Brand Story, Episode 5

Jay Harrington

Adopting an Abundance Mindset

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Episode Summary

Jay Harrington, President of Harrington Communications, talks with our president, Steve Gilman, about building relationships through LinkedIn, storytelling, and the importance of adopting an abundance mindset.

It was a leap of faith when Jay left his corporate law job to become an entrepreneur twice over. As president of a marketing agency for attorneys and other service professionals, Jay grew his business by focusing on relationship building, both in real life and online through LinkedIn. He shares practices that have worked well for him on the platform, from storytelling and being authentic, to having an abundance mindset and developing a niche.

Episode Highlights

Have some faith. If you know something isn’t right for you – your lifestyle, a job, or even your whole career ­— take a leap of faith. Jay wanted a different lifestyle than what his career as an attorney at a big firm provided him so he started his own law firm, and later, a communications agency that serves attorneys. His quest for a more laid-back lifestyle took him from a big city to a much smaller one complete with all the skiing and water activities he and his family love. This too was initially fraught with concern: that his clients wouldn’t follow him. But they did, and his agency flourished.

Set expectations. You can work just as many hours, if not more, running your own business – so you need to set expectations and boundaries with customers. Jay shares how early on, clients would throw last-minute work at him, which created a stressful work environment. Instead, Jay advises setting expectations upfront with clients or customers on how the relationship can work to be beneficial to both parties.

Tell a story to get results. People make buying decisions inspired by emotions, instead of intellect or logic – and stories are what evoke emotion. The ability to tell an interesting story about your business, its background, its customers, creates a positive association. Talking only about the products and services that you sell doesn’t accomplish this.

But where do you get stories from? Stories are all around you – you just have to pay attention. It’s not writer’s block, it’s an ideas block. Jay recommends paying attention to questions clients ask you, think about what you’ve struggled with in the past, observe lessons learned during your daily life (like coaching your child’s soccer game) — those things resonate and build an audience. It’s not about how much you know, but your ability to connect on an emotional level with your audience. That’s how you create connections through your content.

Have an abundance mindset. Jay has great success making new business connections through LinkedIn. He says that most people approach it wrong, asking, “Who here can help me?” Instead, ask “Who here can I help?” Be generous – sharing what you know and being helpful inspires people to follow you, and ultimately people will be helpful to you when you need it.

But be patient. Some people think social media should have an instant impact, but relationship building of any kind takes time. From the point of awareness when someone discovers you, to the point of hiring you, requires a lot of trust-building. You need to have the patience that the work you’re doing with an abundance mindset will be rewarded.

Be genuine and authentic. Being a thought leader is a long game that can be fruitful but it’s not an overnight business strategy for people. You’ll attract like-minded people, who would be a better fit for you and your business.

Develop a niche, but don’t put blinders on. What works in the one industry (in Jay’s case, legal marketing), can likely work in other similar industries. Jay says while it’s great to develop a niche, realize that what you offer can often cross boundaries and be applicable to others.

Keep it conversational. LinkedIn may be a professional social media platform, but you don’t have to be formal. To develop the right tone, you first need to have a clear understanding of who your audience is. For LinkedIn posts on thought leadership – your followers want you to keep it simple, writing in a conversational style. While it can be intimidating to put yourself out there versus hiding behind a corporate account, writing in 1st person is better for building relationships.

Be real. People don’t expect you to be perfect — if your message sounds too perfect, it won’t resonate. Jay advises talking about your struggles and those lessons learned and share them. Doing so is powerful and connects you with other people. But beware of character limits – on LinkedIn you have 1,300 characters to tell your story, so be concise.

Just do it. Posting daily to LinkedIn can be challenging, but it’s a challenge worth taking — Jay says that nothing has been more rewarding for new business opportunities than when he started posting on LinkedIn daily. Not sure how to get started? Do a 30 Day Challenge. It’ll be hard at first, but much easier as you go along. Writing 3 or 4 posts at a time, which you’ll post on different days, also helps to take the stress out of the task.

About Jay

Jay Harrington

What he does

Jay helps lawyers become thought leaders and build profitable legal practices through his role as President of Harrington Communications.

Company

Harrington Communications

Words of Wisdom

“It’s not about how much you know, but it’s your ability to connect on an emotional level to an audience, done through storytelling, that really helps you build your brand and create connections with people through your content that you can’t do any other way.”

About Steve

Steve Gilman

As the President of Gravity Group, Steve is passionate about helping brands reach their goals through honest, creative marketing and powerful brand stories.

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