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Betties Book Brief – Street Smarts

It’s time for another Betties Book Brief and we are extremely excited to chat with you about the book we read in August. Street Smarts: An All-Purpose Tool Kit for Entrepreneurs was written by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham and is a no-nonsense comprehensive guide full of tips that you can actually implement today. With 104 raving reviews on Amazon, we had to see what the hype was about and we were pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable of a read this book actually was.

Street Smarts is full of anecdotes that really offer a been there, done that point of view on many pitfalls small businesses face. We’re excited to share our favorite takeaways below!

6 Key Points We Loved in Street Smarts

  1. Don’t discount your extra capacity just because it’s available. Rationalizing that you’d rather have some money than no money is never a good idea and ultimately a really bad decision.
  2. Always negotiate quietly. Listen to what the other party wants, haggle and be flexible on it, then come back to what matters to you and offer “I’ll give you X, but I’ve got to have Y.”
  3. You cannot do business with everybody. This is the number one rule in business. One word that you must master is “No!”.
  4. Small, high-margin customers > large, low-margin customers. No single customer should be more than 10% of your business and large customers as a whole should be less than 30% of your business.
  5. Raise prices regularly. Don’t piss off your customers by doing this too much, but avoid the sudden hike in prices later on because you didn’t raise them a little at a time earlier.
  6. Don’t buy a business that grossly undercharges. Keeping an existing customer base during a sale is hard enough. If your first order of business has to be raising prices, you’ll be in for a rude awakening.

Have you read this book?

What did you think?

Did you come up with any great takeaways that we haven’t listed here?

Let us know!

Betties Book Brief

Want a massive social following in your business?  Who wouldn’t!

Back Office Betties had the great pleasure of reading One Million Followers by Brendan Kane and we just had to share it with all of you!  Kane gives great insight on how to take advantage of many different social media platforms.  His growth hacks for your business and your brand make this book a must read.

Betties Take-a-Ways

This book has a wealth of knowledge!  Here are our top 5 take-a-ways pertaining to Facebook:

  • Facebook is used to share more content than email or any other online social platform. No matter how many followers you have, Facebook only shows content to 2-5% of your audience.  What’s the determining factor?  How engaging and relevant your content is.  Your content must resonate with your audience.
  • Create ads specifically to get more likes/followers on your page. Be careful not to limit your demographics when testing ads.  A great example was given about Chatbooks in the book.  They wanted to target mom’s 45 years or older who liked scrap-booking, photography, and motherhood in a Mother’s Day ad.  Instead of age targeting, they used a broad range on age and found that younger people were sharing the ads with their moms to start a conversation.  This in turn created an organic reach to the intended demographic.
  • Have a great headline with a great hook point. Ask yourself, if your potential customer is walking down the street and passes a newsstand with 100 articles, what headline would they stop to read?  It should be relevant, interesting, and meet the needs of your audience.
  • If you do ads on Facebook, do not raise the spend limit if the ad is doing well.  Facebook will reset the cost in auction and your costs will increase.  Instead, duplicate the ad and create a new one.  It’s recommended to have a budget of $11 to $25 daily on ads.  For the most part, your page ads should not cost more than $0.10 per ‘like’.
  • Use the 80/20 rule when posting.  Make sure 80% of the time your content is share worthy and 20% of the time your asking for a sale or promoting your business.

Believe us when we say this is just the tip of the iceberg on all the information given.  It also features in-depth interviews from marketing experts, celebrities, and influencers.  This book could be helpful taking your firm to the next level you’ve been wanting!

Back Office Betties

Building Your Audience Through Social Media

Learning how to grow your social media presence can be kind of a mystery, especially when running your business social media isn’t your main job… running your business is! Regardless of how intimidating it may appear, it’s important to be working towards continually building your social media audiences. Should it be your main goal in life? Of course not. But it can be a huge factor in growing your business, and it’s free to use it! So why not utilize it?

Quick Tips for Building an Audience

The following are a few sweet and simple ways you can expand your social media presence and start growing your followers:

  • Use hashtags. This is especially helpful for Instagram! And not just two or three, go for at minimum 10, and put them in the comments to make them less obnoxious to your followers.
  • Add links to your profiles. This could be links to anything- your website, a cause you are supporting, an article your brand was featured in, etc. Any link that shares a little more about your brand and your values is what you want to be sharing.
  • Have consistent visual branding. What’s your brand aesthetic? What vibe are you trying to send? Be consistent so your audience understands what you are all about. Plus, consistent visual branding is just attractive to the eye. You audience will also remember you.
  • Run a giveaway! This is a great way to spread the word about your brand. Something as simple as “To enter this giveaway follow us and tag two friends in the comments” is going to get people excited about you and really expand your audience.
  • Reply to comments on your pictures and messages. Get to know your followers, don’t be afraid or hesitant to engage with them! This also sends the message to your followers that you care about them and that you are listening.

Start with Basics

Obviously, there are a ton of ways you can analyze your social media accounts by reviewing data, apps, and analytics to understand what you can be doing better.  But when you are a small business owner, just start with the basics! It doesn’t always have to be a science, sometimes it just involves putting in a bit more effort and engaging your audience a little more.

Don’t be afraid of social media, it is nothing more than another tool to grow your brand and interact with others.

Know Your Position When Playing the Game

It is human nature to always be searching for something better, the proverbial ‘grass is always greener on the other side’. We might have fooled ourselves into believing that a constant search for success is what will eventually get us there, but this mindset is what is limiting us in our businesses.

Basketball pro Bill Walton believed hyper focusing on your weaknesses does nothing but chew up time that could be spent sharpening your strengths. The truth is, there are just some things we aren’t good at, and we never will be. But there is a silver lining; there are things we are great at that other people aren’t. And it is these things we should be focusing on.

Stick with What You Know

So how do we do this? It is as simple as sticking with what you know, and really pushing yourself towards improvement in those areas. This was a lesson I learned the long and hard way, but when I finally realized I don’t have to be good at everything, I was really liberated. You have employees and coworkers for a reason! Each person has a set of unique skills and abilities, and like a puzzle, they can fill the gaps you can’t.

In the game of basketball, one person isn’t responsible for every position on the court. If so, there would be no game, it would be constant failure, especially when competing with teams who operate like a well-oiled machine. So, it’s silly to think different rules apply when it comes to our businesses.

Push yourself outside your comfort zone with your strengths. Be more than just “good” at your strengths… be great!  If you’re point guard, then be the best point guard you can be, and stop trying to master the role of playing the forward. You have what it takes to be successful, so start applying those skills!

Back Office Betties

Teamwork: What Every Law Firm Needs

In the spirit of March Madness, we are focusing on teamwork!  There is a lot we can learn from professional basketball teams and their strategies to create a more cohesive unit.

Teamwork Strategies

Here is how you can practically apply basketball teamwork strategies in your law firm:

Have a leader: Every great team must have a leader who is out there on the court with them. Think Steph Curry or Lebron James. Be a servant- leader, who leads by example and inspires others.

Start the day with a huddle: Huddling is not just for sports teams, it applies to any and every type of team. It gets the group ready, prepared, inspired, pumped, and excited to tackle the day.

Practice drills: This strategy is particularly helpful with customer service-related interactions. Practice makes perfect and performing practice drills together can allow for peer to peer constructive criticism making it a great learning experience.

Regularly do team building exercises: For a professional basketball team, just about every exercise is for team building purposes. That is how they become so in-tune with one another. If you want your firm to be more cohesive, to know one another better, and to increase communication; then give them fun activities (not related to work) to complete together. This will help everyone to relax and reveal personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses.

Learn from failed teamwork: Failure is okay! It’s when we don’t learn from it that it becomes a problem. You may face times where you don’t work together and didn’t have the awareness that you hoped for. Maybe more strategy is needed! Take what you learned from your failures and apply it for the future

Working as a team is important in every firm, no matter how big or small. If you want your employees to fit in with your business culture and reflect company goals and values… start with trying some teamwork strategies!

Free PR for Your Law Firm

At Back Office Betties, we do a ‘Betties Book Brief’ to keep our approach fresh and implement ways we can improve.  This month we chose, Free PR: How to get chased by the press without hiring a PR firm. This book teaches you how to perfect your pitch, build media relationships, and get buzz-worthy coverage, without having to spend a fortune on running ads or hiring a PR firm. This book is an amazing resource for small and large businesses alike, because who doesn’t want to master the art of free PR?!

Emily’s 5 Takeaway’s

For me, this book had 5 important takeaways that I wanted to share with you all in hopes it will help you in your pursuit towards becoming your own PR company.

  • You MUST find out where your ideal clients are hanging out. Do the research and find out what blogs do they read, what podcasts do they listen to and what events do they attend? I reached out to several of my clients and attorney friends to ask this question and was blown away by the answer. I thought I knew the ‘who’s who’ of the legal world, but I now know otherwise. There are dozens of specialty conferences, podcasts and blogs that I didn’t have on my radar.
  • Create new angles and pitches for each medium. Use popular buzz words and news to create angles that weave in current news.
  • There are five major story archetypes such as: Culture, Overcoming Adversity, Customer Story, Leveraging Technology, and The Future.
  • Keyword tools will make this process easier! Check out BuzzSumo, Google Trends, or SEMRush. These analytics tools provide information about keywords and search volume.
  • Yes, it is possible to get published in 7 stories a month! Read Free PR to learn how former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, Cameron Herold fired his PR company and tackled PR in-house with incredible results (can we say Oprah?!).

I hope this has inspired you to read the full book and take in all it has to offer!  This book is a powerhouse full of great information that can change your firm forever! Get out there and start mastering the art of Free PR!

Pruning Your Business

When you’ve invested so much time and energy into your business, it’s like having a garden full of rose bushes.  For your roses to flourish, you must give them the love and attention they need so they can grow and bloom.  Your business is like pruning a garden…. sometimes you need to prune the dead weight in your business.

Pruning for Success

If you are hesitant about pruning your business, or scared to step on a few toes, remember these things:

  • Pruning will make your business healthier. When a plant has overgrown and has unhealthy branches, it will become stressed. The plant then invests in precious resources to revive these dying branches. This pursuit can end up depriving the healthy limbs from getting the nutrients they need.  Consider not investing in resources to something that’s dying in your business!  Eliminate what isn’t useful before you end up compromising healthy functions within your business.
  • Pruning will make your business more appealing and organized. Nothing is more discouraging to potential consumers than a disorganized and chaotic business. Evaluate things like software that needs to be updated or replaced; or vendors that aren’t serving your business needs.
  • Pruning allows you to modify and shape your vision. Prune back so you can explore new territory, meet new demands, and reach new consumer markets – all aligning with your vision.
  • Prune so you have less of a mess to clean up later. The less time you spend cleaning up messes, the less you will have to manage, which means more time for you to focus on the direction of your business.

It’s never easy having to make the decision to do some pruning, but once you move forward with it, you will be so grateful you did.

 

 

Solo Concierge’s at Your Service!

Back Office Betties specializes in helping small and single attorney firms, which allows us to provide unmatched services for our clients.  We are proud to announce that we are making your customer experience even better with our NEW Solo Concierge Service!

Unlimited Personal Concierge Services

Aside from answering phone calls and other duties that commensurate with daily office function; here are some examples of what personal concierge’s service can do for you:

  • Online shopping- for when you get held up in court and don’t have time.
  • Setting up lunch dates- for when you get caught up on the phone with a chatty client!
  • Researching travel- for when you unexpectedly make a new client that you need to see.
  • Scheduling family events- for when things get hectic, keeping your home life balanced.
  • Ordering flowers or a gift – for your loved one and you don’t want to miss the occasion!
  • …And so much more!!

Save Precious Time

We know that as a busy attorney, you don’t always have time to get personal things done. The great news is, you don’t have to! With our Solo Concierge you have a professional who you can trust to take care of those small tasks that seem to take time out of your day.  There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, especially when it means you get significantly more time in the day to spend working with your clients, providing the services you know they need.

The Solo Concierge by Back Office Betties is here for you… After all, we are your team of professional virtual receptionists who will work on your side and support you like no other!

What Are You Bad At?

Despite the things you may have heard, it is in fact okay for your firm to be bad at things. There is no such thing as perfection.  However, there is such thing as niche expertise, and that is where you should strive to be. For example, if you are focused on your clientele and you should have a strong understanding of your ‘dream’ client – the more you will be able to meet his/her needs.

What Walmart Knows…

Let’s use an example like the store Walmart for instance. Walmart knows exactly who they are catering to, and they are offering exactly what their customer base wants- affordable grocery and retail products.  It’s not a glamorous, upscale shopping experience…. and for them it doesn’t have to be!  If Walmart wanted to become a high-end retailer, they would not be able to do that and keep their prices low.  They cater to the budget-conscious consumer and are ok not serving the higher-end retail customer.  They have embraced their strengths, and they are dominating their niche because of it.

Our Niche

At Back Office Betties, we are a prime example as well!  Our ‘dream’ clients are small law firms.  We can provide a very specialized service to attorneys that need a virtual receptionist.  Lawyers want to help their clients win cases and they cannot focus on what’s important if they are constantly answering the phone.  We are the team that stands behind the scenes and takes care of phone tasks with our professional legal receptionists.  Because we identify what we are best at, we provide unparalleled service in our industry!

Find Your Niche

As you decide to develop you niche further, find out what your bad at first and eliminate that.  Then focus on what your firm is good at. What is your niche? Who is your dream client?  Just remember, you don’t need to please everyone!

What Makes You Different?

In order to be the obvious choice among your competitors there are a few things to consider.  Many law firms struggle with how to successfully stand out because they are competing with firms that offer the same services.  However, there are many ways you can break the status quo and offer one of a kind services to your clients.

Quick Tips

The following steps are the best way law firms can really connect to their clientele and increase client bookings:

Know your customer: Have a firm grasp of who your ideal client is (wants, needs, and expectations) and have tailored services for that person. Naturally, if you build your services around your dream client you will start attracting more of that client.

Identify your niche: What is your firm best at? Oppositely, where are your weak spots? Instead of getting hung up on perfection, focus on the areas you are good at and let go of some of the weak spots and those areas that aren’t in demand with your ideal client.

Meet their needs: Now that you know your dream client, identify their unmet needs and address them in the services you offer.

Build a team: Build a team that is a great culture fit for you and your firm. It’s imperative they understand your goals, needs, and that they work hard to make the firm reach its best potential.

Don’t be afraid to step outside of the box and really explore how you could be better serving your clients. These principles will make a world of difference for your firm and greatly improve your relationships with your clients.

 

If you are looking for a more in-depth analysis of each of these principles and how you can apply them then check out the Back Office Betties eBook  Stand Out: How to Be the Obvious Choice.