How to get people to remember you


You have an impressive background. You’re proud of what you’ve accomplished and when you meet people, you want them to hear all about it.

You want them to know about your practice areas. You want them to know about your big-name clients and major verdicts. You want them to hear about the benefits you offer and the reasons they should hire you or refer to you.

The problem is, they don’t care about you and if you give them a laundry list of your bona fides, they’ll remember none of them.

A better strategy is to choose one thing you want people to know and remember.

Just one.

Lead with that and leave them with that. Because it doesn’t matter what you tell people, what matters is what they remember.

Take some time to think about the one thing you want people to remember. One practice area or one story that illustrates what you do or one interesting or humorous nugget of information about yourself.

When you meet someone new, tell them the one thing you want them to remember. If they want to know more, they’ll ask.

Of course, you should do most of the asking. Find out what they do, what they need or want, how you can help them or the people they know.

Give them your card, so they can visit your website if they want to know more. Which they may do if they remember you.

In case they don’t, make sure you get their card so you can stay in touch with them.

Learn more:

How to Sell Your Legal Services in 15 Seconds or Less


If it sucks, I ducks


A headline in an article I saw: “Networking Sucks–Do This Instead”. It wasn’t about alternatives to networking, however, it was about making networking less sucky.

Which is a good thing because if you can take the suckiness out of networking, there are a lot of benefits.

Meeting new business contacts and prospective clients is a valuable business building tactic for professionals.

So, when our ankle bracelets are removed and we’re allowed out of the house, what can we do to drain out some of the suck?

You can find ways to get yourself invited to an event, by a friend or a meeting holder, and have a wing-man available to introduce you.

You can get yourself booked as a speaker at lunches or conferences, and network with people who wait in line to meet you, get your card, and have your babies.

You can organize your own events, and thus have an excuse to invite the kinds of people you want to meet.

You can avoid formal networking completely, and do your networking only “as and when” you happen to meet people.

Or, you can use your newly acquired Zoom skills and do your networking online or over the phone.

But, let’s face it. If you’ve tried networking and hate it in every shape and form, don’t do it.

Don’t punish yourself when there are other ways to build your practice.

On the other hand. . . I have a prediction.

Once things get back to normal, a lot of people who have sworn off networking are going to have a change of heart.

Because while working from home has benefits, humans need to be around people.

So, we’ll go places and meet people and have a jolly good time.

At least for a little while. Until we remember that networking sucks and we go back to our antisocial ways.

How to get referrals from other professionals (over the phone)


How are you doing?


I haven’t connected with you in a while and thought I’d check in and see how you’re doing.

Or something like that.

Go through your phone or your email and contact your clients and other people you know. Say hello. Share a positive thought. Let them know you’re thinking about them.

It’s called networking and it’s a good idea on any day but especially today, when the world is on lock down and everyone is going a bit stir crazy.

And yes, you can do this with business contacts.

Remember opposing counsel on that case you had last year? That vendor you met at a conference? The web guy you hired a few years ago?

Them, too.

Ask about their work or ask them about a colleague you both know or ask them how they’re holding up.

What you say isn’t really that important. What’s important is that you show up in their in box.

Your words will be appreciated and, no doubt, reciprocated. Sometimes, your message will lead to a phone call or a video chat. You might learn something interesting or valuable.

You will keep your name in front of people who haven’t thought about you in a long time. You’ll strengthen your relationships with others.

Will this bring you repeat business? Referrals?

It might.

But don’t do it for that reason. Do it because it makes you feel good to brighten someone’s day.

How to get referrals from lawyers and other professionals


Piggybacking on the news


Wisconsin now allows “service of discovery notices, motions, judgment offers, and documents by email,” according to a report from the Wisconsin Bar, “if the recipient consents [thereto] in writing.”

If you like this idea and want to see something similar implemented in your state, why not take the lead on it?

No, not because you would like to see this implemented in your state–that would be a bonus. Take the lead because it gives you another way to build your practice.

How’s that?

It gives you an “excuse” to reach out to connected people in your state–legislators, big-firm law partners, well-regarded writers and editors, and so on. People who might otherwise not give you the time of day.

Pick up the phone and call someone. Write some letters. Join a Bar committee. And start talking about the issue.

Some people will share your interest. They may introduce you to others who are already talking about it.

You’ll make some new contacts. You might get invited to submit an editorial or asked to speak at an event.

You could start by contacting the folks in Wisconsin who took the lead in getting this passed. Ask for information and advice about doing something similar in your state.

Taking the lead on this, or any issue, gives you a way to stand out from the crowd and create something out of nothing.

Want some new clients? New referral sources? New places to write or speak or network? Want to get your name in the news?

Find something already in the news and start talking about it.

More ways to connect with other professionals


What’s the secret?


In interviews, Jerry Lewis was routinely asked for the secret to comedy. He would often ask the interviewer to repeat the question.

Before they could finish asking, Lewis would interrupt with the answer: “Timing”.

Which usually got a laugh. Because it was a display of spectacularly bad timing.

Sometimes, he’d go in for seconds. “Okay, ask me again.”

After they repeated the question, Lewis would say nothing. Dead air. Then, after a few beats, he would repeat the answer.

Yes, timing is the key to comedy, and displaying bad timing is not only a great way to make the point, it’s funny.

Sometimes, Lewis would explain the key to developing your timing: lots of practice.

You do your jokes and shtick often enough and your timing improves.

Isn’t that what Jerry Seinfeld said about his process? When he was starting out, he wrote at least one new joke every day. He’d mark an X on a wall calendar each day he did this. Eventually, he had a chain of X’s, leading to his oft-quoted advice, “Don’t break the chain.”

Because that’s how you improve any skill.

The point is that if there’s something you want to improve, a skill or a habit, you practice it. Do it often enough and you get better.

If you write every day, you become a better writer. Faster, too.

If you regularly practice your presentation, your delivery improves.

Practice is the key to improvement in sports, playing an instrument, our work.

And marketing.

If you want to get better at networking, for example, you practice networking skills.

Introducing yourself to a stranger. Building rapport. Finding out what the other person needs or wants so you can find a way to help them.

Telling someone about yourself is another networking skill. It’s also the subject of my latest book, “How to Sell Your Legal Services in 15 Seconds or Less”.


So simple, so easy to mess up


Have you ever been interviewed and had the interviewer try to “share the stage” with you, talking too much instead of asking questions?

I have and it’s not good.

When you are invited to be the guest on a podcast or conference call, the host should edify you to their audience. They should present your background, say nice things about you, and make you look every bit like the expert you are.

They should make you look like you walk on water and glow in the dark so their audience will get excited about hearing you.

If they did that and then talk over you or share too much of their own knowledge and experience, they de-edify you.

Why did they invite you if they know what you know?

The host should introduce you, ask questions and let you do most of the talking. They shouldn’t interrupt you or contradict you or do anything that detracts from your image as an expert.

That doesn’t mean they can’t ask some sharp questions. It means they shouldn’t do anything to make you look bad.

Not in that kind of interview, anyway.

Edification is an important skill and it’s not that difficult. Take yourself out of the picture (mostly) and shine the spotlight on your guest.

Edification can also be used when you make a referral to another professional, introduce a guest at your event to another guest or to the speaker, or when you recommend a product or service or resource.

The only place you shouldn’t use it is when you’re talking about yourself.

Marketing is easier when you know The Formula


Hack your next networking event


If you’ve ever tried networking and stopped, no doubt one reason was that you weren’t getting any business out of it.

Sure, there are other benefits to networking. It’s fun to hang out with people you like and have something in common with. It’s fun to see and be seen.

But if building your network and your practice is a primary reason for networking and it isn’t happening, or you’d like to make your next networking function more productive, according to a study, there’s one simple thing you should do.

Go somewhere new.

Find a new meeting, a new group, a new event, where nobody knows you.

According to the study, “people who are already embedded in a social network of friends and advisors don’t network much at all,” said Sharique Hasan, an associate Professor Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, who conducted the study.

He said, “Once you have a network in place, you tend to explore less. As a result, you likely miss out on opportunities to learn from new people who might be sitting next to you.”

Bottom line, if you network to have fun, stick with what’s familiar. But if you network to meet new people, learn new ideas and discover new opportunities, don’t go to Cheers (where everybody knows your name), go somewhere new.


Two ways to grow your business practice


You want to grow your firm–bring on some major clients who provide status and billings and open doors to other clients of a similar ilk.

You don’t have family or business connections that can deliver those types of clients (or you would already have them). What can you do?

The usual strategy is to find ways to network with people who own, manage, or advise the kinds of clients you want to acquire. Promote their business or cause, introduce them to people who can help them, or otherwise add value to the relationship.

One of their existing attorneys may retire, screw up, or have a conflict, and you may get the nod.

Or, one of your new friends will introduce you to some of their contacts–smaller companies in their niche who need legal help, or people who know them.

You might offer these smaller clients a sweet deal because one of these companies may take off and you can grow with them. Plus, you’ll have your foot in the industry door.

Just being able to say you represent a certain company or you are on a board with some of the players in the industry may elevate your status enough to allow you to attract bigger clients.

All of this will be easier if you focus on a niche market. You’ll have an edge over other firms because of your specialized knowledge and connections. You’ll know the issues, the people, the trends, and you can provide more value to people in that niche.

So, that’s the usual way to do it. Hard work, provide value, bide your time.

But there is another way.

You can hire (or merge with) attorneys (or firms) that already have the types of clients you want.

Offer them a good deal because they can bring you more clients like their existing book of business.

This can help you choose your niche


Getting referrals from people you don’t know well


Yesterday, we talked about using email to reach out to strangers, to see if there’s a basis for initiating a relationship.

But don’t forget the people you already know.

Friends, clients, colleagues, people you’ve worked with–your close contacts can and will send you business, so stay in touch with them, too. An email newsletter is a simple way to do that.

And. . . don’t ignore your casual contacts. Professionals you’ve met once or twice, vendors, consultants, bloggers, and others who sell to or advise people in your target market, can open a lot of doors for you.

These so-called “weak ties” may be a great source of referrals and other opportunities.

Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, said:

“In fact, in landing a job, Granovetter discovered, weak-tie acquaintances were often more important than strong-tie friends because weak ties give us access to social networks where we don’t otherwise belong. Many of the people Granovetter studied had learned about new job opportunities through weak ties, rather than from close friends, which makes sense because we talk to our closest friends all the time, or work alongside them or read the same blogs. By the time they have heard about a new opportunity, we probably know about it, as well. On the other hand, our weak-tie acquaintances— the people we bump into every six months— are the ones who tell us about jobs we would otherwise never hear about.”

Schedule time each week to check-in with a few casual contacts. Send an email, ask what they’re working on, give them some news, or share an article or video you found that might interest them.

Some of these casual contacts will bear fruit, merely because they heard from you and were reminded about what you do and how you can help them or their clients.

But don’t leave it at that.

When the time is right, tell them what you’re looking for. Ask for information or an introduction. Or ask for advice.

Because your casual contacts can open a lot of doors for you, some of which you didn’t know even existed.

Email marketing for attorneys


Finding your inner Stormtrooper


Just read an article in the ABA Journal about an Arizona lawyer who loves Star Wars and “dressing up or ‘cosplaying’ as a Stormtrooper.”

She attends conventions, marches in parades, and belongs to an international organization of thousands of fans who have fun and raise money for charities. She also does some legal work for her local chapter of the organization.

Some lawyers would say that dressing up is unprofessional. Some would say it’s a waste of time.

I would say, nicely done.

C’mon, she gets to get out of the office and spend time with people who share her passion. She gets to raise money for hospitals. And, instead of building her network at boring Chamber of Commerce meetings, she’s building her network doing something she loves.

Not to mention getting an article in the ABA Journal about her.

I did a coaching call yesterday with a lawyer whose practice needs a shot in the arm. One thing we talked about is getting out of the office, doing something different, and meeting some new people.

I don’t know if he’s a Star Wars fan but I hear the Rebel Forces are recruiting.

Marketing your practice starts with The Formula