Monthly Archives: November 2006

Blogging for Fortune, from Fortune

The Fortune Innovation Forum is about to get underway.  I’m going to be immersing myself in the event today, and recapping as much as I can this evening.  So far, it looks to be an amazing event. 

Christmas Comes Early

If you are a music lover, you HAVE to check out the Concert Vault.  It features 300 complete concerts, from bands in their prime, all free to stream on your computer! 

Right now, I’m listening to an all-acoustic concert by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young that was recorded at the Fillmore East in NYC in1970.  From the website:

David Crosby – guitar, vocals
Stephen Stills – guitar, upright bass, piano, organ, vocals
Graham Nash – guitar, piano, organ, vocals
Neil Young – guitar, organ, vocals

This is the acoustic set on the fifth night of the legendary six-night run at the Fillmore East. The Four Way Street live album contains recordings from this run. This entire run of shows capture CSNY hot on the heels of success from the recently released Deja Vu LP and was during the group’s most prolific phase, as all four were working on solo albums that would soon define them as individual artists.

Highlights include the Buffalo Springfield gem, “On the Way Home,” and a rare nod to Graham’s past with The Hollies “King Midas in Reverse.” David also sings “Triad,” the controversial and unreleased song he recorded near the end of his tenure with The Byrds that was featured on Jefferson Airplane’s Crown Of Creation LP. Material from the first CSN album is well represented, as are a few sneak previews from the solo albums then in progress. Neil Young’s medley is also a wonderful sequence.

The acoustic set closes with a short but lovely rendition of “Love the One You’re With.”

Simply amazing!

Building a Law Firm at the Idea Market

At last week’s Idea Market, one of the questions I asked the attendees was:  “A Perfect Law Firm Would …”  Here are the responses:


Conference Hacks

I’ve been doing a series on my Idea Surplus Disorder blog titled “Conference Hacks” where I share some of the ideas we’ve used at LexThink! events and others I’d like to try.  Here are my entries so far:

Don’t be Afraid to Hit Rewind

Dump the Q and A, but Continue the Conversation

Great Giveaways

The Bullpen

I’ve also written The Conferencing Manifesto.  I’d encourage you to check it out.

Didn’t Get The Client? Here’s Why

Mary Schmidt compiles a terriffic list of reasons why vendors didn’t get her business.  Just a few:

1. You returned my call in which I asked for a price quote…a week later.

4. Your web site looks abandoned. (Copyright 2004? Are you even still in business?)

6. You never, ever answer your phone. It always go to voice mail.

7. You did more talking than I did in our first meeting.

9. You talk about “solutions” but never tell me how you’re going to solve my problem.

13. You treat your employees badly.

16. Your “free education seminar” was nothing more than a sales pitch.

Via Christopher Carfi

Don’t Make Me Feel Like an Idiot When It is Your Fault

Warning, rant ahead.  Logged in to Technorati this evening.  Clicked on a link from “My Account” page.  Here’s what I got:


Technorati Blog Info1164506507088

If I did something wrong, don’t make me feel like an idiot.  That goes double WHEN I FOLLOW YOUR LINK ON YOUR OWN PAGE! 

Idiot-Proof Bread

Just had to share this.  Here’s a great and incredibly easy way to make amazing bread.  Four ingredients.  No kneading.  About ten minutes of actual work.  Yummy.

Turkeys Don’t Fly?

Just a few days late, but the funniest Thanksgiving episode from any sitcom.  Ever.

links for 2006-11-15

Get Your Wills Here, Three for a Dollar!

I was grocery shopping today and found myself buying three pizzas, instead of just the one I needed, because they were on sale, “Three for $10.00.”  Now, I know that really means $3.34 for the first and $3.33 for the other two, but I bought three anyway, falling prey to the grocer’s power of suggestion.  So I though, if it works for supermarkets, it should work for lawyers, right?

This holiday season if you do wills (as just one example) and normally charge $500 each, try a “family special” where three wills will cost $1400 or something similar.  Allow people to buy three wills at once, with the ability to give two to others — think parents doing a will and then giving each of their adult children one of their own. 

Make sure the parents know they have no right to control or see what their kids do, and give yourself an out if there are conflicting interests, but if you market them as a package, you could see a significant increase in your estate planning business.

I need another blender!

I don’t really need another blender, but I want one after seeing this:  Will it Blend?  One of the best viral marketing ideas I’ve seen in a long while.

links for 2006-11-14

LinkedIn for Lawyers?

From TechCrunch:

LinkedIn, a social networking website primarily focused on business connections has added a section to their site that allows users to recommend service providers — a yellow pages based on user referrals. From web designers to doctors, users rate service providers in a thumbs up, thumbs down voting system similar to Digg.

Here’s another article article with more:

In the case of LinkedIn’s directory of service providers, users can search narrowly for services recommended by friends, or they can widen their search to friends of friends. Failing that, a global search capability is offered to allow users to search across the full LinkedIn network.

Making the system work will depend on whether LinkedIn users bother to write recommendations for other businesses, building on an existing feature within LinkedIn that encourages colleagues to recommend other colleagues.

It also could draw in new users. Most LinkedIn members currently are executives, professionals, sales people and other office workers. The new directory could attract trade workers.

Are you ready for this?

Are Legal Services Like Vegetables?

Cathy Sierra has another great post on motivating web visitors, that applies broadly to anyone selling anything.  Cathy discusses the two levels of motivation:  “motivation to interact and motivation to do something as a result of that interaction.”  Think of your marketing as the first kind of motivation and your in-person client meeting as the second. 

Just how do you motivate your prospects to hire you?  Cathy first tells us how not to motivate them:

Trying to motivate someone to action by telling them it’s good for them doesn’t… actually… work …  because it doesn’t invoke the right feelings.

In other words, don’t suggest your clients hire you because of what will happen if they don’t.  Instead, as Cathy suggests, citing a great Fast Company article , emphasize the positive things that will come out of your lawyer/client relationship.  Can’t think of any?  Try this exercise: 

Ask your clients to visualize a “best case scenario” conclusion to their matter .  Then ask them what personal or business benefits they’ll reap and how they expect to “feel” if the matter concludes in that positive way.  Keep track of their responses (maybe even suggesting they write them down).  After doing this for ten or twenty clients, you’ll start to see themes emerge.  These are the themes you should focus on when you are trying to motivate your clients to hire you.

Blog to Visit the Horizontal City

My friend Dave Gray has written a great post about why people (should) blog.  I’m fortunate to see Dave almost every week, and have talked blogging with him a lot.  He really gets it, and I promise you, you’ll see his “horizontal city” idea again.  A lot.  Go read his post now

It is Resolution Time Again! Call for Submissions.

Each of the past two Decembers, in 2004 and 2005, I have posted daily Resolutions for Lawyers.  It is a fun thing for me to do and helps me to revisit some of the cool things I’ve seen and written about that year.  December is here soon, and I thought I’d open it up to everyone this year. 

If you’ve got a great Resolution you’d like to share, you can add it in the comments of this post, or e-mail me ( and I’ll share as many as I can.


Idea Market III Reminder

Just a quick reminder:  If you are in the St. Louis area and want to attend the next Idea Market on November 20th at the Lucas School House from 6:00 – 9:00 pm, you can sign up here

Don’t Be Later, Aligator

Joyce Wycoff shares an interesting strategy to keep employees from being late to work:

On Monday morning, my CEO and I stood at the company’s entrance lobby at 8:30 am sharp, the time employees were supposed to report for work. There was a constant stream of latecomers. As people strolled in, my CEO and I gave a warm smile and shook their hands, greeting them with a hearty ‘Good morning!’ … then we handed each a slip of paper … still smiling.

It read, “Thank you for coming to work today. I was here at 8:30 am to welcome you. Would I have the pleasure of greeting you tomorrow morning at the same time? Signed, CEO”

After a few days, there were no more latecomers. And we saved a big chunk in production costs.

This would be a lot harder in those law firms where 2000 billable hours is the norm.  In those firms, the managing partner may need to stay in the firm’s lobby and keep people from going home. ;-)

Some Times You Just Have to Bucket.

Michael McDerment writes about the benefits of pricing services in “three buckets” (tiers) compared to a totally customized pricing strategy:

[W]hat is better: buckets or custom pricing?  Buckets.  How do I know we learned this?  Since changing the pricing page on our site, our sign-ups/trails have increased 30%.  We had VERY good conversion rates prior to that.  This bump is great.  What’s amazing is our actual prices are identical, but just by presenting our pricing in three easy to understand buckets, conversions of first time visitors to trials have increased about 30%….that will affect our bottom line from here on in…Amazing the power of a single web page, no?  You know what I find weird?  The exact same number of people exit our website on the Pricing page as they did before.  Had the redesigned page not been the only site change, we never would have been able to be certain about the BUCKET FACTOR.  That is why we try to make on design change at a time and track the results.  (See the pricing page he is talking about here)

I have long believed lawyers and other professionals can implement a tiered pricing plan that would make it easier for clients to buy our services – in fact, I’m working with a firm right now to do just that.  What “buckets” could you offer?

What a Cool Club! How’d I get in?

OK, this one caught me completely by surprise:  I was named to a list of the Top 100 Legal Technologists in the world (pdf here) by London’s CityTech Magazine.  Very cool!

LexThinking Again 2.0

Dennis, JoAnna and I are working on a few new LexThink! events.  The one that’s almost ready for prime time is described here in Dennis’ post.  Check it out.