Most lawyers think logically and linearly. It certainly is no surprise since that is how we were taught to think.

Yet, to take client development to the next level, I must convince lawyers I coach to exercise the right side (the creative side) of their brain. So, we focus on exercising the right side of their brain.

Several years ago, Seth Godin posted a Blog titled “Creativity and stretching the sweatshirt.” It resonated with me.

In the post, he said:

Creativity is the stuff you do at the edges. But the edges are different for everyone, and the edges change over time.

He also suggests that if you are not creative, then watch the creative things other people have done.

I ask lawyers I coach what they can do around the edges to attract and be valuable to potential clients. They frequently ask me to share examples. Here are some ideas I have shared.

During my career some of the things I did around the edges were:

  1. Write a monthly column in a leading construction magazine.
  2. Compile my monthly columns each year into a booklet and send it to highway and transportation contractors.
  3. Speak annually to highway and transportation construction contractors.
  4. Create a newsletter before any of my competitors.
  5. Create a video for contractors when VHS first came out.
  6. Create guides for contractors.

What are the edges now? I think if I was still practicing law today and could do anything I wanted, I would:

  1. Create a professional looking video for my website bio.
  2. Have a professional videographer shoot video of each of my presentations and edit them into short video clips for Youtube.
  3. Develop a regular video podcast for contractors.
  4. Develop the Transportation Construction Law Blog.
  5. Create a Transportation Construction Law LinkedIn page.
  6. Use Twitter as a tool to keep up with high profile Transportation Construction projects.
  7. Conduct monthly webinars for contractors.

I like this Steve Jobs quote, in part, because it describes what I did and would do now:

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, the just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.

What does this quote mean in the legal profession? Connecting things is the ability to take what is going on in the world of your clients and see the potential legal issues or opportunities.

How was I able to connect things when I practiced law? I was insatiable to learn and experience everything I could about the transportation construction industry. By doing that, I was able to see connections other people missed.

So I end this post by asking you two questions:

  1. What can you do around the edges that will attract new clients and benefit existing clients?
  2. What are you connecting?