≡ Menu

Practice Better. Be Enchanting.

Learn How to be Enchanting to:

  • Get the best clients
  • Build a profitable practice
  • Achieve perfect work-life balance
  • Create a vibrant community of raving fans who happily
    spread the word about you and your services!

Listen to this Post

An email inbox is like a dog on a leash; sometimes you wonder who is the master. Training yourself to handle email efficiently can be like teaching a dog to behave — it requires discipline, but the results are worth it.Getting organized is especially essential if you are a solo practitioner and can’t delegate any of your email to an assistant. So instead of letting your inbox tug you this way and that, it’s essential to develop an email management plan. Unlike a dog on a leash, your email shouldn’t sit, stay and litter your work life. Here are some doggone good ideas for getting the contents of your inbox moving quickly in the right direction.

Clearing and Organizing
Sorting through an endless accumulation of email can be as appealing as tidying up after Rover in the backyard following a month of egregious neglect. But email managementsomeone has to do it. Writing at Findlaw, Edward Tan suggests setting aside a weekend for major inbox cleanup. While reviewing your email queue, separate keepers (important work and private emails) from unnecessary stuff that needs to go into non-work files or the trash. Tan says to ponder folder categories as you sort. “Think about all the areas of law and work that you do and create files that reflect them,” Tan adds. One way to speed up this process, as noted by Kevin Daum of Inc., is to establish search or smart folders that allow your computer to help sort email. Check folders with non-vital emails only once a day, Daum says.

Following a Sorting Pattern

While sorting email, remember the mantra “OHIO,” which means “only handle it once” and encourages you not to procrastinate. In an article for Attorney at Work, Daniel Gold offers a pattern for considering options when sorting. It can be reduced to “DDDDI.” The choices are:

  • Do. Act timely. Why wait or delegate an email if it will take you less than two minutes to answer? Also, holding off on answering certain emails can cause the sender to become resentful or to send you a reminder.
  • Defer. Move items with due dates to your calendar. If your email program has a task manager, let it direct items without due dates but which require action to folders with titles such as Today, Tuesday and Someday (journal articles you want to read).
  • Delegate. Place tasks without due dates in folders for action within a reasonable period of time or, if possible, delegate them to an assistant. Remember to schedule review dates for making sure that tasks get done.
  • Delete. If a work email isn’t actionable or doesn’t contain necessary information for reference, toss it.
  • Incubate. Archive those important informational emails you know you’ll regret deleting.

Avoiding Unnecessary Email

If you discover that you have many emails from sources that you almost never read or need, clear them from your inbox by unsubscribing. Be brutal in what you toss or unsubscribe, but not foolhardy. When frustrated with a crowded inbox, don’t just click a button to trash it all. That won’t help you avoid the hoarding problem in the future. Also, consider some advice from Jeff Weiner, who regularly communicates with more than 4,300 employees as CEO at LinkedIn. Weiner says that his first rule for controlling the inbox is “to receive less mail, send less mail.” Unless an email is essential, Weiner says, don’t send it. Each email sent generates responses not only from the original recipients but also from anyone to whom they have copied the message. Those who receive copies may spread the word further to others who respond to the thread.

Establishing a Routine
You need an inbox routine — one or more periods of time during the day set aside for email action. At the American Bar Association blog, Laura A. Calloway suggests checking email no more than once every two hours so you can sustain focus on projects in-between.Calloway also suggests turning off “all sounds and visual indications that you have new mail” to avoid interruptions. Both Weiner and Tan try to limit email time to the beginning and end of workdays. Weiner notes that sticking to your routine is the best way to avoid email buildup and its “accompanying pressure.”

Finally, as I pointed out at the beginning of this article, inboxes share certain traits with dogs, and dogs love a regular schedule. You wouldn’t want your email to bite you for bad response times.

Retraining your self to manage your emails will increase productivity throughout your day and you will also be addressing the important content of your job or life. As we read “folders” for emails is a great inbox management tool. Have you taught “Fido the email dog” any new tricks that have worked to reduce email tail wagging? Feel free to send me an email and share your results.

Listen to this Post

To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

If you have a chance, I would really appreciate your feedback on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and its ranking on iTunes greatly! Meanwhile, enjoy the show!


“You have to build relationships with your audience…it’s not about you, it’s about serving them” – Kim Garst

Kim Garst is a self-taught social media expert. She has been named in the Forbes magazine top 10 women social media power influencers and her business, Social Boom is helping businesses use social media to grow and ultimately become more successful. Kim uses social media to create and nurture personal relationships in a business setting to increase customer engagement, a sense of community and turn this into business success.

 

kim

Boom Social

[click to continue…]

Create a Rockstar Social Media Team for Your Practice

social_media_team

Listen to this Post

Everyone is busy, especially lawyers. Between meeting with clients, trying cases and working to grow your business, you don’t always have time to snap photos for Instagram, write engaging tweets and respond to Facebook comments. That’s fine when it comes to your personal social media accounts. No one is likely to miss the photos of your cat or your check-in at your favorite restaurant. But, not being active on your professional social media accounts means missed opportunities and lost connections.

So, how do you squeeze social media into your busy workday?

The first step is to realize that you don’t have to do it alone. Just because it is your face in the profile picture doesn’t mean you need to be behind the keyboard for every post. You need a social media team.

But what does a team have that you don’t have?

A team has time: How long does it really take to write 140 characters? Not long, if you just do it once. But if you tweet several times a day plus post on Facebook, take and edit photos, chat with followers, and write a blog post, it all adds up to a big chunk of your day. Using a social media team spreads that time out, so it doesn’t add up too much for any team member.

A team has attention: Social media is two-sided conversation. You can’t post and run and expect your social media plan to be successful. Followers, and potential clients, will comment, ask questions, and expect a timely response. But, you can’t whip out your smart phone in a courtroom or meeting to post on Facebook. Using a social media team means that several people have eyes on your accounts, so there is always someone to step in and keep the conversation going.

A team has talent: When you started your practice you didn’t personally install the carpet in the building, design the logo or hook up the telephone system. Those things probably aren’t your talents, so you found the right people to handle them. A successful social media plan takes many different skills, from taking photographs, and shooting videos to writing meaningful content. Having a social media team means you are able to take advantage of everyone’s individual talents so the right person handles the right role.

A team has creativity: We’ve all been there. You know you need to post something, but you are just staring at the empty text box with your mind blank and the “submit” button taunting you. Staying active and enchanting on social media takes fresh ideas and sometimes you just don’t have them. But, a team has many different viewpoints so when you are drawing a blank someone else is ready with the next big idea. Plus, team members can work in collaboration, bounce ideas off each other, and take a half-formed idea to a whole one.

Where do you get this team?

Right now, using a team approach to social media is sounding pretty good. But, how do you get a social media team? You have two options. You can hire one, or you can build one. Plenty on marketing companies offer social media services in which they take over your accounts and communicate on your behalf. It’s a hands-off approach that can be very effective.

The other option is to build an in-house team. Pull a carefully selected group of coworkers and employees into your social media strategy and make them ambassadors of your brand. Creating a successful in-house team will take a well thought-out out set of policies, a plan that details who will fill what role, and training. It may take effort to put everything in place but the end result will be more robust social media interactions with the added benefit of employees that feel empowered and engaged.

Who is involved in your social media plan? Do you have someone on your team who leads your social media strategy? Share your comments below…

Listen to this Post

To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

If you have a chance, I would really appreciate your feedback on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and its ranking on iTunes greatly! Meanwhile, enjoy the show!


“You can convert [the things people share] into business results if you understand how to do it in a way that is not spammy.” – Dennis Yu

If social advertising tools, like Facebook Ads and Google Analytics, drive you insane, today’s guests, Alex Houg and Dennis Yu from BlitzMetrics, break it down in the simplest terms. Tune in to learn about how to send the right message at the right time, how to yield the highest conversion rate, and how to nurture relationships with clients online and translate them into ROI.

Let’s learn a little more about today’s guests:

AlexHougBioDennisYuBio

You can find them at BlitzMetrics.

[click to continue…]

6 Ways Your Marketing Will Fail

Listen to this Post

Online marketing can be a great way to build your law firm. That’s how I built mine. When you’re marketing online, email campaigns will be a big part of what you do. They can certainly help you quickly grow your business, but there’s a fine line between being useful and relevant and setting yourself up to fail. Here are six pitfalls that you must avoid:

Email_Organization

[click to continue…]