In this week’s rainmaking recommendation, expert and trainer, Jaimie Field, reminds us about some key communication skills we should be building during this time of COVID-19.

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Business development, aka Rainmaking, has been and will always be about communication and trust.

You need exceptional communication skills to build trust and confidence in your abilities to help your clients and potential clients.  And never has this been truer than at this time in history. Continue Reading Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: It’s ALWAYS About Communication

People have remarked that the word “unprecedented” is certainly having a moment right now. I think that’s something we can all agree on. And one of the things that is truly unprecedented is the sheer amount of content coming out of law firms. While firms have long been known for producing a variety of client alerts, articles, blog posts, and more, the amount of information that is pouring forth from legal minds around the world is quite a torrent.

We’ve already talked about it in recent weeks here on Zen, and it has me looking back to some of our previous discussions around content marketing, and its best practices. That may seem a bit superficial at a time that is a dire as this one is, but we’re going to delve into some content conversations over the next few weeks and I’ll tell you why I think they’re essential for firms at the moment:

  • Number one on every lawyer’s list right now is being their clients’ trusted business advisor. And if it isn’t, it should be. My saying that here isn’t news to anyone, and the engagement with each of your clients to best serve their current needs will be very individual.
  • As all of the chaos surrounding the initial lockdowns begins to settle and we either continue to remain remote, or we return to limited work, there will continue to be some slowdowns. Firms are expecting this. We know we can’t engage in the previous ways that we used to for knowledge sharing, like networking events, seminars, client lunches and dinners. But we can improve our content marketing and use it to stand out among the noise.
  • “Content marketing” isn’t a dirty word. When used well and effectively, it’s a targeted, smart method of adding value in a way that reduces the burden on lawyers while expanding their profiles and allows for relationship-building opportunities. Currently, those opportunities will remain virtual, but they still exist!

Continue Reading Fixing the Two Biggest Problems with Legal Content Writers Amid COVID-19

In this week’s rainmaking recommendation, trainer and expert, Jaimie Field, talks about throwing out the phrase “new normal.”

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My friend, Tim Baran, who is the Technology Innovator Manager at ProBono Net, posted something on LinkedIn that really resonated with me:

“Time to shift our mindset from “when this is over” to “new normal for the foreseeable future” and adjust our routines and plans and approaches to living accordingly.”

I hate the phrase “new normal”.  I think it is trite and overused.

Whenever there is a major event, a crisis if you will, the world changes and adapts to it.  After 9/11 we acclimated to new security measures and scrutiny when we wanted to fly.  After the Great Recession in 2008-2009, we had to adjust to new monetary procedures.

And, “new normal” also includes positive changes as well.  I remember when lawyers and law firms wouldn’t even think about using email or, God forbid, have a website.  The idea of any type of business development, marketing, and advertising was antithetical to what lawyers thought was professional.  We should only do good work and business will come, was the prevailing belief. But, we have changed our thinking to understand that just good work is not enough.  You need to let people know who you are, and how you can help them.

But as Tim wrote, we need to adjust our routines and plans and approaches.  We’ve all been adjusting to our new situations for the past 5 weeks. Well, it’s time to adapt your business development activities.

There isn’t a marketing or business development tactic that you can do in real life that you cannot do online.

I have always said there are only three things you need to do to become a rainmaker: Continue Reading Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: It’s Not The “New Normal”; It’s Just Life

I’ve been ruminating on this post for a few days, as I struggled to decide what to blog about this week. This is a tough and heavy topic, but I finally settled on discussing it because it *is* so important, particularly at this moment in time when so many people are struggling and vulnerable. Why add my voice when so many others have already provided great resources and their own stories? Well, I hope I have something of my own to add, because of my own struggles with depression for the past twenty-plus years and because I think that we can never talk about it enough to break the stigma and ensure that people get the help that they need.  (Please note, **trigger warning** for this entire post).  Continue Reading It’s Okay to Breakdown

The ILN is proud to announce our latest firm of the month, Salloum & Partners L.L.C., United Arab Emirates!
Salloum & Partners LLC is a boutique law firm and a leading player in the Emirati legal world, with both local and cross-jurisdictional expertise. This year, the Firm celebrates 40 years of activity since it was first set up in 1980 as Samir A. Salloum Law Firm.

Continue Reading ILN Firm of the Month – Salloum & Partners L.L.C., United Arab Emirates

My title my be tongue-in-cheek, but my message this week is quite serious.

We’ll get to that in a moment. First, I want to consider for a moment what happens in a crisis. We panic a little bit, right? Even if we stay mostly calm, our world gets very small, and we’re often looking only at the three feet around us. It sometimes means that we’re looking only at what our firm, our office, or our team is doing, and not focusing on the larger picture. We’re also trying to do everything extremely quickly and efficiently, because the needs all feel so IMMEDIATE – clients need us RIGHT.NOW. And that’s not imaginary – they do. Orders have come down from state or national governments asking them to shutter their businesses within hours. They’ve had to move employees from in-office to remote immediately, sometimes with no plans in place. You may be assisting them in doing this often while having to make similar decisions for your own firms. Continue Reading “I Don’t Want No Hubs” – a.k.a Show me the Value

Today’s post from rainmaking coach and expert, Jaimie Field, has us asking ourselves how we should define our “adaptation” to the current pandemic. Read on to decide the kind of lawyer you want to be.

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Adapt.

A word that is fraught with so much meaning these days.

One of the definitions of adapt is:

“Become adjusted to new conditions.”

And boy, have we ever been adapting to new conditions.  It’s been almost a month since most of the United States went into self-quarantine.  Since that time, we have had to adapt almost every aspect of our lives.

We’ve are acclimating to our new lives:

  • Working from home
  • Home Schooling Children
  • Buying Necessities
  • Social distancing
  • Virtual meetings

We’ve all been thrown into a situation that we have never before known. And most of you are just trying to get through this anomalous period in history until some “normalcy” is restored.

Much like going to the airport changed after 9/11, I think this is going to change the way the world works permanently. Now, I do not have a crystal ball and I don’t know what that change is going to look like – most likely the health care system will be forever altered – but we have adapted to the security in airports and we will adapt to what happens after the pandemic.

But what if instead of just becoming adjusted to the new conditions, we use a different definition of adapt:

“Make (something) suitable for a new use or purpose; modify”

The difference is between being passive (just accepting the situation) and being active (modifying the situation).

The second type of adaptation allows you to change, to grow and to improve.

I believe that there are opportunities for lawyers in this crisis – and not in a mercenary or greedy way.

Now is the time to determine what you want your legal career to look like after this is “over”.

Now is the time to create your business development plan.

Now is the time to position yourself as a thought-leader so that when the “next normal” begins you are the attorney they seek when a problem arises that you can handle.

Now is the time to solidify relationships with your current and former clients and to start building relationships with prospective clients and referral sources using the tools we have available today – the internet, social media, virtual meetings, etc.

And now is the time to decide if you will accept your situation or if you will modify your situation.

It’s your choice on how you are going to adapt.

We’re at a unique point in our histories right now – everything seems to be in an upheaval, and our nerves are frayed. Many of us are finally getting to a place that feels like a new normal, but there are still some things that are a challenge. One of the things I’ve seen to be true over the past few weeks is that a lot of people seem to be in a mad rush to make things happen. In many cases, that’s necessary – as things close, we have to make quick choices about how to work from home, how to help clients move entire businesses to remote working, how to suddenly adapt to working next to children and spouses and partners, how to identify the tricky legal issues that come with challenging economic times.

Whenever there is a rush like that, the idea of “care” can often become secondary. We get more terse in our replies in an effort to be more efficient and we forget that there are real, scared and anxious people at the other end of the phone or digital line, who are trying to manage as many plates and emotions as we are. Continue Reading Client Care in the Time of Coronavirus

Rainmaking trainer and coach, Jaimie Field, is back this week with a great post on a topic we’ve talked about a lot – the idea of being the signal, not the noise. Are you guilty of this lately? Read on to find out – it’s more important now than ever.

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Yesterday, I received 15 emails from law firms alone about COVID-19 response and resource centers.   I also got 22 more emails from companies with whom I have either signed up to receive their newsletters or have purchased from them.  All of them were saying, in almost the exact same words, that the health and well-being of their clients/customers/members were of the utmost importance and that they were doing everything within their power to ensure that they minimize the impact of this disease. Continue Reading Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Be Different

Our second quarter of the year begins tomorrow, and for many of us, we’re facing a new normal that didn’t seem possible three months ago. One of my lawyers emailed me last night and said “what a year this past week has been.” I don’t think truer words have ever been spoken.

Lawyers are all in different places at the moment – some firms are exceptionally busy, but may have clients who aren’t able to pay them at the moment. Others are making the difficult decision to lay off staff or cut salaries. Some are shuffling resources to accommodate the influx of questions to practice areas like employment and insolvency and bankruptcy. Everyone is unsure what the future brings. Continue Reading Business Development in 2020? Let’s Take a Breath.