No ideas? No problem

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You want more business but you’re fresh out of ideas. You don’t know what to do. 

Don’t worry. The fact is, you don’t need any ideas.

Nothing original, anyway. Find something that’s working for someone else and copy it.

Ideas are free. And (usually) non-proprietary. Find a lawyer who is bringing in business and do what they’re doing.

Your best bet? Your direct competition. They’ve proven that what they’re doing is working for their (your) practice area and your market.

Second best, a lawyer in a similar practice area or market.

Original ideas are rare. And unnecessary. You don’t need to re-invent the wheel.

Find something someone else is doing that aligns with what you’re doing, or want to do, and feels like a good fit. Something that fits your personality, budget, and work style.

Don’t try to improve the idea, however. You might mess it up. Copy it exactly. Later, when it’s working for you, too, you can tinker with it and make it better.

Right now, go talk to some lawyers. Observe them. Study them. Read their blogs, their ads, their websites.

You don’t need ideas. Use theirs.

Just in case, here are some great ideas

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How to get better ideas

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As lawyers, we tend to spend less time and energy on getting ideas than performing due diligence on other people’s ideas. And yet, we need ideas to grow.

We need ideas for marketing and managing our practice, for personal development, and for creating content (articles, blog posts, videos, emails, etc.)

And, although we rarely develop new services (or products),  getting ideas for these can help us improve our existing services.

So, ideas are good. Now, where do we get ’em?

Read a lot. And take notes. 

Observe what other people are doing, in your field and in other fields or businesses, and take notes.

Talk to people about what they’re doing. Yep, more notes. 

And then, put those notes away, forget about what you’ve read or observed, and let the ideas come to you. Let your subconscious mind find them and bring them to your attention. 

Take walks. Take vacations. Play games, watch sports, get some sleep. The ideas will come because your subconscious mind never sleeps. 

It will sift through your thoughts about the things you read and observed and wrote in your notes and find ideas that are in sync with your goals and desires and vision for the future. 

In other words, it will show you your best ideas. 

When those ideas don’t come, after a period of time I re-read my notes. Sometimes, the idea pops out at me. Sometimes I put the notes away again and come back to them later. And sometimes, the ideas don’t come, probably because I’m not ready for them, so I keep reading, observing and making notes.

The key to getting better ideas is getting lots of ideas. And then letting the best ideas come to you. 

Ideas for marketing your services

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A simple daily habit that could change everything

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I read an article that offered suggested daily habits that could help us 5 years from now. One habit stood out, not just because it has marketing implications, but because I think it could bring immediate benefits.

The habit:

Talk to one stranger every day.

Think about the possibilities. The stranger you speak to could be your next client, a marketing joint venture partner, or a source of referrals. Or they might introduce you to someone who fulfills one or more of those roles.

Talking to someone new can give you ideas for articles and posts, for marketing or managing your practice, or for doing something new and exciting.

Practicing the habit of approaching strangers also helps you develop your networking and interpersonal skills.

And it could be a lot of fun.

You could approach people by design–professionals and centers of influence in your target market or local community, for example. Or, you could make it a serendipitous adventure and approach people at random. How about the person immediately behind you in the line at Starbucks?

Strangers represent opportunities, the article notes. True, most opportunities don’t pan out. With many strangers, you won’t get to first base.

But you never know when the next person you meet might be the one who opens doors to great new adventures. Or, turn out to be a new friend.

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