RBG: A Movie About Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

After Seeing The Movie RBG: Do We Need New Role Models?

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Business of Law Leave a Comment

This post isn’t about politics as I rarely do that in public spaces, but rather about our choices of role models, and who I wish adults and children would point to more often as heroes.

I swelled with pride for the legal profession I choose to serve, as well as all kinds of other emotions last night as I watched RBG, a movie about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and one of the legal giants of our time.

While watching this 1 hour and 37-minute movie, I laughed, I cried, I was irritated, I was happy, I was sad, and I was proud.

As written in the New York Times,

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the second woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, but she’s probably the first justice to become a full-fledged pop-cultural phenomenon.”

That became evident as the movie unfolded, as well as when I left the theater (more about that in a moment).

A Little Background

For those who are too busy to have studied her life before now, let me help you a little bit.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born Joan Ruth Bader in Brooklyn in 1933. Her family and close friends knew her as “Kiki,” which I researched and discovered this morning was given to her by her older sister, Marylin, who died from meningitis at the age of six. Marylin said that she was “a kicky baby,” which helps explain her nickname.

When starting school, her mother asked her teacher to call her “Ruth” to help avoid confusion as there were several other girls named Joan in her class.

She earned her bachelor’s degree at Cornell, which she told us during the movie was the dream of every parent who had a daughter at that time as the ratio of males to females was 4 to 1. She told us she never had a second date at Cornell until she met Martin Ginsburg, who would later become her husband and one of the most noted tax lawyers of the time.

When talking about Martin, she said:

“He was the first boy I ever knew who cared that I had a brain.”

After graduating as the highest-ranking female in her graduating class, she and Martin married soon after in 1954. Their daughter, Jane, was born in 1955, followed by James in 1965. The movie depicted their 63-year marriage as strong and wonderful, with each complementing the other’s opposite personality and disposition.

Law School: How Dare You?

In 1956, Ruth Bader Ginsburg enrolled at Harvard Law School. As one of only 9 women in a class of approximately 500 men, the Dean of Harvard Law asked Ruth and the other 8 women:

“How do you justify taking a spot from a qualified man?”

As Justice Ginsberg said during the movie:

“I became a lawyer when women were not wanted by the legal profession.”

If those comments surprise or irritate you, remember that this was not a rare approach or opinion at that time. Women and men today stand on the shoulders of giants of those who endured this antiquated and unreasonable notion.

I Remembered My Mom At This Moment In The Movie

The producers of this documentary, Betsy West and Julie Cohen, told us that, as Ruth Bader Ginsburg studied at Harvard Law School, she also had the honor of being on the Harvard Law Review. While her husband battled testicular cancer and related therapies, she helped him continue his studies as she typed notes and papers for him, all while continuing her studies and taking care of their daughter, Ruth.

I suddenly remembered my mom typing my dad’s handwritten notes from classes he was taking to earn advanced certifications in his profession. He was working full-time, and so was she as she was the amazing mother of 5 children. To this day, I wonder how she did all of that.

Her Mother’s Influence

I watched as Justice Ginsburg, thinking back on losing her mother at the age of 17, said she wished she had her longer. After learning how strict her mother was, and how she insisted that she spend a great deal of time on her studies, I think Justice Ginsburg’s career is partially what it is today because of the influence of a mother she didn’t have long enough but who was known to be her strongest advocate.

During her remarks during the hearings upon her nomination to the Supreme Court, she talked about her mother and referred to her as:

“…the bravest and strongest person I have known, who was taken from me much too soon. I pray that I may be all that she would have been had she lived in an age when women could aspire and achieve and daughters are cherished as much as sons.”

You’re A Woman? We Don’t Hire Women In Our Law Firm.

I ached as I listened to the stories Justice Ginsburg’s friends and colleagues told us about her not being able to find a job at a New York law firm because there weren’t many managing partners at that time who would hire a woman.

We sat by as we listened to the story about her closest male classmates going to the managing partner of their new firm to talk about someone they thought should be hired. The moment the word “she” was used, they were shut down immediately by a managing partner who made it very clear women weren’t hired by that firm.

As written in Bloomberg Law’s Big Law Business:

“…the fact that she was smart as a whip did not guarantee her success. Upon graduation from Columbia Law School with top honors in 1959, she received no job offer from any law firm in New York City, presumably because white shoe law firms were aghast that a woman, a mother and a Jew would dare think she was qualified for the job.”

A Modern Day Cultural Icon

She is affectionately known in some circles as “Notorious RBG,” after the late rapper, Notorious B.I.G., because of her powerful and notorious dissents from the bench.

Notorious RBG began as a Tumblr blog by Shana Knizhnik, then became the title of the book, Notorious RBG, The Life And Times Of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A children’s edition was recently published.

RGB Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Parodied On SNL Saturday Night Live

During the movie, I had a “front row seat” as I watched her watch for the first time a hilarious portrayal of herself on Saturday Night Live with characteristics not necessarily matched to her real-life persona, yet large enough to fit the icon she has become. She was amused as she asked “Is that Saturday Night Live?”

Heroes & Role Models

It isn’t important that we choose to look up to cultural icons as famous as Justice Ginsburg. In the age of reality TV, what IS important is that we expose ourselves and our children to those who have and continue to shape who we are as human beings, what we have the right to do as human beings, how we communicate as human beings, and how we live as human beings. The Supreme Court Justices have that privilege and that power.

That is reality TV worth studying, reading, watching, and listening to on a regular basis. The reality of what the nine Supreme Court Justices do for a living is far more meaningful, and is infinitely more profound, than what can be gained by watching the dysfunctional reality that we so often choose to fill our spare time.

Sure, some like and need to escape by doing that from time-to-time, but why not mix in a magnificent dose of reality to our lives by exposing our eyes, ears, and minds to what happens in the highest court in the United States?

Trust me, this is not boring nor as mundane as you might think. The movie sure wasn’t. My opportunity to meet Chief Justice Roberts definitely was not, as I wrote about in this post.

Is It Time?

Is it time to become a little more familiar with those who are, either individually or collectively, real-life heroes and role models?

Is it time to help our friends, children, and ourselves pay more attention to those who understand and acknowledge that they owe their lives to others who paved the way, just as Justice Ginsburg stated during her nomination hearings:

“I surely would not be in this room today without the determined efforts of men and women who kept dreams alive.”

I think it’s time.

Those I observed standing outside the theater thought so, too.

I saw one woman who came to the movie dressed as Justice Ginsburg, complete with her black robe and characteristic white collar. I saw two other women who were standing together as their friend took a picture of them in their RBG t-shirts.

Justice Ginsburg recently celebrated her 85th birthday and her 25th year on the bench. She fought for and experienced a career that will have a profound impact on the history and the future of this country as she has been a tireless advocate for gender equality, not just for women, but also for men.

Again, no politics here in this discussion. We don’t even have to agree with these people to study and observe them. This is simply a reminder that this beautiful life we have been given is full of people who deserve our attention as we try to figure out how we got to where we are today and to make sense of where we are going tomorrow.

My legal marketing friends have posted about events their firms have hosted where they invited their clients to a special screening of RBG. It is logical to assume that lawyers and those close to the profession would be interested in a movie about a Supreme Court Justice, but you can be, too.

Take the time. Take a friend. Take a child. Set the example.

Be the one.

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Plan Consultant, and a Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for Business trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers understand how to make their marketing and business development efforts more relevant to their current and potential clients, and helps lead law firms through their online digital strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases. As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts, video marketing, and livestreaming. If you would like to reserve an hour of Nancy’s time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here. She can be reached via email here.

Photo Credit for Justice Ginsburg’s portrait: By Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Ruth Bader Ginsburg – The Oyez Project) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Lawyers: General Counsel Beg For Billing Changes

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Alternative Fee Arrangements, Client Service and Retention Leave a Comment

Lawyers General Counsel Beg For Billing Changes

I just finished reading an article by Kristen Rasmussen on Law.com’s Daily Report about Peter Carter, Delta’s Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and Corporate Secretary who, along with other top lawyers from Fortune 500 companies, made a plea for lawyers to figure out project-based billing.

Peter, a former partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, was on a panel at the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Southeast Regional Conference in Atlanta. His plea to lawyers to figure out project-based billing was based on his need to know that he is going to make his budget every year. He was making the point that when he gets bills that are unpredictable, and when he doesn’t know what’s going to be on them, that it doesn’t do anyone any favors.

Eye-Popping Bills Are A Disservice To You As A Lawyer

Lucy Fato, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of AIG, also on the panel, made similar comments. She said:

“Firms do a disservice to themselves when they send ‘eye-popping’ bills that include rates of up to $1,400 per hour.”

Her next comment is disturbing to me. She said:

“They would be well served to examine their rates and bills before sending them out.”

The fact that the general counsel from a company, any company, is surprised by a rate of $1,400 is disturbing. It’s not disturbing that the rate is $1,400. What’s disturbing is the fact that this was a surprise to her, which tells me the hourly rate conversation never took place.

I could be wrong in interpreting her comment to mean rates had never been discussed with her. If she truly had no idea that anyone on her legal team was going to be doing work for her at a rate of $1,400 per hour, that isn’t right, nor is it good business.

Shock Them Now or Shock Them Later?

If you’re worried about quoting that rate and shocking people, wouldn’t you rather shock them at the beginning and have them get over it, than shocking them at the end when the bills come, or shocking them mid-project or early on in your project when they discover a rate they hadn’t heard before?

She’s right. Firms do a disservice to themselves when they send eye-popping bills that include those rates because it shouldn’t be a surprise. It should never be a surprise. She also said there are some matters where fixed fees are appropriate because they’re low-dollar, high-volume.

What If You Undercharge or Overcharge?

I know this is scary to some lawyers and some law firms because the questions become:

  • How do I do that?
  • What if I charge too little?
  • What if I charge too much?

Maybe you charge too little or you charge too much, but you know what? That won’t happen very many times before you figure it out. Sometimes you’re going to be high, sometimes you’re going to be low, but you’ll learn a lesson from it. But what’s important is that your client knows it’s predictable and that there is no surprise when that bill comes.

If you are feeling claustrophobic and stuck by being committed to pricing that isn’t what it should be, and if you are thinking:

  • What if I mess up?
  • What if that doesn’t represent what we’re doing?

What Is The Best Way To Get Started?

This is where your intellect comes in. Your project management skills will help you look at previous matters that are similar so you will understand what to work into project pricing in your agreement.

Before you start, show your client what the project entails. Show them that you have priced this project based on what they’ve requested, saying:

“You’ve asked me to do X, Y, and Z. This is how I plan to staff and accomplish this. Based on what we have discussed, this is the timeframe I will target. For that, the project fee will be $500,000 (or $2,000, or whatever you have come up with).”

Then, what you can also do is to set the parameters that go outside of that project. This is where you can protect yourself and your client. This is where you can go through the learning curve with your client and say:

“Just so you know, if we happen to get into these additional areas, this is what we’ll charge for that, but let’s take the first two months to see how everything is going. If we then both find we are going outside of the scope we are discussing for this project, then we can go with my hourly rate of $950 an hour, or our associates’ rates of $350 an hour.”

This is the way you can deal with “scope creep.” If your client’s requests or your work creep outside of the original project you established, you have first dealt with that by discussing it during the initial contract discussion. It is also good to state that in writing in the agreement.

Don’t Worry

Don’t worry. This is probably going to take a little practice if you haven’t done it before. But trust me, clients are much happier. With my clients, when there is a defined project with a beginning and an end, I will quote a project fee. If there is not, and it is an ongoing project, I usually give them the choice.

If clients want to work together on an ongoing basis, I provide two choices. The first is hourly. What I usually tell my clients is that hourly is my least favorite because it can be a disincentive to them to pick up the phone and call or text, or send an email and ask me a question. I want them to use me, and I want to be their resource, and I never want that to happen.

That is what can happen with hourly billing with you, too. Some clients can think:

“Oh, I’m not going to email him with that question because that’s going to cost me money.”

I don’t ever want you to be associated with just pure dollars, vs. by the value you provide to your clients.

That is your purpose. To provide important, valuable advice to your clients that help them anticipate or solve problems.

The second choice in an ongoing relationship that doesn’t have a beginning or an end at the onset is a retainer. What you can propose to your clients is:

“If you would like to work together on an ongoing basis, then what I would suggest is a retainer. For what I’m hearing you say, this arrangement would include A, B, and C every month and that would tend to look like [this.] What we’ll do is in two or three month (pick one and document it because they will remember), we’ll review and evaluate that to see if that’s working. If the amount of work that we’re discussing today for that retainer is really what’s been happening, or if you’ve needed me more or if you’ve needed me less, than I will adjust at that point.”

As you can see, this is a learning curve. You don’t have to be perfect right off the bat. I wasn’t perfect right off the bat, and I still won’t be, when it comes to quoting project fees. Trust me, it gets easier and much more accurate each time. I might go low on one project, and I might go high on another, but you know what? That’s a lesson for me to then also add what I mentioned a moment ago by defining the scope inside and outside of our agreement.

Your Clients Will Be Much Happier

Trust me, your clients are going to be so appreciative of your honesty and your willingness to work on their guidelines and within their budget so there are no surprises. I encourage you to begin to move into this realm, this world, so that you’re making your clients happier. You will be helping your clients who have pressure put on them to make budget by helping them solve problems, to anticipate problems, and to have someone who has their back and that is representing them all the time.

#BeTheOne

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Plan Consultant, and a Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for Business trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers understand how to make their marketing and business development efforts more relevant to their current and potential clients, and helps lead law firms through their online digital strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases. As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts, video marketing, and livestreaming. If you would like to reserve an hour of Nancy’s time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here. She can be reached via email here.

Lawyers, Schedule Consulting Time With Nancy Myrland

An Important Message To Law Firm Management – #LMA18

Nancy Myrland #LMA18, Career Development & Education Leave a Comment

A Message To Law Firm Management - #LMA18I am writing this as I begin my evening flight home from New Orleans to Indianapolis. The Legal Marketing Association (LMA) Annual Conference just ended yesterday, which is always a bittersweet time for me as I am filled with an immense amount of inspiration, knowledge, additional perspective, and affection for the growing number of colleagues I call friends.  

I Am Conflicted 

I am conflicted because I can’t wait to get home to see John Myrland and our furry boys, Mike and Nick (4.5-year old Yellow Labs), as I haven’t seen them since last Saturday, but also sad to leave so many amazing and wonderful friends and colleagues I care for very much.   

We Share A Common Goal 

We share much in common, not the least of which is a love of all things marketing, strategy, business, the legal profession that we serve and strive to make better via the knowledge we brought to the conference, combined with the knowledge gained while we were here, and the sincere desire to become the best version of ourselves we can be in order to help you become the best you can be.  

Never Underestimate The Importance 

That is what we need to talk about today…legal marketing professionals becoming the best and the smartest they can be. I was happy to be invited to speak about Social & Digital Media Ethics for Lawyers and Legal Marketers at the Quick Start pre-conference program on Monday. As my slides were being loaded by our LMA program liaison, I took a moment to share this thought with the legal marketers in the room: 

“Thank you so much for being here. Don’t ever underestimate the importance of your presence at this conference. The fact that you are sitting here in this room for 8 hours before the conference officially begins is amazing because that means you are here to become better at what you do…and when you become better at what you do, legal marketing as an industry becomes better, and when legal marketing becomes better, those we serve, our lawyers and law firms, then become better.” 

The Ripple Effect Is Profound 

Think about my last sentence. What your marketing and communications professionals do at these and other conferences has the ultimate effect of making your lawyers and law firms better. They don’t come just because it’s a chance to get out of the office. They come to make themselves better so they can help you serve your clients better.   

When all of us attend these conferences, we become better at what we do, which helps lawyers by: 

  • Strengthening our understanding of how lawyers can best deliver services to clients 
  • Helping lawyers find the best way to communicate with every type of client s/he has a need to connect with 
  • Understanding how to think strategically so we can contribute to critical discussions at your firms 
  • Understanding law firm economic and business models so we can help firm management make better decisions 
  • Being able to strategically and intuitively help our lawyers discern when opportunities that are presented are worth pursuing 
  • Taking these opportunities to earn business and turning them into strategic, polished, responsive answers your clients and prospects are looking for 
  • Coaching lawyers to present themselves in the best possible light in every situation 
  • Helping to define the most sensible pricing models for firm services 
  • Learning how to best package the individual and collective intellect of your lawyers 
  • Helping lawyers and all business professionals at the firm understand the guidelines that must be followed every second of every day to comply with one of the strictest sets of ethical and communication standards that exist in the world 
  • Guiding the firm when crisis and controversy present themselves 
  • Staying ahead of the curve in digital technology so your firm stands out in the midst of a great deal of noise out there 
  • Helping manage local, regional, national, and international projects your lawyers and firms are undertaking in order to make the best and most efficient business decisions possible 
  • Gathering, organizing, coordinating, and choreographing all marketing and business development activity into an integrated marketing and communications effort for the purpose of helping to create profitable practices at your law firms 
  • …and so much more 

Embrace This Opportunity 

I could go on, but my message to you is to embrace the opportunity that lies in front of you with these conferences. Encourage your people to attend LMA and other legal marketing, business development, marketing technology, and related conferences because you are not only making an investment in their knowledge and skills, you are helping them help your lawyers and law firm become better and more profitable. 

Not A Perk 

Sure, I understand that conference attendance can be a gift that is delivered to those who have been on the job a while, or to rotate so everyone gets a chance to go once every few years or so, but I challenge you to begin thinking much broader than that. Provide the budget and encouragement so there is a groundswell of knowledge that regularly builds upon itself, vs. once every few years.  

Help provide access to a forum: 

  • Where interaction and mentoring exists 
  • Where there is an environment where tough questions can be asked and answered 
  • Where high-level discussions can take place 
  • Where early-career marketers and advanced hall-of-fame professionals and past presidents can meet and network with one another, and  
  • Where knowledge is shared in a deliberate and focused fashion 

This should not be considered a perk to the marketer, but rather a benefit to the firm. 

The Firm Is The Beneficiary 

It is a benefit to the firm because the firm is the beneficiary of a smarter, more informed and intelligent business professional that can continue to grow, mature, and advance on the knowledge continuum. 

This should be considered mission-critical in order to help push your law firm to the next level. All professionals at your firm, from business to legal professionals, need to excel in order to help you excel.  

If you’re not already, I encourage you to make your firms stronger and more profitable by helping your marketing and communications professionals understand you support and expect their growth and involvement with the continuing forms of education that are there for them to take advantage of on a regular basis.  

Make This A Priority 

Let this be a priority, vs. making them wait until the last minute to see if you can squeeze a few dollars out of the firm budget for them to attend these conferences.  I wrote about this here, too. 

Make it a priority.  

The firm wins in the long run. 

This is important.  

Be the one. 

Note: Don’t miss my blog post over here where I am curating content that has been written or produced for the #LMA18 conference. If you see new content for me to add, please let me know…thanks!

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Plan Consultant, and a Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for Business trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers understand how to make their marketing and business development efforts more relevant to their current and potential clients, and helps lead law firms through their online digital strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases. As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts, video marketing, and livestreaming. If you would like to reserve an hour of Nancy’s time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here. She can be reached via email here.

#LMA18 GC Panel: Lawyers, Slow Down & Stick Around – Lesson #1

Nancy Myrland #LMA18, All Posts Leave a Comment

#LMA18 Lawyers, Slow Down and Stick AroundAs always, the general counsel panel at the Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference is one of the most popular. Because of that, it holds a spot as a general session so everyone can attend.

This year, the session is titled: Pushing Through the Noise – What Gets The Attention of General Counsel and Business Executives

Moderator Heather Nevitt, Editor-in-Chief, Corporate Counsel, Inside Counsel and Texas Lawyer is interviewing:

  • Kristen Albertson, Vice President Global Ethics and Compliance Administration, Walmart Stores, Inc.
  • Maria Feeley, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, University of Hartford
  • Ezgi Kaya, Corporate Counsel, Amazon
  • Mark N. Klein, General Counsel, Burford Capital
  • Alison Wisniewski, Chief Legal Officer, Epiq

This Is Important

Lawyers, when you go to conferences to speak, whether that be on a panel or by yourself, don’t be in such a rush to leave the room after you speak. Mark N. Klein, General Counsel, Burford Capital, just told a story about approaching a lawyer after attending a panel. He had business to discuss with that lawyer based on what he talked about. He said that lawyer wasn’t interested in talking and was only interested in getting back to his room.

Slow Down

If you spend the time and money to put together a presentation, and if your clients and potential clients and referral sources are in the room, don’t be in such a rush to get out of the room. If you’ve scheduled your flight too close, then don’t do that next time.

Think of the upside to sticking around to get to know people in attendance. If these people didn’t matter to your practice, then you wouldn’t have agreed to speak, right? If they aren’t important to your practice, then stop accepting those invitations to speak.

Every person on this panel indicated speakers and presentations at conferences are important to them in looking at outside counsel, so don’t underestimate your attendance, involvement, and participation in them. Don’t waste your time and resources, and, even more important, don’t waste theirs.

Kristen Albertson, WalMart shared: “If you are putting your lawyers on panels at things like ABA conferences, they can get my attention. We are there to make contacts, so it is beneficial.”

Maria Feeley, University of Hartford agreed: “When I go to conferences, I am going to find outside counsel.”

Bottom Line

Commit to being there. Slow down and stick around. Be the one.

Note: Don’t miss my blog post over here where I am curating content that has been written or produced for the #LMA18 conference. If you see new content for me to add, please let me know…thanks!

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Plan Consultant, and a Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for Business trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers understand how to make their marketing and business development efforts more relevant to their current and potential clients, and helps lead law firms through their online digital strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases. As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts, video marketing, and livestreaming. If you would like to reserve an hour of Nancy’s time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here. She can be reached via email here.

The Day Happiness Came To #LMA18 [Opening Session]

Nancy Myrland #LMA18, All Posts Leave a Comment

 

We officially kicked off the LMA Annual Conference today in New Orleans talking about happiness with Catherine A. Sanderson, Ph. D. Catherine’s keynote, which she prefers to call a “talk” (because “who calls someone to have a keynote with them” when they care about them?) was titled The Science of Happiness.

What Does This Have To Do With Legal Marketing Professionals and Lawyers?

Before I summarize Catherine’s talk, I am sure you will agree that, when we spend the amount of time that we do in high-stress, demanding roles, we have to deal with the happiness and balance equation in order to experience the longevity, loyalty, and pleasure we would like to derive from our careers.

The Role of Personality

Catherine broke down the scientific keys to happiness with us. Catherine tells us that happy people are generally different than the rest of the world.

  • They experience better health.
  • They live longer.
  • They fight off colds better.
  • They recover faster from surgery.
  • Happy people are less hostile and more productive.

Studies also show that money, climate, and life events do not make us happy. Catherine’s point was that we can have the biggest and the best of all of these things, but they do not guarantee happiness.

Life Conditions

When discussing how life, in general, contributes to happiness, Catherine said that married men are happier than single men (especially John Myrland ;-)…whether it’s a happy marriage or not. It doesn’t matter who they marry…just as long as they marry somebody.

Some similarities exist with women in that happily married women are healthier and happier than single women. However, there is one major difference when it comes to the health of a marriage and the point above about just being married.

For women, good marriage is good for them. Bad marriage is very bad for them.

Do Children Make Us Happier? 

When it comes to having children, Catherine said that parents do experience joy more than non-parents. Their peaks of joy are bigger than the peaks of joy that non-parents have.

Parents also have more highs and lows. Non-parents have more of an even existence, meaning their highs and lows are not as severe.

What Else Makes Us Happy?

Catherine said that lots of things make us happy. The small behaviors we engage in during our daily lives can make us happy.

For example:

#LMA18 Conference: The Happiness Keynote from Nancy Myrland

  • Eating makes us happy, but not all foods. Cake, chocolate, and sweets are the most common foods that make us happy. Laughter and support erupted when Catherine said there is no evidence that celery makes us happy!
  • Exercise makes us happier. The endorphins are the cause for that. (I agree!)
  • The feeling of happiness over finding the perfect gift for someone else is much higher than when we find someone for ourselves.
  • Nature makes us happy. Spending time in nature is profoundly important for physical health. One study showed that people who had the same surgery who were then placed in rooms that oversaw a park, vs. a parking lot showed they got out of bed faster, needed less pain medication, and were released faster.

How Personality Affects Happiness

There are 3 personality traits that impact happiness:

  1. Extroversion
  2. High self-esteem
  3. Optimism

High self-esteem and optimism help us see the silver lining. People with these traits tend to always find the silver lining. They think positively and optimistically. This comes easier for extroverts.

The Impact of Age On Our Happiness

I found this happiness breakdown very interesting. Catherine shared that:

  • Happiness is highest between ages 18-21.
  • It starts to decrease from 26-29.
  • It goes up briefly from 34-47.
  • It decreases steadily through the age of 53.
  • Then happiness begins an upturn from 54 through 85.
  • At 70, you are about as happy as you were at 18-21.

Do Digital Devices Impact Happiness?

#LMA18 Conference by Nancy MyrlandWhen people have their phones out when they are with others, they have less meaningful conversations. Prioritizing quality of relationships over quantity of relationships not only brings happiness to people, but it is a major factor in true happiness.

Conclusions About The Science of Happiness

There are 3 distinct components:

  1. Pleasure (for example, having a great glass of wine, great piece of cheesecake, beautiful music), but this feeling of happiness is fleeting.
  2. Engagement and anticipation of that engagement make us much happier because the anticipation helps us milk more of that happiness out of the situation. For example, planning for trips makes us happier.
  3. Doing things you find meaningful is an extraordinarily important predictor of happiness.

Do We Inherit The Happiness Gene?

Catherine might have surprised some when she said that the power of genetics explains only about 50% of our happiness. The remaining 50% of our happiness is under own control. So, those of you who like to blame your parents for all of your unhappiness…stop it.

So How Do We Control That 50%?

Our ability to adapt has a great deal to do with the happiness we will ultimately feel. We have to decide we are going to be happy. We have to decide we are going to structure our life, our time, and our happiness to find the life and the happiness we deserve.

Catherine quoted Elizabeth Gilbert, who tells us that we have to fight for this happiness. We have to make time for it.

Top 10 Strategies for Increasing Happiness

  1. Change your behavior.
    • Get enough sleep.
    • Exercise
    • Spend time outside.
    • Meditate
  2. Find Your Match
    • Personally and professionally
  3. Read a book you love.
  4. Keep a gratitude journal.
    • Don’t go to sleep pouring over your agenda. These stress you.
    • Focus on what you’re grateful for right now.
  5. Make a “gratitude visit.”
    • Identify someone who has changed your life in a profound way.
    • Don’t wait for the eulogy to do this!
    • Write that person a letter.
    • Then travel to that person and read that letter to them in-person.
      • Wow! how would you feel if someone did that for you?
  6. Smile (even when you aren’t happy)
    • Research shows that smiling can change how you feel.
    • Sometimes your joy can be the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
    • The mere act of smiling changes how our body physiologically respond to pain.
  7. Perform random acts of kindness.
    • Volunteer
    • Donate to charity
    • Give a gift to anyone.
  8. Spend money on the right things.
    • Spend money on experiences…things you can anticipate, experience, then reflect on that experience.
    • Spend less on belongings: Noone ever says on their death bed “I wish I would have bought more crap.”
  9. Avoid comparisons
    • “Comparison is the thief of joy” – Teddy Roosevelt
    • We have the power to choose the comparisons that make us feel better or those that make us feel worse.
    • There are people all over that are having worse experiences than we do.
    • It’s up to us to choose the nature of comparisons we make.
  10. Build and maintain close relationships
    • Relationships are the single best predictor of our happiness.
    • It takes time, though.
    • It doesn’t happen by magic.
    • It takes lots of work to make it work.

Catherine shared a quote by Leo Tolstoy:

“He was happy, but not at all in the way he had expected to be. At every step he found his former dreams disappointed, and new, unexpected surprises of happiness. He was happy; but on entering upon family life he saw at every step that it was utterly different from what he had imagined. At every step he experienced what a man would experience who, after admiring the smooth, happy course of a little boat on a lake, should get himself into that little boat. He saw that it was not all sitting still, floating smoothly; that one had to think too, not for an instant to forget where one was floating; and that there was water under one, and that one must row; and that his unaccustomed hands would be sore; and that it was only to look at it that was easy; but that doing it, though very delightful, was very difficult.”

Catherine’s last photo was of her pet. They provide unconditional love. She teasingly said that she and her husband have an agreement that, if they ever split, one of them takes the 3 kids, and the other gets the dog. 😊

Thanks, Catherine, for kicking off our conference in such a meaningful, positive, deliberate, and happy way!

Note: Don’t miss my blog post over here where I am curating content that has been written or produced for the #LMA18 conference.

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Plan Consultant, and a Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for Business trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers understand how to make their marketing and business development efforts more relevant to their current and potential clients, and helps lead law firms through their online digital strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases. As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts, video marketing, and livestreaming. If you would like to reserve an hour of Nancy’s time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here. She can be reached via email here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Maximize Your #LMA18 Annual Conference Experience

Nancy Myrland #LMA18, All Posts, Career Development & Education, Productivity Leave a Comment

How To Maximize Your LMA18 Conference Experience

From left: Alycia Sutor, Jim Durham, Mark Greene, Adam Stock [I love these people]

Some of you may know I recently attended #SMMW18, the 2018 Social Media Marketing World conference, which I really enjoyed because it was full of over 4,000 people who share my passion for all things social and digital media, and marketing strategy.

At #SMMW18 with Jen Lehner

This year, I spent some time with my mostly online (now offline, too) friend, Jen Lehner, of Jen Lehner Media, LLC. I love Jen. I appreciate her energy, her sense of humor, her down-to-earth Midwest presence, her knowledge, and her focus on being in the front row with everything she does, both literally and figuratively. She and I shared a few front row seats together during the conference, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Jen has a newly-launched podcast called The Front Row Entrepreneur. She recently interviewed a new friend she made at #SMMW18, Niyaz Pirani, owner of Knife & Spork Public Relations (great name as his clients are restaurants) in Orange County, CA.

While Jen and I sat in the front row during Mark Schaefer’s impressive session on the 10 ideas driving the future of social media marketing, on the other side of Jen sat Niyaz. I am now just a little bit jealous because I soon learned they were in the midst of forming an incredible bond during that one session that will now continue for years to come. (I’m just kidding about the jealous part as I’m sure Niyaz is preparing to write a blog post all about that amazing woman sitting on the other side of Jen, right?) 😊

Anyhow, I enjoyed listening to Jen’s podcast episode with Niyaz because he talked about his approach to conferences; before, during and after. Jen was so impressed because he sent her an amazing follow-up email that showed how much he enjoyed meeting her. He went into detail about things they had discussed. He was definitely paying attention to his new friend when they met.

Niyaz’s Approach To Creating An Amazing Conference Experience

Niyaz shared many great ideas during the interview about how he maximizes his conference experience. I will summarize those here as I think they might be interesting to those attending #LMA18, the Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference.

Before The Conference

Create A Schedule

Plan ahead so you will be focused on what you want to accomplish during the conference, but be malleable.

  • Who are the people you want to see?
  • Know where you need to be and what time.
  • Once you get there and meet people you didn’t anticipate, don’t be in a rush.
  • If you get the opportunity to have genuine conversations with people, let those conversations happen.

Be Prepared To Pivot

To Niyaz’s point above, take advantage of the generosity of those you want to learn from. There are people who charge a lot for what is inside their brains. If they offer to spend some time with you talking about your question or situation, let it happen. This happens frequently at conferences. After the conference, take time to thank that person. This is a great way to stay in touch and make a more meaningful connection.

Create Your Plan On The Spot

Niyaz believes in creating your action plan while the information is fresh and when you are most inspired.

How to do this?

Take short-form versions of notes. Find your favorite way to do this and become comfortable taking notes that way. Make sure you will be able to read them later, though. You might be able to swiftly write words without using any vowels, but can you read them later? If you are inspired to write a short plan of action, do so right away. Remember (this is Nancy speaking here), plans don’t have to be long and can sometimes be effective with only a few bullet points.

Your Cell Phone Is Your Friend

Use Your Cell Phone To Maximize Conference Attendance

Cell phones make the difference for Niyaz.

He started out as a journalist, so his brain is conditioned for efficiency and speed. He uses the notes function on his phone extensively during conferences. Using the notes function on his iPhone, he takes a picture of important slides, which is something many of us do these days.

He shared that because you have taken a photo of that slide, you are then able to really listen and absorb what the presenter is saying and thinking about how that might fit into your workflow, vs. worrying about typing or writing every point down in your notes.

Also, while he is listening to the presenters, he does 3 things:

  • If they say something that is critical, he jots it down.
  • If they mention a resource that would be useful to him, he puts 2 asterisks next to that so he can find it fast when he goes back through his notes. This could be a person, software, process, or something that he can go back to and utilize later.
  • Then, he uses 3 asterisks when he hears an idea from someone that really makes his brain start churning because he suspects that might work in his situation.

After The Conference

Get It Out Of Your Head

Niyaz said his head was full of too much information, so he finally decided he had to get it all out of his head so he could think more clearly about it. He organized all of his information on pink sticky notes all over his office walls. (Catherine MacDonagh, are you smiling right about now? My friend Catherine teaches process improvement and project management and is a big believer in this practice.)

On the left side of his office, he broke down the processes that he thought were relevant to his work with his market, which is restaurants. To all of us, our market is lawyers, legal marketers, service providers, and other business professionals.

On the right side, he took those new tools and processes from the left and assigned them to individual sticky notes for each of his clients. He wrote down how those tools and processes on the left applied to each of his clients. You probably need larger sticky notes for that part.

Pause For a Few Days

He then took a step back and left it for a while. A few days later, he came back and started writing customized plans for each of his clients that showed how he would suggest using these new tools and processes he learned for each client he showed on the right side of his office. He went back through his notes to make sure he covered everything.

Follow Up With Your New Contacts

Niyaz’s plan is to now go back through all of his notes and take out all of the most important points and notes and share those with all of those people whose business cards he collected, along with a thank you for taking the time to meet with him. He will send a personal note along with them saying “Here are my notes in case they would be of any help to you.”

Some of the ideas will be pertinent, but some won’t. Regardless, the gesture is amazing. As Jen said during the interview, if someone took the time to share their highlights of a conference with me, I would love it!

I agree with Jen that this would be a huge gift.

How To Maximize Your #LMA18 Conference Experience

Jen Lehner & Nancy Myrland Take The Stage at #SMMW18

Jen and Niyaz, thank you very much for taking the time to discuss this important topic. Jen, thank you for taking the time to have a little fun together at the conference, too!

Those are the highlights of Jen’s conversation with Niyaz. What do you think? Would any of these work for you? What suggestions do you have to maximize your conference experience? Please share below!

Also, I am curating content from the annual conference over here on this post so let me know when you write or see something for me to add.

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Plan Consultant, and a Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for Business trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers understand how to make their marketing and business development efforts more relevant to their current and potential clients, and helps lead law firms through their online digital strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases. As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts, video marketing, and livestreaming. If you would like to reserve an hour of Nancy’s time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here. She can be reached via email here.

Lawyers, Schedule Consulting Time With Nancy Myrland

Coverage From #LMA18, The 2018 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference

Nancy Myrland #LMA18, All Posts, LMA Leave a Comment

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference Coverage by Nancy Myrland

I WILL BE ADDING NEW CONTENT TO THIS POST SO CHECK BACK OFTEN! JUST LOOK FOR THE GREEN HEADLINES BELOW.

It’s time.

The largest annual meeting of legal marketing and business development professionals from around the world is taking place in New Orleans April 9-11. If history even comes close to repeating itself, we will have:

  • Over 1500 business of law professionals
  • From 20 countries
  • Representing 46 out of 50 states
  • All 8 LMA governing regions
  • With titles of Director, Officer, Coordinator, Assistant, Specialist, Strategist, Consultant, VP, President, and others
  • From firms ranging in size from under 100 to well over 1000 lawyers actively engaged in the practice of law

This Is The Place

It is no secret that I look forward to LMA Annual Conferences. Having joined LMA in 1997 when I started in the industry as an in-house Director of Marketing at Baker & Daniels (now Faegre Baker Daniels), then starting my own business, Myrland Marketing & Social Media, in 2002 in what has become a marketing, business development, content, social and digital media strategy, consulting, and training company, this is the industry I have chosen, and these are the legal professionals I have chosen to help.

Why I Look Forward To This Conference

I look forward to this conference because it is filled with very smart, passionate, well-rounded businesspeople who help one another become better at what they do every day throughout the year. Having 1500 of us in the same building sharing knowledge and skills for 3 to 4 days is an amazing gift that all law firms should recognize as the bare minimum when deciding how best to empower and educate their marketing and business development professionals.

I also look forward to the conference because these are “my people.” I have spent many years with some, and only a few days with others. It doesn’t matter how long because we all have something very important in common. We care deeply about what we do, about each other, about the attorneys and law firms we are a part of, and we sincerely care about becoming better at what we do to help our lawyers do what they do better, too.

The Reunion Is Real

We are a very close family, and our reunion is amazing for all the reasons I mentioned above. I look forward to the hugs (especially the hugs as I am a hugger, try me), the stories, the lessons, the old friends, the new ones, the atmosphere of excitement, the amazing way the conference is organized to take care of all of us, the pages of to-do items I gather after attending sessions and having conversations, all with too many asterisks noting must-do items that I must implement as soon as possible, and the feeling we will undoubtedly have being in New Orleans a city that is in the midst of celebrating its 300th birthday.

What could be more perfect than all of that?

Conference and Association Leadership

A conference like this is no small endeavor.

The muscle behind this conference is the Legal Marketing Association, or LMA, which is headed by Executive Director Betsi Roach, President Ashraf Lakhani, and the International Board of Directors.

Once again this year, we have amazing volunteers organizing the conference, led by Conference Co-Chairs:

#LMA Legal Marketing Association Conference Co-Chairs

  • Katherine D’Urso, Chief Client Development Office, Wilmer Hale, and
  • Brian Dare, Chief Marketing Office, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP

as well as the 2018 Annual Conference Advisory Committee:

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Conference Advisory Committee

 

 

 

 

  • Mary Margaret Gorman, Senior Public Relation & Media Manager, Jones Walker LLP
  • Mike Haag, Director of Business Development, GrayRobinson
  • Jon Mattson, Director of Business Development, Baker & Hostetler LLP
  • Christine Mitchell, Business Development Manager, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP
  • Clare Ota, Senior Marketing & Business Development Manager, Allen Matkins
  • Jim Pagliaro, Partner, PP&C Consulting
  • Betsi Roach, Executive Director, Legal Marketing Association
  • Lisa Simon, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, ‎Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
  • Mary K. Young, Consultant., Zeughauser Group
  • Mona Zeiberg, Chief Marketing Officer, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Ashraf Lakhani, Director of Business Development & Marketing, Porter Hedges LLP, and LMA Board President and Conference Committee Liaison

Thank you for all of your hard work!

Conference Highlights

The conference website summarizes this year’s conference highlights:

  • 150+ speakers representing different firm sizes, various marketing roles and a wealth of experience will share their knowledge. (By the way, I’m happy to be presenting at this year’s Pre-Conference Quick Start program on Social & Digital Media Ethics For Lawyers & Legal Marketers.)
  • Participate in discussions around the evolution and innovations taking place within legal services at over 40 breakout sessions
  • Choose from 7 pre-conference programs to take a deep dive into the topics that matter most to you.
  • New this year! Explore the possibilities of new legal marketing and business development products and services at the Lagniappe Demo Lounge.

Join and Follow Each Other On My #LMA18 Twitter List

Every year, I create a list on Twitter of all of those who are attending the annual conference. I do that so you can follow that list and follow each other as we have a lot in common! If you would like to be added, check out the list to see if you are there: #LMA18 Twitter List: #LMA18 by Nancy Myrland, and let me know if I need to add you. Just let me know on Twitter right here at @NancyMyrlandIf you would like to follow all #LMA18 Tweets in one place, you can do that here.

This Blog Post Will Be A Gathering Place

As I like to do, I will collect blog posts, videos, audio and other content from this year’s conference to make it easier for anyone interested to find everything in one place.

I will add to this post as my colleagues and I publish additional content. If you see, write or produce something I haven’t found, please let me know so I can add it, okay? I will date the entries with the date I add them so you can quickly find new posts.

Tweet those links to me at @NancyMyrland, message them to me privately on LinkedIn, in Facebook Messenger if we are friends, or email me at [email protected], using #LMA18 in the subject line so I can find you fast.

I created an easy URL for this collection of #LMA18 content, so feel free to either bookmark it or just remember http://bit.ly/LMA18byNancy.

Quick Link List For You

Let’s Get Started, Shall We?!

Let me know when you publish content related to this year’s conference, okay? Don’t be bashful.

I started off at the very bottom by sharing a post containing great networking tips from several of our friends and colleagues. It is from 2017, but you will find they are all still stellar tips.

Note: I will date all entries by the date I add them so you can find new ones fast.

Enjoy!

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

Be Your Own Change Agent in the Pursuit of Happiness by Joanne Thorud on LinkedIn Publisher [5-8-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy MyrlandMy First LMA Annual Conference Experience by Ashley Perry on LinkedIn Publisher [5-1-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

Relationships, Diversity and AI: Legal Marketers Converge in New Orleans by Jen Tatro on the Greentarget blog [4-25-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

General Counsel: What Do They Want From Law Firms? from Tom Elgar on the Expert-To-Expert Marketing Blog

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

United States of Crisis by Cheryl Bame on The Legal PR Blog [4-23-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

LMA 2017 Regional Highlights Video presented by LMA on YouTube [4-23-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

My Takeaways From LMA 2018’s General Counsel Panel by John Simpson on the One North blog [2-23-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

The Future Is Now for Artificial Intelligence in Legal Practice and Marketing by LMA International and Poston Communications on the Strategies+ blog [4-23-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

10 Things You Should Do After Attending the 2018 LMA Annual Conference by Stefanie Marrone on JD supra Marketing Perspectives [4-23-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

What Are My Chances? The 3 Biz Dev Conversations to Master by Glennie Green on the Jaffe blog [4-19-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

Why Law Firms Should Concentrate on Fostering Happiness by Vivian Hood on the Jaffe blog [4-19-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

How Short, Regular Insights Drive Strategy, Planning and Growth by Eugene McCormick on the Expert-To-Expert Marketing Blog [4-16-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

#LMA18 – Honoring and showcasing the best of LMA by Heather Morse on The Legal Watercooler [4-16-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

#LMA18 – Experience Management or My 2019 Project by Heather Morse on The Legal Watercooler [4-16-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

My LMA 2018 Recap- The Big Easy! by Mike Mellor on LinkedIn Publisher [4-13-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

An Important Message To Law Firm Management – #LMA18 by Nancy Myrland on The Myrland Marketing Minute Blog [4-13-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

#LMA18: Strategy-Are You A Talent, Service Firm? or A Hybrid? by Heather Morse on The Legal Watercooler [4-13-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

#LMA18 – The General Counsel Panel by Heather Morse on The Legal Watercooler [4-13-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

#LMA18 – Honoring and Showcasing the Best of LMA  by Heather Morse on The Legal Watercooler [4-13-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

#LMA18 GC Panel: Lawyers, Slow Down & Stick Around – Lesson #1 by Nancy Myrland on The Myrland Marketing Minute Blog [4-11-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

How Lawyers & Law Firms Can Help Save The World While Building Stronger Teams by Nancy Myrland with Terry Isner on Facebook Live [4-11-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

The Day Happiness Came To #LMA18 by Nancy Myrland on The Myrland Marketing Minute Blog [4-10-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

#LMA18 – Strategic Planning – Part 1 – Introduction by Heather Morse on The Legal Watercooler [4-10-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

#LMA18 -How Legal Departments Are Leveraging AI by Heather Morse on The Legal Watercooler [4-10-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

#LMA18 – Finding Growth In A Flat Market by Heather Morse on The Legal Watercooler [4-10-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

#LMA18 – Come On, Let’s Get Happy by Heather Morse on The Legal Watercooler [4-10-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

I’ll be “Deep Working” from the LMA Conference this week by Heather Morse on The Legal Watercooler [4-10-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy MyrlandHow to Get the Most Out of Your #LMA18 Annual Conference Experience by Stefanie Marrone on LinkedIn [4-10-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

How to Maximize Every Conference and Event You Attend (and Build Your Professional Brand) by Stefanie Marrone on JD Supra Marketing Perspectives [4-2-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy MyrlandHow To Maximize Your #LMA18 Annual Conference Experience by Nancy Myrland on The Myrland Marketing Minute Blog [3-28-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

If You Are Kind and Polite, The World Will Be Right by Roy Sexton on Reel Roy Reviews [3-23-18]

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference Content

#LMA17: Conference Networking Tips From Our Friends by Nancy Myrland (& Friends) on The Myrland Marketing Minutes Blog [3-21-18]

 

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Plan Consultant, and a Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for Business trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers understand how to make their marketing and business development efforts more relevant to their current and potential clients, and helps lead law firms through their online digital strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases. As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts, video marketing, and livestreaming. If you would like to reserve an hour of Nancy’s time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here. She can be reached via email here.

 

Lawyers, Schedule Consulting Time With Nancy Myrland

There’s Hope For LinkedIn Groups … I Hope!

Nancy Myrland All Posts, LinkedIn Leave a Comment

There's Hope For LinkedIn Groups

In case you haven’t heard what is happening with groups on LinkedIn, let me bring you up to speed. Here is a recording I recorded live on Facebook that will explain everything I know so far. Don’t forget to turn on the volume control in the bottom right corner after you press the play button. If you would rather read, you will find the transcription below.

[Here is the transcription with a bit of editing to make it easier for you to read.]

Are Groups Being Resurrected?

I spend a lot of time with LinkedIn. In the last two days, we’ve been hearing a lot of hubbub about groups on LinkedIn. As you know, groups have been just like ghost towns for quite a while. There are exceptions. I do understand that. The one that I host even comes and goes sometimes. Sometimes there’s a little bit of conversation. Sometimes there’s absolutely no conversation and I feel like I’m talking to myself, but I just keep going on because that is important to me.

LinkedIn’s Private Message About Groups

A lot of us have received a private message from Chloe Rowshani who is in Product Marketing at LinkedIn. You might have received it, too.

The title of Chloe’s message is “Integrating Groups into the Main LinkedIn Experience.”

Long story short, LinkedIn may finally be looking at groups again to make them worthwhile.

It Has Never Been More Important To Diversify Your Strategy

With the changes that have been going on to Facebook News Feed this week and the uncertainty about businesses being able to get their content in News Feed, I don’t want you to ever forget that LinkedIn is a platform you should be devoting time to, particularly if you are a business, which you are or you probably wouldn’t be here.

Here is what Chloe Rowshani, my new best friend at LinkedIn…well, everybody’s new best friend at LinkedIn, said:

“Nancy, we’re currently working on making some changes to the LinkedIn groups experience. Because you are an expert user, we wanted to give you some advanced details on what’s coming.

Groups is at the heart of what makes LinkedIn a trusted place for professionals to help and support one another, and the changes we’re planning will make groups a bigger part of the main LinkedIn experience.

Our focus on re-integrating groups back into the core LinkedIn experience means that we will no longer be able to support a standalone iOS app for groups. That app will stop working as of February 15, 2018.”

I’m not an iOS-user so I didn’t even know there still was one for iOS.

“But please know that your existing group memberships and contributions will not be affected as part of that change.”

Chloe went on to say,

“As a preview, here are some of the improvements you can look forward to when we roll them out to the main LinkedIn groups web and mobile experience.

Easier access to groups right from the homepage with the ability to see the latest content through the homepage feed and notifications.

Better conversation tools, including the ability to post videos, @mention the members you want to weigh in, and reply to comments to keep the conversation going.

Ultimately, our goal is to create an even better groups experience within the primary LinkedIn application, so we are putting our focus there over the coming weeks and months. We will be sending you updates as these improvements and many others become available. Stay tuned!”

My Reply To Chloe At LinkedIn

LinkedIn Groups Changes

My reply to her … I don’t think she will see this. I hope she’s looking at it but I don’t know. (Update: she is. More on that in a moment.)

I said:

“Good morning, Chloe. Thank you very much for your message about groups. I’d love to hear more about this as we desperately need to revamp the groups experience. People are taking their groups over to Facebook, but we need to be able to host a robust experience here to. Please let me know how I can help. Take care. Nancy.”

One Of LinkedIn’s Biggest Weaknesses

All this to say is that one of LinkedIn’s biggest weaknesses over the past handful of years is the groups experience. Also, their algorithm change really messed up notifications as well. I don’t get enough notifications from the people I care about. Yes, in case you’re curious, these are all people I interact with on a regular basis so I should be seeing their content.

LinkedIn Groups Have Huge Potential

The groups feature on LinkedIn has such huge potential and used to be wonderful. A couple things have spoiled it.  Among them were features that LinkedIn introduced that really didn’t help their cause any.

  1. LinkedIn de-emphasized groups in the notifications.
  2. They also introduced another feature that really hurt. SWAM came on the scene. SWAM was not a term LinkedIn invented. It stands for site-wide automated moderation. When someone was a bad actor in one of the groups and someone reported them (and that could have even been an unkind competitor), and the admin or owner placed that bad actor in moderation so their posts had to be authorized or, worse yet, banned them from the group, they were then put on probation in all their groups.

Then People Got Lazy

LinkedIn Groups People Got LazyThen people started spamming groups. Some Owners and Admins were not great about moderating their groups and putting people into that special category of having to pre-approve their posts.

I know I’ve done this in my group, where people come in and all they do is they post links that have nothing to do with marketing, business development, content, social and digital media. Their links are always to their content. They don’t necessarily share or discuss anybody else’s content or provide helpful tips and advice.

There are several people who I have set to pre-approve what they’re trying to post before I allow it in the newsfeed of my group because I care very much about this group. I didn’t start it, but it was transferred to me by Samantha Collier a couple years ago because they’re a lot of work and Samantha was very busy with her consulting business. If I allow those types of posts in the group, it will gain a reputation for being filled with inappropriate or unfocused content.

Moderation Is Important But LinkedIn Needs To Help

LinkedIn doesn’t always tell group owners when there’s a new post, so owners and admins have to go into the group just like everyone else to find out that someone has posted in the group and perhaps even mentioned the group owner’s name. That’s not right.

I’m hopeful because I want groups to work. I want group owners and admins, including me, to pay better attention to what’s going on with groups. Maybe they will as a result of group notifications and discussions showing up in notifications and newsfeeds again.

Stay Tuned

I wanted to let you know this is going on because I really like LinkedIn. I think LinkedIn is an incredible tool for the people that I serve in the legal profession. I want it to be a robust experience. This is something that desperately needs to be fixed.

[End transcription]

By The Way, This Is How I Know Chloe & LinkedIn Are Listening

As you might have guessed, this topic is being discussed quite a bit on LinkedIn. Two things happened that tell me Chloe in Product Marketing is listening.

  1. She liked one of my comments.
  2. She replied to my private message when I asked her if she could share anything at this stage as I was going to be summarizing what I know in a blog post.

She replied by saying:

“Hi Nancy! Thanks for your enthusiasm and desire to learn more about the changes we are making to the Groups experience. I will be sure to keep you updated as we get closer to rolling out the improvements.”

Well, I tried! I’ll let you know when I hear about or see the changes. (By the way, if you’re reading this, thanks for replying, Chloe!)

I’d Love to Know Your Opinion

Did you get the same notification from Chloe Rowshani at LinkedIn? Some people have received it via email. Most of us, I think, received it via messaging on LinkedIn.

What do you think of LinkedIn groups? Do you look forward to seeing more notifications if groups and discussions are moderated better?

Let me know. I’d love to know what you think.

LinkedIn Tips For Lawyers by Nancy Myrland

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing, Business Development, Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for Business trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers and legal marketers understand how to make their marketing and business development efforts more relevant to their current and potential clients, and helps lead firms through their online digital strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases. As an early and constant adopter of social and digital technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts, video marketing and livestreaming. She can be reached via email here.

 

Mark Zuckerberg Announces Major News Feed Changes

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Facebook, Social Media Leave a Comment

Mark Zuckerberg Announces Facebook News Feed Changes

If your Facebook News Feed has historically been dominated by updates from brands, businesses, and news media, get ready for a major shift. Starting right away, you will begin seeing updates mostly from friends and family.

Some of you might be ecstatic about this, while others are quite irritated because you like the Facebook that you had a hand in shaping; the one that allowed you to follow and like businesses and personal brands that interested you, as well as updates from people you like.

Those of us who also use Facebook to communicate professionally haven’t been too happy about these changes.

Facebook’s Algorithmic Stick Grows Even Heavier

What you need to know today is that the trend you’ve seen of all social media sites wielding a heavy algorithmic stick is going to continue. Facebook’s stick is getting even heavier, telling us it is certain it is for our own good and that it will make us even “happier.” More on that in a moment…

The Explore Feed on Facebook 

To understand how we arrived at this point, let’s back up a step. We’ve known for quite some time that Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg intended to minimize the unpaid distribution of your firm’s page content in the News Feeds of those who have chosen to like your page.

Since the Fall of 2017, in other countries outside the U.S., specifically Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia, Facebook has been testing a News Feed that contains a separate tab for business content called the Explore Feed. TechCrunch covered it in this article. Explore keeps the business content out of the personal News Feed so users can see more updates from people, not pages.

As you might guess, business professionals weren’t happy about this news at all. One interesting aspect about Explore is that it also surfaced business content from brands and firms the user was not following, thus opening opportunities for discovery of a firm’s content to those who didn’t follow it before.

Facebook quickly responded to those concerns. On October 23, 2017, Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed for Facebook, assured us by saying:

“We currently have no plans to roll this test out further.”

He explained the purpose of this test by saying,

“We always listen to our community about ways we might improve News Feed. People tell us they want an easier way to see posts from friends and family. We are testing having one dedicated space for people to keep up with their friends and family, and another separate space, called Explore, with posts from pages.”

In an attempt to clear up the various articles and discussions that were taking place since this Explore Feed was discovered, Adam told us:

(Read closely as it will feel very familiar to what was just announced yesterday by Facebook):

“The goal of this test is to understand if people prefer to have separate places for personal and public content. We will hear what people say about the experience to understand if it’s an idea worth pursuing any further. There is no current plan to roll this out beyond these test countries or to charge pages on Facebook to pay for all their distribution in News Feed or Explore. Unfortunately, some have mistakenly made that interpretation — but that was not our intention.”

Mark Zuckerberg’s New Year’s Commitment To Fix Facebook

On January 4, Mark Zuckerberg posted his 2018 personal challenge. Here are the most important parts that appear to be leading to the announcement about this change in News Feed we learning about yesterday.

“Today feels a lot like that first year. The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do — whether it’s protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent.”

Mark creates a personal challenge for every new year. His challenge for 2018 leans toward acknowledging that Facebook is broken and needs to be fixed. Think fake news, election debacles, hatred, bigotry, and other ugly activity we now see regularly on the site.

Mark Zuckerberg tells us:

“My personal challenge for 2018 is to focus on fixing these important issues. We won’t prevent all mistakes or abuse, but we currently make too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing misuse of our tools. If we’re successful this year then we’ll end 2018 on a much better trajectory.”

Fast Forward One Week To Mark Zuckerberg’s News Feed Announcement 

Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg announced he has given marching orders to make a massive change to Facebook’s News Feed in order to push changes similar to those tested in Explore.

Mark stated that he feels it is now Facebook’s responsibility to care about our well-being:

“We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being. So we’ve studied this trend carefully by looking at the academic research and doing our own research with leading experts at universities.

The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.”

Mark indicated Facebook will now move away from helping us find relevant content:

“Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.

We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.

As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

Facebook followed Mark’s announcement with a blog post and explainer video:

Increased Emphasis on Groups

In 2017, Mark made it clear that he values community, and that he would be paying a lot of attention to groups as important places to gather and connect. After he began discussing this, we then began to see new features added to groups. With this change to News Feed, this makes groups important places to consider when you have information you want others to see or hear.

What Does Wall Street Think?

This morning, Business Insider wrote that Facebook’s stock price has been dropping since the announcement. It’s too early to tell the impact of these changes on the stock price, but it will be interesting to watch.

What Does Mari Smith Think?

Just moments ago, my first social media mentor and Facebook expert, Mari Smith, finished a Facebook Live broadcast, where she outlined these 6 reasons she thinks these changes are being made:

  1. Positive sentiment for users
  2. To appease the government
  3. Eradicate fake news and clickbait
  4. Deal with the diminishing amount of ad inventory in mobile newsfeed
  5. Gear up for a major digital television destination and tap into TV ad dollars
  6. Gear up for more exclusive streaming right (recent Golden Globes red carpet party, lost bid for Indian cricket league, etc.)

What does Mark Schaeffer Think? 

Any good discussion of marketing should include Mark Schaeffer. The blog post Mark just published is titled Don’t panic. The Facebook announcement is no big deal.

He thinks this apocalyptic vision being shared about Facebook’s marketing future is a vast overreaction. He tells us:

“Today, the organic reach for an average business is less than 1 percent.”

He goes on to say:

“So let’s be realistic. Posting content on Facebook doesn’t work for most businesses any way. Here is how I interpret the Zuckerberg letter: ‘We have been penalizing businesses for years and we’re going to keep doing it.'”

What Do I Think?

Throttling of Page updates is not new. It’s not a great development, but it’s not new. Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement yesterday confirmed what appears to be a more blatant admission of this effort.

I must say I am a little concerned about this change from the perspective of the personal profile as it is not just about adjusting the Facebook News Feed algorithm this time, but also about trying to change the way people behave. Facebook is telling us it doesn’t want people to do anything passively in their personal feeds on Facebook any longer, which goes against what many people feel comfortable doing. Not everyone likes to interact.

There is a difference between acknowledging you will create spaces for those who like to interact with content, and penalizing those who don’t. This will be an interesting experiment, for sure.

I think what firms and businesses need to know in the coming days is:

  • Your (already) minimal page exposure in News Feed will be even worse from now on.
  • Pay-to-play for Pages will continue to be the name of the game for the foreseeable future (until Facebook tinkers with the algorithm again, which will happen).
  • Groups should be discussed. If you have content that is interesting, or news that brings others around to discuss or interact, groups might be an option to consider. Be very careful, though, as they are a lot of work to start, nurture, and maintain.
  • Livestreaming should be a part of your 2018 strategy. Facebook has stated gathering around live content is valuable in News Feed. While you’re there, don’t be afraid to gently ask your viewers to share, react, and comment as Facebook has stated it also values this kind of active content. Livestream video garners 6 times the amount of views than pre-produced video.

Again, stay tuned as we watch this unfold. In the meantime, how do you feel about these changes?

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing, Business Development, Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for Business trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers and legal marketers understand how to make their marketing and business development efforts more relevant to their current and potential clients, and helps lead firms through their online digital strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases. As an early and constant adopter of social and digital technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts, video marketing and livestreaming. She can be reached via email here.

Lawyers, Schedule Consulting Time With Nancy Myrland

Lawyers: What Does 2018 Have To Do With A Grocery Store?

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Business Development/Sales, Marketing Plans & Planning, Marketing Strategy Leave a Comment

Lawyers, What Does 2018 Have To Do With A Grocery StoreHave you ever gone to the grocery store on an empty stomach, or perhaps when you’re tired? Did you wander aimlessly around the aisles, throwing all kinds of food in your cart that looked good at the moment? You might have started in the pretty, fresh aisle, but ended up in the guts of the store, looking at all kinds of unhealthy food you had no plan to buy.

Me, too.

We All Have Good Intentions

You probably have mostly good intentions, but you might also have some not-so-good intentions if you just want to eat some junk food and call it a night. It’s so easy. It’s in a bag. It’s salty and it’s yours!

Have you then gone home with all of this food and wondered what you should have for dinner? If only you had this certain ingredient, you could have a decent meal.  You have cupboards or drawers full of food, but you still say things like:

“I don’t have anything to eat.”

“No, I mean real food.”

“Why don’t we have anything decent to eat?”

A Few Months Later

A few months later, you look in your pantry, realize you have to clean some things out in order to make room for new food and realize you have jars, cans, bottles, and bags of formerly fresh food with expiration dates that make you shake your head, cringe, and sometimes laugh.

If you and I did this right:

  • We’d take the time to figure out what we wanted to have for our next few meals.
  • We’d make a list of the ingredients we don’t already have.
  • We’d stop by the store when we have some time.
  • We’d go in and grab a cart (or a basket if we want to build a little muscle).
  • We’d put a few steps on our pedometer and fill our cart with the items on the list, crossing them off as we go.

If the store didn’t have the exact item or brand we like, we would study labels, consider pricing, then make a decision. We would stand in line, shake our heads at the crazy covers of various tabloids, we’d pay, then we would go home to prepare our well thought out meal.

Random Acts of Food

Lawyers, Don't Commit Random Acts of Junk Food

As important as having the right ingredients to prepare the right meal to fuel our bodies in the right way at the right time, we would have also spent our money wisely, buying the items we put on our list that go into recipes that we had first decided we would make.

We wouldn’t go in for a few items, buy a bunch of who knows what, only to look at the receipt to wonder how we just spent $150.

We wouldn’t commit random acts of food.

Marketing and Business Development Are Very Similar

Even though talking about food is fun, you know this had to turn to marketing and business development because…well…that’s what I do for a living, right?

Marketing and business development are definitely very similar to this situation.

Instead of jumping at the next bright, shiny business development opportunity, you need to:

  • Spend time figuring out what you want to make of your practice (goals).
  • Decide how you’re going to do it (strategies).
  • Figure out how much you are willing to spend to reach these goals (budget).
  • Map out specific tasks to accomplish these strategies (tactics).
  • Think about each task to see what you need to do next (prioritize & schedule).
  • Write out completion dates for each task (schedule).
  • Identify who you need to ask for help to make things happen (get specific in your plan).
  • Have an idea what success will look like (establish key performance indicators, or KPIs).
  • Then execute that plan thoughtfully, carefully, with focus, and perseverance (implement the plan).

The Perils Of Not Planning for 2018

If you don’t take these steps, then you have done what I’ve described above.

You’ve potentially:

  1. Wandered aimlessly through the aisles of your practice, tackling whatever looks good on your desk or computer at the time
  2. Eaten up the precious time you have in between serving clients
  3. Spent your hard-earned money on marketing and business development projects that may or may not have anything to do with what you need to do to grow a healthy practice and firm in 2018
  4. Become overwhelmed or defeated when you realize you aren’t any closer to achieving your goals than you were the last time you beat yourself up over not having a plan
  5. Committed random acts of marketing

Make Today Your New Year’s Day

Just because it isn’t January 1 doesn’t mean you need to shut down your planning cycle. Don’t throw out this year, thinking it’s too late because you didn’t start planning at or before the beginning of the year. Decide you are going to be better than that…because you are!

It isn’t January 1 any longer, but who cares? Start today. Make today your new year’s day.

Tell yourself you aren’t going to wander aimlessly any longer, spending time and money on marketing and business development that isn’t focused.

Schedule some time right now (or after you finish reading this, please) when you are going to work through the categories above to prepare for what you need to do to build a stronger business.

Don’t make 2018 another year of random acts of marketing. You can do this!

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing, Business Development, Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for Business trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers and legal marketers understand how to make their marketing and business development efforts more relevant to their current and potential clients, and helps lead firms through their online digital strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases. As an early and constant adopter of social and digital technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts, video marketing and livestreaming. She can be reached via email here.

Lawyers, Schedule Consulting Time With Nancy Myrland