In today’s saturated and competitive legal market, it’s just not enough to be the very best at what you do, sitting behind your desk churning out work day in day out, to keep bringing in new business and to stay top of mind with clients, prospects and referrals.

Your competitors are likely doing more, and so should you.

The good news is that there are many strategies and tactics available to lawyers at any stage of their careers – such as content marketing, social media, public speaking and volunteering, among others – that will enable them to build a stronger personal brand and achieve the ultimate goal of revenue generation.

A strong personal brand helps to differentiate you in the market, enables you to establish yourself as a leader in your industry and gives you a competitive edge. The purpose of having a strong brand isn’t just about being well known in your field, it’s about leveraging the power of your reputation and expertise so that it helps you achieve your business goals.

In my new JD Supra article, “20 Ways to Build a Stronger Professional Brand – Starting Today,” I explore how to set actionable personal branding goals for lawyers and execute on them. The article delves into how lawyers at any size firm can stay top of mind with clients, prospects and referrals using various personal branding techniques tailored to their strengths and interests. The ideas come from my many years of working with lawyers who inspire me, and I hope you find some inspiration in the article to try something in the article too. Take a look and let me know what you think!

An important part of your social media strategy should be to always post a visual with a piece of content. Why? Because it brings social posts to life and helps content better engage with your target audiences.

Including images in your posts (remember to also include your logo!) makes your content (and your firm) more engaging, interactive, relatable and memorable, and can help attract new followers as well as keep your existing audiences interested in what you have to say.

In addition, visual social content is a quick way to:

  • uniquely express your brand enabling you to stand out from your competitors
  • bring boring information to life
  • highlight important data
  • differentiate your firm and lawyers
  • showcase your practices/industries and news about the firm and lawyers
  • increase traffic to your web site (including lawyer bios, which are the most-visited and I think the most important pages on law firm web sites today) and blogs

That being said, more important than posting a visual is posting the right sized visual. And each social platform has different size requirements – so one size does not fit all. I see some firms and individuals post the same image to each social platform and what winds up happening is that it looks distorted and it makes them look unsavvy and a bit lazy. Taking the time to resize your images to fit each platform is worth it and demonstrates that you and your firm have mastery of the social platforms. You can often resize images right from your smartphone and when you can’t, there are free photo resizing online tools to help you. Here’s a handy social media resizing guide with the latest sizes for the major platforms.

Take a look at my JD Supra article on “Why You Should Resize Images on Social Media (and How to Easily Do It Yourself and Increase Engagement on Your Posts)” for more tips on how to do it yourself.

I came across a terrific (and short article) in Attorney at Work by Tea Hoffmann on “Developing a What’s Next Mindset” that I passed along to the lawyers with whom I work because I like how it drives home the point that lawyers should always be thinking about the next step in trying to turn a prospect into a client. I also like how it drives home the point about how thinking strategically and carefully about the next steps in the sales cycle can lead to more business – a lawyer and his/her advisors must always be planting the seeds for how to engage with the prospect and how best to “pitch” the story of the firm and its services.

As the article notes, “typically it takes up to eight interactions, done over the course of six to 18 months, to convert a prospect to a client and only 20 percent of your prospects will become clients.” Now, this is a generalization of course, and it can take much longer or much shorter for a lead to become a client – but you get the point that the buyer journey to client is oftentimes quite long with mnay touchpoints along the way. The author also goes on to say that a what’s next mindset is great for lawyers because they tend to be deadline driven and laser focused – so this gives them motivation and the opportunity for goal setting. Continue Reading How to Create a What’s Next Lead Generation Mindset

I wanted to share a few thoughts on why you should incorporate Twitter into your content strategy. Twitter is a great platform to enhance your personal brand as well as your company brand. It’s easy to use and because the posts are short, you can easily create and upload content.

  • It enables you to strengthen brand by sharing insights and engage with other leaders in your field
  • Provides a steady stream of quick, timely and evergreen content ideas throughout the year
  • Enables you to engage with reporters active on the platform to generate press coverage for your firm
  • Allows you to become part of the conversation before, during and after important industry conferences using the offical conference hashtags – use the tweets for content ideas (you can sort by the hashtag for inspiration)
  • Become a content aggregator but word to the wise: Always click on all articles and read them before retweeting and sharing
  • On Twitter – do more than just share your article/alert headlines as you post copy
  • Incorporate hashtags directly in tweet copy vs. adding them to the end of a post if you can – creates a cleaner look and ensures they are seen
  • Best practice: Use only two hashtags (three at an absolute maximum) – you have a limited character area – be selective on how you use it
  • Use to help you source the most relevant hashtags

How do you use Twitter to build your brand and engage with others?

I recently returned from Atlanta where I attended and spoke at the 2019 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference, which is the annual industry gathering for legal marketing and business development professionals.

If your experience was like mine, you gained many new insights that you’re excited to implement at your firm, you made new valuable connections, reignited existing relationships, participated in online conversations at #LMA19 and spent time in the exhibit hall talking to service providers about their products and technologies.

I always try to attend the sessions that will enable me to obtain insights into what clients need and want, as well as anything that will help me gain an advantage over competitors, and with that in mind, I’d like to share a few key takeaways and insights from my LMA19 experience. This year, one of the major highlights for me was the general counsel panel. The speakers had so much to share and what they said was eye opening.

Here are some key takeaways from my latest JD Supra article on “What Clients Want and Need Today From Law Firms – Key Takeaways from the 2019 LMA Annual Conference.” Read the full article for much more from #LMA19.  Continue Reading What Clients Need and Want Today – Key Takeaways From the 2019 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference

For me, writing is a way to both share helpful content and also to express what I’m feeling. It’s always been a helpful outlet for me to process something, devise solutions to deal with it and then move on from it. I’m trying to use this blog as a way to help others and to share content as well as experiences that I’ve had that you also may have had, which might resonate with you too.

The timing of publishing my mean girls article in the workplace last week was timely as I had yet another experience with one – this time in a social setting (I know many of you know this, but mean girls lurk not only in the workplace but in your personal life too). Continue Reading How to Deal With Mean Girls in Your Personal Life

Women can be pretty ruthless to each other in the workplace. Backstabbing, rumor spreading, malicious talking, gossiping, purposely excluding someone from an event or meeting, taking credit for someone’s work or helping to push someone out of a job.

I bet many of you have experienced behavior such as the ones mentioned above at the hands of another woman.

I call this the dark side of working with women.

Those close to me know that I have wanted to write an article on how to recognize a mean girl at work and develop strategies to effectively manage her and succeed in spite of her undermining behavior for a long time. (As an aside, I’ve also dealt with a few “mean guys” too, but that’s for a different article.)

Today, I am lucky enough to work in an environment free of mean girls (thank goodness!), that I don’t come into contact with them from time to time, or carry with me the memory of some terrible experiences of working with some very toxic females. Learning how to navigate them is an important skill to have throughout your career.

Before I delve deeper into this topic, I want to make it very clear that are plenty of amazing, supportive women in the workforce, and I’ve been very lucky to work with a number of them. They aren’t threatened by other women, and instead they go above and beyond to help others succeed. They are true role models. This article isn’t about them. I could have written an entire series of articles about the supportive women who have mentored me throughout my career. This article is about those women in the workplace who do not have your best interests at heart, and how to protect yourself against them. It’s important to remember that while you cannot can’t change someone else, you can change your own behavior, and this article will teach you how to do just that.  Continue Reading How to Manage Mean Girls at Work and Become More Resilient

It can be really hard to get conference attendees to visit you at a trade show.  There’s a lot of competition for starters. It can be somewhat overwhelming for attendees. And oftentimes, the exhibitors are very “me, me, me” focused instead of thinking about their target audience, which is quite captive at a large industry gathering such as the LMA Annual Conference, which hosts many of its events in the actual exhibit hall to faciliate networking between attendees and the conference’s sponsors.

I have been wowed a handful of times over the years by conference exhibitors, including Right Hat, which offered attendees an interactive thought leadership experience with a twist – I’ll post on that later, MoFo, which did a client-focused resources booth and Jaffe PR, which incorporated a community service project in their booth at #LMA18 bringing clean water to kids around the world.

But I wanted to give a special shout out to David Ackert and the Ackert Inc.’s’ exhibit hall booth at #LMA19 in Atlanta this year in this post.

Ackert Inc. offered attendees (many of which are women) the opportunity to make an appointment and receive complimentary makeup or massages. To sign up you just needed to provide your name, title and email. Brilliant! It’s a great way to build your prospect list, tell people in a low-key way about what you do, draw foot traffic into your exhibit hall space and create buzz. Forget pens, this is way more effective than some silly tchotchke! Take a look at the after pic of me looking much more refreshed thanks to makeup by Miguel. 

Now what could your company do to better engage with your prospects and clients at a trade show or conference?

I am a true believer in the positive power of social media, but it does have its downsides. As the lines between our personal and professional lives get blurrier by the day in today’s digital world, you must take the appropriate steps to protect your brand after all of the work that you’re putting into strengthening it.

First off, Google yourself at least once per month. This provides you with valuable information about the content and photos that are available on the web about you as well as enables you to be in the know about what’s being said about you online – think of it as an online monitoring service for your brand. Pay special attention to the first page of results as most users do not go past those.

Then set up a Google Alert for yourself, a free service that sends you an e-mail notification when your name appears online (note, if you have a common name, the search results will not be perfect and you will need to manually sort through them). The more you publish content, speak at conferences and appear in the news such as if you are quoted in a third-party publication or on your firm’s web site, the stronger your positive search results will be and you will also look more like a commanding presence in your area. Note to all the legal marketers out there, I created Google Alerts for all of the partners at my firm that go to a mailbox each day that is regularly monitored by the marketing team. It is a great way to catch news items and clippings that you might otherwise have missed, and I have found that the Google Alert news hits the web very quickly.

What do you do if you want information about yourself removed online? If you don’t control it from your social accounts, you will have to contact the web sites to request removal of the content, which can be a time-consuming(and frustrating) process. Also, whether you like it or not, people are searching for you online, so ensure that the information visible on your personal social media accounts is locked down to only your friends and family, and be selective about from whom you accept friend requests.

Also, always use good judgment about what you post online because every and anything can be used against you somewhere down the line, even if you delete it (screenshots can come back to haunt you). And don’t ever post about politics because in today’s supercharged political climate, you just never on know how far left or right someone influential leans, so the best stance is take no stance. For more on this topic, see my article, “Why You Must Google Yourself Regularly and Protect Your Online Professional Brand.”

LinkedIn is now offering a new feature on a rolling basis to its users – photo tagging (or mentions as some call it).

I noticed that I had the ability to do it today for the very first time and it was very exciting, making me a true LinkedIn geek.

Tagging people in LinkedIn photos (on both an individual and company level) encourages more engagement with your images and content. It also is the norm on other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It helps to to make your content more powerful because posts with images do better than those without and by tagging key individuals in those posts, you’ll have higher engagement on those posts.

When you tag someone in a photo on LinkedIn (to do it, just use the @ sign and type in their name – you can see an example of a completed post on the right), they will receive a notification (in the notification section and/or via email depending on their settings) that you added them and this tagged photo becomes linked with the associated user’s LinkedIn profile. Viewers can click on the connection’s name to navigate to their profile. You can tag up to 30 people per photo (wow!).

Some helpful facts about photo tagging on LinkedIn:

  1. A LinkedIn member doesn’t need to be connected with you as a first degree connection in order tag you or to be photo tagged by you.
  2. As the author, you can remove tags at any time after you create a post.
  3. You can remove tags of yourself on any post at any point.

Continue Reading How to Use LinkedIn’s New Photo Tagging Feature for Brand Building and Lead Generation