In today’s saturated and competitive legal market, it’s just not enough to be the very best at what you do, sitting behind your desk churning out work day in day out, to keep bringing in new business and to stay top of mind with clients, prospects and referrals.

Your competitors are likely doing more, and

I came across a terrific (and short article) in Attorney at Work by Tea Hoffmann on “Developing a What’s Next Mindset” that I passed along to the lawyers with whom I work because I like how it drives home the point that lawyers should always be thinking about the next step in trying to turn a prospect into a client. I also like how it drives home the point about how thinking strategically and carefully about the next steps in the sales cycle can lead to more business – a lawyer and his/her advisors must always be planting the seeds for how to engage with the prospect and how best to “pitch” the story of the firm and its services.

As the article notes, “typically it takes up to eight interactions, done over the course of six to 18 months, to convert a prospect to a client and only 20 percent of your prospects will become clients.” Now, this is a generalization of course, and it can take much longer or much shorter for a lead to become a client – but you get the point that the buyer journey to client is oftentimes quite long with mnay touchpoints along the way. The author also goes on to say that a what’s next mindset is great for lawyers because they tend to be deadline driven and laser focused – so this gives them motivation and the opportunity for goal setting.
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I recently returned from Atlanta where I attended and spoke at the 2019 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference, which is the annual industry gathering for legal marketing and business development professionals.

If your experience was like mine, you gained many new insights that you’re excited to implement at your firm, you made new valuable connections, reignited existing relationships, participated in online conversations at #LMA19 and spent time in the exhibit hall talking to service providers about their products and technologies.

I always try to attend the sessions that will enable me to obtain insights into what clients need and want, as well as anything that will help me gain an advantage over competitors, and with that in mind, I’d like to share a few key takeaways and insights from my LMA19 experience. This year, one of the major highlights for me was the general counsel panel. The speakers had so much to share and what they said was eye opening.

Here are some key takeaways from my latest JD Supra article on “What Clients Want and Need Today From Law Firms – Key Takeaways from the 2019 LMA Annual Conference.” Read the full article for much more from #LMA19. 
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It’s great to have a large number of connections on LinkedIn, but if the relationship never leaves the site, what’s the point? Create connections that matter, remember to always focus on the quality of the relationships – not the quantity!

Here are five tips on how to easily turn online connections into offline business:

  1. Build

I recently heard a very inspiring story about how a client referral came from a conversation that a lawyer had with the cleaning service employee who was assigned to his floor. They had grown somewhat friendly over the course of a year through casual conversations, and it turned out that the janitor’s brother had growing

Many professionals want to step outside of their comfort zones and try different types of professional branding activities such as public speaking, article writing, taking a leadership role on a committee or joining a nonprofit board or starting a blog, but there’s something inside of them that holds them back from doing so.

Here’s what I say to those feelings of self-doubt and negativity (and what you should say too), “Yes you can, and you will!”

It’s not easy to tame our inner critic, but nothing in life that’s worth it ever is, right? We all have tons of self-doubts in our head that wreak havoc on our self-confidence. It’s so important to believe in yourself, in fact, your career depends on it. A positive mindset goes a long way in determining whether your endeavors fail or succeed. Harsh self-reflections can be very damaging to your psyche and your career. To succeed you must consciously silence these negative thoughts, replace them with proactive thoughts and actions and generally just be kinder to yourself.

I used to be in this category of people who just didn’t believe in themselves and who were overly critical of themselves – let’s just say that I was not the most charismatic public speaker (in fact, I was terrible!) and I beat myself up over it watching videos of myself, critiquing my performance and asking others for feedback where I obsessed over the negative comments. But I kept at it, I strove to improve what I could, I didn’t give up and I didn’t say no to future speaking engagements just because I had a few so-so experiences. And neither should you.

So what if your speaking engagement is only good not great or if your article just receives a lukewarm reception? You’ll learn from each of these and do better next time. After all, practice really does make perfect. If you work hard for the things you want, they will happen.

The next time you hear that negative voice in your head, I want you to promise to do the following: 
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I’m often asked how to develop a successful social media strategy. Firms of all sizes and budgets can do it if they are resourceful and creative.

Here are some ideas that Mike Mellor and I spoke about at last week’s LMA New York Local Group program on how to use social media for revenue generation.

Content marketers now have a new way of reaching their target audiences on LinkedIn using live video.

Recently, LinkedIn, the most powerful social network for professionals, added a livestreaming option in beta to a select group of users.

Called “LinkedIn Live,”  the platform will provide its 600 million plus members and businesses the option to share and stream live video content such as  Q&As, events, conferences, earnings calls, award ceremonies, company announcements and more.

According to Social Media Today, it makes perfect sense for LinkedIn to put increased emphasis on video content because its users are 20x more likely to share a video on the platform than any other type of post (wow!). To further support video on its platform, LinkedIn also launched video sponsored content and video for company pages early last year. The addition of LinkedIn Live will also enable LinkedIn to build on the ‘record levels’ of engagement that it says it is currently seeing on the platform.

LinkedIn has lagged behind its competitors when it came to providing users with video content options. This is interesting because because the platform says that video is the fastest-growing format on its platform alongside original written work, shared news and other content, so it seems like it’s in LinkedIn’s best interests to embrace in the technology that will support what its users want.

Launching first in the United States, LinkedIn Live is invite-only for now. In coming weeks, LinkedIn will also post a contact form for others who want to join. It’s not clear when and if LinkedIn will make it possible for everyone to create LinkedIn Live videos, but it is expected that is what will occur given how they rolled out LinkedIn Publisher.

So what can law firms do with LinkedIn Live? Here are some ideas (just keep in mind that your content must have a topical/timely aspect to it in order for it to be worth going live). 
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A few thoughts on LinkedIn:

Today, most people do not send an email when they move jobs, instead they use LinkedIn to notify their professional network. It’s up to you to do the due diligence to find where they landed and add that info to Outlook and your CRM.

LinkedIn gives you great reasons to

In this article, I provide 16 easy ideas to incorporate into your social media, business development and branding efforts for professionals at all levels because it’s never too late or early to shake up your marketing efforts, and the new year is a great opportunity to start fresh and add new activities to our business development and marketing mix.

A word to the wise for young professionals – you should build your network before you think you’ll ever need it. Your peers will be tomorrow’s business leaders. And a word to the wise for seasoned lawyers who don’t think they need to spend the time on business development – today it’s not enough to just be a great lawyer.

You need to market yourself as well as churn out exceptional legal work. One day your steady stream of work could dry up or something unexpected could happen where you need to rebuild your practice.

Also, you never know who can turn out to be a client, referral or future employer. I always tell the lawyers with whom I work to never underestimate the importance of every person and connection. Be friendly and kind to everyone. Because you never know. Read the full article for the 16 tips
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