#LetsAskNancy: Lawyers, Why Should You Publish Your Content On Other Sites?

Nancy Myrland #LetsAskNancy, #LetsAskNancy, Blogging, Business Development/Sales, Content Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Social Media, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

#LetsAskNancy where Nancy Myrland answers questions about legal and lawyer marketing & business development, including content, social and digital marketing.

#LetsAskNancy is where I answer questions others have about legal and lawyer marketing and business development, including content, social and digital marketing. 

You have a choice…either listen to this post in the podcast player below, read it below that, or both!

 

My short answer? Why would you not?

The news this week about Facebook adding a new feature called Instant Articles, where major publications and sites, such as The New York Times, Huffington Post, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed and others, will be able to post articles directly on Facebook has generated a great deal of conversation that shows excitement, fear, anxiety, concern and curiosity. It depends who you are as to which of those emotions you are feeling about this deal.

Why Should Lawyers Post Content On Other Sites?

I’m not sure you have any choice if you, like these major publications mentioned above, want to stay alive, relevant and noticed. We live in a world where two developments are occurring simultaneously.

  1. We are inundated with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of messages every day.
  2. We have more channels, or sites, available to us than ever before.

What Does This Mean?

This means that when we publish our words, whether written or spoken, we have enormous competition for eyes and ears. Remember when it used to be so easy when all we had was radio, TV, newspaper and a few other platforms to get our entertainment and education from? I know, some of you don’t remember, so you’re just going to have to trust me. It really wasn’t that long ago in the grand scheme of things. I was alive and I barely remember it because changes have happened so rapidly.

Anyhow, back to why you want to publish your content elsewhere…

  • Gone are the days when our target audiences came to our websites to learn everything about us. [Did they ever?]
  • Gone are the days when competition was friendly, and there was an unwritten agreement between some attorneys and firms they wouldn’t try to poach clients from one another.
  • Gone are the days when your reputation is what brought business back to you again and again. [It still happens, but earning and keeping loyalty is changing.]
  • Gone are the days when your clients and target audiences had enough time in their workdays to research and read everything they needed to in order to decide you were the chosen one.
  • For that matter, gone are the days when your clients had a standard workday, and weren’t tied to their smart devices every waking hour, which means their brains are likely on overload.

What Are You Supposed To Do?

To begin with, if you aren’t already committing your wisdom and intelligence in your practice area to paper, keyboard, video or microphone, otherwise known as your content, then you need to begin doing so strategically. That means you do so in a way that supports your marketing and business development goals, and the needs for information your target audiences have in order to do their jobs better.

Next, you need to distribute what you’ve produced. It doesn’t do you any good to spend your valuable time creating this content if you don’t share it. Do you need to publish:

  • On your website?
  • On your target audiences’ websites?
  • On sites that curate content from many lawyers, such as JD Supra?
  • On social media in small doses, such as on Twitter where you are limited to only a few characters [yes, it is possible to distill what you’ve created in only a few characters, trust me]?
  • On LinkedIn Pulse and Publisher, where LinkedIn helps you get the attention of those for whom you are writing because they know how to match your content with the keywords others are searching?
  • On Facebook, whether that be sharing your content in your personal newsfeed, on your business page, or in certain groups that allow for that to be done?

Remember, all of this is marketing, and part of the business development process, and you need to become comfortable marketing your marketing. If not, who will? You can’t leave this to chance, hoping others will find your words of wisdom. We can’t go back there, just as The New York Times and Huffington Post can’t rely on people going out of their way to go to their websites to read everything they have created.

You need to spread your content out to those sites that have demonstrated they have the traffic you care about, which means where your target audiences are spending time. Think about this deal this week between Facebook and major publications. These publications are in the process of realizing that they need to go where their audience is if they want their content to be read. With almost 1.5 billion people on Facebook, I suspect many of your clients and potential clients are spending some time on Facebook.

The same goes for you. You have to go where your clients and potential clients are already spending time. You also need to go where you suspect they will be spending time in the future so that you have a body of your wisdom waiting there for them when they arrive. I think that’s exciting!

Yes, this takes time and effort, but it is definitely possible to create and distribute your intelligence broadly so that it benefits your practice. What is even more important is that you are taking the time to offer this content in ways that benefit your clients, and that you are making it easier for them to find the help they need…from you!

[If you have a question you’d like to be considered for #LetsAskNancy, feel free to leave it in the comments below, on Twitter using the hashtag #LetsAskNancy, or via my email….thanks!]

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing, Content, Digital & Social Media Strategist, Speaker & Advisor, helping lawyers, law firms and legal marketers grow by strategically integrating all marketing disciplines. She helps lawyers 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 strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases. 

 

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Hey, Where Did All My Online Friends & Connections Go?

Nancy Myrland Business Development/Sales, Content Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Hey, Where Did All My Online Friends & Connections Go?!Remember that passionate follower of yours on Twitter that shared everything you wrote?

Remember that new connection you made on LinkedIn that seemed interested in what you had to post?

Remember that friend that went out of his way to like everything you wrote on Facebook?

Remember that energetic commenter that used to support you on your blog?

What in the world happened to those people you used to be so connected to?

The Reality

We all enter this online world at different times, at different speeds, with different levels of passion, and with various approaches to connecting to others. It is often the case that we happen upon someone we like, or someone we find interesting, or who is willing to really connect by replying and conversing with us and, before we know it, we’ve made a true connection, even a friend.

Then one day, it could be a week, 6 months, or 2 years, we see that person float by in our newsfeed, or on Twitter, or commenting in one of our shared LinkedIn groups, or because someone else mentioned them, and we think:

“What happened to her? We don’t connect any more. She used to share everything of mine, and I shared everything of hers.”

The reality is that, just as in our face-to-face relationships, some people will move in and out of our virtual lives in what seems to be a flash. Perhaps that is bothersome because you miss that advocate, that friendship, that connection, and, yes, sometimes that fan, that you thought you had.

What Do You Do?

First, you realize that maybe that’s okay. Maybe that person was a bright spot in your professional or personal life for a brief period of time when you happened to connect because you traveled in the same online circles for a certain period of time.

Second, you realize that you now have more connections, and more relationships, and it is likely that this person does, too. You have discovered more people, and so has your friend. This causes all of us to have to work to keep those connections we have.

Third, you need to decide if it is important to have that contact in your life. Perhaps you forgot about him for a while because you got busy or distracted, so you might need to take the responsibility for renewing that relationship.

Fourth, think about the relationship you had with her. Was it lopsided? Was she sharing more of your content than you were sharing of hers? Perhaps you needed to share more of her content? Some find it can get old extending the courtesy of promoting others when they don’t seem interested in your professional well being by giving them a boost now and then, too. Some feel invisible in online spaces when their courtesy isn’t reciprocated.

Fifth, do what you can, when you can. If you feel you are truly approaching social networking with focus, and with the mindset that you are there to help others, and not just to promote yourself, then don’t beat yourself up. As my friend, Tony Crecco, told me when we were going through Mari Smith’s social media training in San Diego back in 2009:

“Nancy, if you’re going to beat yourself up, do it with a feather.” Anthony Crecco: If You're Going To Beat Yourself Up, Do It With A Feather

Bottom Line

Think about the 5 questions above, then decide what, if anything, you need to do about it. If it isn’t important to where you are in your professional and personal life at this time, then let it go. Get that feather out, and use it…but only for a second, then move on, okay?

If it is important, then, just as with face-to-face relationships, back up a bit and renew those relationships you want or need to have in your life. By the way, this goes for online and offline relationships.

  • Start out by giving.
  • Be kind.
  • Be gracious.
  • Renew that relationship.
  • Start with a simple hello, how have you been?

So I Ask…

“Hello. How have you been?”

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers

Nancy Myrland is a Marketing, Content, Digital & Social Media Consultant, Speaker and Trainer, helping lawyers, law firms and legal marketers grow by intelligently integrating all marketing disciplines. She helps lawyers 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 strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases. 

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#LetsAskNancy 002 – Lawyers: What Tone Should You Use In Social Media?

Nancy Myrland #LetsAskNancy, Blogging, Content Marketing, Podcasts & Recordings, Social Media, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

#LetsAskNancy where Nancy Myrland answers questions about legal and lawyer marketing & business development, including content, social and digital marketing.

#LetsAskNancy is where I answer questions others have about legal and lawyer marketing and business development, including content, social and digital marketing. 

You have a choice…either listen to this post in the podcast player below, read it below that, or both!

 

One of the questions I am often asked is:

“What tone should I use when I post in social media, or when I blog?”

Good Question

I understand why this is perplexing to many as nobody wants to look bad, or stupid, or awkward, or silly, or you name the word that has you the most concerned. All of these words have fear of failure as their foundation, and who wants to fail? As attorneys, you are particularly programmed to avoid failure as your job is to win or succeed on some level. Looking or sounding bad is definitely not a part of that equation.

What you might find interesting is that those outside the profession share this fear of failure, so you’re not alone. Who in heaven’s name wants to look bad?

So You Move Forward

Knowing you might have this concern, let’s just hit it head-on, shall we? What kind of tone or personality should you use when:

  • Writing a blog post
  • Posting on LinkedIn Publisher
  • Tweeting
  • Posting on Facebook
  • Updating LinkedIn
  • Sharing in a Google+ Community
  • Recording a podcast
  • Producing a video
  • Writing an article for your newsletter
  • …and on and on

The Answer Is Simple

The answer is right in front of you, or rather, inside of you.

You already have this answer. You use YOUR tone or personality!

  • You don’t use mine.
  • You don’t use your competitor’s.
  • You don’t use your practice group chair’s.
  • You don’t use the President’s.
  • You don’t use your favorite talk show host’s.
  • You don’t use your favorite author’s.

Using social and digital media, and producing all of this content I keep talking to you about producing is, as I discussed in What Is Content Marketing?, nothing more than spilling intelligence and perspective out in various media. Don’t try to make it something it’s not. Don’t try to sound like someone you aren’t.

  • If you have a fun and casual personality, and that’s how you typically talk to your clients, then do that.
  • If you’re kind of a jerk, and that serves your purpose, then I guess you can be a jerk in digital spaces, too.
  • If you are very serious, and never crack a joke, or show any emotion, then do that.

Whatever you are, that’s how I want you to be when you publish or produce you. It helps others form a consistent impression of you, and what you might be like to be connected to, to talk to, to learn from, and possibly to even do business with. If they see or hear you one way in-person, but a completely different way online, you have helped confuse them, and that’s not good.

Don’t Overthink This

If you do, you will suffer from a massive case of inertia that is enabled by your fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. Then you suddenly watch others around you making progress, publishing content, saying what you know you could have easily said, and you realize you have then made no progress in getting you and your message out to the world.

Bottom Line

Stop worrying, and just be yourself. Don’t look back one year from now, and be upset that you didn’t take any steps toward producing any content that could help you position yourself as a leader in your area of expertise. Don’t let others take that position when you could be earning it for yourself. There are people out there looking for the answers you have to give. If there weren’t, why would you be doing what you’re doing? Go…do it, okay?

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social MediaNancy Myrland is a Marketing, Content, Digital & Social Media Strategist, Speaker & Advisor, helping lawyers, law firms and legal marketers grow by strategically integrating all marketing disciplines. She helps lawyers 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 strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases. 

If you have a question you’d like to be considered for #LetsAskNancy, feel free to leave it in the comments below, on Twitter using the hashtag #LetsAskNancy, or via email….thanks!

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Lawyers, Are You Guilty of Committing Random Acts of Content?

Nancy Myrland Business Development/Sales, Content Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Lawyers, Are You Committing Random Acts of Content?There is more to content marketing than meets the keyboard. Content marketing, which includes strategy, creation and distribution, is part of carefully thought out marketing and business development strategy. You need to take the time to decide who all of your target audiences are, including all of the people, positions and roles within each targeted client organization, or you will have no idea what to write, when to write it, whom to write it for, and where to distribute it when you sit down at the keyboard, in front of a camera, or turn on your microphone. It simply becomes random acts of content, and that can be a colossal waste of time.

RELEVANT CONTENT

Content means nothing, but relevant content means everything. It becomes relevant when there is deliberate thought and planning behind it.

  • Content that addresses the client’s thought process become more relevant.
  • Content that answers questions about how the client decides which firm to choose becomes more relevant.
  • Content that answers questions that clients have about how to protect their business becomes more relevant.
  • Content that takes clients through the thought process they use on a daily basis to do their job becomes more relevant.
  • Content that is addressed to each person involved in the decision to buy legal or business services becomes more relevant.

WHERE DO WE START?

With marketing and business development goals as your guide, you need to sit down with your clients on a regular basis, and certainly as part of the initial practice of developing content marketing strategy, and ask your clients carefully thought out questions about what led them to choose your firm. Once you know all of the answers to the questions above, and more, then you can then begin writing relevant content. 

You will then be able to distribute that content strategically so that current and potential clients will find or receive the content that is meaningful to them at that moment. Think about this. It’s no different than when you and I choose to absorb content. When we do so, we have decided that, for whatever reason, it is interesting to us at that moment. This could be purely for entertainment value, or it could be relevant to us because of a decision-making process we are going through. That doesn’t mean we are ready to buy, but it could mean that we are becoming more equipped to do our jobs. It might not seem like it, and we might not even realize it, but we might be entering the buying cycle for services we will need in the future.

IT’S THE SAME FOR YOUR CLIENTS

When your potential clients choose to absorb specific content, they are self-selecting what is relevant at that time. Your potential clients could be entering the decision-making process, the buying cycle if you will. If you have done your job, and prepared as discussed above, then you and your firm will have placed content in their path that will match the stages of their decision-making process. You have studied, planned and published content that speaks to each question and each stage of that buying cycle because you took the time to get to know that before you started.

If what we hear is true, which is that buyers are 60% – 90% of the way through the decision-making process by the time they ever contact their service provider, then having relevant content in place is crucial to helping clients and prospects make the decision to use your firm, or to at least include you in their thought process when deciding with whom they want to work.

BOTTOM LINE

If you’re going to work this hard to bring your intelligence to life (that is what producing content is, you know), then wouldn’t you rather it be relevant, vs. unfocused and simply another random act of content? Anyone can do that, but not everyone can be relevant.

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social MediaNancy Myrland is a Marketing, Content, Digital & Social Media Strategist, Speaker & Advisor, helping lawyers, law firms and legal marketers grow by strategically integrating all marketing disciplines. She helps lawyers understand how to make their marketing and business development efforts more relevant to their current and potential clients.  

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#LetsAskNancy 001- Lawyers: Client Names In Pitches…To List or Not To List?

Nancy Myrland #LetsAskNancy, #LetsAskNancy, Business Development/Sales, Social Media Ethics & Regulations Leave a Comment

#LetsAskNancy where Nancy Myrland answers questions about lawyer and legal marketing
#LetsAskNancy is where I answer questions others have about legal and lawyer marketing and business development, including content, social and digital marketing. 

You have a choice…either listen to this post in the player below, read it below that, or both!

 

It is a natural tendency to want to show your past work when pitching new clients. As you know, this is dicey in some jurisdictions. Some don’t allow you to use past results as a predictor of future success, so the way you position prior work should always adhere to the strictest ethical boundaries in all of the markets in which you practice.

Always

Assuming it is okay in all of your jurisdictions to use past results in your communication, then my advice to you is to always contact your clients to ask if it is okay if they are used as a representative client. When I was in-house as a law firm marketing director, we had a service provider list us in their marketing materials, which wasn’t good as we weren’t happy with their services. We had to politely ask them to remove us from the list…awkward, right?

I always advise lawyers to find non-billable reasons to stay in touch with their contacts, and to let them know you value the work you do together, so let’s use this as a touch point between you and your client. Your marketer can do this, but I want  you to do it.

Don’t leave anything to chance. Script the appropriate language to use in each of these conversations.

To Make It Easy, Here Is The Language You Can Use 

  • Thanks for the opportunity to work together,
  • We’d love to list you as a representative client for the xyz work we did together.
  • Your name would be used in proposals, letters to potential clients, on our website (whatever is correct for your situation).
  • Whenever possible, we are using client logos as this looks much nicer than a list of names.

Follow-Up Immediately

If your client agrees, then you should send a follow-up document, or tell your client that Leslie Jameson, your marketing director, will follow up with him/her in writing with a summary of your discussion. Note: If your marketing professional isn’t named Leslie Jameson, then I’d suggest changing that. 

In this follow-up email, send:

  • A thank you for allowing your firm to use their name and logo,
  • A summary of the conversation,
  • Those bullet points I listed above [of course this will be customized to your situation]
  • Ask who you can contact at their company to get their logo
  • One more brief thank you before signing off.

If you want to be extra cautious, you can send it with a confirmation of receipt, although that can get irritating to the recipient, or you can ask the client to reply with a nod so you can make sure she or he received it okay. Hopefully, the client will follow up with a contact name for you to get the logo, which will be digital acknowledgement of the agreement to be listed.

Send Examples

When you use it in more public spaces, vs. a confidential proposal, such as on your website, newsletters, or other places, then you should forward a link to that client to say “Just thought I’d show you an example of how we are listing you…thanks so much for letting us do that. It means a lot to me and our firm.”

Again, another touch point with the client that has nothing to do with billing, which is always nice!

Bottom line advice: Don’t list any clients without their approval.

If you have a question you’d like to be considered for #LetsAskNancy, feel free to leave it in the comments below, on Twitter using the hashtag #LetsAskNancy, or via email….thanks!

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Find All Of The LMA Conference Blog Posts Right Here

Nancy Myrland LMA, Uncategorized 1 Comment

The Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference Blog Posts and Summaries
I just got back from the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) Annual Conference, and see the blog posts and summaries beginning to show up here and there. In an effort to bring them together, I am “flipping” them into one of my magazines on Flipboard.

Stop back regularly, or subscribe to that magazine, as I will be adding posts as they are published. If you see any that aren’t there, please let me know as I will add them, even if you have written them, okay?

Thanks!

Nancy

Here you go:
View my Flipboard Magazine.

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Today Is Launch Day For My New Podcast!

Nancy Myrland Podcasts & Recordings, The Legal Marketing Event Podcast by Nancy Myrland Leave a Comment

I’m Happy To Announce The Legal Marketing Event Podcast!

 

The Legal Marketing Event Podcast by Nancy Myrland

The Legal Marketing Event Podcast1

Welcome to the launch of my new podcast, The Legal Marketing Event Podcast. I have big plans for us!

This is my new marketing and business development podcast for lawyers and legal marketers.

Podcasting is, once again, a growing phenomenon, and one I could not ignore.

I will be interviewing keynote speakers, presenters, attendees, organizers, legal trade publications, and other experts at legal marketing and business development conferences and events.

My goal is to find out what is going on in their world so you can apply it to your world!

You will always be able to find my podcasts here on my website, soon at the Podcasts page, and you will also be able to subscribe to it in iTunes and on Stitcher Radio. It is already published on Soundcloud, so you can also go there to find it if you’d like.

In the mean time, here is my introductory episode where I talk about what I have planned for this podcast, and what brought me to this point. I’d love to have your feedback and ideas, so please leave them if you have a moment.

Thanks for being here! I’ve been in deep study about this for quite some time, so it’s rewarding to finally see it come together.

Breaking News: I am very excited because, as I was writing this post, I got “the email” from iTunes, telling me my podcast has been approved! Trust me, that’s an exciting day in the life of a podcaster. They tell me that I can expect to see it in the iTunes Store within the next few hours. When it’s available, you will be able to access it in iTunes with this URL, or via a search of my name or the podcast’s name. Thanks for letting me share the exciting steps that have to happen along the way!

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LinkedIn Profiles Can Be Very Boring

Nancy Myrland LinkedIn, Social Media Leave a Comment

LinkedIn Profiles Can Be Boring

Let’s face it. LinkedIn profiles are extremely important because they are what people see when they check out your qualifications, your experience, the updates you’ve posted, where you went to school, and so much more. The problem is they can be very dry and boring.

Remember that you only have a few seconds to catch a visitor’s attention before they decide they’ve had enough and leave, or they discover they like what they see and stay for more.

LET’S DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT

In May of 2013, LinkedIn gave us a feature I really like, which is the ability to add Rich Media, or a Professional Gallery, to our Profile.

Think of it as a way to not only add something visually appealing to your otherwise copy-heavy profile, but also as a way to reinforce topics that are important to you, as well as those areas of concentration in your business or practice, without violating ethics’ codes by listing your specialties. We get to kill at least two birds with one stone by doing this, right? I like that.

You might be thinking…What’s wrong with you, Nancy? I don’t have a portfolio or gallery to add to my profile!

Sure you do!

Think of this portfolio as a place where you can gather some of the work you’ve already been doing in other places. You can upload any number of items, such as:

  • Your blog posts, whether on your own blog or someone else’s blog
  • Videos from YouTube
  • Presentations that you first place in Slideshare, or are on Scribd, Prezi or others that have a public URL
  • Links to your latest podcast
  • Awards you have been given
  • Screenshots of you making presentations
  • Books you have published
  • Articles others have written about you
  • A gallery of images
  • …and many more

You can add rich media to 3 sections of your profile. The way I like to remember them is by using the acronym S.E.E., which is a visual term, and which stands for these sections that you are going to make more visual:

  1. Summary
  2. Education
  3. Expertise

I wouldn’t throw everything but the kitchen sink into this section of your profile as you want it to be content that helps you tell your story.

ADDING RICH MEDIA TO YOUR PROFILE IS EASY

Let’s take a look at how easy it is to do this.

  1. You will see that interesting little box with a + sign in the upper-right side of your Summary, Expertise and Education (S.E.E.) sections of your profile.
  2. When you click on that box, you will see a place to insert a URL if that is where your post or content is housed.
  3. If you simply want to upload a document or presentation, then click on Upload a file. Click on Continue. Adding Your Professional Portfolio to Your LinkedIn Profile
  4. A window will pop up that will auto-populate the title of whatever you are uploading. Important: If you don’t like the title, or it isn’t to the point about what you are sharing, then simply change it.
  5. The description can be treated the same way. In my case, this auto-populated with the description I wrote when I wrote my blog post. If you don’t like what you see, then change it.
  6. Click on Add to profile, and it will be in your new portfolio!Adding Your Professional Portfolio to Your LinkedIn Profile
  7. If you want to move it to another section, click on the little pencil, which you probably know as the universal edit icon.Adding Rich Media To Your LinkedIn Profile
  8. You will then see your Title and Description fields again, but this time we have a new option titled Move this media to.
  9. Once you click on the drop-down menu under Move this media to, you will then see a list of those sections that already exist in these 3 sections of your profile.Adding Rich Media To Your LinkedIn Profile
  10. Simply choose the one that is perfect for what you are uploading, and click Save.Adding Rich Media to Your Professional Portfolio on LinkedIn
  11. If you don’t like where it is placed relative to your other items in the Portfolio, simply click on its photo, then drag it up to a more current spot, which, in this case, was the number one spot as it is a recent blog post that I wanted to make sure was visible to my visitors. Remember that, unless they click on See More, your visitors will only see your first 6 entries in your Portfolio, so make sure you place the most important ones first.
  12. You’re done, and you have added Rich Media to your Professional Portfolio on LinkedIn. Congratulations!
  13. Let’s summarize below this photo, shall we….Adding Rich Media to Your Professional Portfolio on LinkedIn

SUMMARY….REMEMBER:

  1. Profiles can be boring. Help your reader out by breaking it up by adding a Professional Portfolio filled with Rich Media.
  2. Help the reader discover your areas of expertise by showing your areas of interest and work.
  3. Help your work stand out. This is a way of soft-selling your expertise.
  4. Shine the spotlight on you and build your brand.
  5. Always use a photo for each item you are adding.
  6. Add Rich Media to Summary, Expertise and Education sections of your profile.
  7. It’s easy to do!

Let me know if you have any questions okay?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lawyers, Are You Winning The Battle?

Nancy Myrland Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Battle for The Position of The Mind

You’re fighting a battle.

I’m fighting a battle.

The firm next door is fighting this same battle.

In fact, everyone is fighting the same battle, but with a different goal in mind.

How Can That Be?

Everything you say and do in your business has a purpose, or at least a result. Your marketing and communication, whether spoken, written, digital or otherwise, serves to create an impression of you in others’ minds, whether that is negative, positive or neutral.

What is important is that you have first decided what you want that impression to be in the minds of your clients and prospects.

Ask These Questions
  1. How do you want them to think of you when they come across you or your work?
  2. What words do you want to come to their minds when they hear your voice?
  3. What feelings do you want them to have when they see your profile on LinkedIn?
  4. How do you want them to react when they have work to refer?
  5. What sense of urgency to contact you do you want them to have when they have an issue with which they need help?

For example, do you:

  • Want them to think that you are the number one firm in the area of insurance defense, M & A work, or in grassroots and government affairs issues?
  • Want them to think that you are the cost-effective, nimble alternative when it comes to IP, real estate or social media law?
  • Want them to think you are the nicest group of lawyers on the planet?
  • Want them to think you are the most flippant yet aggressive counsel when it comes to medical malpractice issues?
  • Want them to think you are the stealth-like, up-and-comer firm that should not be taken lightly in biotech?

These are just examples of the kinds of questions you need to ask yourselves before you embark on any marketing and communications effort, whether that be social or digital media, speaking at conferences, client pitches, redesigning your office space, deciding how to dress for each client, training your administrative staff, and so many more situations that all have an impact on what others think when they see, hear or read you.

What Does This Have To Do With Fighting A Battle? 

Every question and suggestion above has to do with defining the position you wish to take in your clients’ and prospects’ minds. You need to take some time and have these conversations. You need to ask the questions I asked above, and more, then take time to fit your answers into each of the marketing and communication channels just mentioned, which are…

  • Social
  • Digital
  • Speaking at conferences
  • Client pitches
  • Redesigning your office space
  • The design of everything that represents you
  • How you dress for each client
  • Training your administrative staff
  • …and others

When you have completed that task, you then need to do this for every practice area or business unit in your firm; then every attorney, as well as every client-facing professional.

Don’t get overwhelmed with that last statement. Just start with the firm and see what comes up. You will be surprised at what you will uncover, and what you will decide as a result of this process.

The rest of it will then be much easier, I promise!

Only after you have decided the position you want to have in your clients’ and prospects’ minds can your firm then begin to communicate effectively.

Yes, this is the battle for what position you want to have in their minds because your competitors are also in the middle of staking a position there as well. Why not be deliberate about what you want your position to be?

You know I am always here if you have questions.

Good luck, and let me know how it goes, okay?

Thanks to best-selling author, Al Ries, for opening my eyes early in my career to the concept of battling for position when I read his classic, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind

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What Is Inbound Marketing For Lawyers?

Nancy Myrland Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Marketing Strategy Leave a Comment

What Is Inbound Marketing, Lawyers, Law Firms, Legal Marketing, HubspotI was reading an article on Inbound Marketing Myths by Michael Reynolds on Hubspot this morning that made me realize that some terms marketers use these days might be a little confusing. One of these terms is Inbound Marketing. We’re going to spend a few minutes on it today because I think it is important.

Michael simply defines Inbound Marketing like this:

“Inbound marketing is the holistic practice of earning traffic, turning that traffic into leads, and turning leads into sales.”

Don’t let all this talk of traffic, leads and sales turn you off. I know we haven’t historically used such in-your-face terms in legal marketing, but the practices behind these words are what are important, and definitely have their place in the marketing of your firm and practice.

LET’S BREAK IT DOWN

Holistic is not a new concept in the legal profession. When representing a client, how do you decide what the best course of action is in order to help, protect or defend your client?

Among other things…

  • You look at the big picture.
  • You look in every corner to find the facts necessary to make an informed decision or recommendation.
  • You ask lots of questions so that you don’t miss anything important to the matter.

In other words, you are looking at your client’s situation holistically, meaning you are taking every factor you can find into consideration in order to recommend the best course of action. You are looking at the entire, or the whole, situation in order to make a proper diagnosis.

A holistic practice of marketing is similar. When you market your practice and your firm, you need to take your whole situation into account in order to decide what the best, most efficient, most strategic plan of action is.

WHAT DOES THIS LOOK LIKE?

A holistic approach to marketing your practice means looking at the entire situation before making any decisions.

Among other things, it means we need to look at and answer…

  • What are your goals for your firm or practice?
  • Who are your target audiences?
  • Where do they spend time, both physically and virtually?
  • What information are they searching for on a daily basis in order to make good decisions?
  • What is happening in their businesses that is on their minds night and day?
  • What part of the above can you help with?
  • What part can others you know help with?
  • What is their decision-making process?
  • What information, delivered in order, might be extremely helpful to them?
  • When would the delivery of this information be helpful to them?
  • What formats can this information be produced in so that our clients and potential clients can consume it in a way that is easiest for them?
  • …and so on.

This is a holistic approach to earning leads. They will come when you’ve given them a reason to come, and not a second before.

EARNING TRAFFIC

Earning traffic is next in Michael’s definition of Inbound Marketing above, and it simply means that you have to earn the traffic, or the visitors, to your digital real estate…your website, your blog, your LinkedIn posts, your Facebook Page, your Twitter account, etc. It is rarely true that if you build it, they will just come. You have to help them along a bit.

THEN WHAT?

What you do with your visitors after that is the second half of Hubspot’s definition, which is…

“…turning that traffic into leads, and turning leads into sales.”

We’ll deal with that part next time, okay? For now, I want you to commit to looking at everything you do to market your practice and your firm holistically. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t do a good job of that before now. What does matter is that you have another chance to start planning for growth and service to clients from this much more strategic approach.

I’ll see you here next time to discuss leads and that horrid s word…sales. Don’t worry, we can call it something else if you’d like.

If you’d like to make sure you receive the next and every blog post in your inbox, please subscribe to The Myrland Marketing Minute Blog…thanks!

Enjoy the rest of your day!

 

 

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