I am traveling this week to Atlanta for the E3A International Conference, where I will be a keynote speaker. E3A stands for Equine Experiential Educational Association, a membership organization for professionals in the field of Equine Assisted Learning. I’ll be speaking on the familiar topic of how to make digital marketing work to grow your business. Though content and audiences may change, the principles of marketing professional services on the internet remain the same – whether for law firms or educators.
My experience with E3A goes back to 2013, when we had just started offering private marketing retreats for our attorney clients. One of our clients mentioned that she had always been fascinated by horses, but never had the chance to spend time with them. So, more or less on a whim, I invited her to join us for dinner at our farm.
I thought maybe she would walk into the barn and hand out a few cookies to the horses, pat a few heads and be done with it. But she wanted to go out and meet the horses in the field. So we walked through the paddock and I whistled for the boys, who came running. They greeted my client on a hillside, in the welcoming way that only horses can.
And that’s when it happened.
This hard-baked, tough-as-nails attorney changed. I watched as her shoulders relaxed, her voice softened, and she stood there among the horses with tears running down her cheeks. In her own words, she was simply “overwhelmed.”
Walking back to the house, she started talking. I had known her for years, but the stories she shared with me that evening about her life, her law practice, her challenges and her hopes were stories I’d never heard. She talked about a time when she had wanted to quit the practice of law altogether, and how helping her elderly mother battle cancer had convinced her to transition to elder law, so she could help other families with similar struggles.
Hearing and understanding her story, in a way I never had before, changed everything.
First, it changed her marketing! We threw out everything we had planned and did a complete overhaul of her brand, including a compelling brand story video.
Second, it changed our relationship. We were no longer outsiders designing a website. We were team members, working together to tell a powerful, important story.
Finally, it changed me. The experience was so powerful, I had to know more about it. What had actually happened out there in that field? Was it a fluke? Or were we on to something? I wondered if I might have discovered a bridge of sorts, if the horses might help us develop deeper, more meaningful relationships.
(Today I laugh a bit at those questions. I want to say, “Do you think??” How could something I now see so clearly ever have been so difficult to understand?)
I found E3A through a Google search (there you go, digital marketing!) and discovered a group of like-minded professionals – people who were not just singing Kumbaya by the campfire! I met clinical psychologists, college professors, and physicians – thoughtful, well-educated leaders who inspired me to learn more, serve more and achieve more.
From Dream to Reality
They say a dream becomes a goal when action is taken upon it. Last year I finished my training and became certified in equine assisted learning. Through my training and involvement with E3A, the vision for Legacy Ranch became more than a dream, it became a goal. And on August 21, 2017, it became a reality.
On October 18, on the first day of The Summit, I invite you to come work with us at Legacy Ranch and see for yourself the difference it can make for your marketing, your law practice and your clients.
Today, though still a work in progress, I invite you to visit the Legacy Ranch website: www.IMSLegacyRanch.com, where we are dedicated to lawyers who are committed to their clients, who work daily to protect individuals and families and help preserve legacies.