who know your immediate contacts). There are thousands of prospects who can be reached just by effectively using the relationships you already have.
Relationships that are built and nurtured lead to new relationships. These relationships are at the core of referral marketing for lawyers. If you approach relationship building the right way, you’ll never feel the need to go on a never-ending quest, hoping and praying to find something you already have.
Stop and take stock. Because until you've mined all you have right in front of you - which takes a fraction of the time (and investment) of other marketing, you're ignoring diamonds.