Lawyers, This Is How Potential Clients Want You To Approach Meetings With Them

Lawyers, This Is How Potential Clients Want You To Approach Meetings With Them

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Attorneys, Business Development/Sales, Client Service and Retention, Lawyers, Videos Leave a Comment

I am often inspired by conversations I have that cause me to think there is something important I need to share with you.

A recent conversation with a GC revolved around the idea that your job as a lawyer is to make sure that you understand as much as possible about that GC’s business before you begin to offer recommendations.

The way he expressed this notion was as if this was a bit of a novel approach.

Watch or Read…Your Choice

If you would like to watch and listen via my 5-minute, 25-second video, you will see that below (you can also speed it up in the controls). If you are reading this post via email, just click here. If you prefer to consume this via blog post, I have rewritten the video as a blog post below for you.

My GC friend said that lawyers need to learn to ask questions. They need to ask for business plans. Lawyers need to ask for documents, even financial documents when it is appropriate, so that context is available when you as a lawyer then start to offer your recommendations.

This Is Not The Best Approach

What you ask to see and understand from your client and potential clients is going to be different in every situation, but one approach that will not change is that your job is rarely to go in with guns blazing, selling what you do, talking about how you do what you do, what your background is, and why you would be a good choice for that person’s business.

A Better Approach

At this stage, you are on a fact-finding mission. You are there to try to find out what is going on in that person’s, company’s, or organization’s life that has caused this meeting. The better approach, which you always want to adapt to your situation, is to practice the fundamentals:

  • Ask questions
  • Get to know the person
  • Establish rapport first and let that person know that you are approachable, that you care, that you are a very good listener
  • Demonstrate that you read any materials shared in advance
  • Let your comments show that you did a bit of research to get to know the person and the company before your meeting

At This Stage, Here Is Your Job

Your job is to be inquisitive. Your goal is to ask a question, listen to the answer, then continue to ask follow-up questions based on the answer you’ve been given.

As a professional with an immense amount of knowledge in your practice area, when someone starts talking about a particular issue, you begin to form a picture of what is going on. You know (at least) ten layers deep what might be going on with that person or company.

You have the ability as a lawyer, as a professional, to then ask follow-up questions that might uncover additional thoughts, ideas, and challenges that person might not have thought about, but that you know or suspect are present.

The Two-Call Concept

My first few jobs out of college were in sales. I had very good sales training, and I am thankful for that. We were trained on what was called the two-call concept. This was pretty heavy direct sales, so it is not apples-to-apples with what you go through. Stick with me for a moment, though, because it still applies to professionals like you.

Here is a general overview of 2 weeks of intense sales training we were given before we were ever allowed to look at a client:

  • We first looked at what we had in their history, which you know as CRM, to learn as much as we could.
  • We were taught to then meet with our client or potential client the first time and do nothing but get to know that person and their business.
  • We learned about their history, discussing how they got to where they are today.
  • We looked at products, asked about services, and learned about clients and customers.
  • We asked questions to see if what we learned prior to our meeting was still relevant.
  • We were there to learn what had changed in their business, as well as to see if there was anything going on that we needed to know before we moved forward to the solution phase.
  • We were there to find out what the most important development was that was going on in their business that they were focusing on at that time.

This Skill Is One Of The Most Important

Our job then, and to this day in my company, was to ask as many follow-up questions as we needed to, respectful of their time, of course, so we could then go away, think about our conversation, and craft a solution that had context to what we had talked about with our potential client.

You Need To Show You Care

When this level of care, conversation, questioning, research, and follow-up is exercised, this tells your clients and potential clients that you have taken time to take them into consideration, to take their situation into consideration, and to problem-solve accordingly.

These steps are critical because if you go in there with the intent to secure their business by launching into a presentation about what you do, for whom you do it, and why you want their business without taking the time to learn as much as you can about that client, then you are sending a very strong message that you really only care about yourself and getting that piece of business.

Compare that to learning about your potential client, figuring out what is going on either on the surface or deep down that they may not even be able to articulate yet, asking questions, listening, and letting them know what you are hearing them say, then taking the time to offer solutions that you believe will match their situation. Doesn’t this approach feel much better?

My Suggestions For You

My suggestions for you are to:

  • Take the time and learn these skills.
  • Become an amazing listener.
  • Be inquisitive.
  • Learn the art of the follow-up question.
  • Take notes when you can, or whenever possible. They will be invaluable to you as you craft your approach to their situation.

These steps and skills should help you build a stronger relationship with that person because you have sent them the message that you care, and that you are a true professional.

These skills will help you stand out.

These skills should not, as my GC contact in my conversation implied, be novel.

These skills should not be rare for lawyers.

Take time to learn these skills, to practice them, and to let that client and potential client know you are there not to sell what you have but to learn about their situation.

Nancy Myrland Legal Marketing Consultant

NOTE: If you would like to be notified when my online course LinkedIn Course For Lawyers is accepting new students again (very soon), you can do that here.

Nancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in Content, Social & Digital Media. She helps lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines in order to establish relationships and grow their practices. Also known as the LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers, she is a frequent LinkedIn trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement content, social and digital media strategies that cut through the clutter and are more relevant to their current and potential clients. Nancy also works with many firms and lawyers on Zoom and virtual presentation training and coaching to be the best they can be when presenting online.

As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcastingvideo marketing, voice marketing, livestreaming, and Zoom and virtual presentation strategy and training. She also helps lead select law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases.

If you would like to reserve time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here.

 

Do Associates, Partners, and Senior Partners Need To Focus On Networking?

Do Associates, Partners, and Senior Partners Need To Market Themselves?

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Business Development/Sales, Networking, Social Media Leave a Comment

At every stage of your career, there is a case to be made that you need to market yourself and that you need to pay attention to traditional and social networking. It is never too early and it is never too late.

Well, let’s discuss because I have thoughts about this for lawyers at every stage of their careers.

Listen or Read…Your Choice

If you would like to listen to this via my 9-minute, 3-second  (faster if you speed up my voice in the controls) podcast episode, just press the green play button below, or click here if you are reading this via email. If you prefer to read this via blog post, I have rewritten the podcast to a blog post below for you.

Do You Invest As Much In Associate Training?

Many times, I am called in to do LinkedIn training for partners, and the thought process is that partners are the rainmakers in the firm. They are the ones responsible for bringing in new business.

It is also important for associates to be learning. That can be challenging because they are busy helping to do the work, doing the research, and helping produce the work product requested by partners. This means they are very busy and not always available to work through this area of marketing and business development. This can sometimes cause the investment in associate training to be less than robust.

There are many exceptions as more and more firms are investing in associates, so please don’t take this as a blanket statement. There are so many shining examples of firms that are paying attention to lawyers and investing in them at every stage. You know who you are, and I applaud you and thank you for our work together.

But for those who are not yet investing in associate training and development, please remember that associates are your future rainmakers.

Associates, It’s Time

Associates, you might be thinking, well, my firm isn’t going to invest in me, so what am I supposed to do? My message to you is that you need to invest in yourself because you are a future owner of your firm. You are a future rainmaker, if not a current rainmaker, because you have the ability to bring business to your firm, and you have the ability to make a difference and make an impact on the bottom line.

You would have to be living under a rock (I know WFH during COVID has felt that way), never seeing another human being, never talking to people, never texting with them, never emailing with them, and never calling them to not be a candidate for bringing in new business to your firm.

What this means is that you need to take the bull by the horns and decide that you are going to put yourself out there.

What Is The Cost Of Networking?

It doesn’t take thousands of dollars to put yourself out there, to share your thought processes, to share your brilliance with the world. Social and digital media platforms are free or low-cost. You can invest in the paid versions of just about everything if you want, but you don’t have to yet.

The largest investment is your time. When networking and having conversations on digital platforms, time is your biggest investment, and it is definitely worth something.

After all, you bill X number of dollars per hour so, yes, you are making an investment of your time. It is important to remember that it will pay off because you are sharing your knowledge and building your reputation so that other people understand what you do. This is the long game part of networking and personal brand-building.

What About Partners?

Partners, if you haven’t spent time learning these tools and developing relationships online, I suggest that now is a good time to start. I understand there might be a fear of failure or a fear of new technology. I hear those concerns on a regular basis. That is natural. I understand that, but I also understand that those hurdles can be jumped over, so you might want to do your best to jump over them because you are the owners of your firms. You are responsible for helping the firm get the word out about what the firm does.

Although it is challenging in many cases, you are also responsible for cross-selling what your colleagues do, and for helping your clients and potential clients understand the depth and breadth of the work that is done at your firm, even if it’s not something you do yourself.

If you meet somebody and you don’t let them know that someone in your firm can help them and they end up working with another firm, you may never get that person as a client in the future. However, if you do them the favor of helping them find someone skilled, qualified, and knowledgeable to solve their challenges, you increase the chances of earning their business or having them refer business to you.

Some lawyers tell me they don’t know enough about what others in the firm do. If that is the case, I suggest you spend time getting to know other professionals, teams, and groups in your firm to better understand what they do.

As awkward as that might sound and feel, don’t ever be afraid to ask. People love to talk about what they do. Most will be honored that you want to take the time to learn about their practice. You can start by reading practice area descriptions on your firm’s website. I look at them all the time, and I’m confident you can gain basic knowledge about what other practice areas do. This is the start of your conversation with others.

I encourage you to:

  • Take time and figure out how to talk about what you do
  • Figure out ways to share your knowledge, and
  • Figure out how best to communicate and network with the people who can have an impact on you and your business

These are important because you have a responsibility as an owner, as a future owner, or simply as a professional of your firm to keep your business healthy and to help keep the firm healthy.

Senior Partners, Are You Exempt?

Senior partners, you might be thinking…You know what? I’ve been around a long time and I don’t need to do any of this.

That’s fine. I encourage you to remember how your business became so healthy. You did great work, yes, but you also built your reputation and your relationships via networking and visibility, and by letting people know what you do for a living.

You put yourself out there. You were involved in community and trade organizations. You shared your knowledge with other people. All of that and so much more caused your clients to come into the firm. If you are in this category, and your practice is healthy, please don’t give up on networking with people just yet.

Continue networking with people the way you always have but be open to networking with them and with others deep in their organization by using a few new tools that will help accelerate those relationships. Remember that not all clients stay in the same position, or in the same company, forever. If they move on, I want to see your reputation embedded so deeply in that company that those who move into positions of power can’t imagine doing business with anyone else.

It is important to remember that people of every age are searching Google to check you out. If you have no presence, or a sparse one, it will be obvious to them.

Keep in mind that there are always others who are trying to steal your business by forming relationships with your loyal clients. By staying close to your clients via online and offline networking, you can help nurture and solidify those loyal relationships.

Social Networking Complements In-Person Networking

If you are accustomed to traditional, in-person networking, I will never encourage you to give up traditional networking and to move to online networking alone (unless you are unable, or we are somehow forbidden to see others in-person, but this pandemic won’t last forever). These two types of networking work together.

Social and digital networking complement in-person networking and in-person networking complements social and digital networking.

My Message For Lawyers At Every Stage

No matter what level you are in your career, I encourage you to pay attention to, and to become familiar and comfortable with, networking online and offline, sharing your knowledge, and not being afraid to interact with others.

Don’t let the assumption that this is the wrong time in your career hold you back. Connecting with other human beings who are important to you and to the strength of the firm and your practice is too important.

Necessity and Responsibility

It is no longer a luxury but a necessity and a responsibility to communicate when and where others are spending time because the health of the firm and of your practice depend on you.

Nancy Myrland Legal Marketing Consultant

Nancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in Content, Social & Digital Media. She helps lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines in order to establish relationships and grow their practices. Also known as the LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers, she is a frequent LinkedIn trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement content, social and digital media strategies that cut through the clutter and are more relevant to their current and potential clients. Nancy also works with many firms and lawyers on Zoom and virtual presentation training and coaching to be the best they can be when presenting online.

As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcastingvideo marketing, voice marketing, livestreaming, and Zoom and virtual presentation strategy and training. She also helps lead select law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases.

If you would like to reserve time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here.

NOTE: If you would like to be notified when LinkedIn Course For Lawyers is accepting new students again (very soon), you can do that here.

Lawyers, Do You Worry About Giving Away Too Much Free Advice?

Lawyers, Do You Worry About Giving Away Too Much Free Advice?

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Business Development/Sales, Content Marketing Leave a Comment

Do you worry that giving away your knowledge free will result in people not hiring you and paying for it? The exact opposite might happen.

What Happens When You Give Away Your Advice?

As part of his closing keynote at the Youpreneur Summit, Jay Baer discussed the fear many people have about giving away their knowledge and their best content because they fear people won’t buy from them.

His comment was that just because people have the ingredients, that doesn’t make them a chef.

Flour, Water, and Eggs Can Make A Million Different Things, Can’t They?

After all, just because an expert tells you that flour, water, and eggs are necessary to make a perfect pastry, that doesn’t mean you will understand how to make that pastry perfectly, does it?

The same holds true for your knowledge. Just because people see the ingredients, or the steps, or the advice you have given them about how to handle a specific issue, that doesn’t mean they can do it themselves, or that they won’t need you to put it all together for them without making a mess of the situation.

There are people who will eventually need to tackle that issue you discussed, and they will realize they have no idea how to implement the steps you shared, or what the sequence was, or maybe they don’t have time to research and pull it all together, or they don’t want to take the risk.

You Have The Recipe, The Knowledge, and The Approach

Because of the information and perspective you have shared over time, they might remember that you are the person who has the recipe, the one who is trained and educated in how to navigate their issue and mitigate risk on their behalf. Had you not shared your knowledge along the way, they might not even think of you as an option.

You Don’t Have To Give It All Away

This doesn’t mean publishing every intricacy of the process you will take to help them solve their challenge, but it does mean the top line and very valuable recommendations you have for how to handle a matter, which could be:

  • The 7 Steps To Legally and Ethically Sever Ties With Your Most Experienced Employee
  • The Best Way To Enforce Vaccine Mandates In The Workplace
  • The Most important Environmental Factors Every Manufacturer Must Be Aware Of In 2021 and Beyond
  • What You Need To Know About Appealing Your Property Tax Reassessment
  • The Most Effective Way For Corporations To Avoid Harassment or Discrimination Claims
  • Top NLRB Developments That Will Have An Impact On Union and Non-Union Companies

As an additional example to help you brainstorm, in my case, it might be:

  • LinkedIn: 8 Essential Ways To Get Noticed By The Right People
  • The 7 Stages of Social Media Marketing
  • Content Creation For Lawyers: What, When & Where To Create For The Next 90 Days
  • The Best Way To Start A Podcast For Your Practice
  • How To Create An Effective Business Development Plan for 2022
  • What You Need To Do To Prepare For Every Zoom Meeting or Virtual Presentation

Sharing this kind of advice can be done via a blog post, a recording, an ebook, a podcast, a video or livestream, a presentation at a conference, or a simple conversation at a networking event. Whatever it might be, remember that just because people have those components via that free content you provided, that doesn’t mean they won’t need your help when it comes time to actually do the work.

There Is Much More To The Story

After all, look at all of the examples I shared above. In each case, there is valuable information being shared, but there is so much more to the story and the solution that you can help with when they are ready. You haven’t left them hanging by teasing them with only a bit of information that isn’t useful to them. You have helped them understand how to get started, or how to frame a challenge they are having, or how to take the next step in their situation.

If you don’t make it a practice to regularly demonstrate your knowledge, then the chances you will be thought of and invited to the table when current and potential clients of the firm need someone like you, you have greatly diminished the chances they will think of you.

Bottom Line

Don’t be afraid to give your knowledge away. Create something that causes you to think, oh my gosh, this really makes me a little uncomfortable because I’m giving away too much of my knowledge. 

Don’t provide specific legal counsel, but do share your knowledge so that your clients and potential clients think of you right away when they need someone with your skills and talents.

If you don’t give away your knowledge, then you’re not proving to other people what it is you know how to do, which is to help them with their challenges.

Next Steps

Let’s think about this for a few minutes.

These are the steps I recommend:

  1. Revisit my bulleted lists of information above. What pieces of information, or what processes and steps, do you know so well that you can summarize them in a few steps?
  2. Once you have your list, put them together in a presentable way to share with your clients and prospects. Choose a format you are comfortable with, then write or record it as soon as you can. Don’t wait too long as you will get busy with something else. I speak from experience! I started this blog post longer ago than I want to share with you! If you email me at [email protected], I will tell you the date I started this post. You might be surprised!
  3. Share this knowledge in all of the places where your clients and potential clients spend time. As I have said so many times before, you need to market your marketing. You need to get it “out there” and share it with the world so they know how smart you are!

 

Nancy Myrland Legal Marketing Consultant

Nancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in Content, Social & Digital Media. She helps lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines in order to establish relationships and grow their practices. Also known as the LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers, she is a frequent LinkedIn trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement content, social and digital media strategies that cut through the clutter and are more relevant to their current and potential clients. Nancy also works with many firms and lawyers on Zoom and virtual presentation training and coaching to be the best they can be when presenting online.

As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasting, video marketing, voice marketing, livestreaming, and Zoom and virtual presentation strategy and training. She also helps lead select law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases.

If you would like to reserve time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here.

NOTE: If you would like to be notified when LinkedIn Course For Lawyers is accepting new students again (very soon), you can do that here.

What The Legal Profession Can Learn From Sly Stone About Innovation

What The Legal Profession Can Learn From Sly Stone

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Business of Law, Law Firms, Legal Marketing, Marketing Strategy Leave a Comment

In the legal profession, we tend to sit back and wait to innovate or do something we think we should be doing until we see another firm or another lawyer do it. We want to know that it looks okay.

Is It Safe?

We want to make sure it’s safe out there. We want to make sure that someone else has launched a podcast, has created video or livestreamed, or we want to make sure that someone else has invested in a certain community project. Then, when we find out they have, we think we have to do the same, because, well, we should be there, too.

Unfortunately, what that often creates is a me-too approach that makes us look just like the other sponsoring firms and organizations, versus standing out.

Listen or Read…Your Choice

If you would like to listen to this via my 5-minute, 12-second podcast episode, just press the green play button below, or click here if you are reading this via email. If you prefer to read this via blog post, I have rewritten the podcast to a blog post below for you.

Summer of Soul…What?!

The reason I’m thinking about this now, and you might think this is odd, is because I have seen the movie Summer of Soul, (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) twice this Summer. If you haven’t seen it, you really should. I saw it in the theater, then told my husband, John, about it, so we found it on Hulu so we could watch it together.

Summer of Soul is about The Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969. It was hosted in Harlem over 6 weekends at the same time as Woodstock, but not too many outside of that area heard about it on the news because it wasn’t widely reported like Woodstock. Video footage has been stored in the basement of the videographer for FIFTY years because nobody was interested in purchasing it at that time. It is only now seeing the light of day…or the light of the big screen.

What Can We Learn From This Sly Stone Comment At The Festival?

You will love the movie because of the talent and the names you will see and hear.  If you are anything like me, you will have a hard time sitting still in your seat.

One of the big names was Sly Stone, who was shown on stage a few times during the movie. At one point, he told everyone in the crowd to go ahead and start singing along, or maybe it was clapping. I don’t remember, which I should since I’ve seen it twice. In fact, I should know the whole thing by heart, shouldn’t I?

Sly was basically saying, come on, go ahead, get involved. Let yourself go and join in with me.

Don’t Wait For Your Neighbor

His exact quote (yes, I did pull out my phone and type this out immediately in Google Keep) was:

“Don’t be waiting for approval from your neighbor because your neighbor might be waiting for you.”

This resonated with me because I serve a profession that has, historically, waited for its neighbor to do something first. That is improving, but it continues to be a driver of a lot of movement, change, and improvement to this day.

We are a profession that likes to see precedent and safety. I understand that, but I would like to talk to you about not waiting for your neighbor in order to experience true innovation and progress.

What If? What If? What If?

Instead of using your neighbors’ or your competitors’ actions as the impetus to safely start a project or make change, what can happen when you wait for your neighbor is that you can hold your firm back. This is true on different levels.

It is true because you wait to do things. You wait to innovate because you are waiting for someone else to do it first, when really, what might be happening is that they might be waiting for you to do it, too.

So, what happens? It never gets done. Nobody starts because everybody is afraid to start.

It might also be true because there might be something you would really like to get involved in because it somehow speaks to you. It might feel consistent with your brand, your personal brand, the position you wish to stake out in the marketplace, but you are afraid to do it because it seems a little too out there, or a little too assertive.

Inside, your overly cautious voice asks:

  • “What if I look silly?”
  • “What if my voice sounds bad on this recording?”
  • “What if I don’t use perfect words?”
  • “What if the firm ends up being second to market with this idea?”
  • “What if they don’t like our new vision statement?”
  • “What if?”
  • “What if?”
  • “What if?”

You can “what if” yourself and your firm until it’s too late, until one day you regret it because you have never gone ahead and gotten involved or innovated like you knew you could if you had just stepped forward.

Maybe Your Neighbor Needs You To Go Ahead

When you think about it, not waiting for your neighbor can also mean that your friendly neighbor might need a boost in confidence.

It might mean that someone else in the industry or the profession is just waiting for someone else like you to lend a hand and say:

  • “What do you think?”
  • “How about you?”
  • “I’d love to hear what you think about this.”

You have the ability to help them feel comfortable stepping up, or helping them gain the confidence they need.

Be Like Sly. Don’t Wait To Innovate.

So, I urge you to be like Sly.

Don’t wait for approval from your neighbor because, for whatever reason, your neighbor might be waiting for you.

Let me know what you think about Sly’s quote and if this makes sense to you, to your firm, and to the profession.

No more what-ifs. Do your due diligence, then step forward and lead.

Innovate while you can so that your clients are served to the best of your ability. Remember, it is about them, not about you and your fear of innovation.

Don’t wait for your neighbor because your neighbor might be waiting for you.

Please Let Me Know Your Thoughts

Please do me a favor and let me know your thoughts about Sly’s quote. Please leave a comment as I would love to hear from you. If you need to do that privately, you can always email me at [email protected] Either way, I would love to hear from you!

Thank You

Thank you so much for spending a few Legal Marketing Minutes with me. I know your time is valuable, so I appreciate you spending a few of them right here with me.

Until next time, take care.

Nancy Myrland Legal Marketing Consultant

Nancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in Content, Social & Digital Media. She helps lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines in order to establish relationships and grow their practices. Also known as the LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers, she is a frequent LinkedIn trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement content, social and digital media strategies that cut through the clutter and are more relevant to their current and potential clients. Nancy also works with many firms and lawyers on Zoom and virtual presentation training and coaching to be the best they can be when presenting online.

As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasting, video marketing, voice marketing, livestreaming, and Zoom and virtual presentation strategy and training. She also helps lead select law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases.

If you would like to reserve time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here.

NOTE: If you would like to be notified when LinkedIn Course For Lawyers is accepting new students again (very soon), you can do that here.

Photo of Sly Stone: Simon Fernandez, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Branding vs. Positioning What Is The Difference

Branding vs. Positioning: What Is The Difference and Do You Need Both?

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Branding, Personal Branding, Positioning Leave a Comment

You might hear people talk about the need for you to establish your personal brand, or you need to create a brand for your firm.

You might also hear some of us talk about the need to position yourself in the marketplace, or what is called positioning.

It can be confusing because they are related. They are definitely cousins, but they are very different.

Bottom Line

Let’s talk about branding, and positioning. What is the difference between them? Do you need to worry about them? Let me start with the answer to that question.

Yes, you do need to worry about personal branding and positioning.

If you would like to listen to this via podcast, just press the green play button below, or click here if you are reading this via email. If you would prefer to read this via blog post, I have rewritten the podcast to a blog post below for you. 

Branding and Personal Branding

First, let’s talk about personal branding. If you think about your brand, or you think about the brand of anything, any product, any service, what comes to mind?

It might be subconscious, but what comes to mind when you see or hear a brand name are attributes you can always count on when you hear that brand name.

For example, what comes to mind when you read these names?

  • Mercedes Benz
  • Volkswagen
  • Walmart
  • Starbucks
  • Target

When you saw each name, didn’t you have a feeling or an impression about each one of them?

I’m pretty sure each one caused a different reaction in your mind because all of them have worked very hard to establish their brand in the marketplace.

By the way, you and I are the marketplace. We are their customers, their clients, or their potential clients.

Deliberate and Consistent Planning and Behavior

To establish the brand that seeing their name caused you to think or feel was created because of their deliberate and consistent planning and behavior in marketing and branding. Because of those efforts, they have established a reputation to be known for something and to cause a feeling that suddenly comes to mind when people hear or experience that name, that brand, that product or that service.

How Does This Translate To Your Brand?

For you, I would ask the question: What is your brand? What do you want to be known for? This is your personal brand.

For example, Starbucks wants to be known as a premium product that people pay a lot of money to consume. Yes, they are expensive, but they do little things to make a difference.

  • They have perfected their ice.
  • They use clear, high-quality plastic cups.
  • They have fancy stores.
  • They have nice people at the drive-thru.
  • They are known for giving back to some communities.
  • Their culture is known to be contemporary and attracts contemporary baristas.

Compare this to Dunkin Donuts, or Dunkin’ as they are called. Dunkin’ has a great brand, but it’s different.

  • It is more reasonable.
  • It is welcoming to every type of coffee drinker.
  • It is quick and convenient.

I am not a coffee drinker, so you can tell me if this is way off-base or what I have missed, but the people who love Dunkin’ love their coffee. They are loyal to it and will defend it when discussing the merits of drive-thru coffee.

Starbucks and Dunkin’ are different brands. They have worked hard to establish those brands, which, through my observation and interpretation, has worked for each of them.

You Are Your Product

A brand is also partially defined by the quality of its product(s). Remember that you are your product. You are the product and the service you would like your potential clients to consume.

All of these things and more come together to establish your brand:

  • The kind of work that you do
  • Your personality
  •  The way you conduct business
  • The way you communicate
  • The way you solve problems
  • The way you show empathy
  • The way you take care of them
  • The way you dive deep into your practice area and the issues your clients have

So, yes, you do need to think about brand-building for your firm, and personal brand-building for yourself. There is a process you can go through to walk through questions that will help to establish your firm’s brand and your personal brand.

You should spend time figuring this out, because if you don’t, what will happen is that people will establish your brand for you. If you are not deliberate about articulating who you are, and what you want your brand to stand for, what you want people to experience every time they do business with you, then other people will establish that for you.

They will make assumptions through observation and experience, which isn’t always correct. It can be, but it can also be off-base or incomplete if you haven’t taken control of your brand identification and communication.

What Is Positioning?

Positioning is different from branding. As I mentioned above, it is related to personal branding, but each has its own lane.

Let’s start by thinking about the word position.

What position do you want to have in the marketplace? For example, on my desk, I have copies of my mission and vision statements that I have created for my business, which is me as I am my product and my business.

For my vision statement, I had to ask myself, “Nancy, what position do you want in the marketplace?”

That means what position do I want to have in the minds of those who are considering doing business with me, or who are already doing business with me?

Does that mean that I am the first person my clients and potential clients think of when they are looking for someone or some education from someone who knows a lot about content, social and digital media marketing and how they fit into marketing and business development?

Does this mean that I want to the first person for them to call?

Yes, that is that position I would like to have in peoples’ minds, whether they’re clients or potential clients, referral sources, media, or others who might care about these practice areas.

So that is the “position” that I want to have in all of your minds.

This is how I state that:

“I am the most the most sought after and engaged provider of marketing, content, social and digital media education and coaching to lawyers, law firms and legal marketers.”

Let’s look at this even closer. What did I say there? I said I am the most. That means that the position I seek to have is that number one slot and that I want to be in that first position in your mind so that when you think about those sorts of things (and this isn’t a sales pitch, I’m just using me as an example which could help you identify and articulate your position in the marketplace), I am the first person you think of.

What Would You Like Your Position To Be?

Where do you want to be? Do you also want to be the most sought-after in your practice area? What I just read to you is my vision statement. I spent some time on that, but it was worth it because it can also serve as my positioning statement because that is also the position I want to have in the minds of those who are looking for somebody who does what I do.

Did I say I want to be the second person they think of, or I want to be in the top five? I did not. I said I am the most sought after, and I mentioned the specific areas where I want that position. Yours might also include a geographic area.

Your Positioning Statement Can Be Aspirational

Is it aspirational? You bet it is. That is what having vision is all about. But once you know what position, which slot you want to occupy in the minds of those you want to do business with, then you can then go about trying to achieve that position. Your actions, your marketing and business development actions, speak to that vision, that position, as often as possible.

Positioning vs. Branding

So again, very different.

Branding answers:

  • What are you like to do business with?
  • Who are you?
  • What will your clients be gaining as a result of interacting or doing business with you?
  • How will they feel when they are around you?
  • What do others see in you?
  • What do they gain from doing business with you?

Positioning answers:

  • What position in the marketplace do you want to hold?
  • What position do you want to earn in the minds of those who know about you, who are asked about you, or who are looking for someone like you?

Positioning defines a position, not the attributes.

It is the place, the position. You might know that you want to be number one in their minds, or you might say, you know what, I’m okay if I’m in the top three and I’m called to the table. Everybody doesn’t have to be the most sought after.

So, to answer my original question, yes, there is a difference, and yes, you need to define both.

Execution Is Critical To This Process

Equally as important as defining your brand and your position is that you then act upon both of those definitions. Your marketing and business development activities need to speak to those on a consistent basis. You need to demonstrate your brand and work toward securing that position you have defined. If you define these and do nothing with them, you have wasted your time and a huge opportunity.

Please Let Me Know Your Thoughts

Please do me a favor and let me know your thoughts about this topic of branding and positioning. Please leave a comment as I would love to hear from you.

Let me know if I have made the distinction clear to you or if it’s still a little murky. If you’d rather do so privately, you can always email me at [email protected]

Thank You

Thank you so much for spending a few Legal Marketing Minutes with me. I know your time is valuable, so I appreciate you spending a few of them right here with me.

 

Nancy Myrland Legal Marketing Consultant

Nancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in Content, Social & Digital Media. She helps lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines in order to establish relationships and grow their practices. Also known as the LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers, she is a frequent LinkedIn trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement content, social and digital media strategies that cut through the clutter and are more relevant to their current and potential clients. Nancy also works with many firms and lawyers on Zoom and virtual presentation training and coaching to be the best they can be when presenting online.

As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasting, video marketing, voice marketing, livestreaming, and Zoom and virtual presentation strategy and training. She also helps lead select law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases.

If you would like to reserve time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here. If you would like to be notified when LinkedIn Course For Lawyers is accepting new students again, you can do that here.

 

Law Firm Management You Need These 4 Groups On Your Pandemic Advisory Team

Law Firm Management: You Need These 4 Groups On Your Pandemic Advisory Team

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Coronavirus Communications Center, Crisis Management, Law Firms, Management Leave a Comment

Dreamers, doers, and deliberators…you need all of these parties, plus one more, at the table to survive what we have and are going through right now.

Because of the pandemic-related events of the past few years, everything has changed, but nothing has changed. When planning for the future, it has always been critical to put many factors in a blender and mix them together to find the richest combination of skill, dreams, people, passion, plans, and potential.

That hasn’t changed. It never will.

The need has always been there to dream about the future, take a smart dose of the past, fold in the reality of the present, and cast a vision for the future.

That’s what you do.

If you would like to listen to this via podcast, just press the green play button below, or click here if you are reading this via email. If you prefer to read, I’ve converted this to a blog post below for you.

Repeating The Past Isn’t Enough

To thrive past this year and next, you can’t simply continue what you’ve been doing and expect it to be enough. The pandemic, the economy, and evolving client expectations won’t allow for that to continue.

It’s all too easy to continue down the same path as you have for the past several years because that path might have worked very well for you. In fact, it might have been very profitable.

Stand Up and Stand Out

Accepting the known of today will rarely result in the growth, innovation, client focus, and profit needed to stand up and stand out to the marketplace as being special.

As Seth Godin wrote in a post in mid-December last year: (December 17, 2020, to be exact):

“For understandable reasons, we spend a lot of time trying to avoid blunders and minimizing mistakes. But if that’s all we do, we’ve given up the chance to do something magical.

If you’re working on the frontier, if you’re leading, creating or inventing, you’ve signed up for mistakes. That’s the price of innovation.”

Seth is right.

Law Firms Have Found Themselves In The Wild, Wild West

Law firms might feel like they are in a convoluted episode of the wild, wild west right now.

There are conditions that have been thrust upon you that are forcing you to sweep every bit of dust out of every corner, look under all of the cushions in every chair and couch, and revisit every practice and purpose that exists in your firm, all while attempting to put together the most innovative, yet the safest, course of action that will help guide your firms as you transition out of this unbelievable and odd time called a pandemic, or Coronavirus, or COVID, or the Delta variant. That’s a tall order.

It is your time and your responsibility to create something magical, to gather the bits of gold dust that you can find in your firms, to discover all of the coins hidden under the proverbial cushions, to rally the dreamers, the doers, and the deliberators into your actual and virtual boardrooms to, as Seth Godin says, do something magical for this moment.

Find Your Dreamers, Doers, and Deliberators

You know who these people are:

The Dreamers are those people in the firm who are usually positive and visionary. They are always thinking about the what-ifs. They are dreaming about the future and how it can be for the firm and for themselves. They see the opportunity in the firm, in others, and even in themselves. You need and want them because they aren’t typically wound up tight with fear because of having tried and failed in the past. They will rarely say, “We’ve done that before and it didn’t work.”

The Doers are those you know you can go to when it’s time to get something done, or who are always ready to implement. In fact, sometimes they implement before they are called upon to do so because, in their minds, they know it is time and it is the right thing to do. They CAN be those who go by the Ready, Fire, Aim method of living, running through life making decisions and implementing before seeking approval, being perfectly fine knowing they might have to deal with the ramifications later. All doers aren’t like this, but some are. Their bottom line is that they aren’t necessarily the visionaries or the dreamers. They are doers. They are ready!

The Deliberators are those who want to take time to mull over decisions…to be wise and consider every angle and the ramifications of going down different paths. They can be irritating to the doers, but they are great to have around because they will sometimes help you see what others aren’t able to see. They are cautious and caring. You might find you need to provide a gentle nudge to help them move forward, but not always. They are thinkers and planners, and you need them!

Planning For This Moment, Not Every Moment

When you bring these people together to help plan and transition, this doesn’t have to mean that what you are creating is for every moment for the next 10 years, but for this moment as you work through the remainder of the pandemic.

Your plans can and probably should change again in a few months, a year, and 5 years because, just as it always has before the pandemic, the world changes every month, year, and every 5 years. Agility is a gift and a necessity.

This is a moment in time that is both a bit scary AND a bit exciting because you have the opportunity to bring as many of your people, the dreamers, the doers, and the deliberators, into the fold as possible to find out what they are thinking, doing, and feeling, and how the firm might want to adapt.

Not Only Lawyers

That means being willing to listen to people in every nook and cranny of your firm, not just lawyers. You need to ask for, focus on, validate, and consider their ideas because all of your people are amazing, and they are often able to see and suggest solutions you might have missed. You might also find they reinforce ideas you were already thinking about, which helps you move forward with confidence.

Let’s Not Forget Your Clients

Also, you need to be ready to ask clients what they are thinking and what they are going through, what changes they have made, and what they think about the changes you are thinking about making. They are the reason you exist, so they need to be a part of your board of advisors, whether you have a formal one, or you form a pop-up board every now and then when important discussions like this are taking place.

You’re Smart. It’s Time. You Can Do This.

You’re very smart people. You have been trusted with the management of your firm for a reason, most likely because you are a leader and you have the ability to bring teams and people together. Use this time to flex all of your management muscles because you will find that your path through or around this transition out of the pandemic is much better informed, much sounder, and more stable than not spending this valuable time considering all of your options, including what needs to be kept, changed, and removed.

I Have Faith In You

I wish you the absolute best working through this uncertain time. I am always here if you have any thoughts you want to share, any questions to ask, or need another set of eyes and ears to walk through this time with you.

Let Me Know

Well, that’s it for today’s Legal Marketing Minutes. Please do me a favor and let me know your thoughts about this topic. Let me know how your transition is going, and if you are gathering the dreamers, the doers, and the deliberators from all parts of the firm together to help.

Please leave a comment as I’d love to hear from you.

Also, if you are connected to the legal profession, I invite you to join my Facebook group where we discuss marketing and business development, content, social and digital media marketing. Again, you can find us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/socialmediaforlawyers. Let me know this episode or blog post is where you found out about the group.

Thank You

Thank you so much for spending a few legal marketing minutes with me. I know your time is valuable, so I appreciate you spending a few of them right here with me.

Until next time, I’m Nancy Myrland.

Take care.

Nancy Myrland Legal Marketing Consultant

Nancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in Content, Social & Digital Media. She helps lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines in order to establish relationships and grow their practices. Also known as the LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers, she is a frequent LinkedIn trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement content, social and digital media strategies that cut through the clutter and are more relevant to their current and potential clients. Nancy also works with many firms and lawyers on Zoom and virtual presentation training and coaching to be the best they can be when presenting online.

As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasting, video marketing, voice marketing, livestreaming, and Zoom and virtual presentation strategy and training. She also helps lead select law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases.

If you would like to reserve time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here. If you would like to be notified when LinkedIn Course For Lawyers is accepting new students again, you can do that here.

Lawyers, You Might Be Surprised How Clients Choose You

Lawyers, You Might Be Surprised How Clients Choose You

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Business Development/Sales Leave a Comment

When we analyze why clients and potential clients make a decision to hire you or to hire someone else, it’s easy to assume they’re being logical in their decision-making process, so you operate accordingly. You give them information that appeals to that logical side of their brain.

Let’s discuss that because there’s another side to this discussion you need to be aware of.

If you’d like to listen to this via audio, you can click the green button in the podcast player here. If you prefer to read, I’ve converted this to a blog post below for you.

Welcome to Legal Marketing Minutes, where I share short bursts of current marketing news and advice. I’m your host, Nancy Myrland.

If we haven’t met, I’m a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in content, social and digital media marketing for lawyers and their legal marketers.

Your time is valuable, so let’s get started, okay?

Just The Facts

It’s easy for us to assume that buying decisions, whether they’re ours or someone else’s, are done in a very logical state. We know that if we just present facts, if we just write enough blog posts that contain step-by-step instructions and bulleted lists of the most important and logical steps that something should consider, eventually we are going to appeal to that person because clients and potential clients are very logical people who make very smart decisions.

Logic or Emotion?

Quite a while ago, I wrote down a quote from my friends, Andrew and Pete, that said that buying decisions are 80% emotional and 20% logical.

Whether those percentages differ for different markets or not, the percentages are still important to think of because even though we all fancy ourselves as people who make very logical, fact-based decisions, what’s really happening under the surface is that your clients and potential clients are asking themselves questions under the surface.

“I’m really worried. I don’t want to make the wrong decision. I don’t want to hire the wrong lawyer. What am I supposed to do because this is my career on the line.?”

“I’m really frustrated because I wish we didn’t have this problem in the first place. I wish I didn’t have to spend money even thinking about it, and it’s taking my time away from other things that I should be doing. So I’m frustrated about this. I’m scared.”

“I’m really scared about this because if we don’t get control of this, then this is not good for the company and this is not good for my position within the company. This is not good for anyone at my company. So I’m really worried about this.”

And also:

“I’m not very confident about making this decision. I know that I have so many choices and I’m not quite sure who the right person is, and I’m just not confident because I haven’t gone through this process enough. These lawyers seem very much alike, and I have no idea what to do or who to choose.”

The Emotional Side of Buying

My point here is that people say these things to themselves. That is the emotional side of buying.

What happens when they do have a logical side that is on a fact-based mission to try to figure out if you are the right person to hire, and then they have all these thoughts and feelings and voices that are operating in the background, whether they realize it or not?

If you just stop for a minute and think about some of your own decisions, don’t you have some of those same thoughts when you’re making decisions?

You and I make decisions very much based on emotion. We may have fact-finding in the middle of all that, but our emotions control the day.

What Does This Mean For You?

This means that, in addition to providing the facts to appeal to their logical side, you also have to show your human side. You also have to show, and I know this word is overused, but you have to show empathy.

You have to show that you understand.

You have to show enough of your soft skills, your soft side. You need to be able to acknowledge that, yes, maybe they’re worried about this situation or choice, or frustrated about what’s going on, then let them know you understand. You understand because you would be, too.

  • You can say things that will help them to not be so afraid.
  • Perhaps that is that you have worked in this space for a long time.
  • You can share stories, some very human stories about others.

You don’t need to provide names because you don’t want to talk about clients to other clients, but you can show them that you understand and that you are not just there to throw facts at them, that you understand.

You don’t have to come right out and say those words to them.

“Oh, I know you’re worried.”

“Gosh, I know you’re frustrated.” or

“Hmmm, yep, I know you’re scared.”

“Yeah. You don’t seem very confident.”

Obviously, you don’t want to be that literal with clients and potential clients when you sense that those emotions are stirring under the surface. But your words can show your human side. Your body language can also help put them at ease, and yes, you can also do this virtually if you’re using Zoom or other virtual meeting platforms.

People Can Sense Your Empathy

They can see it in your eyes. They can see it in the way you lean in and listen. They can see it in the way you hold your body.

Think about the way you react when talking to someone in your family. You know they have an important decision to make. You sense or you know something is bothering or challenging them. You ask questions to try to uncover the reason behind the challenge. You instinctively show empathy or sympathy. You show caring and concern on your face. You let them know you care.

They Are Looking For Someone To Make Their Job Easier

This is the same when you talk to your clients and potential clients. Yes, be fact-based. Appeal to that left-brain part of them that wants to make an objective decision by giving them a logical set of facts to deal with, but also realize that they are looking for someone to help make their job easier. They’re looking for someone to help them make their decision easier.

How To Be The One They Remember

If you are the one that can show empathy, that can show that you understand this is a frustrating situation and that it’s not an easy decision, and you ask questions to try to draw that out of them, you are going to be the one that is more memorable to them than others.

Again, you don’t need to verbalize their underlying feelings and insecurities exactly. You just need to blend that smart, logical, fact-based side of what you offer with the human, understanding, perceptive side that will help you connect with your clients and potential clients in a way that results in a connection that makes a difference when they are making the important decision of who to choose as their lawyer, their advisor, their problem-solver, or their advocate.

Until next time.

Nancy Myrland Legal Marketing Consultant

Nancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in Content, Social & Digital Media. She helps lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines in order to establish relationships and grow their practices. Also known as the LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers, she is a frequent LinkedIn trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement content, social and digital media strategies that cut through the clutter and are more relevant to their current and potential clients. Nancy also works with many firms and lawyers on Zoom and virtual presentation training and coaching to be the best they can be when presenting online.

As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasting, video marketing, voice marketing, livestreaming, and Zoom and virtual presentation strategy and training. She also helps lead select law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases.

If you would like to reserve time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here. If you would like to be notified when LinkedIn Course For Lawyers is accepting new students again, you can do that here.

If You Are Really Uncomfortable Being On Video, I Have A Plan For You

If You Are Really Uncomfortable Being On Video, I Have A Plan For You

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Video Marketing Leave a Comment

I talk a lot about using video as a differentiator, and as a way to accelerate the know, like, and trust factors your clients need and want. Voice and video bring you to life and cause people to feel like they already know you, or know you better.

Working in this voice and video space as an advisor, I know there are many professionals who are not yet comfortable showing up on video. Allow me to help you get over that hump.

Walking the talk, I created a short video that outlines my plan for you. If you prefer to read, you can do that directly below this LinkedIn video player as I have rewritten the transcription as a blog post.

(By the way, let me know if you think the captions on this video are too small. I might need to use a larger font next time. Your feedback is valuable to me.)

If we haven’t met yet, I’m Nancy Myrland. I am the President of Myrland Marketing & Social Media. I am also known as LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers, and the Founder of The Lawyers Marketing Academy and LinkedIn Course For Lawyers.

This Can Set You Apart From Other Lawyers

Let’s talk about video and livestreaming because these are important tools for you to consider using when you communicate. There are many times in your practice and your business that it would make sense for you to record a quick video, or to go live on video to help your clients, potential clients, and followers learn about:

  • Something that you do
  • Something they need to do
  • Recent developments that have an impact on their businesses
  • …or up-to-the-minute breaking news.

Communicating these things in a timely manner can help set you apart. The good news is these videos don’t need to be professionally produced. They can be, but that’s a different kind of video than what I am talking about here.

Baby Steps

I was recently in a Zoom meeting with some people who are learning about livestreaming. One of the professionals who had her camera turned off talked about not being comfortable being seen on camera.

One of the suggestions I gave was to take baby steps.

You might even think that creating your own video, or going live on video on social media, are both so far away from anything that is possible right now because the thought of being on camera makes you sick from being nervous and/or anxious.

If that is you, let’s talk about the baby steps that will help you become more comfortable.

Here’s what that might look like. The next time you’re going to be in a Zoom meeting and people are able to turn their cameras on, instead of shutting down your camera, or never turning it on in the first place, commit to getting yourself to a comfortable place before you get there.

A comfortable place might mean getting ready as if you are leaving the house or apartment and know you are going to be seeing other people. That means different things to different people. Whatever it is for you, get to that point.

Then I want you to join the meeting and just turn on your camera.

  • Don’t worry about saying anything, except for a polite hello and a friendly nod or smile if that is what everyone else is doing.
  • If the meeting is too large for everyone to speak, don’t worry about contributing verbally.
  • Don’t think you have to do anything smart or brilliant.

Smart and brilliant are not what we are working on right now. There is plenty of time for that. Our focus is getting you to a more comfortable place while on camera.

Baby steps.

It Can Be Frightening

The baby step of turning that camera on can be frightening. I understand that. I’m one of the odd people that is over that hump and actually enjoys livestreaming and going on camera and interacting with people.

Don’t use me as an example (yet) unless you want to say, oh, that’s what I could get to. That’s great, but don’t expect you’re going to get this comfortable right at the start. I don’t even want to look at my original livestreams or my original videos because, when I do, I think, oh my goodness!

Just tell yourself that for the next two Zoom meetings, you are going to get yourself dressed and prepared in a way that you’re comfortable with, and you’re just going to turn that camera on and that’s it. That’s a great way to get started.

After The First Two

Now, after you do two of those, you may say to yourself, alright, I’m feeling more comfortable. I’m going to commit to doing that two more times.

When you continue to do that and realize that everyone isn’t staring at you to judge you, but rather to see and interact with you to get to know you better, you will likely find that it becomes second nature to turn on your camera during these virtual meetings.

I Have Days When It Makes Sense To Be Off-Camera

There are days when I’m in Zoom meetings when I might not have any other external client or networking meetings, yet I want to be a part of that Zoom meeting because I want to learn something from that presenter who has chosen to use Zoom meeting, which allows everyone to be on-camera. I might be in shorts, a messy bun, and glasses, or whatever, but I’m not going on camera that day.

This is different. This is just getting you to a place where you are comfortable being on camera when it counts.

In Summary

This is my first recommendation for you. Just commit to being on camera for the next few Zoom meetings. After you do that, see if you can commit to two more. Again, this is just building up that comfort and familiarity.

We can talk about more tips as we go along, but I just wanted to give you this first one to start with because I understand that for some it can be extremely uncomfortable.

If you are one of those people, tell me if you think this is something that you can do, or if you think this would be at all helpful.

Perhaps you know someone who is in that space who really hates seeing themselves on camera, someone who is very, very uncomfortable with it, then I would appreciate it if you would share this with them.

If you have any questions and don’t want to post them publicly, just let me know. Feel free to email me at [email protected]

You can do this. I know you can.

Baby steps. Go easy on yourself.

Just baby steps.

Take care.

Nancy Myrland Legal Marketing Consultant

Nancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in Content, Social & Digital Media. She helps lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines in order to establish relationships and grow their practices. Also known as the LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers, she is a frequent LinkedIn trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement content, social and digital media strategies that cut through the clutter and are more relevant to their current and potential clients. Nancy also works with many firms and lawyers on Zoom and virtual presentation training and coaching to be the best they can be when presenting online.

As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasting, video marketing, voice marketing, livestreaming, and Zoom and virtual presentation strategy and training. She also helps lead select law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases.

If you would like to reserve time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here. If you would like to be notified when LinkedIn Course For Lawyers is accepting new students again, you can do that here.

Lawyers Here's How To Answer This Uncomfortable Client Question

Lawyers, Here’s How To Answer This Uncomfortable Client Question

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Business Development/Sales Leave a Comment

“Why should I choose you over someone else?”

If you haven’t already, one of these days, you might find yourself in the position of having someone whose business you’re trying to earn look at you and ask you this question.

They may be asking that question genuinely. They may just be testing you to see how you answer it. How you answer it is very important. So let’s discuss.

If you would like to listen to this via podcast, just press the green play button. If you prefer to read, I’ve converted this to a blog post below for you.

Welcome to Legal Marketing Minutes, where I share short bursts of current marketing news and advice.

I’m your host, Nancy Myrland. If we haven’t met, I’m a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in content, social and digital media marketing for lawyers and their legal marketers. Your time is valuable, so let’s get started.

That question can really throw you off. You’re wondering, why are they asking me that? What am I supposed to say? I don’t want to say the wrong thing, but yet in my mind, I know I am more qualified than that other person they may be considering.

Here Is A Script For You

I want you to take the high road, but also give that person the information they need.

Here’s what I would recommend:

“I don’t know that I’m the right person for you to hire. I hope so. But what I can do is to tell you why I am qualified, and what my experience is, what my perspective is on the challenges that you have that we have discussed. I will answer every question that you have. Hopefully, I’m the one you choose in the end, but you are the one to make that decision in the best way possible.”

Respect

Your potential client has to respect that. I have witnessed conversations in meetings, on video, or something someone has posted online where they start to bash people and talk about why what they do is better than someone else. They sometimes think they are being subtle and anonymous and just referring to other people, but it is often very obvious.

Be worthy of their respect.

You Don’t Want To Build This Reputation

The same thing goes for when you are trying to earn business. This is a serious conversation. When you are talking about legal and business matters, those matter greatly to your client. This could mean a great book of business for you now and in the future because the future grows upon what is happening now.

What I do not want you to do is to build a reputation of being the person that put someone else down.

Don’t Worry

Don’t worry about the other person. Don’t worry about that person’s skills. Don’t worry about matching yourself up against another human being.

If I was hiring somebody, I wouldn’t want to hear somebody say,

“Oh, you should choose me because that person, I don’t know…I’m not sure they can be trusted. They’ve said some things that I’m not sure I agree with.”

Take The High Road

When you go down that path, you start to look like you’re just a little bit desperate, and that you are propping yourself up by making others look bad. In your client’s or potential client’s eyes, that is not a good path for you to take. They don’t need to see or hear that from you.

Take the high road.

Tell them that, ultimately, they are the person that can make that decision in the best way, but you are going to do whatever you can to equip them with all of the details so that they can see why you are the best person for the job. That means that the discussion revolves around what they have discussed with you.

Be A Matchmaker

If you have questions, keep asking them questions so that you fully understand the challenge they are facing, and so that they can tell you truly care about them. Then use your qualifications and your knowledge to speak specifically to what that client or potential client has told you. If you are not the right person to help, refer them to someone else.

Bottom Line

Take the high road but help make their decision easier by giving them information that will help them choose you. Match your qualifications to what you know about them, or to the answers they have given you when you have asked follow-up questions during your conversation.

That is the reputation you want to have.

Let Me Know

Well, that’s it for today’s Legal Marketing Minutes. Please do me a favor and let me know your thoughts about this topic and how you would answer that question, or if you’ve ever been asked that question.

Please leave a comment as I’d love to hear from you.

Also, if you are connected to the legal profession, I invite you to join my Facebook group where we discuss marketing and business development, content, social and digital media marketing. Again, that is https://www.facebook.com/groups/socialmediaforlawyers . Let me know this episode or blog post is where you found out about the group.

Thank You

Thank you so much for spending a few legal marketing minutes with me. I know your time is valuable, so I appreciate you spending a few of them right here with me.

Until next time, I’m Nancy Myrland.

Take care.

Nancy Myrland Legal Marketing Consultant

Nancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in Content, Social & Digital Media. She helps lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines in order to establish relationships and grow their practices. Also known as the LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers, she is a frequent LinkedIn trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement content, social and digital media strategies that cut through the clutter and are more relevant to their current and potential clients. Nancy also works with many firms and lawyers on Zoom and virtual presentation training and coaching to be the best they can be when presenting online.

As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasting, video marketing, voice marketing, livestreaming, and Zoom and virtual presentation strategy and training. She also helps lead select law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases.

If you would like to reserve time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here. If you would like to be notified when LinkedIn Course For Lawyers is accepting new students again, you can do that here.

Two Pieces of Advice For Law School Graduates

Two Pieces of Advice For Law School Graduates

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

Congratulations, graduates!

Finishing law school is no small accomplishment. I know I don’t need to tell you that as you’ve lived it daily.

Your Incredible Opportunity

You are about to enter an amazing part of your lives where you get to put all of your knowledge, drive, personality, and dreams together to help others while making a living doing it. That is a huge gift and an incredible opportunity!

There are many who can speak to the nuances of becoming a lawyer, meaning the day-in and day-out. I have two pieces of advice for you to help set you up for success.

Two Pieces of Advice for You

My recommendations for you are:

1) Think like an owner/partner, &

2) Become a very smart and productive networker

Think Like An Owner/Partner

First, think like an owner/partner. Even if you are years away from having those titles, is important because these are the people you are going to be hired by, will report to, and whose lives depend on your work.

Be cautious about expecting firms and employers to mold schedules and accommodations to you and your style. Employers are still adapting to the changes thrust upon them during COVID.

In many cases, it has stressed their cultural and financial situations. Most are doing the best they can, changing to adapt to a “new” work style that incorporates more of a digital presence while trying to figure out how to stay profitable while serving clients and colleagues.

Owners and other leaders have to speak to their internal and external clients, investors, and shareholders, so they have to create an environment that speaks to all parties they are responsible to and for.

Think about putting that puzzle together, not just once a year or quarter, but every day. This is nothing short of a Herculean effort.

Smart and productive networker

Second, become a very smart and productive networker. I want you to network as if your livelihood depends on it because it does!

Even if you haven’t been comfortable so far getting to know people you identify as important to your career, you need to move past that trepidation to find a way to get to know them and to find ways to become known to them.

Being strategic about networking will have a major impact on your career and your practice because you will rely on others for referrals, promotions, positive reviews, mentions of and links to you in articles and blog posts, for your education, and much more.

Trust and Connection Are Required

This never stops. Putting yourself in the shoes of those you will be serving your entire career and life is a skill that will serve you well. Some call it empathy.

Also, networking is now an official part of your job search, your job, and your career. You will have a difficult time earning the trust of employers and clients if they don’t know anything about you, or if they don’t feel any connection to you.

It’s time to connect.

You can do this!

Congratulations and the best of everything to you!

Nancy Myrland Legal Marketing Consultant

Nancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in Content, Social & Digital Media. She helps lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines in order to establish relationships and grow their practices. Also known as the LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers, she is a frequent LinkedIn trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement content, social and digital media strategies that cut through the clutter and are more relevant to their current and potential clients. Nancy also works with many firms and lawyers on Zoom and virtual presentation training and coaching to be the best they can be when presenting online.

As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasting, video marketing, voice marketing, livestreaming, and Zoom and virtual presentation strategy and training. She also helps lead select law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases.

If you would like to reserve time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here. If you would like to be notified when LinkedIn Course For Lawyers is accepting new students again, you can do that here.