Robert Hanna: Building Your Brand Through Storytelling

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Robert Hanna discuss:

  • Why firms are struggling to retain talent.
  • Firm and personal branding for lawyers.
  • How to start a story (hint, it’s not your name).
  • Reflecting on your why.

Key Takeaways:

  • Give trust to your employees – they do not need to be (or want to be) micromanaged.
  • If you build a personal brand, more revenue-generating opportunities will come your way.
  • Everyone who has a very successful personal brand is excellent at storytelling.
  • We, as humans, are drowning in information, but what we are craving is wisdom.
  • Contacts are good, but relationships pay.

“I’m still finessing my storytelling because the number one thing people buy is a human-to-human relationship. We talk about B2B and B2C. No, it’s H2H, it’s human to human.” —  Robert Hanna

Connect with Robert Hanna:  

Website: https://www.kcpartners.co.uk/

Show: https://legallyspeakingpodcast.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXvYfYFRtWplqIFtWuRw3AA & https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXvYfYFRtWplqIFtWuRw3AA

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/roberthanna/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LegalSpeakPod

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/legallyspeakingpodcast & https://www.facebook.com/kcpartnersltd

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/legallyspeakingpodcast/ & https://www.instagram.com/kcpartners_/

Thank you to our Sponsors!

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Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.

Website: Fretzin.com

Email: [email protected]

Book: The Ambitious Attorney: Your Guide to Doubling or Even Tripling Your Book of Business 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.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

lawyer, people, firms, law firms, steve, rob, business, building, legal, book, clients, storytelling, legalese, brand, story, personal brand, relationships, real, podcast, giving

SPEAKERS

Robert Hanna, Narrator, Steve Fretzin, Jordan Ostroff

 

Robert Hanna  [00:00]

I’m still finessing my storytelling because the number one thing people buy, you know, is a human to human relationships. You know, we talk about b2b and b2c No, it’s Ha ha, it’s human to human.

 

Narrator  [00:15]

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 Fretzin, will take a deeper dive, helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.

 

Steve Fretzin  [00:37]

Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. I am your host, Steve Fretzin. I hope you’re having a terrific day. Listen, it’s another opportunity to be that lawyer someone who’s competent, organized and a skilled Rainmaker. And, you know, I keep saying this, and hopefully it’s not a broken record to you, but I’m always considering to bring on the guests that you’re going to get some value from, you’re going to get ideas, tips, ideas, it’s all about helping you grow that law practice do it in a more efficient way than ever before. And I’ve got a terrific guest I’m gonna introduce Robin a minute want to take a second think our sponsors legalese marketing, helping law firms all over the country, work on their social media, their websites, their law, Maddox, you name it, they do it. Check out legalese marketing. And then also, of course, money, Penny, who’s, I think it was actually the one who introduced me, maybe, maybe not now, but you know, money, Penny Rob. Yeah, I know. A mani pedi. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So they’re over here in the US now. And I’m real good friends with them. And they’re a great sponsor for the show. Rob Hanna, I’m going to introduce in a second, but his quote is really interesting. It’s pressure is a privilege. And that’s Billie Jean King. So I’m gonna introduce Rob in a minute. But why that quote, pressure is a privilege. Yeah, well, well, first,

 

[01:50]

thanks so much for having me. Pleasure to be here. Love what you’re doing for the legal community. Just absolutely. Everything you do is bang on. So I’m really excited to be here. Yeah, pressure is a privilege. And the reason for that, I think sometimes we get so much pressure put onto our shoulders, that we’ve actually had to do something go out, make something happen to potentially put ourselves in that pressure situation, maybe it’s a new client, we’ve just landed, who’s maybe giving us a lot of stress and hassle. Maybe we’re trying to make something out of ourselves a new initiative, we’re trying something slightly entrepreneurial. So sometimes taking a step back and saying, Hey, this is actually a privilege, I have the opportunity to overcome these challenges these hurdles, and make something of myself and switch that mindset and what might be overwhelming you to a mindset of actually, you know what I can do this, and I’m the treat is a privilege, and no matter what I’m gonna make it happen. So that’s why I love that quote, of pressure.

 

Steve Fretzin  [02:41]

I think there’s a lot of attorneys that are under a tremendous amount of pressure right now. And no one’s listening to this, you know, they’re not sacrificing their billable hours to listen, they’re probably walking their dog in their car somewhere. But it’s, it’s, that’s why it’s so important for lawyers that are under pressure to get organized with a plan, get organized, with delegation get organized, and get off of that off of the merry go round of winging it and just just doing the best you can, there are a lot of ways to get ahead. You just have to keep learning from podcasts like mine, and Rob’s and others that that are out there and in books, and there’s mentors and all types of stuff. So that’s why I think, you know, our shows are so, so great. And by the way, Rob is the host of a very successful podcast called legally speaking. He’s also a top legal recruiter in the UK. Rob, do you want to take just a moment, you know, again, welcome on the show. I’m just so happy to have you and I’m so glad we met and that I reached out to proactively, I think to get something cooking because I knew we would hit it off really well. And we’re both big Premier League fans and read fans and all that and that doesn’t hurt doesn’t hurt the situation, right?

 

[03:46]

They it doesn’t know the situation. And I say to everyone right now, there’s always next season. So as always

 

Steve Fretzin  [03:51]

axes. Okay. Listen, you guys had a great run, there’s no doubt Liverpool, me what a fantastic group of people group of men working together. I mean, it doesn’t take a person, it takes a team. And they showed it to both sides of the field that they can make it happen. And just there’s other teams that that are also doing pretty well.

 

[04:09]

It’s true, but we haven’t leader and what’s unique about Liverpool, it has real history. And like we say, for people who are fans, we don’t have a stadium. You know, we have an amphitheater, we don’t have a song, we have an anthem. And there’s a real sort of, you know, passion behind Liverpool as a club. And it’s something as a boy that I’ve loved growing up with and yeah, we’ll come again. And that’s what I love about the club. Beautiful,

 

Steve Fretzin  [04:33]

beautiful. So give us a little background on your kind of your story of how you came to be not only is a top legal recruiter over there, but also starting your own podcast and just, you know, catch us up to speed.

 

[04:44]

Yeah, so very, very quickly why I’m in the world of legal so I’m not a qualified lawyer myself, but I live and breathe like us to speak to attorneys day in day out trying to help them with their careers, getting their brands on point and really making the right decisions so they can benefit that themselves and for their clients. So my grandfather ran a very successful law firm here in the United Kingdom in the 1950s. And that was my inspiration really for wanting to get into legal. So I grew up in his law firm doing the really exciting jobs of making cups of tea during the photocopier and going to the strong room to get the deeds, you know, in the rain, all of that good, exciting stuff. But I wanted to keep the family legacy of legal going. But I wanted to do it in a very traditional modern form. So I’ve been in the recruiting space for over a decade, I’ve got experience of starting my career in a recession, I started in 2008, Lehman’s crash, I then went to a boutique firm, and then I went set up my own firm and now but experience of running a business during a pandemic. So there’s not much I haven’t seen in quite a short period of time of business 15 years. And but anyway, I, I sort of wanted to do legal, I don’t fell into recruitment in careers. As I mentioned, I did that for many years. And I thought I should do this for myself, you know, and I want to do it for a mission to leave that family legacy. So that’s why we did it. But we want to do it something different. So like I mentioned before, with the Liverpool analogies, we’re not just building another legal recruiting firm and a database. We’re twisting it, we’re building a community built on trust by actually embracing content creation. And that was how our podcast was born. We’re not looking to find somebody a job once we’re looking to find someone a job for life, and what not everyone is always going to be continually looking for an opportunity. But why can’t we build a relationship and nurture that and foster that and feed that individual thought leadership, high value content, and that’s how our show was born. We’re now in the top one and a half percent of shows globally. And we’re sponsored by the 1.6 billion powerhouse Clio that are behind us. And here, it’s just gone from strength to strength, we’ve done 160 episodes, we’ve just literally launched our first NFT we’re the first legal podcast to launch our own NFT and eventually have our own creator coin. And we’ve got lots of exciting things planned for the show. And just really, really on a great journey of trying to educate people around all things careers been a fun entertaining place, because guess what’s the lawyers are humans too?

 

Steve Fretzin  [07:01]

They are no way. I don’t believe it. They’re robots I just met with 15 of my class I teach every Tuesday mornings. And it’s it’s just amazing to watch. It’s like a bright eyed, the least the clients that hire me and that engage me, their eyes are wide, their eyes are bright, they’re open to learning. They want to grow their books of business, they’re hungry to learn and hungry to grow and develop and find better, a better mousetrap better model than just winging it. But let’s, I want I’ve got so many different angles, I want to take this conversation. But I want to start off with one that is really on the mind of most attorneys. And that is, why are firms struggling to sort of retain talent now like what’s going on with the great resignation? And why is retention so challenging today?

 

[07:46]

Yeah, it’s a really good point. I think a lot of lawyers had a real time to think, during the pandemic, particularly when they were sat at home. Is this really what I want? And does this law firm really have my best interests in terms of not only what I’m looking to try and achieve professionally, but fit in line with my values? And what’s important to me, personally, because as I said, lawyers are humans, too. They have their own thoughts, feelings. So just to tell you, Steve, the largest trend right now in the UK, is not the big international law firms hiring, it’s actually what we’re calling the dispersed law firm model, which is the consulting model, which allows lawyers to basically work their own hours charge their own rate, but have the support branding and marketing budget of a law firm. That’s a couple of firms called John Cook and Keystone law, they have consistently over the last few years been the highest employers of lawyers. Why because those law firms that aren’t offering that flexibility, who aren’t being able to say you can work from home, when needs be those law firms that aren’t demanding that they work two and a half to 3000 chargeable hours and have to quit every weekend and give up every family occasion possible. They’re really understanding that there might be a different way. So I think that’s one of the main things around sort of flexibility in these alternative models that have have grown, where people are saying actually, okay, it’s quite interesting. Other things is really understanding the importance of, you know, giving trust to the people, I think it’s really important, particularly, you know, individuals who are mid level who are experienced, they don’t necessarily need to be micromanaged. You know, they know what they’re doing. They can run a case, they’ve got that ability to do that. They don’t want to be micromanaged or feel like they’re, they’re not at the level that they’ve achieved. So I think putting trust in people to run more cases allow them to have more responsibility. Again, if you’re pitching holding people and sapping that and just being the partner at the top that’s limiting people’s progression, then again, people are going to look for other alternative situations to move elsewhere. And I think also just making sure that it’s a fun and exciting plan and not a sweatshop you know, the amount of times that lawyers said to me, I don’t go on as a commentator gone as a comment, they’ll go in house, they’ll see the in house lifestyle, and they’ll ring me and say I don’t want to get back to the sweatshop. You know, that’s that’s the reality. And so it’s really thinking about how are you keeping people excited and really see this as a career for the long term wanted to come partner, rather than ducking out at the mid level to either go in house and move to a legal tech or do something different?

 

Steve Fretzin  [10:15]

Yeah. And it’s interesting, because there’s a lot of law firms that are seeing lawyers leave to go to bigger firms, for example, and get paid significantly more. Yet, when I did a poll on LinkedIn recently. And I asked about why lawyers are leaving or why they would leave only 7%. It was said it was for the money. And I had a pretty good response to this poll. Only 7% said it was for the money alone. So I don’t think it’s just the money. That’s that’s driving people to leave firms. All the lawyers would like to think, Oh, it’s just because they’re getting paid a lot more. I really don’t know that that’s the case.

 

[10:49]

I would have retired 10 years ago, if it was the money, trust me, it’s a factor. And it’s important, but it’s not the be all and end all, you know, culture is everything. Yeah, getting the culture right is super important in a lot of things that I was touching on there, which kind of comes under a larger umbrella of culture and people and processes and all of that. The number one thing you’ve got to choose, but

 

Steve Fretzin  [11:09]

you said, Rob, you said trust, you said autonomy and having that flexibility and not being a sweatshop. That’s a big part of what would be a good culture. Yeah, correct. Okay. So if that’s the case, then then maybe now more than ever, if lawyers want to be attractive to the firms that have the best culture, they would want to do some things to improve their brand or to improve how they’re sort of sitting in the space so that they’re more marketable. Is that a fair point?

 

[11:40]

Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s the number one thing if you want to attract top talent, right now, by having a personal brand, or putting your firm online and being visible and on social media, and being relevant and producing, thought provoking content building community, then I think that’s definitely the place you have to go.

 

Steve Fretzin  [11:57]

Okay, so the firm needs to build their culture, their brand, maybe that’s one half of the discussion than the other half is the lawyer needs to continue to develop his or her personal brand, so that they’re more marketable to those firms.

 

[12:11]

Yeah, absolutely. Because your personal brand is your insurance policy. It’s your everything. You know, as you go through your career, you may change jobs. But if you build a personal brand, more and more opportunities will come your way you will attract more clients, you’ll attract more networking opportunities, you’ll attract more revenue generating opportunities. So it’s the most precious valuable thing I think any lawyer can have is a personal brand, just because you may work one of the world’s most prestigious law firms, that doesn’t matter. It’s ultimately it’s you your personal brand. And we have so many tools and resources out there, Steve, as you know, you’re crushing it that can help you get there.

 

Steve Fretzin  [12:51]

I’m trying. I’m trying every day, it’s another opportunity to be creative to figure out what can I do say, share, educate, to support the brand that I’m building. And it’s not about selling stuff, it’s more about the content, I’m putting out in the way that I’m managing my clients, the way that I’m managing every interaction I have with you, every interaction I have with clients, with people to make sure they’re seeing the real authentic me, and I’m who I am, is, is my brand. Hopefully, you know, I’m a good dude. So that my brand, my brand is positive. What can lawyers start to do to develop that brand that will attract the firms that have the better culture that will get them to not just the pay day, but the place that they could stay for their career and not think about how to jump ship? Or when I have to do this or go there do that? What are maybe a couple things that they should be working on right now to get to that point?

 

[13:54]

Yeah, it’s a really good question. I think you answered the question with your own great points there. Because you know, if you’re trying to elevate that brand and get yourself noticed and get those opportunities, then being your true authentic self through storytelling, okay. Okay, because everybody has a story. So documenting your journey, the highs and lows, you know, what’s working well, for you right now you’ve mentioned you know, you’re gonna have some good days and bad days, there’s ways to educate your audience and build community and the best way to do that is through storytelling. I can tell you now, it’s the number one skill that I’m working on right now. You know, and I’m pretty active across social and the most badass league recruiter in the world and working with LinkedIn directly. I’m fast track for that creative program. I’ve got all these exciting things going on. But I’m still finessing my storytelling, because the number one thing people buy, you know, is a human to human relationships. You know, we talk about b2b and b2c No, it’s H to H. It’s human to human, every interaction and people want to know more about you let them into the stories, educate them, take them on the journey more people are buying to you, you Look at anyone who’s got a very successful personal brand. They’re brilliant that storytelling.

 

Jordan Ostroff  [15:04]

legalese marketing is not your traditional marketing vendor. Instead, we’re a true fractional cmo that helps you save time and spend your money the right way to build the practice of your dreams. We help through the entire process, from customizing your intake system to driving leads, and even getting more reviews afterwards, schedule your free call at legalese marketing.com.

 

Steve Fretzin  [15:27]

Hey Steph, tell everyone what Moneypenny does for law firms

 

[15:31]

where the call handling and live chat experts and Moneypenny receptionist can ensure that your calls are directed to the right person seamlessly saving you time and money. Steve, did you know that 69% of people don’t like to leave a voicemail?

 

Steve Fretzin  [15:44]

I did not know that. That’s a lot of business going away right there. Let’s cut to the chase. What are you prepared to do for my listeners?

 

[15:51]

We’re offering an exclusive two week free trial. If you’re interested in hearing more, you can call me directly on 470-534-8846. I mentioned that you’ve heard this add on Steve’s podcast.

 

Steve Fretzin  [16:04]

Very cool. Thanks. So let’s take that a step further. I interviewed Barbara Kaplan, I don’t know let’s say a month ago, and she talked about finding your why. And I think most people have heard that. But I don’t know that they know what to do with it. So you take you take a lawyer that does estate planning, who is in a sea of attorneys that do estate planning in a particular city? And what’s their why? How do they communicate, develop and communicate their why so that their brand and their notoriety within the within their space can be exposed and it can elevate their game? Yeah,

 

[16:42]

that’s a good question. Ultimately, they will know what their y is, they just need to go out there and think about it. And you got to think about it. You know, we’re one of a kind, you know, we’re born unique. So you don’t want to try and be a copy the fact that you have your own individuality your own uniqueness. That is its story in itself. If I was to give some tips on how to be good at storytelling, or things to think about, if you’re trying to think about some postings, or delivering a keynote speech, think of it in this way. And this is what Chris doe said to me, who’s a really good thought leader, and really good personal branding expert, and three short sentences to kick things off. So if you’re thinking of maybe trying to do a LinkedIn post or an estate planning attorney, think of three short sentences that might get people hooked. You know, I can’t believe this happened. I might have to, okay, I’m going to share it something like that, whatever. That’s a very basic, boring example, but three short, sharp sentences to get people hooked into the start of your story, whatever it is, maybe when you first started how you got your first estate prime job, or maybe when you’ve got rejected from that interview, what did you learn from that? Or maybe when you’ve landed your first client, you know, what was that experience? Or have you taken that client from somebody who told you to go away to now being your most profitable client, you know, what was the story is the learnings, the tellings along the way. And if you want an even simpler way, how to be good at storytelling, remember these three words. Don’t ever start a story saying Hi, my name is Rob Hanner. i No one cares. When I was five years old, I remember the seagull swooped down and took that basic example, Steve, but yeah, and I was the best way to start. And it’s storytelling as well. Three short, short sentences are when I was lawyers, remember the rest and you meet behind the bones and you’ll be a really good storyteller.

 

Steve Fretzin  [18:19]

How about this one? I was in Mexico with my family, a seagull swooped down and hit me with a load of my face. True story, by the way, right when I was eating right when I was Oh, true story. When I was eating lunch with my family, I got tagged and everybody thought it was maybe the funniest thing they’ve ever seen because I also have a little OCD. Right and so like for me to have poop on me is like that’s like the worst experience I can have for someone that is sort of a neat freak. Anyway, so maybe I’ll maybe I can start off with Can we have a minute opening? Yeah, absolutely. Certainly memorable.

 

[18:53]

Gotta be different. I’m also very passionate OCD. Oh yeah. The other side of the pond so I’m color coordinated wardrobe kind of guy. Okay. Be in a row. Yeah. Clean. How far are you on this?

 

Steve Fretzin  [19:06]

I’m not that far. I will tell you what’s interesting is that the whole Coronavirus COVID thing sort of like brought people up to my game like I’m wash your hands after you shake hands with someone here. Well, I can’t have a splotch of like food on a table like it’s sitting there even a drop of water. I need to wipe it off. So I’m there and I think other people now like have come up to my level a little bit. So so I’m not quite as outcasts that I maybe once was, but I don’t take it so far. Yeah, with color coding and stuff. My wife will tell you like I’m I’m uh, you know, like figuring out what I’m gonna wear. I just throw on whatever. Like it’s not, not not that particular. But I think what you’re sharing though, in not only finding getting back to the track here is that you have to consider your story. You have to consider where you started. You have to consider where you’ve gone and how you’ve gotten there. And it doesn’t always have to be legally focused. Sometimes it can be a personal story. that’ll lead you to where you are, like why you became a lawyer, or why you got into a certain area of law could be one part of it, it could be that you’re doing something unique in the space and how you’re adding value. Whether you wrote the book on a subject or your, your podcast, you know, is something that is meant to educate people on a subject, and it puts you up and elevates your game. There’s a number of different ways to sort of unravel that, or, you know, whatever. But it’s, you have to come up with something that’s going to resonate with people.

 

[20:30]

Yeah, exactly. And by just, you know, really telling the story of dates, variants that you had, and bringing that out, that’s what people are going to buy into. And you’re right, it doesn’t have to necessarily be legally related. It could be one time, you know, you did something that was completely not related to the law, but people can still see that you’re a lawyer, but you’re the human behind the lawyer. So people are getting to know you, because both remembers the know, like, and trust factor. Yeah.

 

Steve Fretzin  [20:55]

But you’ve got the story of your grandfather, and you’re making tea leading into you innovating in the space, right? Like that resonates with me, because I have a very similar my father, Larry, the lawyer, I never wanted to be a lawyer. I’ve told the story maybe a few times, but like, I never wanted to be a lawyer, because the way that that I saw him was highly respected. But as a teenager, and coming up with a lawyer, I was on the cross every day, like every day it was, how many questions is my dad going to grill me out about school about this, about that, and I can sort of never live up to those expectations. Now, I think maybe I’ve even exceeded because I’m an entrepreneur, I work in the legal space, I get to tell lawyers what to do everyday. So you can’t be too hard on hard on me for not being a lawyer. But it is a part of the story. And people know me for that and a number of other things. But it’s I think, as a lawyer listening to this, be reflective of where you are, where you’ve come from, and what your why isn’t what’s going to sort of set you apart in the space, and then lean into it if you find something because that’s really what’s going to end up generating momentum for you and your law practice.

 

[21:58]

And here’s the thing, you know, if you’re really not, if you’re finding this a little bit fluffy or wooly, which some people will do you know, not everyone’s always going to be certain, have people around you mentors that can maybe help you really think about what is it that you want, or good coaches or good people, because, you know, like Warren Buffett says, the best investment you can make is the one in your itself. And I think sometimes we get very caught up in doing the day job or doing the lawyering. And maybe you just need to take that take you remove yourself from that environment completely and have people that can maybe open that mindset that can tap into, why are you doing what you do? What is it the reason you’re getting out of bed every day? What is that mission? What is the whole point of what you’re doing? Is it just the paycheck to paycheck? Or is there more to that? And can we bring that story out to life a little bit more, and I trust you, if you do that your brand will skyrocket, people will come to you, you’ll be a beacon, you’ll be a thought leader and great things will happen. Yeah.

 

Steve Fretzin  [22:49]

And the reality is most of us are, are in a position where we have tunnel vision where we just see what’s right in front of us. We know we know, we don’t have another set of eyes on us. We don’t have a mentor and advisor or a coach. Most people don’t and that but but most people should, and the reality and that’s just not self promotional. That’s the reality. You look at top athletes, you look at top CEOs, the people that are excelling at the game of life and business generally have people in their corner, giving them shortcuts and giving them advice and ways of making improvements so that they can see the bigger picture, not just the tunnel of what’s in front of them the billable hour, and I’ve got to create this workout that’s really going to be very limiting and how you develop as a human and as a business professional.

 

[23:33]

Yeah, it’s bang on. And you’re absolutely right with the shortcuts because, you know, mentors that I have had in my life and still do and I have various different mentors for different things. They are giving me shortcuts, they’re saving me years of pain, because they’ve been down the path. They’ve got the experience. They’ve got the knowledge, the wisdom, you know, we’re drowning in information nowadays, Steve, with craving wisdom. Oh, we’re only gonna get

 

Steve Fretzin  [23:58]

that should have been the quote of the show. I love that. Yeah,

 

[24:02]

but it’s so true. There’s a there’s a lot of noise out there. There’s a lot of this information. And it’s information overload. We’re in this situation, but we’re craving that wisdom. Who are these real people that have serious, serious cloud that can help take years of pain away from us? That’s what we need, folks.

 

Steve Fretzin  [24:20]

All right, guys, you get nothing out of this show at all. You got that we’re drowning in information. What we’re craving is wisdom. That is awesome. I love that I’m stealing that by the Is that yours? You can see I put your name no, my slapping your name on that my giving you

 

[24:34]

credit you because I may have heard it from somebody who’s worried you might

 

Steve Fretzin  [24:38]

have been you might have had some thievery on that too as well. Yeah, exactly. So the best ideas right are borrowed and stolen and taken. And it’s it’s how we use them. Right? That’s that’s the key. I mean, nothing. The things that I come up with to help lawyers with business development. It’s all stuff that I’ve, you know, read taken, learned, coached and all that and then it’s just about how ally, take it, make it my own, make it customized to lawyers and then, you know, feed it to them in a way that that they’re not going to roll their eyes at me or say, that doesn’t sound very lawyerly. I’ve got to make everything soft and nurturing and palatable for them. But look, I didn’t, you know, make up writing how to how to set agendas for meetings or setting up game plans. Yeah, that’s been done for, you know, 50 years. But the reality is, I needed to take that information, get it and then customize it to something that’s going to be workable for people that I work with that I help.

 

[25:30]

Yeah, and you do such a great job of the clients that you help. It’s It’s amazing the work that you do. And just because I know you like quotes, and I think it’s it’s relevant. There’s a famous Bruce Lee quote, that I think is apt because we’re talking a lot about sort of how do you stand out. And his quote is, I fear not the man who’s practiced 1000 kicks, I fear the man who’s practiced one kick 1000 times. And what that suggesting there is boats, again, you’ve got to know your lane, you’ve got to know your niche, you’ve got to know that one thing because there’s that one skill, that one bit of thing that why people are going to use the analogy of there’s tons of estate planning attorneys out there, but what is that one thing that makes you the go to estate planning attorney out there? And how are you communicating that to your community, then that’s just something else I’d add?

 

Steve Fretzin  [26:18]

Well, I’m going to add on to that there’s this is this is a US football, right, we call a US football quote from a guy Vince Lombardi, who was a former coach of one of the you know, teams, we have the Green Bay Packers, okay? It is in practice makes perfect. It’s perfect. Practice makes perfect. And people don’t realize that if you’re practicing the same way. So let’s say it’s going out and getting doing business development, you’re networking, you’re out there meeting with clients, you do all this, but you’re doing it the same way for 10 years, and never improving. How is that working for you? Right? Probably not. So well, you might feel good that you’re doing the activity, but you’re not getting better. So it’s all about practicing, and then learning improving, and then continuing that growth. And most people don’t think about it that way. So that’s how we become great chefs, we become great musicians, or great athletes are great business developers, it’s all about the incremental improvements we make by learning, getting that feedback and then improving.

 

[27:14]

And, you know, you asked me the question about talent and retention and why people are leaving, such as that, you know, people hit stagnation, they hit plateau, they’re not getting that learning and development there. You know, it’s the same scenario. Now, if nothing changes, nothing changes. So partners aren’t giving that feedback. If they’re not developing people, they feel like they’re just putting on the clock, they’re doing their chargeable hours, and they’re doing the same documents, it’s the same thing. And they’re another year on, you know, people are going to leave, because they want you to want to feel like they’re progressing. They’re getting more technical skill sets, they’re getting more BD skill sets, which is obviously your lane completely, Steve, in terms of really getting those skill sets mastered, if people aren’t going to get that they’re not going to be retained, they’re going to leave, and they’re going to get elsewhere because they need to be feeling like they’re progressing. And so yeah, I love that you mentioned that.

 

Steve Fretzin  [27:58]

Yeah. And sort of a final question I have for you, before we get to Game Changing books, is we talked about the importance of an individual lawyer building that personal brand that makes them portable, that makes them mobile to go where they want to work, the firm that they want to go to and spend the rest of the career. How important also is, and this is right up my lane, as you mentioned, you know, the portable book, The having the book of business, the half a million, the million, the 2 million, whatever it might be, compared to having nothing just being a worker bee and like what’s going on in the recruiting space around that? Yeah,

 

[28:33]

I mean, obviously, I would say, this is another good quotes, they’ve just as you like, contacts are good. But relationships pay. Okay, so it’s all well and good. You can know lots of people, but these are fluffy things where it’s been scrappy business, or there’s nothing there. If you’ve got these really well matured or maturing relationships, then wherever you go, that portability is going to be exceptionally high. Even if there’s conflicts if there’s issues or this, if the relationship is strong enough. If it’s meant to be it will happen. So I really, really urge people, when you’re looking at your existing portfolio, your initial book of business, how deep are those relationships? And how can you go even deeper? And then how can you look at your customer lifetime value? And how can you look at your referrals off that existing one customer can they reduce you introduce you to two or three or four? That’s how my business operates? Steve, you know, if I have one good quality lawyer, I land them their dream job, I want to get into their network because then they’re a good lawyer, they’re gonna know other good people. So how am I gonna get additional customer lifetime value out of that one placement, the life on top of keeping them throughout their career, all of their networks and networks and networks, but for you and your clients? It’s fundamentally important if you want to go to the you know, they say new level new devil do you want to get there you have to make sure that you’ve got good quality relationships because then the income will come?

 

Steve Fretzin  [29:50]

Yeah. And that’s what makes you portable to I mean, if you if you’re, again, you don’t have the relationships, you’re just cranking out all your partner’s work. That’s fine for now. And but Is that fine in five years is that fine in 10 years? And the answer for most people is no, that you’re not going to be portable. If something happens to the firm, if something happens to the boss that you work for, if the if the water spigot gets turned off, and lawyers know this, they don’t always take action to change it. They’ve got to do that at their own time. And hopefully, it’s not when it’s too late after you’ve been let go, or I feel and I don’t know how you feel. And we got to maybe wrap up soon. But like, I feel a recession coming and I can’t, I can’t put my finger on when it’s going to happen. It’s just between and it’s not just Ukraine, there’s a lot of things going on. But it’s it’s sort of like a storm that’s building and I see it happening. And and I just don’t know when that shoe is gonna drop. But I’m just worried for the lawyers that aren’t thinking ahead.

 

[30:43]

And it’s so true. I mean, over here in the UK, we’ve got a cost of living crisis right now inflation is at its highest it’s ever been a recession is most definitely happening or going to be happening. So yeah, I think you have to ensure that you future proof yourself. So what’s the best way to do that, invest in those relationships, get your personal brand sky high, and you’ll be okay. And equally, if you’re sat there going, this is all well and good Rob, but I’m just an associate, or you know, I’m a junior partner. And I’ve been trying to bring in clients and you know, I’ve got these people it’s been rejected, well, alarm bells should be kicking off, that’s maybe not the home for you anymore. If you can’t make the influence to change, and you’ve got good quality business, you’re turning away, you may need to find a home that will take that.

 

Steve Fretzin  [31:22]

I mean, it’s it when I say incremental change, and I’ll give you an example, I have an associate in my class, and she invested in herself as a younger associate, not not a partner, not someone that you know, it’s gonna get real credit for even doing the bringing in the business. But she said for the first time when she gave an email for a partner to send out to a client. Normally, they would not put her name on it, they would take her email, and they’d send it off as their own. They put her name on it. And she said, That’s never happened to me. I said, there you go. It’s happening. It’s working. You’re building your brand internally, you’re you’re you’re starting to get your reputation, like all these things are little, they’re not huge and bring in $10 million. But you’re seeing that incremental growth of how you’re building your brand, internally, externally. So sometimes we just need to we just need those little wins. Makes a big difference. Absolutely. Absolutely. Rob So great, man. We’re wrapping up with Game Changing books. And you gave me one, The Ultimate Guide to social media for I don’t remember the business people. What is it business professional?

 

[32:21]

Yeah, I’m entrepreneur. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So and this is produced by its Amazon best selling book by Mitch Jackson, who’s 2013, California litigation lawyer of the year. We’ve spoken at many, many events is he’s one of the most prominent, I would say, personal branding experts. But within the legal space, who also has his own firm, his firm are also now operating in the metaverse web three, he’s really ahead of the times. But he really understands the importance of social media and how it he describes every social media platform as a welcome mat. You know, you have a welcome mat to invite people into your community where you can educate them, you can through storytelling, which we’ve talked a lot about today, and through strategic ways that you can position your products and services offerings. So yeah, it’s a really good book is so many nuggets of wisdom there particularly about how to just get started now to be consistent, and some ideas for for standing out.

 

Steve Fretzin  [33:15]

Yeah, and again, for lawyers that are struggling with social media, whether it’s how to do it, you know when to do it, where to do it, this book might help. And keep in mind that some of the social media or some good parts of the social media, it can be outsourced, you can get to know it. So you know, kind of like you want to be involved in what’s going on. You don’t want to completely outsource it. But once you know what to do, and you’ve read a book like this or gotten some advice, then you know, for a lot of the heavy lifting it can be outsourced. And there are people that can you know, set up calendars for you social media calendars, legalese marketing, by the way, everybody did that. For me. Social media calendar, I had posts, I had podcasts, they’re continually updating my social media, so I don’t have to steal my content steal me, it’s my stuff. I just don’t have to be on the ball to get it out every day. It’s it’s being done for me by professionals who get it. So little shout out to legalese. Okay. Rob, thanks so much, man. I knew from the first minute we spoke a week, couple weeks ago that we were going to hit it off, we’re gonna have a great show. And I’m excited to be on yours coming up soon. But I think this is the beginning of something special, I just want to make sure we stay in the loop with each other.

 

[34:20]

Absolutely. And I just want to congratulate you on what you’re doing for the communities that you because you know, it’s really powerful, meaningful work that can really change. If you’re an attorney, listening to this or following Steve, and you haven’t reached out yet, I would strongly encourage you to do so because one of the best things you can do is really understand how you can nurture and build relationships and really build that business. And Steve, you’re one of the best in the game. So it’s an absolute honor to have, you know, be part of this show. So thank you so much for having really, really enjoyed it.

 

Steve Fretzin  [34:51]

Yeah, thank you, Rob. And I appreciate those kind words and you know, everybody listening, keep in mind I mean, I’m pretty open if you have a legal question legal business, too. Moment question. You want to spend 30 minutes with me just to talk about your practice. I teach sales, free selling, so you don’t have to worry about me selling you the services, you know, it’s going to be ultimately your decision. But I’m happy to give you feedback to stop looking through that tunnel started looking at the bigger picture. And even if we don’t work together, we spend 30 minutes I help you out to kind of just understand what’s going on what you might be missing. And if you never hire me, great, now you’re on a better track, you know, we can, you know, go from there. But that’s, that’s my dedication to the industry similar to yours abroad that we both we want to leave it better than it was when we got here. I think that’s that’s where were you and I kind of really aligned. So thanks again and I appreciate it. You’re You’re You’re an amazing influencer and influence in the industry. And I’m just happy that we that we’re becoming friends and getting to know each other.

 

[35:48]

Absolutely. Thanks so much. They’ve been an absolute pleasure. Awesome. And

 

Steve Fretzin  [35:51]

hey, everybody, who if you weren’t paying attention today, shame, shame, shame. This is the real deal. Rob’s the real deal. We had a fantastic conversation and my hope is that you got some good takeaways as usual, to be that lawyer someone who’s confident organized in a skilled Rainmaker. Take care everybody be safe be well.

 

Narrator  [36:12]

Thanks for listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website fretzin.com. 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