Gary Mitchell's Biz/Dev Coaching Blog
So you’ve worked your entire career building your practice/firm/company. Retirement is on the horizon. What is your plan? Will you simply walk away? Will you forfeit all of your hard work, time, and energy and not reap the full benefits of your hard work?
Why not start planning now! Why not work to building up your practice/firm/ company so that it becomes more attractive to have someone or another firm buy you out? That’s your cash out! That’s your retirement reward.
Now there are two main options the way I see it. The first is to build your firm/practice/company and have a broker sell it for you. The second option is to groom within to bring on other associates and work with them to eventually take the firm over. In both cases though, it’s in your best interest to develop your staff so that you can point to a track record where everyone on your team is a valuable part of its growth. In other words, they all know how to, and have a proven record of bringing in new business. That makes your firm more profitable and attractive whichever option you choose.
But don’t wait until retirement is staring you in the face. Plan now!. Act now! Far too many professionals don’t give this enough thought and before they know it, it’s too late.
98.7% of my clients are perfectionists at heart. I am a perfectionist at heart. What’s the problem with being a perfectionist? It holds you back from actually getting things done. Nothing will ever be perfect, including perfectionism.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Striving for, and achieving excellence should be our number one goal as professional service providers. And for that matter, as humans. But if you wait until something is perfect to get it out there, you will never get it out there. It’s an impossible dream.
How many times has procrastination come into play because of your perfectionist tendencies? You fear getting started because you don’t know if it will be perfect. So you hold off. Time passes. More time passes and still nothing is done. If some of the top companies of all time waited until they perfected their product or service, they wouldn’t be in business. They wouldn’t have pushed the innovation envelope.
So the next time you are confronted with your perfectionist tendencies, ask yourself, “Is it excellent?” “Is it good enough for now?” And then remember, it can always be improved upon later. Get it out there. One of my favorite things to suggest to my clients is ‘NIKE’. Just do it!
To kick off 2018 I’ve created a new LinkedIn Group-Professional Services Marketing Group.
The purpose is twofold. 1st, to offer a forum where professional service providers can share insights and knowledge, wins and challenges as they grow their businesses. There is power in collective wisdom.
The 2nd goal of this group is to allow you to network ‘virtually’ with other professionals; build relationships and develop more referrals.
The concept of the ‘Mastermind Group’ comes from author Napoleon Hill, in his book “Think and Grow Rich”, published in the early part of the last century. I’ve always loved the concept and many of my clients have and continue to use this strategy to grow their businesses.
And then invite your best referral sources and contacts to join. The more members, the more collective wisdom and the potential to build more relationships leading to more referrals, leading to more business.
#businesscoach #mastermindgroup #growyourbusiness
I am very pleased to chair “Raindance: The Business Development Bootcamp for Lawyers” to air September 24th. This Bootcamp is especially geared towards solo practice and small to mid-size firms who are looking to grow. Working closely with the conference organizers at The Commons Institute, we’ve put together a stellar group of presenters including legal practitioners and legal marketers who are leading innovation in today’s marketplace. You will hear from a Law Clerk who will share what she did to grow her network and bring in clients to her firm; a 4th year M&A Lawyer who will share her approach to business development, and a Managing Partner will share how he continued to make rain, lead the firm, manage his people, engage his team in business development and grow his firm. We also have Jana Schilder, my Co-Founding Partner of Legal A Team, who will cover the value of media relations in growing your firm, and Susan Van Dyke of Vandyke marketing, who will cover off effectively using Social Media.
In addition to the amazing content we will cover, each participant of Raindance will receive a copy of my 2nd book, “Raindance 2: A Blueprint for Growing Your Practice”, and a one-hour coaching session with me to follow the conference. If you are looking to grow your practice or firm, this webinar cannot be missed. GO to The Commons Institute and sign up today. Early bird rates are still available. I look forward to working with you to grow your firm.
We read about it everywhere about how increasingly your clients, in-house counsel are using social media to research and source talent and stay informed. Research came out a couple of years ago with the fact that more and more of your potential clients were and are looking at your LinkedIn profile (if you even have one), before your law firm web site. In fact LinkedIn has released the numbers to prove it. According to a recent article in Lexpert by Bev Cline, Danielle Restivo, LinkedIn’s Head of Global Programs, Corporate Communications says the network has “over 3,000 members with the ‘In-House Counsel’ in their title, more than 33,000 who have ‘General Counsel’ in their title.” And that adds to the already 470,000 members who have the word ‘lawyer’ in their title.
Typically the article goes on to say, that in-house counsel are using social media in ‘listen mode’. That means that they are gathering information and learning about you and your expertise through the content you post and the contributions you make online. There are 410 groups on LinkedIn dedicated to in-house counsel. The numbers speak for themselves. If you are not using social media as one of your business development strategies in attracting clients, you are missing out.
So now you have several strategies to get out there and find more people who need your services, find more referral sources and how to make it easier for them to find you. One last thing to wrap it all up.
You are a busy professional. You want to ensure that you get maximum efforts for your business development efforts. When you create content for a presentation, you likely have about two or three articles you can publish. Use the articles to send to contacts or include them with your newsletter. From those articles, you have several blog posts. Link your blog to your social media, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts and get your content out to an even broader audience this year.Post your articles on your website and link to them from your blog. In fact if you just did this one thing and considered where you can leverage all of your efforts, you will see better results.
There are so many reasons why as a service provider you need to have a fully developed profile on LinkedIn. And fully developed means when it is, a pop up will alert you that you are now a ‘rock star’. In addition to being a simple and low maintenance way of keeping in touch with people, it has so many more benefits. Remember this month I decided to fully focus on sharing ways you can find more people who need your services, find more referral sources, and make it easier for them to find you. When you have a well-developed Profile on LinkedIn and someone does a Google search of your name, your LinkedIn profile is likely to rank ahead of your firm or company website profile. If someone Google’s looking for the service you provide (and everyone is doing it now), with a well-developed profile, you are more likely to come up ahead of your competition.
As if that’s not enough to convince you, when you ask your clients to recommend you, others can see that. There is no other marketing tactic better, no amount of money in the world you could throw at marketing yourself that will even come close to having your clients rave about you.
LinkedIn, get on it.
In addition to speaking at conferences and events, putting on educational workshops is another excellent business-building tactic. There are many applications for this. You can offer workshops to current clients as a value-add, and it’s a great way to strengthen your relationship. It’s also and excellent way of building more relationships in your prospects company or organization. One of the reasons I like this tactic so much, is that you’re not asking your contacts for anything. You are providing them with valuable content and knowledge.
The fastest way to encourage everyone on your front line to take part in business development is to incentivize them. Offer bonuses, and perks. I am aware of some firms that offer this to their law clerks as well as management. Everyone on your team has the potential to bring in more business. And the more people you have bringing in business, the more successful your firm or company will be.
If you enjoy writing, one of the ways you can share your knowledge is to use Facebook and/or LinkedIn as your very own blog. There’s no need to go to all the trouble of creating your own site. Once you have your profile up, you can use your social media sites to post your own content, and share other content that you deem appropriate for your target audience. And you can set it up to automatically post on Twitter if you have an account. You can include published articles, partial presentations and links to information valuable to your contacts. It’s a great way of raising your profile and demonstrating your expertise. On LinkedIn you can share it with your network, post to groups or send it to individuals.