The Day Happiness Came To #LMA18 [Opening Session]

Nancy Myrland #LMA18, All Posts Leave a Comment

 

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

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

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

The Role of Personality

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

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

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

Life Conditions

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

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

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

Do Children Make Us Happier? 

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

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

What Else Makes Us Happy?

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

For example:

#LMA18 Conference: The Happiness Keynote from Nancy Myrland

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

How Personality Affects Happiness

There are 3 personality traits that impact happiness:

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

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

The Impact of Age On Our Happiness

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

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

Do Digital Devices Impact Happiness?

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

Conclusions About The Science of Happiness

There are 3 distinct components:

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

Do We Inherit The Happiness Gene?

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

So How Do We Control That 50%?

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

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

Top 10 Strategies for Increasing Happiness

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

Catherine shared a quote by Leo Tolstoy:

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Maximize Your #LMA18 Annual Conference Experience

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

How To Maximize Your LMA18 Conference Experience

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

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

At #SMMW18 with Jen Lehner

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

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

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

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

Niyaz’s Approach To Creating An Amazing Conference Experience

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

Before The Conference

Create A Schedule

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

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

Be Prepared To Pivot

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

Create Your Plan On The Spot

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

How to do this?

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

Your Cell Phone Is Your Friend

Use Your Cell Phone To Maximize Conference Attendance

Cell phones make the difference for Niyaz.

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

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

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

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

After The Conference

Get It Out Of Your Head

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

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

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

Pause For a Few Days

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

Follow Up With Your New Contacts

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

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

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

How To Maximize Your #LMA18 Conference Experience

Jen Lehner & Nancy Myrland Take The Stage at #SMMW18

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

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

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

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

Lawyers, Schedule Consulting Time With Nancy Myrland

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

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

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference Coverage by Nancy Myrland

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

It’s time.

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

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

This Is The Place

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

Why I Look Forward To This Conference

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

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

The Reunion Is Real

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

What could be more perfect than all of that?

Conference and Association Leadership

A conference like this is no small endeavor.

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

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

#LMA Legal Marketing Association Conference Co-Chairs

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

as well as the 2018 Annual Conference Advisory Committee:

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Conference Advisory Committee

 

 

 

 

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

Thank you for all of your hard work!

Conference Highlights

The conference website summarizes this year’s conference highlights:

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

Join and Follow Each Other On My #LMA18 Twitter List

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

This Blog Post Will Be A Gathering Place

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

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

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

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

Quick Link List For You

Let’s Get Started, Shall We?!

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

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

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

Enjoy!

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Content Curation by Nancy Myrland

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

 

#LMA18 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference Content

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

 

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

 

Lawyers, Schedule Consulting Time With Nancy Myrland

There’s Hope For LinkedIn Groups … I Hope!

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

There's Hope For LinkedIn Groups

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

NOTE: If you would rather read, you will find the transcription below this recording.

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

Are Groups Being Resurrected?

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

LinkedIn’s Private Message About Groups

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

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

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

It Has Never Been More Important To Diversify Your Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chloe went on to say,

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

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

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

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

My Reply To Chloe At LinkedIn

LinkedIn Groups Changes

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

I said:

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

One Of LinkedIn’s Biggest Weaknesses

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

LinkedIn Groups Have Huge Potential

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

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

Then People Got Lazy

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

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

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

Moderation Is Important But LinkedIn Needs To Help

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

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

Stay Tuned

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

[End transcription]

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

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

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

She replied by saying:

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

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

I’d Love to Know Your Opinion

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

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

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

LinkedIn Tips For Lawyers by Nancy Myrland

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing 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.

 

Mark Zuckerberg Announces Major News Feed Changes

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

Mark Zuckerberg Announces Facebook News Feed Changes

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

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

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

Facebook’s Algorithmic Stick Grows Even Heavier

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

The Explore Feed on Facebook 

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

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

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

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

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

He explained the purpose of this test by saying,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mark Zuckerberg tells us:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Increased Emphasis on Groups

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

What Does Wall Street Think?

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

What Does Mari Smith Think?

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

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

What does Mark Schaeffer Think? 

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

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

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

He goes on to say:

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

What Do I Think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lawyers, Schedule Consulting Time With Nancy Myrland

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

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

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

Me, too.

We All Have Good Intentions

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

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

“I don’t have anything to eat.”

“No, I mean real food.”

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

A Few Months Later

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

If you and I did this right:

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

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

Random Acts of Food

Lawyers, Don't Commit Random Acts of Junk Food

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

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

We wouldn’t commit random acts of food.

Marketing and Business Development Are Very Similar

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

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

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

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

The Perils Of Not Planning for 2018

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

You’ve potentially:

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

Make Today Your New Year’s Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lawyers, Schedule Consulting Time With Nancy Myrland

Lawyers, Don’t You Dare Give Up On 2017!

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Business Development/Sales, Client Service and Retention, Lawyer Marketing, Training in Client Service and Business Development/Sal Leave a Comment

Lawyers, Don't You Dare Give Up On 2017About this time of year, the articles encouraging you to begin thinking about your 2018 marketing and business development plan are plentiful.

Similar to when stores start decorating for the holidays in October, it somehow makes what comes in between October and the beginning of December feel less important, or less relevant. You just want to skip a few months to get to the good stuff. Looking at those bright, shiny objects in December are much more exciting, aren’t they!?

We Begin To Absolve Ourselves

Looking ahead to 2018 can also be a great diversion as it absolves us of what we didn’t accomplish in 2017. I am among the first to help my clients stop beating themselves up when they don’t accomplish all of their goals during the year, encouraging them to gather the pieces and create a plan that will help them focus on accomplishing them in the next few months. Let’s learn from the past and make the future better because of it, right?

Don’t Drop The Ball

What I don’t want you to do is to drop the ball on the rest of 2017. It is an entire month of your year. Do you know how important a month is in the life of your practice?

To gain perspective, let’s call this month anything else. Let’s say it’s January. Can you afford to stop marketing you and your skills in January? How about February? Can you afford to write off 1/12 of your year simply because others seem to be doing the same thing? No, you can’t and you shouldn’t.

What I’m Not Saying

I’m not saying don’t take some precious time to enjoy the holidays, taking in all of the sights, sounds, people, festivities, rituals, services, and everything else that is a part of the holiday that you observe. Those are important.

What I am saying is that there is no better time to get a head start on 2018 than by finishing 2017 in a way that makes a difference. The best time to dig in and build your practice and your reputation is yesterday. The next best time is today!

Sure, I would love to help you put together your business development plan for 2018, and I’m here to talk about that, but I also want you to weave in some activity that will help you stand out from others who are beginning to slow down and ignore December.

You Have A Huge Opportunity

Similar to when many lawyers, firms, and companies began to pull back on marketing and business development during the recession because it was just too expensive, we all had an opportunity to stand up and stand out if we just took the time. The playing field was a little quieter because many perceived a poor economy as a time to cut back on essential practices that could help establish and nurture their relationships with their clients and prospects, resulting in a stronger practice.  Something is very wrong about that, isn’t it?

Be The One

The same thing goes for December. I want you to be the one that takes the time to stand up and stand out by starting or continuing a few easy marketing, business development, and networking practices. These don’t have to take a lot of your time. They can, but they definitely don’t have to.

5 Easy But Effective Ideas For Your December

  1. Write a longer note of appreciation on ten of your most important clients’ and contacts’ holiday cards, telling them how much they really mean to you. Don’t just sign your name. Be the one that says more about the importance of your relationship, vs. simply signing or stamping your name. If your name is already stamped on the card, you can still write something.
  2. Commit to scheduling two online meetings with out-of-town clients, prospects, referral sources, colleagues, or media with the goal to catch up on what they are doing. This isn’t the time to talk about you, but to find out how they are and how their year has gone. Use a tool where you can see one other. The power of video is amazing. Use Zoom or Skype. They are both easy.
  3. Meet with two other attorneys in your firm who you don’t normally talk to, but who you want or need to get to know better. Step out of your comfort zone and know it’s okay to ask someone else for a half hour of their time to get to know them and their practice better. If you are a solo, meet with attorneys or complementary business professionals. Again, this isn’t about you. If they ask, great, but don’t let that be the primary goal of these meetings.
  4. Take two clients or prospects to breakfast or lunch. Ask them to bring you up to date on what concerns them the most in their role and their industry. Ask them about trends and who might be impacted by them. Ask them what they would like to see happen in 2018 that would have the most impact on their job and their industry.
  5. Write at least one article that summarizes what you learned from these meetings. If you are going to quote one of your sources, ask him/her for permission and the correct link to use in your article to give them credit. If they want to stay anonymous, respect that and speak to the information in a way that describes what you’ve been observing or learning from your clients the past few weeks. Publish it on your blog, on LinkedIn Publisher, in your LinkedIn newsfeed, Medium, on your Facebook Page or Newsfeed, in Facebook Notes, on your firm’s intranet, or in a simple end-of-the-year email you send to your clients (or all of the above).

How Am I Supposed To Find Time To Do This?

If doing all of that sounds overwhelming, trust me, it really doesn’t have to be. Let me help you see how you can do this.

Looking at all 5 ideas above:

  • If you did those on different days, you’ve only used a small portion of 8 days.
  • If you only worked 8 hours a day in December (which I know isn’t true, but let’s dream), and wanted to get it all over within the same day, you could.
  • Assuming that same idyllic 8-hour day…and let’s say you don’t work on weekends or after the 20th of December (which I have a feeling isn’t going to happen either), you have 112 hours in December to complete approximately 10 hours of business development activity. That is less than 1/10 of your working time, which should be manageable. As the one in charge of managing and growing your practice, it needs to be manageable.

I Think You Get My Point

All of these ideas and so many more are available to you if you just decide you are going to do them. Yes, these are very basic, but I wanted you to see how easy it is to make an impact in a very short time and in a month when others are winding down and forgiving themselves for skipping this kind of effort during the holidays.

Be The One.

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

 

Lawyers, Can You Grow Your Practice By Publishing Content?

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

Lawyers, Can You Grow Your Practice By Publishing Content?We can’t stop talking about content marketing and for good reason. It’s not only the act of creating and publishing your content but the way you deliver it that helps set you apart from other lawyers. It is what helps you differentiate yourself from others in your practice area.

What Is Content?

Content is the physical or virtual representation of the knowledge you have that others need or want. When you differentiate yourself by regularly publishing your knowledge (content) about the topics of most concern to your potential clients, you stand a much better chance of being remembered the next time they need someone with your services.

Content Makes Your Brain Tangible To OthersContent Makes Your Brain Tangible

It can be difficult for your potential clients to choose a lawyer. It is an overwhelming task. There are so many choices and the vetting process is time-consuming. What makes you different from anyone else? Content can help because it makes your knowledge and wisdom tangible, which is helpful to those trying to discern between providers.

When you make yourself tangible via the words you write, speak, and say, you stand a stronger chance of being noticed by those you care about. Otherwise, you might simply be just another lawyer among thousands to choose from.

You must do something to set yourself apart.

[This post continues below, but before we get too far, I don’t want you to miss that I have prepared a free resource for you that will help you stand out by easily identifying and producing the right content for the right people on the right topics at the right time for the next few months. Just click the button below.]

 Content Creation for Lawyers - Free Worksheet

Content Makes You Available When Others Are Ready For You

Just as important as everything I’ve mentioned above is one of the most important features of content that I want you to know:

Content works on your behalf even when you are not there. It doesn’t go away. It doesn’t have a bedtime, and it doesn’t need to take a break because it is leaving on vacation. It works non-stop.

It is physically impossible to put yourself in the path of every person who is remotely interested in your area of expertise, or even related areas of expertise. You only have so much time in your day to physically shake hands and talk to those you can and want to help.

When you publish content, others can find it when they are ready, not just when you are on the platform posting that content. This makes content a powerful partner to in-person networking.

Case Study: Ary Rosenbaum, New York Lawyer, Producer of Content

Adrian Lurssen

Adrian Lurssen, Co-Founder of JDSupra

Adrian Lurssen, Co-founder of JD Supra, recently hosted a webinar titled “How One Attorney Grew His Practice & Gained New Clients With Content.” His guest was Ary Rosenbaum, an ERISA lawyer who regularly publishes his knowledge (content) in order to establish relationships and grow his practice. Because he does this regularly, he sets himself apart from others in his practice area. As simple and basic as this practice sounds, many lawyers have still not decided to deliberately embark upon a content creation and marketing effort.

For the past seven years, Adrian and the JD Supra team have watched Ary achieve results by using content to build relationships and gain new clients.

Ary not only publishes his content on his own firm blog, The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. blog, but he also syndicates his writing on JD Supra, which allows him to gain an additional relevant audience he might not have attracted otherwise.

Through publishing his thoughts, curating what others have written, and helping his readers understand how and if what others have written is relevant to them, Ary has attracted media exposure from trade and other business publications, as well as the attention of referral sources that are very important to the growth of his practice. He is also frequently invited to speak at industry conferences because of his visibility.

Ary has been named among The Top 100 401K experts in the nation, and regularly appears in JD Supra’s Top 100 Most Read by visitors to the site. Ary has also appeared at the top of the Banking/Financial Services category in JD Supra’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

The Impact of Law Firm Bureaucracy On Ari’s Success

Ary Rosenbaum - A Case Study In Content Marketing For Lawyers

Ary Rosenbaum, The Rosenbaum Law Firm

Ary Rosenbaum became interested in publishing content several years ago. At his former firm, it didn’t take long for him to grow tired of firm bureaucracy holding him back from producing content for his practice. Ary told us the vetting process for his content was S-L-O-W.

As a result of this, Ary went out on his own and eventually discovered the content distribution benefits of publishing on JD Supra. Within 2 to 3 months of signing up with them, he was quoted in the Wall Street Journal. Once again, he was introduced to a new audience because of the content he shared.

Ary told us that he believes sites like JD Supra help his content find legs around the country much easier than doing it alone. Because of this increased content distribution, Ary began to be invited to speak at national conferences….again, exposure to new audiences.

No Random Acts of Content

Ary’s philosophy is that he isn’t interested in publishing random acts of content. Each piece of content has a connection and a purpose to his practice. More important to this process is that each piece of content has a connection to his clients, referral sources, media, and potential clients.

I agree with Ary’s philosophy that he isn’t in it for home runs, but for solid [content] base hits.

Always Do This When Publishing Content

During the webinar, Adrian shared a piece of advice about publishing content that he and I agree upon, which is to always think about who we can provide valuable content to in order to help them.

He shared this simple piece of advice:

“Be useful.”

Provide Value To Other Service Providers

Ary also hit the nail on the head when he went on to say that content creation and distribution is all about the relationships. He is aware there are other service providers in complementary professions and businesses who don’t do what he does, so he tries to provide valuable content to them to help them with their clients.

“We are in a relationship business.”

He creates “shareable” content that can make other service providers look good to their clients. This goes a long way toward developing and nurturing relationships with those service providers.

Don’t Go Over Your Readers’ Heads

This next part is very important to all in the legal profession.

Ary knows who his clients are and understands they need information in a basic format. He knows not to create content above his readers’ heads. He doesn’t just report news and developments. He also helps readers understand what developments mean to them. He has learned this from the years he has spent producing content for them. For example, Ary has 18.5 years of experience working with plan providers, so he understands how they think. He has come to know their needs because he has spent time networking with them and studying them.

This is important for lawyers to understand because you tend to be very smart people who were weaned on technical, legal, sophisticated terms that are understood in the profession and in specific industries but aren’t always quickly understood by the rest of the world.

Content Is A Firestarter

Several times a month, I either read or hear a comment from clients and friends in the profession that is similar to this:

“Show me an example of an attorney getting a new client because they [fill in the blank…blogged, used LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, livestreamed, podcasting, etc].”

Ary’s explanation of the purpose of producing content helps answer this request:

“Content is a conversation starter.”

Ary doesn’t write to produce traffic that instantly converts into clients. He writes with the goal of building relationships. Most of the conversations Ary has with national trade publications start on LinkedIn and JD Supra.

One example of this happening is what happened at a convention a few months ago in Las Vegas. Financial advisors came up to Ary to thank him for the helpful content he regularly creates that help them explain issues to their clients.

Ary compares sharing content to rubbing two sticks together.

“Content is a firestarter for conversations.”

How To Translate This To Your Practice

JD Supra Contact Button for Ary Rosenbaum

When asked how other attorneys can make this work, Ary said:

“What I did for ERISA, any attorney can do for any type of practice. You have to constantly be coming up with content. I love that JD Supra comes to my blog and automatically posts my new blog post on their site.”

Ary has found new clients because of people clicking to ask him questions after reading his content on JD Supra. It is easy because of the Contact button found under his profile picture.

Advice From Ary

While listening to the webinar, I gleaned this advice from Ary:

  1. Write content others can easily share with their audiences. Contrary to more accepted and recommended practices, Ary publishes his content to PDF because he has learned that is what his service provider audience wants so they can then share PDFs with their audience. [Do what works for your clients and for helping your content to be found by those searching for it. Why not offer both?]
  2. Have a schedule. At 1st, Ary scheduled one post per week. He now blogs 2 to 3 times every week.
  3. Recycle your content. When you have a library of content, recycle it. Make it fresh and reintroduce it. Ary also sends his written content out via email.
  4. Write about one topic often. It’s never enough to just write about a topic once, regardless of who else is writing about it.
  5. Write about your content from different angles. Ary is always thinking about different angles of his topic, taking into consideration different readers’ needs.
  6. Summarize articles for your readers, pointing out the why, how, and what the article is about. [Perhaps you could even summarize someone else’s words into a list of pieces of advice…..hint, hint, that is what I am doing in this post. You can, too.]
  7. Don’t make people wait for the punchline to figure out what you are writing about. Ary used the analogy that, unlike having to watch Citizen Kane to the end to find out that Rosebud was the name of the sled from Kane’s childhood, he believes in telling people the good stuff up front, then interpreting it for them.
  8. Build contacts in a focused manner. Ary understands he is casting a wide net when he syndicates his blog content on JD Supra, but he also knows the right audiences will find him because of the topics he writes about.

Adrian’s Takeaways From The Webinar

Speaking to the power of advancing discussion and relationships via social media, immediately after the webinar, Adrian and I had a meaningful conversation via direct message on Twitter. We discussed the lessons learned from his webinar with Ary.

[Tip: Never underestimate your ability to communicate via 140-character messages such as those Adrian and I shared on Twitter. We accomplished quite a bit in very little time with very few characters. That’s another blog post for another day.]

Adrian’s Takeaways:

  1. Be useful.
  2. Don’t write about the law. Write about the people impacted by the law [clients].
  3. It’s not about lead generation, it’s about relationships.
  4. People will discover you through your written word. That then leads to connecting in other spaces.
  5. Your full universe of influence is made up of all the platforms upon which you connect with people. Ary built a national practice using JD Supra and LinkedIn.
  6. When you produce content, it’s not about Tuesday vs. Wednesday, or traffic to your website, or PDF versus HTML. It’s about something very simple: connecting with people who can influence your business growth.

Bottom Line: The Secret Sauce Is Available To You

Ary has attracted new clients and business because of his persistent and consistent writing. Ary doesn’t have some secret sauce that is unavailable to you in your practice. The tools are there for you to use to set you, your knowledge, and your practice apart.

All it takes is your willingness to get started. Once you start, then your goal should be to continue creating content in a smart, visible, valuable, widespread, and targeted manner.

A Free Worksheet To Help You Create Content

To make it easier for you to advance quickly using content creation, I’ve created a simple fill-in-the-blank worksheet that will help you stand out and get noticed because of the content you create. These are your next steps in the content creation and marketing process.

Don’t forget to click the button below to download your free content creation resource, Content Creation For Lawyers: What, Where & When To Create. It should make all of this much easier for you!Content Creation for Lawyers - Free Worksheet

 

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

 

LinkedIn and Microsoft Announce New Windows 10 App

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

LinkedIn Microsoft Windows 10 AppLinkedIn is on a bit of a roll. Last week, LinkedIn announced the reintroduction of video to the platform. I say reintroduction because their video effort launched last year was met with less than stellar results. Today, we are seeing the first noticeable result of Microsoft’s 2016 $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Rolls Out A New Windows 10 App

This morning, LinkedIn and Microsoft announced they are rolling out an app for LinkedIn for use by Windows 10 customers. If you’ve spent any time around Microsoft the past few years, you will know everything at the start menu revolves around tiles like these:

LinkedIn Microsoft Windows 10 App Launch

Save Time By Downloading The LinkedIn App To Your Windows 10 Smart Menu

When you download this new app from the Windows Store, you will now be able to pin a Live Tile, meaning you will be able to save time by accessing your LinkedIn activity in your tile menu. As a result, when you click on that Live Tile, a LinkedIn menu will pop up, allowing you to be more connected to those people you care about connecting with on a regular basis. It will look something like this:

LinkedIn Microsoft Windows 10 Start Menu App Tile

The LinkedIn Action Center

If we zoom in on the new app, on the right you can see the LinkedIn Action Center, where you can quickly see:

  • Connection requests
  • Comments
  • Messages
  • Who has viewed your profile
  • Trending news in your industry
  • and more.

LinkedIn App for Windows 10 Start Menu

What If You Don’t Want To See All Of That Activity?

If you don’t want to see all of those activities in your LinkedIn Windows 10 app, don’t worry as LinkedIn tells us we will be able to manage which updates we would like to receive in the Action Center of the app. You should be able to choose those that are most critical to you.

You Can Also Pin The Windows 10 LinkedIn App To Your Taskbar

You also have the option of pinning the LinkedIn app to your taskbar at the bottom of the screen. As you can see, it has a counter that will serve as a reminder when you have notifications you might want to see. [I know…this is a very small screenshot.]LinkedIn App For Windows 10 Notifications Start Menu

It Will Roll Out To All By End Of July

You will know if this is available to you if you visit the Windows Store and search for “LinkedIn app.” If it’s not there, it should be by the end of July.

LinkedIn Continues To Be Important

With over 500 million users in over 200 countries, and over 100,000 articles published every week, LinkedIn continues to be an important networking and research tool for all professionals. Whether it is through this new app, your desktop, or the device in your hand, I encourage you to take a few minutes every day to network with those you care most about in your practice. As written about here, it is past time to care about LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Tips For Lawyers by Nancy Myrland

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. She can be reached via email here.

United Airlines: Principle Over People & Profits…Was It Worth It?

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Business of Law, Crisis Management, Social Media 1 Comment

United Airlines Principle Over People & Profits...Was It Worth ItYou have to think twice. No, you have to think more than twice. You have to think before, during and after a crisis to make sure your response is calm, measured, sympathetic, accurate, and correct.

Unless you’ve been stranded on a remote island for a few weeks, you are well aware of the incident on United Airlines that resulted in a passenger being forcibly removed from the plane. As ugly as that incident was, and that word doesn’t do it justice, the response from the airline matched it.

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz responded to the incident with what felt like a knee-jerk comment. It appeared as though he was standing on principle rather than reality. He was unprepared.

I Know What You Said. Here’s What We Heard.

I know we can find a thousand articles with the exact words Munoz used in the immediate aftermath of the removed, punched out, bleeding passenger situation when United Airlines chose the passage of its crew to another destination over the comfort and rights of its own paying customers. Yes, we’ve all read and heard his initial comments, and they weren’t good.

They weren’t good because, regardless of the words he used, here’s what we saw and heard based on how they made us think and feel:

  • Darnit, I support my employees no matter what happened!
  • Employees, I know we have a bloody, discarded, traumatized passenger, but you’ve all done your job admirably…hurray!
  • There’s fine print that allows us to do this. Every airline does it. What’s wrong with you people? Go read it!
  • We offered everyone free stuff. Nobody was interested, so we had to take matters into our own [very strong] hands.
  • We could care less that our passengers have real lives that have real reasons why they can’t leave the plane and take us up on our free stuff that wasn’t free enough.
  • We are the airlines, and we are in charge.
  • Go fly somewhere else if you don’t like our fine print.

I could go on, but those sentiments were among many messages communicated by not only the CEO of United Airlines, but by media, passengers, the flying public, citizen journalists (that’s us, friends), employees who leak memos, and more.

United Airlines Fiasco - It Is Your ResponsibilityYou see, when problems arise in our businesses, it isn’t just about our response to the problems that counts. It is about the reactions from the public that must be taken into consideration as well.

But How Could They Have Known This Would Happen?

You say you weren’t ready for such an incident to happen? You had no idea strong-armed security agents hired by the airport would come on to your plane and use tactics that were unbelievably harsh, cruel, and unreasonable?

I’ve talked about crisis communication before on this blog, but it is your responsibility….it is our responsibility as businesses, firms, partnerships, owners, CEOs, and management to anticipate the best and the worst that could happen in the normal course of business, and to discuss all of the options that could conceivably happen when the worst happens.

How Should You Do It?

Strap on your seatbelts, put your tray tables in the upright and locked position, and let’s get to work.

Are you ready?

  • You need to regularly create a war room, complete with personnel at every level United Airlines Fiasco - Create Every Possible Scenarioof the organization, with inside and outside counsel, PR professionals, experienced social and digital media experts, marketers, IT staff, client service representatives, and more.
  • With no restrictions, you need to invent every possible scenario that you can imagine happening as a part of your business.
  • Think about what you’ve heard happen in the industry.
  • Think about the absurd, and the not-so-absurd.
  • Don’t hold back and don’t hold anyone in the room back.
  • Reward participation and creativity so your list is as exhaustive as it can be.
  • List all of these scenarios on actual or virtual boards where they can be seen by all on the team.
  • Group them by type of event…clients, staff, management, buildings, equipment, social and digital assets, cities, locations, governing bodies, etc.

Next: Score and Prioritize

After you have done all of the above, I want you to prioritize them.

Score each of the scenarios by:

  • Potential damage. You might want to break this out by damage to firm, industry, profession, staff, management, partnership, clients, their businesses, etc. You will think of more categories as you go.
  • Likelihood of occurrence
  • History of this event happening in your or other firms
  • …and more based on your firm, clients, and situation

Now, based on how you scored and prioritized your scenarios, it’s time to go through the process of coming up with responses and solutions to every one of those scenarios. They need to be done individually. You will find common tactics for each, but they still need to be treated separately. We discussed this a while back when designer Kenneth Cole put his foot in his mouth during the uprising in Egypt.

The Plan

Each plan will include:

  • Who do you need to gather ASAP to discuss?
  • Who owns the communication process for each scenario?
  • The chain of communication. Who needs to hear first, then next, and so on?
  • What methods of communication do you plan to use to talk about this situation? Remember, in addition to traditional forms of communication, you also have social and digital channels of your own to tell your story.
  • How fast does all of this need to happen?
  • Who are you going to talk to on the outside first?
  • What are you going to say internally?

(Note: NUnited Airlines Fiasco - Leaked Internal Memoever assume your firm isn’t a sieve. Information will leak.)

Next: Strengthen Your Weaknesses

Once you’ve come up with a plan for each situation, then you need to determine where your weaknesses lie. Strengthen them. Make that a part of your plans above.

This includes:

  • Media training for CEOs, management, partners, and anyone else who will end up discussing this situation. If that means every employee also needs training on how to respond, then write that into your plan. Remember, a weak link at any level of the organization or firm could result in your downfall.
  • (Note: Remember that even though senior management might think it’s really good at measured, reasonable, public response, it is true that anxiety, fear, and crisis often changes that expertise. Media training is still needed. If the expert passes with flying colors, then great. You’ve lost nothing. If not, you’ve helped your cause. Never be too big for a refresher. It could mean the life of your firm and your business.)
  • After each plan is created, you need to walk through and discuss each one with the team that has been gathered. Find the weak spots. Ask to be challenged or reassured that changes need to be made, or that your plans are strong. Again, reward that kind of participation because your plans are only as good as the people putting them together.
  • Make sure these plans are spread far and wide. Don’t put them on a virtual or actual shelf to gather dust.
  • Revisit your scenarios and your plans on a regular basis. The world changes. Crises come and go. Others outside your firm will have missteps that will help you realize the formerly inconceivable event you threw out of your planning process is actually quite probable.

Principle Over People & Profits

I don’t know if United Airlines went through an exhaustive process like this. I would imaUnited Airlines Fiasco - Take The Time For Crisis Planninggine there aren’t too many companies and firms that go to this extent to guard and protect their business.

You work incredibly hard every second of every day to build an amazing business. Why wouldn’t you take the extra time to help protect it from possible controversy, tragedy, absurdity, and maybe even ruin?

  • Don’t assume you have all the answers.
  • Don’t assume your people acted appropriately. Care for them and support them, but know that everyone makes mistakes.
  • Don’t assume there aren’t at least two sides to every situation that occurs.
  • Don’t stand on principle and defiantly reply that everything was handled according to policy as it should have been. If that’s what you find out later, that’s great. If not, then you need to respond appropriately for the situation at that moment.

Is standing on principle more important than people and profits? In the case of United Airlines, and possibly with your firm, that kind of principle could actually eat your profits for lunch…and breakfast and dinner, not to mention your people.

Is it worth it to be unprepared?

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. She can be reached via email here.