David Allen on how to handle distractions


I thought you’d enjoy this short video by David Allen, the “Getting Things Done” guy himself.

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Is Twitter marketing for lawyers a waste of time?


A new study, reported by Mashable, finds that while nearly half of Americans use Facebook, only 7% use Twitter.  So, is it safe to ignore Twitter in marketing your law practice? The answer lies in an understanding of who uses Twitter.

According to the study, Twitter usage is dominated by “power users,” (approximately 22%) who are responsible for the majority of Tweets (approximately 90%). While these probably don’t reflect the target market of most lawyers, it’s logical to assume that this group of regular Tweeters is comprised of well-connected, avid communicators who could turn out to be a great source of referrals for lawyers.

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here by suggesting that the frequent-tweeter club includes a lot of professionals, many of whom have followers in your target market. The numbers may be small but the influence is great. These are the folks you want to meet–and network with–and Twitter is a great way to find them.

Twitter is also continuing to grow and enter the mainstream. Those of us who have staked a small claim will benefit by that growth.

I don’t consider myself a power user of Twitter or any other social media tool. Far from it. But through Twitter, I’ve been able to meet some power users. And that’s the point. Networking is not about meeting everyone, it’s about meeting a few of the right people.


Lawyer marketing 101: The basics of networking


Experts tell us that 85 percent of success in the business and professional worlds is accomplished through personal contacts and word of mouth. The more people you know, then, the more chances you have of meeting people who can and will further your career.

One of the best ways to develop more personal contacts is by networking within organizations. Bar associations, community and charitable groups, and organizations in your target markets provide opportunities to meet prospective referral sources and clients, as well as others who can provide introductions, information, and advice.

Begin by selecting one or two candidate groups that contain people it would be helpful for you to know in the years ahead. Attend a meeting or two, introduce yourself, and decide if it would be useful for you to join. If you decide to join, attend every meeting and
begin the process of making yourself known.

One of the best ways to do that is to volunteer to work on an important committee within the organization. Choose one that has members on it that you would like to get to know or that is engaged in activities that will bring you into contact with key people both inside and outside the organization.

Your work on committees will require time and effort, but over the long term, the relationships you develop can provide everything you need to ensure a lifetime of success.

Today, networking online has become popular. I’ll address that in a future post.


Should lawyers offer a money back guarantee?


"Ridiculous!" "Unethical!" "Stupid!"

Or is it?

Marketing is about cutting through the clutter and standing out from the crowd. It’s about making a big promise and then backing it up. It’s about removing the risk from your client and absorbing it yourself. Isn’t that what contingency fees do?

Money back guarantees work. They are a powerful, proven marketing technique, and you should consider them.

Will you get stung? Maybe. Sometimes. What if that happens, say, once every twenty times you offer it but you get five times more business because of it? What if you lose some but you are so darn popular, you can charge twenty percent more than your competition?

What about ethics? Well, that’s something you have to verify with the powers that be in your jurisdiction, but don’t confuse a guarantee of fees with a guarantee of outcome. There was a discussion about this on Jamie Spencer’s blog about a week ago and there is a big difference. The key is not outcome, it’s client satisfaction. "Your money back if you’re not delighted."

Scary, isn’t it? That’s what makes it so powerful.

Marketing studies prove that most people won’t take advantage of you and, of course, there are ways to limit your exposure. C’mon, you’re a lawyer–that’s what you do. But I challenge you to err on the side of trusting your clients. Those same marketing studies prove that the longer and more expansive the money back guarantee, the more profitable the overall results.

If you’re all intrigued by this idea, but (a) you’re not sure if it will work, or (b) you’re afraid it might backfire, "test" it. Find a small market segment that you can reach with a limited marketing communication, a small mailing, a classified ad, offering it at the close of a free seminar, and see what happens. If you like the results, you can test the idea with larger segments.

Is this idea for everyone? No. But some lawyers will make a fortune with it. In fact. . . I guarantee it.