It's Time to Talk About the Next Steps for the Smokeball Community

It's Time to Talk About the Next Steps for the Smokeball Community
Userlevel 6
  • Community Manager
  • 186 replies

We officially opened the Smokeball community two years and two days ago. With this milestone, I’d love to hear your thoughts on our next steps as we move into year three.

First, Thank You!

Thank you for helping each other and providing guidance based on real-life experiences. Your support is invaluable. Even if you just read (and there’s a lot of you), your presence is appreciated.

Expanding our support

Right now, we focus on Smokeball—how to use it, improve it, and resolve issues and bugs when they crop up. We'll keep doing this, but I think we can do more. Our mission after all is to help you and the communities you serve.

That means not just helping you use Smokeball; but also finding ways to help you achieve your goals for your firm and for yourself. I can think of a lot of different ways we could do that and I’d love to know if I’m on the right track. 

What are your goals?

What are your goals? What topics would help you achieve them? Here’s some ideas:

Growing Your Firm:

  • Marketing skills and lead management processes

  • Getting better data to help inform business decisions

  • Supporting team skill development

Advancing Your Career:

  • Figuring out the next steps in your career path

  • Gaining the skills you need to get there

More Free Time to Pursue Your Passions:

  • Streamlining and automating processes

  • Building a team

  • Outsourcing and automation

  • Exit planning 

Something Else? 

  • Let me know, I’d love to help you get there :) 

Share Your Thoughts:

  • What are your goals, and how might we help you hit them?

  • Would you like help get these new types of discussions going?

Reply below, send me a direct message, or book a call with me. I’d love to hear your ideas!

5 replies

Userlevel 6

@JKibler @JG3 @Funkytown @CarsenTazi and @magort as some of our most active members over the last few years I’m curious to hear your thoughts. 

Perhaps we don’t need to move beyond Smokeball focused topics? 

Or, are there newer, less experienced folks out there that would benefit from this kind of support that we’re not connecting with? 

Userlevel 4
Badge +1

@Ben My focus is on

  1. Developing a strong marketing program to feed into Funnel, and to automate as much of the process of winnowing through leads for the 4 - 6% potential new clients.
  2. Automating as much of the activities of running my firm that do not involve working with qualified prospects and clients.
  3. Building two virtual teams, one to manage our marketing and Funnel, and the second team of virtual paralegals and virtual contract attorneys to help handle the workload.
  4. To keep track of the first three, I am working on getting better data from Smokeball and our marketing vendor to ensure the first three goals are on track.

My firm is fully virtual - we do not have an office or any full-time staff in the U.S. All of our U.S. staff are virtual and as needed.

Userlevel 6

Thanks so much for sharing, @magort. I'm impressed with how you’ve structured your business.

Going fully virtual and outsourcing to match supply to demand is something I’ve always considered but never quite managed. It’s amazing to see you doing it at scale and with the complexities of a firm!

I have many questions, but my main one is: how can we help?

If it’s hard to pinpoint, let me know if you’d like ideas on data and automation, virtual team management, or digital marketing/growth hacking

Userlevel 4
Badge +1

Help with data and automation would be my first choice. I want to automate reports on time and expenses on open matters, for example. 

Userlevel 4

Bells and Whistles! I love the bells and whistles and would love more of them.

I’m excited about the stuff you are doing with AI.

The communicate app has so much potential. You guys have been updating it and adding functionality (calendar updates to my clients is my favorite feature, but adding links to folders is a close second - could you add the ability to create zip files?). I use this to delegate a task to a client with a deadline. I use this to notify and remind clients of appointments and due dates. I’d like to add a client to a task in the same way I can add a client as an attendee of an appointment.

Has anyone noticed the already-built-in  AI conversation summary? I’ve used it, but am not ready to rely upon it. 

The Intake and Matter LEADS is already useful, but I want the ability to add more mapped fields so I can create more efficient document templates. 

I’d also like the ability to prepare a notice to send to all of my clients (or opposing counsel). For example, “Dear {first_name last_name}, I will be unavailable from {start_date} to {end_date}.” - then I want to blast it out to everyone with a click or two.

I’d like the ability to search for key-words in a sub-folder. Currently, when I search for key-words, I’m searching the entire matter files and often get a large volume of results.

I’d like to link to Docusign (or better yet - create a Smokeball equivalent - in Washington I usually don’t need a fancy certification for a signature. If a client prints a document, signs, scans and returns it to me - that will work for most of my purposes. If a client uses their phone’s “markup” feature - that will work. If Smokeball could create an easy format for me to get an electronic signature, I’d be in heaven.

I love the fact that Smokeball solicits this input from its users!