I’ve been excited to wear my Valentine’s Day shirt with a dozen Roses (as in Betty Whites) for a while.

Not everyone loves Valentine’s Day – like me – so remember to always love yourself, be yourself, be humble, don’t sweat the small stuff, tend to yourself with acts of self-care, and most importantly be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself up for past mistakes – strength lies in what we overcome.

Your life can change in an instant so make sure to show those around you how much you love them and don’t take anything or anyone for granted. Try to show gratitude to others in your life each day. And be thankful for all you have and all of those people in your life who support and love you.

While our careers are incredibly important, what really matters at the end of the day is the love we have for ourselves and for others in our lives.

Things you can do for yourself on a day like today:

  • Buy yourself flowers
  • Treat yourself to a nice meal with people who have your back
  • Go out in nature
  • Take workout or yoga class
  • Go to a bookstore and treat yourself to something uplifting
  • Go to bed early
  • Get a massage
  • Offer to babysit for a loved one who could use a night out
  • Tell those in your life that you love them
  • Stay away from toxic people who make you feel bad about yourself
  • Love yourself first

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.

Sending along some positive thoughts today for those who may need a pick me up or a reminder that it’s all going to be okay:

Every day is a learning experience, things are usually better than they seem, work hard and smart, be humble and grateful, always be yourself and be proud of it, don’t overthink – it can drive you crazy, be good to others and know that you’re doing the best you can so cut yourself some slack.

So many people look like they have it all together from the outside but the truth is that no one does. Let’s be kinder to each other and assume good intentions. 

I’m trying out video content – it seems like a good thing to do with video exploding on social.

Here’s a short video featuring yours truly on why you need a strong LinkedIn profile header and how to create a compelling one.

Why is your LinkedIn header so important? It gets pulled into google search results and your LinkedIn profile is often the first or second result for your name. That seems pretty high profile to me and a compelling reason to craft a strong one.

Take a look at my first You Tube instructional video – trust me you don’t want to see the outtakes.

If you do it, make sure you say it.

I’m working with a few professional services organizations that have not updated their practice areas or industries in number of years.

This can result in clients and prospects believing that you do not have the ability to do certain types of work or the depth and breadth of experience in a particular area that is important to them. If you are selling a service or expertise, it’s crucial to describe your work

Even worse is to have an outdated practice in an area that is no longer relevant (for example Dodd-Frank or a technology/product that doesn’t exist anymore). You’re selling your firm, lawyers and capabilities short by not updating terminology, practice strengths and industries as innovation happens.

It’s also important to read through current materials to ensure the latest innovative areas are added to your capabilities. For example many firms now have blockchain, artificial intelligence, cannabis or quality opportunity zones practices. These didn’t exist several years ago so be sure to add those if you do.

Also, make sure to add relevant subpractices as well. For example, corporate, litigation and intellectual property have many specialized areas that fall underneath them. Be specific about what you do in each of these areas. Remember this will help your Google search engine results too.

Remember, outdated terms and practices are just that – outdated.

Lawyers can partner with their marketing team to analyze their current practice and industry mix to ensure the most accurate and relevant information is captured on in practice and industry descriptions on your web site and pitch materials. This will also help to enhance your SEO search results.

One final thought on practice and industry descriptions is to always write them with your client/prospective client in mind. That means use short paragraphs, speak in their language with industry terms that resonate with them and keep the defined terms and acronyms to a minimum. It’s okay to list representative matters but do it in laypeople’s terms (versus listing case citations, legalese and clunky terminology). Always tell a story. Brevity is key in web copy and keep in mind that longer copy doesn’t always equal better copy.

It is not unusual for firms of all sizes to have outdated web descriptions, so there’s no time like now to update them. This is your place to brag about what you do, how you do it and what makes you unique.

I hope these tips are helpful as you strategize about updating your practice and industry descriptions.

Happy one-year anniversary to the Social Media Butterfly blog! 

One day in late 2018 the amazing Kevin O’Keefe contacted me to ask me if I wanted a blog hosted by LexBlog, Inc. He said he enjoyed reading my articles and LinkedIn posts and thought that others might also be interested in my thoughts. He truly believed in me and has been a great friend. I love to write and help others so I was happy to give it a try. We went back and forth over the right name for the blog and it was soon clear to both of us that the social media butterfly was the perfect choice. 

A good friend sent me this wine glass to celebrate the blog and it’s really perfect. 

A year later the blog has turned out to be the best form of therapy for me through a rough patch while also enabling me to share ideas with others. I’m thankful to those who follow along. I promise to keep writing if you promise to keep reading. 

I hope you will follow the blog. Let me know what you think.

In 2007, I joined McKee Nelson, a young, entrepreneurial firm. In two short years there I learned more than I ever could have imagined. The market was booming and the firm was thriving. The marketing team was small so I had the opportunity to take on a lot of responsibility.

Then the market crashed and everything changed.

The firm had to make some tough but necessary decisions, but it did so in the most compassionate way. We were all in it together. They did the right thing for their people. McKee Nelson wound up merging with Bingham McCutchen and later became part of Morgan Lewis during another merger. I left before the first merger because I was craving stability, and what better place to find stability than the most stable firm in the world, Sullivan & Cromwell?

My experience at McKee was very rewarding because I made lifelong relationships with some of the smartest, kindest and honorable people in the industry, and it helped me to grow and learn what kind of professional I wanted to be.

I learned a few key lessons though this experience (as well as a few other tips) to build your alumni network:  Continue Reading How Use Your Alumni Network to Build Your Brand and Business

June 28, 2019 was a beautiful sunny day in NYC.

It started just like any other Friday for me, I got up, walked my dog, said goodbye to my live-in boyfriend, headed to an early workout class and then to the office. Life was good. He and I texted throughout the day like we normally did, but his texts stopped around 4pm. I didn’t think anything of it because he was often very busy at work. So I went home, walked the dog and waited for him to come home so we could figure out our Friday night plans. We were about to leave for the summer house we rented, and I was busy packing pool floats and sunscreen.

I never got to go on that trip. The pool floats and sunscreen were returned. The course of my life changed that day.

Continue Reading What to Say (and Not Say) When Someone You Care About Is Going Through a Difficult Time

Earlier this week I conducted a training (at lunch – lawyers tend to come when you feed them) for one of my law firm clients on how to effectively use LinkedIn to bring in new business and strengthen the brands of the firm and its lawyers. I tailor each presentation to the particular firm and do an analysis of their competitors and peers. 

After the group training, I worked with each lawyer to enhance their individual LinkedIn profiles and web bios and gave them pointers on how to be more visible and active on the platform (like, comment and share posts) and increasing their connections (quality versus quantity). 

I find one of the best ways to teach someone how to use LinkedIn is to sit with them in their office and let them go through the actions on the platform while I’m beside them coaching them. This enables individuals to really get hands on and become less intimidated by the platform. I also find that non believers of LinkedIn quickly become evangelists when they see the power of the platform to engage with contacts, elevate their stature and lead to new opportunities (not just clients but speaking engagements and writing opportunities).

It is so fulfilling to help firms and lawyers reach their full potential on LinkedIn. 

Writing has always been a helpful outlet for me to process something, devise solutions to deal with it and then move on from it. I try to use my experiences to help others.

Recently publishing an article about mean girls 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, and when I say “mean girls” I am referring to mean women, who can continue to be catty, cruel and jealous way beyond their adolescent and teenage years).  Continue Reading How to Deal With Mean Girls in Your Personal Life

A great way to cultivate relationships is by becoming active in bar associations and key groups in your practice area or industry. 

Join a committee or take on a volunteer role. This type of work can help you become more visible in the field and lead to introductions and connections who can become clients or refer work to you. Just make sure that you do the role well – you can hurt your reputation by not doing what you said you were going to do.

In addition, become active in your college and law school alumni groups, as well as the alumni network of any former firms at which you worked. Even defunct firms often have alumni groups on LinkedIn and in person. Reach out to a well-connected former colleague to inquire about them.

Attend in-person events as well as join the online alumni community and related #LinkedIn alumni groups. Create your own informal alumni group composed of key former colleagues/classmates and make a plan to get together in person at least two times a year.

For more on how to build your network and brand, read my JD Supra article.