Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.
Mastermind groups are a small group of colleagues who meet regularly and can provide support, accountability, solution brainstorming and a sense of community in your law practice. Mastermind partners usually share experience and resources. They can also offer crucial reality checks that keep you from launching bad ideas.
You can create your own support and referral group that can be particularly helpful for your law business. It is called the “Circle of 8,” so named because it shouldn’t have more than eight members. It is a hybrid of a mastermind group and a business networking group. It consists of a limited number of select entrepreneurs in related, but non-competitive businesses. Besides the masterminding aspect, the Circle of 8 differs from traditional networking or leads generation groups because (i) the number is limited, (ii) all the participants serve a similar target audience, and (iii) the members are handpicked.
Circle of 8 Benefits
A Circle of 8 delivers value in many ways. As a result of the shared target audience, the members jointly have a 360 degree view of their market, with which they can educate and support each other. Your circle members may come into contact with someone needing your services before you do, so they can be good referral sources. You’ll be able to provide better service to your clients by confidently introducing them to reliable resources for their non-legal needs. Circle members may hear opinions expressed by your potential clients about what they really appreciate in legal services, or dislike about other lawyers, giving you an edge on your competition. They may be able to give you valuable feedback about your own services that your clients don’t tell you. Participants may collaborate to put on seminars or other marketing events, thereby introducing you to their customer databases and expanding your reach, while at the same time reducing your event costs. Read more «“Circle of 8”»
Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.
In 2000 Mel Gibson starred in a movie called “What Women Want” in which a freak accident caused his character, Nick Marshall, to suddenly have the ability to hear women’s unspoken thoughts. He initially found it to be a very disconcerting experience, because (1) he discovered that he had some erroneous assumptions, and (2) women’s impressions of him were not very flattering. In fact, many of them thought he was a jerk. It turned out that what they said to him and what they actually thought did not exactly coincide.
Eventually, however, Nick realized that he could use his new abilities to do research that would allow him to understand women better. He began to modify his own assumptions, expectations, perceptions and behaviors, based on his research. His interactions became more effective and enjoyable. He became more successful in his career. Read more «What Clients Want»
Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.
Sometimes lawyers get so focused on honing their legal skills that they don’t recognize themselves as entrepreneurs. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an entrepreneur as “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.”
Very few law schools have classes that actually teach a lawyer how to run a law practice. How can you know whether you will be any good at it? What if you aren’t graduating in the top 10% of your class? Does that mean you have limited potential for successfully running your own law firm?
Inc. magazine online shared advice from Steve Blank about entrepreneurism in a commencement speech to engineering students. It’s good advice for lawyers, too. He said:
“[G]reat grades and successful entrepreneurs have at best a zero correlation….You don’t get grades for resiliency, curiosity, agility, resourcefulness, pattern recognition and tenacity. You just get successful.”
In this post I want to talk about why those qualities are essential for a successful legal practice. Read more «Six Essential Traits of the Successful Legal Entrepreneur»
“Don’t Stop Marketing Your Law Firm the Old-Fashioned Ways”
Discounted services and buy-one, get-one-free coupons used to be the domain of shoe salesmen and oil change shops, but now the American Bar Association has sanctioned these tactics for use by lawyers as well. Attorneys who want to advertise over platforms like Groupon and LivingSocial are welcome to do so, reports the Association of Corporate Counsel. These new-found tactics may be a good way to reign in new clients, but they haven’t replaced some of the older and still-relevant forms of marketing.
You can physically hand a brochure to prospective clients. It requires less effort for the recipient to look it over than searching your website. It also shares more information than a billboard or radio ad. Hard copy promotional items like these usually get placed somewhere conspicuous, such as on a desk or counter, and can therefore serve as a reminder to the recipient. Read more «Introducing Guest Blogger Ryan Alesso – “Don’t Stop Marketing Your Law Firm the Old-Fashioned Ways”»