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Bonnie Bowles

NLBM Forum Mentor
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Bonnie Bowles last won the day on June 30

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About Bonnie Bowles

  • Birthday February 13

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  1. @Amanda Vavak I'm on the Quickbooks Simple Start plan at $25/mo for bookkeeping, and I also have Quickbooks Online Payments for merchant services (which charges a percentage for amounts run through it, no flat monthly fee).
  2. @Nara Callanan Great question. I never did, but I know there is virtual meeting software out there for attorneys specifically that do record meetings. However, I wouldn't normally record an in-person FWPS so I personally didn't record a virtual FWPS.
  3. Hi Lawyers! On Monday, @Alexis Katz and I discussed at a high level how to setup your virtual office plus how I personally did it to serve my clients beyond Denver, Colorado (check your email for the recording + Quick Action Guide To Going Virtual). And you may recall that one of the bonuses for all new NLBM members + all existing NLBM members is access to my training video where I walk through onscreen exactly how I setup my software to support my virtual office. It's a bit more of a deep dive into the tech programs itself, to complement what we taught you at a higher level on Monday. Here's access to these resources: Recording of Bonnie's training Agenda/notes that supplement the training Transcript of the recording Check these out, and hit reply to this post with any questions at all! To your success, Bonnie
  4. Excellent question @Pamela Maass. This idea comes to mind: Notary would complete the journal entry on their end of the virtual meeting and note in the signature field that signing was conducted virtually and recorded in full. Perhaps when you have an in-person meeting with the client anytime in the future, have them sign next to that. Thoughts?
  5. Hi NLBM Bootcampers and Members, I wanted to chime in for everyone and offer some creative ideas and guidance on how to conduct Signing Ceremonies virtually, in particular how it pertains to proper execution of legal documents. Before diving into creative ideas (and all who are inclined, please respond to this thread to put more ideas on the table), I want to first state the obvious for us attorneys: Ultimately we each are individually responsible for complying with our state’s notary laws and laws governing proper execution of estate planning documents, regardless of what ideas we float here. It is up to you, personally and individually, to advise your clients in accordance with the laws that govern your state. With that said, @Alexis Katz and I have been part of a discussion in a member's only social media support group on FB and we wanted to bring it to the bootcampers too and any members who have not yet joined that FB group. Here are a few creative ideas on conducting virtual Signing Ceremonies when it comes to execution of documents: (1) Virtual Witness of Signing, Notarize Later. Consider having the notary live on the virtual call with you and your clients. Have your clients provide their photo IDs on the webcam, and take a screenshot of their IDs. Then have your clients sign each document where the webcam is in view of the signature page and their physical act of signing, and ensure the notary witnesses their physical act of signing (same would go for witnesses to a last will and other documents requiring witnesses). Then when the originals are mailed by the clients to your office, have the notary complete the steps with their stamp and signature. Consider recording the entire meeting, saving to your client file, and sharing with your clients. (2) Notarize First, Virtual Witness of Signing Later. Consider having your clients send copies of their driver’s licenses to you before the signing, which you save to your client file. Then when you print and mail their estate planning documents for signature, the notary can pre-notarize the documents, and then you mail the documents to the client for their signature, which takes place during a virtual meeting in which you and the notary with the physical act of signing via the webcam. Consider recording the entire meeting, saving to your client file, and sharing with your clients. (3) Virtual Notarization in Certain States. If you are in TX, VA, or NV, then virtual/remote notarization is permitted in those states, and documents notarized in accordance with a state’s laws are valid and enforceable in any state. Notarize.com is one website that facilitates virtual notarization for TX, VA, and NV, although note that per their company policy they do not notarize wills or trusts virtually. (Thank you to @Alanna Pearl for doing a test run on this site!) Remember, this is an unprecedented time, and we likely will find that much will be forgiven. Our goal is to be leaders in our community to help protect families and legacies, and in this environment to do so as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Please chime in here with personal experience conducting virtual notarization, or additional thoughts/ideas based on your state and circumstances. Thanks! Bonnie
  6. @Stan Pierchoski Be sure to let the Accelerator Team know your webinar details (if you haven't already) so we can get that registration page up for you ASAP.
  7. Hi @Greg Gordillo, If Lawmatics has automation capability, then sure you can build any email sequence into it. In terms of the Long-Term Nurture sequence specifically that is in Accelerator, we don't use Lawmatics so it is not built or available in there (we use Infusionsoft). All this said, I want to take this opportunity to say that trying to build your automation yourself is not the best use of your time, which is best spent educating your community and in holding Family Wealth Planning Sessions. If you want more information about Accelerator, please let me know! Thanks, Bonnie
  8. Yes the Bring Back From The Dead campaign is one email with a $1,000 discount on planning, ideally sent around December 1st of each year. The Long-Term Nurture Campaign in Accelerator is a series of 17 total emails sent periodically starting at the time of the non-engagement, promoting the “completion” of their estate plan, without a discount — the idea being to stay top of mind in the weeks following a non-engagement. Does that clarify?
  9. Hi @Greg Gordillo, Great question! The Long-Term Nurture campaign that I wrote and used in my own practice is available only in the NLBM Accelerator Program. Other sequences available only in Accelerator include the sequence for presentation/webinar reminders along with the follow-up sequence to promote scheduling, both sequences of which were very successful for me personally. Please let me know if you want to talk more about Accelerator! Thanks, Bonnie
  10. Happy Wednesday, lovely NLBM Lawyers! Bonnie here with you today, co-creator of NLBM Accelerator with @Alexis Katz, with this week’s Automation Weekly post. These posts are all about what one small piece of automation in your practice looks like so that you can either do it yourself using your existing technology stack (which frankly is not recommended since your time is so much better spent being a lawyer and trusted advisor - not DIY’ing your tech), or you can consider whether the NLBM Accelerator Program may be right for you and you can have us do it for you! This week we are talking about what emails to send to your prospects who don’t engage. First, let me say that if you’re operating the NLBM way, this will be a rare occurrence! Back to the original question, there’s one obvious answer: you want to send the Did Not Engage communication immediately after a planning session that did not end in a paying client. And when it comes to your automation, that is pretty straight forward – your automated email system should send the Did Not Engage email immediately after they leave your office, or at least your should self-create a task for you to send this by mail if you are more of a paper person. However, there is something less obvious you should be doing as well… Prospects who don’t engage are in a “special” group in the sense that future messages to them to “schedule your Family Wealth Planning Session” will likely fall flat because they’ve already done that. They did schedule it, they did hold it, but they did not engage, for whatever reason. So the messaging to this small but important group needs to be really tailored to their circumstances for it to resonate with those who DO have the potential to engage you as a new client in the next 90 days to 24 months. (For more on that, see my “Six People You Have To Meet” post linked here.) Doesn’t that sound awesome? A planning session that resulted in a did-not-engage outcome can be turned around and transformed into a paying client!! If the messaging is right. The way I built this into Accelerator is what I call the “Long-Term Nurture To Complete” automation. As a bit of background, by “Long-Term Nurture” I mean a series of automated emails that are sent to contacts on your list on their time table. When a contact enters into your automation, they receive the appropriate follow-up for what they requested, whether they submitted a “Contact Us” form or requested a free copy of “Wear Clean Underwear” or anything in between. But what if they don’t take the action you want (to schedule their Family Wealth Planning Session) by the end of that email sequence? Then what? Well first, they’ll receive your newsletters, as long as you are sending those consistently. And second, with a well-designed automation system, they’ll receive your Long-Term Nurture emails as well. These emails promote scheduling their Family Wealth Planning Session. Back to “Long-Term Nurture To Complete” – this is essentially the same idea as the Long-Term Nurture above except that the call to action is modified slightly to instead say that they are invited to COMPLETE their estate plan with you. They were so close! They got all the way to the end of their planning session. Time to complete it. You should not send these emails manually, by the way. This type of email sequence is perfect for automation – it’s happening in the background because it’s setup right from the beginning, and then if you’re out of the office, on vacation, out sick, or with your kids or significant other, the “Long-Term Nurture To Complete” emails are happening on time, every time. Does this help? Is this something you’ve thought about before? Please comment if so! -Bonnie
  11. NLBM Lawyers, I was doing the Accelerator support call on Monday and ended up spending more time than expected on the other six people you are likely totally overlooking in your practice. Who are they? You’ve actually already met them! I was reading a book by Dean Jackson, a legendary marketer, and I ran across statistics you must know in order to succeed in your practice. Here’s the deal: Half of all people who get onto your list have a problem you can solve but will NEVER spend money on anyone or anything to solve it. Out of the other half of people, 15% will invest in a solution now and the other 85% of people will invest in a solution within 24 months. Did you hear that? Half of people WILL spend money on services you provide! That’s amazing. It’s just a question of when. Let’s put this to numbers. Say you have 14 people on your list. Seven of those people will never hire an estate planning attorney. You don’t know which seven, so you can’t avoid their getting onto your list, and they need to be on your list anyway because we know this half exists. The other 7 people: 1 will invest now! That’s awesome. You have one new client :) Then the other 6 people: These people WILL pay someone for estate and legacy planning. Will it be YOU? Maybe, if they remember that they met you way back. But if they haven’t heard from you in 2 months, 4 months, 24 months, then who knows (and not likely). You are completely losing out on 6 NEW CLIENTS if you don’t keep in touch with these leads consistently, compassionately, and helpfully. So you have a choice: You can meet 14 people to find 1 new client, or you can meet 14 new people to find 7 new clients. You have 7X’d your revenue if you choose the latter. This all comes down to ensuring you are nurturing the other 6 people you’ve already met. Honestly, this is not physically possible for every 14 people you meet if you’re checking in with them manually. The solution is personalized and relevant automation. I saw this statistic play out in real life in my practice. I was super-disciplined at ensuring that I was asking everyone I met if I could add them to my list, and actually adding them to my list (you’d be surprised how many people leave business cards and sign-up sheets at events on their desk, never getting them into any automated follow-up). Within a year, I started noticing clients engaging who had been on my list about 6-12 months. Wow! Instead of them hiring the next attorney because they didn’t recall at all that we had met, I was the FIRST attorney they thought of because I had kept in touch (on automation). They really appreciated that. So here’s the question: What do you do with these other six people? Forget about them, or know that they are your next six clients if you do automation right? Questions, thoughts, comments? Would love to hear! Bonnie
  12. Happy Wednesday, NLBM Lawyers! Bonnie here with you today, co-creator of NLBM Accelerator with Alexis Neely, with this week’s Automation Weekly post. These posts are all about what one small piece of automation in your practice looks like so that you can either do it yourself using your existing technology stack (which frankly is not recommended since your time is much better spent being a lawyer and trusted advisor - not DIY’ing your tech), or you can consider whether the NLBM Accelerator Program may be right for you and you can have us do it for you! This week we are talking about how to create a super-relevant follow-up experience when a lead opts in for one of your lead magnets. The idea behind this is what I called “behavior-based automation.” Marketing emails are all about promoting the scheduling of a Family Wealth Planning Session, right? Let’s say there are nine follow-up emails for you lead magnet, such as Wear Clean Underwear. And let’s say that your lead schedules their FWPS upon receiving email no. 4 (and now they are a “prospect” since they are on your calendar). In this case, the remaining five emails continue to promote scheduling and if your prospect continues to receive these, you very likely will receive a call or email from them asking if you still have them on the calendar, if there was a glitch in the system because they’re still getting these emails, if their online scheduling request did not go through, etc. It’s confusing for them. With automation built properly, the follow-up sequence would cease upon the lead taking the step you have asked them to take, i.e., scheduling their Family Wealth Planning Session. The contact engaged in certain “behavior” (scheduling), and then your automation updates itself, in real time, without you involved, to transition them from the follow-up sequence and into the Prep For Family Wealth Planning Session sequence. There are lots of systems out there that can commence an email sequence. But only a few will cease an email sequence and simultaneously start another one that is appropriate, and even if a system has that capability, you have to build your own sequences to make it happen (like an artist starting with a blank canvas - the capability for a beautiful piece is there but until the artist commits their time, energy, and attention, nothing happens). Happy to answer any questions on this! Here to help, Bonnie P.S. If you are part of NLBM Accelerator, this is all pre-built for you.
  13. Happy Friday, NLBM Lawyers! Bonnie here today, co-creator of NLBM Accelerator with @Alexis Neely, with this week’s Automation Weekly post. These posts are all about what one small piece of automation in your practice looks like so that you can either do it yourself using your existing technology stack (which frankly is not recommended since your time is much better spent being a lawyer and trusted advisor - not DIY’ing your tech), or you can consider whether the NLBM Accelerator Program may be right for you and you can have us do it for you! This week we are talking about the Signing Anniversary email. What we know for sure for your clients is that after they sign their estate plan, their lives will change and the law will change – we don’t know when, we don’t know to what extent, and we don’t really know if those future changes will necessitate an update to their plan. And we can’t expect our clients would know either. This is where you come in. The anniversary date of your client’s Signing Ceremony is an excellent day to check in personally* about how your client is doing and whether they’ve had any change in their life that means their estate plan needs to be updated. You can refer to the membership materials in NLBM CustomerHub to see the full list of life changes that affect an estate plan (there are something like 28 life changes that might affect their plan). This email is an opportunity to plug your membership if your client is not on your membership plan, and if your client is on membership, it is an opportunity to ensure your client is reminded that one of the benefits is to meet with you for their annual plan review. * Note, by “personally” check in, I mean personalized automation. The more you grow your client list, the more unwieldy it would be to try to do manual check-ins with every one of your clients on their signing anniversary date – and the higher the likelihood you wouldn't be checking in on their true signing anniversary date, and then the extra-attentive aspect of this automated email is lost. My clients have LOVED this check-in. I normally receive personal responses from my clients when they receive this email. They know I/you care, and it shows up for your clients in touch points like this. Thoughts on this? Have you tried something like this before? To your success! Bonnie
  14. Hi wonderful NLBM Lawyers, Bonnie here, checking in to let you know I'm on vacation with my family this week. 😊 I don't have an automation tip for you this time around except to say that because my law practice is setup with Accelerator automation, I'm not worried about a single thing falling through the cracks this week! I am up in the mountains (just got back from a horseback ride with my daughter at the time this is posted), and I know things are happening on time, as planned, without worry. This is the peace of mind that personalized automation can give. Talk next week, Bonnie
  15. Happy Thursday, NLBM Lawyers! Bonnie checking in here, co-creator of NLBM Accelerator with @Alexis Neely, with this week’s Automation Weekly post. These posts are all about what one small piece of automation in your practice looks like so that you can either do it yourself using your existing technology stack, or you can consider whether the NLBM Accelerator Program may be right for you and you can have us do it for you. Today I’m going to chat about trust funding, and not just about automating the reminders, but why this could actually protect you from disgruntled beneficiaries. As you know if you have done a Trust or Wealth Plan, you should be sending out trust funding reminders at the 60-day mark after signing and the 120-day mark. With automation, the beauty is that these reminders can be set to go out automatically, on time, so there is no more danger that you’ll forget to remind yourself to send these, or forget to complete the task when the time comes if you’re too busy. And the really amazing part of automation is that you can get a quick response to the trust funding reminder email because you can specifically say, “If you have already completed your to-do items on your Family Wealth Inventory, please hit reply to let us know.” I’ve had a lot of clients hit reply so that I have the record in my systems as to exactly when the reminders went out (time-stamped in the system), along with the client’s reply logged in my automated system. If there is ever any claim by a disgruntled beneficiary that an asset wasn’t properly funded, I have these historical time-stamped communications that clarifies whose is what to do. (Of course, you could do that by manual emails too, but again, that goes back to my original point that it’s easy to overlook doing them timely, every time, and is one of the most valuable things you can put on autopilot.) If you are part of NLBM Accelerator, Trust Funding Reminder Emails go out automatically upon submitting the Signing Outcome form. The system detects whether your client selected the Trust or Wealth Plan, and then it times the reminder emails to go out 60 days and 120 days after the Signing Date. When your client hits reply to the email to say they completed their action items, you enter the "Client Advised Trust Is Funded" note to have the historical note on their record. Please share questions and thoughts here! Have you automated your Trust Funding Reminders? If not, why not? Talk soon, Bonnie
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