If you are Speaking at a CLE Promote it on Your Website, in Your Bio, and in Your News Announcements
You probably frequently read about how presenting at a Continuing Legal Education seminar (CLE) is a great way for an attorney to market his or herself. It is. It increases the attorney’s visibility, expert status and referrals.
For example, you can read Tim Baran’s post on this at The Lawyerist from a few months ago, “Use CLE Accreditation as a Marketing Tool.” And I love “Speaking to Get Business” from way back in 2008 by Cordell Parvin – it is still completely relevant and true.
And I have had multiple speakers at my CLE programs tell me about business referrals they got after speaking at one of my CLEs. Yet, as a CLE Provider (50-60 seminars in 3 states) and as someone who trains people how to speak in public, there is one area of marketing I have noticed most CLE speakers simply neglect to do.
They don’t promote their appearance in the program and they don’t help promote the program.
There are several things a CLE speaker can do to get the most out of the time they are taking and the effort they are making to give a good CLE:
- Immediately send a one paragraph summary of the program and your involvement in it as well as the seminar website link to your marketing folks (if they exist). Ask them to post the program and link on your firm’s website in the relevant “news” or “announcement” or “presentations” section. Follow-up and make sure it happens.
- Ask your marketing people what they will do to help promote your involvement in the program and the program itself.
- If you are a solo or your firm is the size that doesn’t include a marketing person, then have your IT person post it on your website and send it to your clients.
- Add the engagement to your online resume/bio, with a link to the provider’s site.
- Send an announcement about the program, with a direct link to the program registration page, to your contacts, close and not-so-close.
- Send that same announcement to the firm’s attorneys and ask them to send it around.
Some attorneys may not want to do this. They may think it is the CLE provider’s job and why should the attorney make such an effort.
It’s a shortsighted approach for several reasons.
First, the more links on your website to the seminar, the higher the CLE program’s website page gets in the SEO game (search engine optimization) and the more likely the program is to come up first under a search on that topic.
Second, the more people who hear about the CLE, the more who will attend. And a larger audience gives you more opportunity to make a good impression as someone who knows their stuff (assuming you give a good presentation and you work the room).
Third, even if people you send the information to don’t attend, they’ll notice that you are speaking on the topic and will assume it is because you were sought out as an expert in that field. In other words, you still get the intangible benefit of increased name ID.
If you’re going to go to the trouble of speaking at a CLE, whether for a bar association or a private provider like Pincus Professional Education, then use it for all it’s worth.