Lawyers, What Are You Waiting For?

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Social Media, Videos 0 Comments

Lawyers, What Are You Waiting For?The level of frustration among lawyers irritated because their cases and expertise aren’t being picked up by media is not decreasing. I continue to hear the same comments on a regular basis.

“This was a major case. Why didn’t anyone pick it up?”

“I’ve been doing this long enough that they should know to come to me for a comment on this subject.”

“My marketing people should see to it that I get mentioned for this type of story.”

“We have PR people for that.”

Enough Already!

It’s time, no, it’s past time for you to take the bull by the horns and tell your own story, or to add to the story others are trying to help you tell.

Because of social and digital media, the world has never been closer. If you are sitting back, just waiting for someone else to discover you, you aren’t living in the real world. You have tools at your disposal that can help you tell the world what you do.

Stop sitting back hoping your phone will ring, that email will come in, that reporter will approach you on the conference, that blogger will think to include you in the latest post, that trade journalist will miraculously mention your name, or any other of a host of ways lawyers relied upon in the past.

How Are You Supposed To Do It?

Alright, I’ll get you started with a few easy ways:

  • You can use your own tools in a second by pushing the power button on your phone and going live on several livestreaming platforms we have been given, such as Facebook Live, Huzza, and Periscope, to name a few.
  • Worried about live video? Fine, put your phone on a tripod or a clamp, and record your message. Do it a few times until you like it. Post it with a comment about what your message is about.
  • You can get on LinkedIn and begin turning your most important contacts into connections by actually talking to them about what they are writing.
  • Post on your firm’s Facebook page about an important ruling.
  • Follow and talk to media that cover your area on Twitter. Put them in a list so you can find them fast when you only have a minute.
  • Write a blog post about a recent development in your practice area.
  • Don’t have a blog? Fine, crank up LinkedIn Publisher and create your own. With the new format, it’s easier than ever.
  • Create a podcast where you interview influencers in your area. Discuss. Debate. Agree. Disagree.
  • Don’t have the resources for a podcast? Create audio recordings using GarageBand or Audacity, then place them on your website until you get the resources to turn them into a podcast.

It Has Never Been Easier

I could go on, but I think that’s a good start. What I want you to take away from this is that it has never been easier to tell your own story than it is right now. The tools are many, and they are easy to come by.

Stop waiting for others to tell your story, or to tell it right. Sure, engage your marketing and PR professionals to help, but stop thinking this isn’t also your job.

Gone are the days when business walked in the door because you were the best around. You might still be the best, but guess what? There are several others who think the same thing.

Be The One

Be the one who goes out of his/her way to be visible, to be vocal, to be smart, to be a connector, to be a problem solver, to be empathetic, to show what you do by using the social and digital tools you have at your fingertips to tell your own wonderful story.

Yes, with social and digital media, the world is close. Connect. Be the one. Tell your own story.

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing, Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn and Twitter 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.

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Lawyers, Are You Drowning In A Mosh Pit of Content?

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Content Marketing 0 Comments

Lawyers, Are You Drowning In A Mosh Pit of Content?How many emails, conversations, texts, phone calls, newspapers, blog posts, podcasts, YouTube and Facebook videos, trade journals, Snaps, and other pieces of information do you receive on a daily basis?

I don’t know about you, but I can’t even count the number. I imagine it is in the thousands by the time I add up all of the messages I am exposed to on a daily basis.

Go, Just Start Writing Content….No!

In recent years, many experts have suggested you need to get out there and start creating content. “Go…just go, and start writing! Get it out there!” They have told you you need to write more often, you need to speak more often, you need to get on Twitter and Tweet more often, you need to post status updates and articles on LinkedIn, you need to post on your Facebook page, you need to send more emails, and on and on and on.

What we’ve discovered is there is so much content out there that we are now drowning in a sea of content. It almost feels like we have been thrown into a mosh pit of content. It might be valuable, but it’s hard to know because there’s just too much of it.

Content Marketing Must Evolve. We Must Evolve.

Content marketing must now evolve to a more sophisticated practice of planning out messages that flow in a sequence to the people we have identified in our marketing and business development plans. These messages need to be ready and available at the appropriate time when they have questions, interests, challenges or curiosity about some aspect of the topics you focus on in your practice.

It is now critical to emerge from this sea of content, this mosh pit of random acts of content, and be more thoughtful about what we are creating, producing and posting.

I don’t want people to establish a perception of the content you are distributing as though these are just posts or messages that you felt you had to produce everyday to keep up. I want your readers, clients and connections to think your content is valuable, that it speaks to what is on their minds, that it somehow resonates with them, and that it comes from someone who thinks about what he or she is writing or saying, vs. just producing content to fill up available space.

You Are Better Than That

I want you to start thinking about why you are producing what you are producing, and for whom you are producing it, vs. just trying to get massive amounts of content out there every day in hopes of it being discovered. You might end up producing content every day once you get your rhythm down, but focus first on creating messages that speak to these typical marketing and business development plan components: 

  1. What are your goals? What are you trying to accomplish over the next few months?
  2. Who are your clients?
  3. Who do you want to be your clients?
  4. What needs or challenges do those people have?
  5. How do those needs match up against your skills and knowledge?
  6. What messages do you want them to know that blend #4 and #5?
  7. Where do they spend time, both online and offline?
  8. How do they consume news, education and industry developments?

Strategic and Valuable

Content marketing is great, but only if it is strategic and provides value. Following steps like those above will help with the strategic part. Your brain and research produce the valuable part.

Your Brand Is At Stake

Remember that your brand travels along with your content. The information you post…your wisdom, your content, needs to be wise and valuable, and representative of the fine brand that you have spent so much time building.

Take care of that brand. Produce content that matches what your clients and potential clients care about.

You have this. Go get ’em!

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

Nancy Myrland is a Marketing, Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn and Twitter 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.

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[BREAKING] LinkedIn Ventures Into Video

Nancy Myrland All Posts, LinkedIn, Social Media, Video Marketing 0 Comments

LinkedIn Launches VideoThose of you who know me know I’m bullish on video, and livestreaming, video’s real-time cousin. I’ve been waiting for LinkedIn to launch a native video app so users can reach audiences with a medium that removes yet another barrier to familiarity, and that is natural video, where we are allowed to see one another in a largely unrehearsed, often natural environment.

LinkedIn Could Become A Leader

As an early user and student of livestreaming platforms such as Periscope, Blab and Facebook Live, and others that are now being developed, I had hoped LinkedIn would acquire Blab, the livestreaming and chat platform that allows live conversations of up to four people, accompanied by the ability of viewers to engage in chat off to the side. This type of multi-user platform would result in the integration of webinars and news platforms, enabling LinkedIn to become a leader in delivering live news and information to its 433-million user base of professionals.

Not Quite Livestreaming, But I’m Hopeful

LinkedIn hasn’t gone as far as livestreaming yet, but it is stepping into video. In a Facebook group I’m in, Cathy Hackl alerted us to this developing story.

This morning, TechCrunch’s reported:

LinkedIn, the social platform for people to network and look for work that’s getting acquired by Microsoft for $26 billion, is taking the wraps off a new feature that it hopes will get more of its 433 million users moving — literally and figuratively — when it comes to engaging with the site: today, LinkedIn is taking its first foray into video content, created by users and hosted by LinkedIn itself.”

Influencers First

As I have watched on other platforms with new, shiny features and apps, LinkedIn video will initially only be available to a select group of 500 “influencers.” It is being launched via their new Record app, which is only available to those influencers at this time. I am certain that will change.

In the article, TechCrunch states:

“LinkedIn will start first with videos created by LinkedIn ‘Influencers’ — an invitation-only group of 500 LinkedIn users who have significant numbers of followers and who regularly post content to the site — who will be making videos that are short, 30-seconds-or-less responses to questions put to them specifically or to the community at large.”

Q&A Style Like Quora

If you’ve spent any time on Quora, this initial foray into video for LinkedIn will remind you of Quora’s short Q & A format, allowing subject matter experts to show off their knowledge.

LinkedIn started with a question by Reid Hoffman, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of LinkedIn, who asked influencers about Artificial Intelligence:

“What is the first thing in your office AI will take over?”

LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman Asks First Question On Record

As you can see, there are a few Influencers who chose to answer Reid’s question:

LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman's First Question To Influencers

No Charge For Now

It appears there will initially be no charge for this new feature, and no ads at this time. We will see how this unfolds as LinkedIn has a premium product that has exclusive features. I think it would be wise to keep this as a free feature because LinkedIn needs to compete with other video and livestreaming platforms that have come on strong.

Hopeful This Evolves Into Livestreaming

My hope continues to be that this will evolve into the ability to livestream, or to launch another app that will allow that. Watching video answers on a specific topic can be interesting, and certainly provides opportunity for you to show your expertise in specific areas, but the addition of livestreaming would allow you the ability to go directly to your connections at a moment’s notice when news and information are fresh, which is an amazing addition to the intimate connection video can enable between you and your clients.

For now, LinkedIn has video. Stay tuned.

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

Nancy Myrland is a Marketing, Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn and Twitter 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.

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Myrland Marketing Motivation: I Don’t Have Time.

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Myrland Marketing Motivation 0 Comments

Lawyers, I Don't Have Time: Myrland Marketing Motivation, A Little Virtual Encouragement To Start Your Week

Myrland Marketing Motivation, A Little Virtual Encouragement To Start Your Week. More Motivation Than Marketing. It’s A Monday Kind Of Thing!

How many times do you think or say “I don’t have time?”

Let’s talk about that. What don’t you have time for?

What are you doing instead of what you should be doing?

Is it fear of the unknown that keeps you from making the time to do what you know would advance your business?

Is it sheer overwhelm from the volume of information available to you that causes you to get lost in other tasks that don’t pay your bills?

Is it fear of looking, doing or saying something silly that keeps you from finding the time?

Is it fear of what the other person will say when you find the time to approach them?

Just this time, fight that feeling and do that one thing you know you should be doing, but “don’t have the time” to do.

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

Nancy Myrland is a Marketing, Content, Digital & Social Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn and Twitter 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.

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Lawyers, Are Your Competitors Spying On You?

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Attorneys, Business Development/Sales, Competition, Lawyer Marketing, Social Media 0 Comments

Lawyers, Are Your Competitors Spying On You?I was just listening to Pat Flynn record an episode of his podcast, Let’s Ask Pat. He was recording it on Periscope, a livestreaming app, allowing his viewers to watch live while he conducts business. He was answering a question from someone who was curious what to do when her competition follows her content. Pat inspired me to answer that question for my attorney clients.

Do You Suspect Your Competition Is Spying On You?

Do you suspect your competitors are following you on social media, or subscribing to your newsletter or blog, or looking at your contacts on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook so that they can watch what you’re doing?

Even if you don’t suspect it, they are.

First, let’s back up a minute.

  • Do they do the exact same thing you do?
  • Do they have your same skill set?
  • What about the exact experiences and background you bring to the table when you advise your clients?
  • Do they occupy the geographic space you occupy?
  • Do they have your same personality?
  • Do they approach clients and matters the same way you do?
  • Have they had to work their way through the same challenges and adversity you have?
  • Do they work for the same firm?
  • Do they have the same set of clients you have that give you a rich, unique view of your practice area and issues?

Your Mind Is Valuable Real Estate

I have a feeling the answer to most of the questions above is “no.”

One caution for you:

We get stuck in a rut because we compare ourselves to them, thinking they are doing something better than we are, or they are smarter, or must be attracting more or better business because they’re so visible.

We get all tied up in knots thinking we are losing market or client share to them when we aren’t always sure that is the case. Yes, we sometimes find out someone else won the business we were being considered for because our potential or current clients tell us that happened, but I’m not talking about those definitive, black and white cases where the facts are, indeed, facts.Competition for Lawyers

I’m talking about the times when we observe others we put into the category of competition. We often have the tendency to let what they are doing defeat us, or cause us to stray from our real job and goals because we think they are doing it better, or because we simply want to beat them at some game we invent in our minds that doesn’t actually exist.

We Are No Different Than They Are

Why do we think that? Why do we think they are doing something better than we are? Because we spy on them! We are often no different than that which concerns us about them.

What do we do?

  • We follow (or at least watch) them in social media.
  • We peek at their followers on Twitter.
  • We might even take a look at their connections on LinkedIn.
  • We see who they talk to on Facebook.
  • We subscribe to their blogs, sometimes even with an anonymous name, sometimes not.
  • We go incognito, and look at their LinkedIn profile and posts so they won’t know it’s us.
  • We sign up for their free ebook or tip sheet.
  • …and so on.

That’s Okay!

You know what? That’s all okay!

Whether they are doing it to you, or you are doing it to them, this doesn’t have to be a major issue. What good can come from intellectual spying on either side? Well, it is often the case that someone is going to:

  • Be smarter
  • Be wiser
  • Be more aware of issues that are important
  • Be ready for market activity when it happens
  • Be motivated to stop procrastinating, and get some work done
  • Form alliances with those who complement our business
  • Cultivate referral sources from people who are conflicted out of matters

I never want you to copy exactly what you see someone else doing. That would be unethical, and sometimes illegal depending on what was copied, and….well….not nice.

But that’s definitely not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about your competitors watching you, and you watching them…all to to become better and smarter at what you do.

Bottom LineBottom Line - Lessons For Lawyers

Whether someone is subscribing to your content, or you are subscribing to theirs, I wouldn’t spend a lot of time trying to manage it, or deleting them from your database, or blocking them on social media. They are going to resubscribe at some point, or are going to find it elsewhere, so why spend your valuable time managing others who think they need to be like you?

They’re not like you. You’re not like them. Don’t get distracted by activity that isn’t moving you closer to your goals…YOUR GOALS…not someone else’s.

  • Let it go.
  • Learn from others.
  • Let them learn from you if they want to.
  • Watch out for your intellectual property. That’s a different issue.
  • Don’t get so consumed by worrying about someone you perceive as competition when they are not.
  • Continue doing what you do best.
  • Shine as the lawyer you know how to be.
  • Demonstrate your intellect through what you say, do and publish.
  • Welcome those who think they want or need to learn from you.
  • Learn what you really need and want to learn from others.
  • Mind your business and your practice…not theirs.

What About You?

Do you suspect others subscribe to you, follow you, or watch what you’re doing because they are practicing intellectual spying? Do you subscribe to content to stay ahead of your professional curve? I know I do.

Thank to Pat Flynn for inspiring today’s post!

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing, Content, Digital & Social Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn and Twitter 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.

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Lawyers, Can We Please Talk About Auto Direct and Private Messages?

Nancy Myrland All Posts 0 Comments

Lawyers, Let's Talk About Those Auto Direct & Private Messages In Social Media, Okay?Okay, raise your hands if, out of the blue, you’ve received a private message on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook that was so disconnected from your world that you wondered what that person was thinking.

Keep those hands up if you instantly formed a negative opinion of that person in your mind.

Keep it up if you thought or said something to yourself like this: “This person has no clue what I do.”

Now, use your other hand to keep that arm propped up in the air if you’ve considered unfollowing or unfriending that person because they just showed they knew nothing about your business?

Alright, you can put them down now.

It’s Tough Out There

I know, I know, it’s tough out there. I’m not oblivious to that. Don’t forget, I’m out here, too. I know what it means to have to hustle to keep my name, business and brand in front of people often enough so they will think of me the next time they have a need for services like mine.

I started my career in sales, and I’ve been on my own since January of 2002, helping lawyers figure out how to develop relationships and sell themselves, both offline and online. All of that means I’ve been in just about every sales or business development situation you and I can think of.

What that also means is that it pains me every time I receive an auto-DM on Twitter, or a private message on LinkedIn or Facebook, that demonstrates:

  • The sender has no interest in developing a relationship with me.
  • The sender has no clue what I do for a living because they are trying to sell me services I offer.
  • The sender asks me to come connect with them on Facebook and LinkedIn, and we’ve never interacted before.
  • The sender tries to take our relationship from nothing to everything with an invitation to purchase something they offer.
  • The sender sends an immediate message to me, offering the perfect solution they “know will help me” succeed, even though they might not know anything about my business yet.

Do You Want Your Business To Run On Auto-Pilot?

When these messages come…those messages that are so at odds with healthy relationship-building….it often tells me the sender wants his/her business to run on auto-pilot, hoping every once in a while the recipients of these messages will enter the top of their sales funnel with no regard how it affects those who might now vow to never enter their sales funnel again, even if, at some point, it might make sense.

Yes, putting processes in place and using marketing automation software can be effective when done with some thought and strategy that includes being thoughtful about what your target audiences do for a living, where the holes and gaps might be in their business, and committing to relationship-building that lasts longer than one message.

You’re Better Than This

Lawyers, you have to be better than this. Service providers and business partners to lawyers, by default, you must be better than this because lawyers who care about ethics and reputation are your clients.

Instead of programming an auto-DM on Twitter, or sending a hard-hitting direct sales message to a new connection on LinkedIn, or starting a private single or group chat on Facebook that could turn people off, why not take some time to segment your clients, potential clients, media, influencers, and others into special groups that you develop targeted messaging for?

Then, why not create:

  • A tip sheet on best steps to follow for typical legal issues your clients might be facing
  • A one-page review with cautions about a specific topic your target market is plagued with
  • A blog post that speaks to what you know and do for a living that might be helpful to them
  • A podcast that discusses related issues in your clients’ businesses
  • A video or livestream interview with someone they respect and want to learn from
  • A photo or collage of events taking place at events they care about
  • An ebook that helps outline and explain an idea you know to be lacking in their business
  • …and on and on

Then What?

Then, why not place these digital breadcrumbs in places where they will be found, either directly or indirectly when published or promoted, whether by you or others? If you are strategic about the topics, timing and targets for your content, and you are relentless in your creation of it, you will be found, and you will be noticed. Even better, when your target audiences find this content, they are self-selecting the content you have produced. In some way, it matters to them, and makes sense to their business.

For example, these places might be:

  • JD Supra
  • In a blog post on your blog
  • In a blog post on a colleague’s blog
  • Updates on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn
  • A post on LinkedIn Publisher
  • A podcast that resides on your blog, iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud, among others
  • Your YouTube channel
  • Facebook Live, the newest entry in the livestreaming video space
  • Periscope and Blab, which are other livestreaming, or live video, platforms
  • In a graphic on the sidebar of your blog
  • In your email signature
  • In comments on related blog posts
  • During Twitter chats
  • In listserves and other discussion forums

If you place your messages in spaces like these (and there are many more), your messages will not be falling on uninterested ears, or turning people off because you shoved it down their throat in private message boxes they still have a desire to protect.

Please understand I am not saying every private message or direct message I get in social media is unwanted, spammy or inappropriate….far from it. What I am saying is that I don’t want you to go down the path of expecting others you’ve just met, or who might not even remember you just met, to accept with open arms your offers to connect in ways that are suited for more developed relationships.

Let’s Move Forward, Not Backward

If you’d like to take this a step further, then I share these steps, which were originally found in this blog post I wrote a few years ago, titled Marketing Revolution or Evolution:

  • It’s time to ramp up our awareness of our clients’ and prospects’ needs when we engage in communication.
  • Even though this was done in the past in much more manual, written and spoken ways, we need to dissect the buying cycle, or the decision-making process, our clients go through when they engage their service provider. If we don’t understand it, we need to interview clients to find out what it was that brought them to this place.
  • We then need to map out the communication that would provide value to them at every step of that process.
  • We should engage in conversation with our clients when they are going through those stages. Be there for them in a positive way, and your chances of being remembered when it comes time to buy should increase. That doesn’t mean broadcasting, but interacting and conversing.
  • We need to create content that speaks to each one of those steps. We already know the solutions, or the steps we suggest they take. We just need to match what is in our heads, or already sitting in our written files in many cases, with what the client is thinking at each step.
  • We  then need to appropriately deliver all of this value to them in the right places at the times they need it.

Bottom Line: Shortcuts Aren’t Always The Best

Just because an opportunity to streamline your content or relationship-building process is available doesn’t mean you should use it, or that it is going to benefit you or the recipient. Think strategically about how your target audience might react to those auto or quick-response messages you are placing, or considering placing, in front of them.

If you are a professional, and you are if you are a lawyer, then my goal for your online and offline communication is to demonstrate skills and practices that also fall under that characteristic. Match what you are…professional.

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing, Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers, law firms and legal marketers grow by strategically integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook 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 adopter of digital technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts and video marketing. She can be reached via email here.

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Lawyers & Legal Marketers: Kick It Up A Notch in 2016 – An #LMA16 Infographic

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Attorneys, Business of Law, Career Development & Education, Client Service and Retention, Lawyers, Legal Marketers, Legal Marketing, Legal Marketing Association, LMA16 0 Comments

#LMA16 - Lawyers & Legal Marketers, Kick It Up A Notch In 2016[Infographic from #LMA16 below]

Jonathan Fitzgarrald, Managing Partner of Equinox Strategy Partners, gave a stellar presentation at the recent Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference that was full of advice for how to prove your worth where your clients are concerned. He stressed it is a constant job, and it is our responsibility to let our clients, both internal and external, know and understand the value we bring to the relationship.

The part of Jonathan’s presentation I found the most valuable included 10 tips for in-house legal marketers to prove their value to their internal clients.

The infographic below contains 5 of my favorites from Jonathan’s presentation. With Jonathan’s consent, I added comparable advice for attorneys in the right column. You can see his complete list of 10 summarized in the post below that. Jonathan and I would love to know if you have any best practices to add.

5 Best Practices For Legal Marketers and Lawyers To Demonstrate Value To Your Clients…[See All 10 Below]

Lawyers & Legal Marketers How To Kick It Up A Notch In 2016 - An #LMA16 Infographic

Feel free to share this infographic in its entirety with this notation and website URL. © 2016 Myrland Marketing & Social Media. All rights reserved. myrlandmarketing.com

10 Best Practices For Lawyers & Legal Marketers

As I discussed above, these are best practices that Jonathan has used to demonstrate his value to his firms’ attorneys. Every one of them is also applicable to lawyers who serve clients.

Tip #1: Ask

How often do you stop by their offices to check in? Doing so regularly provides an opportunity to solicit feedback such as “What is your priority for this year?” and “How can I better align my services to you so you can accomplish your goals?” We need to be in front of them, asking questions, not assuming we know what is best for them.

Tip #2: Form An Unofficial Board of Advisors In Your Firm

This could be made of:

  • Executive Director
  • Laterals
  • Practice Chair
  • Managing Partner
  • Rainmaker
  • CFO
  • Industry Chair
  • Recruiting

This board of advisors can also become your Board of Advocates. Use them. Ask them what they think of certain ideas and situations. Let them be the advocates for the ideas and concepts you are considering. Invite people from every level if you really want to get things done.

Tip #3: Stay On Offense By Being More Proactive

Don’t be accused of playing favorites when it isn’t warranted. Think of what you can do to stay ahead of concerns and complaints about where you are spending your time. Do you need to track time ahead of those concerns so that you are ready with data when complaints surface about your work?

Think about what issues and challenges could possibly come up down the road. Be proactive, and develop solutions or answers that you will be ready to use if and when those concerns arise.

To help create this list and related solutions, think about what concerns your clients might have down the road that question your existence, your work, or your effectiveness. Develop your data and materials that you know you would show them after this concern arises, and start preparing it now. Justify your existence at all times. Even though it can be time-consuming to do, it is necessary.

Tip #4: No Big Initiatives Should Ever Be Proposed At Your Firm

Although this sounds counter-intuitive to earning a seat at the table, Jonathan’s point spoke to enlisting lawyers and other internal clients to help seed your idea, keeping it from suffering death by committee. You all know what this means, right? You’ve been there.

Think about these thoughts and questions:

  1. Define Your Idea: What is the big idea you want to launch?
  2. Identify Advocates: Who else in the firm has similar interests?
  3. Plant the Idea With Those Advocates: Talk to these advocates about the challenge that needs to be addressed, and that your big idea provides a solution to.
  4. Fertilize & Water The Idea: Demonstrate to your advocates how implementing the project or initiative will make their life easier.
  5. Ask Your Service Provider(s) About Issues: What are other firms expressing? Ask for their help in being proactive by having them feed you current information regarding appropriate solutions, and to provide you with a proposal in advance. Be prepared.

If all goes well, your attorney brings your great idea to the stage. Even if it was your idea, that’s okay as it now has a better chance of being approved.

Tip #5: Tell Stories

Get better at telling stories about how what you do benefits the firm. Don’t assume your lawyers (read: clients) will connect the dots. Make sure they understand what kind of work you do, how you do it, for whom you do it, and why you do it. Show how the solutions you provide lead to hard numbers.

When you create these stories, also create visual backup for what you want to accomplish. Think of it as your road map for the next year. Show what you did this past year, and compare it to what you intend to do during the next year. Show the initiatives, and show one statement about how each relates to the firm’s goals. Keep the entire visual aid to one page. Keep it short and digestible. Don’t overwhelm.

Tip #6: Use Your Marketing Committees To Prototype Your Ideas

Use them as a focus group. You could say:

“The firm is considering piloting a business development group. This is what it is going to look like. These are the people who will be in this pilot group. By the way, what do you guys think?”

Before you waste your time developing an idea that could fail, let this committee identify potential pitfalls. Your idea stands a much better chance of being successful if you will prototype it first with a cross section of the firm’s attorneys.

Much like your big idea above, let the seeds you just planted sit for several months. Bring it up again. Even if it becomes someone else’s idea, that’s fine.

(Are you seeing a trend here about allowing others to champion your ideas?)

Ceding ownership of a key idea doesn’t have to mean you will cede credit and credibility when it comes time to being evaluated for what you do.

If you can help your attorneys accomplish something that makes them look good, you are worth your weight in gold.

With big ideas or prototypes, stay close to the attorney who is now shepherding this idea. Become his/her marketing ally, and you will ultimately be seen as a vital part of the initiative.

Tip #7: You Are Planning To Fail If You Fail To Plan
An annual firm-wide marketing plan proposed by the Marketing Department based on industry best practices and feedback from the firm’s attorneys is one successful way to stay proactive and ensure your ideas align with the firm’s business objectives. Get the plan approved by the firm’s governing body at the end of the year or beginning of the next year, and then go to work!

If your firm doesn’t have a plan, don’t let this stop you. Create your plan based on what you know and observe, and present it to your internal clients.

Tip #8: No Emotion

Remember the saying “There’s no crying in baseball?” There is no crying in legal marketing or in client development. Report on projects and initiatives–the good, the bad and the ugly–just as they are. If something goes wrong, simply state that it could have gone better (and demonstrate you have a roadmap for making sure).

Tip #9: Less Is More: Do Fewer Things With More Intensity
Choose fewer projects and initiatives that you will tackle with more intensity. For all the other initiatives that surface, keep a “tier two” project list that you will get to as time and resources permit. Keeping it simple will help you focus on what is most important, and will also help you demonstrate to those requesting your help that you, too, have priorities that lie with their colleagues.

Tip #10: Accountability
Jonathan told the packed room that we are accountable two times a year…review time and budget time. His bottom line was great:

“If you are not prepared at least those two times, you deserve to be fired. You know that during those two times, someone will be looking at you with a fine-toothed comb, and you have to be able to earn credit for what you’ve done. You don’t have to pound your chest, but take some credit for the hard work and hours you are giving to your firm and your attorneys.”

Your Turn

If you have additional ideas or best practices, we would love to hear about them in the comments. Thanks to Jonathan for allowing me to share his tips above, and for generating so much enthusiasm and support from those attending his session.

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing, Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers, law firms and legal marketers grow by strategically integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook 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 adopter of digital technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts and video marketing. She can be reached via email here.

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Coverage From #LMA16, The 2016 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Business of Law, LMA, LMA16 0 Comments

#LMA16, The Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference Blog Posts, Videos, and Other Content From Austin!

Constantly Updated with New Posts…Come Back Often!

We came. We learned. We networked. We had a huge family reunion.

We are the 1400 attendees of the 2016 Legal Marketing Association (LMA) Annual Conference in Austin, Texas, April 10-14, 2016.

The coverage was swift. It started prior to the conference, continued during the conference with a record number of live-Tweets (and I wasn’t even live-Tweeting this year, so I can’t take any credit!), and continues post-conference.

Notes are being reviewed, lessons are being considered, speakers’ words are continuing to inspire, and legal marketers are beginning to discuss implementation, improvement and change within their firms.

I am in the midst of writing and collecting blog posts, videos, audio and other content from the conference to make it easier to review in one space. If you see, write or produce something I haven’t found, please let me know so I can add it to this list.

Tweet me at @NancyMyrland, or email me at nancy@myrlandmarketing.com. I’ll just keep adding to this same post so you don’t have to search all over the place. Deal? Deal!

Here We Go…The Collective Brilliance of #LMA16!

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts

Key Takeaways from the LMA Annual Conference Keynote by Danielle Diforio on the Clockwork Design blog 

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts #LMA16 Recap: Listening, Authenticity and Surprises by Kayla Silverstein, Marketing Coordinator, One North

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts 5 Ways To Provide Value To Law Firm Clients by Audrey Fink, Director of Engagement, LexBlog

 

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts Lean Six Sigma Not Just For Toyota Any More by Carlene Richardson, Assistant Business Development Manager, Stoel Rives LLP

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts Legal Marketing With Science by Lindsay Griffiths, Director of Global Relationship Management at International Lawyers Network

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts Lawyers & Legal Marketers: Kick It Up A Notch In 2016 – An #LMA16 Infographic by Nancy Myrland, Marketing, Content, Social & Digital Media Advisor, Myrland Marketing & Social Media

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts LMA: Maximizing Directory & Awards Efforts by Lloyd Pearson, 393 Communications

 

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts How To Use Content To Strengthen Your Law Firm Brand by Vivian Hood, President, Public Relations, Jaffe

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts The Digital Handshake LMA16: ROI (Measuring So You Can Better Manage) … and PechaKucha (LMA Member Login Required) by Roy Sexton, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Trott Law, P.C.

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts Organizational Transformation Through Digital Media (LMA Member Login Required) by Chip Clark, Online Marketing Specialist, Allen Matkins

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts To Serve Lawyers – Thoughts from #LMA16 by Heather Morse, Director of Marketing, Greenberg Glusker LLP, on The Legal Watercooler 

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts #LMA16 – Keeping Austin Weird … and Making Legal Marketing GREAT (Again) by Roy Sexton, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Trott Law, P.C.

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts Marketing: Creating Moments That Matter by Lindsay Griffiths, Director of Global Relationship Management at International Lawyers Network

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts Leadership Isn’t Just for CMOs – Thoughts from #LMA16 by Heather Morse, Director of Marketing, Greenberg Glusker, on The Legal Watercooler

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts The LMA Annual Conference for a New Age by Mark Reber, LMA Northwest President, Director of Marketing and Client Development, Bullivant Houser Bailey PC

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts What is The Return on Investment For Legal Directories? by Lloyd Pearson, 393 Communications

 

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts What’s Trending From The LMA Annual Conference by The Legal Marketing Association

 

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts BigLaw Website Fail by Kathryn Rubino for Above The Law

 

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts The Sad Truth One Stat Reveals About The Legal Industry by Kathryn Rubino for Above The Law

 

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts 16 Twitter Takeaways From LMA 2016 by Sara Van Dusen, SaraSource

 

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts 4 Key Lessons On The State Of Legal Marketing And Business Development by Kathryn Rubino for Above The Law

 

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts Big Ideas from Not-So-Big Law Firms Redux: Case Studies from Mid-Size Firms by Dave Poston

 

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts LMA Chapter Highlights Video

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts The LMA Social Media SIG’s #LMA16Selfie Campaign by the LMA Social Media SIG committee

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts Why Should I Follow Twitter Conference Lists? #LMA16 by Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media

 

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts The LMA Annual Conference Preview by Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media

#LMA16 Conference Recap Posts The #LMA16Selfie Campaign, Sponsored by the LMA Social Media SIG! 

 

Again, please let me know if you have any posts, videos, or podcasts you would like me to add. I can’t embed all of the presentation slidedecks here as there are dozens, but they can be found on the conference website. All who attended the conference received an email with the link and the password.

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing, Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers, law firms and legal marketers grow by strategically integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook 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 adopter of digital technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts and video marketing. She can be reached via email here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy 10th Birthday, Twitter! Thanks For The Gifts. #LoveTwitter

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Twitter 1 Comment

Happy 10th BirthdayTwitter! #LoveTwitterIt was shortly before 10:35 PM ET on September 6, 2008, when it happened.

I was sitting on my mom’s couch all by myself with my laptop up in South Bend (Indiana).

It was a moment I will never forget, which is why I am writing about it so clearly today.

I was watching election coverage on CNN with Rick Sanchez, an early adopter of the use of social media in the newsroom.

I looked up from my laptop and watched this thing called a Twitter Wall moving rapidly behind him, my heart probably racing because that Twitter wall was full of people…real, live people who were talking to Rick and to each other!!

There Was No Turning Back

Right then and there, I knew I had to be a part of it for more reasons than one.

  • One was the most obvious, and that is that I am a marketer, and I needed and wanted to understand and use this tool. That’s what happens when one is an early adopter.
  • Two, which was probably most important at the time, was that he was making a goofy statement comparing the candidates that was as far from an apples-to-apples comparison as any statement could be, and I wanted to let him know about it, by golly!

I knew then, as I do now, that the chances he would see and comment on my Tweet were pretty slim, but that didn’t matter.

I was a part of the conversation.

I had an outlet to connect with people all around the world!

Think about that for a minute….THE WORLD was now at my fingertips, and it was easy!!!

My First Tweet

Here was my 1st Tweet:

Happy 10th Birthday Twitter!

I know…kind of serious for a 1st Tweet, right?

I feel pretty good about it, especially knowing co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey dipped his toe into his own product lightly two-and-a-half years earlier.

Happy 10th Birthday Twitter #LoveTwitter

I believe I was already on LinkedIn and Facebook, but not “all-in,” if you know what I mean. I had joined Facebook because it was a good way for me to stay in touch with what my nephew, Sean, was doing. I use it in many different ways today, not just to stalk family. LinkedIn just made good business sense, as it still does today. I regularly tell people that Twitter was my 1st social media love…if there is such a thing.

The Best Part

The best part came after that when I met and followed people I knew, and people I didn’t. I don’t remember all of the details about the relationships I made, but I do remember finding professional colleagues Kevin O’Keefe and Gerry Riskin early on. We have since strengthened our relationships, and are connected in many ways. We have spoken on the phone, met in person, shared family stories, and professional advice.

I don’t dare go down the path of naming all of the other friends I connected with in those early days as there were too many, and I will feel terrible if I leave someone out.

When commenting on my friend Gini Dietrich’s 10th birthday blog post yesterday, I talked about how thankful I am for the relationships I’ve built that remain the same even though we don’t see one another often.

Does Twitter Matter?

Yes, it matters…a lot.

Because of Twitter, I’ve virtually attended conferences, and met attendees.

Because of Twitter, I’ve stayed ahead of world, national, local, professional and industry news.

Because of Twitter, I’ve learned more than I imagined I could, and hope that I’ve shared a bit of knowledge along the way, too.

Because of TwitterI’ve grown my business. 

Because of Twitter, I have built closer relationships with people I’ve met in-person.

Because of Twitter, the world is very close.

Happy 10th Birthday Twitter!Happy Birthday Twitter! #LoveTwitter

Even though this is your celebration, you have given me a wonderful gift…a package filled with amazing people, places and information that have enriched my personal and professional life beyond what I even knew to expect.

Here’s to 10 more years!

If You Have A Moment, There’s A Little More…

It looks like this has been my week for Twitter.

I was happy to be a guest on the podcast, Legal Marketing Launch, hosted by practicing lawyer Bentley Tolk, where we talked a lot about Twitter. Here is where you can find the episode, Twitter Secrets For Lawyers

I also had the pleasure of being included in an article written by lawyer and journalist, Tami Kamin Meyer, for Progressive Law Practice, titled Should Lawyers Tweet? 

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing, Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers, law firms and legal marketers grow by strategically integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook 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 adopter of digital technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts and video marketing. She can be reached via email here.

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Will The Real Super Bowl Advertisers Please Stand Up? #SB50 #SuperBowlAds #SB50Ads

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Branding, Hashtags, Social Media 0 Comments

Will The Real Super Bowl Advertisers Please Stand Up

It’s over. Super Bowl 50 is now a part of history. Living in Indianapolis, I am very happy for Peyton Manning. Whatever he decides, and I think we all know what’s coming, he can go out on top, proud of the legacy he left behind in two cities that grew very fond of him.

Enough About The Game!

Aren’t we really here to talk about the ads? After a somewhat lackluster game, the ads should still have us talking, analyzing, and honing our craft to become better and smarter marketers, right?

You probably had your favorites…or maybe only one or two of them judging from the reaction on Twitter and Facebook during the game. One or two were ads seen before the big game. Many might be ads we will never see again.

That Is A Problem! 

Hey, more power to you if you had $5,000,000+ to spend on ads last night, and even more to have your agency create and produce the ads, but I am waiting to see who the real advertisers were and are from last night. 

Just because you spent a bagillion dollars during the game doesn’t mean much if you don’t know how to surround that ad with a fully integrated campaign surrounding it. If I never see you again after last night, then you have fallen short.

You have fallen short because you can’t win your audience over by being a one-trick, or a one-game, pony. You can’t expect to put all of your promotional eggs in one Super Bowl basket, hoping your brand will be so boosted by your brilliant creative and stellar placement that you forget what should come before, during and after the big buy.

If your target audience doesn’t see related follow-up during and after the game…and I don’t just mean once…then you have fallen short. If you have not created a real “promotion,” developing messages and creative that you then scatter all over the Internet like digital breadcrumbs so that, when I have a need for your product of service, you have made yourself memorable and easy to find, then you have fallen short.

If, however, you began teasing us with digital messages on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, SnapChat, Periscope, or in traditional spaces like print, outdoor, TV, radio and others, then you can win.

If you also played and interacted with your target audiences online during the game, showing us how your digital presence, wit and response matches the creative brand you spent all that money to advertise, then you can win.

If you then committed resources to talk to us today, tomorrow, next week and the week after, reminding us what we have already forgotten about you since last night, and you have shown us what a pleasure it is to do business with you, then you can win.

But you will be fighting an endless, resource intensive, and very expensive promotional battle if you are simply relying on one seemingly blockbuster ad, or even two, during one game on one night to one audience.

All of us need to remember that integrated marketing that is built as a campaign is critical to effective communication of our brands. We need to make sure we plan all 3 phases:

  1. Before
  2. During
  3. After

If we are not willing to step up and do that, then we need to reconsider being in the game in the first place.

Nancy Myrland is a Marketing, ContenNancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For Lawyerst, Social and Digital Media Strategist, Speaker & Trainer, helping lawyers, law firms and legal marketers grow by strategically integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook 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 adopter of social media and digital technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts, video marketing and livestreaming. She can be reached here.

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