Lawyers, This Approach Can Backfire On You

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Podcasting, Video Marketing Leave a Comment

Lawyers, This Approach On Podcasts or Video Can Backfire On You

Be very careful. If this is not your style, then suddenly adapting it because you think everyone else is doing it is going to backfire on you.

Lately, I have seen some people produce content that has them jumping at the camera and using bigger sounds and more drama in their audio. I am all for adding one’s personality to whatever the content is, but doing it the wrong way can hurt more than help.

Let’s talk about a few examples.

More Inflection and Gestures

In writing, we have the added responsibility of putting our personality into our words so they punch a little bit and so that people can picture us when they’re reading our words. You want them to picture you when they read your words, don’t you?

You don’t want them to become bored when they read what you write. That is why you will continue to see so many suggestions about writing conversationally and to incorporate storytelling when writing or speaking. These practices help your words come to life, which is what you want.

In audio, we also have to use a little bit more personality, or what might be interpreted as inflection. Some are naturally a little bit more dramatic when they speak. Dramatic isn’t even a good word; rather they tend to use a little bit more personality when they speak. They don’t have to worry about adding that much additional inflection.

Then there’s video. What I’m seeing lately really concerns me. This isn’t with everybody, but I think this is happening with more people because they are watching Gary V., or Gary Vaynerchuk. You may have heard of him. Gary can be pretty animated. He can also be low key. He and other video marketers or video producers have a lot of high-energy practices they incorporate into their content. They jump at the camera, and they suddenly use elevated motions and sounds. Gary does this naturally and has done it so long that it is natural and effective…for him.

Come to think of it, I think Gary’s use of these motions has decreased over the years. Let me know in the comments if you have observed this, too. His style has evolved.

Some who are attempting to adapt his more animated style as their own make it appear as though they are saying “OH MY GOSH, everything is the BEST and the GREATEST, and I’m going to yell at the camera, or I am going to incorporate a jump cut here and a jump cut there.”

Jump cuts are very interesting. If you don’t know what a jump cut is, you see it all the sudden when you’re in the middle of a video and the video stops and jumps to the person’s next move or phrase. It deliberately cuts out space in between sentences. That is a jump cut.

Don’t Copy If It’s Not You 

I’ve seen a few people I know who use this very effectively, but I’m also seeing some people try to copy some of these practices and going a bit overboard. Do you know what the problem is? The problem is that this is not them at all. I click on one of their videos or one of their messages and I last about two or three seconds and I’m gone…if I even open it… because they’ve begun to get a reputation for being overly dramatic and over-the-top. I’m someone that finds it challenging to watch or listen to people who are not being themselves or not being authentic in their delivery.

This Is Why It Happens

I know when we’re producing something like audio or video and even writing, we get into the mode of thinking we have to deliver something a little bit more than what we normally would in regular conversation because we’re in a marketing mode. We know we need to stand out from others by not being the same.

Instead, what we need to do is to practice regularly so we get to the point where we are just being ourselves and letting our personalities shine, letting our personalities enter the conversation, and using inflection when we normally would. Of course, if you don’t use any inflection, find a way to work it in naturally, or work with someone who can help you do that.

My Suggestion To You

  • What I want you to do is to watch those people who are using these practices authentically and where it seems natural. That is the practice that is going to be most effective for you, not emulating actions that don’t match your personality or your brand.
  • Show your passion and excitement, but don’t stretch it to the point that it is unnatural or not in agreement with who you are when others meet you offline.
  • Don’t incorporate practices just because someone told you that was the latest and greatest editing practice, or because you think you have to jump out of the screen to get everyone’s attention.
  • Please don’t start raising your voice because you think I am going to listen to you because that is likely not going to happen…at least not a second time.

Bottom Line

This can really hurt you in the long run. If this is not your personality, then nobody’s going to listen, read, or watch. Then what have you accomplished?

Well, absolutely nothing but turning people away.

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

#LMA19 – My LMA Annual Conference Recordings and Interviews

Nancy Myrland #LMA19, All Posts, Crisis Management, Podcasts & Recordings Leave a Comment

#LMA19 Conference Flash Briefing with Nancy Myrland

Welcome!

This is the page where I will post Alexa Flash Briefings with interviews and updates I create during the 2019 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference, affectionately referred to by its hashtag, #LMA19. I couldn’t wait, so the first one is already posted below in the pretty purple audio player with the green button. You can’t miss it!

I’ll Add New Updates & Interviews To This Post, So Please Check Back

Each time I record an update about a session or interview a speaker, service provider, or anyone else about the conference, I will post it within this blog post. I will post each as a separate entry, with the most recent update showing at the top of the purple players below so you can find new ones fast. If you’d like to share any of them, you will find options when you hover over the 3 dots on the right side of the purple player.

I will be posting regularly throughout the days during the conference, so let me know if there is a particular subject you’d like me to cover or someone you’d like me to talk to, okay? You can let me know in the comments or, if we are connected, message me on social. You can also subscribe to these flash briefings on your Alexa-enabled devices or mobile apps right here. You can also search for Legal Marketing Minutes on your favorite podcast player, too. So many choices!

By the way, in case you missed it, and how could you have because I’ve been shouting it from the rooftops (well, maybe not the rooftops because that would be dangerous, wouldn’t it?), I am once again curating content created by everyone over here in this blog post.

#LMA19 Interviews and Recordings

#LMA19 Flash Briefing: Episode #2 – What To Do and What Not To Do On Social Media During A Crisis with Gina Rubel

#LMA19 Flash Briefing: Episode #01 – Heads Up About Conference Interviews and Recordings

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

Are Lawyers The Only Ones Qualified To Manage Law Firms?

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Business of Law, Law Firms, Management Leave a Comment

Are Lawyers The Only Ones Qualified To Manage Law Firms?It is not a prerequisite, nor should it be, for law firm CEOs to be lawyers.

The exception to this is when, as mentioned in this article in the ABA Journal, specific words in titles are not allowed. The example given was in May 2014 in Texas when the Texas bar’s ethics committee issued Opinion No. 642, deciding Texas firms couldn’t use the title CEO because the title implies power over the lawyers. They couldn’t use the term “chief” in any title.

Use Of The Word Officer For Those Who Don’t Practice Law

When this ruling came down, the ABA Journal summarized the ruling by saying:

“The ethics opinion says firms shouldn’t use ‘officer’ in nonlawyer titles because the word indicates the person has the power to control either the entire law firm or significant areas of the firm’s operations. Nor can law firms use the word ‘principal’ to describe nonlawyer managers because the word implies the employee has an interest in the firm involving control or ownership.”

They went on to say that:

“Firms that follow this rule but nonetheless give nonlawyers the title of ‘officer’ or ‘principal’ are communicating in a false or misleading way, according to the opinion.”

At the heart of this restriction are Rules 5.04(d)(2) and 5.04(d)(3), which prohibit lawyers from practicing law with such an organization if a non-lawyer functions as a corporate director or officer or if a non-lawyer is given the right to direct or control the professional judgment of a lawyer in the organization.  In the case of a law firm organized as a partnership, the conclusion is the same:  a non-lawyer may not control a partnership’s provision of legal services. Rule 5.04(b) prohibits a lawyer from forming “a partnership with a non-lawyer if any of the activities of the partnership consist of the practice of law.”

You Can Lead The Firm As Long As You Have No Control Over The Practice

After dozens of Texas firms voiced their dissenting opinion, the committee revised their opinion, adding these titles and words may be used ”but only if firms make clear they do not have control over the firm’s legal practice,” meaning they have no control over the practice of law.

Lawyers Are Trained To Be Lawyers

One example given in the ABA Journal is business professional Angela Hickey, CEO of Levenfield Pearlstein. She was named CEO after serving the firm as executive director for four years.

Angela summed it up by saying that:

“Lawyers are trained to be lawyers and not to be businesspeople.”

In the article, she goes on to say:

“It was and remains a sound business model to engage business professionals to run the firm—the pace and change and the breadth of knowledge required to stay relevant and competitive in the legal industry demands full energy and focus of business professionals.”

The article also mentions other business professionals leading firms, such as

  • Paul Eberle, CEO of Husch Blackwell, former entrepreneur and business owner, College of the Holy Cross graduate
  • Scott Green, Global Chief Operating and Financial Officer, former CEO of Pepper Hamilton, Harvard graduate and CPA
  • Justin Kan, CEO of Atrium, Internet entrepreneur and investor, Yale graduate

Are Lawyers Good Businesspeople?

Having studied business in college, then working in sales, then as a marketing manager, I started in legal marketing as a senior in-house marketer in 1997.

Soon after I started, I made a comment one day to my predecessor, a wonderful marketer, lawyer, and businessperson, that I was surprised a particular concept we were discussing wasn’t being done at the firm because it was just good business.

I also remember thinking it was also a common sense principle.

This person said:

“You need to remember that lawyers aren’t necessarily good businesspeople.”

Isn’t This Philosophy A Bit Shortsighted?

I read articles like this so many years later and find it unfortunate but not surprising that these thoughts continue.

To assume a business professional is unprepared to lead a group of anything, whether lawyers, doctors, architects, or financial consultants, is absolutely shortsighted.

It is also shortsighted to assume that every lawyer doesn’t bring business skills to the job. When I was in-house, I worked with many lawyers who came from the business world with serious business skills that set them apart from their peers.

Prerequisites For Managing A Law Firm

The skills that are important to being the leader of a law firm revolve around that person’s business acumen, as well as his/her ability to:

  • Learn
  • Listen
  • Lead
  • Interpret
  • Motivate
  • Have vision
  • Create strategy
  • Take appropriate risks
  • Build consensus
  • Interpret actions and trends and act accordingly
  • Negotiate
  • Understand the business of law, and
  • Honestly and ethically direct the business of law

Lawyers Don’t Have To Have Experienced The Crisis They Are Trying To Solve

A lawyer can effectively counsel clients going through mergers even if she has never gone through one.

He can lead clients through labor negotiations even if he has never been a labor leader or a member of a union.

She can defend insurance companies through litigation even if she has never worked for an insurance company, been sued, been denied, or been treated unfairly…and on and on.

Why? Because they are smart, educated, and experienced, and have learned the skills needed through many years of study, practice, and living.

What Really Prepares Us For Leadership

I have a business degree but wouldn’t have been prepared to run a business or manage people or advise lawyers had I not first:

  • Learned how to learn (the school part)
  • Been put through the paces countless times when selling (weeks of training before ever being released to talk to clients)
  • Spent time planning and managing promotions and advertising campaigns
  • Worked with agencies
  • Made mistakes, or
  • Been thrown into the zero-based budget creation process I experienced in corporate

Those are what prepared me for working with lawyers, managing the marketing and community affairs functions at a law firm…not having practiced law.

Judge Skills Not Degrees

Everyone has their own skill set that prepares them for managing a firm or working with lawyers. Being a lawyer is not one of those prerequisites. It would be nice to have both skillsets, but it is not the only way.

Non-Lawyers and Non-Marketers

Lawyers, while I have you here, you should be aware that many business professionals and lawyers dislike the term non-lawyer.

In any profession or industry, preceding any title with “non” can imply the person is less than…you know, as in they aren’t the real thing.

We don’t hear of non-doctors, non-accountants, non-architects, or non-scientists, do we? I’ll answer that. No, we don’t.

I know, I know. It’s an easy term, and what else would we call them?

Just as they would never think to call you non-marketers, may I suggest you call them what they are, which is business professionals? They will continue calling you lawyers and legal professionals. Everyone will then be referred to using titles that are professional and that show respect.

I know that not everyone is bothered by this term, but as long as many are, why not call people what they are, vs. what they are not?

That’s good business.

Are Lawyers The Only Ones Qualified To Manage Law Firms?

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

 

From Michael Avenatti To Frank Aquila: Control Yourself On Social Media

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Social Media Leave a Comment

Michael Avenatti Lashes Out On Twitter

We have issues with behavior on the Internet, and on social media specifically. Some people just don’t think before posting, or they don’t care and they go for it, not thinking about the ramifications.

3 recent instances brought this to mind for me.

Is It Okay To Publicly Call People Out on Social Media?

The 1st was in a group on Facebook. It doesn’t matter which one. Someone who taught a certain discipline was concerned because another teacher of that same subject matter was producing faulty instruction to his viewers.

He was curious about how best to react.

Lots of suggestions were offered about how to make a statement, including commenting on this other person’s “faulty” instruction, creating content that blatantly called out these faulty practices being displayed, and more.

My suggestion to him was:

Just keep creating good videos and don’t worry about this other person. I see weak marketing and social media advice regularly, but that tells me I have an opportunity to publish content that is even better.

Frank Aquila Attacks Sarah Huckabee Sanders

The 2nd example was one I covered a while back on this blog titled You Damage More Than Your Own Personal Brand With Bad Online Behavior.

It was about Sullivan & Cromwell’s high-profile partner, Francis “Frank” Aquila, who chose to lash out publicly on Twitter at White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I will spare you the foul language and cursing, but long story short, on Twitter, he told Ms, Sanders to rot in somewhere very hot you b-i-t-c-h.

Nice, huh?

Michael Avenatti Lashes Out On Twitter

The 3rd example is specific to the legal profession and involves lawyers acting out on Twitter.

On February 4, New York attorney Diego Aranda Teixeira began by airing his grievances against California attorney Michael Avenatti, tweeting, “OMG, Michael Avenatti CALLED ME AND HE’S CRAZY.”

Michael Avenatti Lashes Out On Twitter 3

The post prompted a reply from Avenatti, who labeled Teixeira “a terrible lawyer.”

Do you see how rich this is? One lawyer attacking another lawyer for attacking him on Twitter when he is now doing the same. I needed a bucket of popcorn for this one!

Michael Avenatti Lashes Out On Twitter

The confrontation continued with Teixeira questioned Avenatti:

Michael Avenatti Lashes Out On Twitter 3

Let’s Not Reduce Aquila, Avenatti, and Teixeira To “Chatty” Lawyers

Michael Avenatti Lashes Out On Twitter

The author of the article above on Delaware Law Weekly, which is where I first discovered this story, Raychel Lean, said:

“With the era of chatty lawyers in full swing, tweeters and non-tweeters render their verdict on whether the platform helps or hinders the legal realm.”

I don’t care for the term chatty lawyers as I think it’s misguided. It’s not being chatty that gets people in trouble. It is not using enough common sense to understand how to act in public.

The article mentions my social media friend, Brian Cuban, Texas lawyer, author, speaker and activist, who said that “Legal Twitter” as he called it, is a powerful factor — and it comes with many positives.

I agree.

What Happened To Common Sense and Decency?

It is amazing to me that common sense flies out the door in these situations. Even labeling the post “chatty” is misidentifying the real issue, which is really about lawyers or anyone using the platform in inappropriate, disrespectful, inflammatory ways.

Michigan Judge Qiana Lillard, who is known to Tweet regularlywas quoted at the end of the article

“Lawyers should know that we can disagree respectfully. That’s the beauty of the legal profession,” she said. “People on opposite sides of an issue using the same law and facts to argue their respective position. It’s important in all arenas, especially social media, that (this) be done with decency and professional decorum.”

You’re Making My Job Too Easy

Stop making my job so easy by providing yet more examples to add to my presentations about ethics and/or how best to use (or not use) social media.

3 Sensible Social Media Suggestions For Avenatti, Aquila, and All Lawyers

I have 3 suggestions for you:

  1. Think twice before firing off comments, Tweets, or replies that reflect how you feel but that do not serve any useful purpose and might serve to cause ill-will or damage to your brand, your practice, or your firm.
  2. Use common sense. If you are lacking in that, let me know because I’d be happy to coach you on what is and isn’t.
  3. Don’t always have to have the final word. At some point, decide that it serves no purpose to get into fights publicly, and it serves no purpose to one-up another person by having the final word. Sometimes radio silence when someone else is trying to get under your skin is the best choice, or even “So nice to hear from you. Have a nice day” will shut them down and make them wonder what just happened.

Some people just like to argue or fight. You don’t have to be one of those on social media. Observers will probably respect you a lot more than if you had engaged in that fight. (Of course, there are exceptions.)

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

Coverage From #LMA19, The 2019 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference

Nancy Myrland #LMA19, All Posts, Legal Marketing Association, LMA Leave a Comment

#LMA19 Annual Conference Blog Posts Curated by Nancy Myrland

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

Looking for new posts summarizing the #LMA19 conference? Head down to the green headings below for new content added regularly. Don’t forget to let me know if I’ve missed anything, okay? Thanks!

It’s time!

If you know me, and even if you don’t, about this time of year, I begin to get very excited. Not only do I get to see around 5,000 social and digital media friends at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego in March, but I also get to attend the largest professional family reunion of over 1500 smart marketers in April in Atlanta at the Legal Marketing Association annual conference, affectionately known by its hashtag, #LMA19.

Why Do We Attend?

I get excited because this is THE conference for all of us who care passionately about helping lawyers, legal marketers, and law firms grow and do what they do better.

Stay Tuned As I Will Be Curating Conference Content Right Here

As I have done for the past few years, in the coming weeks, I will be curating content from the conference within this blog post to provide a quick, easy place to find all of the information you might like to consume. I will link to content that is in writing, as well as audio and video. I will do this before, during, and after the conference.

Bookmark this blog post as I will continue to add content as I find it, or as you let me know you’ve found it, too!

The Content Has Begun!

I’ve already begun my video coverage of the conference by sitting down with conference co-chair Andy Laver to talk about this year’s conference.

We discussed a lot in a short amount of time, but some of the highlights included:

    • The conference planning process
    • How and why speakers were chosen this year
    • The growth in diversity and inclusion in both presenters and sessions
    • Why 75% of the speakers are new this year
    • …and why everyone should #StayUntilTheEnd

In a recent interview, Andy and Cynthia Voth, who is our current LMA President, made it clear that this year’s conference promises to match theoretical discussion with real-world examples that attendees can act on right when they return to their offices, if not before.

A Few Conference Details

Here are a few details about the conference:

  • There will be more than 1500 attendees.
  • They will be from almost all 50 states.
  • All 8 LMA governing regions will be represented.
  • There are 150+ Speakers with 20% identifying themselves as diverse.
  • 75% of our speakers this year have never presented at an annual conference.

Notable Sessions

  • I’m quite happy that one of our keynotes is Jennifer Dulsky, head of Groups & Community at Facebook. As I told her when I said hello to her via LinkedIn private message, when I saw we had invited someone from social media to keynote our conference, I was quite pleased. (Not sure if you know this, but I spend a bit of time in the strategy and integration of social and digital media into existing marketing practices for law firms.)
  • One other very interesting general session you might want to attend or follow on social media is about the controversial topic of reform of ABA Model Rule 5.4 having to do with non-lawyer ownership of law firms. This grows out of activity and discussion we see going on right now in California.
  • Diversity & Inclusion will have a large presence, mirroring the passion and effort to raise awareness and improve practices throughout all LMA member firms, including the creation of the Diversity & Inclusion SIG (Shared Interest Group).
  • Voice of Client will have an important presence. A member of CLOC, the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium, sits on the conference committee to make sure we are addressing the voice and needs of the client at our conference.

Get An Early Start With One of Seven Pre-Conference Programs

There are 7 pre-conference programs you might want to consider. I’m sure you can still register, and I feel fairly certain they will all provide high-quality insight and discussion that you will find useful in your career.

(I am thankful as I get to present at QuickStart with my dear long-time friend, Gail Lamarche, Director of Marketing at Henderson Franklin in Southwest Florida.)

  1. Rise of the Legal Marketing Technologist
  2. Breakthroughs in Public Relations, Content and Communications
  3. LMA QuickStart® LIVE! – Legal Marketing Essentials
  4. Applying Design Thinking Principles to Create Change   (New this year)
  5. Developing a Roadmap for Deliberate Diversity and Informed Inclusion (New this year)
  6. Impact Marketing for Small and Mid-Sized Law Firms
  7. CMO Summit 

You Really Should #StayUntilTheEnd

In case you haven’t noticed this, conference co-chair Andy Laver is responsible for the hashtag #StayUntilTheEnd. Because we have great speakers and the ever-popular wrap-up session at the end of the day Wednesday, he casually created this as his way of encouraging all attendees to book flights after the conference wraps up at 4:30 PM. Among others, I’m seeing sessions on LinkedIn Navigator (no, I’m not presenting) and a Million Dollar Bootcamp (don’t worry, no exercise is involved) at the end of the day, so those are worth it, right?!

As if the wrap-up session wasn’t worth the price of attendance, there will also be drawings for prizes.

(I’m hoping for a new car, but who knows? Maybe I’ll throw in an Amazon Dot so y’all can subscribe to my Alexa Flash Briefing! It is all about me, right?!)

Seriously, you should listen to Andy as it’s always worth it to stick around. I’m arriving Saturday and staying until Thursday so I can soak up every bit of goodness and friendship I can before and after. You should too!

Networking

#LMA19 Conference Networking WorksheetFor those of you who would like a little focus and an easy process to follow to ramp up your networking before, during, and after the conference, this year I’ve prepared a worksheet for you titled: “#LMA19 Annual Conference Networking Action Plan.

Feel free to download it and give it a try as it will make a big difference in the success of your conference experience. Effective networking at this conference also establishes friendships that will support and carry you through your entire legal marketing career. I speak from experience on this one.

Let me know what you think of it and if you would like me to make any changes to make it more valuable for you, okay?

Conference and Association Leadership

A conference like this is no small endeavor.

The muscle behind this conference is the Legal Marketing Association, or LMA, and our international board of directors.

This conference could not happen without our amazing 2019 Annual Conference Advisory Committee:

Conference Co-Chairs:

Andrew Laver #LMA19

Andrew Laver

Erin Meszaros #LMA19

Erin Meszaros

  • Andrew Laver, Business Development Manager, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
  • Erin Meszaros, Chief Business Development and Client Service Office, Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP

The 2019 Annual Conference Committee Members:

Gia Altreche #LMA19

Gia N. Altreche

Jeffrey J. Berardi #LMA19

Jeffrey J. Berardi

Deborah Farone #LMA19

Deborah Farone

Kristi Gedid #LMA19

Kristi Gedid

Diana Lauritson #LMA19

Diana Lauritson

Daniel Lepine #LMA19

Daniel Lepine

Richard Marsolais #LMA19

Richard Marsolais

Lisa Simon #LMA19

Lisa Simon

Kate White #LMA19

Kate White

Cynthia Voth #LMA19

Cynthia Voth

  • Gia N. Altreche, Director of Business Development and Marketing, Newmeyer & Dillion LLP
  • Jeffrey J. Berardi, Chief Marketing Officer, K&L Gates LLP
  • Deborah Farone, Strategic Advisor, ‎Farone Advisors LLC
  • Kristi Gedid, Director, Global Legal Contract Management, Mylan Inc.
  • Diana Lauritson, Senior Manager, Business Development, Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Daniel Lépine, Chief Client Officer – Vice-President Operations – Montréal Alexa Translations
  • Richard A. Marsolais, Legal Marketing and Business Development Professional
  • Lisa Simon, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
  • Kate White, Co-Founder, Design Build Legal
  • Cynthia P. Voth, Director of Client Engagement & Innovation, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP & President of LMA

Thanks to all of you for your hard work!

Follow This List and Follow Each Other On My #LMA19 Twitter List

Every year, I create a Twitter List of all of those who are attending the annual conference. I do that so we can follow each other as we have a lot in common!

If you would like to be added, check out the list to see if you are already there, #LMA19 by Nancy Myrland, and let me know if I need to add you. Just let me know on Twitter right here at @NancyMyrland

If you would like to follow all #LMA19 Tweets in one place, you can do that here. If you don’t use a Twitter management tool like TweetDeck, Hootsuite, or another, I recommend leaving the #LMA19 hashtag search page I just linked to open in your browser so you can watch the conversation before, during, and after the conference.

Bookmark This Post and Let Me Know When You See Content

Again, you might want to bookmark this post as this is where I will be curating all of the content I and others will be creating about the conference. I will also add an important links section in green below so you don’t have to search for them elsewhere.

As in past years, if you see audio, video, or written content for me to add to this post, please ping me wherever it is convenient for you:

NOTE: In the comments below, let me know if you will be attending and what you are most looking forward to.

Important Links For You

Presenting Your #LMA19 Annual Conference Content!

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy MyrlandLaw Firms Need More Competitive Intelligence: A Field Report From 2019 LMA Conference by Ron Friedmann [4-24-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy MyrlandA Day In The Life … Atlanta’s Media Tells It Like It Is by Michelle McCormick [4-24-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy MyrlandMy First LMA Conference: Relationships Matter by Carrie Johnson [4-24-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy MyrlandBuilding An Effective Sector Strategy from Acritas [4-24-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy Myrland

Diversity and Inclusion from the Client Perspective by Brandice Johnson on the LMA blog [4-23-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy Myrland

Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability—Why Should Law Firms Care by Linda Hazelton on the LMA blog [4-23-29]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy Myrland

Buyer-Behavior by the Numbers—A Cross-Generational Look at Decision Influences and Drivers of Engagement for Legal Buyers by Linda Hazelton on the LMA blog [4-23-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy Myrland

Law Firm Branding: A New Model for Differentiation by Vanessa Petrea on the LMA blog [4-23-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy Myrland

(D & I) Creative Marketing Makes Sense, But Data is Needed to Keep Them Going by Rodney Warner on the Jaffe blog [4-23-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy Myrland

#LMA19 Conference Recap: Key Takeaways and Insights by Jason P. Lisi on the Legalisi blog [4-23-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy Myrland

8 Key Law Firm Strategy Takeaways from the #LMA19 National Conference by Rich Bracken on JD Supra [4-23-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy MyrlandHeard and Inspired: A Legal Marketing Recap from #LMA2019 in Atlanta by Roy Sexton on JD Supra [4-17-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy MyrlandWhat To Do & Not To Do On Social Media When Receiving Negative Press 5-minute Legal Marketing Minutes Flash Briefing & Podcast Interview of Gina Rubel by Nancy Myrland [4-17-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy MyrlandKey Takeaways from #LMA19: Lessons I Learned My First Time as a Service Provider by Jim Jarrell with Jaffe [4-17-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy Myrland

4 Key Learnings From The 2019 LMA Annual Conference [Infographic] by Dan Dowling on the Introhive blog [4-17-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy Myrland

GC Panel: What Can Legal Learn from Facebook, DHL, Volvo and Home Depot? More Than You Think by Ioana Good and Jill Hughes on The Legal Intelligencer [4-17-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy Myrland

Highlights From The 2019 LMA Annual Conference by Best Lawyers on the Best Lawyers Blog [4-17-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy Myrland

The LMA Conference Wrap-Up Session: The Conference In A Nutshell Livestream by Nancy Myrland [4-17-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy Myrland

Livestream of the HOF Ceremony Livestream by Nancy Myrland [4-17-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy Myrland

General Counsel Panelists to Legal Marketers: ‘You Have to Find Ways to Change With Us’ by Kristen Rasmussen on Corporate Counsel [4-17-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy MyrlandKeynote: Movements and the Leadership Thread: Facebook Groups Leader Jennifer Dulski on What Makes a Movement  by Eilene Spear on National Law Journal [4-17-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy MyrlandTips For Vendors To Maximize A Conference Investment by Tim Corcoran on his blog [4-6-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy Myrland

How to Get the Most Out of Your 2019 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference Experience (and Build Your Professional Brand) by Stefanie Marrone on JD Supra [4-4-19]

 

Pre-Con Mix Tape  by Society 54 on Spotify [3-26-19]#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy Myrland

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy MyrlandNancy Myrland & Andy Laver Discuss The Upcoming Conference [Video] by Nancy Myrland on YouTube [2-22-19]

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy Myrland

Conference Networking Tips From Our Legal Marketing Friends, A Timeless Post by Nancy Myrland & Friends

 

#LMA19 Conference Blog Posts by Nancy Myrland

#LMA19 Annual Conference Networking Action Plan by Nancy Myrland in The Lawyer’s Marketing Academy [February, 2019]

 

[Thanks to my good friend, Deb Dobson, Marketing Technology Manager, Fisher & Phillips LLC, for helping me choose just the right photo from her city, Atlanta!)

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

Lawyers, Protect Client Confidentiality When Using Social Media

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Social Media, Social Media Ethics & Regulations Leave a Comment

[EP. 27] Lawyers, When Using Social Media, Protect Client Confidentiality and Relationships

I hear this concern often. Lawyers, legal marketing professionals, and others in law firms tell me that lawyers remain very concerned about how to stay out of trouble when posting in social media. They don’t want to jeopardize client relationships.

I Don’t Want To Get In Trouble

When conducting social media training, a common concern I run across has to do with attorneys and staff being afraid they will post something that will get them in trouble. Consequently, they hold back from using these tools because they don’t want to say something that will jeopardize an attorney-client relationship, or say something they’ll regret later.

I get it and I appreciate and respect those concerns. These are powerful tools we have at our disposal. They aren’t going away, so we need to make sure we use them appropriately and with the right approach and attitude.

Amazing Connections

These tools have the ability to form amazing connections with those we want to be connected to, but with the wrong attitude or approach, they have the ability to damage or end relationships, and even stop relationships before they ever start.

How To Protect Client Confidentiality

Let’s talk for a moment about client confidentiality and attorney-client relationships. In order to protect your attorney-client relationships, don’t post anything that has to do with:

  • Results
  • Mindset
  • Location
  • People involved
  • Matters
  • Fees
  • …or other details of your cases unless your clients want you to.

Even When Your Clients Agree, Be Very Careful

Even if your clients want you to, you also have to be very careful not to establish any expectations of future results. This can easily happen should you use language that implies that this is the type of result you can achieve for your clients in the future.

Always, always review legal and ethical restrictions that exist in every jurisdiction in which you and your firm practice. I want you to become familiar with every model rule pertaining to communication and what is and isn’t allowed.

My rule of thumb is that if you can’t say or do it in person, you definitely can’t say or do it online. It’s that easy.

Is It Okay To React When I Have Strong Feelings?

Every now and then, I get a question about whether lawyers should control emotional reactions on social media. A while back, someone posted this question, saying,

“How can we achieve the balance between rational and emotional thoughts?”

My interpretation of that question is “How do I control my urge to react emotionally to a topic or comment posted on social media that I feel strongly about when I know it could be controversial?” My answer? It boils down to inner strength, which you should already have in the profession that you are practicing.

You have to have inner strength and common sense and a good grasp of what is and isn’t ethical based on what we talked about a moment ago… This includes understanding the model rules of professional conduct in every jurisdiction in which you practice. This is really no different than your obligation to already have an understanding of those principles for ALL of your actions, whether in-person or online, so don’t shy away from these tools because you’re worried about saying or doing something that will harm your attorney-client relationship, or that you think will get emotional.

If you just go by these very, very simple common-sense rules, you should be just fine:

  • Don’t violate ethical rules.
  • Don’t fly off the handle like Frank Aquila did when he attacked Sara Huckabee Sanders on Twitter.
  • Use Common Sense.
  • Do what you know is smart and act like a professional.
  • If you follow these rules, trust me, you won’t get into trouble.

You don’t have to violate ethical rules or your own high standards to be interesting, controversial, or thought-provoking on social media. You need to find the right balance that doesn’t go against the rules you have at your fingertips, but that also has your personality built in. People want to get to know you, even if that means you are a little quirky, funny, sarcastic, happy, motivational, inquisitive, conversational, or a deep-thinker. These are the attributes that set you apart from others.

Bottom Line For Lawyers Who Care About Client Confidentiality When Using Social Media

Social media are amazing tools you should spend time getting to know. If not, you are missing out on some of the most powerful relationship-building tools we have been given in decades.

Don’t do the things we talked about at the beginning, and those are:

  • Don’t share your results, mindset, location, people involved, matters, fees, or other details about the cases unless your clients want you to.
  • Even when clients say they want you to share their details because there’s some strategy involved, make sure it is ethical, then get it in writing.
  • Don’t ever trust you have the permission to use their words on an indefinite basis, and that it’s okay to post all over social media.
  • Make sure you get in writing specifically what they’ve given you permission to talk about.

Let me know if you have any more questions about all of this, okay?

You’re Invited

I invite you to join my Facebook group where we discuss marketing, business development, content, social and digital media, and you can find that right here. When you do, let me know, this is how you found out about the group, okay?

Subscribe To My Podcast and/or Amazon Alexa Flash Briefing?

You might have noticed the podcast player at the beginning of this post. This blog post is also published as a podcast and an Amazon Alexa Flash Briefing. I’d love to have you subscribe to either or both! You can do that on iTunes/Apple Podcasts right here, Spotify here, Pocket Casts here, and you can subscribe to my Amazon Alexa Flash Briefing here. So many choices!

Let me know in the comments if you are a subscriber. Podcast and Flash Briefing analytics don’t show us who subscribes, so it’s always nice to know someone is listening!

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

 

You Damage More Than Your Own Personal Brand With Bad Online Behavior

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Branding, Personal Branding, Social Media Leave a Comment

Damaging Your Personal Brand OnlineFresh off of a webinar I co-hosted for the Legal Marketing Association last week titled “Personal Branding In The Age of Social & Digital Media,” where Clayton Dodds and I scratched the surface of how to define your personal brand, I was disappointed when the story broke about Sullivan & Cromwell’s high-profile partner, Francis “Frank” Aquila, who chose to lash out publicly last week on Twitter at White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

This Isn’t About Politics

Just to be clear, the reason I am writing this blog post has nothing to do with politics, although that is likely the impetus behind Frank’s widely-publicized Tweet.

It has everything to do with Mr. Aquila’s personal brand and how he chose to either reinforce it or damage it in order to prove a point. I don’t know him, so I can’t say which one of those is accurate.

That is my point. I don’t know him and neither do thousands of people who witnessed his outburst on Twitter toward Ms. Sanders, or thousands more who have learned about it since it happened.

In Social Media, Context Is A Luxury

Sullivan & Cromwell Partner Lashes Out At White House Press Secretary Personal Branding on Twitter

In the age of social and digital media, we are not always afforded the gift of context when we post. Observers might see one Tweet, post, update, video, or another short snippet of information that is shocking and at odds with what you have worked so hard to communicate to others as your personal brand. People might not know what came before or after that comment, so context is lost.

As a reminder, your personal brand is the way you do business, the way you act when you come in contact with others, and the behavior that is so consistent there is no question in others’ minds what you will be like when they see you online and offline. It is your brand. Whether you are deliberate about its definition and execution or not, you have one.

In this case, even if observers had the context of Mr. Aquila’s Tweet, I am not sure that telling someone to “Rot in Hell you B!tch” is ever appropriate. 

If you are going to step out and represent yourself that way online, you have to be pretty certain the rest of your friends, clients, and other followers are okay with that kind of approach and reaction, particularly when you choose to lash out like that in a space as public as Twitter toward a person with a podium as large as Sarah Sanders.

Innovative Use of Social Media?

ABA Journal Sullivan & Cromwell's Frank Aquila's Personal Branding Lesson

In an interesting bit of irony, the ABA Journal tells us that:

“In 2009, the ABA Journal named Aquila one of its Legal Rebels, for his innovative use of social media in his practice. ‘I’m a very social person,’ Aquila told the ABA Journal in 2009. ‘It’s just another extension of my personality.’”

Keyboards As Virtual Armor

Keyboards and screens have come to be digital shields of protection many users need to act out online.

Many of Frank’s friends and supporters may very well have expressed their support of his actions because they, too, might think the statement she made that caused his reaction was off-base and in need of correction.

He might also have built up enough social capital with the people he cares about online that they will support him no matter what, but I doubt that anyone is so popular they can muster that kind of support from everyone.

No More Twitter For Mr. AquilaShould we delete bad Tweets?

We don’t know that part of the story because his Tweet and his Twitter account are now gone, and we are not privy to all of the conversations that took place after this happened. I would imagine he and Sullivan & Cromwell decided the situation was too toxic to keep that content online.

There are no doubt some who took a screen-shot of it before it was taken down, and many others who have quoted him, which you can see in the screenshots throughout this post. It is also archived here.

Never Forget: Our online behavior is not guaranteed to go away when our accounts or Tweets are deleted.

I didn’t have to search too far for any of these articles you see here. The story first appeared in a few newsletters I received from legal trade publications in my inbox. Each article seemed to link to yet another. That is another danger of an online outburst. We can’t control what happens to the evidence because information is easy to find. The snowball effect is often out of our control. 

Grandstanding On Social Media

We live in an age where many like to use social media to grandstand, and to show off their ability to take others down. When I train lawyers, I suggest that if this behavior represents their personal brand, and their online behavior matches their offline behavior, if it is good for business, AND they are comfortable with the after effects on their firm’s brand, then go for it. If they can’t tick off all of those boxes, then they need to step away from the keyboard. 

The Internal Apology

Sullivan & Cromwell Partner Frank Aquila Lashes Out At Sarah SandersWe are told that Mr. Aquila apologized to his firm, as well as mentioned an apology to Ms. Sanders.

The ABA Journal reported that:

“The publication [the New York Law Journal] later obtained an email apology from Aquila to his firm colleagues on Friday. The email read: ‘Last evening, I responded to a tweet from Sarah Sanders in an inappropriate and hurtful manner. Clearly my emotions got the best of me, but equally clearly neither Ms. Sanders nor any woman should be subjected to such animus. I take full responsibility for my ‎actions and I sincerely apologize to Ms. Sanders.’”

I’m not sure his words about not speaking to Ms. Sanders, nor any woman, in such a manner were expressed directly to her, other than in the copy of the internal email the New York Law Journal obtained.

Had I been counseling him, I would have recommended sending an apology directly to her.

The keyboard isn’t your one-size-fits-all method of communication with other human beings, particularly when you have admitted inappropriate behavior. 

Your Brand Must Be Consistent

From what I can tell of Mr. Aquila’s bio on the firm’s website, he has an amazing career of representing major brands at the highest level, is influential in all the right circles, has been named one of the top 50 lawyers in the world, and is a leader in many ways. It is important that the brand we see in one place be consistent with the brand we see in other places. If not, clients are confused or turned off when observing our actions. Confusion causes people to back away, which I am quite certain was not his intention.

The Potential Damage To Law Firms

The unfortunate consequence of the individual actions of any of the 875 lawyers at Sullivan & Cromwell, or any of the other legal and business professionals at the firm, is that a mishap like this has the potential to damage the entire firm’s reputation.

Just as a strong set of individual lawyer brands can have a positive impact on your firm’s brand and bolster its strength and integrity to those observing, so, too, can words and actions like those in this story damage, and sometimes even take down, the overall brand and integrity of your firm. 

Lawyers And Law Firms Have A Responsibility

If you are going to continue to use the tools and platforms you have at your disposal to communicate, you also have to continue to train those who are using them under the umbrella of your firm, not just once a year or every other year when you can squeeze enough time and money out of the budget to do so, but on a regular basis.

Don’t Be The Next Case Study

I understand everyone isn’t perfect, or that errors will sometimes occur online. I also understand you have a great deal of input in your firm in minimizing this kind of behavior on social media by following the bullet points above. If you don’t have that input, show this to someone who does.

As you can see from all of the screenshots I have posted, Mr. Aquila’s and Sullivan & Cromwell’s name were mentioned in each article I reviewed. His actions were attached to the firm’s name and brand. His actions had the potential to damage the firm’s brand name as well as his own. As much as we would like to think we can lead separate personal and professional digital lives, that is not reality.

Please take the time to make sure everyone in your firm plays his/her part in building a strong, positive firm brand and that the potential to tear down your firm’s good name is minimized. 

Don’t be the next case study about how one of your people blew up in public, tarnishing their name and reputation, as well as your firm’s.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions, or if there is anything I can do to help you.

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

 

Lawyers, Thinking About Podcasting? I Have An Idea For You.

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Podcasts & Recordings Leave a Comment

Lawyers, Thinking About A Podcast - I Have An Idea For You by Nancy MyrlandIf we’ve spent much time together in the last few years, you know that I am bullish on voice marketing. This can come in a number of ways, but my choices at this time are podcasts and Alexa Flash Briefings. In February, I launched an Alexa Flash Briefing that can be subscribed to on Alexa-enabled devices from Amazon, and I’m enjoying the experience quite a bit. I have 18 episodes that revolve around “short bursts of legal marketing news and advice.” I will likely repurpose these Flash Briefings into a new podcast…more on that at another time.  

Early Days For Legal and Voice

I also understand that these are early days for Alexa Flash Briefings and the legal profession (or any profession or industry), so I am repurposing my audio into videos by creating waveform videos, also called audiograms, then sharing those videos across all of my social platforms.

I would love to see you create a podcast and/or Flash Briefing in the next several months. Being in the ears of those who care about your practice area is a coveted position. If you are chosen to be there, you have just accelerated your ability to nurture relationships with your listeners at a rate far greater than you might imagine. 

If this makes you a little nervous, I understand. Trust me, once you get up and running, it will be much easier and the voices of those you have chosen to host your podcast will become much more conversational and will reflect the personality of that person. That obviously means you need to choose someone who has some personality! (We can talk about that.)

I Have An Idea For A New Podcast For You

I just came across an article this morning from eMarketer that gave me an idea about how you can dip your toes into the podcasting world. Even if you already have a podcast, this might also be a good idea for you.

Knowing that recruiting and promoting your firm’s messages are extremely important to your current and future growth, why not let your Summer Associates host a podcast for the Summer? If Summer isn’t the appropriate timeframe, then you can decide the time, but this would allow you to create a “season” of podcasts that you can perfect while they are hosting it, thus allowing you to understand the medium more so that you can launch other podcasts in the future.

You Can Create A Safe, Focused Environment

In the article from eMarketer, they talked about letting their interns take over their podcast for one episode. They asked them specific questions, thus creating a safe, focused environment and episode.

You can do the same.

This whole concept might make you nervous as you can’t imagine what they might say when you set them loose in front of a microphone, but remember that you can do this in a few ways that will help you feel a little better about this.

  • The first is to do it in an interview format where you or someone else who is comfortable behind a microphone interviews them with specific questions on each episode.
  • The second way is to let your interns host it without being interviewed but give them specific topics they can address during that episode.

Remember, you get to edit the final product, so they can’t say anything you might find embarrassing or damaging because you create or approve the final edits.  

What Do You Think?

I think this could not only be educational and valuable in extending your firm’s brand, but it will also be an enjoyable experience for those involved.

Also, think what kind of message this is sending to the rest of the world that might be looking at your firm for the purposes of doing business with you, or coming to work for you, or quoting your lawyers for content they are producing.

It is innovative and sets the tone that you are willing to market and communicate on a regular basis in a creative way. It also gives a fresh perspective from a group of people who have just spent time learning from the best of the best at your firm…your lawyers.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Also, as always, please let me know if you have any questions about podcasting for your firm.

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

Don’t Dread It. Do It!

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Motivation Leave a Comment

Don't Dread It. Do It. As I write this, it’s Monday.

By the time you read this, it could be Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. It really doesn’t matter.

What I want to ask you about is today.

Are you going to DREAD it, or are you going to DO it?

*[Note: If you prefer seeing the video format of this post, I will post a link to it at the end of this post.]

I’m Not Looking Forward To Today

I know Mondays are hard for a lot of people. Some of you had a relaxing weekend and you don’t want to give that up. You spent time with family and you’d like to do more of that. Some of you have not had enough of that time, or you had to work over the weekend, and what you’re thinking is, “Gosh, it’s Monday. Do I really have to do this? I’m not looking forward to it.”

You know what? That kind of dread is just going to set us up for even more negative feelings.

I know it’s easy to think that way, and I empathize with you, but I think what we have to decide is that we’re just going to do it. We have to tell ourselves, “It’s Monday, bring it on!” After all, our feelings aren’t going to make it go away. It’s not to suddenly be Tuesday. It’s just going to be a rotten Monday unless we decide it’s going to be otherwise.

Build Moments Into Your Day

Every day, it helps to have something to look forward to. If we don’t have anything to look forward to in our workday, then that’s an issue. We have to create a few moments that we look forward to.

If we know that when we go into the firm there are going to be difficult people to deal with, or there are issues that are difficult to deal with, then we need to think about those in advance and think about how we might choose to react to them.

Is there somebody who gets under your skin? I get that there are people who get under your skin and who really enjoy getting under your skin. You know what? They’re probably not going to change. Maybe they will, but don’t count on it.

So what do you do?

You have to decide in advance how you are going to deal with that person. You know what? Take the wind out of their sails. If they’re going to be nasty to you, how are you going to react today? Are you going to smile at them? Are you going to kill them with kindness and leave them wondering, “what the heck was that all about? I didn’t get under their skin this time. Boy, that really gets under my skin when that happens.”

Try saying “Yes, I understand you’re frustrated. Alright, what are we going to do about it?”

If you don’t have any of these opportunities, then I suggest you schedule a few things into your day that you can actually look forward to and that will break up your day.

For example, I don’t have to travel today, so do you see these guys?

Mike and Nick Myrland

I build them into my day by going outside and spending a few minutes with them every so often, letting them be in the sun, which they absolutely love to do, no matter how hot it is, and just doing a little work out here, talking to you, spending a little time with you. That’s something I can look forward to that is a breath of fresh air.

We’re All Busy

I know that when I go back into my office, I have a lot on my plate. I know you do, too. I’m probably no more busy than you are. You know what? We’re all very busy and sometimes people say:

“Oh, there is no one busier than I am.”

Well, don’t count on it. I’m running my own business. Yes, I have for 16 years. I do my own IT. I do my own marketing. I do my own business development and sales. I do my own fulfillment and implementation of my work product, and much more. That’s my choice.

It’s Our Choice

You know what? We’re all busy, but it’s how we choose to approach this life. It’s how we choose to approach this day.

Are we going to DREAD it, or are we doing to DO it? If we’re going to do it, then just get in there and do it!

Try to do it with a positive attitude, a happy heart, and spread some joy around. Those are the kinds of things that will help break up your day so you don’t dread what lies ahead.

Do something nice for somebody else. Catherine MacDonagh called me a couple of weeks ago and left a message…a sweet, sweet message with some very personal, kind, wonderful thoughts.

Do you know how much that made my day? It did…more than you know.

Find those moments in your day, then create them so you don’t dread your days. Days are too short to spend them in agony over your situation. Decide you are going to do something about making the day ahead better.

I want you to do it alright?

Let me know what you think.

Tell me what you do when you’re dreading something or someone, or when you’re dreading your day.

How do you decide that it’s going to be better before it even happens?

If you find this blog post worthy, I would love it if you would share it with your community. Thank you!

*If you prefer watching this blog post, you can watch it here.

 

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

 

Survey Says: Lawyers, Your Social and Digital Content Needs To Improve 

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Content Marketing, Research, Social Media Leave a Comment

Greentarget Zeughauser Survey Says Lawyers Your Social and Digital Content Needs To ImproveCongratulations to Greentarget and Zeughauser Group for the release of The 2018 State of Digital and Content Marketing Survey, a refresh on their survey that serves to inform lawyers and legal marketers about the behaviors of in-house legal departments when it comes to their consumption of social, digital, and content marketing.

I like and respect this survey and always reference it when asked to present on these topics.

This survey goes the extra mile by matching strategy to the numbers. Numbers are important, but it’s what we do with them that makes the difference. Much like creating a marketing or business development plan that then collects dust in virtual or actual vaults and is not acted upon, creating a survey that contains numbers but no strategy is not as effective as it could be.

Like in-house counsel, all of you are busy. I have attempted to summarize what Greentarget discovered in this year’s survey.

TL;DR – Look For The Green

There is a lot to consume. I have studied the entire survey and suggest you download and spend time with it, too, as you will find it interesting and valuable.

Note: Throughout this post, you will notice sections or words in green. Those are where I have summarized Greentarget’s suggestions about how to execute based on the survey results.

Note: Also, where I can find the same survey results from prior years, I have included those in parenthesis next to this year’s numbers. Some of the questions and categories have changed, so I was not able to compare all numbers.

Who Answered This Survey?Greentarget Zeughauser Digital and Content Usage Survey

First, let’s acknowledge that not all of your clients are in-house counsel. To get the most accurate snapshot for your target audience’s use of content, social, & digital, it is important to blend this data with data that represents those target audiences.

When presenting, I typically add numbers from CEO surveys, as well as other surveys that speak to lawyers overall. I’m happy that Greentarget is adding a C-suite section to this year’s survey, which will be released in July.

This survey of in-house counsel was answered by the following:

  • 85 corporate counsel, with 51% from companies with 2017 revenue of $10 billion or more
  • 72% work for companies with 5,000 or more employees.
  • 17% work for companies with 1,000-5,000 employees.
  • 6% work for companies with 500-1,000 employees.
  • 4% work for companies with 100-500 employees.
  • 1% work for companies with 0-100 employees.
  • 34% are from companies in the Northeastern United States.
  • 23% from the West
  • 18% from the Midwest
  • 17% from the South
  • 6% indicated their headquarters are not in the U.S.

The Purpose Is To Provide Clarity

Greentarget tells us that:

“…in an era when content is fire and digital publishing technology is gasoline, we delve into what makes effective content stand out from the noise: the formats, attributes, preferences and other variables that in-house counsel find most valuable in the content they consume.”  

Greentarget’s goal is to provide the clarity that is needed to create the digital and content strategy that serves the audiences you care about. Greentarget’s suggestions in this research can help provide that clarity in your strategy.

A few top findings and observations from the survey:

  • One of the first concerns cited is that in-house counsel say the quality of content created by law firms hasn’t improved much, if at all, in recent years. More on that in a bit.
  • Time-constrained in-house counsel are still consuming and finding immense value from many forms of content, including firm-generated content, while placing greater trust and confidence in traditional media as sources of news and information.

Content Characteristics That Broke ThroughGreentarget Zeughauser Survey Blog Post Content That Breaks Through

Much like any of us, in-house counsel hunger for information that will help them do their jobs. The following is how they categorized content characteristics that attract them most frequently:

  1. Utility/Usefulness: 77% of in-house counsel say that utility, above all other attributes, attracts them to the content they consume most frequently.
  2. Timeliness: 68%
  3. Source: 56%
  4. Headline/Subject Line: 51%
  5. Length (short): 31%
  6. Author: 20%
  7. Graphics: 7%
  8. Visual appeal: 7%
  9. Length (long): 5%
  10. A Strong point of view: 4%, although, as Greentarget points out, this characteristic is an important element in utility (#1) and often a key driver of strong headlines and subject lines (#4)
  11. Popularity (likes, shares, social proof): 1%

How To Execute:

  • Create compelling headlines and subject lines.

The survey suggests speaking directly to the audience and telling them how, which promises utility.

The example they gave us is:

“How exporters will be impacted by the US withdrawal from the Iranian Nuclear Deal”

[Who = Exporters | How (which impacts utility) = Understanding the business impact of withdrawal | Point of view = suggesting the content will interpret the withdrawal]

  • Be brief, quick and efficient.

31% indicated they like short length, vs. 5% who value long content.

Greentarget Founding Partner and CEO John Corey suggests that content creators owe it to audiences to quickly and efficiently tell them what happened, why they should care, and what they should do about it.

  • Create and distribute content while the topic is hot.

Speaking to the strength of agile marketing, the survey reminds us that a good piece of content today is better than a fantastic piece three days from now. The ability to execute timely content speaks directly to content creators’ and marketers’ efficiency and, often, to their content strategy. 

What Types of Content Should You Produce?

Even though we don’t know what quality of visual content in-house counsel have been exposed to in order to vote the way they did, they reacted favorably in this order to these formats in the survey:
Greentarget Zeughauser Survey Content & Digital Breaking News

  1. Articles: 77%
  2. Alerts: 70% (87% in 2017, 77% in 2015, 63% in 2014)
  3. Newsletters: 59% (67% in 2017, 76% in 2015, 77% in 2014)
  4. In-person (presentations, conferences, etc): 63%
  5. Research Reports
  6. Interactive Charts
  7. Infographics
  8. Website Content
  9. Podcasts: 27%
  10. Video: 19%

How To Execute: What Is Important For Each Type of Content?

  • The survey suggests:
    • Articles should be educational, timely, and relevant.
    • Alerts should be timely, relevant and brief. When writing about breaking news, as well as all forms of content except for research reports, brevity is valued. If it is breaking, be brief and fast. Alerts have a shorter shelf life and should be published as often and as quickly as possible.
    • When producing newsletters, John Matthew Upton, Greentarget’s Director of Digital Strategy & Analytics, recommends using bulleted lists, or short blurbs with links to longer-form content. He said that data suggests it is better to err on the side of “more curated” versus “more inclusive” when trying to decide how many stories to reference.
    • In-person events, such as presentations and conferences, are opportunities to provide news, messages, and insights before, during and after the events.
    • Research reports should be educational and deep. Use research to drive weighty, meaty conversations around important issues.
    • Podcasts are showing signs of strength. Consider producing them for your most important practice and industry areas as this format speaks to the busy lifestyles and need for consumption of information in an efficient and personal manner that exists today. I agree with Greentarget that quality production value and engaging content are critical for podcasts to be effective. If you want to dip your toes into the medium, I have found producing an Alexa Flash Briefing to be a good way to start.

What Sources of Content Are Most Valued?

Greentarget’s results this year found that in-house counsel continue to use and value traditional media above other content sources.Greentarget Zeughauser Survey Content From Traditional Media

Daily Usage: Here are the numbers:

  1. Traditional Media (e.g. The Wall Street Journal): 54%
  2. Email Notifications: 40%
  3. Social Media: 30%
  4. Industry Association Publications & Websites (e.g. ACC Docket): 23%
  5. Trade Publications (e.g. Corporate Counsel): 18%
  6. Outside Counsel/Vendor Websites: 17%
  7. Industry Thought Leaders’ Websites/Blogs: 7%
  8. Lawyer Listing Services (e.g. Chambers, Super-Lawyers): 2%

Value vs. Usage/Frequency:

Greentarget found interesting dichotomies between usage and perceived value in a few of these sources.

  • Traditional media usage and value remain consistent in that in-house counsel consume it on a daily basis and indicate it is valuable. In other words, value matches perception.
  • Industry association content is highly valued but less than a quarter consume it daily.
  • Trade publications and industry thought leaders’ websites and blogs are also ranked higher in value when compared to frequency consumed.
  • Social media is visited daily by about a third of respondents, but only 11% say they find it “very valuable” as a source for legal, business and industry news and information. [Note: I wouldn’t necessarily take this as a negative statement about social media, but rather as an opportunity to find more effective ways to use it.]

How To Execute:

  • If in-house counsel value traditional media so highly, Greentarget reminds us that earned media remains important to showing up in that space.
  • Firms can do a better job of curating content from many sources via social media. Although “curating” and “many sources” appear to be redundant or overlapping terms, I list both because many firms tend to only share their own content, thus missing an opportunity to be viewed as the source of the most valuable knowledge by curating and sharing content from others in their space.
  • Even when analytics don’t show frequent usage, continue to produce high-value content because creating the perception of value goes a long way toward building that valued position in GC minds, which is important to building and reinforcing your brand.

Social Media

How are they using social media?

Engagement appeared to take a bit of a hit in 2018, but don’t let this cause you to think it is a bad strategy as listening can mean discovery of you and your content.

Greentarget Zeughauser Survey Curate Content

Listen & Engage:

  • 2018: 23%
  • 2017: 27%
  • 2015: 22%
  • 2014: 29%
  • 2013: 26%
  • 2012: 32%


Listen Only:

  • 2018: 77%
  • 2017: 73%
  • 2015: 78%
  • 2014: 71%
  • 2013: 74%
  • 2012: 68%

What Influences In-House Counsel When Hiring Outside Lawyers & Law Firms

In terms of being “very” or “somewhat important” in helping to research outside lawyers and law firms for potential hire, here is how these sources stacked up:

(Note: I’ve added a few 2017 and 2015 numbers for comparison. This year, every category except for recommendations took a significant hit in terms of its influence in vetting and researching outside counsel. Recommendations only noticed a 2% reduction, where others were more drastic.)

  1. Recommendations from sources you trust: 94% (96% in 2017, 98% in 2015)
  2. Bios on the firm’s website: 69% (90% in 2017, 89% in 2015)
  3. Articles and speeches lawyers have authored: 57% (91% in 2017, 83% in 2015)
  4. Blogs published by lawyers on topics relevant to your business: 58% (77% in 2017, 66% in 2015)
  5. LinkedIn profile: 52% (71% in 2017, 74% in 2015)
  6. Peer-driven ranking and directories (Chamber, US News-Best Lawyers, etc.): 41% (67% in 2017, 59% in 2015)
  7. Connections/endorsements on LinkedIn: 37% (58% in 2017, 52% in 2015)
  8. Sharing of a lawyer’s content on social platforms, such as blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook: 28% (53% in 2017, 51% in 2015)
  9. Quotes by lawyers in relevant media outlets: 18% (44% in 2017, 34% in 2015)
  10. Twitter feeds from lawyers: 10% (16% in 2017, 13% in 2015)
  11. Wikipedia: 9% (29% in 2017, 32% in 2015)

Additional Findings & Suggestions From the Survey About General Counsel Use of Content, Social and Digital MediaGreentarget Zeughauser Survey Blog Post - Additional Findings

Content: 

Although in-house counsel haven’t changed their perception of the quality of law firm content in the past year (52% said good to excellent in 2018 and 2017, vs. 43% in 2015), similar percentages in both surveys (3% in 2018, 7% in 2017, 4% in 2015)  rated law firm content as less than satisfactory.

Suggestion: Greentarget suggests that, because these numbers have not improved significantly over the past four years, law firms have an opportunity to stand out by doing a better job with their content.

Suggestion: Brandon Copple, former journalist, and Director of Content & Editorial Strategy for Greentarget, recommends that, as with the basic rule of business journalism, law firms should not write about companies, but about the people connected to those companies. He asks, “Would you rather read about a big, faceless organization, or about an actual person?” This goes for what you write about your firm as well as what you write about other firms and companies.  

Social Media:

46% of respondents indicated they use social media once a week. The same percentage said they never use it. (For comparison, the survey results in prior years were not shown as a category (social media) but broken out by social network. Looking at “past 24 hours” and “past week” in those surveys, LinkedIn was the highest in each, with percentages of 73% in 2017, 68% in 2015, and 62% in 2014.)

Suggestion: Find out what platforms your clients and prospects are using. Use client interviews and platform research to find out what social networks they use.

LinkedIn and blogs continue to be used more than Facebook and Twitter.

Suggestion: Continue to focus on these platforms. Don’t forget that media, influencers, and potential recruits might use networks that in-house counsel indicate they do not.

Email:

(Consistent with that is found outside of legal) Greentarget reminds us that email is valued by in-house counsel and provides the purest transaction available as there is no algorithm or intermediary standing between the publisher and reader.

Suggestion: Create subject lines and headlines that resonate with the recipient. Greentarget suggests that putting energy into this medium and its value easily justifies the investment.

Storytelling:

Greentarget suggests that omission of storytelling in legal content is the norm and that this reduces that content’s chance for success.

Suggestion: Write about people more than you write about policies, industries, or businesses. Greentarget suggests we should write content by first thinking about who is impacted, not what.

Headlines:

Busy people need to be told why they should read what you are publishing.

Suggestion: Don’t just create titles that tell readers what the news is. Create titles that tell your readers why it matters to them. Use short, active words. Test different headlines to see what resonates with your target audiences. Use analytics and data to make sure your headlines and other content are working. Start your headline or titles by addressing a person, such as this title suggested in the survey, which originates from JD Supra: “Insurers of Directors and Officers of Delaware Corporations Must Take Heed of The Superior Court’s Recent Murdock Decision,” rather than “Superior Court Releases Murdock Decision” or “Companies Must Take Heed….” Brendon Copple recommends giving your readers something to care about by giving them something useful in the headline, as well as throughout the copy.

Help With Content Creation

If you haven’t downloaded this before today, or if you have and can’t find it (I know because I do this all the time), here is a free resource I have prepared for lawyers that will help you significantly improve your content in order to reach the right people on the right topics at the right time. By the time you finish, you will have enough content ideas for the next 3 months.

Content Creation for Lawyers - Free Worksheet From Nancy Myrland

Again, I encourage you to download the Greentarget Zeughauser survey for all the details and charts for this survey, as well as to study other bodies of research to uncover trends and tendencies from clients and prospects who are not in-house counsel. Armed with well-rounded, informed research, we can all improve our content marketing efforts.

If you find this blog post worthy, I would love it if you would share it with your community. Thank you!

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