BE THAT LAWYER LIVE – Coaches Corner – Part 1 of 2

In this episode, Steve Fretzin, Gary Johnson, David Ackert, Steve Seckler, and Sharon Ve discuss:

  • Changes to make in marketing as we go into recession.
  • Planning for success in 2023.
  • Building a vetted, powerful, networking cohort.
  • Marketing versus business development (and why both are important).

Key Takeaways:

  • Double down on what you are really good at, what you like to do, and those relationships you already have built.
  • Anticipate your client’s needs and plan for the opportunities and things they need that you can help with.
  • When you’re planning, write down every idea – it doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be down. From there you can prune down the list and get to the heart of what is most important to your business practice.
  • Think about who you are having business meetings with. Some people are going to be better for networking than others.

“Look at the activities that you are really good at, and really thrive in. In a recessionary time, we need to double down on the things we are really good at because we’re going to be more effective in our business development when we do those things.” —  Gary Johnson

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Legalese Marketing:


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Connect with David Ackert:  




Connect with Steve Seckler:  




Connect with Sharon Ve:  



Email: [email protected]






Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.


Email: [email protected]

Book: Legal Business Development Isn’t Rocket Science and more!

YouTube: Steve Fretzin

Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.



lawyers, steve, people, clients, business, referral sources, marketing, practice, relationships, development, funnel, question, attorneys, legalese, recession, calls, good, add, activities, networking


Narrator, David Ackert, Gregory Eisenberg, Steve Fretzin, Steve Seckler



Look at the activities that you’re really good at, and what do you thrive in? Because when we focus on our strengths as opposed to, Oh, I gotta get better at this and I got I’m really bad at that. In a recessionary time we need to double down on the stuff that we’re very good at because we’re going to be more effective in our business development when we are doing that.


Narrator  [00:26]

You’re listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer Coach Steve Ritson will take a deeper dive, helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve, Brett said,


Steve Fretzin  [00:48]

Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. I am Steve frets and the host of the show, I hope that you’re having a wonderful day today. As always, this show is about helping you be that lawyer, someone who’s confident organized in a skilled Rainmaker, and guess what, we’re doing something a little bit different. Today, we’re doing a B, that lawyer live. So we’ve got an audience here in the wings that are going to be asking questions. And the goal of this show is to answer your toughest business development, marketing, etc, challenges in the legal space to make sure you walk away smarter, better, faster, stronger than you were before. And this is gonna be a two part series. This is part one. So you’re gonna want to check out our next episode after this one to catch part two, I want to just let everyone know that this is, you know, being in an industry like legal business development, marketing, etc. Or if you’re a lawyer in a specific practice area, you can get really defensive about competition, you know, who’s your competition? are they stealing business from you, and you don’t want to get to know them. And I want to share that, you know, I’ve got four coaches, legal coach is joining me today. And I’m friends with all these folks. I think they’re amazing. And I think there’s plenty of business for everybody. And I even try to send work their way when I can. And this is really an important thing to have an abundance mindset to really consider that whatever you’re doing practice areas, a lawyer, etc, that there’s plenty of work for everybody, we just have to consider, you know, you know, where we fit in who we get tight with and just not being greedy pig, if you don’t mind me saying, All right, let’s all there’s plenty of work for everybody. Alright, let’s have some fun today. I want to start off introducing and giving our sponsors a moment to just share a little bit about what they do. So we’re going to start with my friends over at mani pedi and we’ve got Stephanie, we’re Stephanie. You can unmute and okay, there’s no unmute button for you. Oh, there you go.



Thank you see. Hello, everybody.


Steve Fretzin  [02:41]

Thank you, Stephanie. Tell us a little bit about money. Penny. Sure.



So many Penny are the phone answering and live chat experts. We support law firms like yours to ensure that you’re always maximizing your time effectively whilst delivering an exceptional and personalized service to your clients. And our service is really simple. You Don’t divert your inbound calls to us and your Moneypenny receptionist and their small team will answer the calls, and then transfer to cell phones that office or wherever works for you. We also have the option to transfer calls to teams or platforms as well. We can answer calls all the time or just when your in house team are busy. The choice is yours. And we also do that with your web chats as well. So live chat is an awesome way to capture and convert more leads via your website. And it offers a discreet way for customers to communicate with you in real time. So that says in a nutshell,


Steve Fretzin  [03:29]

fantastic. And if you guys go to frets You might see someone pop up and that’s on my live chat that’s done through mani pedi. So thank you Moneypenny. Thank you, Stephanie.



Thank you.


Steve Fretzin  [03:38]

Yeah, we’re gonna move to my friends at practice Panther who we have here from practice Panther today. Hey, Steve. Hey, what’s up Libby?



Hey, having a great day. Happy Friday to everybody.


Steve Fretzin  [03:49]

Happy Friday. Tell us a little bit about practice Panther. What are you guys up to these days?



Absolutely. Well, first of all, thanks for having us all here. today. We’re excited to be part of this inaugural Coach’s Corner and really hear from some of the industry’s best and brightest. So as some many of you probably know, practice, Panther is the all in one practice management solution, trusted by 10s of 1000s of attorneys to manage and automate their firm efficiently. So our completely native feature set is packed with cutting edge functionality, allowing firms to streamline their intake, automate workflows, manage billing, Process payments, and interact with clients by a two way text and E signature without ever leaving the platform. So we’ve been longtime friends of Steve and we really want to help support law firms so they can easily accomplish their goals and focus on growing their practice. So why we’re offering a unique discount for all the listeners today. 50% off your first three months head over to practice That lawyer to learn more and to book a demo with one of our experienced practice management advisors.


Steve Fretzin  [04:50]

Fantastic thank you Libby. And thank you practice Panther for being great sponsor, and we’re gonna wrap up with legal ease and I’m assuming we’ve got Greg in the house.


Gregory Eisenberg  [04:59]

You got me You hear Steve? So thank you all for having me super excited for this event today. What we are really focused on at legalese is helping you maximize your CRM using your data. A lot of us have been prioritizing this past year and since the pandemic really collecting as much information as we can from clients during intake, and, you know, throughout the practice experience, however, what are we really doing with that information? How are we building deeper relationships, that’s really what we’re focused in on is maximizing those CRMs those automations to not only collect the right information, but utilize it the right way, and really deepen those relationships and referral sources. So thanks again for having us, Steve. We’re really excited to see how the event goes and participate and excited for the next ones to come.


Steve Fretzin  [05:50]

Yeah, thank you, Greg. And legalese. For those who have been listening to the show for a while, you know, and using legalese for a long time. So my newsletter, social media law, Maddix, and automation and all that stuff, the graphics, you see, legalese is responsible. So you know, just I can sleep well at night, knowing that they’re in my corner, making sure my marketing is singing while I’m sleeping. So good stuff there. Alright, guys, let’s see some more activity in the chat. Let’s get those questions going. So if you’re not adding a question to means you’ve got business development licks, you’re an assassin, you’ve got nothing else to that you have a question about? I can’t imagine that’s the case we all need to learn every day. So we’ve got a great question that was given to us by Scott, we’re going to start with but while we’re going through that, I really want to make sure that more questions are popping up. Otherwise, I’m just going to come up with what I hear on a daily basis, but I’d rather have you guys kick them out. Okay, so let’s get that going. Alright, the first question we want to talk about today is what changes should we make in our marketing strategies, if we’re if we’re already in or if we’re going into a recession? So that’s a question that we want to really tackle, because there might be some tweaking that we need to do in order to assure that we’re really in good shape going into this recession, which, again, I don’t know if we’re in it, if we are past it, if we’re it’s happening coming up. I’m listening to the news all the time trying to figure that out myself. But I think it’s hitting some lawyers maybe harder than others. And you know, maybe it’s the real estate lawyers and other groups that are are feeling it. But what do we have to say? Let’s talk to our panel about that. David, you want to start us off on this one and talk a little bit about what kind of changes we need to make going into that recession? Sure, Steve.


David Ackert  [07:23]

So quick intro, I’m David Acker. My company is called accurate. And we have a team of experienced coaches, we’ve been working in the industry for about 20 years now, we’ve also developed a product called pipeline plus, and it’s really for lawyers who’ve tried CRM, and it hasn’t worked for them. And they’re just looking for something super simple, a simple app that helps them keep their key clients prospects and referral sources top of mind, so happy to chat more about pipeline plus offline, as it pertains to the recession, you know, there are a couple of things that we’re seeing that I would really urge lawyers to keep in mind, as they’re thinking ahead on business development, you know, one would be for some, especially more corporate oriented practices, you’ve had a great couple of years, I wouldn’t necessarily rest on my laurels moving forward, because business development is going to be much more of a priority as we move into 2023. And we see that clients are more fee sensitive and a lot more picky about what they ultimately do in terms of hiring counsel, they’re also likely to have fewer demands in certain practice areas. So this really is the time to follow Steve’s advice, double down on business development, we connect with your top referral sources, we take these people for granted, right? We wait for the phone to ring because they’ve always sent us stuff in the past. But we’re not being proactive about sitting down with them, making sure that those relationships are really strong, and that we’re giving to them to motivate them to get back to us. And then finally, if you are on the corporate side of the house, and you have clients that can engage you for multiple service lines, this is the time to start exploring conversations with them about forecasting. So unique time of the year to do that, because it’s a timely question to say what are you anticipating in 2023? Are you anticipating a recession? Or are you going to have business needs that might shift you’re gonna have legal needs that you anticipate. So let’s have a conversation about that now, so that we can get in front of those problems. So that’s what I would recommend Steve. Yeah, that’s


Steve Fretzin  [09:19]

really good. Good sage advice there. Gary. Let’s hear about Gary Johnson. Let’s hear about you. And then we’ll have your response.



Gary Johnson, I am the co founder of LinkedIn for lawyers and j two marketing, which helps out attorneys build their book of business through increasing their confidence and getting them really strategic in their business development and marketing efforts. I hate the fact that I just raised my hand after David because I was thinking in my mind Fu Fu Fu David because you’re taking all the good stuff. So what David said is perfect.


Steve Fretzin  [09:59]

You got to think out Your feet, my man,



it is it is really important in regards to relationships. But the thing I would add on to what David said is look at the activities that you’re really good at, and what do you thrive in, because when we focus on our strengths, as opposed to, oh, I got to get better at this and I got, I’m really bad at that. In a recessionary time, we need to double down on the stuff that we’re very good at, because we’re going to be more effective in our business development when we are doing that. So for instance, if you’re great at networking, go out and do more networking. If you are really good at social media, then do that. But don’t try and learn a new skill per se, I would really just double down on the stuff that you’re great at. So that you’ve got to do it again and again. And again.


Steve Fretzin  [10:45]

Yeah, I think that’s really good advice. And I’m just going to add a couple of things that I think one of the most important things you can do is really consider the importance of the relationships you’ve already developed. I’m all about going after low hanging fruit. And so it’s not about no going out and meeting 1000 people right away to try to build up and protect yourself from, you know, next year, I think it’s about leveraging the relationships and the clients that you already have. And so there’s a lot less time and energy invested, when you can focus on the people that you’ve already developed and just understand that they’re already your friends, they already care about you, you’re doing great work for them. And can they refer you to another GC? Can they, you know, maybe do some cross marketing, where they bring in more business into your firm, other than the specific work that you do. So really try to consider how to leverage that type of focus. And I think you’re gonna find you can get, you know, get more out of it doing less work and less time invested. Okay,



yeah, on top of that, going deep with your relationships, don’t go wide, go deep. I have a few people, but really get to know them really well. And how can you give to them? Because they will give back to you?


Steve Fretzin  [11:54]

Yeah, that’s just credo of good networking and good client loyalty, is making sure that you’re you’re doing for them more than just the work. I think, some people would say, Hey, I’m a counselor than I am a lawyer. And I think that means that you’re not just practicing the law, you’re actually going beyond that in how you advise and how you add value to your clients. That’s all going to make things sticky. Going into 2023? For sure. All right, let’s move on to our second question. And I’d love to have Sharon V. Steve Sackler in on this one, if you guys are open to it, you know, no pressure. But this, this is going to be around planning, we talked a little bit a little bit about a pin a pending recession, whether we’re in it or not, we’re not sure. Maybe someone would say definitely in it. However, business keeps flowing. So let’s talk a little bit about planning. I think that’s a big part of how lawyers can be successful and 2023 is really reevaluating things for in 2022. And then creating a plan a written plan, I hope for 2023. So you know, share it, if you don’t mind, you know, introduce yourself, but also talk to what that might look like from your point of view.



Hey, everybody, happy Friday, good to have everybody here. So anybody knows lawyers who hate their lives and what they’re doing, I’m person to help them I help you discover, rediscover your superpowers. And practice from a place of passion and joy. It is my ultimate vision and mission to transform the way that we practice law so that we can practice from that place of passion and joy, which transfers onto those that we serve. And with that being said, think about, you know, everything that they said beforehand is great stuff. Just to add to that. What are your clients going through, especially those clients that love to serve like your ideal clients? Like? What are the things that they’re going to be dealing with, take some deep dives into anticipating their needs, because that’s one of the greatest superpowers that we have as attorneys is that we are have the ability to anticipate problems and address those needs. So in terms of planning, just really go deep on what you can do to help them and go from there.


Steve Fretzin  [13:59]

Yeah, that’s really, really good. Good idea, thinking about the clients and moving on from there. Steve Sackler, introduce yourself as a panelist and talk to this.


Steve Seckler  [14:08]

Yeah. Hi, Steve. First, I just want to say a tremendous thanks to Steve Fretts. And for organizing this. Steve is the embodiment of coopetition. I don’t know if anybody knows that word.


Steve Fretzin  [14:18]

That’s a nice. That’s a new one. coopetition Wow.


Steve Seckler  [14:21]

I stole it from somebody else.


Steve Fretzin  [14:22]

Oh, you did? You’re good. Okay. I still like


Steve Seckler  [14:25]

I have learned so much talking to Steve from listening to his podcast. And he’s been on my podcast. I’ve been on his podcast, and he’s had, I think almost all of us on his podcast. Anyway, I’m an attorney who’s devoted his entire career to helping lawyers advance their careers. I spent the first several years out of law school organizing hundreds of continuing legal education programs. And then I spent the next 23 years doing a mix of legal recruiting and coaching. And for the last two years, my focus has shifted entirely to coaching lawyers on how to stop acting like a lawyer. So they can grow their practice, increase their career satisfaction, or become more effective leaders. So I do do the marketing coaching. I also coach lawyers on their careers, and I coach them on leadership. In terms of planning, one of the things that you might want to be thinking about coming into the new year is what do you not want to be focusing on? All of us do a mix of work, all of us have clients that are profitable, all of us have clients that give us energy. All of us have clients that take energy away from us, and also are costing us money because we’re focusing too much energy on them, and we’re not getting the financial benefit. So I would add that in terms of planning for the coming year, and this is a great time of year to do that. Think about what you want to do less of.


Steve Fretzin  [15:47]

Yeah, so how would that impact your planning, if you’re helping a lawyer put together a plan, a written plan, you’re helping them set up for next year? Steve, what what would be some some things that you’d want include in that.


Steve Seckler  [15:58]

But I think the starting point in a plan is you got to get a lot of ideas out on the on paper, you know, and don’t don’t evaluate them. I think we as lawyers, have a tendency to be skeptical, risk averse, which does impact a lot of our non like when we’re practicing law, those are really great qualities, we want to be skeptical, we want to look at the risks that’s coming up and help advise our clients on that. And those are things that aren’t so great when we’re trying to think about our marketing and think strategically, we want to think about opportunity. But before we start getting to the plan itself, it’s fine to get everything out on paper. And I do think putting things down on paper, like you say, Steve, a written plan, but not a complex one, just a simple one, is a really good idea. And start off by just getting ideas out on the table. And then you could start pruning and trimming. And through that process, you’ll get to the essence of what’s the most important activities that will support building those areas of practice that you want to be focusing on, including what are the activities that are most authentic to you, and that you like doing, as Gary was saying, do the things that you like doing if you don’t like golf? Don’t play golf?


Steve Fretzin  [17:06]

Yeah, find your passion, find what you’re interested in, see if you can bring that into the mix. So I play a sport in Chicago in the Midwest east coast called Platform tennis otherwise known as Paddle Tennis, most people don’t know it. That’s a YouTube or Google its situation for most of you. But I’m on a team last night we played against another team private club. Well, who are the players I’m playing against? Who are the people I’m having beers with before and after the after the match. Many of them are CEOs, they’re lawyers, they’re people, you know, that are run businesses. They’re influencers. And so I’m finding myself networking, but also having a lot of fun, by the way, kicking some asses, yes. Which is my second favorite thing to do next to networking and getting to know lawyers. So I’m getting it all within something I’m passionate about. So it’s not work. I’m never thinking about it as work. I’m just meeting people asking questions, listening, it’s a lot of fun. So I think if you can find that. The other thing I’ll just add is that what I try to do is try to identify what the lawyer’s objective is, what are you trying to accomplish in 2023, number of new clients dollars, profit, whatever that might be breaking it down into the top two or three activities, and then breaking those down further into tactical actionable steps of how to accomplish those specific strategies. So those are things that I think are really, really helpful as far as like the macro and the micro look, in order to make it reasonable and easy to read. It’s like a two page plan. It doesn’t have to be anything, you know, super long, like an MBA 50 Page plan. So really good stuff. Gary, do you have something to add to this? Or do you want to move on to the next one? You good?



Oh, I do. But I think Sharon was before me.


Steve Fretzin  [18:40]

So Sharon, I’m sorry, Sharon, hit it up. And then we’ll go to Gary.



Oh, good. I was just going to add a quick interjection or addition to what Steve was saying is, give yourself also the confidence to speak with someone about these things that you’re laying out. Because there’s so much value in putting a voice to all these things and bouncing ideas off of someone you trust, because it can help you ferret out what really is more important to you and what’s not as important.


Steve Fretzin  [19:08]

Yeah, that’s it. It’s all about what’s important, and what’s going to actually move the needle, Gary?



Yeah, and you know, when we’re talking about planning, one of the things that I find most attorneys fail to do after the planning is actually track their activities track because we’re typically tracking just the results that we’re going to get. And that is a lagging indicator as opposed to a leading indicator and the activities are going to get you those results. So you should be tracking all the different activities that you are doing that are important to you.


Steve Fretzin  [19:40]

Yeah, no doubt and I think one of the things that and this is another question from the panel or from the chat box here from similar to what Justin put in the in the box, but one of the things that you all may be considering is networking. And one of the concerns that I hear lawyers talk about is alright, so I think I do I need to build my network. I need to get out there and and meet new people. Well, but where do I go? Where? How do I even get started identifying, you know where I should go? And who should I be networking with? And how do I do that without, you know wasting time or without, you know, ending up in the wrong place with the wrong people? So someone on our panel, David, do you want to address that a little bit? Sure.


David Ackert  [20:16]

I mean, there are a lot of organizations that have already been created. And some of those are ACG, if you’re more on the looking more to connect with people in the deal community or providers, if you’re looking to connect with people who are fellow referral sources focused on kind of a small middle market, and, you know, BNI, if you’re looking a little more further down market, I mean, there’s, there’s a lot of them out there. So if you’re not the kind of person who wants to reinvent the wheel, I would look into those established networking organizations, I will say that I’ve had a lot of success. And I’ve seen a lot of the lawyers that we’ve worked with have a great deal of success, if they have the kind of personality where they can create their own bespoke group. So the way that looks is you look into your network. And you say, okay, here are three or four established referral sources, these are people with whom I really get along, we have a good synergy, there’s good back and forth here. So it would be good if we just met on a regular basis, doing something we enjoy, like, maybe it’s tennis, or maybe we’re just getting a you know, a drink or a coffee, or whatever we’re into, you know, once a month. So we have that standing cadence, but then I’m going to ask each of them to bring a referral source. And obviously, I’m going to provide some parameters there, we don’t want to get too competitive. But let’s have them dip into their network and bring their top referrals or sin. And pretty soon, four turns into eight turns into 12. I mean, you can figure out how big you want this to be in the membership will be somewhat fluid. But that’s a really powerful cohort of people that are looking out for one another. And it’s vetted. Right, and you and these people are proven, and they’ve already kind of demonstrated that they understand the law of reciprocity, and that they’re able to contribute to the other people in the group. So that would be another direction I would recommend.


Steve Fretzin  [22:00]

Yeah, I love that. I love the idea of, you know, hey, you know, maybe there isn’t a group for me that I want to get into, maybe I’ll just start my own and handpick people. And, wow, that’s the powerful, and I’ve done that my whole career. And I think it’s brilliant. So because I did it, no, because it’s it’s a good idea to do if you want to, you know, set up your own shop. And I think also just thank you, Gary, for the left. I think also just the fact that you’re leading something, right? Like when you’re a president aboard, when you’re running a networking group, you get seen differently, you’re that you’re, you know, you’re the one that everybody’s looking to. And that also, I think, add some value from a standpoint of the perception. And also, you know, how you’re getting, you know, referrals put in place, Steve Sackler add something to this. Well, yeah,


Steve Seckler  [22:38]

yeah, I have a few comments about this, one of the jokes I may tell over and over again, to my clients is if you want to marry somebody Jewish, don’t hang out at a Catholic Singles dance. And what I mean by that is go where you think you’re going to meet the kinds of people you want to meet, who might be good clients, or good referral sources. So if you’re going to be going to lunch with somebody, and you have your choice between going out to lunch with a social worker, but your practice is corporate transactions, and you can go out with the investment banker, and you like both of them equally. Go out to lunch with the investment banker, although don’t look over the social worker, if you’d like them, but don’t think it’s a business meeting. Second thing is, if you join something, it’s a lot of this is trial and error, I joined providers, and if those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it’s a phenomenal group, phenomenal business networking group. There are chapters all over the country, I don’t know if we’re covering every of the air areas that all of you are from, but there are quite a few providers members on this call. And what’s great about it, it’s a very giving community, people are always trying to be helpful to each other, the big know, like trust refer, and we really make a big emphasis on getting to know and like each other and any of us on this panel can tell you more about that. But don’t be afraid to quit a group. So I won’t say which group it is. And I haven’t quit it yet. And they don’t know. But there’s a Bar Association group that I’m involved with. And they’re really nice people. And I really like what they do. And you know, I’m even aligned with the kinds of people that are in this group, I want to do work with them. And it’s just not the right group for me. And I’m probably going to take a step back from that. So don’t be afraid you have to do some trial and error when you are involved in, in deciding what groups to be involved with. And we as lawyers, we’re not good at quitting things. You know, we sort of think that we have to finish everything, and you don’t have to finish everything. And then finally, in terms of what David said, that’s, I love that idea of the bespoke group. So I was thinking of, and it could be just around an activity that you like, whether it’s platform tennis, and Steve frets. In this case, I’m thinking of sort of creating a podcast group. I’m not a big reader. So I wouldn’t join a book group. But I was thinking of forming a podcast group and I ran it by a few people, then that could be a really Good way to bunk? Yeah.


Steve Fretzin  [25:03]

Really good stuff there, Steve. Thank you. And do you want to have a Jerry Springer moment and tell us which Bar Association you’re gonna be leaving?


Steve Seckler  [25:11]

I’m not leaving that association, but I may get less involved in a particular committee. Association.


Steve Fretzin  [25:17]

All right, we’re not going to we’re not going to put you on the spot. I was just a little tease there. But anyway, so listen, everybody, we were doing great. I think when we talk about networking groups, one thing you want to remember too is who are your targets? Where are the prospective clients that you’re targeting? Hanging out? Is that on a board? Is that a charity? Is that playing sports? That’s number one, if you can find where those actual targets are. And I hate to say that their targets but you know, I’m just thinking about like, those are the people if you could go spend time with them. And they all are buyers for your services, or many of them are that’s sort of a no brainer. And then the second part of it is, where are the referral sources? So when we talk about providers, which has been mentioned now a number of times and I’m a group leader here in the Chicagoland area and love providers, you know, it’s it’s, you know, who are the who are the people that, you know, work with lawyers, lawyers work with lawyers, and many of the coaches I know, work with lawyers and practice Panther money, Penny, and legalese all work with lawyers. So where can I go and hang out with the with the other folks that are in the same that have the same kind of clientele that I have? And I think that’s something you want to consider too, when selecting a group and thinking about, you know, if BNI is your jam, because you’re doing b2c? And you know, that insurance people and you know, home inspectors and people that are doing more consumer based stuff is your jam, then that might be perfect for you for someone that’s in high end mid market b2b? Well, it’s not going to be. So we really want to consider those targets as a big part of how you select and research groups. Okay, let’s move on. We got one more question before we wrap up our first segment here. And what I’d like to talk about for a moment is about business development and marketing. And I think there’s confusion in the marketplace, especially in the legal space about what is marketing, and what is business development. So I don’t want to go too deep down the rabbit hole. But with someone on the panel like to give just a quick definition of marketing, business development, why are they different? And maybe even how they work together? Who’d like to jump up on that one? Okay, we got David, go for it, David.


David Ackert  [27:22]

Okay, happy to concede, if any other panelists want to take the ball


Steve Fretzin  [27:25]

here, now we got you. And then we got Sackler in the wings. Okay.


David Ackert  [27:29]

All right, Steve, let’s see you and I tagged him on this one. So you want to think of it in terms of, I really like this framework of the funnel, right. And the idea being that at the top of the funnel, you have all of the contacts in your network. So everyone, you know, this is hundreds, or maybe even 1000s of people, all those relationships, you’ve parked on LinkedIn that you will probably never speak to ever again, right. So this is every one, you know, these are your contacts at the top of the funnel. But as you go down the funnel, you eliminate some of these people in terms of prospective clients, not everyone you know, will ever engage you for your services. So as to get to that smaller group toward the middle of the funnel, now you’re looking at your prospective clients, and then even a smaller number of those are going to get to the bottom and through the funnel, and become clients. So marketing focuses at the top of the funnel, this is your bullhorn to the world, hey, I’ve got a website, hey, I’ve got a LinkedIn profile. Hey, I’ve written this article. Hey, everyone, don’t forget about me, right. So it’s a one to many approach. But as you move down the funnel into that center section, where you’re now you’re talking about prospects, people who have already indicated that they might be interested in working with you, or you have a kind of relationship with them, where you’re warming that conversation up, that’s business development, because it’s no longer a one to many, it’s not a one to one, you’re having a conversation with this person about their problems and how you might be able to help them and help solve it. And then of course, as they move down to the bottom of the funnel in their client, now that one to one relationship intensifies. But that’s really the distinction is at the top of the funnel, you’ve got marketing one to many. And as you move down the funnel, it becomes business development, more one to one, and arguably at the bottom of the funnel client development, because now you’re just expanding that relationship with the person who’s engaging for your services.


Steve Fretzin  [29:08]

Yeah, terrific, Steve. Oh,


Steve Seckler  [29:10]

yeah, that’s, that’s a great definition, I would just fine tune it, not fine tune it. But an even simpler way to think about is marketing is reputation building. And business development is relationship building. I will say that if you’re like a personal injury, plaintiff’s attorney, or if you’re doing b2c work, that in some ways, the marketing could be more important. In fact, if you’re a personal injury lawyer, people may go looking for a lawyer by just Googling car accident, you know, Massachusetts or whatever. And that case, marketing is quite important, although you can get referrals from other lawyers too. Whereas if your work is like very sophisticated, ERISA and your clients are going to be corporations in general counsel, they’re not going to be Googling ERISA attorney probably. And so that relationship building stuff that David is talking about, will be that much more already.


Steve Fretzin  [30:01]

Yeah, and I think just to sort of wrap up the segment here on part one of be that lawyer live Coach’s Corner, I wrote an article recently in the Chicago Daily law bulletin that said, essentially, you’re climbing two sides of a mountain, the left side is going to be the marketing and the right side is going to be the business development. And if you can do them both a little bit a lot, whatever it is that you can put into those two elements or two areas, they’re gonna meet at the peak. And when you get to that peak, that’s when the business is cranking because your branding, your marketing, your messaging, that what you’re getting out there into the ether, okay, is backing up and supporting the business development, networking client building that you’re doing on the other side. And so you might want to consider that, like, what can I do on the marketing side and 2023 that’s going to help me build my name and my brand and reputation and win, what can I do to develop relationships and business through the business development channel, and watch them work together in tandem. And I think you’ll be really happy with the results that you see doing both of those together. If you can do it, if you can pull it off, again, getting help from an agency, a VA and assistant whomever can assist you that’s going to be really critical, especially if you’re a busy lawyer. That’s you know, hair’s on fire half the time. All right, so we’re going to wrap up our first segment, please don’t go anywhere, everybody. Stay tuned. We got Part Two coming up. I want to thank our panel. I want to thank our sponsors, and we’re going to help you be that lawyer similars confident organized in a skilled Rainmaker. Take care of be safe and be well everybody.


Narrator  [31:30]

Thanks for listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website For additional information, and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes