Many of us have had bad things happen to us. Such is life – with the highs are also come lows.

Maybe you lost a loved one, experienced the dissolution of a relationship, a financial hardship or lost a job. Maybe a combination of these things happened at once. L

These kinds of events can have a lasting negative impact on your life. You can wallow in the bad things that happen to you or use them to help you become a stronger, better version of yourself, because life-altering events of any kind can be incredibly powerful in helping you grow both personally and professionally.

They can also help weed out the people from your life who aren’t supposed to be there. You’ll find out who are your true friends and supporters during a crisis. 

After going through a tough time in my own life someone wise said to me, “Stef, you can’t control what people do and how they feel, and you don’t have to like it. It just is what it is.” These words hit home for me. The idea of realizing that you have to let go and some things just cannot be fixed.

Someone else said to me, “Everyone’s life has peaks and valleys. If I dwell on all the bad things that have happened to me, I could fall into a depression. Instead, I accept the fact that life WILL have up and downs, and all each of us can do is keep moving forward toward the next UP. Because no matter how bleak things are, they will get better.”

Every day presents a new opportunity to be a better version if yourself. Remind yourself that some things are just not meant to work out and embrace the idea of “it’s okay to not be okay.” Trust that the universe has better things in store for you. 

A professional profile photo is a must on your LinkedIn profile today.

According to LinkedIn’s official blog, “Members who include a profile photo receive 21x more profile views and up to 36x more messages.” Excluding a headshot also makes it harder for someone to recognize you after you’ve met in person. Ensure that your photo is a high-resolution, professional headshot that is correctly sized (ideally 400 by 400 pixels) in which you look personable. You’d be surprised just how many casual (and unfriendly/unapproachable) headshots there are on LinkedIn, and those can be detrimental your brand. Photos in which you are smiling and dressed professionally are key as well as updating your photo if it is more than a few years old (hey it’s okay if you’re bald!).

Almost as bad as having a low-resolution, unprofessional LinkedIn photo is not having any photo at all. If you don’t upload a photo, a shadowy stick figure appears in the photo area, and trust me, no one wants to hire a shadowy stick figure. It’s easy to get a new headshot – if your company doesn’t offer headshots, many local photographers will take individual portraits of you, and I’ve seen many events offer headshots to its attendees for free.

Here are a few LinkedIn profile photo don’ts:

  • Don’t include a pet or child
  • Don’t use an image of you on vacation or on a beach, golf course or mountain
  • Don’t use a group photo (it can be very hard to tell who is who in these photos and they aren’t professional shots)
  • Don’t use the photo you use on Instagram or Facebook. Think buttoned up and professional
  • Don’t use a low-resolution or blurry photo.
  • Don’t use a photo of you that is more than five years old – remember, it’s okay if you are losing your hair or getting gray – your clients want to see the real you, the person with whom they interact each day.
  • Don’t wear sunglasses or hold a drink (this goes for all photos on LinkedIn period)
  • Don’t post anything in the profile photo area other than a photo of you – not a charity, not a sunset – just you.
  • Don’t use a photo where you are wearing anything other than professional attire
  • Don’t use a full body photo. Your profile photo should only showcase your face.

I hope these tips are helpful to you – remember you don’t need a large budget to have a good LinkedIn profile photo – look at how many I have (and my changing hair colors) through the years.

Talk about client service! What a great idea from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP to create an online portal for their clients to easily earn CLE credits. This is how you provide true, value-added benefits to your clients while showcasing the expertise of your lawyers. Making something like this available to your alumni is also a terrific idea to build relationships and goodwill for your firm.

This is a great example of putting the client first, giving them something they need (CLE credits) in a manner that is convenient (online), providing client value and meeting client needs while also demonstrating the subject-matter knowledge of your lawyers and remaining top of mind to them. It’s a win-win for everyone involved, most importantly your clients.

Orrick worked with In-House Focus to build this e-learning center. What a smart idea.

Happy birthday to my mom up in heaven. Even though my mom is no longer with us, I still want to celebrate her today because if she wasn’t born, there would be no me or my brother or my niece or so many great things.

I miss my mom every day, and just because I don’t talk about it much doesn’t mean it gets any easier. I went back to work quickly after she died because getting back into a routine made it less unbearable.

Grief is a long-winding, complex process with no shortcuts. One minute you’re fine and the next you’re not, but life goes on and I know my mom wouldn’t want me, my brother and dad to be eternally sad. I often feel like I’m on autopilot and numb when it comes to her passing. It doesn’t get easier each year although you create new memories and time does heal things to an extent. This past year was hard for me personally and professionally and there were many times I wish I had my mom beside me. Life can be really unfair.

My mom always taught me to go after what I want, to believe in myself and to embrace who I am. We were in many ways very different, but I got my drive and feisty spirit from her.

So happy birthday to my mom – you were a strong, smart, kind person, you helped shape me into who I am, and I miss you every day.

I know I’m not the only one grappling with grief. Remember it’s okay to not be okay all of the time.

I’m sure I’m not the only person who finds it frustrating that once you publish a tweet it cannot be edited.

That means if you made a mistake or simply want to change something, you have to delete the entire post and start over from scratch. 

Just like on LinkedIn, you also can’t edit a photo or add another photo once you’ve hit publish. This is a big inconvenience for page administrators and individual users.

So, it was disappointing when Twitter recently announced that it has no plans to add the edit post functionality anytime soon.

In a recent interview with Wired, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that an edit button is not in the cards for the platform, and likely never will be.

His reasoning is that Twitter originally started as an SMS text messaging service, and when you send a text, you can’t really take back what you said, so the platform should mimic that concept.

Even though it seems unlikely that Twitter will add the edit functionality, I’m still putting it on my Christmas list and I’ll triple check my context, spelling and punctuation before I post a tweet. For now we just have delete and repost. Never say never!

 #marketing #digitalmarketing #socialmediatip #socialmediamarketing #socialmedia  #tweet #lawfirmmarketing #contentmarketing #twitter #legalmarketing

 

 

I truly believe that every professional should be using LinkedIn every day. Why? Because it enables you to quickly build and grow relationships, strengthen your brand and stay top of mind with key individuals in your professional network regardless of where they live right from your desktop or mobile device.

LinkedIn also gives you a treasure trove of valuable competitive intelligence, which can help you gain an advantage over your competitors. 

Many of you have LinkedIn profiles but you aren’t maximizing the platform because you’re busy or you just aren’t convinced that it’s worth your time, and that’s a huge missed opportunity. LinkedIn is free, easy to use and well worth the time and effort. It can help you become recognized as a thought leader, bring in leads and retain current clients.

LinkedIn is useful for every professional in every industry at any level. It’s one of the most efficient ways to enhance your network and reputation.

I wanted to get back to basics in my latest JD Supra article and provide a comprehensive guide to building a strong LinkedIn profile, along with some best practices and tips for engagement with your network. I go through each section of a LinkedIn profile and give pointers for how to best complete each one. I also created a visual with a cheat sheet on some of the profile best practices below:

Here are some quick and easy actions you can take on LinkedIn to build a stronger profile from the article, which is the bedrock of the platform, and then tips on how to take your LinkedIn profile to the next level.

On this Martin Luther King Day, I’m taking time out of my day to reflect on some of the most profound things said by Dr. King.

His words are passionate, motivating, courageous and most importantly, they’re timeless and relevant even today.

At the heart of so much of what he spoke about is the concept of being kind to one another, standing up for what you believe in and never giving up – I hope we can all continue to learn from him and be inspired by him. He is a true hero, innovator and role model. 

It should go without saying that it’s not how often you post content to social media that makes a true impact, but rather what you say and how you say it. The quality not the quantity of your posts should always be your primary focus.

But it’s not always easy to generate a steady stream of strong content to fill your editorial calendar year-round, especially when you work at small- or mid-sized firm.

That’s where owned media or evergreen content can come to your aid, or what I often refer to as my “what to say when you have nothing to say” content strategy.

Evergreen content is SEO-optimized content that doesn’t have an expiration date, or lose its relevancy and value over time. It is high-quality, helpful content that provides value whether it is read today, next week or a year from now. Like the trees with its same name, evergreen content is considered sustainable and lasting.

Creating an evergreen content strategy is easier than you think because you already have all of the content and most of the tools that you need. It just requires creative thinking on how to effectively repurpose them. For example, content opportunities (and the visual assets that go along with them) such as lawyer bios, holidays, office openings, firm history, timeless client alerts, case studies on matters/practices, careers, professional development, pro bono and diversity, events, as well as information from transcripts can all be used to fill in content gaps in your editorial calendar.

Leveraging evergreen content will reinforce your brand, differentiate your firm and can lead to new business and it will delight your lawyers (score!). And the best part? None of these require a big budget or tons of resources. I love these examples – especially the Hanukkah greeting from Stroock – it was one of the only firms that I noticed did a Hanukkah greeting. Here are some ideas on how to do this at your firm.

 

No matter how brilliant, hard working or passionate you are, you will fail at something or majorly screw something up at some point.

I wrote this article because a few friends of mine have recently lost their jobs, and I wanted to share some of the important lessons I learned as a result of a similar situation because I believe that every dark situation has a silver lining. Also, here’s the thing – getting let go can happen to anyone at any time. You think it will never happen to you until it does. It can also be the best thing that ever happened to you, setting you on an entirely new path.

When the failure is work related, and it’s a major one – such as getting fired or let go – sometimes it’s just that it wasn’t a good fit. Other times it’s because of something that you did that led to things not working out. And then there are times when you lose your job due to circumstances that are out of your control, like for example your job was eliminated or your new boss didn’t like you and pushed you out.

Please know that you’re not alone in experiencing speed bumps along your career path and you can fail at times but still have a successful career. Remember – just because it didn’t work out for you in one position doesn’t mean that you are doomed for your entire career!

Read my article for tips on how to bounce back from a professional setback.

I hope you’ll join me next Wednesday, January 22 during lunchtime for a LinkedIn master class for the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) New York City chapter – it will be held at the New York City Bar Association. I’m so thrilled they invited me back to do another session.

I’ll be covering how to use LinkedIn to build your brand and professional network, become a subject matter expert and how to create and manage an effective company page as well as how to train your lawyers to use LinkedIn more effectively.

In this workshop, attendees will learn the tools and tips to build a stronger brand through this popular digital platform.

My program will explore quick and easy actions you can take today on LinkedIn to more meaningfully engage with your connections, strengthen your brand, position yourself as a subject matter expert and generate leads, including, mastering the art of the “humblebrag,” using LinkedIn search more effectively, sponsored posts and LinkedIn navigator and how to adopt a client-centric LinkedIn strategy.

  • How to build a strong profile to engage with prospects and clients
  • How to use the platform to generate business and new connections
  • How to share successes to demonstrate value
  • How to use LinkedIn to become a thought leader/subject matter expert
  • How to use status updates and notifications to build your brand and drive new business
  • Explore how to master the art of the “humblebrag,” use LinkedIn search, sponsored posts and LinkedIn Navigator effectively
  • How to adopt a client-centric LinkedIn strategy

There will be time at the end for a Q&A session for specific attendee questions. I hope to see you there!

Sign up here.