You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 89. Today, we’re talking all about how to develop business. You ready? Let’s go.
Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.
Hello, my friends, how are you? I am so excited to talk about this topic with you. I’m going to do several episodes over the course of the next couple months about business development. I think it’s one of the most important topics to cover. It is so empowering to know how to be in control of your business development results that you want, and to be able to achieve your income goals or your client goals.
Most people are bad at this because they’ve simply never learned how to do it. So, today we’re going to kick off this topic. I just hosted a master class where I taught the topic of how to develop business. So, you’re about to listen to that audio recording of that masterclass. It’s super comprehensive. I go through everything you need to do in order to master business development. So, give it a listen.
Then, make sure that you implement what you learn. This is going to be the year where you learn how to create clients and money on demand. If this is one of your goals, this is a must-listen episode for you. Okay? It’s filled with so much tangible guidance on exactly what you need to do. I do not gatekeep; I give it all away. So, go grab something to take copious notes with, tune in, and enjoy rice.
How is everyone today? Happy Friday. You see me, amazing. So, we’re going to workshop together, that way you really get a ton out of this, and you’re able to leave here with what I’m calling a “business development blueprint.” You’re going to have the exact steps that you need to take in order to create the business that you want to create. In order to create the clients that you want to create. In order to develop the type of business that you want to develop.
Okay, so I just want to go over the agenda for today. I love to know where we’re going. I love to explain to people what they can expect. First and foremost, we’re going to start by creating some awareness. In order to make changes to your business development strategy we’ve got to figure out what’s going on right now.
So, we’re going to create some awareness today as to why you’re doing what you’re doing, maybe why you’re not doing what you’re not doing, how you think and feel about business development, if it kind of gives you the ‘ick’ or if you have a lot of dread around it. We’re going to create awareness around that.
Then, I’m going to walk you through my five key steps. So, these are going to be the actions that you take in order to develop business. Normally, I love rules of three; old trial attorney trick. But today, we’re talking rules of five. So, five key steps; that’s going to be all about action.
Then, we’re going to talk about the five core beliefs that you need to have when you’re developing business, okay? Because action alone is not enough. You’ve got to make sure that you’ve got the mindset, you’ve cultivated the mindset to fuel you forward, to make sure the action that you’re taking is effective.
Then, we’re going to talk about common mistakes that I see my clients make, that I see people make when it comes to business development, and I’m going to teach you how to avoid them.
Then, we’re going to talk briefly, at the end, about how you can set yourself up for success this year when it comes to business development. I want to talk a little bit about the other skills that I think sort of dovetail nicely and support a business development initiative.
Some of those skills you might already have, which is amazing. Some of those skills you might not have. If you don’t have them, you want to make sure that you figure out what you’re going to do this year to develop them, so you’re able to support yourself all throughout the year as you go on this business development journey.
We’re going to start off with creating awareness. I just want you to do me a favor… like I said, very active chat today. It’s one of my favorite topics to teach. So, I can’t wait to see all the amazing things that you have to say, the ideas that you have, and all the stuff that we’re going to be able to do together today.
But we’re going to start by talking about what you’re currently doing. I just want to get a sense from the crowd. What are you currently doing, or not doing, when it comes to business development? Tell me: Am I posting sometimes on social media? Maybe infrequently. Am I showing up inconsistently? Am I making plans but not sticking to them? Am I changing my mind a lot?
“Tons of networking and posting, at least four days a week.” That’s amazing, Amy, so good. Okay, so posting on social, either in-person or virtual networking. One of the things that I always say is, don’t change what’s working. If you’re doing stuff and it’s working, we want to do more of that. Okay? If there are things that you’re already doing that are helping you create clients, we want to keep doing that stuff.
You want to make sure you identify it so you know that it’s something that works, and you can continue to do it. “Posting regularly on LinkedIn. Setting up speaking engagements,” amazing. “Sending notes to people who comment on my posts,” love that. “Serving current clients really well.” That’s a great point, it leads to referral business, right?
“And consistent on social media.” There we go. “Creating processes from current clients to get them results faster,” love that. “I regularly post on social media, but I’m not creating consults from it.” Okay. “Some coffee chats and playing tennis. Four out of five consults came from these connections,” amazing. “Serving clients well. Need to be clear, on plan, and more consistent.” All right.
So, that’s what I really want to see. I want to see some of that stuff that’s not working too. So, like, “Inconsistent hosting.” Do you make a plan to do it, and then you prioritize other work? That substantive work first. Do you do what I call “post and ghost”? So, you throw something up on social media, but then you don’t spend any time engaging with people. “Not enough calls to action on how to work with me?” Yeah. Not making offers, right? Totally.
“I’ve been really intentional and welcoming each and every new follower via DM. Awesome, welcome. Glad you’re here. If you have any questions, let me know.” I love that, great way to build relationships. “Speaking at industry seminars, coffee and lunch with existing clients, calls and outreach to target relationship folks,” so good.
“Inconsistent on LinkedIn. Not sure how to translate it to actionable leads.” Alright, Christine, you’ll have to tell me more about that. “How do we get burned out on Instagram? I’m not doing enough lead generation posts. Need to find a way to move my network from engaging with my posts to a discovery call.” Okay.
So, when you’re posting, and this is why I say that ‘action is not enough,’ one of the things that you might not be doing is building your belief. Understanding what your current beliefs are about yourself, your services, your potential clients.
We want to make sure, if you’re taking the action but it’s not producing consistent results, you’re either going to look at your social media strategy… I’m going to teach you how to write a social media post that’s very effective, today… But we also want to take a look at what are you believing, and do you have the right beliefs to make the action you take really effective?
Now that you’ve got a clearer picture of the things that you’re doing, maybe the things that you’re doing well… “Yeah, definitely not solid on belief, for sure.” So, if you ignore your belief, then you end up spinning your wheels. You take all of this action, but because it’s not belief-fueled action, which is what I’m going to teach you today, it doesn’t actually move the dial.
Strategy is super important when it comes to business development. We’ve got to make sure that you’re taking enough action. But if you’re taking enough action, and you’re not getting the results you want, we know we’ve got a belief issue, okay?
I actually teach this to my clients. I like to do this as a process of elimination. If you’re not taking enough action, which comes as the result of a belief issue, you’re going to see that in a second. But if you’re not taking enough action, I can’t pinpoint where your belief is lacking.
So, we’ve got to make sure that you’re taking enough action, and then from there I can say, “Okay, what’s going on? Are you creating consultations with potential clients, but it’s not turning into business? Do we have an issue believing that clients have the money to pay you, or that they want to work with you? Is no one taking you up on your offers? What’s going on there?”
That might be doubt in your own belief, your belief in yourself, your skills, the services you provide, the value of them, that you’re able to get clients the results you offer? We want to make sure you’re taking enough action and then from there, we can come in and laserly target… don’t know if that’s a word, but bear with me… We can target very specifically the belief that’s getting in your way.
Now, we’re going to do what I call… I like to think of this as a negative thought download. Because I want to up root all the negative thoughts that are standing in your way. Okay? So, go ahead and drop in the chat: What are your negative thoughts about developing business? And then, in parentheses, next to the thought, I want you to put the one-word emotion that you feel when you think that thought?
“I just got a whole lot of ‘not now’s’ on consults, and I just deflated totally. I’m so busy.” All right, maybe that’s overwhelmed, or stressed. What else do we have? “I don’t have control over creating consults.” Yes, right, and you will feel either helpless, hopeless, out of control. “Don’t know how to find clients. Confused?” Yeah. This stuff isn’t rocket science, you guys.
When you think ‘I don’t know,’ you will feel confused. “I don’t know where to start,” confused and overwhelmed. “I’m not clear on which is my target audience.” Okay. That’s sort of another variant of ‘I don’t know.’ You might feel unclear, lost, confused. “I feel scattered and unfocused. There are so many potential actions, I don’t know which is the best to do today.” Yeah. I always think that’s when our overwhelm and confusion sort of come together, team up like cousins, and not in a good way.
“Graspy.” Allie, so what’s the thought that makes you feel graspy? “I know, for me, too in the beginning. It’s exhausting. Overwhelm, for sure. I used to think, ‘People will think this is stupid,’ when I thought about marketing on social media. I felt embarrassed or exposed, that people are going to see me. People will think I’m desperate.” That’s a big one for people.
“Graspy or needy. Or people don’t want what I have to offer. People don’t want to be sold to. I don’t know how vulnerable to be, and then I feel like my posts are robotic.” Yeah, you’ve got to share more of yourself, for sure. “I resonate with the previous comment, writing copy is hard. Feeling despair.” Yeah, these are great. These are so, so good, you guys.
Okay, what I want you to do, I want to continue creating awareness, is take one of those thoughts… And you can do this on your own time, where you go through each one and you really create meaningful awareness as to the impact of each one of these thoughts.
But if this is your first time at one of my trainings, one of the concepts that I teach people is that C stands for Circumstance. That’s just the situation we’re dealing with. Right? Today, we’re talking about developing business.
“I worry about former colleagues looking down on me when I market online.” Christine, that was a huge one for me. I had to make a deal with myself, that I would be willing to feel whatever feelings came up on my business development journey. I kept telling myself over and over and over again, “If there’s no feeling I’m unwilling to feel, there’s no results that I can’t create.” I know that’s a lot of negatives, but that is what I kept telling myself over and over and over again.
The truth is, y’all, discomfort both ways. There’s discomfort in taking action and putting yourself out there, and being seen in front of people, those former colleagues. Then there’s discomfort in not doing that and not developing business. “I worry about my daughter seeing my posts,” totally.
My rule is, either block them or get over it. All right? You’ve got three options: Don’t post, because you care so much about what they think. Post and let them see it, and gag-and-go through the discomfort. Or block them. Block them or get over it, I’m so serious.
Two of the guys that I worked with in big law, one of them I used to have a crush on, and other one I couldn’t stand. He was so mean to me when I worked there. I had all this mind drama around what they would think. And if you’re worried about what they would think, I would encourage you to identify who’s ‘they’?
Normally, it’s someone very specific like your daughter, or a specific former colleague that you think is going to have a judgment about you. I decided I could block both of these guys, or I could just move forward and let them see it, if they are online. I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of knowing that I would block them; not that you get alerted.
But if someone else was like, “Hey, did you see Olivia’s stuff online,” and then they tried to search for me and couldn’t find me, I didn’t want to put myself in that position. So, I decided to gag-and-go through the discomfort. I allowed myself to feel exposed and embarrassed. I deeply, deeply believe…
This may be one of the thoughts that just came up for you, “I don’t have what it takes to develop business. There is some X-factor.” I deeply believe there is no X-factor. The only difference between people who are making money and developing business and you, is that they’re willing to take actions that you’re unwilling to take. They’re willing to feel feelings you’re unwilling to feel. All right? They’re thinking thoughts about developing business that you’re not.
I just think that’s such an equalizer, which is so fun. Yeah, there’s no X‑factor. I started to recognize, just like Christine said, I’m not a unicorn. The people who have come before me probably had to market in front of their former colleagues, and probably had the same thoughts and negative feelings about it as me. But they were willing to feel those feelings on purpose, to embrace them, to allow them.
Yeah, willing to take consistent action. There’s a lot of negative emotions that go into taking consistent action, that you have to be willing to feel on purpose, right? So, if you decide, “Hey, I’m going to follow suit. People have done it before me. They probably had to feel their negative feelings, and I’m going to have to feel mine.”
The truth is, there’s discomfort both ways: Avoiding being embarrassed or exposed, or in embracing it and moving forward and putting yourself out there. I always suggest picking the path to get to the life you want. And in this case, that’s in creating clients and making money.
There will be a replay, Melissa. If you have to drop off at 12:30, you will get the replay. “That’s something you said in the past, there’s no X-Factor. Never thought that I’d want to do a different business, but I put in X years into creating this one.” I think you’ve got to decide what to do there and make a definitive decision.
I know that you’ve changed a couple of times in the past, so you have to see if that is your success intolerance bubbling up; if you get bored with something, and when it gets hard and you don’t get the results that you want, you want to jump to something else. That used to be me all the time in my 20s. We’ll talk about that for a second before we move on.
This is actually something that you can see, as I walk you through this model. You might be guilty of doing this, too. But this came up for me all the time when I was younger. I started a lot of businesses in my 20s and I never stuck with them. I’d get really excited, energized, committed, determined, motivated; all those sexy, juicy, amazing emotions.
Then you start taking action; time goes by. You start taking action, and you don’t get results. So, now you start to feel a little confused and a little frustrated. And then some more time goes by, and you probably start taking less action because these negative emotions are showing up. And you end up avoiding them by doing something else that brings you instant gratification. So, you’re feeling confused and frustrated.
And then, over time, you take less and less action, and you’re getting less and less results. And now, you feel worried and maybe embarrassed and disappointed and discouraged. Maybe even guilty, because now you’re really not showing up and you’re beating yourself up about it. Then, right around here, you hit defeated, and then you quit.
And then, what people love to do, is they love to jump to something new. They start that whole process over again. Okay? Effort goes down over time. This is time. The curve is how you feel. Right? So, if this is you, and you keep changing because you’re not getting the results you want, I think the question to ask yourself there is: If what I was doing was successful, would I make a change?
If the answer’s no, then you’ve got to clean up what you’re doing and stay the course, rather than making a switch. That’s my guidance there.
“It helps that you’re sharing that you’ve had these feelings, because you’re confident and beautiful.” Thank you so much. That is so kind of you. No one’s exempt from this stuff, you guys. I teach people to stuff day in day out, week in week out.
People have negative thoughts and feelings about developing business. You want to normalize that for yourself, and recognize that other people aren’t unicorns who don’t experience any of this stuff. They’re no different than you, they are just willing to feel their feelings and take intentional action in spite of those emotions.
I want you to take one of those thoughts that you just identified, and we’re going to see the impact of thinking that thought. So, we’ll do, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ Again, you want to identify the one-word emotion. So, when we’re thinking about developing business, and you’re thinking your thought, you feel a feeling.
Chances are, because we just did a negative thought download, it’s going to be a negative feeling. Because negative thoughts cause negative feelings, and then negative feelings produce negative action or no action.
So, what do we do when we’re feeling confused? Spin, don’t figure it out, seek instant gratification. We call this, in coaching, “buffering.” Doing something else that feels better in the moment: Watch TV, scroll on social media, all that stuff. So, spin, we don’t figure it out, and we end up indulging in ‘I don’t know.’
Then, guess what? You create the result of you still don’t know what to do. Right? Same thing. If you’re thinking, “I’m not in control of my results.” You’ll feel out of control, that helplessness. Then, guess what you do? You cede control, you take less action. You don’t cultivate strong beliefs. You do a lot of waiting and seeing. People just come to you. So, you end up relinquishing control.
“Also, endlessly research shit.” Yes, that’s such a good point. That was probably for the other model, but yes. I want you to start to see there are other thoughts that might be seemingly positive…
“I hope I develop business this year.” I just recorded a podcast episode on this. I do not like “hope” as an emotion okay, because it puts you into that wait-and-see, relinquish, cede control, state. Or, “I need to develop business this year.” Need begets more need. Thoughts with “need” and “want” in them create results that leave you still needing and still wanting.
So, “I want to develop business this year,” might feel hopeful, optimistic, or maybe a little guilty because you’re not doing it. Or you’re telling yourself you need to and you feel pressured. Those thoughts aren’t going to serve you. You want to see what’s coming up.
You also might doubt yourself and your abilities. “No one wants to work with me. I’m not enough of an expert. My clients can’t afford to work with me, I’m too expensive.” A lot of the attorneys that I work with, they think their rates are too high so they don’t develop business. “I don’t have time to develop business.”
You want to see how these current thoughts are making you feel, and then the action you’re taking from that feeling. You want to see how it’s producing your current results. Whatever your current results are when it comes to business development, it’s coming from the thoughts that you’re thinking, the negative feelings that are coming up for you that you end up reacting to or avoiding, and then the action that you’re taking that’s not serving you. Okay?
So, in order to move forward, we’ve got to change what we’re thinking about developing business. We’re going to work from the bottom up. We’re going to work from the result we want to create, and reverse engineer it. We start with just identifying the result.
It can be to develop business. I like to get more specific than that. So, how much money do you want to create this year? How many clients do you want to create this year? Some of my clients want to work with particular clients, like a Fortune 500 company. So, get clear here. What’s the exact result that you want to create?
From there, this is what you’re going to do. This is going to be sort of the 50,000 ft view. We’re going to get more specific as we work through the material today. You’re going to do, what I call, create a business development blueprint. We’re going to do that together today. Okay?
Then, you’re going to take all five actions that I’m going to teach you very consistently. You’re also going to work on building those five core beliefs that I’m going to teach you. You’re going to do that week in, week out, to make sure you’re staying in really high belief. And then you’re going to stay the course.
You might be tempted to change it, sort of like Mariette was talking about a second ago, right? Do I want to switch to something new, something that sounds more exciting? No, no, no, no, no, we’re not making changes here. We’re staying the course. You’re going to give the work that you do time to actually work.
Success compounds, but only if you don’t make changes. I also always want you to include in your Intentional Action line: Allow myself to feel… We’re going to list out the negative emotions that you’re going to have to be willing to feel in order to show up and do all of this stuff. So, you might have to feel dread, or embarrassed or confused… got to feel confused and work through it, rather than try to escape it… or exposed.
A big one for people is, tired or pressured or overwhelmed. You’ve got to sit with that feeling, and show up and develop business anyways, instead of just always putting that substantive work first.
Now I want you to tell me, what’s the positive emotion that you need to feel in order to take all of that action, and gag-and-go your way through that discomfort? Give me that one word emotion. Ooh, “Momentum,” yeah. “Committed,” yes. So good. “Confident,” love it. I also love “compelled” here. “Determined,” so good. “My content is always working.” Ooh, that’s so fun. What a great thought.
“Secure. Purposeful.” You guys, these are so good. “Determined,” yes. “Curious,” I love curious. “Capable,” Cam, capable is a big one for me. I totally agree with you.
Now, I want you to take that feeling and tell me what’s the thought that you need to think to feel that feeling? “I have everything I need,” so good. That always makes me feel sufficient. “I am enough,” yeah. “I am such a determined person.” Love that, Acel. “I can do this,” I love that. “This is working. I can do this.” Yes. For me, it’s ‘I will do this.’ No matter how long it takes and what feelings I have to feel.
So, those were the two promises I made myself when I started developing business. I made myself a promise, unlike 20-something Olivia, I would not quit, no matter what. No matter how long it took me to get results, I committed to working the process that I’m going to teach you until I crossed the finish line.
Until I learned how to create money, I learned how to create clients, and I learned how to develop business. I made myself that promise, I would not quit no matter what. I was willing to do it for however long it took me to figure this out. I jokingly said to myself, “I’m willing to be bad at this for however long it takes for me to get good.”
And, I kept that commitment to myself. I also made myself a promise that I would be willing to feel every negative feeling I had to feel on the path to get there. I said, “I’m willing to feel all that discomfort, and show up in spite of it.” That’s how I was able to be consistent, how I was able to put myself out there and give value.
Alright, we’ve got some amazing thoughts. Crowdsource them. I love to just create a whole list of thoughts that I like to think. “All of my future clients are waiting for me.” That’s such a good one. “This can be fun. People are waiting for my help. Everything I do is working.”
What else? “I love that I don’t have to feel joy all the time to act.” If I waited ‘til I felt joyful to act, I’d get nothing done. “I love the work that I do.” Most of the time, I just have to gag-and-go through feeling dreadful and tired, and unmotivated. “Trust the process,” yeah. “That was the best time for me to build this business,” yes.
“Thank you for sharing that about yourself. It’s good to hear we’re not alone in our thoughts.” You’re not alone at all. “Now is the perfect time. Let’s go.” Alright, I want you to keep adding to this. You can create a little note in your phone, or wherever you want, but you’re going to keep adding positive thoughts.
“I know enough now, and I can figure out what I don’t know,” I love that, such a good thought. “I have everything I need, to make money, within me already.” That’s another thought that I love to think.
So, we’ve cultivated some new thoughts. When you change your thinking, you change how you feel, and then you change how you show up, and it changes your results. I want to make sure that you guys are keeping top of mind, you’ve got to make sure that you’re cultivating the mindset that you need to take belief-fueled action.
We’re going to talk about five core beliefs in a second, but before we do that, I want to talk about strategy. These are the five key actions that you need to take in order to develop business. I’m going to walk you through each one of them, but this is the overview.
Number one, you’ve got to know your offer. That’s who you help and what you help them with. I like this to be simple, yet specific. Okay?
Number two… these are going to sound overly simplified, but I promise you, this is all that is required to make money. Number two, you’re going to meet people, both direct clients and referral partners. We’ll talk about that more in a second. Then, you’re going to tell the people you meet what you do. Again, simple but specific.
You’re going to add value ahead of time. Give away information for free, just like I’m doing right now with this webinar. Adding value ahead of time, and then you make offers when it makes sense. We’re going to talk about that. It’s just making sure that you’re doing things that are consensual, that people have opted into, rather than selling in a nonconsensual way.
Step number one, you’ve got to know your offer. I want you to make a commitment that you’re going to figure this out today. If you don’t already have this figured out, don’t spend any more time thinking on this other than the time that you take today. So, who do you help? What problems do you help them solve? How do you help people solve these problems?
I like people to be able to complete this statement; this part is really like bonus extra credit, that last part. It helps you figure out how you set yourself apart.
“Is it okay to have two offers?” I follow a concept that I learned from one of my business coaches, which is called “the concept of this simple offer.” Every time you have more than one offer, you make your job harder. Especially if your offers are serving multiple groups of people, or different groups of people.
It’s going to make everything you do more challenging; writing content, writing copy, marketing. Talking about what you do is going to become more of a challenge. Writing your website is going to become more of a challenge. Figuring out what you talk about on a daily basis. Figuring out what you will lead with when you talk to people.
I love, as a good litmus test, to just speak it out loud. Like if you were going to say… “What if you make it general to target several groups?” yeah, when you do this generally you water yourself down so you stand out less. Which is why it’s simple, yet specific. Okay? You can focus on everyone, but you have to do a better job at speaking to the specific problems that you help people solve, so they actually have an understanding of what you do.
I just like to think of… we’ll use a criminal defense attorney example. I have friends who are criminal defense attorneys. I have one friend who does everything from a traffic ticket to a homicide case. That’s how she introduces herself. So, I know that she can help with anything.
I know another, a friend of mine, he specializes in federal child pornography work. I couldn’t imagine doing that work. But he is a specialist in that line of work, and that comes from his experience as a prosecutor. But if I ever hear of someone who needs that type of service provided, not to get morbid and dark, but I know that I would send them to Paul, because Paul is an expert in that. I also know people who are experts in representing biker gangs.
“Yeah, I feel like what I help with changes with the wind.” We’ve got to fix that; you can’t be changing with the wind. You want to be really clear about who you help and the problems that you help people solve.
“Help General Counsel, ESG initiatives, launching ESG initiatives, by getting leadership buy-in through board and executive trainings.” So good, right, Christine? So, the GCs would hire you? The GCs would hire you; the companies would hire you? Tell me if I’m right, there. “Exactly.” So good.
“Help empty nesters love their lives once their kids are grown and flown.” So good, Jay. I absolutely love that. “Help people who have been ripped off by getting them at their fair share.” Yeah, Benjamin. I would flush that out. Like, ripped off how? Is it like someone who… I know attorneys who are lemon lawyers, so that’s a very specific problem. How is someone ripped off? What’s their fair share? Are you getting them the money back that they lost? Just tell me a little bit more there.
“I help women who want a deep and fulfilling life by teaching them how to have a great relationship with all parts of themselves.” Love that, Alex. “I help humanitarians decide whether or not to leave the humanitarian fields.” So good.
“I help powerhouse women clear their clutter and take up all the space they deserve, so that they can create a life that blows their mind. I do this through interior design and coaching services.” “I focus on holistic transformation from the inside out.” So good.
“Getting them their money back, business litigation.” Yeah, totally.
We just want to make sure that everyone you know is able to know what you do. It’s going to be really, really clear. When you get clearer about this and when you constrain, everything you do gets easier.
I have a client right now, a couple clients actually, they’re torn, I call it being “half pregnant”, between two different ideal client avatars. It makes what they do so hard, they never know who they’re writing to.
Now, if you can identify two offers that you really want to have, and you’re willing to put the time in to go through the business development blueprint and market both of them, you’re going to have to create a lot of clarity for yourself. When am I marketing this one, versus one of my marketing this one? How frequently do I fluctuate back and forth?
“I help people who have been let down by the traditional health system, and their chronic symptoms, with my smart healing methods.” Love that. So good. I have a lot of people kind of in my space right now who are into holistic health solutions, which is so cool.
So, step one is know your offer. The more specific, the better, because it makes your life easier. What I wanted to mention a moment ago was, say it out loud. If you’re like, “Hi, I’m Olivia Vizachero, and I help newspaper journalists submit Freedom of Information Act requests that actually get granted.” Or, “I used to do FoIA work.” That would be one example. I could also say, “I also used to do data breach incident responses.”
So, if I’m introducing that, think about it. I’m speaking out of two different sides of my mouth, essentially. It’s going to confuse the people that I’m talking to. Are they going to remember that I do both of those things? Who am I leading with? What identity am I leading with in that moment?
Then, think about creating content around that. What does my website say? What’s the homepage of my website say? “I help people with problems,” that’s going to be the catchall. Which isn’t going to be specific enough to be compelling. Or it’s going to be really bifurcated, rather than just going all-in on data breach work, or going all-in on that FoIA litigation that I used to do. Okay?
Same thing with thinking about the different types of law you could practice. The people who do everything, they don’t stand out to you, right? So, you want to make sure that people know what you specialize in.
The reason knowing your offer is so important, is not only does it make your social media presence easier to navigate, but it also informs every other step of these five steps that I’m teaching you. Specifically with meeting people, these are the categories in your blueprint you want to make sure you have answered. You’re going to have specific people identified, and ways to reach out to these people, for each one of these categories. Okay?
“When you say ‘two offers,’ are you okay with both one-and-one, and group? Would that be unacceptable, two offers?” Great question, Jen. I only like two offers if you have demand to support it. I was brought up to follow the methodology of starting with one-on-one. This is for anyone who’s an entrepreneurial coach, here. Start with one-on-one, grow it until the point that you’re fully booked, start a waitlist, and then you can launch a group.
I always want people to be thinking about how do you want your launch of a group to go? What do you want your experience to be like? “I want my experience to be as seamless as possible.” There’s a lot of learning that goes into launching a group. But you get to decide, do you do it to crickets? Or do you launch it to a list of 100 people that are waiting to work with you, and you don’t have room for in one-on-one? That’s going to be a very different experience.
“I have a lot of things I’ve helped people with so it’s a sticking point to me. A sticking point for me to know what I specialize in. I’m a generalist in the widest way.” Here’s the thing, you can continue to do other work, just don’t let your marketing be that general. The majority of my clients are lawyers, but I work with people who aren’t lawyers too. Some of my one-on-one clients are coaches. Some of them I’ve worked with are financial advisors, CPAs; people from all different backgrounds.
I don’t change my marketing. For the first several years of my business, I focused only on lawyers. Now, I’m moving into hosting retreats for a wider range of people, and candidly, making my marketing job a lot harder because I’m getting less specific. I am taking my own medicine here.
“I want to help women figure out what they really want, and then we create it. Is that too vague?” I think you can answer that last question, which is, how exactly do I do that? That will give people a little bit more context. “Makes sense, Olivia. Thank you.” You’re welcome.
I want you to start to answer these questions. So, based on your offer, who are your direct clients? Christine gave us a great example earlier. Her direct clients are General Counsel. She can start to think about… That’s who she would identify: GCs. I’ll do this on the next page, actually. Again, if you serve a broad audience, you just want to start to make a list. Pick three people for each one, that you can start to identify.
Because you have to be thinking about how you’re going to find them. So, Christine, we could do General Counsel. She needs to meet GCs. Where in person would she meet them? What conferences, potentially? There’s CLOC, right? I know this is going on right now in Vegas, ContractsCon. “I’m speaking at CLOC,” of course, you are. Amazing. CLOC, ContractsCon, maybe some other… the ACC, Association of Corporate Counsel events?
You might make a list. I don’t go to a ton of in-person stuff. When I do, I make sure I get a lot of bang for my buck. I want it to be a very target-rich environment for me. I’m getting ready to speak at ABA Tech show, that is one of the in-person events that I go to. I also tend to go to ClioCon. That’s an event for me, because it’s filled with my ideal people. Last year, I went to Women In Trial Travel Summit, in Mexico. That was full with my ideal clients. as well.
So, pick a couple, throughout the year, and then you can bank on them. When you identify ahead of time the in-person events that you’ll go to, you can see if you can speak, which is great.
Then, you’ll think about, “Alright, where am I going to connect with people? How am I going to connect with people virtually?” For direct clients, I would probably pick LinkedIn. I don’t know if there’s as much of a following on X, formerly known as Twitter, but LinkedIn I know is Christine’s sweet spot. I think that’s a great spot for her to be.
Remember, we’re answering the questions: Who? Where? How? So, direct clients, you’re going to go here and maybe you speak at these events. Or you just introduce yourself. On LinkedIn, what do we do? We send connection requests. You get 100/week; max those out. Then, comments on GCs’ posts. That’s going to be your how you meet your direct clients on LinkedIn. Okay?
If your people are on Instagram, you can send them connection requests. I like to comment on their stuff. I find them through their hashtags or accounts that they follow. You’ve got to be thinking about, again, when you identify them then the “how” starts to flush itself out.
Then, you want to be thinking about referral partners. Who are the people that would send you business? It might be other attorneys. You can get more specific than that. It also might be other stakeholders within the company, maybe CEOs or CFOs. “Private equity,” so good. “Private equity folks,” amazing.
Ask yourself that: Where can I meet them? Do they attend certain conferences? Again, it’s going to be LinkedIn. Your “how” is going to be a little bit different here. Yes, send connection requests, engage with their content, but you’re also going to do connection calls with these people. Also known as “virtual coffees.”
You’re going to reach out, and you’re going to say, “Hey, I think it would make sense for us to know each other better. I think you work with the same people I work with. I can send you business, you can send me business. I think it makes sense for us to have a better idea of what each of us does. Would you be up for jumping on a Zoom for 30 minutes?” I’m chatty, so mine are an hour. “Would you be up for a connection call, so we could learn more about what each other does?”
Some people will take you up on that, and some people won’t. Do not worry about the ones who don’t. We’re just focused on building our network. I also want you to decide how much of this are you going to do? With direct clients, we’re sending those 100 connection requests each week. How much commenting on other people’s posts are we going to do? How much time are we going to spend doing that? I spent at least an hour a day.
How many connection calls are we going to do each week? Think about if I was doing data breach incident response, like I used to, who would my direct clients be? Business owners, or in-house attorneys at those businesses. But normally…
“Did you say 100 connection requests a week?” Yes, that should take you less than 10 minutes. On LinkedIn, you literally just get to… It’s like Google, this is why we’re identifying it. So, Christine can type in “general counsel” into the search bar and filter by people. Then, all of the general counsels that exist on LinkedIn are going to come up.
I like to filter by second-degree connections, because you don’t want to see the people that you’re already connected with. And, second-degree connections are more likely to accept your request. Then you just send; you click “Connect.” I don’t send a note. I don’t bog down someone’s inbox with that. It’s just a numbers game.
But this should take you no more than 10 minutes. If it takes you more than 10 minutes, you’re doing it wrong. You’re being too perfectionistic about it.
If you serve business owners; founder, owner, CEO; maybe entrepreneur, but probably not. People would probably use “president” or some phrase like that.
If you work with coaches. Jay is here. So, Jay works with parents who are empty nesters. I would identify, pick a couple of different job titles, people… I’m going to sound crass… people with money. We’re not here to sell our services to people without money. So, who likely has money? I’d come up with you know, C-suite individuals, partners in law firms, things like that. I’d search 100 connection requests a week.
“On the direct clients virtually, I’m not sure how much to wait for people to come to me versus asking for meetings, which is feels salesy.” I don’t ask for any meetings with direct clients. That’s why you don’t see that up here. I let people come to me through the value that I add.
I engage with them, I send them a connection request, I comment on their social media post, I put stuff out publicly for them to consensually opt into, and this is why I always make an offer okay. Because I give people an opportunity to opt in to work with me, to take the next step.
So, I made an offer to you all to come to this, through social media posts or through my email list, and you opted in. I’m going to make an offer at the end of this, for you to come work with me this year. But you’ve consented to it, because you showed up here. And, I’m giving value ahead of time. If you want to drop off before I make that offer at the end, you’re more than welcome to, right?
I don’t do this anymore, but when I used to do one-on-one work and I’d sell with a consult, you’d opt into going to that consult. And then at the consult, I’m making you a paid offer to work with me, that you’ve consented to hearing because you signed up for the consult. So, it’s never forced.
I believe direct clients know they’re your direct clients, so if you ask them for a connection call, they know you want to sell them because you do want to sell them. So, it shifts your energy. Do connection calls with people where it’s a reciprocal value add; you can help them and they can help you. It’s not the same dynamic when that person would hire you.
For people, and I’m going to use Jay as an example again. Jay gets to network with parents, so some people that he reaches out to may be ideal clients. But again, you’re really going to have to manage your energy. The purpose of the call is not to get the person to become a client. Okay? The purpose of the call is just to get to know one another.
This is another rule for me, if someone expresses interest in working with you on that connection call, you set up a separate call, okay? For the sales call, the sales pitch, the consultation; whatever word you use, okay? You don’t turn a connection call into a consultation. I think that is not clean energy. You want to make sure you’re really in integrity.
“How soon after connecting with the general counsel, or C-suite, would you recommend asking to meet with them to discuss further?” I think the best‑case scenario is to connect with them if they share content on social media, to engage with that for a little while, then reach out and say, “Hey, saw your posts, really love your stuff. I’d love to connect further, learn more about what you do.”
My guess though, and I could be wrong, but Joshua, for you, are those GCs or C-suite individuals potential clients? Because if they are potential clients, I don’t do connection calls with those people. I let those people come to me. So, what I would do, is I would be connecting with people who would be referral partners.
That might be… I don’t know if I’m familiar with the firm that you’re at, just from seeing the email registrant. I don’t know whether you do transactional work or litigation, but you might want to meet with… “Litigation,” amazing. So, you might want to do referrals, or do connection calls, with people in the transactional space because they’re not direct competitors.
Sometimes I do connection calls with direct competitors, because I believe that there’s plenty of business to go around. But people who don’t do what you do but interact with your clients, you’d be able to refer them business, they’d be able to refer you business. Right?
Or people who do exactly what you do but are at other firms, you might have conflicts. So, that’s a great way to reach out to referral partners. “Hey, we do the same thing. I’m really looking to flesh out, build out, my network of referral partners or local counsel, I’d love to jump on a call with you if you’ve got 30 minutes, just to learn more about your practice, your experience, who you’d like to work with. I think we serve the same groups of people.”
Then publicly, we’re going to talk about this in a second, but you’re going to add value, and then make offers to invite the direct clients in. Like the people on this call right now, I wouldn’t reach out to you and ask you for a connection call. I publish public social media content. This is a public training that I offer, that you get to opt into for free, and then I make you an offer that you have to opt into. I don’t come to you. You want people, our ideal people, coming to us.
“When you are looking for speaking gigs, do you reach out proactively to the folks booking speakers? Or do you follow the ‘they need to reach out to me’ rule here?” Great question, EJ. With speaking engagements, I will reach out. I see that as a little bit of a reciprocal value add, because they need speakers. I think it’s skewed a little bit. I prefer if someone comes to me.
And I think your success rate is better when they’re coming to you, obviously, than when you’re going to them. But if you’re okay getting told no a little bit more frequently, then you can do that cold outreach. I normally speak for free, too. Not all of the time, some of the speaking that I do is paid. But I do speak a lot for free because I want to get in front of the audience.
So, step one, know your offer. Step two, meet people; direct clients, referral partners; in person and online. I prefer online, just because you can get a lot more bang for your buck. Especially if you serve a nationwide audience, an international audience, you’re not just restricted to your geographic areas.
I like in-person events a couple of times throughout the year. I go to the same stuff over and over again. I’ve found that to be the best way to have really rich relationships with people.
You might not know people very well the first time, but then you go back to the same event the next year and you meet up, you have a drink, you remember, you hug, you shake hands; all that good stuff. And the next year, you’re like, “Hey, do you want to do dinner? I’m coming in a day early; I’d love to catch up.” And you really start to know each other.
I do like some intentional in-person events in those target-rich environments. But you want to make sure that you’re spending the bulk of your time virtually. Especially with social media, this is how we’re going to continue to nurture people over time.
Step one, know your offer. Step two, meet people. Step three, tell people what you do. I know this sounds simple, but you want to make sure you’re doing it. And the goal should be that everyone you know should be able to send you your ideal clients. Okay?
It is such an opportunity that we can work globally and virtually now.
And anyone who has thought drama, mind drama, around social media, it is free, you guys. It is one of the coolest things in the world, that we get to reach all these people for free. So, let’s clean up our negative thoughts.
If anyone has to drop off, I just realized we’re at the top of the hour, if you have to drop off, you’ll get the recording of this. I’ve still got more stuff to go through. I figured I would run long today.
So, you want to make sure that everyone you know, knows what you do. Great litmus test here is just to ask people, “Do you know what I do? Tell me what you think I do.” I did a challenge on this last year when I taught this topic. I had people actually create social media posts asking their audience, “Hey, tell me what do you think it is that I do? Who do you think I work with? Who are my ideal clients?”
I’ve had clients tell me, “Oh, yeah, everyone knows what you do.” And then I asked them, “Would your kids be able to send you business?” I had a commercial leasing attorney, and she would tell her kids that she worked in real estate. When I think you work in real estate, I think you’re a realtor. Right? Or a real estate investor. I don’t think you’re a commercial leasing attorney.
She also wanted to specialize in commercial leasing for restaurants or food industry businesses. That’s a very specific thing, and you want to make sure people know that. If you do contract disputes, if you’re a commercial litigator, you want to make sure that people don’t just think that you go to court. I had a client like that, once.
She’s like, “Yeah, my brother would just tell people I go to court.” I’m like, “Yeah, criminal defense attorneys go to court, you don’t have anything to do with that.” Her brother was an entrepreneur so he was an ideal client, as were most of his friends.
We really need to make sure that people you know, they can be out in the world, like your little minions, helping you. Referring people to you. If people are referring you non-ideal clients, that’s just an opportunity to clear that up. Again, keep it simple and specific.
You want to make sure you are clear on how exactly you will do this. So, you’re going to tell people in person, conversations in person. I bring my identity with me, absolutely, everywhere I go. I eat out by myself a lot. Every bartender that I meet knows that I’m a life coach for lawyers. And they also know that I host in-person personal development retreats. I mentioned it every chance I get.
If I go out, leave my house today, and people compliment me that I have a nice dress on… They go, “You look really nice.” I’d be like, “Oh, I taught a webinar today.” They’re like, “Oh, on what?” “I actually teach people how to develop business. I’m a life coach for lawyers. So, I talk about all things; professional and personal. One of those topics that I cover is business development. So, I taught a training on that.”
I tell everyone what I do. I bring it with me everywhere I go. If you are sitting next to me in a restaurant, you’re going to hear about it. If we’re on a tour together in Italy, you’re going to hear about it. I tell absolutely everyone.
Social media posts are another way. In your own social media posts, you’re going to tell people what you do by walking them through examples of problems you solve; more on that in a second. You’re also going to comment on other people’s posts.
One of my dear friends, Shari Belitz, she’s a trial consultant and she loves to use the phrase “comments or content, comments or content.” It doesn’t always make sense to talk about what you do on another person’s post, but if it does… So, if someone was talking about jury selection, that is a perfect opportunity for Shari to talk about what she does. Then you’re also going to tell people on connection calls, what you do.
Again, we’re just building out that blueprint, you want to be really clear about what it is that you’re doing for each of these five steps.
Step four, add value ahead of time. That is a very industry entrepreneurship/coachy term or phrase. It just means giving away free information that is valuable, before people have paid you. The goal is to give away so much free value that it actually makes you uncomfortable.
“Caveat, don’t link out to your website in the comments.” No, that’s so awful. “How much content do you suggest putting out on social media? How long should a post be? For instance, should it refer back to a blog link? And can a post read like an email?”
Most of my posts read like an email. If you follow my social media content, I have a specific cadence to my posts. Shorter posts are easier to read. But mine are lengthy and I’ve just accepted that. I don’t think there’s a right answer there. My rule is at least four times a week, that you should be posting on social media. But we’re going to talk about that in a second; deciding the frequency that you can actually commit to.
For some people, that’s only once a week. If that’s what you can do, fine. This is my full-time gig, so I make sure that I do it at least four times a week, and then only one post a day. “Do posts have to be written?” Nope. You can do videos, reels, TikToks, stories. I do an Ask Me Anything series on Instagram that is very, very popular, that I put a ton of time into on the weekends.
“Can you refer back to a blog link?” You can, I don’t love that. I don’t think people want to leave the platform. So, I’m always thinking about where’s someone’s attention. “For lawyers, any caveats on free value, but not giving legal advice that creates attorney/client relationship claims?” Yes. Just put a disclaimer at the bottom that says ‘this is not legal advice.’
I think people get in their own heads and don’t mark it because they’re afraid of being in a realm that constitutes legal advice. And I think the real issue, I’m not an attorney grievance person so you can run it by someone, I think they’re going to be overly cautious and tell you not to do things that would make you a lot of money. So, you have to determine your own risk tolerance there.
“The platform doesn’t like you leaving the platform, so the algorithm doesn’t favor that.” Exactly. The algorithm doesn’t favor you linking back to something else. Whether it’s your website… I have to do it, because I can’t get you here unless I drop a link, right? So, I’m willing to take the hit. But I do take that into consideration. That if I am bringing it back to something else, that I’m going to be dinged by whatever platform that I’m on.
“As a creator, it is really frustrating when a comment hijacks your post anywhere outside of the platform.” Yeah, I just don’t recommend doing that, don’t drop links to other people’s stuff. “We have to, of course. Just judicially.” Yeah. “The platform doesn’t like you leaving,” yes. “Just judicially, about the links.” Exactly.
So, you’re wanting to give away so much value that it makes you uncomfortable. I like this to be as closely tied to what you do as possible. Again, you’re going to focus on consistency: What’s the amount of value you can commit to providing, consistently? Don’t take on more than you can maintain.
I heard someone say this on social media earlier this week, and I thought it was so, so good. They said if you have to ask “when,” your brain starts to ask “if.” The context that I heard it in was, if you host a weekly meeting but you cancel the meeting a lot, your team members, rather than being like, “When is the meeting?” they’re going to start to ask, “Are we holding the meeting? Do we have a meeting this week? Are you sure you want to do that?”
They wonder if we’re going to do it, not when we’re going to do it. I think the same exact thing is true with the value you add; whatever you can commit to. I have a client right now, and she wants to do more than one webinar a month. That is a grueling pace. I know, because I do a webinar a month. I also do a weekly podcast. That’s one of the ways that I give value ahead of time. That weekly consistency, on top of the other stuff that I do, is intense.
So, I’m very cautious about what I commit to, because I make the deal with myself that I’m going to maintain that frequency consistently.
What’s the purpose of getting value out of time? A couple different things. Number one, you want to position yourself as an expert. The way that you do that is by giving valuable information away for free to your potential clients.
You also want to show what you do instead of tell them. So, when you use my social media framework, or you can use the framework for trainings like this, but it shows people what you do because you talk about the specific problems. You’re giving them an example of seeing you in action.
It also helps build “know, like, trust”; people need to know you, like you, and trust you, in order to work with you. So, we want to increase your “know, like, trust” factor over time. Most people have to see your stuff. The new statistic is 21 times, before they work with you. So, be thinking about that. How can you put yourself out there in a way that allows people to interact with you and see your expertise 21 times?
And, you’re nurturing people. This is, again, why I love virtual connections, rather than just doing stuff in person. Because if you meet someone at a networking event, you probably lose them unless you drive them to connect with you on social media. When I meet people, I don’t give out business cards anymore. I just want them to follow me on LinkedIn or Instagram. Because I want them to be nurtured by my content continuously, so then when I make an offer to work with me, they can opt into it.
Be thinking about that, that funnel that brings people to you. If you meet someone out in the real world, out in the wild, how are we continuing to nurture them?
Here are some examples of adding value. You do not have to do all of these. You can do all of these, if you have the time and availability to do all of them. I gave some examples of things that are related to the stuff that you do for work. And then, some other examples of the ways that we add value ahead of time as well. So, social media posts, webinars, podcasts, either hosting your own podcast or being a guest, you can host an event or a panel discussion. It’s a great way.
Actually, this is for Joshua, if you want to engage with GCs or C-suite people, and you want to do it in a way that’s not pushy, desperate, or graspy, host panel discussions. Reach out to them and invite them to be a speaker at it, it will give you a way to add value to them. Because it gives them a platform, it makes them look important. That’s a great way to engage and interact with those people without it coming off pushy or desperate.
Speaking engagements, reaching out to places, or just being asked to speak, writing articles. I don’t love that, because people have to know about the articles. I think you’re better just putting that time and attention into social media posts. But I have had clients write articles that end up getting quoted by the Supreme Court, or other really huge publications. So, if done well, it can really move the dial.
Introducing people to one another. That’s a little less related to what it is that you do, but it’s a way that we can add value. A newsletter kind of goes up here more; about the content that you would create, telling people what you do, adding value ahead of time. Engaging with other people’s content.
“Social media is a game of reciprocity.” Yes, great point, Jen. You can post the articles that you’ve written to social media, I suggest doing that. I also think because writing articles is such a time commitment, get several posts out of one article and link back to it.
“Engaging with other people’s content,” this is a massive way to add value to other people, okay? If we are on social media, we are not there just to have fun, more than likely. If there is a content creator in your life, they would love your engagement. If you’re a content creator, you would love other people’s engagement; likes and comments. Comments, especially.
Likes aren’t good enough; you want to do more than that. So, you want to comment on other people’s posts, it’s a very valuable commodity. People will be very grateful, and they will be likely to reciprocate. And then, referring business to other people, that’s a great way to add value.
Doing some kind of favor. One of the things that I do all the time, I add value by teaching people recipes on Instagram. It’s just something that I cook and people ask me, “Hey, do you have the recipe for that?” And I’ll send it to them.
If you are heading to Italy anytime soon, you probably know that I will send you a long list of restaurant recommendations as well. So, that’s another way that I add value.
“Yes, there can be overlap back to social media posts with many of these,” totally, yes. Again, you don’t have to pick all of these, I want you to pick what you can commit to. And you want to be answering the question: What am I going to do, and how frequently?
If you’re doing panel discussions, do four per year. That’s not crazy overkill. You can schedule the dates right now, make sure you’ve got it set up, and then come up with your protocol for reaching out to people. If you do webinars, you can come up with your schedule right now for the rest of the year. Do you do them quarterly or monthly? I wouldn’t suggest more than monthly because you have to actually promote them to get people there.
Do you do a weekly newsletter, a monthly newsletter? How often do you engage with people’s content? The answer to that should be daily, but how much of it do you do? How many posts do you comment on? How frequently do you do a podcast? How many speaking engagements do you want to do throughout the year?
You want to be answering these questions. What are you doing? Make your list. And then, how frequently are you doing it?
Last step, step five, making offers when it makes sense. Once you’ve given value, you’re going to make an offer. What I want you to be sure that you don’t do, don’t assume that people know you’re open for business, okay? And, that they know how to reach out to you, to take you up on the opportunity to work with you. They don’t know what the next step to work with you is.
Don’t make them go to your law firm website and track down your email address or your phone number. Don’t make them do that. “Don’t make them leave the platform.” It can be hyperlinks to email you; all the better. Or hyperlinks to call you, or a link to book a call. I use an electronic scheduler. I know a lot of big firms don’t let you implement that type of technology. Figure out, do you want someone to just DM you? Tell them to DM you.
Pick one way that you want people to reach out and streamline it all through that. But don’t assume that people know you’re open for business. There’s an incredible content creator on LinkedIn. I absolutely love her posts, they’re so valuable.
“Is a webinar weekly, too much?” If it’s a different topic, yes. I would say, if you’re running a webinar weekly to cold traffic through Facebook ads, that’s not too much. I have friends who do that quite effectively. But I think if you’re coming up with a different topic, you’re not marketing it sufficiently enough to your audience to get them there, if you’re doing it once a week.
So, this content creator, she has this incredible content and she never makes an offer. Based on who her audience is, my guess is, they probably just think that she likes to write content for LinkedIn. That it’s her hobby, and that she just enjoys sharing her wisdom. They would never know that she’s open for business, because she doesn’t tell people that she works with people and that they can hire her for this service.
Don’t make people guess. Don’t assume that they know. You want to expressly tell them that you can help them with these problems, that you help them solve, and then tell them what to do next; DM me, email me, call me, book a call here, register for this webinar.
Be very specific. Make sure it’s consensual. You’re not sliding into their DMs offering them something that they haven’t asked you for. “How often do you tell them?” At the end of everything you do. If you’ve delivered value, you make an offer. So, with every single post you have a call to action. At the end of every training you do, you make a call to action to work with you.
Keep it consensual. So, you’re not sliding into their DMs, you’re letting them opt in on a public platform. So, always be making those public offers; you make them every time that you give value. Then, if it feels gross to you… my clients, especially attorneys, hate doing this. They just want people to figure out that they are in business, like surreptitiously.
So, gag-and-go through the discomfort. You’re going to feel gross at first, probably awkward. “I love your expressions. Gag-and-go.” I know, it’s catchy. But you’ve just got to be like, “Yeah, I feel desperate. I feel pathetic. I feel stupid. I feel salesy. I feel embarrassed.” And then, feel those feelings and make the offer anyways. “Everyone loves when she says that, right?” It’s just so fun.
The structure of a social media post. You can use the same structure for webinars, podcasts episodes, things like that. But I like to focus on a specific problem. So, I call this a “Tuesday at 1pm problem,” okay? Paint them a picture. Get them to turn into Martin Scorsese in their head, with the little video tape rolling. You want them to be able to see it in their mind’s eye.
So, talk about a specific problem. What is happening in their life, on Tuesday at 1pm? So, for my people who work with GCs. I have a client right now; she does product liability stuff. So, if your ideal client would be a GC, they just learned of a defect in a product. What do you do?
I would paint that specific picture. You just found out that the fasteners on this type of product are breaking down or eroding, they’re not working, and you don’t know what to do. Should you raise alarms? Do you have enough information? Do you need more information? Even with just this example of product liability issue, you’d be able to come up with probably 30 different topics or 30 different posts.
But talk about a very specific problem. “A good example of this would be my product’s liability client. We were just talking about this. She’s like, ‘Yeah, in-house legal departments shouldn’t use the term “defect” in an email.’” That is a very specific problem. This is a great example. The more specific you get, the easier this post is going to be to write.
So, you’re dealing with a product liability issue, one of your assistant GCs used “defect” in an email. Why is it a problem? Well, now you just opened yourself up; that’s a buzzword for litigation. So, did you just expose yourself to liability?
What causes this problem? That they used this word for training, or incomplete training, on what types of language to use in internal documents. What’s the solution? You bring me in to do a comprehensive training for your team on how to avoid creating bad documents; which words to use, which words to make sure you never use, how to handle something when a word has been used. There’s going to be specific solutions. Make sure you’ve taught them something valuable.
This is just like a checkbox: Did I teach them something valuable that they can use on their own? Or that they could use, if you’re working, if you’re a lawyer, that they could take to their other current counsel, and use right now?
I know that’s going to make you feel really gross, that you’re giving away that much value ahead of time. But that’s how they’re going to “know, like, and trust” you and believe that you’re an expert. They should be able to use it themselves, or go take it to their current attorney and be able to run with it.
So, specific problem, explain why it’s a problem, explain what causes it, explain the specific solution to the problem, make sure you’ve taught them something that they can use immediately. And then, at the very end, say, “If you have this problem, I can help you,” and then tell them what to do: DM me, book a call, email me, call me on the phone; whatever. That’s the structure of a social media post.
You can also do this with trainings. Specific problem: You don’t know how to develop business. What’s the specific? Why is it a problem? Because you don’t have agency and autonomy, and you don’t hit your business development goals, you become reliant on other people. What causes it? Not knowing, never learning; I teach that all the time. We’re bad at this because no one ever teaches us. What’s the specific solution? You’ve got to learn what are the five steps to take.
On a social media post, I would teach you what those are… or like today, in this training, I’m teaching you what those are… I’m giving you stuff you can implement immediately. And then, at the end of this, at the end of my social media post, I say, “If you would like my help with this, if you want help developing business, I can help you. Work with me this way.”
Those are the five steps: Know your offer, meet people, tell them what you do, add value ahead of time, make offers to help.
You can spend time, if you haven’t been doing this while I’ve been walking you through it, go through today and just write out a rough draft of this blueprint. Start working it. Don’t perfect it, don’t schedule it for next week. Just do it today. All right? This gets to be easy if you let it be easy.
Those are the five main actions that you need to take. Here are the five core beliefs that you need to have. For each one of these, what I want you to do, I want you to rate your belief, on a scale of 1-10, in each of these statements. Then, you’re going to work moving forward on building your belief up. Okay?
“I can help people.” You have to believe you can help people in order to show up powerfully, to give away information that people find valuable, to entice people, to draw them in to come work with you. So, rate your belief in that on a scale of 1-10.
Then, in order to build your belief: What evidence do you have to support this? You can actually create a note in your phone with each one of these things. And then, day in day out, you can just keep adding to it.
Second belief you need to have: My services are valuable. “Services,” this is different than “I”; that’s about what you can do, what you’re capable of. Your “services” is slightly different. So, if you’re a criminal defense attorney, “I believe that people should hire me, because my services help them stay out of jail.” Versus, they can just represent themselves.
Or if you do trusts in the state’s work, “I believe having a trust and a will and power of attorney, and all those documents, that that’s very valuable.” Rather than people not needing it and everything just going through probate. Trademarking something, if you’re a trademark attorney. Why are your services valuable?
Again, what evidence, or why is this true? You’re going to answer that in as many ways as you can.
“People want to and can afford to work with me.” One of my favorite thoughts is, “People always have money for the things that are important to them.” That might help you build belief in this. You can start to find evidence that that is true. “People want to, and can afford to work with me.”
This is the big one. I think this is probably out of all of them the most important one, “My results are within my control.” AKA you need to believe in the thought, “I create money. I create clients.” I never believed that when I was getting started.
When I was getting started, I didn’t believe that thought. One of my coaches tried to get me to believe that, to try that on, but it just didn’t feel accessible for me. It wasn’t until I started this business. Before I was making any money with my own clients, I decided I didn’t want to go work at another law firm.
I was really burned out from having been in big law, and then having gone back to the criminal defense firm that I was at. I just wanted to focus all of my effort and attention on this business. So, rather than going to get another law firm job, what I chose to do was sell my stuff on eBay. I sold my jewelry on eBay. And guess what? It made me money. eBay has this fun little cash register noise where, when you make a sale, it goes off and you created money; there’s money in your account.
When I finally sold stuff for the first time, I learned that I do, in fact, create money. So, the cash register machine on my phone went off, and I realized that if you believe that someone wants what you have to offer, and you take the requisite steps to make that offer available to them, which I did by taking photos of my stuff, posting it on eBay, listing it, and pricing it in a way that they would want to buy it for that price, that they would think it’s valuable and you can create money.
When I started to see evidence that I could create money in other ways, I started to see that I could create it in my own business too. By believing that I can help people, that my services are valuable, that my services help my clients get the results that they want, that people want to work with me and can afford to work with me.
Then, you take steps 1-5: Pick your offer, meet people, tell them what you do, add value, make offers; with these beliefs. And when you do that, you create your results. You make the requisite moves to create those opportunities to make money. Ultimately, if you do that for a long enough period of time, consistently, you will make money.
The last thought that I love people to practice… This is the most important part of my job. This is the most important part of my day. I start every day with business development. It is the first thing I do every morning. “What you lead with, grows.”
So, if you prioritize doing other people’s work over business development, you’re going to keep getting more work from other people. If you prioritize business development, you’re going to create more business.
These are the five core beliefs. You get to answer the question, what evidence do I have to support this belief, every single day. And, just keep adding to these lists over and over and over again.
Last but not least, I’m going to quickly run through some common mistakes that people should avoid. Number one, making assumptions. Don’t make assumptions that people know what you do, that they know how to work with you, that they know you’re open for business. Don’t make assumptions.
Explain even what feels obvious to you. Overkill. You know your business intimately, inside and out, other people don’t. So, don’t make assumptions that they know what you do, they know that you’re looking for clients.
I just had someone tell me the story where she reached out to someone, and she was like, “Hey, if you know anyone that you could refer to me, I’d really appreciate it.” And the person who she said that to was like, “Oh, do you need clients? I thought you were full.” So, never make assumptions.
Being too broad. We talked about this earlier, with knowing your offer. The broader you are the harder you make your job. So, you want to get more specific, it makes everything else you do easier.
Being impatient, right? People will get impatient and they’ll quit because they don’t give themselves a long enough chance to let what they’re doing work. Stay the course. I suggest do something for six months consistently.
Which brings me to the next mistake, being inconsistent. You’ve really got to make sure that you master showing up consistently. I think being consistent beats being good every day of the week, and twice on Sunday.
If you struggle with consistency, make sure you’re getting yourself the support you need to work through that. You want to understand why you’re inconsistent. It’s caused by a negative thought you’re thinking and a negative feeling you’re unwilling to feel. In order to fix your consistency problem you’ve got to be able to change your thoughts and allow yourself to experience those negative emotions.
That’s the sweet sauce, the secret sauce, of what I teach my clients to do. If you struggle with consistency, reach out to me. Let’s talk about it.
Making too many changes all at once. When you change too many things all at once you don’t create reliable data. Think about an experiment. You haven’t isolated a control variable so you don’t know what is working. And when you change too many things all at once people get confused.
So, if you’re going to change something after you’ve waited six months of implementing, and you’ve given things a chance to work, make one change based on a data-driven decision. You’ve seen something not work, so you’re going to try something else again for another six months.
Taking on too much. If you take on too much you over commit yourself. You’re not going to be able to be consistent because you’re going to be overwhelmed. I’d much rather have you be underwhelmed by what you can commit to, and actually stick to that schedule and honor it.
Speaking to the wrong people. I see a lot of my lawyers do this, especially on LinkedIn. They speak to their peers, not their ideal clients. So, if your ideal client is a business owner, do not write your content like it’s a law review article. Don’t write to other attorneys. Write to the business owners. Talk to them in the way that they would understand. Don’t use industry-speak.
I always like to pick someone in my life who is smart, but doesn’t use the industry terminology. So, my dad’s the business owner. For a lot of my clients, he’s an ideal person to use as a litmus test. Would he understand this or would it be too confusing? Would it be too much legalese for him?
Withholding the value. People do this because they’re afraid to give out too much for free, because they think, “Who’s going to pay me to work with me if I give away all the stuff?” Trust me, people will pay you to work with you even when you give them all this stuff. Because they want your support, they want your hand holding, they want your expertise, they trust you. There’s so much more to learn, even in addition to what you give away.
“I think I get hung up on thinking that other coaches are judging my content when reading it. I also struggle thinking, ‘People already know this.’” Exactly. This is what I mean. Don’t make assumptions that people already know this, they don’t.
I always like to include, “Some people might already know this, but not everyone.” You’re always speaking to the “some people” who want what it is you’re talking about. “Some people might think this is stupid,” was one of the thoughts that really helped me in the beginning move forward. I kept telling myself, “People will think this is stupid. People will think I’m stupid. People will think coaching is lame.” Even over time, I couldn’t coach myself out of that thought; I deeply believed that some people would think that.
So, instead of convincing myself that some people didn’t think that, I switched the sentence from ‘people will think this, to ‘some people will think this’ and ‘some people will think what I teach is awesome.’ It was my job to speak to the people who thought what I was doing was awesome. So, that “some” really helps.
Some people might judge your stuff, but I think most people are just worried about their own content. But if that helps you move forward, rather than gaslighting yourself that someone’s thinking a negative thought about your content, run with it.
Mistake number nine, not making offers. We talked about this earlier. You’ve got to tell people what to do to work with you.
Results entitlement. I see this very commonly with my clients. They think they shouldn’t have to do any of the stuff we talked about today, in order to develop business.
“Offer with every post,” yes, every single post. An offer for something; sign up for my email list, book a consult call with me, come to my webinar, do this, do that, do this. Offer with every post.
Results entitlement. “I shouldn’t have to do this stuff in order to develop business. Clients should just come to me. I’m good enough at what I do, I shouldn’t have to put in this much effort. This is unfair. Other people don’t have to work this hard.” Number one, yes, they do. Number two, don’t worry about other people. This is just you against you. Okay?
But you can’t feel entitled to getting results without putting in the work. I call my clients out on this all the time. I do everything we’ve talked about today. I still do all of that.
I still spend at least an hour, normally two hours a day, commenting on other people’s social media posts. I still send 100 connection requests a week on LinkedIn. I still find people through hashtags on Instagram, or I track down accounts that they follow and reach out and connect with them. I comment on their social media posts. I tell them their dog’s cute.
I teach them stuff about time management. I complement the dress that they have on. I still spend my time doing that. I don’t think that I’m too good for it. I still do a webinar once a month. I know a lot of people who get to a certain level of success and stop doing what’s working. Don’t do that. We call that “success intolerance.” Don’t get entitled to results. Stay humble, stay hungry.
Comfort entitlement’s another one. Comfort entitlement is where you want this to feel good, and because it doesn’t feel good, because it doesn’t feel comfortable… Thank you, Catherine… Because it doesn’t feel comfortable, you make that a problem and you don’t move forward. You don’t take action.
You’re like, “I don’t want to feel dread. I don’t want to feel exposed. I don’t want to feel embarrassed. I don’t want to do it tired. I don’t want to do it confused. I don’t want to do it while I feel overwhelmed. This isn’t fun.” Yeah, a lot of the stuff that gets you the results you want in life isn’t going to always be fun. If you wait for it to be fun, you’re going to be waiting a long time.
You’ve got to get out of your discomfort avoidance, your comfort entitlement, embrace the discomfort, gag-and-go through it, okay? It’s going to feel uncomfortable. You want to know what’s comfortable? Money. Having money that comes from doing the stuff. Hitting your origination goals. Hitting your income goals. “Being able to afford all that you want out of life.”
I have a really good friend, she uses the phrase, “Life is bought.” I love that, I think it’s really bold. And I think most people take offense to that comment, because they say, “The best things in life are free.”
I’m like, “I don’t know. Black-car service isn’t free, and it’s lovely. So is flying first class. So are five-star hotels.” Not that it needs to all be about the experiences or what you can buy with money. You know what’s fun? Freedom, leverage, input, a seat at the table, being able to hire people to do things that you hate doing.
I think I never want to make another bed for as long as I live. I just hate doing it. It’s not enjoyable. It’s hard for my nails because my nails are long; lifting up the mattress. I just want to hire all that stuff out.
There’s going to be discomfort both ways, and not hitting your income goals and in doing the things required to hit your income goals. I highly suggest you get over your comfort entitlement and embrace the discomfort that comes with developing business.
This is a big one, especially for my lawyers who don’t always love what they do. They try to develop business when they hate what they do. This will not work. Okay? “It just doesn’t. The universe knows.” So, you’ve got two options, either switch to doing something that you actually enjoy; and don’t change it again, stick with it. Or get yourself to the point where you actually do enjoy what it is that you like to do.
But if you’re going to work with someone and you hate what you do, you’re going to have to start there first, otherwise it’s a waste of time. I’ve watched several of my clients, and through our work I discovered that they hate what they do, never make money with business development because they don’t want the work, because they don’t enjoy doing it. If you don’t want more work, the universe keeps score; it knows.
Buying into limiting beliefs like, “I’m too old for this. I missed the boat. I should have done this a long time ago. I’m too old. this won’t work. I’m not good at this. I don’t have the X-factor. I’m not pretty enough. I’m not smart enough. I don’t have enough new ideas. I’m not a thought leader.” Whatever your limiting beliefs are about yourself or what’s possible, you’ve got to clean those up.
We clean them up through coaching. So, if you’ve got a lot of those going on, and you know they’re holding you back, again, think about how you’re going to support yourself this year to overcome and dismantle those limiting beliefs.
Another belief that doesn’t serve people is believing that the business you’ve already developed was a fluke. It’s never a fluke, it always goes through those five steps. You picked an offer, you met people, you told them what you did.
Normally, that can be enough. I think you moved the odds in your favor when you add value ahead of time and make offers. But you can always force it through that formula. I highly recommend you force it through that formula. Every dollar you’ve ever made, every client you’ve ever gotten, was because you went through those steps.
If you force it through, you’re going to reinforce that idea that it is within your control to create clients and to create money. So, pump it through that equation so you can see how ‘when I take this action, with these requisite beliefs, then I create clients. It’s within my control.’
And last but not least, the biggest mistake people make is not prioritizing business development. Single handedly, it is the thing that allows people to have the most freedom in their lives, whether you work for yourself or you work for other people, if you prioritize this. There’s a concept called “the one thing.” This, for so many people, is the one thing that makes all the difference in the world. By having enough demand, by hitting the income that you want to hit, by being able to feel secure in what you do, and what you have coming in, and what will come in in the future.
I have the most consistent business because I designed my business that way. At the beginning of every year, I typically know what I’m going to make. I know what I make each month, it doesn’t fluctuate. It’s very consistently a certain number. I’ve designed my business to be that way. I show up consistently when I’m developing business, with all the actions that we talked about that are in my business development blueprint, in order to create a very consistent result.
I do not believe working for yourself or business development is outside of my control, that it’s inconsistent, that it’s unpredictable. I don’t believe those things. I believe the opposite, so I create the opposite. I create that consistent, reliable income.
If that’s something that you want to do this year, I want you to be really honest with yourself. Do you have the support necessary to hit your income goals? To learn how to do this? To take action and then evaluate? I teach a concept called “Act-Audit-Adapt.”
So, take what I taught you today, and then to have support along the way, to tweak things. What’s working? What’s not working? Do you have support of fleshing out specifically what you want to be in your blueprint? Or the support to build your core beliefs in what it is that you want to do?
If you don’t have that support, what I want to do is invite you to come work with me. I am hosting an in-person personal development retreat, called The Obsessed Retreat. The Obsessed Retreat kicks off with three and a half days, in person. Most of the people there have business development goals, not everyone. But a lot of people are going to be working on the exact same things; hitting the income that they want to hit this year. Developing the business that they want to develop this year.
We’re going to talk about, day one, the problems that you’re facing that are keeping you stuck. We’re going to talk, day two, about developing the skills you need to hit and achieve the goals you want to achieve. So, developing discipline, practicing constraint, and making decisions as it relates to business development. Then, day three, we’re going to make very specific game plans for what you’re going to do this year, in order to make the results you want to create inevitable.
Then, we have this incredible farewell dinner, where we celebrate all that we’ve accomplished in person. Then you return home and you get back to work.
And I’m going to continue to support you in that capacity, as well. When you sign up for The Obsessed Retreat, you get lifetime access to monthly coaching calls. We’ll meet once a month, and you’ll be able to work through all your business development questions. If you encounter obstacles in that game plan that we created together, you’ll be able to get coached on it live, by me.
You’ll also get access to a member portal, which will have the event recording replays, additional course content, a community platform where you can engage with other people and stay connected with the other people in the group.
And then, you can also submit things for coaching or feedback from me. So, if you want help with a social media post, and you want my feedback on it, you can post it in that group. If you want to flesh out an idea for a webinar, because that’s one of the ways that you want to add value ahead of time, I can help you with that. I’m going to hold your hand every step of the way. You’re going to have all the support that you need.
I dropped the link for The Obsessed Retreat waitlist; I’m getting ready to open enrollment. It’s going to be the last time that you can join before the event in March. The event is March 20th – 23rd. And like I said, we’ll be meeting monthly thereafter.
The cost to attend the retreat, including the lifetime access to those monthly coaching calls, is $4,000. You can pay that in one payment, in full, or in two payments of $2,000.
All right, if you have additional questions, stay tuned. I’m going to be hosting a specific Q&A for The Obsessed Retreat in the beginning of February. But if you already know, “This is exactly what I need this year. It’s going to move the dial on me hitting these goals and developing the business that I want to develop,” sign up for the waitlist right now. You’ll be the first to find out when doors open for The Obsessed Retreat.
I can’t wait to see you in South Beach, if you decide to join me. Alright, my friends, have a beautiful weekend… You’re so welcome. I’m glad you guys found this valuable… Have a beautiful weekend, and I will see you all at the next masterclass.
“I’m so excited to see you in Miami.” Yes, Jessica, I can’t wait. See you soon. Bye, my love.
Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.