Becoming a good story teller

J. Nick Augustine, J.D., is the principal of Pro Serve Public Relations, a PR firm for law, finance and small business professionals. Nick is experienced in law, business, entertainment, public relations and his Secured Solo Practice™ agency model. Nick enjoys sharing career growth, strategy and experience with legal job seekers and attorneys in transition.

Yesterday I spoke at The John Marshall Law School on publicity and media relations for lawyers. A central theme in our workshop was learning how to spot your own stories and how to tell them. I realized most attorneys are storytellers, but they don’t always capture and share the story.

I have a few tips for becoming a better storyteller:

What are you going to say?

Lawyers are always telling war stories to each other. Try hanging out with divorce attorneys, you’ll get an earful. Without breaching confidence, you can tell people about the types of legal issues you encounter in your practice. You have to assume for a moment that other people aren’t sick of hearing about your cases. If you are passionate about being a lawyer, that passion will come out in your stories.

To whom will you tell?

Most clients come from referrals sent by friends, family and colleagues. These people are your good-will ambassadors and they want to see you do well. When you tell your closest people the stories of what you experience, they get a better idea of what you do and how you approach situations. Assume everyone you tell has a neighbor or friend who needs a lawyer.

Where will you tell it?

Your blog is a great thing when you use it frequently. I know it can be tough to find time to write and tell stories. You must allow yourself time for storytelling (Yes, this is your marketing we’re talking about). Keep things short and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details and focus on driving home the general rule of law or advice for life generally.

Why will readers care?

When you offer valuable content to people and speak to them, not at them, they appreciate your time and consideration. Many laypersons shy away from asking what they think might be silly questions. Save someone from asking and offer up some tricks of your trade. Studies show people feel positively about others who trust them with knowledge.

And then there were comments!

If you see another blog or news article that piques your interest, take the time to jump in to the comments section and offer your thoughts. People often read these comments, especially the articles’ author/editor. Keep it short and succinct and drop a link to your website to point people to your contact information if they want to continue a dialogue.

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