I’m often asked by law firm marketers how they can make the case for why their lawyers and firms should use social media or why it’s worth the time or financial investment. I could give you a hundred reasons, probably more, why social media is well worth the time and effort, but I put together a few of my top ones. Remember, that lotto saying “you’ve got to be in it to win it?” – well why wouldn’t you try something that could potentially bring your firm new clients, help you retain the ones you have and attract new candidates to your firm?

That being said, I am not advocating that you immediately fire on all cylinders and launch firm accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest – I’m exhausted just writing that! If you do, you will be stretched thin, unfocused and absent of a strategic focus. In addition, you must be where your clients are or else your social media efforts are just random acts of social media.

And you must adjust the message for the medium. What do I mean by that? One size doesn’t fit all on each of the social channels – so even if you are posting about the same topic, the posts that you craft would not be the same on each of the channels. So many firms don’t get that right. You’d be much better off choosing to focus your efforts on only two social media channels – the ones that your clients actually use the most – and build a strong presence on those. In this case, less is more.

So, the next time someone asks you if your firm needs a social media program, reply to them with a few of the reasons below and watch them ask you to get started on a few of them immediately. You can thank me later.

  1. A strong social media program will help your firm/lawyers attract and acquire clients
  2. Social media can generate leads, raise awareness and help to build credibility and authority in practice areas and industries.
  3. Social media enables you to reach broader audiences for your thought leadership, extending the reach of the power of your content.
  4. It can build a lawyer into a subject-matter expert, which is great for junior partners and those lawyers who are trying to shift their practice focus or become known in a hot area of the law.
  5. Your competitors are doing it (this is always a strong motivator for lawyers!)
  6. Also, what better way to keep updated on what your competitors are doing on social.
  7. Social media enables you to bolster your brand and directly engage with and reach your target audiences.
  8. Your clients, contacts and others who are interested in information about you expect you to be on social and if you’re not, it sends the wrong message.
  9. Social media enables you to build a stronger professional network, which can lead to new business and referrals.
  10. Social media enables you to build and grow relationships faster than you can offline.
  11. Social media enhances and improves your SEO and Google search results.
  12. Social media gives you a powerful and low-cost way to disseminate information.
  13. In-house counsel are increasingly going to social media for news and information.
  14. Sharing updates and content keeps you top-of-mind with law students and laterals, which is vital for the future of your firm.
  15. Social media can help you build targeted relationships, stay top of mind, provide helpful content and consistently add value.

Happy posting!

Tomorrow is my first time back on the speaking circuit since having a tough few months personally – so many people pretend like everything is great in their personal lives when it’s not, and I want to be honest about the fact that I have not been okay, and that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. The most important thing is to soldier on – because you and I WILL be okay. And if someone you know isn’t okay right now, please share some positive thoughts with them – no matter how bleak things seem sometimes, it always does get better.

As for tomorrow’s program, I have a lot of great new content to share with everyone, and I hope you will join me to learn more about how your lawyers can take their LinkedIn efforts to the next level. We will discusss the how-to’s of coaching lawyers on building a strong profile on LinkedIn to engage with prospects and clients, as well as how to use the platform to generate business and new connections. The program will also show how lawyers can engage on LinkedIn to become a thought leader, share successes to demonstrate value and how to use status updates and notifications to drive new business. Hope to see you there.

Learn more and register: http://bit.ly/2y4eK8z

 

Hey LinkedIn, you’ve been making great strides for your users, but the holidays are coming and there’s so much more you can do to hit some major pain points. Here’s my current wish list for enhancements I’d wish you’d make: 

  • The ability to write articles on LinkedIn publisher from my phone
  • The ability to edit previously written articles from my phone
  • The option to add more photos to a post or edit the photos you posted already in a post
  • The flexibility to have more than 1300 characters in a LinkedIn status update
  • The ability to see who are your actual company page followers
  • More robust company page analytics
  • A better solution to when you add a hyperlink to a post and suddenly LinkedIn autogenerates a shortened version of it with LinkedIn characters. You can only get around this by inserting your own custom bitly link.

Now that I’ve shared my list with you, I’d love to hear what’s on yours! And let’s hope LinkedIn is listening – we only have four months until the holidays are here and this is prime time for lead generation and brand building activities. 

You only have four months to make a real difference in your business development and marketing efforts from now until the end of the year. Social media success is so much more than the number of likes, comments or shares you have.

It’s about engagement, lead generation, and retaining and delighting current clients with your posts and interactions. In my latest JD Supra article, “How to Ensure Your Firm’s Social Media Strategy Supports Your Business Development Goals,” I explore how to make sure that your firm’s social media strategy directly supports your business development goals – because if it doesn’t, what’s the point? In fact, abort mission immediately! Take a look at my article for more tips on how to be smarter about ensuring your social strategy supports the bottom line and revenue growth.

 

 

Here’s an easy and essential LinkedIn tip that everyone should do ASAP – create a custom LinkedIn URL. If you don’t, you’ll have a bunch of random characters at the end of your LinkedIn URL. Having a custom LinkedIn URL shows you are LinkedIn savvy and you can use it on your resume and other channels such as your e-signature. Here’s an article that my friend Gregg Burkhalter posted about how and why to do it from Business Insider that you should read. And it’s so easy to do – if your name is somewhat common, you may need to play around with it a bit to add in your middle initial or an “esq” but for example, mine is www.linkedin.com/in/stefaniemarrone – it’s so easy and clean!

Sometimes we need a reminder of the basics needed to be successful at work especially after being away on vacation or slacking off a bit during the summer.

The fall is a great time to refocus ourselves and find new meaning in our work, and to be a more engaged employee and colleague. Remember you can always reinvent and apply yourself and become a stronger professional you. Try applying some of these basic principles to your work and watch how your reputation and stature becomes reaches new heights.

  1. Do more than your peers
  2. Set ambitious goals
  3. Be kind
  4. Be indispensable
  5. Be available – say yes more
  6. Take initiative
  7. Don’t gossip or be a mean girl/guy
  8. Learn to adapt yourself and grow
  9. Be purposeful
  10. Be resourceful
  11. Dress the part
  12. Be responsive
  13. Know that good is good enough sometimes
  14. Think before you speak or shoot off a curt email
  15. Be comfortable being uncomfortable sometimes
  16. Stay calm under pressure
  17. Drink the company Kool Aid
  18. Be helpful
  19. Demonstrate good judgment
  20. Show empathy
  21. Admit your mistakes and strive to fix them ASAP
  22. Have good people skills
  23. Say please and thank you often 
  24. Give genuine compliments
  25. Underpromise and overdeliver
  26. Focus on quality not quantity
  27. Stay positive even when things are negative
  28. Set ambitious goals
  29. Surround yourself with the right people
  30. Always keep growing and evolving

And most importantly, always pay attention to your gut – it often has something incredibly wise to say that will guide you to great (and the right) things.  

So many of us rake ourselves over the coals after a personal or professional failure or when something goes wrong, and I just wanted to remind you to please be kinder to yourself because I know how hard it can be to move on and forgive yourself after a slipup.

Remember that we are all human and therefore we all make mistakes and no matter what Ivy league school you went to, you will very likely screw something up.

And since most of us are type A personalities, we can tend to beat ourselves up when we make these slipups. But dwelling on your mistakes isn’t very productive and can actually be harmful. Ruminating about what you failed at is only going to make you feel worse – it almost seems like a form of self-punishment, which is just unhealthy behavior. Instead, reflecting on your mistakes with the purpose of making real, positive changes in your life is much more healthy and worth your time.

When you make a mistake, ask yourself some tough questions, which are designed to help you grow:

  • What went wrong in this situation?
  • What could I do better next time?
  • What did I learn from this experience?

By writing down your responses, you can often see the situation and your part in it, more clearly. Analyzing it can help you work through it and not repeat the same mistakes again. Spend your time making a plan for how to avoid making a similar mistake in the future.

The most important takeaway is to not beat yourself up for things that already happened. You can’t change the past (no matter how much you may want to). What’s done is done. Don’t hold onto a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it. Let it go. What you can do is to learn from each experience, make them teaching moments, move forward and do better in the future. And please just always be kind to yourself. For more on kindness, read my recent article on how to incorporate kindness into your everyday.

Here’s a simple rule to follow in business and life – don’t be a jerk. Instead make kindness your guiding light.

It seems pretty self-explantory and kind of ridiculous that I even have to say this, but you’d be surprised how many people walk around just acting well, like a jerk.

You can get very far in your career simply by being likable and easy to work with. Your likability in the workplace can and likely will have a significant impact on your career success so it’s to your benefit to not be a jerk. Also, it should go without saying to not be a jerk at home either! I’ve been on the receiving end of that – a partner who took out his work stress on me by constantly snapping at me – and it’s no fun and can be very detrimental to your relationship.

I am a big believer that you can learn so much from people by how they treat those in service industry positions. For example, I remember being so disappointed on date by the dismissive way my dining partner treated a waiter. As a result I never spoke to him again.

It’s so easy to be kind. It’s also so easy to say please and thank you and to smile. By the way, people who smile are actually happier. There are lots of scientific studies that back this up.

Being difficult makes you someone who people want to avoid. It harms your reputation.  It makes people gossip about you. It stands in your way of success. There’s no really no reason to be a jerk (unless of course someone was really awful to you – then maybe you should be a jerk or better yet, maybe you should be the bigger person and be kind to them or just ignore them). We all have stresses and outside pressures. We each need to do a better job of putting them in a box so to speak and go into each interaction with a clean slate. Give people the benefit of the doubt and always assume good intent.

At home, don’t take out a bad day on your partner, family member or your kids. Leave work stresses at the front door and enjoy every minute you have with your family. Savor the time you have together while your kids are at home and your parents are still with you. I lost my mom three years ago to cancer, and I long to be able to call her. If you have a parent, don’t take that for granted and certainly don’t be a jerk to them. The same goes with your spouse. If you’re a jerk to your spouse and don’t treat them with love and respect, they may find someone else who isn’t a jerk to them. It’s that simple. Bottom line – always cherish your partner.

I dated a workaholic lawyer who often couldn’t find the right balance between his work and personal life. He wanted to ensure his clients were always happy but that left his children and partner wanting more at home. And he didn’t have time for himself either to go to the gym and to just decompress. Something has to give somewhere to make it all work. So much of that is time management and client management. I would often ask him if his client really needed that document turned around on a Sunday am and wouldn’t the client understand if he told him he would get it to him later in the day so he could spend time with his children? Often we are too afraid to ask because we don’t want to disappoint someone but someone will always be disappointed in a scenario like this.

While I always admired his strong work ethic, I also believe that the client wouldn’t have really cared if the document was turned around at 8am versus 6pm on most Sundays. But his children really cared if they saw their dad that day especially since that was their once a week visitation day with him. Kids remember these things. Your clients will not think you are a jerk if you push back a bit on a deadline sometimes.

Also remember that the sun will rise again and all those work problems and stresses you have will still be there in the am – so put them aside for the time being and enjoy time with those who you care about most. There’s nothing more important than family.

In the workplace, be kind to everyone every day – especially the receptionists, the copy center and mail room teams and records department, and every single secretary and legal assistant with whom you interact. Oftentimes these are the people whose help you need the most. It baffles me when I see junior associates being dismissive to their colleagues like this. That’s a habit that needs to be broken immediately if you find yourself doing it. Always be a team player. Offer to help your colleagues and get to know them on a personal level. Say please and thank you often to everyone with whom you work. Think before you speak and especially before you shoot off a curt email.

Let’s make a promise to ourselves and to others that we won’t be dismissive, snide or rude to anyone in both our personal and professional lives no matter how busy or how much pressure we are under. Let’s be more empathetic and compassionate, and always make kindness the default and give jerk behavior the boot.

LinkedIn is the lowest hanging fruit for keeping your professional network warm. It takes little time and effort to use the platform to build your brand and generate leads. Case in point – I am currently sitting on the Acela and using my time on the train to write this quick post, which each of you could do too. 

  • Did someone important in your network just announce they got a new job? Send them a note to congratulate them and ask them for lunch. It’s a great excuse to get back in touch wind someone important. 
  • Are you headed to an industry event or upcoming conference? (Or better yet, are you speaking at one?) Post it as a status update so you can find others in your network who are also attending. 
  • Did someone you admire write an article or publish a book that you enjoyed? Share a link to it along with why you recommend that others read it. This will greatly strengthen your professional relationships. 
  • Did you discover something innovative or insightful in your field that would be of interest to your network? Write a quick post just as I am doing here. I drafted this in the notes section of my iPhone while sitting on the train over Labor Day weekend. You don’t always need to have your laptop on you or be in your regular controlled work environment. Use what you have.  

Now that summer is over you’ve only got four months to make a real mark in your business development and marketing efforts before the year is over. Use LinkedIn wisely. 

 #linkedin #socialmedia #howto  #businessdevelopment #leadgeneration #LMAmkt

The social media butterfly hasn’t felt very social lately, and I wanted to share why. Although this blog is about professional topics and advice, from time to time I will focus on personal things when it makes sense. I’ve been going through a very difficult time, which has impacted every part of my life, and I feel like many people aren’t real when it comes to what’s actually going on in their lives and that it’s okay to say that you’re not okay. Writing has always been my therapy, so here goes:

Continue Reading How to Move Past a Personal Crisis and Rebuild Your Life