Positive Action Articles Category

The Four Pillars of Marketing™

Hello! My name is Terrie Wheeler, and I am excited to be a Featured Expert in the area of legal marketing on www.womenlawyersonline.com. As this is my first blog post with Women Lawyers Online, I would like to share a little bit about myself and my background, and lay the foundation for the blog posts I will be writing in the future.

I have been helping lawyers attract new clients for over 24 years. I spent 12 years in three large Twin Cities law firms as a marketing director, and in 1996, started a consulting firm,Professional Services Marketing, Inc. (PSM), helping professional services firms develop targeted strategies to grow their practices.  In 2007, I launched an innovative new web-based tool for lawyers, www. Market Your Law Practice.com. The site replicates my individual marketing coaching process for lawyers.

I earned a master’s degree in business from the University of St. Thomas (MBC) in St. Paul, MN, and love to write and speak nationally on topics related to marketing best practices for lawyers.  I enjoy nothing more than sharing my expertise with others, facilitating lively discussions on marketing legal services, and introducing great people to one another. I am excited to share my expertise with the Women Lawyers Online community!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmumm/3126413384/My approach to marketing is built around PSM’s Four Pillars of Marketing™.  The Four Pillars of Marketing™ represent the foundational areas every marketing plan needs to address. 

The Four Pillars of Marketing™ for lawyers are:

Pillar #1: Retain and Grow Relationships with Existing Clients
Pillar #2: Attract New Clients and Develop New Business
Pillar #3: Increase Name Recognition and Awareness
Pillar #4: Create Targeted and Effective Communications

A well balanced marketing strategy requires a well balanced allocation of marketing activities. In future blog posts, I will use the four pillars of marketing as a way to discuss marketing planning and to organize various marketing strategies that lawyers pursue. Below are listed the four pillars of marketing, along with corresponding legal marketing strategies:

Pillar 1

Retain and Grow Relationships with Existing Clients


  • Client Satisfaction
  • Client Service
  • Cross Marketing
  • Referral Source Development

Pillar 2

Attract New Clients and Develop New Business


  • Networking
  • Targeted Business Development
  • Proposal Development
  • Market Research
  • Trade and Professional Association Involvement

Pillar 3

Increase Name Recognition and Awareness


  • Advertising
  • Brand and Identity Development
  • Public and Media Relations
  • Trade Shows
  • Community Involvement
  • Social Networking

Pillar 4

Create Targeted and Effective Communications


  • Strategic Communication
  • Marketing Database and Information Management
  • Website Development
  • Event Planning
  • Online Marketing

My next blog post will discuss tips for marketing your law practice in a tight economy, and will be organized around these four pillars of marketing.



The Price of Getting It All Done

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gilz99/3500810435/If you’re like most women today, you’re struggling to find the balance between work, family and self. You’re taking care of the needs of everyone else, leaving you little time, energy or motivation for your own self care. You have a heaping pile of obligations, responsibilities, commitments and chores and it takes focus, organization and excellent time management skills to get it all done. You accomplish in a day what most people do over the course of a week. You cross off tasks on your “to-do” list with a heavy sigh and a sense of relief. So, instead of feeling great when you get it all done, why is it that you have that nagging sense of unease?

Chances are, in your effort to “get it all done” you’ve disregarded the need for fun, joy, passion and purpose. Maybe there’s a dream unfulfilled and your busy schedule doesn’t allow for any time to pursue a passion. Maybe there are needs unmet such as extra sleep, exercise or spending time with friends but your obligations don’t allow the extra time to fit it all in. Maybe you’re so busy, you haven’t even had the opportunity to think about what it is that you actually need and what is necessary to make you feel happy and complete. Yes you may be getting it all done but there’s a good chance it’s at the expense of a healthy and balanced body, mind and spirit.

This is the way many of us are living today. We’re putting our needs at the bottom of the priority list because we’ve been conditioned to care for everyone else first. We feel guilty when we show ourselves any self-care and we’ve resigned ourselves to thinking that this is what life is. Well, the way we travel through womanhood is a very unique and personal decision. There is no “one size fits all” method, but instead many styles and choices to choose from. So here’s a thought. Try to see yourself from someone else’s eyes. How would they describe you? For example, would they describe you as silly, fun and relaxed or as someone who’s always stressed, anxious and impatient? Once you get your answer now determine if your thoughts, habits and behaviors have had a positive or negative effect on the way you look, feel and live. Finally, when you get those answers, determine if how you’re living needs to change.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pursuethepassion/3808089294/If you’re a mom, you are the single biggest influence in your children’s lives. They watch, learn and emulate your thoughts, words and actions. If you don’t like the image you’re projecting or the role model you’ve become…change! Every home has a feeling within it. Almost like the many different styles of music, if you were to go from one house to the next, you’d find a certain harmony within the home. Some homes are melodious and soothing, while others are so noisy and thrashing they can give you a headache! Well, much of the harmony begins with mom and is determined by the way mom feels. If mom is feeling peaceful, happy and content she will enhance her family with the benefit of these emotional states. If she’s feeling drained, unfulfilled and unhappy she’ll bring these feelings into the home as well. 

By Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC The Mojo CoachÒ




Feeling Stuck? 8 Great Ways to Get Moving Again!



“If you get up one more time than you fall, you will make it through.” ~ Chinese Proverb  

Sometimes when life and business get overwhelming and you feel stuck in a rut, pushing and straining harder is actually counter-productive. So when you feel like you have blown a mental fuse, here are some powerful ways to restart yourself and get moving forward again!

1.         Get into nature. Go outside and take some deep breaths of fresh air. Put on your walking shoes and take a 15-minute power walk. Take off your shoes and wiggle your toes in the grass. Notice the beauty around you. Reconnecting with nature is a fantastic way to get your creative juices flowing again.

2.         Shift into learning mode. When you are beating your head against a wall trying to create or get something done, take a little break and do some learning. Pick up a nonfiction, business or personal development book and grow your mind and yourself. Turn on an audio CD or a program that will help you learn a skill you need. Don’t waste time when spinning in circles. If you need to disengage from business for a while, engage in something else that still feeds and serves you.

3.         Mix up your style. Do you have to do things the way you have always done them? If you usually work solely on the computer, maybe it’s time to disconnect and use an old-fashioned paper and pen. Maybe if you usually work in your home office, why not enjoy a change of scenery and work somewhere else for a few hours? Think outside of the box—sometimes just doing something in a different way or a different place will open new ways of thinking.

4.         Enjoy some self-care. Maybe your mind is fried because you haven’t taken any time for yourself in a very long time. Take some time to have a cup of tea, enjoy a piece of chocolate, take a short nap, get a massage, whatever it takes to recharge you. By refueling and refreshing your body, you will be doing the same for your mind.

5.         Reconnect with your big “WHY?” Sometimes when we are stuck, we need to take a moment to reconnect with our values, our priorities, and our big “WHY?” Why did we start our business in the first place? Why are we doing the task or project we are doing—what larger good in our business does it serve? Take a few minutes to get internally quiet and get in touch with your bigger motivations and visions for your business and yourself.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/luca_volpi/362754833/6.         Feel the love. Call or connect with someone who supports you and your career. Chat for a few minutes. You could even start off the conversation honestly saying “I am hitting a wall today and just needed to connect with you for a little pep talk.” Or, “I am really frustrated today and I am wondering if you have a couple of minutes to help me process things.” That person will probably be more than happy to give you a few minutes of support, and it will help you get refocused, re-grounded, and restarted.

7.         Work with a coach or mentor. Success leaves clues, and sometimes the best thing you can have is a coach or mentor to help you look at a problem in a different way, help you ask some different questions, and basically help you get from that rut back into motion. Sometimes it takes someone from the outside looking in to identify the problem, and together you can work toward a solution.

8.         Build a mastermind group. Find a group of other successful women lawyers that you resonate with, whom you respect, and whose input you value. There is power in a group of minds coming together. So next time you are stuck, you have a team of people to encourage you or to give you suggestions. 

Those are eight tips to get you going when you feel stuck. You probably aren’t as far from being “unstuck” as you think you are! You can get yourself back on track and on your way to success.

TODAY: When you are feeling stuck, try one of these tools or another one that you know has worked for you in the past. Don’t allow yourself to give up too early or stay stuck. Instead, look in your toolbox of ideas (like the ones in this article) and use them to get moving again as quickly as possible. Time wasted is time lost, so focus on doing what it takes, even if it is a few minutes away, to get rebooted and moving forward!




3 Powerful Ways That Forgiveness is Critical to Your Business and Personal Success






“We forgive freely or we do not really forgive at all.”~ Lewis B. Smedes

Who likes to think about all of the things that they have done that they probably should not have done and repent for them? It’s a little uncomfortable, admitting you screwed up, asking forgiveness.

So I’ve spent some time really thinking about three key lessons that we all can learn about forgiveness.

  • Ask forgiveness.
  • Grant forgiveness.
  • Forgive yourself.

Here are some thoughts about each one of those life-affirming and life-changing tools …

1.  Ask forgiveness.

This one sounds so simple and yet I know it can be very hard. I know people who can hardly utter the words “I’m sorry,” much less “Please forgive me.” Yet those words have such healing power. To the person you have wronged, just hearing you say words of apology may go a long way toward rectifying the situation and putting your relationship back on track. If nothing else, it is certainly a step in the right direction.

But to go deeper—asking forgiveness means accepting responsibility for your actions. This is critical to leading a successful life. You must understand and grasp that you are 100% responsible for your actions, both good and bad. And when the consequences are not positive, you need to take the steps to make amends, even when it is difficult to swallow your pride and do that.

It’s probably clear how this can affect your personal life, but it can also seriously impact your legal practice. What if you accidentally overcharged a client, or didn’t deliver on a promise in a timely manner, or forgot to respond to their e-mail? You must apologize. It’s the right thing to do. It doesn’t matter who is at fault—it’s your practice. And when you do, not only will you redeem that relationship, but you will have deepened the relationship by showing that you are a person of integrity and a good person to work with.

2.  Forgive others.

There is no need to hold a grudge. It does not serve you—it only hurts you. If someone has asked for your forgiveness, give it to him or her. It was probably hard to ask, so be gracious.

And if someone has not asked for your forgiveness and has hurt you somehow, forgive them anyway. If you don’t forgive them in your own heart, you are giving them control over your emotions and feelings that they should not have. You are allowing them to make you feel angry, hurt, frustrated, and a host of other nasty things. Why are you giving them that power over you, especially if you are unhappy with them in the first place?

Again, it comes back to personal responsibility. Take responsibility for your feelings and actions. By forgiving, you release yourself from the emotional bondage you are in. That is a beautiful feeling—to know that you and you alone are truly in control of your reactions to the world and people around you.

3.  Forgive yourself.

Now this can also be very difficult. We learn from childhood to ask forgiveness and grant forgiveness, but we don’t learn to forgive ourselves.

I am harder on myself than I am on any other person. I am not proud of this, and I am getting much better about it, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. I should be as gentle, compassionate, and positive with myself as I am with my children, husband, family or friends. But I’m not. I sometimes shower myself with self-criticism—that I’m not smart enough or good enough to accomplish the big dreams I have. I beat myself up for little mistakes and grant myself no leeway.

We must remember that we are human beings just like everyone else. We make mistakes. We take longer to learn something than we want to. We say or do silly things. We break things. So what? Do we have to keep beating ourselves up for it?

Love yourself, and because you love yourself, forgive yourself. Be gentle and loving and compassionate with yourself, just as you would be with a small child or loved one. The love that you feel for yourself will shine through in your relationships with others and your business. And it will make your life so much more joyful. So give yourself a break. Tell yourself it’s “okay” to make a mistake or head in the wrong direction for a while. If you would forgive someone else for doing the same thing, why not forgive yourself?

TODAY: Think about these questions: Who can you ask for forgiveness? Who can you forgive? What can you forgive yourself for? Start down the path of forgiveness in these three ways and you’ll see great changes in your life!



How to Eat Healthy During Your Workday


Leaving the office to grab a bite for lunch or dinner? Here are just a few tips to encourage light and lean restaurant eating.

  • Order an appetizer (as long as it’s a healthy one) with a salad or two healthy appetizers instead of a high fat/calorie entrée.
  • Start with a clear-based soup or salad versus a cream based soup.
  • Ask that the bread basked not be put down on the table. If that’s not an option, make a decision about how much you’ll have before you go and stick to it.
  • At a buffet or salad bar, load up on the vegetables and watch out for high fat toppings and mixtures.
  • Portion off half of the entrée and share it or pack it up for another meal.
  • Use the opportunity to enjoy what the restaurant is known for; enjoying a small portion of those foods, which are unique, interesting and symbolic to that restaurant while avoiding ordinary foods that you can have anywhere.
  • Substitute fruit, salad or steamed vegetables in place of high fat side dishes
  • Use condiments such as ketchup, mustard, vinegar, lemon and salsa versus butter, sour cream, cheese or creamy sauces.
  • Ask for foods “dry” or with sauces on the side.
  • Use the “fork trick” for your salad. Instead of piercing the salad then dipping it into dressing, do the reverse. Dip the fork in the dressing first…then pierce the salad. You’ll still get the flavor you love without using nearly as much as if you did it the usual way.

Here are a few behavioral strategies you can try:

  • With food still left on your plate, casually add some salt, pepper or other seasoning that would make the entrée less appealing to you.
  • Put your napkin on the plate indicating (even if it's only to yourself) that you've finished.
  • Say something like "Wow that was great, I'm stuffed." Making a public declaration may make you think twice about digging back in once again.
  • Push your plate out of reach.
  • Put the opposite ends of your utensils onto the plate. Now they're unpleasant to pick up.
  • Pay attention to things like the flavor, texture and aroma the food was designed to give. Being more mindful of your surroundings will help you feel more satisfied with less food.
  • When drinking alcohol, pre plan the amount you'll have and stick to it. Remember, if you "fail to plan, then plan to fail."
  • Slow down. Put your fork down between bites, drink plenty of water to pace yourself and enjoy heaping conversations versus heaping portions of food.

Here’s what you can try if you’re dining in:

An even healthier option may be to brown bag some healthy foods to keep you fueled and filled throughout the day. If that’s your choice, start with a nutrient dense, high fiber healthy breakfast (or take it with you) and have some healthy snacks available for when hunger strikes. Keep single serving portions of fruit, nuts, low-fat cheese, low-sugar/whole grain bars, etc. on hand and of course, drink plenty of water throughout the day. Our thirst mechanisms are often off signaling hunger when we’re in fact, thirsty.

Restaurant ordering as well as healthy snacking doesn't have to be a daunting and confusing task. It can be simple, delicious and enjoyable with a few new ideas and some smart choices.



Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC The Mojo CoachÒ is a Registered Dietitian with a Master's in Nutrition. She's a Personal Trainer, Whole Health Coach, speaker and author of The Lifestyle Fitness Program: A Six Part Plan So Every Mom Can Look, Feel and Live Her Best (recommended by Parenting Magazine and Jack Canfield, Co-Author the Best Selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series and The Success Principles)andA Pocket Full of Mojo: 365 Proven Strategies To Create Your Ultimate Body, Mind, Image and Lifestyle. The Mojo Coach® can inspire anyone to reach their full potential through her highly effective approach to lifestyle health and she’s THEsecret behind some of the healthiest, most influential, charismatic and successful professionals visible today.Find out whyat www.TheMojoCoach.com.