This is one of my all-time favorite quotes. “Your opinion is not my reality.”

Just because someone says something about you doesn’t mean it’s true. Don’t let negative comments or criticism have an influence on who you are and how you feel about yourself.

Take what others say about you with a grain of salt. But listen to helpful feedback from people you trust. I listen to my mentor, close friends and colleagues who I know have my back, and my family.

I’ve had lots of people in my professional and personal life say negative things to me or give me misguided advice that were not coming from a place of good. I can easily recognize those people now and I cut them out of my life without even batting an eye. I know that they have another agenda, they are jealous of something about me or insecure about their own lives and something I have or am doing makes them feel bad about themselves.

I learned the hard way last year that there are some people in your life who truly do not want you to succeed and relish in your failures and actively contribute to them. Sometimes you can spot them and sometimes it takes a much longer time to do so. And unfortunately by that time, you’ve already probably given them a lot of information to use against you. Feel sorry for these people, because they’re clearly not happy with their own lives to be meddling and yours and enjoying when you experience hardships. I don’t miss any of these people in my life. In fact my life is so much simpler now without having to worry about watching my back. At the end of the day, you know what’s right for you and who should be in your life.

Trust your intuition when it comes to comments and advice you receive from others who may not have your best interest at heart.

Remember what others think about you is always clouded in their own perspective and some individuals have their own agenda.

What truly matters is what YOU think.

So many organizations and individuals spend lots of time creating great content but then they post it once to their web site and social media (I call this “one and done”).

This is a huge waste of your time and effort.

A blog post or article can be turned into multiple pieces of content in unique formats if you are a little creative. You should always think “create less, promote more.” Work on getting the content you already have in the hands of more influencers and potential clients.

So where do you find content to repurpose? The first place to start to find content worth repurposing is your blog and client alert archives. Review your past posts with an eye toward the following:

Evergreen content. I love evergreen content – I call it the gift that keeps giving. You might be surprised just how much of your archives qualifies as evergreen. The two most important elements for evergreen content are timelessness and quality so that it stays relevant and gets traffic.

These are pieces like “Why You Need a Will” or “What to Do When You Get a Subpoena” or “How to Create an Effective Social Media Strategy.” Take some time to identify those pieces in your content archives and then use the tools below to extend their shelf life.

Here are some ideas for how you can turn one piece of content into multiple unique formats.

  • How to piece
  • Case study
  • Graph
  • Word cloud
  • E-book
  • Tool
  • App
  • Pinterest instructographic
  • Presentation
  • FAQ
  • Webinar
  • Infographic
  • Quora post
  • Interview
  • List
  • Opinion post
  • Video
  • Survey
  • Podcast
  • Quote
  • Q&A

What ideas do you have for turning your content into other pieces?

This is a big day for LinkedIn users.

LinkedIn Stories launched today in the United States bringing a professional twist to the 24-hour stories format. As with many of its updates, the platform launches its new features on a rolling basis so you may not have the ability to post stories yet. Also please note that you can only use this feature on your mobile device.

What does this mean for brands and individuals on LinkedIn?

Stories encourage conversations and engagement on the platform while giving users a new way to share content.

Stories are the new norm on many social media platforms with users preferring to “share in the moment” rather than committing to a permanent feed post.

As for why they launched this feature, LinkedIn noted, “We’ve found there’s an entire generation growing up with Stories as a way of speaking; they’re more comfortable starting conversations with a full-screen ephemeral format than posting updates and prefer sharing content that lives as a moment in time rather than as an item in a feed.”

LinkedIn Stories enable members and organizations to share images and short videos of their everyday professional moments.

Sharing Stories is an easy way to share your experiences and insights, and to build meaningful relationships with your professional community. LinkedIn shares Stories that you post for 24 hours.

You can engage with LinkedIn Stories on your mobile app by:

  1. Creating a Story – An individual profile or LinkedIn Page Admin can create and post a Story using images and videos.
  2. Viewing a Story – LinkedIn members can view Stories created by connections and people and Pages they follow.

LinkedIn Stories display in a full-screen mode, similar to Instagram Stories and also include a messaging feature, which could make casual conversations easier on the platform.

This feature will provide a new, temporary way to share information with your network.

And although you’ll have another channel for which you need to create content, there are lots of ways to turn this into a new creative opportunity to support your business and branding goals such as by using video, spotlighting your culture and people, highlighting thought leadership by featuring callouts, quotes and stats.

LinkedIn notes that its stories option may not be for every business professional, but it is important to note that stories is how younger social media users are communicating, and leaning into that across all platforms is a smart strategy.

One other benefit of Stories – they can help colleagues and business professionals feel connected at a time when many people are still working from home and may otherwise feel disconnected from others.

LinkedIn also made cosmetic changes on its platform which include more wide spaces, more colors and less of the “LinkedIn” blue, except for “call to action” areas. The community has increased sharing of posts and articles by 50% since the COVID-19 crisis started this year.

LinkedIn added an “Open to Work” tab to help the suddenly laid-off employee find new jobs. LinkedIn says people who accept this notice receive 40% more LinkedIn mails from recruiters.

Search is being added to LinkedIn pages to find “people, events, groups and content,” and tabs are being added to LinkedIn messages to let people instantly connect to video meetings on Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Verizon’s BlueJeans.

If you would like to talk about how you can incorporate LinkedIn stories into your social media strategy at a professional services organization, contact me!

Being an entrepreneur is a great way to make your mark, pave your own path while being your own boss. Especially if you can identify a need in the market for goods or a service that you can provide that others are not providing in the same way or not providing at all.

That being said, in addition to having a great, unique or better service or product, the way in which you market it is also incredibly important.

I see a lot of entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs using social media to promote their services and products without a strategy – a huge mistake.

I’m also seeing individuals and companies take advantage of the pandemic and use this very tough time for so many as an opportunity to make money. It comes off as tone deaf when you do this when others are struggling and are sick.

While you should always step into the shoes of your potential client/customer and fill a need that have, you should also be very careful about how you market yourself taking into consideration current conditions.

Let me give you an example. I have seen some products launched through Instagram related to the pandemic. There are a number of face masks with different features, such as flaps to enable you to drink easily while continuing to wear your mask, masks with decorative straps and fashionable masks in custom patterns.

In terms of marketing, some of these proprietors are posting photos of themselves or videos with their product, laughing and smiling or doing a Boomerang. In my opinion, this is the wrong tone for marketing a face mask during a pandemic.

Instead of taking this lighthearted, silly approach, I would recommend something with more substance and gravitas. Many people have serious health concerns about the pandemic and are germaphobes. Rather than featuring individuals looking like they’re having the time of their life while a global pandemic ensues, a better marketing approach would be to talk about why wearing a mask is beneficial and what their specific mask offers. Also focusing on how their mask makes it easy to enjoy drinking beverages of all kinds while remaining safe.

I am also noticing some entrepreneurs not using any hashtags or using the wrong hashtags. Using the very popular and overused “#bestoftheday” with each post is not a strategic hashtag. Neither is anything with more than 1 million followers.

Here’s why – if you use those hashtags, your content will be immediately lost in the sea of other posts that also recently used the same hashtag – meaning low to no engagement.

Put another way, using hashtags with too many followers will not enable your content to be found by anyone. Instead use strategic hashtags that directly relate to your product or service with a specific audience in mind is a much stronger hashtag strategy. The best way to find the right hashtags is to search for them. There’s no quick hashtag tool that is 100% effective.

Another thing to note is that it is never a smart social strategy to pay for followers. People can tell that you have fake followers, and it makes you look inauthentic.

If you really want to grow your business, you need a strong organic following. Remember, social media success is not only about the number of likes, comments or shares you have. It’s about the brand loyalty and engagement of your followers and customers. It’s much better to have 1000 loyal followers than 7500 random followers that are mostly fake.

If anyone believes that social media success is directly related to the number of followers you have and that’s a good idea to pay for fake follows they are completely misguided.

There is no quick way to build a following overnight. It takes time to build a loyal social media following on each channel. So put in the work to create strong content that directly appeals to your target audience, respond to all comments, use the right hashtags and create visuals that accompany your posts and you will be well on your way to never needing to pay for fake followers.

Finally should go without saying that your social media post should be error free. They should be proofread closely and free of grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes. I know that if you are an entrepreneur and you work for yourself, it can be difficult to manage a lot of things at once, or perhaps writing isn’t your strong suit. But you have to make it a priority or enlist a friend or intern to help.

You’d be surprised how many social media accounts that purport to be from successful entrepreneurs are riddled with these kinds of mistakes, which undermine your credibility.

Remember to always check the context of a word and don’t depend on your phone for the right usage. For example – “infamous” has a very different meaning than “famous” – one aspiring entrepreneur I know has incorrectly used this word on her social media accounts multiple times. Make sure you look up words in the dictionary before you use them if you don’t know what they mean.

When used correctly, social media can be a very strong component to an entrepreneur’s marketing and branding strategy. It’s greatly helped me personally to expand the reach of this blog and my other content. To learn more about how I’ve used it to grow my business, feel free to reach out to me.

For those of you on Twitter, here are a few ideas to help boost your followers and engagement on the platform. The best part? None of these take a long time to do. They just require a little bit of time each day.

Why should you be on Twitter? Decision makers, reporters, recruits, referral sources, colleagues, conference attendees/organizers are all on the platform.

While I can’t promise you that you will obtain new clients as a result of using Twitter, I can say with confidence that Twitter can be a very useful marketing tool for some business professionals.

Your Daily Twitter Social Media Plan

Try doing the below actions for 15 minutes per day:

  • Respond to any mentions you’ve received
  • Skim through news sources you’re following to find content to retweet
  • Interact with three new people
  • Tweet one of your top performing blog posts from the past (with an image of course)
  • Follow five new people (look through your followers’ followers for ideas) – networking on this channel is key for success and increasing your followers and reach
  • Respond to any questions/comments on your posts
  • Send a note to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while or a follower you’ve wanted to get to know better through the messaging feature
  • If you’re speaking at a conference, promote it and use the conference hashtag to raise your profile and become part of the conversation – extra points if you live tweet during the event.
  • Avoid going on negative rants, keep it positive and upbeat.
  • Don’t only post business content. Find a balance between business and personal tweets. I post a lot about my puppy and finding happiness and balance in my life. Let your audience get to know you and they’ll form a stronger connection with you and your content. People want to get to know the person behind the brand.
  • Don’t spend time posting all day without actually listening. Then respond in a conversational and authentic way.

Always tag individuals and entities in a post by using the @ sign so they get a notification you’ve mentioned them. If you’ve ever seen someone put a period before the beginning of a tweet, that’s because you can’t start off a tweet with an @ sign or it will be seen as a reply and won’t show up on your main feed.

Please also use hashtags in your posts but use them wisely and sparingly, and do research to find out what the best hashtags would be. That involves looking at how many followers a hashtag has and being strategic about which ones you choose

While Twitter hasn’t led to new business for me, it certainly has raised my profile and enables me to have a consistent digital presence with important individuals in my industry.

It’s not easy to condense your thoughts to 280 characters, so constructing concise tweets on this channel while also using hashtags and @ signs can certainly be a challenge, but it is well worth it from a marketing perspective. One of the things about Twitter to note is that it is often one of the top Google searches about you.

Are there any other actions that you take on Twitter that have been helpful to you? I’d love to know!

I’m pausing today to remember the epitome of a woman who wows – Ruth Bader Ginsburg and respect all that RBG was and is – an icon, a leader, a true hero. Though she was tiny, she was mighty. We share humble Brooklyn roots and diminutive statures.

She fought to be treated equally as one of the few women law students at Harvard and later as a woman lawyer at a time when women in the courtroom was not the norm. Nevertheless she soldiered on undeterred and more motivated to make a difference.

Did you know that her collars (jabots) were directly related to how she was going to vote that day or her opinions about someone? So she wore a Gothic collar when she was dissenting and a more simple lace white collar when she was voting with the group. I just love that she expressed herself despite having to wear these robes.

She practiced law at the top of the field, breaking barriers and helping pave the path for many women today. We need to continue do all that we can to fight to advance her mission for justice and women’s rights now more than ever.

One day I hope to tell my future daughter all about her – and how this is what today’s superheroes look like.

Damn 2020, you sure have been a doozy.

 

Sometimes social media really works wonders in bringing people together who you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. One such person who LinkedIn brought into my life is Olivia Kiratu. Despite living on opposite sides of the world (she lives in Kenya and I live in New York City), we have developed a strong relationship and admiration of each other’s work through the LinkedIn community. It’s another example of the power of social media.

Olivia is the Founder and CEO of Firmgrown, a coaching and digital business that seeks to help Africa-based lawyers grow three things; profitability, productivity and visibility by blending business development strategy with productivity techniques and automation.

Learn more about her in this Women Who Wow feature.

What do you love most about what you do?
Part of my job involves training Africa-based lawyers and legal marketing professionals. There’s nothing predictable about this aspect of my job and that keeps it very interesting and fun. Sometimes, I can be training different groups in two different cities in the same week. Honestly, it’s hectic but there’s never a dull moment. I often have to travel quite a bit when doing this (prior to the pandemic), which gives me a chance to see more of the world, meet new people and if I am lucky, I often get to do my favourite thing to do when in a new city – go for a morning run and a cup of coffee. The best reward though is when people I have trained tell me that the lessons they learnt from me have helped them transform their practices and lives.

Tell us about a woman who inspires you and why.
My late Grandma, she was a strong matriarch, entrepreneur, feminist and bold.

Do you know a Woman Who Wows? If so, contact me to be featured in the series!

Here’s an idea for what to say on social media when you’re running low on things to say.

A great idea to reuse and repurpose your content (and headshots) is to create a content campaign based on bios to shine a spotlight on key lawyers and their practices.

Choose highlights from the bios as your teaser copy to draw in the reader versus copying the first few lines of his/her web bio (every word counts in social media posts because of the limited amount of characters you have).

This is a great way to shine a spotlight on certain professionals who may not be getting in the press as much as they would like. This is what I call owned media versus earned media – you create your own news about the people who matter in your organization.

We implemented this campaign at my prior firm where I was the in-house director of marketing, and it made a significant impact on lead generation efforts for a number of attorneys – especially when we saw actual evidence through our analytics and likes and comments from our clients on those posts – the best kind of engagement you could ask for.

I was excited when I saw that several clients had left glowing positive comments for our lawyers as a direct result of the bio series. I knew our clients were viewing our content in listen-only mode, but this was one of the first times that I saw direct unsolicited, positive engagement.

I also received feedback from several lawyers that as a result of their bios being featured on our social media channels and the resulting visibility that came from that, they experienced a spike in both the number of emails/calls/LinkedIn messages received from clients whom they haven’t been in regular touch, which eventually led to the opening of new matters for several of them (the jackpot of your social media efforts).

I attribute a large part of the bio campaign success to the concept of using “light touchpoints” in your marketing efforts, or the idea of staying top of mind with your contacts so that they think of you the next time they have a matter that fits your background and experience. By the way, this bio series cost our firm zero dollars to implement. Yes, zero.

Your firm would be wise to identify superstar associates and help them put the building blocks in place for business development and branding success. We featured young lawyers in the series, who are incredibly important for lead generation. First off, they are often social media savvy. Second, they are the future of our industry, especially as clients continue to get younger. (Note: we presently have five generations in the workforce). Their connections and law school classmates are poised to become the business leaders of tomorrow, so encourage them to cultivate connections, build their brands and books of business now, and give them the platform to do it.

If you have an editorial calendar (which you should), build in these posts on the days when you are low on fresh content. Try this out and let me know how it goes.

Every few years I get the opportunity to speak with my friend and industry leader Adrian Dayton on a social media panel. This is the year!

Join me and Adrian later this month for a virtual panel at the LMA Midwest Region Tech Conference on 10 pandemic friendly LinkedIn tips your lawyers need to know.

During this time of social distancing, lawyers (or any business professional for that matter) cannot ignore the importance of LinkedIn as a business development, branding and networking tool. It’s never been more important to incorporate LinkedIn into your daily life to stay top of mind and to network. Our session will give you tips on the things we believe lawyers must do now and later on the platform.

The conference is very reasonably priced for several days of learning at $99. Adrian I will be speaking for almost an hour on 9/22. I hope you’ll join us and all of the other terrific speakers.

Register here.