I use Twitter more to give shout outs to the good stuff being done by others than to broadcast about LexBlog and our doings.
I’ve always had a hard time believing I did something that qualified for bragging. Maybe that’s my Irish Catholic roots and my being an entrepreneur my whole life — nothing’s ever good enough and there’s no reason not to feel guilty.
Selfishly though, it just always felt good to make others feel good about what they’re doing. Lawyers, the organizations supporting access to legal services and the innovators bringing us the future of the law also need an attagirl or attaboy now and again.
Turns out that sharing the good of others, rather than talking about my company and our products, is the most effective method of business development I have ever used.
Dale Carnegie, in one of the best-selling books of all time, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ laid out six business principles for making people like you – an essential he believe needed for business development.
Each of Carnegie’s points apply to how you as a lawyer can use Twitter to make people like you.
- Become genuinely interested in other people. “You can make more friends in two months by being interested in them, than in two years by making them interested in you.” The only way to make quality, lasting friendships is to learn to be genuinely interested in them and their interests.
- Smile. Happiness does not depend on outside circumstances, but rather on inward attitudes. Smiles are free to give and have an amazing ability to make others feel wonderful. Smile in everything that you do.
- Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language. “The average person is more interested in their own name than in all the other names in the world put together.” People love their names so much that they will often donate large amounts of money just to have a building named after themselves. We can make people feel extremely valued and important by remembering their name.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. The easiest way to become a good conversationalist is to become a good listener. To be a good listener, we must actually care about what people have to say. Many times people don’t want an entertaining conversation partner; they just want someone who will listen to them.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interest. The royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most. If we talk to people about what they are interested in, they will feel valued and value us in return.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely. The golden rule is to treat other people how we would like to be treated. We love to feel important and so does everyone else. People will talk to us for hours if we allow them to talk about themselves. If we can make people feel important in a sincere and appreciative way, then we will win all the friends we could ever dream of.
I use Feedly, a news aggregator, and Twitter lists in most of my use of Twitter.
Feedly gives me news stories on subjects and from certain sources. Sharing the story, with an excerpt or quote from it, and also mentioning the person’s name (Twitter handle) by attributing the story/quote to them seems to work well.
Twitter lists enable me to see what the people and organizations I’d like to know are sharing. By retweeting, with an excerpt from the underlying story shared or a kudos to the person or organization in the story – or to the party tweeting – seems to enable me to make friends.
With a decade or two under my belt, I’ve found generating business to be about friendships and people liking each other.
Unlike the “Oracle of Omaha” Warren Buffett, though, I never realized Dale Carnegie’s course could be the most valuable degree I could get. I’m learning.