I hear it all the time.

No one has ever hired be from reading a blog post.

I wrote a column for Roads and Bridges Magazine for 25 years. I’m not sure anyone ever said:

Read your column on… and I want to hire you.

Yesterday, Shawn Tuma and I gave a presentation on Blogging and Social Media to the Collin County Bar Association.

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I started coaching Shawn over five years ago, after he met me first on Twitter. I invite you to fast forward in Prezi to his part of the presentation.

Why? Because Shawn actually has had new clients find him because of his blogging and social media. Shawn has actually written for some top publications after the editors found his blog through social media.

While, I don’t think blogging is for everyone or every type of law practice, Shawn is living proof that at least for the Computer Fraud Act and Data Privacy, blogging and social media can be amazing tools.

You may know Shawn did a three part series on how to blog and use social media in an hour. Here is the Link to Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

In 2012, I posted a blog You are Never Too Young, Too Inexperienced, Too... I argued that If you are hungry to become more valuable to your potential clients and if you are willing to do what older lawyers are not doing, you have a real opportunity.

Because many senior lawyers are not creating content for their clients and potential clients or not using the web to distribute it widely, there are great opportunities for young lawyers to differentiate themselves from more senior lawyers. I read and recommend you read Seth Godin’s book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? I found a great quote about the power of the web by Hugh MacLeod:

The web has made kicking ass easier to achieve, and mediocrity harder to sustain. Mediocrity now howls in protest.

Seth Godin points out that the internet has raised the bar because it’s so easy for word to spread about great stuff. So, if you are a young lawyer you want to produce great stuff and then get it into the hands of people who will share it with others including your potential clients.

Seth Godin also says there is more junk than ever before. I agree and believe lawyers are creating more junk than ever before.

I read a lot of blog posts that are not well written and not aimed at helping clients and potential clients.

If you are a young lawyer and you want to “kick ass,” you must create content that your target market will value reading or hearing and then you must write it or present it in a way that grabs their attention.

 

In this the third in the series Shawn Tuma shows how he used social media for marketing in 57 minutes.

Executing the Plan — in 57 minutes you can do these 10 things to market your law practice

Now that I’ve described the tools that I use in Post 2, I will show you exactly what I did in 57 minutes on a Saturday morning:

  1. Had a really big cup of coffee
  2. Wrote a very brief blog post on Business Cyber Risk | Law Blog that linked to and promoted a post I had written the day before (which post linked to and promoted a post from a year ago)
  3. Created an image for the blog post using Canva
  4. Shared the blog post on all the usual sites (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook) plus 13 selected LinkedIn Groups, Pinterest and Instagram for the fun of it (why not when you created a cool image?)
  5. Read and shared 3 cyberlaw / computer fraud / cybersecurity related articles on Twitter (and set several for auto tweet at a later time)
  6. Read and shared 1 cyberlaw / computer fraud / cybersecurity related articles on LinkedIn
  7. Read and shared 1 cyberlaw / computer fraud / cybersecurity related articles on Google+
  8. Read and shared 7 articles through Fraud 2.0 that then went out via Twitter, the blog Facebook Page, LinkedIn and Google+ (one of which referenced my post from Business Cyber Risk | Law Blog from the day before)
  9. Read, saved to Evernote, and shared The Tricky Business of Law Firms Attracting Online Attention article by Kevin O’Keefe on lawyers and law firms using social media.
  10. Retweeted other people’s content 4 times (a great way for people to recognize you)
  11. Accepted some great LinkedIn connections from people I had met the day before and engaged in a couple of other brief conversations in LinkedIn groups
  12. Talked with my wife intermittently
  13. Wrote a summary of everything I did in Evernote so that I could eventually write this blog post!

There you have it!

In less than one hour you can sit in front of your computer with a nice cup of coffee and do 10 specific activities that help market yourself and your law practice by connecting with and building relationships with other people, writing a substantive blog post to further develop your knowledge about your practice area and help demonstrate that knowledge to others, and generally sharing information that people in your target audience may find valuable. That is high quality marketing and it works.

As you can see, once you have the process in place, it really does not take very long to work your social media activities. Then, once you have made some connections with people you would like to get to know better, you can meet them for coffee, lunch, or at a more strategically appropriate networking event and you will have a lot more to talk about.

Dallas Cyber Security lawyer Shawn Tuma is back with Part 2 of his three part series on Social Media Marketing in One Hour. I hope you had a chance to read Part 1 where Shawn explained why he turned from traditional go to events marketing to social media.

How much marketing “bang” you can get in less than 1 hour of executing a strategic social media marketing plan

The tools I used in this example

For this example, I used multiple blogs and all the usual social networking sites that I run through Hootsuite. Hootsuite is the secret weapon that makes all of this happen. Below I’ll explain how and why I use these different tools.

The blogs

The foundation for most of my social media marketing activities has been my blog. My primary blog is the Business Cyber Risk | Law Blog. I have been blogging on this site since 2010.

Since then, the focus of my practice has evolved and is generally focused on issues such as cyber law, computer fraud, cybersecurity, data breach, privacy, trade secrets, and social media law — areas that I generally refer to as business cyber risk. I have generally tried to provide a fair amount of substance in my posts and not clutter it up with a lot of general sharing of information like we generally do on our social networks.

I do not want my readers to feel like I am just sharing a bunch of junk so I am selective about what I share on that site. Because of that, I have experimented with using other blogs for different purposes. The verdict is still out on whether I will continue to do so. I would appreciate your feedback on this so let me know what you think.

My blogs are WordPress sites. One of the great features of the platform is that I have it connected to my Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and a Facebook page that is set up for the blog so that when I publish a blog post it automatically shares the post through those social networks which makes the blog a great vehicle for sharing information quickly and keeping a record of it for future reference.

I have found that my primary blog has become a great source of research material and that I frequently look back to earlier posts when I have questions about certain cases or legal issues that I have blogged about in the past. It is like a “knowledge bank” of prior research. Because of this, when I find information that I want to share but also want to keep a record of, I would find myself struggling between whether it was worthy of sharing on my primary blog or whether it would clutter up the stream too much.

This led me to set up a second blog that I named Fraud 2.0 that I have connected to the same automated sharing sites as my primary blog. But, instead of writing substantive posts, I use this one for sharing information that I want to keep a record of, want to widely disseminate very quickly and easily, and may want to write a couple of lines about but nothing more. This is really easy to do because WordPress has an add-on for my Google Chrome browser that is called “Press This” that enables you to take the webpage you are reading and with the click of a button share it straight through your blog site.

I have a third blog called CFAA Digest that is simply a collection of briefs on cases involving the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). I had great plans for this site but did not seem to factor in the time limitations that we humans have. This site will probably not be around much longer.

Hootsuite — and the social networks

HootSuite is the secret weapon for how to make all of this work. If you do not use it, I encourage you to do a little research about it and start using it. NOW!

It is a site that aggregates all of your social networks into one dashboard and allows you to read the content on those networks and then share it through some or all of those networks with the click of a button. It also allows you to schedule times in the future for sharing content.

It too has an add-on for my Google Chrome browser that enables me to take the webpage I am reading and, with the click of a button, share it through some or all of my social networking sites. This is very powerful because it enables you to take the time you spend reading news articles and also use it for sharing valuable information for others.

In the next post (3 of 3) I will explain how I used these tools during that one hour period of time which will allow you to then see how you can apply those same strategies to your marketing efforts.

 

 

 

 

I met and started coaching Shawn Tuma in 2011. Shawn had found me using social media and had subscribed to my blog. After a three hour coaching session, Shawn posted one of my favorite blog posts: Are you like Clark Griswold or Ray Lewis? explaining how I convinced him to narrow his focus.

Shawn did just that and at the same time became my “go to” source for lawyer marketing using social media. Shawn is now a partner with Scheef & Stone, L.L.P. He is a cyber lawyer who helps businesses throughout the US with cutting-edge issues involving computer fraud, cybersecurity, privacy and intellectual property law.

Shawn has done a really great job writing and speaking on those issues and then getting his work to many others using Social Media. Over the last year, Shawn has given several presentations and webinars for lawyers I coach. Here is a link to a Social Media Webinar I know you will find valuable.

Last June, Shawn demonstrated how he could effectively use social media tools in less than an hour. I asked him to share his ideas with you. So, this is the first in a three part series.

This is the first  in a 3 part series that focuses on simple ways that you can use social media to market your law practice in less than one hour. The first post explains how social media can be a more efficient tool for marketing than traditional face-to-face networking.

The second post discusses the tools you will need to use to effectively market your practice using the techniques I discuss.

The third post provides an actual example of what I did on one particular day, in less than an hour, to market my practice and it has a list of 10 specific activities that you can easily adopt and try for yourself.

Why Social Media Can Be More Efficient Than Traditional Networking

“What can I do to market my law practice in less than an hour?”

If you are serious about trying to build your law practice then I hope you have asked yourself that question, or something similar. Time is precious and the last thing any of us want to do is waste it. But, there are also things we must do if we want to grow our law practices. Marketing is tops on that list and that is why all of us should constantly be asking ourselves how we can get the most marketing bang for our time-buck.

I have to market. You have to market. But what does it mean to market?

It took me a while but I finally realized that working hard to become a great lawyer was not enough to help me get the kind of clients I wanted and needed to build my law practice. I realized that in addition to striving to become a great lawyer, I would also have to market myself and my practice. Unfortunately, the word marketing was an amorphous term to me. I had no idea what it meant or how to do it.

Traditional “marketing” took too much time

So, I did what many others do: I started going to business networking events believing I could walk into the room and  be greeted with lots of eager clients who would immediately recognize the value I could provide to their businesses. Then, with the flip of a few business cards, I would reel in more work than I could handle and I would be set for life! That’s how it is supposed to work, right?

Maybe you have better luck, but it did not work for me.

I quickly learned

  • I was wasting at least an hour at the event meeting people who wanted to sell me their products and services to me,
  • 30 minutes driving time, to and from the event, and
  • heaven only knows how much time fielding follow-up telephone calls and responding to emails from the people I met there who had no interest (or ability to afford) my services but thought I was the ideal candidate for theirs.

There had to be a better way.

After a few frustrating months, I realized there was a better way.

Social media “marketing” was much better suited for me

I started to realize this when I started reading Cordell Parvin’s blog. In March, 2011 he posted: Social Media: One Tool to Become More Visible and Credible where he explained the benefits of using social media for networking and marketing.

I was immediately drawn to this because it was  efficient and gave me a very broad reach. There was no travel time, no cost to participate, no meals or drinks to buy.  And, the whole world was within my reach, not just the handful of networkers I met who were trying to sell something to me!

I jumped into it, found that I had a knack for social media marketing, and began having limited success. It was easy to get into because I was already used to using social media on a personal basis. What made it easy, however, also became a stumbling block. I was using social media in the way that I enjoyed it, not for a strategic purpose to grow my business. This changed when I began working with Cordell.

You must develop and follow a strategic plan to effectively market with social media

One of the most important lessons that Cordell taught me was that I had to stop doing things because I enjoyed them but, instead, I needed to do things that were strategically designed to accomplish my clearly defined marketing goals.

Here is how you can do it. Start by defining your marketing goals and then work backwards to develop a strategic plan to accomplish those goals. The plan must be specific and mine was. It addressed the “why,” had a specific amount of time allocated for each activity (to 2 minute increments), and had specific action items so that it was actionable and did not require a lot of time being indecisive and “mulling over things.”

I still have the original Plan on my credenza today and regularly refer to it though much of it has become habit and some has evolved as well.

If you are like me, you would rather see an example of how something is done than to be told how to do it. So instead of telling you more about my plan, in my second post I will explain what tools I use and why I use  them. In  my third post I will share how, on one particular Saturday morning, I spent less than one hour and did 10 specific activities to market myself and my law practice.

With this you will see just how much marketing “bang” you can get for less than an hour investment. Then, after you see how much you can accomplish in such a limited amount of time, you can work on preparing a plan of your own.

You can follow Shawn on Twitter @shawnetuma. After you read the three part series I am sure he would be happy to answer any questions.

 

Are you  an “experienced” lawyer? If so are you effectively using tools on your computer,iPad and iPhone for client development?

Last year I did a cross-Canada tour speaking on blogging and social media in four of McCarthy Tétrault offices. (I think I was asked to do the presentations, at least in part, because of the color of my hair.) I shared with the lawyers I met, my thoughts on how to use the social media tools to better serve their clients. In small groups, I showed lawyers some of the apps that are available for their computers, tablets and mobile phones.

My goal in this post is to share with you the computer tablet and phone tools that will enable you to better serve your clients and build better relationships. I will share with you how I would use the tools if I was still practicing law and provide links where you can learn more:

  1. Google Alerts: I would have Google Alerts for all of my clients, some of their competitors and industry information like highway construction, bridge construction, airport construction, rail construction. I would NOT send these alerts to my email. Instead, I would send them all to Google Reader (another tool). If you want to learn more, look at How to Use Google Alerts.
  2. RSS Feeds: I would subscribe to industry publications, general news publications, blogs I enjoy. Again I would not send any subscriptions to my email. I want them all to go to Google Reader. Kevin O’Keefe wrote a great blog RSS feeds make comeback with tablets and apps. Kevin mentions some of the apps below.
  3. Google Reader: I would use Google Reader to organize my feeds and alerts. I would set up folders. So, I might have folders for each client, each competitor, each industry topic. Since my other subscriptions or alerts would be for news, sports, my college-Virginia Tech, my current hometown-Dallas, Travel etc., I would have folders for those topics also. Kevin has created a video: Google Reader in Plain English.
  4. Zite: It is an iPad/iPhone app that creates magazines on topics of interest to you. It goes out and locates what has been written on those topics. It can also be used as a dissemination tool to send articles found by email to clients/contacts or to Twitter and other social media sites. To learn more read and watch: 3 More Reasons You Should Use Zite as Your Personal Digital Magazine
  5. Feeddler Pro-It is another iPad/iPhone app that creates a distribution tool for the materials in your Google Reader. To learn more read: Feeddler RSS Reader – My Favorite iPad RSS App Now Works on iPhone
  6. Flipboard: It is another iPad/iPhone app that creates magazine looking pages of your home pages on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and various other sites. To learn more read: How to Use Flipboard for the iPad
  7. Slideshare: It is an add on to LinkedIn, but it also is a website of its own. I use it to upload pdf versions of my presentation slides. In some cases I have added video to the beginning of the presentations. I make people aware of these presentations by linking to the slides on Twitter and in LinkedIn Groups. To learn more watch: How to Use Slideshare for Business.
  8. Hootsuite: I use it as a dissemination tool. I can send my blog, my presentations etc. to LinkedIn, My Facebook Coaching Page, and Twitter all at once and I can set the time when I want the materials to go. To learn how to use Hootsuite watch: How to Use HootSuite – A Quick Start Guide for Beginners.

I hope I have given you some ideas. Do you want to learn more? I am planning a webinar in June on all that I covered above. If you are interested in participating, contact Joyce at jflo@cordellparvin.com.

Last week I wrote: Young Lawyers: Are You Kicking …? It was a popular post and several people commented on Twitter and on LinkedIn. In this post I want to be more specific.

Recently I was going through some of my old construction law materials and I found a document I had used as a handout for workshops I did for clients. The document was titled: Preparing a Claim. If any of you who are construction lawyers want to see it you can download it Preparing a Claim.  Interestingly, the document was originally generated while actually preparing a claim for a client. In marketing that is called “repurposing” content.

As I reviewed the handout, three thoughts came to mind:

  1. I put a lot of effort into creating this handout.
  2. The handout would have been valuable to any transportation construction contractor.
  3. It was a shame that the only people who ever saw the handout were those who attended workshops I did for a few clients.

Today, I could have shared the handout with transportation construction contractors on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. I could have uploaded the slides to Slideshare. I could have done the presentation by a webinar. I could have recorded the presentation and made it available for contractors to download and cut it into short segments and put them on Youtube.

I will leave you with this quote from Seth Godin:

How Dare You?

How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?

 

 

 

This is the last in my series of blog posts on ideas you might use from Entrepreneur Magazine’s Social Media Challenge.  I enjoyed reading How to Master the Social-Media Best and suggest you take a look at it for ideas of things you can do during the day.

If you are using social media to become more visible and credible to a target market, you will learn from this post that it is important to have a plan for your day. Don’t just do things randomly. I find many lawyers who post many things on LinkedIn or Twitter, but there is no focus to it. In some cases I wonder when the lawyer is practicing law since he or she has so many posts.

As you will also see when you read the post, the writer/consultants take time to find something valuable to talk about. Then they suggest using HootSuite to time posts on social media during the day and reach different readers.

On December 22, 2010, Entrepreneur posted Our Social Media Push Passes the Sales Test which included the results achieved from the Social Media campaign created by LeeReedy/Xylem Digital. Take a look, the results are pretty impressive.

This is the second post on social media in my series based on the Social Media Challenge Entrepreneur Magazine created. The magazine’s second post was: The Launch: On the Scene with Big Papa’s BBQ.

What can you or your law firm do based on the lesson in this post? I suggest you do a free program at your office. It might be a “Breakfast Briefing” or a “Lunch and Learn.” Pick a topic that your target market would really care about. Then, in addition to inviting clients, figure out which potential clients and referral sources are on Twitter and use Twitter to invite them. You might also announce the program on your LinkedIn page and/or your Facebook business page.

When you do the Breakfast Briefing or Lunch and Learn, make sure those who attend know how to find you and your firm on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Include links in your handout materials.

Over Thanksgiving I came across an Entrepreneur Magazine Social Media Challenge Series. As you will see when you read the introduction, Entrepreneur Magazine says:

We asked the creative thinkers Denver digital marketing firm LeeReedy/Xylem Digital to help us take a local business, Big Papa’s Barbeque, from zero social presence to big-time social network strategist.

I bet you know my immediate thought:

Which suggestions in the test can you utilize and how can you utilize them?

The first post was Shh! You Have to Listen to Learn. The authors say:

The first step in any good social-media campaign is to listen. Find the conversations and become a fly on the wall.

I believe the first step in any client development campaign is to listen. You should determine what is being said about you and your law firm. One way is to set up Google alerts for your name and your law firm name. You also want to set up alerts on your legal specialty. The writers suggest you set up the same terms using Hootsuite. So, if I was still practicing transportation construction law, I might have alerts on each of my clients, my clients competitors, my clients’ industry associations and:

  • Bridge construction
  • Highway construction
  • Road construction
  • Airport construction
  • Rail construction

I realize that those broad terms will give me more information than I really want. So, I will have to determine if I can scroll through the information I am not interested efficiently or if I need to narrow my alerts.

Why should you listen? For me, the answer has always been simple: I want to learn of breaking business issues and figure out how they may generate a legal issue for my clients.

The second post by Entrepreneur Magazine was The Launch: On the Scene with Big Papa’s BBQ. In Part 2 of this series I will share my thoughts from that post. In the meantime, I urge you to subscribe to Entrepreneur Magazine, subscribe to its blog and follow it on Twitter.