Monthly Archives: January 2018

5 Tips for Marketing and Branding Your Online Business

Growing your online business is not as challenging as you think. If you have a great product or service and a robust platform to market it from, then all you need is a few strategies to apply for success. Here are five strategies you can implement into your website to drive engagement and improve conversion […]

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Productivity in Your Associates: The Value of Rainmaking and Business Development

business development

 

Rainmaking in the law requires you to project a certain savvy in a public-facing way. Whether it’s writing articles, making appearances and giving speeches, building your reputation in the community, or being strategic about lunches, dinners, galas, and other social events that will yield you the right clients, it requires talent in subtly delivering who you are and what sets your firm apart. Successful rainmaking will serve to consistently bring new business into the firm, and it keeps associates busy and worth the investment.  Here are some quick tips on how to leverage rainmaking abilities across your firm:

Spot the talent and reward it.
If your associate is solid at practicing law, but is also great at problem solving, strategy, and working with people,  then you have a potential rainmaker on your hands. Encouraging your associates to use their natural abilities to bring the firm new business, and incentivizing them monetarily to do so, will increase their job satisfaction and your firm’s profits. Some firms that move associates into this type of role will align their bonus structures based on the volume of business, the amount of money the firm is able to collect from the business the associates generate, and how well the matter is supervised and delegated.

Establish your firm’s story, and allow your associates to start telling it.
Coach your associates on the art of storytelling—or telling your firm’s story in a way that’s synonymous with the true essence of the way your firm does business. When you have a clear story about your firm— who you are, what you stand for, and the kind of clients you want to attract, then you will breathe life into that story by telling it and attracting the right client mix to the firm’s book. There’s nothing more magnetic than an attorney who can tell the story of how their firm was able to creatively solve a client’s problem and bring a matter to a successful conclusion.

Make sure your associates are also trained in the art of asking questions and listening intently to the answers to spot whether that client is the right fit for the firm. Bring associates to events with you, and let them watch, learn, and eventually participate. Always have retrospective conversations after each event or interaction where you are present to coach your associates on what went wrong and to celebrate what went right.

Incentivize business development and rainmaking efforts.
Take the associate’s business development results into account when assessing value and performance. If it’s a strength, allow them to push their work down to more junior members of the team so that it’s completed at a more economic rate for the clients and firm. Moving away from a billable hours target for bonuses is a great way to make sure that your talented rainmakers aren’t hoarding work unnecessarily and are instead focused on seeking new business opportunities for the firm.

Create a culture that values delivering the ultimate client experience.
Maintaining existing relationships with clients and referral sources is key in the overall rainmaking picture. These are likely the people who will give you great referrals for a job well done. Make sure your associates (and your entire staff) are aligned with your vision of treating your clients with respect and delivering value to them at every opportunity. High-quality client service comes in the form of keeping the client’s welfare top-of-mind during every interaction, anticipating the client’s needs, and communicating in a way that makes them see the value in the firm’s work. For example, a good associate will know that before they dive into a lengthy research project to pad their billable time, they should talk to the client and provide them with less costly options. For instance, they can delegate that task to a junior associate or paralegal which can make that task less costly for the client.

These tips illustrate that productivity in your associates is just as much about the billable hours they hit as it is about the overall value they offer to your firm and the clients you serve. Your ability to cultivate your associates’ talents through education, mentorship, leadership, direction, flexibility, and playing to their strengths will greatly determine how successful they are at your firm and whether their true value will be realized in the time they’re with your firm.

Nefra MacDonald is the Customer Success Product Manager at Rocket Matter. After working in various capacities at law firms, corporations, and non-profits, she decided to use her experience to help address the pain points that practicing lawyers feel every day. She currently co-chairs Rocket Matter’s Product Advisory Committee, which serves as a source of targeted feedback for the company’s product improvement strategy.

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Victoria Beckham Poses Up a Storm for Vogue Spain

Our forums have a love/hate relationship with Victoria Beckham whenever she fronts the cover of our favorite fashion glossies. Her last major coup was Vogue Netherlands and now she’s covering Vogue Spain for February 2018. Photographed by Boo George, the Brit fashion designer turns heads in the dynamic and unconventional cover image and associated editorial.

Vogue España February 2018 : Victoria Beckham by Boo George

IMAGE: VOGUE.ES

This time, Victoria managed to win over our opinionated forum members. “This is fabulous and unapologetic. Completely not what I expected when I read her name in the thread,” admitted a pleasantly surprised dodencebt.

Miss Dalloway couldn’t have agreed more, echoing, “I love this for the Paolo Roversi feel of it, certainly not the cover I expected when I read VB’s name in the thread!”

“Very dramatic indeed. I love it!” forum member mikel heralded.

Also quick to declare their love was a delighted Nymphaea, writing, “Like it very much, a strong woman in all it’s simplicity.”

“Blown away by these covers. Victoria Beckham by Boo George instantly sounded exciting to me,” voiced Valentine27.

“I noticed a few Vogue editions are sort of following the Vogue Ukraine tide. These have that vibe, and I’m feeling this. I don’t really care about Victoria, but I love her here. I like the backdrop and how the minimalist styling looks with it,” acknowledged simon.

The magazine wasn’t catering to everyone’s tastes, however. “To me, she always looks like she’s trying too hard,” said KateTheGreatest.

“VB has always been thirsty for any Vogue cover she could get and this is no exception. She so carefully treads the line between public figure and stepping back and letting her clothes speak for themselves,” said magsaddict.

Vogue España February 2018 : Victoria Beckham by Boo George

IMAGES: FATTONGUE.COM

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Steven Meisel’s Joyful Marc Jacobs Campaign for Spring 2018 Gives Us Life

Photographer Steven Meisel is quite popular this season, lensing campaigns for Loewe, Versace, Max Mara Accessories, Chloé and Moschino — and it’s only January. For his latest project, the legendary lensman takes over for David Sims and David Hughes as Marc Jacobs’ campaign photographer for Spring 2018. In the images, models Aube Jolicoeur, Cristina Piccone, Fran Summers, Lea Julian, Remington Williams, Sophie Martynova and Sveta Black roam around the studio wearing Jacobs’ lavish creations, styled by Katie Grand.

Marc Jacobs S/S 18 by Steven Meisel

IMAGE: FACEBOOK/MARCJACOBS

Members of our forums were ecstatic about the campaign. “The Meisel takeover is REAL!! Damn,” said guimon.

“Such a joy to see Meisel shooting so many great campaigns again this season,” applauded mikel.

“Fabulous! The reflection effect looks very original and cool! All this new work is making Meisel push himself out of his comfort zone. I love it!” GivenchyHomme raved.

Benn98 felt the same way, writing, “OMG, magnificent! Marc Jacobs has been consistently good with Sims and Adwoa [Aboah]‘s beauty shot gave me hope, but this amazing! It’s so perfect for this collection and such a return to art and fashion as opposed to celebrities and star models for this brand.”

“One of my favorite campaigns this season,” declared Sensation in awe.

“I’m totally feeling this. It’s got a visual energy to it that’s partly the fabulous clothes and colors, and partly that sort of rippled/distorted reflection going on,” admired Spike413.

“Glorious images. I love the mirror effect/lighting and the zani-ness of this all,” approved Fiercification.

Marc Jacobs S/S 18 by Steven Meisel

IMAGE: FACEBOOK/MARCJACOBS

Marc Jacobs S/S 18 by Steven Meisel

IMAGE: FACEBOOK/MARC JACOBS

See more from the Marc Jacobs Spring 2018 campaign and share your opinion here.

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6 Legal Hurdles Big Companies Frequently Face (and Tips for Dealing with Them)

Nobody wants to undergo any sort of legal battle, but it unfortunately comes with the territory of running a business. Think about it. You’re interacting with people day-in and day-out. Mistakes and oversights happen. Combine this with a relatively sue-happy society and you have a recipe for trouble if you don’t have all of your legal bases covered. The reality, though? For big businesses juggling…

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Learn Fundamentals of Digital Marketing for Only $19

With the advancement of modern technology, the world is rapidly shifting from analog to digital. Today, most people rely on electronic devices for almost everything. They use it to communicate with their family and friends, do research, read the news, and even for shopping. Almost everything they need is at their fingertips. Since electronic devices […]

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Lawyers Weigh In: What’s the Most Challenging Aspect of Running a Law Firm?

most challenging aspect of running a law firm

 

No one ever said running a law firm is easy. Here, ten attorneys share the most challenging aspects of their jobs:

“Dealing with people and taking home their problems.  You often see people at their worst, but their biggest crises and worst times of their life is your day to day.   It is impossible not to feel the stress of your clients’ situations if you truly care.  And it is also absolutely impossible to be a good attorney if you don’t care about your clients.” —Scott M. Aaronson, a criminal defense and expungements attorney in Southfield, Michigan

“Hiring quality employees.” —Anthony Castelli, a personal injury lawyer in Cincinnati

“As a solo practitioner, the hardest part has to be the “solo.”  After working as an ADA for 18 years in a fairly large office, I was always used to having other lawyers around to chat with, bounce ideas off of, and ask questions. And there were always supervisors to speak with about larger issues.  Now it’s all just me.  The buck starts and ends on my desk, and that can be difficult at times.  It’s also exhilarating—for the first time in my professional career, I have no boss.  I make all the decisions in my practice, and there’s really no net.  While I certainly miss having my former colleagues around, I’ve found that there is a lot of collegiality and camaraderie in the defense bar which is really great.  The future is much more exciting now.” —Glenn Kurtzrock, a criminal defense lawyer in Long Island, New York

“The same as living on planet Earth—dealing with people in a day and age where facts, evidence and logic are not only not appreciated but are almost an endangered species.  Oh, and everyone has been told so many times that they DESERVE a low interest rate, they believe and expect it.  The selfie generation and its creators are more self absorbed than any in history, mainly because we live in such (historically and relatively speaking) opulent times.” — Roger Austin, an attorney who handles election law, administrative law, real estate law, and general civil law in Gainsville, Florida

“Time management. It is so important to manage your time wisely, to focus on the “Alligator closest to the boat.” It can be tough not to to let daily chores, like email and billing, take up valuable time needed to prepare a client’s matter. —Michael McKneely, a criminal defense attorney in Fresno, California

“The most challenging aspect of running a legal team relates to keeping the team members satisfied, engaged, and working collaboratively. If your teammates are satisfied or dare I say happy, it creates a positive work environment that improves morale, innovation, and work effort.  As important as this is, it is very hard to accomplish on an ongoing basis. There can be no substitute for real and meaningful relationships with your work colleagues built on trust and loyalty.” Marc Lamber, a personal injury attorney in Phoenix

“The most challenging aspect of running a law firm as a solo is working in a professional field where people treat you like a scam artist. There are good and bad professionals in every field, but attorneys are particularly targeted. And maybe those jokes have helped to undermine the fact that lawyers work to earn a living. While we may provide some pro bono services, it is not our primary purpose to work for free. But that is an expectation that has become more and more prevalent. Clients want 24-hour instant access, a win every time, and superior service for pennies. Yet, no client really wants to pay top and fair dollar for the service that they expect. And that challenge is even greater with the plethora of legal access on the internet.” —Pamela Williams Kelly, a lawyer who focuses on issues in family, immigration, entertainment/fashion and probate/wills in Memphis, Tennessee

“I very much enjoy practicing construction law throughout Georgia; however, as the firm grows, my role has expanded to include marketing, human resources, IT, and many other hats.  It has taken time to teach myself these areas, and there are bumps and scrapes along the way.” —Mark Cobb, a construction lien lawyer in Georgia

“Realizing that running a law firm is more about business sense than the practice of law. If you’re going to succeed, you must remember that your firm is a business that offers legal services.” —Daniel Hamilton, a criminal defense attorney in Memphis

“The amount of time taken away from my ability to work with clients. It is a delicate balance of delegation. I delegate what I can delegate on the management side so that I have sufficient time to devote to my clients. Fortunately, I have a great team that is capable and trustworthy.” —Aubrey Connatser, who practices family law in Texas

The post Lawyers Weigh In: What’s the Most Challenging Aspect of Running a Law Firm? appeared first on Rocket Matter.

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Fran Summers Stars on Vogue Italia’s Digital-Inspired January Cover

Vogue Italia sure does love a themed issue. After December’s ‘The Celebration Issue‘ featuring a host of models, the magazine now gives us ‘The Restarting Issue’ for its first issue of 2018. Emanuele Farneti makes newcomer Fran Summers the magazine’s cover girl, photographed by Craig McDean and styled by Max Pearain in head-to-toe Louis Vuitton. Despite an agreeable cover shot, Vogue Italia’s juvenile art direction evidently needs a whole lot of work.

Vogue Italia January 2018 : Fran Summers by Craig McDean

IMAGE: VOGUE.IT

Per usual, our forum members weren’t afraid to make their feelings clear. “Gorgeous photo! Looks quite dated but it’s alright. Enough with their terrible art direction! Can’t believe people are paid for this. And ‘restarting issue’? They’re clearly running out of ideas,” said MON.

“Back to 2006 with this cover, even the contrived internet references…” added YohjiAddict.

“While I get the idea VI is going for with the ‘restarting’ (new year, new approach and all that) the inclusion of the Mac computer elements are unnecessary and distracting from what is a good photo,” commented sweetpop.

Also not here for it was forum member Nymphaea: “Not my cup of tea. Looks artsy and made by someone whose IQ and taste is rather low.”

“They need to stop these themes where they just slap random computer graphics on perfectly fine images. They did it with the December issue. The digital idea was way more successful for the March [2017] issue because Meisel shot it,” declared orchidee.

“Isn’t it time you all collectively get over Meisel?” asked KissMiss.

Tigerrouge fired back: “I’ll get over Meisel when fashion itself gets over referencing the past in everything it puts forward.”

“It’s not my favorite cover under the new editor but certainly not the worst, and I actually don’t mind the whole restarting thing if it’s simply a reference to the new year,” reasoned 333101.

See what else the issue has to offer and join the debate here.

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3 Fatal Mistakes that Small Businesses Make – and How to Avoid Them

As a current or soon-to-be small business owner, you know – or will soon discover – that running a business is challenging and occasionally difficult. But if all goes well, it’s also rewarding both personally and professionally. Indeed, the only regret that successful small business owners typically have is that they didn’t take the leap sooner. Oh well, as the old saying goes: better…

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Draw-Tite and REESE Join The 2 Crew

A long-time partner of Brad Keselowski’s BKR truck team is moving up to the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series to join the 2 Crew.

Team Penske announced on Tuesday that REESE and Draw-Tite will serve as main sponsors for Brad and his No. 2 Ford Fusion for two races during the 2018 season. The Deuce will don the new lead sponsors in March at Martinsville Speedway and in September at Richmond Raceway. REESE branding will also be showcased on the No. 2 Ford throughout the 2018 MENCS season.

The agreement is part of a multi-year partnership between Team Penske and Horizon Global towing and trailering brands. The company will also serve as a full-season associate sponsor on the car driven by Simon Pagenaud in the Verizon IndyCar Series this season.

“Horizon Global is a Michigan-based, automotive-focused company, like Penske Corporation, and we welcome them to the Team Penske NASCAR and INDYCAR programs beginning this season,” team owner Roger Penske said. “We look forward to helping build the company’s REESE and Draw-Tite brands through motorsports and they’ll have some great opportunities working with two series champions in Brad and Simon.”

Horizon Global designs is based out of Troy, Michigan, not too far from where BK grew up in Rochester Hills. This company has been known for distributing an extensive list of towing, trailering, cargo management, and other accessory products for the automotive aftermarket. BK has been involved with Horizon Global since 2012, partnering with the company for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, where they sponsored his trucks for the majority of their runs.

As a result, Brad’s strong relationship with Horizon Global Americas President John Aleva helped the two sides come together for the possibility of extreme growth.

“We couldn’t be more enthusiastic to expand our motorsports involvement with Team Penske in 2018,” said John Aleva, President of Horizon Global Americas. “Over the past six seasons, we have developed a strong relationship with Brad and have seen first-hand how beneficial motorsports has been to our company. Taking the next step to grow our program with Team Penske is something we couldn’t pass up.”

BK will join the Horizon Global team at the North American International Auto Show on Thursday, January 18th, in Detroit.

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