Get productivity help!

If you’ve ever wondered if there’s an “app for that” when it comes to productivity, you’re going to love the resource I’m sharing this week. Visit this page to view a list of apps and websites that help with the following productivity needs:

  • Notes and Capture
  • Journaling
  • Mind Mapping
  • Storage
  • Time Management
  • Task Management
  • Email Management
  • Project Management
  • Team Sharing
  • Team Chat
  • Calendar Management / Sharing
  • Workflow and Automation
  • Writing
  • Markdown
  • Dictation / Transcription
  • Text Expansion
  • Editorial Calendar
  • Research and Organization
  • Time Tracking
  • Social Media
  • Financial and Business
  • Password Management
  • Personal Digital Assistants
  • Environment

When you get to the page, you’ll see an offer for a PDF of the list plus a bonus, but keep scrolling down to see the list itself. 

This is also a great example of how strong content (like the list of resources) can help you to build a mailing list. The post was so helpful that I signed up to get the PDF, and I’m interested to see what the author will send in his upcoming newsletters. Would a potential client who tripped across your website say that?

What’s the story about your value?

I’ve written over and over and over again about creating value for clients. Value matters in business development too, of course. Check this quote from Seth Godin that puts marketing into the context of value:

Marketing tells a story

How do you tell a story about your value? Case studies? Data and statistics? White papers or other kinds of presentations? Consider today how effectively your marketing communications convey your value. It isn’t your potential client’s job to discover the value that you would bring; it’s your job to illustrate it so the potential client understands.

Working with Millennials

Last month, I lured a friend to Santa Fe for a surprise 50th birthday party on the pretext that I needed her help to deliver a retreat for a law firm. She asked a lot of questions, so I made up an entire retreat on the fly, including a presentation about millennials. My friend, a high school teacher, offered some fascinating insights that led me to some additional reading. My private clients are sometimes perplexed by working with millennial associates (especially when requesting nonbillable help on creating content for marketing and business development purposes), and I thought I’d share several useful resources with you today.

  • Managing Millennials in the Legal Workplace: Written by two millennial lawyers, this article is slightly (but not unreasonably) defensive about common perceptions of millennials. One piece of advice is to “[s]et clear expectations, anchor them to an actual purpose and consistently apply them.” While this advice adheres to any generation, for reasons the article explains, it’s particularly on point for millennial lawyers. You may consider setting explicit goals for millennial associates about assistance in writing articles, social media marketing, etc. and connecting the dots on how those activities will help your practice and the firm grow as well as how the millennial lawyer can expect to benefit. Experience suggests that in many cases one cannot simply expect younger associates to be pleased to perform nonbillable work, even if that’s how it was done “when I was a young associate.”
  • 2015 Is The Year Of The Millennial Customer: 5 Key Traits These 80 Million Consumers Share: Although the date in the title of this article might suggest it’s out of date, it’s anything but. One key point here is that “[m]illennials enjoy the possibility of collaborating with businesses and brands, as long as they believe their say matters to the company in question.” This perspective should influence how you work with millennial lawyers as well as how you market to them.
  • The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016: This reports states that 66% of millennials expect to leave their current employment by 2020 and offers ways to increase millennial loyalty. You might consider that today’s associate may well be tomorrow’s associate in-house counsel, which may create opportunities for you to seed and continue valuable relationships for future business development opportunities.

While a full discussion of millennial tendencies and characteristics is far beyond the scope of this article, the point remains that understanding millennials is important both to garner support for your business development activities and for growing your practice. Review these and other articles, and if at all possible, attend a CLE and/or read up on how millennial tendencies are affecting business. It’s an interesting topic with far-reaching implications.

Speaking is not enough

Speaking is, hands down, one of the best strategies to use for growing a practice. Why? Because you have an opportunity to showcase your knowledge about some aspect of your area of practice, to give the audience some taste of who you are and how you approach the kinds of problems they may face, and you’re doing so literally in front of an audience, thus creating the opportunity to make personal contact.

But if you don’t take three key steps long before you begin your presentation, speaking is unlikely to yield new business. Those three key steps are:

1. Choose your audience with care. The audiences to whom you speak must be composed of potential clients and/or potential referral sources. That’s why delivering a CLE to other lawyers in your field of practice probably won’t yield new business unless your practice is so distinctive that some of those lawyers are likely to refer business to you.

2. Give useful information, but be clear about the problems not addressed in your presentation. You want to demonstrate your skill, but you also want to set yourself up to handle the kind of problem you’re addressing and others related to it. Unless your area of practice lacks nuances (which is unlikely), be clear that your presentation covers problems A and B but doesn’t attempt to address problems C-E, which are critical to a successful outcome. You don’t want to complicate a topic, but you also don’t want to simplify it so much that further assistance seems unnecessary unless in fact it is.

3. Plan your follow-up process. It’s unlikely that audience members will approach you ready to hire you even after the most successful presentation. In an ideal world, potential clients will remember your name and keep your contact information at hand so they can contact you when they need your help, but you shouldn’t count on that. Instead, offer useful follow-up material like a checklist or infographic that summarizes your presentation. Deliver that information as a part of a follow-up sequence (which might include an invitation to answer questions, an offer of additional resources, perhaps a personal contact, and possibly a newsletter for ongoing contact) so that you may remain in contact with interested members of the audience.

If you take these three steps (and deliver a solid presentation in terms of content and style), you’ll be on the way to securing new business from some member(s) of your audience. Remember, however, that landing the work (and even getting into conversation about specific work you might handle) won’t necessarily be an immediate outcome—which is why you’ll have your ongoing follow-up planned before the day of your presentation.