Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances that we know to be desperate.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Are you familiar with the concept of “door law”? If not, it’s the oldest trap in the lawyer book and a myth that’s run many freshly minted attorneys into the ground before they even got started. Practicing “door law” means leaving your door open to any client who wants to walk through it. Door law lawyers practice family law one day, personal injury the next, and real estate law the day after that. Instead of specializing, they take every call, attempting to be everything to everyone in a desperate bid for steady cash flow.

I know that description makes door law sound awful — and that’s because I truly believe it is. However, I also know it’s a strategy many lawyers have used at some point in their careers in order to get by. I completely understand why people choose door law. If you’re a solo practitioner or just starting your firm, the simple truth is you need money, and someone has probably told you that door law is the key to earning it. It’s a common belief that the best way to maximize profits is to cast the net of potential clients as wide as possible. But in my experience, the opposite is true: The best way to maximize your profitability is to choose a niche.

Discarding the majority of your practice areas might seem counterintuitive, but in my years of working with lawyers, I’ve seen proof it’s the most effective strategy for growth. When you niche down, these five things will happen to boost your revenue:

YOUR CREDIBILITY WILL GO UP

People want to work with specialists, and if you specialize, your experience will heighten your reputation and credibility in your field. Think of it this way: Who would you rather have fix your roof? A dedicated roof repairman who spends 40 hours a week with shingles or an all-around handyman who would be just as happy unclogging your sink? Odds are you’d choose the roof repairman because you’d trust them to do the job right.

YOU’LL HAVE A BASIS TO RAISE YOUR RATES

This goes hand in hand with point No. 1. If you’re a specialist, you’ll command higher rates because you’ll be seen as more experienced, unique, and trustworthy. Scrap the roof repair analogy and ask yourself, “If I needed brain surgery, how much more money would I pay to have a brain surgeon do it instead of a general practitioner?” I’ll bet the answer was “a heck of a lot.”

YOU’LL HAVE LESS COMPETITION

If you try to practice every area of law, you’ll be competing with every other lawyer in your city. However, if you niche down, you’ll cut that competition. Depending on where you practice and how wisely you choose your specialty, you could even eliminate competition altogether by becoming the only specialist in your field.

YOUR MARKETING WILL GET EASIER

When you serve everyone, “everyone” becomes your target demographic. This makes advertising difficult as you can’t tailor your campaigns to the needs, fears, and desires of a particular group, or use the resources provided by other specialists to find them (as discussed in last month’s newsletter). Choose a niche, and your marketing becomes much more efficient. You’ll know exactly whom to target and won’t waste money catering to people who aren’t interested in your services.

YOU’LL EARN MORE REFERRALS

If you met someone who loved cooking and talked your ear off about it, odds are you’d be more likely to think of them when the word “cooking” came up in conversation than you’d be to think about someone who only mentioned the hobby. The same thing works for law. Specialists are more memorable and more likely to pop into the minds of their past clients when their niche comes up. Because of that, if you specialize, odds are your referrals will increase.

If you’re struggling to choose your niche or have just niched down and aren’t sure how to proceed, my team and I can help — marketing for lawyers is our specialty. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

It is only in the giving of oneself to others that we truly live.” —Estel Percy Andrus

It is a season to give thanks for what we DO have and show our appreciation for those that make life worth living. Thank you to all my family, clients, and colleagues. Thank you to those of you that have confidence in me and refer your friends. Thank you to all those that attend my webinars and speeches, read my blogs, newsletters, and thousands of social media posts.

YOU make this life of mine—meaningful, fun and worth living! Thank you!

In addition to being a coach, author, and speaker— I am an amateur photographer, a lover of travel, and words that inspire. Today I want to share a dozen of “my children” with you. I hope they touch your heart like they do mine. I invite you to share them with your circle of loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving!

    

All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” —Tom Peters in Fast Company

We’ve said it many times – video is a great way to break down barriers and show off your expertise. The best part is that you don’t have to be an on-camera professional like your local news anchor in order to make great videos. Here are a few easy tips that will make your next set of videos look great!

1. Think about the background

You don’t necessarily need to place yourself in front of a sprawling bookshelf full of thick legal encyclopedias. However, you may also want to reconsider sitting in front of a blank white wall. Find a good spot in your office, home, or elsewhere that provides an aesthetically pleasing background. If you shoot your videos outdoors, make sure you have a good microphone that filters out all of the background noise!

2. Think about how you look

As with the background, you don’t need to wear your courthouse attire for the video. People already know you’re a lawyer, so unless your firm’s personality calls for the suit and tie, you don’t need to feel pressured to wear one. Instead, wear something casual, almost as if you weren’t making a video, but you were just talking to someone on the street. Speaking of, that brings us to our next point…

3. Don’t script your content

Videos that are scripted and recited from memory feel robotic and make you look disconnected from your audience. Instead, just imagine that someone has approached you on the street (or maybe one of your golfing buddies asked you a legal question on the seventh hole). How would you respond in that scenario? Those are the kinds of off-the-cuff answers that make videos better to watch.

4. Don’t overthink your technology

While there’s certainly value in investing in a videographer with a good camera and microphone, people actually don’t mind watching a video where you’ve pulled out your iPhone and shot a quick message. Phones today are so technologically advanced that the recording systems on there are actually pretty good. You’ll get high-quality video from them, so don’t be afraid to shoot your next video on your phone and upload it straight to social media!

Hopefully you can see that shooting a set of videos isn’t that difficult. Just figure out what your videos will be about, think about the tips listed above, and hit the record button. If you still need help with videos, we provide that as a service! Contact us today to learn more.

This article originally appeared in Forbes.com.

Kobe Bryant tragically passed away in January. He was one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and beyond his skill on the court, he was a gifted artist, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

After Kobe’s passing, I was watching the news and heard sportswriter Rick Reilly say, “Kobe didn’t just live life — he swallowed it whole!”

I love that statement. And it gets me thinking: Why shouldn’t we all want to swallow life whole? Why shouldn’t we all build a life that we love?

It sounds nice… but it’s not always easy to get there.

I have the privilege of coaching high-performing professionals. And I’ve discovered that even the smartest, most ambitious, most successful individuals struggle to create a meaningful life that they truly enjoy.

So many get stuck earning a living rather than creating a life.

So, with Kobe’s legacy as an example, here are three tips to help you swallow life whole.

1. Find Your North Star.

What are you passionate about? I mean, really passionate? Think long and hard about this. What calls to you? What keeps crossing your path, trying to get your attention?

If you’re stuck, think about the dreams and passions you had as a kid or even as a young adult. Are there dreams and passions that you’ve buried long ago?

Don’t worry about how impractical it may feel or what people might think. What are your passions? What makes you feel alive?

2. Examine Your Assumptions.

So many of us live life governed by assumptions or ideas that aren’t even true.

It’s impossible to have a great job and still make time for my family.”

“There’s not enough time in the day to run a business and still make time for my hobbies.”

“My job is incompatible with the lifestyle I want.”

Let me tell you… anything is possible. Don’t hold yourself back with limiting beliefs and assumptions.

Lin-Manuel Miranda could have assumed that a rapping musical about Hamilton would not win a Pulitzer, Grammy or 11 Tony Awards.

Susan B. Anthony could have assumed that women would never have the right to vote.

Neil Armstrong and the team at NASA could have assumed that walking on the moon could never happen.

But they examined their assumptions and they asked why not… and then they made magic happen.

3. Focus On Solutions, Not Obstacles.

Find the bridge over the obstacles. There’s a simple exercise I share with my clients: When presented with a new idea or a challenge, don’t allow yourself to focus on all of the reasons that it won’t work. Instead, train yourself to start by looking for the possibilities. How can you make this work?

My mother is the cornerstone of my happiness. I moved away from Denver when I was 19, and we’ve talked on the phone 3-4 times a week ever since. But as my mom got older, I knew I had to figure out how to spend more time with her. My coaching practice is based in Miami, and so I started to think…

Maybe I’ll take the summer off and spend it with her in Denver. But that wouldn’t work.

So I thought, maybe I’ll have her come to Miami. But she hates the heat!

Finally, I thought, I can develop a coaching practice in Denver, as well. So I committed to that solution… and until the pandemic hit, I’ve been able to go home to Denver every other month for the past seven years! The time I’ve spent with my mother is truly priceless, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

There are solutions to every problem. There are possibilities in every situation. But — you won’t find them if you don’t look for them.

Don’t focus on the obstacles. Focus on the solutions!

Swallow Life Whole

If there’s one thing I’ve seen in my career, it’s that anything is possible. You cancreate a life that you love… and you can enjoy a successful career at the same time. You don’t have to choose between your paycheck and your passions. You don’t have to choose between your business and your family.

Don’t settle. Don’t just earn a living. Swallow life whole!

Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!”—Maya Angelou

We have a secret to share with you. It’s a big secret — something even lawyers who have worked decades in the business don’t know. Are you ready? Here it is: You don’t have to take cases you hate in order to keep your firm afloat.

There, we said it. Are you surprised? A lot of the solo and small law firms that Spotlight Branding help have struggled with this issue for years. It’s tempting to practice “door law” and take any client who walks in, but the truth is that you don’t need to take cases you dread to make ends meet. In fact, specialization is not only possible, it’s preferable, too. The more you specialize, the more of an expert you’ll appear to be and the more revenue you’ll bring in.

To leave behind the practice areas you hate and start hooking your dream clients, the first thing you need to do is think about your ideal case. Maybe it’s in the area of law you enjoy most. Maybe it’s something you’re fantastic at. Or maybe it’s what’s most profitable. The definition is up to you — what’s important is that you have a profile in mind.

Next, you need to center your marketing messages and content around that profile. There are a lot of different ways to do this from an advertising and lead-generation standpoint, but your best tool for attracting the cases you want is your content. All the content marketing you do, whether it’s via your blog, videos, podcast, or social media, should focus on the cases you prefer.

Cater your articles to your dream clients. Ask yourself, “What circumstances are they in? What are their questions and concerns? What should they know about this area of law?” Then, answer those questions with content. The more attention you pay to a particular type of client or case in your marketing, the more you’re going to attract it. It’s not rocket science, but you wouldn’t believe how many attorneys leave this strategy on the table!

Here’s an example: Say you’re an estate planning attorney and, until now, you’ve taken every client who walks through the door looking for an estate plan. However, you’d really like to specialize in high net worth estate planning. To get there, start focusing on that demographic in your content. Don’t put out blogs about affordable estate planning options for low-income households. Instead, talk about how an estate plan can help someone pass on their wealth or how to include provisions for assets like income properties. By discussing these things, it will look like you specialize in them — and that’s the first step to making specialization a reality. Once you appear to be the expert, you’ll draw in clients looking to work with the best.

That said, we’re not actually living in “Field of Dreams.” It’s not always true that “if you build it, they will come.”

You still need to pursue other avenues to leave those undesirable cases behind for good, like networking with referral sources and finding new ways to reach your audience. These extra strategies are the middle of the equation, but content is both the beginning and the end. It’s how you reach people, and, as we discussed last month, it’s where new leads always end up landing.

We hope you realize now that you don’t have to settle. The idea that there won’t be enough business for you if you specialize is a total myth. If you still need proof, consider this: One of our clients works only tractor-trailer accident cases, and their business is booming. Another left behind family law because it made them miserable. Since they had the right marketing, their business didn’t suffer. You can make this pivot yourself. But if you’d like some help along the way, reach out to my team. We’ll free you up to focus on your work.

The ADR Section of the Florida Bar put together a six-part series: Health and Wellness. Together with Karen Lapekas, Maia Aron, two lawyers that I featured in my book, A Lawyer’s Guide to Creating a Life, Not Just a Living we presented; Navigate Lawyering and Life: A Road Map. Karen Lapekas’s presentation was so powerful that I want to share some of it with you.

Can Lawyers Find Happiness… Against The Odds? 

By Karen Lapekas

The question is shocking. What do you mean… “against the odds?” Are the odds stacked against attorneys?

Most people think “lawyer” and they think money, success, respect, prestige, and maybe the guy in the new Porsche that cut them off on the highway. Few people think depression and battles with mental health.

A 2016 study from the Betty Ford Foundation found that 28% of licensed, employed attorneys struggle with some level of depression and 19 percent demonstrate symptoms of anxiety. I bet if they did that study today, in the midst of the pandemic, the numbers would be worse.

Don’t lawyers have everything we need to be happy? The answer is a resounding, “Yes.” Brains, education, money…but we also have everything to be unhappy. Ironically, the very characteristics that help someone achieve success are characteristics that have a high correlation with depression. There’s a chicken and the egg argument. Which came first? Depression or the lawyer? It doesn’t really matter which came first. What matters now is finding happiness as a lawyer—and even better—as a successful lawyer!

But I’m going to back up a bit. I’ll tell you how I came to be here, the owner of my own tax law practice, speaking about finding happiness in the legal profession. To do so, I have to first admit that I tried a couple of times to NOT be here—I tried to back out of this speech. I can speak for hours about tax law, running a business and cases. But this is different. This is personal. Vulnerable—especially in a professional setting. Who am I to speak about happiness or mental health? I’m not a psychologist or a doctor. I don’t have any piece of paper to hang on my wall that says, “I’m qualified to talk about well-being.” The only thing I can say is I’m a lawyer and I have struggled with…being. And I’ve struggled with well-being, too.

So, yeah, I have major imposter syndrome presenting here today. But I hope that by sharing my story it gets easier for everyone to share their own, to get help, to be the help others need, to reduce the stigma of depression, and help others see that facing, living with, and confronting depression can prove to be the most important and satisfying work you’ve ever done. It was for me.

For years, I fought depression. I say fought because I don’t like to say I suffered from it. I suffered from it for years (for as long as I remember) but through suffering, I learned to fight it. I learned what made it tolerable. I learned what got me through it. I learned what made it lessen and lessen, until I could say I felt . . . normal. When you fight the same opponent over and over, you learn its techniques. You know its second move as soon as you see its first. The fight thus becomes easier to bear. You don’t fear it as much. And you can punch it out quicker.

For me, depression is like that. I see signs of it very early, and I know what I need to do to avoid it spiraling out of control. Almost always, it requires me to do something, like breathe, get out of bed, put one foot in front of the other, walk the dog, go out for coffee, go to the gym, call a friend, take a trip, quit a job, start a business.

Eight years ago, I had a great job with the IRS. I was a senior attorney litigating cases in the U.S. Tax Court. I loved it. It was great hands-on experience. I loved my colleagues and the benefits were generous.

But my shoulders started getting heavy as I walked into work every morning. It happened for weeks in a row. One day I noticed that by the time I reached my office door at 7:30 a.m., all of the day’s energy was already zapped. I was restless. I knew that the question I had to ask was not whether I could make enough money if I left, but whether I could be happy if I stayed.

The question came down to this: Am I happy? And I knew that if the answer was NO, I had to tell myself, okay, CHANGE IT.

I didn’t know it at the time, but starting my own law firm was the greatest thing I have ever done to tackle depression.

How so? Through starting my own firm, I learned A LOT. I can summarize perhaps the most important 6 really basic, but important lessons that have helped me feel more happiness over the last 8 years that I could have ever imagined. Here they are…

1.   Most of the things we worry about never happen. 
This is not anecdotal. It’s science! In one study, subjects were asked to write down their worries over an extended period of time and then identify which of them did not actually happen. It turned out that 85% of what people worried about never happened, and with the 15 percent that did happen, 79% discovered they could handle the difficulty better than expected, or it taught them a lesson worth learning. This means that 97 percent of what you worry over is not much more than a negative mind torturing you with unrealistic and embellished thoughts.

2.   Business wealth follows mental health. 
I credit a lot of my mental health to starting my own business. But I credit my business wealth (or success) to my mental health even more. I knew that if everything wasn’t OK in my mind, nothing would ever be great any where else. As a business owner, I had to work on my mental health. I wanted the most solid foundation from which to start my business. That foundation was up here, in my head.

I can’t afford to think negatively. I can’t afford NOT to be OK. Through the years, I have come to truly believe that we attract what we put out into the world. I’ve see it happen, over and over again. I do believe in the power of positive thinking and that we can manifest or “attract” our dreams.  To see it, we have to believe it first.

But to believe it, we have to be it. We have to act the part. And we need to come from a solid foundation first. You can’t squeeze orange juice from an apple. To be a business “success” we have to be a personal success first. And what if you achieve business success/wealth without being OK? Well, I think we know how that turns out. It’s either quickly lost, or not worth working for. Because how sweet is success if you can’t enjoy it?

3.   Mental health requires exercise. It’s work. 
When I started my business, I filled every available moment of my day with uplifting and inspirational messages and people. I listened to audiobooks while walking the dog, driving, getting ready for work. Having fought depression most of my life, I knew I needed to train my brain. I needed to reprogram the software. I had a brain that always went to the negative. If someone gave me a compliment, I wondered why they were lying. But I knew that’s not the person I wanted to be. I wanted to be positive. I wasn’t necessarily worried about becoming a person others wanted to be around, but I wanted to become a person I wanted to be around.

I have to add a caveat. When I was in the troughs of depression, the hardest thing I ever heard people tell me was “Smile! Be happy! Happiness is a choice!” I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to tell people where to go when they told me that. Because I know, when you are depressed, you don’t just smile. You don’t just choose to be happy. Just like you don’t choose depression or someone doesn’t choose to have cancer. No. When you’re depressed, you don’t choose to be happy. But you can choose to do the small things that seem monumental at the time. You choose to get out of bed. You choose to call a therapist. You choose to go to therapy. You choose to go to a doctor to find out if antidepressants would be right for you. To others, those seem like small things, but when you’re depressed, they are huge.

All of these things are work. Just like someone doesn’t choose to be in shape. They don’t just choose it and BAM they have a great body. No, they choose to go to the gym, or take the stairs, or chose the apple over the candy bar. They do the work, little at a time, constantly, to get to a better state. Mental health takes exercise, too.

4.   There is nothing more important than being OK. 
I catch myself saying there is “nothing more important than happy.” But, having fought depression and knowing such dark feelings for so long, the simple lack of depression is amazing. When you’ve been there, being OK is incredible. You don’t need overwhelming jump-up-and-down joy. But just having the weight of depression off your shoulders and the ability to think clearly again is incredible. Getting to OK is a huge accomplishment. It’s the stepping-stone to getting to moments of joy.

Everyone who has been through hell—we’ve all been through different versions of it—is more grateful for the little things. I don’t take little things for granted. I don’t take happiness—or even feeling OK— for granted. Because if I had never focused on OK, I would never have gotten to a place where I could have a thriving practice. I would never have been approachable enough to meet my husband. And I would never have imagined that I could have been a good mom—let alone want to be a mom at all! If I had not put getting to be OK first, simply put, I wouldn’t be here.

If I had focused on objective measures of success—like the balance of my bank account or my job title, I would not have ever gotten to OK.

5.   Redefine success.
For me, success isn’t what’s parked in the driveway. It’s not the number of people that work for me or the number of people that know me.

Granted, I find myself thinking that maybe I’m not striving enough, or maybe not living up to my potential because I have chosen to occupy a small part of the world and a small part of the legal profession. Yet, every time I am given the opportunity to have society’s version of success, I can’t come up with a dollar amount that will make it worth giving up what I have. I wake up and don’t dread the drive to work. I know all my clients and I know they’re taken care of. I have had my daughter near me in my office every day since she was only 10 days old.

I know myself. I know I don’t feel OK when I work 50/60/70 hours a week. I don’t feel OK when I spend every evening at professional events. I don’t feel OK when I’m constantly measuring, calculating, chasing. For me, success is a feeling. Being OK, and being happy, is success.

6.   Everything is a cherry on top.
I still go to a therapist every few weeks. Though I’m not depressed, and I’m more often happy than just OK, I go for maintenance. I also go because I like knowing that if I start feeling the signs of depression in the future, I have an existing relationship with a therapist I trust greatly. Recently, I was lamenting to him that I worry that I’m not living up to my potential and that I should be making more money, that I could have a bigger firm and more than I do. He asked me, “Is that what you want?”  I said no… but I feel like it’s what I should want! He told me, given what I’ve been through, I’ve already accomplished more than what anyone would have ever imagined. So right now? My only job is to enjoy it, because everything right now, is the cherry on top.

Getting to well-being, getting to OK, these things are not just things we do for ourselves. They are things we do for the ones we love and  for our clients.

Focusing on your mental health, getting to OK, and even getting to “happy” is the best investment in your career. It takes work. It takes work to put aside worries. It takes work to put mental health above other things, it takes work to redefine success. It takes work to see that everything is a cherry on top. But it’s worth it. Happiness is worth fighting for. It is possible. Even for lawyers.

Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.”
—Theodore Roosevelt

The more often you remind your network of who you are and what you do, the more likely they are to think of your firm when the opportunity for a referral comes up. As it is right now, 83% of people are willing to make referrals to their lawyers but only 29% actually do it. Why? Because the law firm they worked with isn’t doing the legwork to stay top of mind — even though it’s easy. That doesn’t have to be you. Here are just a few of the endless ways you can keep in touch:

  • Weekly emails
  • An email newsletter
  • A print newsletter
  • Social media posts
  • Regular blog posts
  • Consistent videos
  • Podcast episodes
  • Holiday cards
  • Birthday cards
  • Personal phone calls

That last one might seem a bit intimidating, but it’s actually an excellent way to keep your firm top of mind and show that you truly care about your clients. The best way to do it is by establishing a system. Keep a running list of the people in your network — it can be 100 people or 1,000 — and go through it systematically, calling or emailing 10% of the list each month.

These strategies work. Consider this newsletter that you’re reading right now. For the last few minutes, you’ve been enjoying Spotlight Branding content. Now, imagine that tomorrow, another lawyer you know mentions that they’re having a marketing issue — who do you think is going to pop right into your mind? That’s right, we are! Staying in touch works, and you can use it to your advantage.

The options we outlined above are easy to do on your own, but if you want the referrals without spending the time, we can help you implement them. Contact us today to learn more.

 

 

There is no doubt that there is a struggle between lawyering and life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There can be more harmony in your life. You and your loved ones deserve it. It can happen—it starts with you! How you think and how you take action. Here are seven strategies to help you navigate more harmony and happiness in your life.

1. Find your north star. What are you passionate about? Think long and hard about this! What calls to you? What keeps crossing your path trying to get your attention?

2. Make a Commitment! Ask yourself if you are really committed or is it just an idea that sounds good?

Wolfgang von Goethe wrote—“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back— Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

3. Examine your assumptions. What assumptions have you made and acted as though they are the truth? Dig deep, they may be buried. Assumptions you made in law school or when you landed your 1st or 2nd legal position. What did you really know back then? Maybe something didn’t work, and you assumed it was because of this or that… was it really?

4. Everyone’s journey is different. You can do it your way! But, not by over thinking it! You analyze, research, contemplate and ask all your friends. That is information overload! Instead trust your gut… and take action. I love Einstein’s words…“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking!” Stop over thinking!

5. Tailor your work to fit in harmony with your life. I know this is a hard mindset to alter, because of all the preconceived ideas we hold; work 9-5, work life balance, we shouldn’t make personal calls at work, etc, etc, etc! Work or life; It’s not EITHER/ OR. It’s this AND that. I would suggest, not to focus on the problem, instead—focus on solutions! Find the bridge over the obstacles. Remember when your mother told you, “Don’t drop the milk!” you dropped the milk! She made you focus on the obstacle. I say, focus on solutions! Focus on— How can it work. Not, it will never work!

6. What Fuels your energy, enthusiasm and joy? Think about the feeling of contentment you get when you’re in the zone. When the endorphins are flowing. I’m in the zone when I’m creating books, online coaching programs, blog posts and playing with my photographs for Instagram. They all bring me energy, enthusiasm and joy! What brings you energy, enthusiasm and joy?

7. And most importantly. Take care of yourself—so you can take care of others. There is a reason, that flight attendants tell us—“in case of an emergency, put your mask on first.” You can’t help anyone if you are gasping for air! So, what state do you think you’re in if you don’t eat right, you drink too much or let everyone hijack your time?  You, my friend are gasping for air. You can’t be patient when your voice gets loud. You can’t focus and you can’t listen.  So be honest, does this help others? Of course not! Self-care is not selfish—it is an act of love for those you care about. And know that it’s okay not to be okay!

Be forgiving of your past self.
Be strict with your present self.
Be flexible with your future self.”

I love this quote by James Clear; the author of Atomic Habits (great book by the way.) Forgive yourself. You did the best you could, and you learned something. Hold yourself accountable to the person you want to be. Approach the future with an open mind ready to see what could be possible.

So, what’s stopping you? If not now—when? When it’s too late? For me—It’s about hunger! A hunger to experience life, more and more! I love what sportswriter, Rick Reilly said about Kobe when he passed…

“Kobe didn’t just live life— he swallowed it whole!”

Why shouldn’t we all want to swallow life whole.

I implore you—take action now. What could your future look like? Take the time to REALLY think about that question!

The key is not the will to win… everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” —Bobby Knight

Do you ask your clients for testimonials? Maybe you don’t because you’re worried it will make you look needy. Or maybe you do, but you drag your feet through the process because it feels awkward to ask. Those positions are totally understandable, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Asking for testimonials doesn’t need to be a gut-wrenching, unsatisfying process. With the right strategy, you can solicit them quickly and easily.

Our Winning Strategy

  1. Choose three or four of your best clients.
  2. Send them an email that says, “Hey there! Would you be willing to share a couple of words about your experience with our firm? I’d love to put your thoughts on our website as a testimonial. If you have time to draft a few quick sentences about what it’s like to work with us, I’d appreciate it.”
  3. When they send you their thoughts, tweak the phrasing to make the testimonial flow better. Then, email them back with the new version, saying, “I’d love to use this on our website with the minor tweak I made. What do you think?”
  4. When they give you the green light, put it up! We recommend creating a page on your website exclusively for testimonials that you can add to over time.

Pro Tip: If the client is busy, you can even offer to write the testimonial for them! Create a testimonial from their perspective and alter your email to add, “I know you’re busy, so I’ve summarized your experience below. Please feel free to make any changes that you’d like, and let me know if you’re comfortable with me adding this to our website.”

When you’re putting the testimonials up, remember that visitors to your website will be particularly drawn to those they relate to. Instead of using a client’s name, consider using details about their demographic or case. For example, if you’re a family law practice, the byline “Mrs. Jones” won’t be nearly as effective as “a divorcing mother of two.”

A great testimonial is invaluable. It’s social proof that you’re an experienced, effective lawyer, and the right person to take a client’s case. If you have any more questions about our process, reach out to our team today.

IDEAS. Some are great—they found the New World and they put a man on the moon. Some are not so great—they came up with the New Coke and Chia Pets. But I do know one thing for sure, without an idea you can’t get too far. So, I want to share five posts from the archives of our 17 years of blogging. They are filled with lots of ideas. Read them with an open-mind, they just might spark an idea or two that could help you with business development, marketing and growing your practice. What will hold you back? As author Richie Norton for Entrepreneur magazine said…

We’re scared of failure. Scared of falling behind. Scared of being foolish. Scared of looking stupid.

There are many reasons we hold back when trying ideas. Don’t let Norton’s reasons be yours. Explore these article for ideas that could apply to your practice today.

  1. Legal Business Development: Top Six Marketing Tips. Are you having marketing meetings? Talk is cheap. Buy-in and action is key.
  2. Marketing Success in 4 Words: Make it your lifestyle. That’s it.  Simple, huh?
  3. Legal Business Development: Do Something Every Single Day. This has been my mantra for many years. Why, because it’s much easier to commit to small tasks.
  4. Does Your Law Firm Marketing Keep the Wrong Clients Away? Everyone knows that the purpose of marketing your law practice is bringing in new clients… right?
  5. How the Right Content Strategy Will Help You Raise Your Rates. Are you struggling to charge what you deserve? Raising your rates can be tricky, and right now, it might seem particularly tough or even insensitive to consider.