That is, how can you increase the flow of referrals you receive from the other members of your network (e.g. Lex MundiMeritasLawyers Associated Worldwide (LAW), International Lawyers Network, ALFAState Capital Group, World Services GroupTerraLex, and Avrio-Advocati)?

I was presenting at the annual meeting of MSI Global, one of the world’s leading international professional-services firm networks.  It’s unique because the network combines both law and accounting firms.

I was speaking on creative online marketing e.g. social media tools and SEO, including branding and differentiating your firm.  One of the points was discussing how effective it can be to brand yourself within your own network, to enhance the flow of referrals.

MSI has 250 different firms in 105 countries (totaling 8,000 professionals), and like many international networks, encourages intra-network referrals. But, like any other professional referral, they are based upon awareness, credibility, and trusted personal relationships. 

Relationships develop over time, but awareness and credibility can be heavily influenced by marketing.  It is why I encourage firms to market themselves within the networks in which they are members.

I was already planning to discuss this topic at the MSI conference, when I encountered an especially effective example of this from one of the Chinese accounting firms, Lehman Brown.

Lehman Brown’s senior partner Dickson Leung had become famous within MSI for annually handing out a logo’d stuffed animal representing that year of the Chinese calendar.  2012 is the Year of the Dragon.

Here is a photo of the promotional dragon he personally designed and distributed.  These stuffed animals were always highly coveted giveaways, with the attendees’ families looking forward to receiving them when they returned home.

I’ve previously written about Lex, an Iceland firm, where we recommended something similar (below), see blog post here.

If any MSI member was asked whether they knew a Chinese firm or lawyer, nearly 100% of them would immediately know the answer.  Many of them have entire collections of Dickson’s “Year of the…” stuffed animals dating back nearly a decade.

So, if your firm is part of an international network, is there anything YOU can do to market yourself more effectively, to leverage the in-person networking and relationship-development activities? 

Think about it – it could significantly increase your firm’s visibility and the flow of referrals.


Leave a Reply