Five Ways to Build Your Personal Brand in Today’s Digital World

Five Ways to Build Your Personal Brand in Today’s Digital World

In 2010, 24-year-old violinist Lindsey Stirling appeared on America’s Got Talent. She was eliminated in the quarter finals. According to Wikipedia, judge Piers Morgan told her: “You’re not untalented, but you’re not good enough to get away with flying through the air and trying to play the violin at the same time.”

Stirling later wrote on her blog: “I was devastated at the results … It was painful, and a bit humiliating; however, I had to relearn where it was that I drew my strength.”

Never heard of Lindsey Stirling? Perhaps choreographed violin performances aren’t your thing, but she’s crafted a big and profitable niche in the ensuing years since America’s Got Talent judge Sharon Osbourne told her: “What you're doing is not enough to fill a theater in Vegas.”

Content Marketing: An Essential Tool for Legal Business Development

Content Marketing: An Essential Tool for Legal Business Development

One of the challenges that most lawyers face is the sales and marketing rollercoaster. Business slows down and business development picks up. Then new work comes rolling in, and work product takes precedence over business development. And so on.

There’s no getting around the fact that selling is required to sustain and expand existing relationships, and to develop new ones. The problem is that—let’s face it—hardly anyone (especially most lawyers) enjoys selling. But rest easy because there’s a way to sell that doesn’t involve cold calling, glad handing and small talk. At least not in the traditional sense. One of the most important tools that lawyers can use to achieve business development success is content marketing.

Consumers of legal services desire, above all else, expertise. Unless expertise can be conveyed and validated through referral or reputation, it must be demonstrated through thought leadership expressed in the marketplace of ideas (i.e., content marketing). Generating and disseminating compelling content builds trust and awareness, and positions the content creator as an expert. It’s the “long game” with a focus on relationship building, not the hard sell.

Want to Generate More Leads as a Lawyer? Write a Book

Want to Generate More Leads as a Lawyer? Write a Book

This post originally appeared on Attorney at Work.

If you are an established lawyer looking to grow your practice, or a young lawyer hoping to build a book of business for the long term, you should give serious consideration to writing a book. Why? There are few, if any, better marketing assets than a book with your name on the cover.

As a lawyer, there are two steps to business development. First, you need to generate opportunities, then you need to capitalize on them. Writing a book helps with both. Here’s how.

The Right-Brained Lawyer is the Lawyer of the Future

The Right-Brained Lawyer is the Lawyer of the Future

At the leading edge of each of each new technology—from the Internet, to blockchain, to artificial intelligence—a pattern repeats itself. Every “next big thing” is over-hyped and oversold. A wave of momentum builds, companies and capital plunge in, the wave crashes, and a few participants emerge to define the market moving forward. Many technologies eventually become “big things,” but often not in ways we originally envision.

One thing we can say for certain—because we’re witnessing it before our eyes—is that the aggregate effect of technological advancements over the last twenty years is the leveling of the playing field when it comes to availability of information. We have moved from a world of information asymmetry to one of information parity due to the digitization of data accessible at the click of a button. In this word, yesterday’s “experts,” defined as those who held troves of data in their heads, are less valuable. Whatever information they possess about a particular topic is dwarfed by what’s freely available online.

5 Laws That Can Make Or Break Your Law Firm's Website Project (And How to Deal With Them)

5 Laws That Can Make Or Break Your Law Firm's Website Project (And How to Deal With Them)

Most law firms redesign their websites every 36 to 60 months. Due to changes in technology, preferences in design and communication styles, mergers and management shake-ups, and observations about what the competitor down the street is doing, many firms perceive the need—often for good reason—to frequently refresh their online presence.

This process can feel like running on a hamster wheel for law firm marketers tasked with managing their firms’ brands and websites. Just as political campaigns seem to begin anew following the latest election cycle, right when you work through all the bugs of a new law firm website launch, it’s time to start thinking about the next iteration.

The Power of a Personal Brand—Free Chapter Preview from "The Essential Associate"

The Power of a Personal Brand—Free Chapter Preview from "The Essential Associate"

For those who haven’t had a chance to check out my new book, The Essential Associate, I’m sharing the full text of Chapter 8—The Power of a Personal Brand. While the book is geared towards associates, I believe the lessons discussed in this chapter across experience levels. Enjoy! And don’t forget, if you are interested in purchasing the book for yourself or your colleagues, it’s available on my site, www.theessentialassociate.com, and on Amazon in both print and Kindle formats.

Chapter 8 – The Power of a Personal Brand

The problem with most business development advice is that it’s tactical and not strategic. Do this. Don’t do that. Try this software. Dabble in that social media platform. Tactics are important but only in the context of a larger strategy. And the ultimate strategy for a young lawyer hoping to build a sustainable business development pipeline is to build a strong personal brand.

Quantity or Quality? When it Comes to Content Marketing for Law Firms, it’s Both

Quantity or Quality? When it Comes to Content Marketing for Law Firms, it’s Both

Should we be creating more content but at a low level of quality, or less content at a high level of quality? For law firms looking to make an impact with their content, this question poses a false dichotomy. There is another alternative, which is to produce a high level of content at a high level of quality. If you are, in fact, hoping to make an impact with content marketing, there is no choice other than to do more, better.

 

What is Content Marketing?

Smart brands—law firms and otherwise—have come to understand that old-school, mass-market, interruptive styles of marketing, such as traditional advertising, aren’t working any longer. Consumers of all types of products and services, from light bulbs to legal services, are finding new ways to consume information, and are ignoring brands who are interjecting what they want people to hear and see, rather than creating stories consumers want to hear and see themselves.

Rather than one-off ad campaigns and self-centered marketing materials, law firms that produce content that inspires, educates, and entertains members of their target market, while using a consistent, authentic editorial voice, are succeeding in breaking through in today’s challenging and crowded marketplace for content. The best law firm content marketing, be it in the form of website content, articles, video, or audio, focuses on the client’s information needs and not the firm’s own preferences.

The Internet is Legal Marketing’s Kingdom, But Content is Still King

The Internet is Legal Marketing’s Kingdom, But Content is Still King

In 2013, upon joining Bloomberg Media Group as its new CEO, Justin Smith sent Bloomberg's media team a memorandum describing his approach and philosophy to journalism. At a time when the media industry was experiencing massive disruption (which has since accelerated), and its primary revenue source of advertising was declining precipitously, Smith had this to say:

“All business is bifurcated into two distinct worlds: the struggling traditional segment that longs for a simpler, more profitable past that will never return; and the vibrant, entrepreneurial segment that reinventing commerce before your eyes.”

The same can be said of the legal industry in 2018. In fact, this same sentiment is expressed in the 2018 Report on the State of the Legal Market, published by Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, which suggests that too many law firms are fighting the “last war” by operating and adapting (or not adapting) based on how the market has behaved in the past, and not on what’s to come. Just as in the media sector, this has created opportunities for entrepreneurial law firms and alternative services providers to step in and exploit the situation through hustle and innovation.

Leveraging the 80/20 Rule to Accelerate Law Firm Performance

Leveraging the 80/20 Rule to Accelerate Law Firm Performance

When it comes to law firm marketing, most things matter very little, and a few things matter greatly. The trick is distinguishing between the two. It’s worth the effort, because identifying your firm’s highest impact, highest leverage marketing activities and investments is the key to accelerating performance. Consider the following examples to put things into perspective.
 

Where We Spend Our Time and Attention

These days, most large law firms solicit feedback from clients about their satisfaction with the firm’s services. Smaller firms may not have a systematic feedback program in place, but seek input from clients in a more informal manner. Either way, the point is to distill the data and make performance and client service improvements.

Let’s assume that you put in place a feedback program that asks clients to rank interactions with your firm on a scale of 1 (very negative) to 7 (very positive). Let’s further assume that the results are mixed—there’s a relatively mixed distribution of responses across the spectrum.

10 Things Every Lawyer Should Consider Before Writing a Book

10 Things Every Lawyer Should Consider Before Writing a Book

Polls suggest that over 80 percent of Americans want to write a book, but only a small percentage of them actually do. That being said, book publishing is on the rise. Self publishing is easier than ever, and Amazon offers an amazing marketplace to sell books.

A few days ago I launched a new book called The Essential Associate: Step Up, Stand Out, and Rise to the Top as a Young Lawyer. It’s a book that provides my take on what is required to succeed as a young associate in the practice of law and the business of law in today’s competitive environment, and also includes the insights of dozens of top lawyers, general counsel at Fortune 500 companies, and leading consultants to the legal industry whom I interviewed as part of the research for the book.