Hello my friend. This is the time of year where we are supposed to be reflecting on what we're grateful for. It's also the time of year where we can look forward to next year and see how we can create a truly amazing new year. We can make it whatever we want it to be. So while you're in the hustle and bustle of the end of the year, I want to encourage you to set aside some time to plan your next year. Today we're going to talk about what you can brainstorm and plan to serve your clients in the next year and maybe even encourage some referrals in the process. And whether you're a lawyer or any other professional, what I'm sharing will be valuable, not only in the amount of time it will save you, but in the amount of love you'll get back from your clients. And this is how you begin forming relationships with clients instead of just having transactions with them.

You can look at what we're talking about today as gratitude in advance. You're giving them a big thank you. Even before your future clients have decided to work with you and before they've decided to refer you to a friend. So when you're brainstorming, I want you to fill yourself up with that feeling of thankfulness that they've decided to trust you with their estate plan, their Liberty, their divorce proceedings, whatever it is. I want you to have a running thought of gratitude in the background. There's no stress or overwhelm here. We're doing this out of a place of fun and once you get going, this will be fun. You're going to come up with one idea and get excited about how to implement, but be prepared. Your brain might go into, I don't know, mode. Just tell yourself when this happens that you can figure it out.

You can figure anything out. Plus in this episode, I'm going to give you a ton of ideas to get your brain going, so it's going to be a lot of fun. Now if you need a concrete plan to get 2020 organized, if you have a calendar but maybe it's buried under your desk somewhere, if you're looking to grow your client base or if you're looking to find more time to manage your team so you can create a more efficient firm. Then I want to invite you to a new live online workshop I'm doing to help you make 2020 your best year in business yet. Go to Dina cataldo.com forward slash 2020 workshop to learn more and enroll now. It's happening in December and I'm going to share with you exactly how to get organized, how to plan your calendar and start using it to actually make your life easier instead of seeming like such a hassle to use.

Go to Dina cataldo.com forward slash 2020 workshop to sign up. This workshop is actually the perfect companion to this episode because you need to really plan out your year with intention, which is what we're going to do in this 90 minute workshop. So I hope to see you there. Okay. Let's get down to business my friend cause we've got some things to talk about here. Now you already know that happy clients make the best salespeople for your practice, right? That's true of any business out there and you've probably heard that people don't remember what you say. They remember how you make them feel. People want to feel understood and like you care. I mean that's the bottom line here. If they don't feel that way, then they're going to move on. You would too. Right? For instance, we might stay with a mechanic out of inertia, but once we discover one recommended by our friends that has plush seats, good coffee and snacks and a warm waiting room with friendly staff, we're much more likely to get out of that inertia to have a better experience.

One that somebody has told us about, someone we've trusted, has told us about, now I'm breaking this podcast up into two parts and I want you to just kind of look at it as you know, the first part, kind of understanding your client. The second part, getting together what it is they want and starting to implement. So part one. I'm going to walk you through how you can plan your brainstorm session, what you're going to be thinking about doing in this exercise, and I'm going to keep that part short and sweet in part two I'm going to give you lots of ideas. This is like the fun part, right? This is the part where you can let your creativity run wild. This is how you can give value to your clients and potential clients ahead of time. This is where we're going to spend more time so that you can get a lot of ready-made ideas to implement in 2020 part one find a quiet place, brainstorm for an hour.

That's it. All you have to do is brainstorm for an hour. You don't have to spend all day on this. You don't want to waste time running, spinning your wheels. You just want an hour. You get a nice quiet place where you're not surrounded by a bunch of people or maybe you're in a coffee shop. If you can deal with that kind of background noise, then just brainstorm your brain out. Okay and you're going to get some ideas for this in part two when you're brainstorming, don't edit yourself. You're going to think things like, how am I going to do that? That doesn't make sense. That sounds too hard. Write it down anyway. You are just brainstorming. No harm, no foul. We're not figuring out the how. First we're just gathering ideas. You might even have a team who you work with. Maybe they do this or maybe you work with them and you do all these ideas and you write them out on a whiteboard, but no editing.

Make this fun, dream big and maybe you're going to implement some of these ideas now. Maybe you won't. Maybe you're going to have some save to implement in the future. Don't worry about it. You just want to get them down. The next thing you want to do is think about who is it that you're serving, why is it that you're serving them? What do they need or want and what keeps them up at night? And the reason that you really want to like think about this in this brainstorm session is because you want to all be on the same page. Especially if you have a team. You want to make sure you're on the same page about who you serve, who you're talking to. You want to be able to talk to that person who if they walk through your door, they would immediately understand the value of what you're giving them.

It's like you're talking right to them. Now, if you're not really sure how to do this, let's say you're just getting started. You don't have a really big idea of who it is you're serving right now. That's okay. Just grab a few people you want to work with and ask if you can talk to them. I have done this before where I have just said, Hey, you want to talk for 20 minutes? Can I ask you some things? Do you mind if we just take a little bit of time to talk? It's 20 minutes super fast and a lot of times they're just going to be jazz that you want to talk to them in the first place. And if you're a lawyer, don't charge them for this. This is totally just trying to figure out who your client has, right? Like you just want to find out who you're talking to and that's really what's going to help you figure out what problems that you can solve for them.

Cause you're figuring out what it is they really want. What it is that is, like I said, keeping them up at night. Now once you start brainstorming and all of this, you're going to put all of these ideas out and some of them are going to be either too expensive, too, time consuming, whatever it is. That's okay because what you're going to do is once you've brainstormed all these ideas that we're going to go through in part two, then you're going to start saying, okay, how can I make this as easy for myself as possible? Yes, you want to give them a great experience, but is it within your means? Is it going to cause you undue stress? So think about how this is going to impact you because it really matters. You matter. So take that into account. Whatever you decide to do, and you're going to get these ideas soon, it's gotta be scheduled in your calendar or you will not do it, period.

You're just not going to do it. Now, if you're already thinking, wow, how am I going to get this done? And you're already going into overwhelm mode, me just talking about this. No, that, that's normal, okay? If you feel like you might need a little extra accountability on your plans for your practice, you can always schedule a quick 20 minute Dina, fix my life call to see if working with me might be what you need. You can go to Dina cataldo.com forward slash fix my life to schedule a quick call with me. I'm not a hard sell on these. I just want you to know what your options are and see if this is a good fit for you. So you can just schedule that. Call it Dina cataldo.com forward slash fix my life. Okay. Let's talk about part two. This is the fun part and this is the part where if you didn't already know this, if you own a business, you are now a creator.

You're now a creative person. You are in the business of being creative and that's part of the reason I love having a business is I love having that ability to use that creative part of my brain and I think that once you start doing this part of it too, maybe you already have that you are going to find this renewed sense of energy behind your business. I really do think that when you put the energy behind brainstorming what your clients need most, what they want most, that you are going to feel that energy, so okay, let's get started on this. Once you know who your clients are and what they really want, you can begin thinking about what you can create for them. If you run a practice, like I said, you are a creator now, you and your team, if you have one, are in the business of finding ways to connect with the people you want to serve.

You're in the business of creating know, like, and trust in everything you do. You want people to know you, like you and trust you. And the way you do that is by creating materials, by creating content that fosters, that know, like, and trust. This not only is to keep them coming back to you, but also to give them opportunities to talk about you to their friends. Social media is huge and if you give them an opportunity, your clients will share what you're doing for them with their audiences. And I've had really great examples of how people and businesses create these opportunities. And I have these very poor examples of these businesses creating these opportunities. So I'm going to share with you the ones that I find the most inspiring. And those are the ones that hopefully get your creative juices flowing. And you can begin this brainstorming process with some really great energy behind it.

So I'm going to give you an example in my business where this showed up recently. Um, just the other day a listener shared a screenshot of soul roadmap podcast and she told her followers how motivated she was listening to the podcast on calendar mistakes costing you time. And this was an example of somebody just feeling inspired to share with their followers. And yesterday I received in the mail a giftabl box of champagne gummy bears from Selena Soo. Now I'm partnering, partnering with Selena for her impacting millions, a campaign happening early next year. And I shared her gift to me on Instagram because it was so cute. Now I didn't ask my listener to share her feelings about my podcast who are followers. And Selena didn't ask me to share her sweet gift. We just did it because that's what you do on social media when you want to share something that means something to you, something that made an impact on your day, it's fun, it's a way to connect.

And that's what social media is all about. And that's really what your business, your practice is all about now too. These are opportunities that you have to create by actively engaging with your clients and your audience. So how can you create these opportunities? I'm going to give you some examples on how to do that. And I think there's about seven here. All right, so first of all, we've got a simple tried and true weekly, biweekly or monthly blog. Maybe you've got a podcast, a little video show, whatever it is. Do you have something to offer your client to keep you top of mind? Consistency is key here because this is part of what creates the trust factor. Can they rely on you? Are you going to be there regularly in their inbox? Whatever you do, don't just write a boring newsletter talking about a need award.

You're from one that is just boring. So talk about what they want to hear about. You'll know exactly what they want to hear about. If you follow what we talked about in part one and added a personal story to make you relatable. I am not great at this. I have to admit, like I, I try to bring in some of my stories and I do it a lot on Instagram. Like, I really like talking about little things that happen, um, on Instagram and share that. But I'm working on being able to share some of the, those more personal stories in my podcast. And I think that that makes me a lot more relatable to you. I mean, I hope it does. Um, but I know that it does, when I read other people's emails, when I listened to other people's podcasts, it has an impact and it makes people want to talk about what you have to share.

Now in your emails, you can always add a PS at the bottom for people who scroll to the bottom cause they always do and give them a little gentle reminder of your referral rates or a special offer that you have for them right now. Go ahead and start this and you've got a planet cause it's gotta be something that's regularly in your schedule. You can batch these things, meaning you can do like four of them on one day and then you can schedule them to be sent out once a week, once a month, whatever it is your schedule is. Now do you have an email subscriber list? It's amazing how many attorneys don't seem to have this, even though it's a staple of online businesses. Now my favorite email service provider is linked in the show [email protected] forward slash 79 if you want to learn more about how to get started, this is a must have.

If you want to stay top of mind and stay connected with your client, you've got to be able to create these connections. And to do that, you've got to have a better way of reaching them than just social media channels. Because you don't own media channels, you don't own your Facebook channel, your Instagram channel, your Twitter channel, whatever social media platform you use, but you do own the emails that you're getting and you're able to control them. They're always changing the algorithm on different social media channels. You don't want to rely on them to contact the people in your business or the people that you want to, um, potentially, uh, have as your clients. So you want to make sure that you have something that's more stable and the way you do that is by having an email subscriber list. Now, how do you get these people on your email subscriber list?

The third thing I want to talk to you about is creating an opt in. It's something that will entice them to give you their name and email address for people to actually say, Hey, I'm going to give you my name and I'm going to give you my email address because you're offering me something cool, something really valuable to me right now, and don't ask for more than just a name and an email address because otherwise you're, you might be putting off a lot of people is some examples of some really great opt-ins you can create on your website, maybe promote in social media channels and have them then click on that link in order to get that really cool optin. Those examples are five traps to avoid when creating a trust or before you hire an estate planner, read this or the 10 best divorce tips for keeping the peace.

And then of course there's mine busy lawyers, Quickstart guide for getting back five hours a week. Those are all opt-ins. Those are all things to entice people to have them give you their name and their email address. Now it can't be something hokey. It's gotta be something that they want, something that's quality, something that's going to give them results. You want to make sure that this is something that when they get your thing, whatever it is that you're giving them, they think it's really great and they want to stay on your list. Okay? They want to be able to to learn more from you. So just make sure that when you are creating an opt in that it is something that they want. That's why part one is so important to dial in. All right, so the next thing I want to talk to you about our day to day experiences.

So day to day experiences in offices are one of my favorite things to share on social media. And if I find something amazing, I will share it. I'll also share it if it's incredibly lame. So some of the best experiences I've had have been at offices where I'm greeted cheerfully, like they know me, like I've been there all the time. Of course they remember me. I love that. I totally eat that stuff up and I love a place where I can make myself a really good cup of coffee and a quality cup, right? Like not styrofoam and maybe there's some healthy snacks available. I think I was at one a car dealership recently and I love everything about it. I love going there, but they had the worst snacks ever. It was just all candy. I wasn't having it. So I made mention of it on my Instagram account hoping that maybe they would see it and change things up a little bit.

Um, so, so that's one example of maybe sharing something that wasn't so complimentary, but at the same time I shared it. It was a way to kind of get the attention of the people who were in charge of that experience. And so people are going to do the same thing with you. They're going to want to get your attention, they're going to want to tag you, they're gonna want to share what's going on with you in their life related to your product, your services, because then maybe you'll pay a little extra attention since they're making it up a public announcement. So that's just something to keep in mind here. Right. Another part of this experience that I love in offices are plush seats and really just a general calm and clean atmosphere. That's something I really appreciate because I don't like a messy atmosphere. It does not feel good.

So an example of how some people, um, really experience things in a day to day way and we'll share them as something that I experienced recently through my mom. My mom, she was recently raving about a mechanic. She started seeing, I mean, not dating, but just like taking her car there. It was tucked away so it doesn't get a lot of street traffic. You wouldn't see it if you were just driving by. You really have to know that it's there. And she told me that they had such a nice seating area and they had coffee and everyone was so nice there and they called her to follow up with a part they were looking for because they didn't want her to feel like they'd forgotten about her. I was like, wow, this is some really good service. And then she just got in the mail, a Thanksgiving card from them inside was a car and letting her know that if she referred someone she would get a discount and they went to and after hearing her talk and talk and talk about them, I'm thinking I might try them out in the future too.

And it's definitely someplace that I would refer other people to who are asking me for a mechanic because I know she's had such a great experience with them. So this is such a huge day to day experience. We don't realize just how big an impact this has, not only on the people that we're servicing but on our bottom line because people are going to be sharing these experiences with their friends, with their family members. They're just going to be talking about it because it's so surprising. It's amazing how often we get these boring, lame, um, blase experiences. So then when we get these spectacular experiences, these experiences, the ones that are out of the norm, there's something worth talking about. There's something that we want to share about them. So keep that in mind when you're thinking about these, when you're brainstorming what to do to really bring in the people you want into your client base.

So the fifth opportunity I'm going to mention here is snail mail now. And that is an easy one, right? That Thanksgiving card, like that mechanic to stay top of mind and remind you of referral options. That's an easy call. And there's some other really cool things that I've received in the mail that I'm going to give you some ideas from because there are things that I really enjoyed. So one thing I got or these brownies and I mean they were the best brownies I had ever eaten. I wish I remembered the name of them. I'm going to have to ask James Wedmore's team about that. But business by design is a program that I have been through and they give out brownies when you sign up with them and I think they give out other little things too. Um, I received recently the champagne gummy bears from Selena Soo that were absolutely fabulous in this really cute little giftable box.

Um, Pat Flynn who created a program called power up podcasting, which I'm an affiliate for, sent a pin to me. Now this is something that you can give to people and they can wear them at a conference, right? So that they can have a conversation starter. So if you're wearing this pen, somebody else sees it, they say, Hey, you're part of power up podcasting too. What's your podcast about? And you know, you just chat it up. So that's like a little conversation starter that he sends out. You can use little things, um, like branded planners or I was at cost-plus this past weekend and I found these really great little snow globe Christmas cards and they're foldable and nice enough that they may be something your client keeps over the years. If you brand that card and you have a reminder each year of your firm in their house, how great is that?

Add a nice note with each of these things and you're going to have an easy way to connect with your client throughout the year. And you can also do this with networking or referrals from other firms. So referral gifts don't have to be expensive. I think that this is something that is a total myth. I was talking to one of my lawyer friends about this and one of the people she referred someone to sent her a box of pears, a box of pears. I mean it must have been about a hundred dollars to ship and we were both in disbelief. Now we live in California where there are pairs here year round and I don't actually think anyone really likes pairs anyway. Um, that might not be true. I know that they saw them a lot. I've never really gotten into them anyway. It's apparently a thing back East.

We don't need boxes of pairs here in California. Please. This shows the importance of knowing who your client is and what they really want and need and when you were in a state plentiful full of pears, you don't need them. Anyhow, I want to share with you the last thing to help you get brainstorming on this and that is make it really personal. There is this magical thing in the world called Bonjoro. I'm going to link to it in the show notes, Dina cataldo.com forward slash 79 and you are one of your staff can create a short welcome video and I was thinking about what an impact this would make on a client when a named partner of a firm who wasn't necessarily even handling their case took 30 seconds to create a video and send it to that client. There would be a workflow that would get the client's name and the name of the associate handling the matter to the partner's email.

Then the partner would say something like, welcome to our family, Elizabeth. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for choosing our firm and let you know that your matters in good hands with Jane. Remember not to build this please. Now I think this would be such a great way to make a client feel like they were being taken care of and it's so out of the norm for law firms that it would really stand out and they'd likely share this experience with people. They know people that might even be referred to your office in the future. Right? That's the whole idea here. You got to shake it up, do things differently and start getting innovative with some of the things that are already out there on the market that are being used by online marketers already. Now, I don't see a lot of these things in the law firms and maybe you have, but if you start implementing these things, you are guaranteed to begin creating those connections with people.

So are you starting to see what an impact these little things can make on the people you're helping and your practice? I really, really hope so. Okay. I have one more thing I want to share with you. I totally fibbed. One more thing I want to share with you are how you can make connections at in-person events. So I want to just let you know you can, you can do the things that I've seen before, right? Like you can foster great connections by using those email addresses that we talked about earlier to invite clients and perspective clients to ice cream socials, bowling nights. Now I don't like bowling, but here a lot of other people enjoy it. So that sounds like a thing you could do. You could have support groups for divorces or other groups of people who might have a shared interest. So that's one way you could use in person events to start kind of getting connections with your clients, like hanging out with people and helping them get to know you and you're not in a salesy environment.

You're there, you're making it known that you're a presence there. They're getting to know you as a human being. And that makes a really big difference when they can see you as a human. Now another thing that really impressed upon me the importance of knowing your client, who you're talking to and creating very special experiences for them are, um, is Pat Flynn. So if you speak at conferences or small groups to publicize your business, you can make your time with them very memorable. There's Pat Flynn who is just known for creating fans like raving fans, ones that talk about you and share what you do and all of that. And I was so impressed about this when I saw him at a conference. It showed me how much he really cares about his audience and wants them to feel connected to him. So here's what he did.

He started by telling a story about his wife and what a huge fan of the Backstreet boys she was and still is now. Then he showed a video of him basically teasing her about it and asking her to show him her Backstreet boys memorabilia, which she still saved in a Tupperware box. It was really cute. And he weaved the story in with the main point of his talk, which was about how to create raving fans, people who will promote your brand to other people. You are a brand now, if you have a law firm, you're also creating a brand and you want people who are going to stick up for you on social media when someone tries to bully you, people who are going to buy what you have to sell site on scene because they trust you and you give tremendous value to them.

So then he asked a question to the audience who named, who knows the names of all the Backstreet boys? So one person's hand shot up. I think there were actually several females who shot their hands up and I was more of an N sync person. So I don't know any of them. So anyway, one person's hand shot up and she rattled them off. And then he talked a bit more about his point that he pulled out an envelope and handed it to the woman who named them all. And it was filled with two tickets to the Backstreet boys performance coming up. I mean, what an impression he made, right? Talk about getting a fan for life and everyone else was a fan too because we were all just wrapped up in the story and all the fields that he gave to the crowd with that kind of generosity.

I mean, that's not something that you see very often and it was something that really shook up the norm. It really like took us out of our pattern. Now I'm not saying you have to fork out hundreds of dollars per client to do this, right? You can surprise and delight your clients and all kinds of ways and you don't have to pay these hundreds of dollars. But just imagine if you were one of those, you know you were at one of those boring old estate planning talks that everyone feels like they should attend and then you come along weaving in a story about one of your clients or better yet a personal story about how estate planning has impacted you and why you needed it and what was going on in your life that required it. And you can give away something that relates to the point you're trying to make.

I'm not saying your services, maybe it's a copy of the book your grandfather gave you that inspired you in a certain way. Maybe it's a readymade set of folders or a binder with sections to help someone get started organizing because you had such a difficult time getting organized, like something that is related to your story and something that can be out of the norm. Something that is totally, you wouldn't even expect it. You really have to know your crowd though. So that's why part one is so important. It could even be a box of champagne, gummy bears. If how somehow relevant to the point you're making to your story. What I want you to see here is that there are so many opportunities out there to weave this into your marketing. So let's do a quick rundown of what we talked about today. All right, so in part one we got super clear on who your client is, what they need, what they want.

You're talking to people who you want to serve. If you're just getting started so then you can begin gathering information about their interests and you're talking, I'm sorry, you're taking about an hour to brainstorm ideas and you're scheduling time on your calendar to implement a few of them that will work with what you can do right now. So in part two I listed some ideas to get you started in this brainstorming process. You've got to try it and true weekly, biweekly or monthly broadcast to your subscribers. You're creating an opt in together subscribers, which are your current and potential future clients. You create memorable day to day experiences in person. You have snail mail, anywhere from cards to candy grams. You could make it extra personal with a video message and an application like Bongiorno and you can foster connection during in-person events with clients. Or you can even weave in memorable gifts with a story to an audience that might otherwise just be falling asleep on you.

I hope that these gave you some ideas to begin making your own. I feel like I've been talking a mile a minute and I know that this is kind of a longer episode, but it's such a necessary one and I feel like the more that you begin thinking about these things, the more second nature it's going to become. I know that it feels more and more like that for me as I get more focused on who I'm serving and how I can be of service. And so I hope that this is giving you an opportunity to get some ideas going into to 2020 and you can really just implement three or four of these to make an impact. So I'll link to everything that I mentioned in the show notes at dinacataldo.com Forward slash 79 I hope you have a wonderful day and I am going to talk to you soon.

Okay? Oh, I have a PS. I want to add this to the episode. I know that you've got a lot going on at this time of year. Let's face it anytime of the year I get it, but I want to make sure you know that you're supported. If you need help getting your calendar in order and your priorities in order, you can always schedule a 20 minute call with me. I'm there to answer your questions and help you figure out what you need to need to right now with whatever's going on in your life. So go to Dina cataldo.com forward slash fix my life to schedule a time to talk. All right, I'll talk to you soon. Bye.