How to use Fortnite to build your law practice

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What do you like to do when you’re not working or spending time with family? Do you have any outside interests or hobbies? Do you play video games? Write novels? Watch sports?

Whatever it is that floats your boat, suppose you had a list of people who love the same thing– a social media group you moderate or an email list.

You could use that group or list to hang out with a bunch of like-minded people. Chat, share your thoughts, exchange ideas and stories and resources.

“Hey, have you seen this website? Have you tried this app?”

You could sound off about the recent game and how your team blew it, or predict what will happen next week.

You know, like you might do in the real world.

You’d talk about your hobby, not your practice. You’re not selling anything or asking anyone to do something. Just hanging out with some friends.

Why would you want to do this?

Because it could be a lot of fun.

And because some of your online friends might be curious about your day job. They’ll ask you what you do, or scroll up (or sideways) and find a sentence or two that tells them what you do and provides a link to your website.

They may need your legal help at some point, or know someone who does.

Wait, am I saying “marketing” could be as simple as hanging out with people who share your interest in bug collecting, gourmet cooking, or yoga? That you can build your practice by making new friends and only casually mentioning what you do for a living?

Sure sounds like it.

And yes, you can do this offline. Find a group, join a club, or start one.

Go make some new friends, have some fun, and wait for someone to ask, “What do you do?”

My book can help you answer that question.

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Stealing ideas for fun and profit

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Ideas are a dime a dozen, it is said; execution is the key to success.

So, if you need ideas–for your newsletter, blog, or presentation–look at what others are writing and copy them.

Not literally. Write what they’re writing about, but make it better. Or different.

Take the idea and add your own spin. Infuse it with your own examples or stories. Add more arguments, more points and authorities, or take an opposing view.

Steal the idea and make it your own.

If you produce any kind of content, you should follow other lawyers in your field, to see what they’re writing about. Follow their posts, read their blog, sign up for their newsletter.

Do the same with lawyers in allied fields, as well as business owners, bloggers, and others who sell to, advise, or write for the niches or industries you target.

The world is awash with ideas. More ideas than you could ever use, right there for the taking.

Ideas really aren’t a dime a dozen. You can get all you need for free.

If you’ve got original ideas, great. The world wants to hear them. But if not, don’t feel guilty about using someone else’s idea.

They probably got it from someone else.

Taking other people’s ideas and making them your own is at the heart of invention and art. As Salvador Dali reminds us, “Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.”

For more ways to find ideas, and more ways to make them your own, check out my email marketing course.

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Hacking social media

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Most people use social media to blast out information, offers, and requests. And that’s okay. Ask enough people to do something and you should see some results.

But there’s another way to use social media that can bring better results, and it doesn’t depend on the size of your list or the value of your content or offer.

Instead of asking everyone to do something, ask a few people, and do it one at a time.

Identify some people on your list you know personally or with whom you’ve corresponded, send them a direct message or email, or call them, and tell them what you want.

If you ask them to Like or share your post or content, for example, you should get a better response simply because they know you’ve asked them and are watching to see what you do.

They can’t hide behind a list of hundreds or thousands of contacts. If they ignore your request, they’ll know you know.

If you want to get even better results, there’s something else you should do.

Tell them why.

Why you’re asking them specifically. Why this is important to you. Or why you believe their contacts will benefit from your content or offer.

If I ask you to share this post or email with other lawyers, I should get some new subscribers or followers. I’ll get more subscribers, however, if I tell you that this year, I’m focusing on building my list.

Not a great reason from your standpoint. “Your lawyer friends will appreciate you for thinking of them,” is much better.

But studies show that the reason isn’t terribly important.

Offering a reason significantly increases the likelihood that the other person will comply–even if the reason isn’t a particularly good one.

But, just in case, here’s another reason: I appreciate your help.

The easiest way to build a law practice? Email.

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How will attorneys fare in 2020 and beyond?

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The economy is good. Prosperity is predicted to continue next year. Is that good or bad for attorneys?

A growing economy is certainly a good thing if you handle business start-ups. Maybe not so good if you handle bankruptcy.

What about litigation? Collection? Foreclosures? Evictions? Will there be less work ahead? If fewer people are arguing about money, will there be fewer divorces?

Will there be less work for criminal defense lawyers?

With higher incomes, record growth in the stock market, and an aging population, we should see more work for estate planners, right?

On the other hand, some say we’re due for a recession. What then?

I don’t know what the future holds. What I do know is that it doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter which way the economy goes or the outlook for the legal profession or any specific practice area. What matters is how you do.

And you can thrive no matter what the economy is doing.

Work may be down for your practice area but there will always be enough work to keep you busy.

Providing you stay one step ahead of your competition.

You don’t have to be the best in your field, you just need to do a good job of marketing.

But, if you happen to be in a practice area where there is more work than before, you shouldn’t take it for granted. Don’t assume you can ignore marketing.

You may earn more in a thriving economy but not nearly as much as you could if you also put some effort into marketing.

Next year, make marketing your jam and you won’t have to worry about the economy, nor have to depend on it.

Here’s a good place to start.

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Get more clients by making it easier to get more clients

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‘Twas a big year in Amazon land. One big reason is that they make it so damn easy to buy from them.

It’s something we all need to do.

In the new year, I encourage you to make it easier for people to hire you and refer clients to you.

On your website, make it easy to find information about the law, your services, and you. Make it easy to find your contact information and the sign-up form for your newsletter.

Make it easy for clients to hire you by offering different services or “packages” for different budgets, and different payment options.

Make it easy to say “yes” to you by offering more social proof–reviews, testimonials, success stories, endorsements, awards.

Make it easy for people to send you referrals by describing your target market and ideal client, and explaining the best (and easiest) ways to make referrals.

Make it easy to stay in touch with clients and prospects and referral sources by instituting a routine process for updating your files with their latest contact information.

For more ways to get more clients and increase your income, get my latest: The Encyclopedia of Attorney Marketing book series.

Amazon has made this easier by posting pages for the entire 5-volume series:

Print version

Ebook version (with “easy” one-click buy button).

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New Year’s resolutions are a ‘no go’ zone for me

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A long time ago, I wrote New Year’s resolutions.

Not anymore.

Because they focus on the negative.

Things we need to fix. Defects in our character, poor habits, problems with what we do (or don’t do).

If we resolve to exercise more, for example, we tend to focus on overweight, out of shape, lacking in energy, and so on.

Resolutions call attention to our negative aspects and when we dwell on them, we attract more of the same.

Because we get what we think about.

So, instead of resolving to fix something or do better at something or stop doing something that doesn’t serve me, instead of focusing on what’s wrong, I focus on what’s right.

I write a list of positive aspects, things I appreciate about my life.

You might want to do the same.

Write down what you like about being an attorney. About your practice, your partners, your employees, your colleagues, and your clients.

Write down what’s working well for you in marketing your practice. Write down what you did well with a particular case or for a particular client.

Write down what you like about your personal life–your family, friends, community, hobbies, interests and your spiritual life.

Write about books or movies you enjoyed, apps you love, your favorite restaurants, investments that have done well, projects you’re looking forward to starting or completing.

Write about things that make you happy. Things that make you smile or laugh out loud. Things that make you proud.

When you focus on the things you appreciate, the positive aspects of your life, you get more of the same.

No resolutions necessary.

On my list of things to appreciate: you.

Thank you for your patronage, your support, your ideas, your comments and kind words–they mean a lot to me.

I look forward to an exciting, prosperous, and productive new year.

Join me?

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What’s your DMO?

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Many people use the last few days of the year to plan their next year. If you’re among them, one thing you might want to do is create (or update) your DMO.

Your “Daily Method of Operation” is a list of essential recurring tasks, and a process for handling other things that comes your way. Your DMO helps you make progress on your top priorities and minimize distractions and omissions.

Your DMO might include a list of tasks you want to do every day or on certain days of the week, and lay out the order in which you will do them.

It might include a list of tasks for starting your day and another list delineating how you will end it.

At the start of the year, you can only lay out general plans about how you will use your time–the “big rocks” of your day. One of these should be scheduling time to look at your calendar and list of projects so you can plan the bulk of your day.

One thing you’ll discover is that no matter what your DMO includes today it will surely change tomorrow.

And that’s okay.

Because the value of planning your DMO–or anything else–isn’t in the plan, it’s in the planning.

The Attorney Marketing Formula includes a simple but effective marketing plan

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My CPA didn’t send me a Christmas card

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My CPA didn’t send me a Christmas card this year. And I’ve been his client for 35 years.

No, nothing’s wrong. He’s never sent me a Christmas card. Or emailed me to wish me happy holidays. Or sent me anything that’s not strictly business.

And that’s fine with me.

He does a good job for me, we speak once a year, and as far as I’m concerned, we’ll continue to do that as long as we’re both breathing.

No doubt you have clients who feel the same way about you. They’ll stick with you through thick and thin.

The only question you have to ask yourself is if all your clients feel that way.

Probably not.

Some are new and don’t know you well enough. Some need hand holding. Some are really into the holidays and are disappointed if they think you forgot them.

And some are having a rough time and would appreciate some holiday cheer.

If you don’t send cards or emails, you’re probably fine with most of your clients. But there will always be some who fall into another category.

And then there’s your list of prospective clients who don’t know, like and trust you enough just yet and hearing from you could make a difference.

You can’t communicate too often with the people in your life, even those who are committed to you.

But don’t send cards because it’s a good marketing tactic. Don’t send them because you want to keep them happy.

Send them because it makes you happy.

Email let’s you stay in touch with everyone. Here’s how to do it right

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How’s that ‘weekly review’ thing going?

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No matter what kind of productivity system we use, we can all agree that some kind of weekly review is a good idea.

Examining what we’ve done recently and planning out what to do next just makes sense. A well-planned life is a well-lived life, or something like that.

But. . . it’s so easy to fall off the wagon. (Ask me how I know.)

If you’re thinking about re-starting your weekly review, or cleaning up a list that has become unwieldy, I have a few ideas that might help.

  • If it’s been awhile since you did a weekly review, if you routinely ignore the appointment in your calendar, scheduling a different day and time for your review might help you jump start a new habit.
  • If this is your first day back, don’t try to do everything at once. Limit yourself to reviewing a segment of your list, e.g., current projects, “this week” or “this month,” or limit yourself to a 10-minute perusal to get your feet wet. Easy to start, easy to continue.
  • Consider setting up two new tags or labels: “Defer to do” and “Defer to review”. This will allow you to move tasks and ideas out of sight (for now), giving you more visual space and mental clarity to deal with more important or immediate tasks.
  • If your someday/maybe list is massive, give yourself permission to aggressively delete items. If that makes you nervous, move them to a “probably never” list, and tell yourself you will “probably never” look at that list.
  • If things are totally out of control and you dread getting started, consider the nuclear option: set up a new inbox, move your entire list into it, and start from scratch.
  • Another idea: choose a new app or system and re-enter everything manually. It makes you re-consider what’s important and helps you create a more manageable list.
  • Once you’re back on the wagon and your lists are in decent shape, consider adding a brief “daily review” to your schedule. A few minutes at the end of the day can help you keep your lists tidy and reduce the amount of time needed for your weekly review.

If you use Evernote for your lists, my book can help you get organized

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You’ll get more referrals if you do this

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This is one of those things that might sound simplistic. Something you already know and do.

Don’t underestimate it. Because it invokes a very basic but powerful aspect of human nature. And because it works.

If you want to get more referrals, look for ways to remind people that other people send you referrals, and you appreciate it.

I’m not saying you should ask for referrals–just let the people in your world know that other people in your world send you business and/or tell others about you (your website, your content, etc.)

And you’re grateful for it.

I just got a “Happy Holidays” email “card” from my dentist that did just that. It included a holiday-themed image and a message from his-and-her nibs (my dentists are husband and wife).

The message said the usual things, “We’re grateful. . . honored to serve you. . .thank you. . . wishing you happy holidays. . .”.

Sandwiched in the middle of the message was the following:

“We appreciate the many referrals that you have made to us of friends and family, coworkers and neighbors. Your referrals are truly the greatest compliment and a testament to your trust in us! We strive to always reciprocate that trust by taking great care of your oral health with the highest level of care and service.”

In other words, they get a lot of referrals from their patients, and they appreciate them.

Note that they also mentioned who was referred–friends and family, coworkers and neighbors of their patients–suggesting that we (the recipient of the message) might have some of these people in our lives.

Simple, subtle, and effective.

Something every professional can do.

Not just during the holidays but all year long.

I do most of my marketing via email. You can, too.

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