5 Pillars of Power Planning


To accomplish things we have never achieved before we need to do things we have never done before.  What are you going to do to make 2010 brilliant?

Looking forward to 2010 I am amazed at the crazy twists and turns my life has taken over the last year.  Back in March I left a comfortable job as a corporate lawyer to face the unknown challenges of being an entrepreneur.  (in full disclosure I was let go by the firm because there wasn’t enough work, and although I had two other offers for jobs, I turned those down to do my own thing) It turned out to be the best decision I could have made. In less than 10 months I have been able to get my first book published, build a thriving consulting business, and garner some pretty great press as I was quoted by Entrepreneur.com, Fast Company Magazine, MSNBC.com, and the Wall Street Journal.

I didn’t get their on my own though.  I had some help from some amazing mentors and coaches.  They weren’t cheap, but the concepts they taught me have transformed me and the way I think about business.

Gathering some of the best of what I have learned from this last year, I have put together this call as a thanks to all those who have read my blog, retweeted my posts, and commented along the way.  In this call I share 5 incredible planning principles that have changed the way I do business.

The conference call is less than 23 minutes long.  I hope you enjoy it, and I especially hope you have a Merry Christmas!

Adrian Dayton is a New York attorney that puts on free conference calls on Friday mornings at 10:00 AM EST throughout the year.  Click here to join his calls in 2010.  For a free chapter of his book Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition CLICK HERE.


Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Final Call for 2009: Creating a Vision for 2010

Growing up I would sometimes complain to my father that I sure wished I had gone out for the football team.  His answer for me was always the same,
“We do the things in life we want to do.” Or in other words.  I only had myself to blame if I wasn’t involved in something that was important to me.
This is as true now as it was when I was a child.  When I first got the idea to write Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition I had a million projects pulling me in different directions.  I had to put a number of things on hold- and carefully plan to make it happen.  It never would have happened if I hadn’t made it a priority.  What are our priorities for the next year?
As Christmas and the holiday season approaches, we can’t help but look back on our accomplishments from the past year, and think about what the next year could mean for us.  What made 2009 a great year for your firm or business?  What will make 2010 even better?  Is it possible that we can achieve greatness this next year by living our lives in cruise control?
There are short term goals, there are long term goals, and then there is a clear vision of the future.  The time we spend setting goals may have a greater impact on our success than anything else in life.  They say that 1 hour worth of planning is worth 10 hours of activity.  Wasting 10 hours surfing wiki-pedia, sharing tweets, and posting on blogs is easy- creating measurable results through these same activities requires planning.  Social media is fun – but this creates the risk of it becoming a distraction.  This makes planning your social media activities all the more important.
What is your process for planning?  Do you have scheduled time set aside to help you create the future you want most?  Who is your mentor?  Are you part of a mastermind group?  What is your vision of where your firm or business is going? And most importantly, how are you going to get there?
Join us tomorrow, December 18th at 10:00 AM EST for the final conference call of 2009.  We will be discussing five planning principles that will lead to dramatic success in 2010.  CLICK HERE to join us for this important call!

Don’t Tell Me- Show Me

(32 minutes)


When I started working on my first book, a very good friend of mine, Rachel Nielson, gave me some great advice about writing. She explained to me that when telling a story it is so much more important to show people what is happening than to simply to tell them. Let me give you an example of how this works:

Tell: Yesterday I was in Arizona for a few days and I got to work on my laptop while sitting by the pool. It was nice.

Show: The keys of my laptop were hot to the touch as I started writing my latest blog post. The warm Arizona sun beamed down on my forehead as I leaned back in the poolside recliner. The thought crossed my mind, “Why do I live in Buffalo?”

You see in the SHOW version you paint a picture for people, help them imagine what is going on. That way people don’t have to take your word for it, because they are vicariously enjoying the moment with you.
This same principle applies to getting noticed online. Nobody wants to hear WHAT you can do for them. People hate being pitched and being sold. People do like to buy from people they trust and respect, and your best chance of getting their attention is by SHOWING them what you do.

There are a lot of ways to SHOW people the quality of your work. Blog posts, YouTube videos, and white papers- but perhaps even more valuable than any of these is allowing people to see your actual work product. The website JD Supra gives attorneys the chance to do just that.

This last Friday I welcomed onto my conference call Adrian Lurssen, co-creator of JD Supra. JDSupra.com is a social networking site dedicated to the simple idea that sharing your writing and legal work is a great way to SHOW people what you are capable of.

Listen in on this 32 minute discussion to learn how lawyers and legal marketing professionals can get valuable exposure by simply sharing their written work with others. On the call Adrian Lurssen will also answer the questions:
“Won’t people just steal my work if I post it for free online?”
“How long does it take to post your work on JD Supra?
“What type of results are attorneys that use JD Supra having?”

It used to be that your resume and your bio was enough for a lawyer to bring in business. Not anymore.  We are living in a fiercely competitive world now- with consumers that are more educated than ever. JD Supra is a great platform to help attorneys get noticed and show the world what they are capable of. What do you have to show the world?

Adrian Dayton is an attorney licensed to practice in the State of New York. You can join his free conference calls ever Friday by clicking HERE. You can also get a free portion of his book, Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition by clicking HERE.


Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

What is the deal with JD Supra?


This whole idea of “sharing” is tough for young children to understand- just ask my 2 year old son.  It is hard for him to watch somebody else enjoy one of his toys.  Even if he is having fun with something else, he often grabs away the toy from his young friends.  Many lawyers have a hard time sharing too.  But for those who believe in sharing, and in this idea that “a rising tide lifts all ships” JD Supra is a great place for lawyers to share.

Tomorrow we will be welcoming to our call Adrian Lurssen from JD Supra.  For those that haven’t hear of JD Supra- it is a site dedicated to sharing.  Remember that contract clause you had to draft, that you were sure had been drafted a thousand times before?  Jump on JD Supra and find the completed work of others to give you a head start.


At 10:00 AM EST Adrian Lurssen will be joining us for a FREE conference call.  You can get the call-in information HERE or feel free to email questions about JD Supra or social media in general to info@adriandayton.com and we will answer them during the call.

Podcast with Avvo.com CEO Mark Britton


mark-britton-photo Mp3 link is http://www.adriandayton.com/audio/AVVO.mp3

According to recent reports 78% of people trust peer recommendations, while only 14% trust advertisements.  What does this mean for lawyers?  Find out from Mark Britton himself, the creator of Avvo.com a site designed to rate lawyers based on a number of different factors. Avvo.com has received with skepticism among some lawyer, but Mark Britton dispel some of the myths keeping lawyers from using Avvo.com.  You will also hear how some attorneys have landed 6 figure clients through Avvo.com

This call is just over an hour long, but there were so many great questions for Mark I think you will enjoy it.


Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Nintendo and Social Media for Lawyers

Does anybody remember playing the ORIGINAL Atari? Sure, they were video games- but they were VERY simple video games. The controllers looked a little bit like this:


Pretty simple, right?  One button, and the controller.  Pretty hard to get confused, there you only had 2 options.  Push the button, or direct the joystick.

Then came along a video game system called the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).  This included a new controller, one with three more buttons.

nes-joystickIt was still a pretty simple controller, but it was a little bit too complicated for my parents.  Back in the early 80’s my parents would play Pacman on the Atari, but they never made the leap to playing on the more complicated NES controler.

Then came along the Nintendo 64 with an entirely new controller.

nintendo-64-joystickFor big time games this was progress, yet for many of the older generation (my generation included)- it was just too much for them.  It wasn’t worth the time and effort to make the leap from 5 buttons – to over a dozen.

The technology had improved, yet it was failing it’s customer base because it alienated so many of the original users. It had become too complicated.  Then Nintendo in a flash of brilliance, came up with a solution that was revolutionary because of its’ simplicity.  Nintendo completed the technology cycle.  They used enhanced technology to allow for increased simplicity.

wii-remoteThose of you that are counting are saying, “hey wait a minute there are still 8 different buttons!”  But really, there are only 3 buttons that are used for many of the games.

The Nintendo Wii has seen phenomenal success because it has bridged the gap, completed the technology cycle, and the designers at Nintendo have used what they learned to make a product that is better because it is easier to use.

Social Media has followed a similar path and life cycle.  It started out with discussion boards like Compuserve and then AOL.  These were very basic- it was really just CONVERSATIONS.  Then things evolved and websites and email became the way everybody wanted to do business.  Unfortunately, websites were not easy to build.    Anybody COULD do it, but few took the time to learn the programming necessary to put together their own website.

Those who paid others to build their sites, didn’t even know enough fundamentals to make minor adjustments to their wsites.  These websites became static, and soon irrelevant dinosaurs.

With the explosion of Web 2.0 over the last year,  we have seen the re-invention of internet communications, just like Nintendo reinvented gaming with the Wii.  It is so easy to start a blog, upload a YouTube video, and  bust out micro-blog posts on Twitter.  So if it is so easy, why are Lawyers and other professionals so slow to adopt it?

I am going to suggest a few reasons why, and hopefully through the discussions on Connected this month we can gain the perspective of the legal community in general on why Lawyers are hesitant to adopt social media.

First, Lawyers are busy.  Most lawyers don’t have enough time to spend with their family- the last thing they want is another time sync.

Second, Lawyers are risk averse.  Don’t blame us, we are paid to be risk averse.  The ethics and solicitation requirements with regards to social media are not yet well understood, and unfortunately this has a chilling effect on social media use within law firms.  Firms fear what they don’t understand, and so they are taking a very cautious approach.

Third, Lawyers aren’t sure that social media works.  There is a clear division among the law bloggers, or “blawgers” whichever you prefer.  Some think that blogging is a nice way to keep connected, learn from other attorneys, but isn’t a business development tool.  Others swear by it, claiming to bring in clients on a regular basis through their blog and social media contacts.  Since social media hasn’t been around for an incredibly long period of time, we don’t have a ton of case studies.  Empirically, it is too early to tell the magnitude of the effect social media will have on the bottom line.  That being said, the success stories are mounting, and since these technologies are in their infancy- we expect to see an explosion in the next year, and better data to help lawyers realize the advantages to social media.

Fourth, lawyers are worried they won’t be very good at the new technology.  They remember the 12 button Nintendo 64 controller, and they think these tools are better left to a younger generation.  This is the worse error they could possibly make.  Young people may know what buttons to push, but they have nowhere near the experience level or depth of knowledge of older attorneys.  Anybody can learn this technology.  Having something valuable to say- that is a much bigger challenge.

What other barriers are there keeping attorneys from using social media?

How has your firm dealt with these issues?

What will the next year bring for social media and the law?

Adrian Dayton is a lawyer, author and social media consultant to large law firms.  His is the author of the book Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition.  If you would like to join in on the free conference calls, click HERE