Archive for the ‘ business development ’ Category

Session Recap: Generational Marketing (video)

Thanks to the folks at Spark Media Solutions for doing a great round of post-session interviews after our presentation, Generational Marketing: Strategies and tactics for engagement with Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials.They really picked up on the main themes of our session, and provides a great recap of our session.

Jonathan Fitzgarrald and I appreciate the feedback we received, and look forward to presenting next week in Orlando at the Legal Marketing Association’s annual conference.

Mad Men and Law Firms: We Need a Pete

question markFor quite a while now I keep telling attorneys in my firm that we need a Pete.

For those of you who do not watch Mad Men, Pete Campbell is the head of accounts and a partner at Sterling, Cooper, Draper and the other guy.

His job is to go out, find the business, wine and dine (and throw in a whore house or two) the clients. He is not an ad man. He’s a BD (business development) guy. Client services professional.

And his role to the firm is key in their success:

  1. He finds the client.
  2. He is a bridge between the client and the creative team.
  3. He keeps the client happy and coming back for more.

Once Pete interests a client in the firm, he then introduces them to Don Draper, one of the agency’s partners and senior creative directors. Don then starts to get the potential client interested in the pizazz of what an advertising campaign run by him would look like.

Once they get the green light to prepare a formal pitch, Don then brings his team together. Peggy, the head copy writer, and on her way to becoming a partner, along with the media buyers, art directors, and junior copywriters. They then work together to pull the pitch together and present to the client.

We need a Pete

Advertising Agency – New Business Flow Chart

Nothing about this flow chart is unique. Accounting and other professional services businesses are run this way. They all have a Pete.

Law firms? For the most part, we don’t have a Pete. And our flow charts for new business doesn’t look like their process at all. Continue reading

Rainmaking Math … You have the time

I caught a post today from Jaimie Field, one of my Legal Marketing Extraordinaires, Rainmaking Recommendation #91: The Mathematics of Time for Rainmaking where she breaks down the myth that you don’t have time to make rain.

She’s right. I don’t care how busy your practice is, you can find the time to make some rain.

We are going to start with a few assumptions:

  1. That you are required to bill 2000 hours per year, and
  2. That you like to sleep.

That means you have to average 40 hours a week for 50 weeks of billable time (I’m giving you two weeks of vacation a year – am I nice or what?) or 160 hours per month.

So let’s talk about just one month of time (and we aren’t even going to discuss working weekends):

On average, there are 20 business days per month.

20 business days x 24 hours per day = 480 hours total hours.

480 hours – 160 hours (8 hours of sleep per night for 20 nights) = 320 hours left

320 hours – 160 hours of billable time per month = 160 hours left

Even if you work out 1 hour per day for those 20 working days you have 140 hours remaining per month.  Those 140 hours per month (and remember, this is only during the working week, this does not include weekends) equals 7 hours per business day to use any way you want.

Fine. You’re busy. I get it. Plus you have to add in a commute, the gym, watching a TV show or game. But even with all that, you still have a good three hours a day in which to market, or goof off around the office, hang out on Facebook, or play video games.

Which one’s going to make you money?

Here are some suggestions on what to do with some of those three hours: Continue reading

How NOT to measure the value of a legal blog

I just read the following post SCOTUSblog Won Readers, Not Clients: Popular blog didn’t work as marketing tool for law firm but was a hit with readers, founders tell UGA audience.

I have to disagree.

In general, and in most cases, a corporate legal blogger might not be able to point to a particular piece of business and say, “I brought that in from writing this blog post on that date.”

However, if written correctly, the attorney can most likely point to their practice and see a correlation between their increased business and the launching of their blog.

I just don’t think the folks at SCOTUSblog are correctly measuring its value.

A corporate legal blog is NOT a business development (read SALES) tool in and of itself. It is there to provide what Nancy Myrland calls “digital breadcrumbs“:

Blogging, just as all other content scattered across the Internet, is what I always refer to as “digital breadcrumbs.” The words, thoughts and opinions we share in these spaces serve to help others find a path to us when they happen to need us, or at least when their interest in our areas of expertise is heightened.

A blog, done right, is an educational tool that will position the author and firm. Avvo‘s Josh King agrees:

Too many attorneys and firms treat them like outbound marketing vehicles, doing more overt sales pitches than information and thought leadership.

Blogs are about value, and education. They are about telling the story you want the general counsel to read as they are doing their due diligence on the attorney and the firm. They are about having the right results on page one when your name is Googled.

Getting back to the softer ROI that we’re talking about, Virtual Marketing Officer, Jayne Navarre, points out that the SCOTUSblog article contradicts itself: Continue reading

Talking ’bout my generation

Where they Boomers got their name.

Generational marketing is a term that I picked up at the Chief Marketing Officer Institute earlier this year, and something Jonathan Fitzgarrald and I continue to toy with in terms of how this applies to legal marketing.

In short, generational marketing recognizes that the different generations make purchasing decisions in different ways from one another.

The different life phases we are in presently, coupled with our upbringing and societal norms, provide us with different perspective than those we follow, or those who follow us.

Roger Daltry is now 69. What happened to not trusting anyone over 30?

For example, I’m an earlier member of Generation X (born 1961 – 1981). I came of age during the Cold War.

I was raised by my Silent Generation parents (1925 – 1942), who came of age post-WWII. Only one of their five kids are a Baby Boomer (1943 – 1960). The rest of us are Gen-X.

And my parents were raised by their G.I. Generation parents (1901 – 1924), who grew up during, and were shaped by, the Great Depression.

One of the greatest challenges I face in the work place is working with the Millennial generation who were raised with technology at their fingertips (sometimes referred to as Gen Y; 1982 – 2000). The Baby Boomers really don’t get them at all.

Continue reading

Do Avvo and like directories matter?

A fellow legal marketer recently brought up Avvo in my Legal Marketers Extraordinaire Group on Facebook (message me on the Legal Watercooler’s Facebook page if you would like to join).

She was wondering about the value.

Avvo has always had its distractors, but I’ve always taken a “meh” position. Why? Because I’m in corporate law.

Here’s what I had to say about Avvo:

Avvo has incredible sway amongst consumers and has high search results.

If I was counseling a consumer lawyer (PI, trusts & estates, criminal, etc), I would definitely recommend Avvo and every Best, Super, lawyers.com they could get into. 

For my corporate lawyers, not so much.

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I also believe Avvo will grow in its prominence. Lisa Bloom, Gloria Allred‘s daughter, is a CNN contributor. Just flipped the TV on and there she is with “Avvo Legal Advisor and Spokesperson” under her name.

Kevin O’Keefe had several things to say, but he touched on something that should not be ignored:

Do not worry about search in the sense of getting your lawyers found, worry about what people see when they search the name of your lawyer. That’s the most important search. Avvo profiles will come up near the top on a Google search for the lawyer’s name.

To me that’s the value. If it is popping up in search results when you type in Attorney Name and Law Firm, then it is important.

That is key here. If you Google and Avvo pops up, it is important to that lawyer. Period. The less they do in social the higher it will rank, and there will be nothing to balance it out on the first page. So for that lawyer who doesn’t write or do media, doesn’t blog, doesn’t tweet, not on LinkedIn, Avvo might be the only thing other than their firm’s bio for a legal purchases see when they do their due diligence search.

I typed in the name of one of our partners, Larry Golub. Page after page of great content. He’s a frequent blogger, speaker at conferences, and media source for the firm.

He has an Avvo profile, but after page three of Google I stopped searching for it.

I did the test with a different partner, Marina Karvelas. While she does blog here and there, and has been a media resource, she is not a prolific blogger, speaker, content creator.  Her Avvo profile shows up on page one of Google.

Larry does not have to worry about Avvo. Marina should to a minimal extent. She just needs to make sure that the information is accurate and up to date. Same with anything else that is popping up in the first 1-3 pages of Google (although recent surveys are showing fewer and fewer people are clicking to page 2).

Now, my college roommate is a family law attorney and getting ready to hang up her shingle. She knows where all the dead bodies are buried, so to speak, so she will be getting lots of free legal marketing advice. Towards the top of my list for her is that she create and maintain a robust profile on Avvo. Why? Because consumers are using Avvo to research and conduct their due diligence.

In short, if you are a consumer attorney in any way, shape or form, care a lot.

If Avvo is showing up in your Google search results, but you represent corporate counsel, just claim your profile and make sure the information is accurate. If you don’t like the results, work to raise your profile ranking in Avvo, or create more highly indexed and original content to bury it.

If it’s not showing up in your search results, you don’t worry too much about it.

However, do not make the mistake of dismissing the good folks at Avvo. They are providing a much needed service to consumers out there. Time will only tell if that service will trickle over to being a resource for the business world and corporate counsel.

Three great take aways from today’s GC Panel at LMA-LA

Kudos to the Legal Marketing Association – Los Angeles Chapter program team on today’s Corporate Counsel Panel.

I have to say, I always love me a GC panel. Sure we hear the same ol’ same ol’, but there are always a few new nuggets of information in there.

GC panel

Corporate Counsel Panel

Three things popped out at me:

  1. The importance of LinkedIn. I have never at a panel heard GC after GC rave about LinkedIn. Okay. Four out of six. But they were vocal in their enthusiasm. The connections.The groups. They are using it to vet outside counsel. Learn information. Stay informed of trends. I’ve hyper-linked the LinkedIn profiles below where found.
  2. ACC Daily Newsletter. For those who don’t know what this is, the Association of Corporate Counsel uses Lexology to feed a daily newsletter for ACC members. The members can customize it by industry, practice, region, etc. Where does Lexology get the content? Law firm blogs. Corporate counsel are reading with their eyes and clicking on things that are of importance.
  3. Headlines Count. Whether it’s coming from an e-newsletter, scrolling through a LinkedIn group’s latest postings, or the Lexology daily newsletter, corporate counsel are clicking on the headlines that resonate with them on the issues they are facing today. Harkening back to this post, Why, yes, Amy. I did learn two new things, it’s not WHAT they are about to read, but WHY they need to read it that counts.

I tweeted at #lmamkt some other little tidbits. But those are the biggies that I walked away with,

Oh, Yeah. One more:

4. It’s all about relationships. Don’t ever forget that.

In Photo: L-R. Deborah Greaves, Secretary & General Counsel, True Religion Brand Jeans; Camilla M. Eng, General Counsel, JM Eagle; Joanne E. Caruso, Vice President, Global Litigation, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.; Jennifer Fisher, Senior Counsel, Intellectual Property, The Boeing Company, Boeing; Sheri Eisner, Associate General Counsel, JAMS; Tammy Brandt, Vice President and General Counsel, ServiceMesh, Inc.

Why yes, Amy, I did learn two new things

After PartySpoke on a panel yesterday with Adrian Lurssen and Molly Potter on content marketing. Adrian Dayton was the ring-leader. Lots of good folks in the room.

Adrian D. kicked things off with a giant piece of paper on each table asking us to write down what we hoped to get out of the program.

From our table Amy Knapp threw out: “I want to learn two new things.”

As we were all presenting from our table, our knowledge base was different than the rest of the room, and I wondered if I would actually learn two new things.

However, I always say that I define a program as successful if I can walk away with one new ACTIONABLE idea.

I came away with three new things:

  1. Google Authorship. Seriously. What rock have I been sleeping under? Kevin O’Keefe wrote about it way back in March here. Time to play catch up.
  2. Clicky: Web Analytics in Real Time. I originally hosted The Legal Watercooler on Blogger and got great analytics, including the name servers visiting my site. When I switch over to WordPress a few years ago, I lost that feature in my analytics. Amy shared about Clicky and before I left the room yesterday I had added it to my blog. So watch out. I can see you again.
  3. Adrian L. simplified a concept into one sentence that resonated with me, and something I am sharing with the lawyers at my firm who blog: Blog titles should tell the reader WHY they should open up and read the post, not WHAT they are going to read. It’s not that I didn’t know this. I just needed to hear it this way.

So, all in all, very successful program.

Prospecting for Clients

Oh, those crazy kids over at Law Firm Satire are at it again. This time, an homage to Ken Burns inviting you to the LMA-Bay Area Technology Conference.

Should you hire for function or fit?

It is no secret that I’m very interested in how teams work, how individuals (ME) fit into a team, and how we all come together to get the job done.

A colleague of mine posted an interesting job description for a Director of Law Firm Marketing and Public Relations:

  • “Intense Measurement” is your mantra. You prescribe to the theory that water boils at 212⁰F. Not at 210⁰ or 211⁰. It has to be 212⁰F. Even if you have 99.5% of the heat you need – your water is at 210⁰F – it won’t boil. Yet if you just tweak one or two small things – move the pot slightly to the right or increase the fuel a hair – suddenly everything changes. The water starts to boil. The same applies to the Marketing and Public Relations Director’s job – you can put lots of effort into it, but nothing “boils” until you look for those missing, magical “degrees” that could change everything. Whether you need to place more “streaming ads” on sports radio stations on Mondays, you need a direct response campaign during the heaviest tax return weeks, or you’re convinced we need a same-sex only divorce site (one in five couples meet online, but three-in-five gay couples meet online)…you never give up and the “perpetual beta” is something that you focus on day-in and day-out;
  • You’re a quick study with strong people skills…you have the ability to read people quickly (and accurately)…you are approachable, inspire candor and welcome multiple points of view;
  • Basic marketing research skills: you know how to collect information, analyze research and develop reports explaining their findings. You use calculations and formulas to evaluate data as you attempt to forecast future trends, and use information you find to support these claims;
  • You have a love and knack for writing, you “rock” in social media marketing, and you can write original copy based on your solid understanding of our primary areas;
  • You are proficient in Microsoft Office and Acrobat, and you know the basics of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, and
  • You can juggle multiple priorities simultaneously, establish clear priorities, meet deadlines and remain laser focused on the goal in a never-ending environment of change.

I love it.

I would hope that the resumes coming in will be include a wider pool of folks who will be the right fit, but perhaps not have the spot-on skill set that you would get from a functionally focused job description.

Some of these skills can easily be learned, especially if you have an inquisitive personality, and enjoy learning new things. But you cannot teach someone to be inquisitive or have a desire to learn.

Reminds me of some interview questions I’ve been asked over the years: “How can you market us in New York when you live in Los Angeles?” “Can you tell us about your experience marketing lawyers within the ABC industry?” “Who are your PR contacts in XYZ community/industry?”

Really? Why not ask me what I’m going to do in my first 90 days?

I don’t need to live in Santa Barbara, or Silicon Valley, or Denver to understand how to build up and learn about those markets, manage resources, and identify opportunities. Yet I have successfully taken on responsibilities in all of those markets, and work with lawyers to expand their practices in each community.

I knew very little about the insurance industry when I took on my current job. Probably why I subscribed to every insurance industry/business publication I could find during that first week.

We recently held a very successful industry conference for one of our practice groups. I didn’t sit in the sessions as my head was focused on all the logistics and I wouldn’t have heard a thing.

One of the lawyerly types said I would probably be bored learning about the minutia of what they do.

Actually, I do need to know what the lawyers do, and how the clients operate, but on a just below the surface level.

As I told one of my partners: I need to know enough about what you do to identify opportunities and help you market your practice.

But the real answer goes a bit deeper then that:

  • I need to understand the marketplace where the attorney operates. I need a clear understanding of who their buyer and influencers are.
  • I need to know the legal resources used, and where to find the answers to questions I might have.
  • I need to know the legal terms, and the major laws and legislation surrounding the industry. Where are the hurdles and brick walls that clients come up against?
  • I need to understand the business lines of the clients involved, and how they are currently operating in the marketplace. I need to have a clear understanding of the business needs and concerns of the client.
  • I don’t need to know enough to do the lawyer’s job.
  • I don’t need to run the client’s business.
  • I need to be able to connect the dots between the client’s business problems and our attorneys’ legal solutions.
  • And I really need to understand how my firm and our attorneys differentiate from our competitors.

So lacking specific industry, marketplace or functional experience should not be a game-stopper for interviewing or hiring an individual for a specific job. For those involved in the hiring process I would want to know:

  • How does she fit in the existing teams within the firm, practices, departments?
  • What are the qualities of his personality that will move projects along and get the job done?
  • Does she have the thirst for knowledge and inquisitive nature to seamlessly take over an existing position, or create a new one?
  • Can he fit in and manage the attorney personalities within our firm and culture?

Back to the questions at hand: Should you be hiring for fit or function. I’ll go with the Pareto principle on this one. 80% fit and 20% function.

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