Posted in Roundups

Week of February 1, 2016 on ILNToday – A Roundup!

roundupHappy Friday from a very snowy south Jersey, where I am one happy camper. Other grouchy people may not like winter, but I love the snow, which we’ve seen very little of this year (minus our big blizzard, of course), so I’m quite pleased to see some of the fluffy stuff again before I’m sure it will warm up and melt once more. And I say that despite being solely responsible for the shoveling around here.

This weekend is, of course, also about the Superbowl, or for those of us without a team in the fight, the Superbowl commercials. You know what that means – next week starts my annual recap of the good, the bad and the ugly of this year’s crop of commercials, and just as with every other year, I haven’t cheated and watched any sneak peeks. So I can’t wait for the new ad debuts! (I know, I’m a terribly nerdy legal marketer, and I heartily embrace that) Continue Reading

Posted in Rainmaking Recommendations

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Small Steps Add Up

I’m a big fan of doing things in increments, so I love the advice in today’s Rainmaking Recommendation from expert Jaimie Field. Even better, there’s a surprise just for Zen readers at the end of this post, so make sure to read all the way through for a bonus!


For arguments sake, let’s just say you have worked on an individual Rainmaking/Marketing Plan for your practice. Maybe you spent hours on it.  Maybe you went to a class, seminar, webinar, presentation, telling you how to develop a plan specifically designed for you.   Maybe you spent money working with a Rainmaking Trainer and or Coach.

That’s great… but here’s a little wake up call for you.  A little kick in the butt if I may.


If you have a plan and you do nothing with it all you have is a piece (or pile) of paper(s) that is collecting dust.

In my last Rainmaking Recommendation, I talked about “excusitis”.  Stop letting excuses prevent you from becoming a Rainmaker.

So you developed your plan, and you detailed different steps you can take to achieve the goals you want, now what?

Schedule the steps. 

Each little step you take – no matter how small – leads you forward.  Yet, for some reason, we have a tendency to believe if it isn’t the big grand gesture, it’s not worth doing.

For example, let’s say you wanted to begin speaking to build a book of business.  That phrase may be daunting if you think about it as one idea.  However, when you break it down into the steps necessary to begin doing it, you will find it easier to move ahead.

  • Figure out your target audience
  • Create ideas and topics for your talks
  • Search for associations or groups on in which your target audience are members
  • Send email or call person in charge see if there is any interest (if not, move on to another person/group)
  • Schedule date for presentation
  • Develop presentation
  • Give presentation
  • Follow up. . .

Each is one small step that you can take instead of trying to do it all at once.

As Indira Gandhi once said:  

Have a bias toward action – let’s see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away.”


Tomorrow is my birthday, and while I love getting gifts, as my way of saying thank you to Lindsay and the readers of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking, I am giving you a gift:  A complimentary 45 minute Rainmaking Coaching session via telephone.  There are three things that will be promised:

  1. You will think of Rainmaking differently than you do now,
  2. You will hang up with at least one idea to implement immediately, AND
  3. Absolutely no sales pitch! 

If you are interested, send an email to  by February 18, 2016 with the subject line: Legal Zen Marketing Reader.

Posted in Legal Marketing, Two for Tuesdays

An Uncomfortable Conversation About Content Marketing

iStock_000003908491_LargeThere are some days when I struggle with writing another post about content marketing – while it’s still a topic of great importance, especially in the legal industry, it can feel overdone. I don’t want to keep repeating what I’ve said before (though there’s a lot of value in repetition in content marketing, because you have new people in your audience, or people suddenly reading your words with fresh eyes). I also don’t want to come off as a clickbait lecturer – “do these 5 things and you’ll be the best content marketer there ever was!” Uh, no.

But I think it’s important enough to continue having conversations around it, and I read two things today that really resonated with me that I’d like to share with you.

The first is actually a post that offers The 5 Best Content Marketing Tools You Aren’t Using (and maybe they are, and maybe they aren’t, read the post and see what you think!). What strikes me as being really important about this piece isn’t the tools themselves; it’s what the author says right in the early part of the post:

When content marketing works, it’s an incredible way to build relationships and share knowledge without pitching your services or products. But here’s the thing:too many businesses are still equating content production with hard sales, especially the content that’s on their business blogs. When I advise startups and small businesses on content marketing, I always come back to this essential truth: successful content is content that empowers, excites and educates. It connects and builds relationships. It tells a story.”

For law firms and lawyers, this is KEY.  Continue Reading

Posted in Roundups

Week of January 25, 2016 on ILNToday – A Roundup!

roundupAnd just like that, we’re at the end of January!  How did everyone do with their LinkedIn Challenge? As a result of my efforts, I reached out to 34 people who are not regular contacts of mine on LinkedIn, and ended up having conversations with seven of them. One of those led to my introducing that contact to two of the lawyers in my Network who may be good referral sources for him, and another may be an opportunity for me to showcase a blog post for the connection on our website. It’s become such a regular habit now that although I don’t think I’ll be as committed to it on a regular basis, I can see myself using anniversaries, birthdays and new jobs as an opportunity to reach out by email to connect, rather than simply “liking” someone’s updates from now on – just a little bit of extra effort has provided a much richer experience on LinkedIn!

Add your own experiences with your LinkedIn challenge in the comments below, and if you didn’t get a chance to do it in January, why not start on Monday with a February LinkedIn challenge? It is a leap year, after all, so you have an extra day.

Without further ado, however, here are this week’s top stories from ILNToday in our roundup:

Posted in Legal Marketing

Networking Matters For A Long-Term Legal Career

EOZpjI3oSqKPNnF2S4Tp_UntitledOne of the things we like to talk about here at Zen is networking, so today, I’m bringing in guest blogger, Thom Singer, to offer you some words of advice while I’m off doing some networking of my own (as well as learning) at this month’s Legal Marketing Association NJ lunch!


If you make networking a second tier priority, you will have second tier results.

Growing a legal practice can be an all-encompassing experience. Many lawyers put so much attention into their current client matters that they fail to honor the time to make, grow and keep their business relationships. The immediacy of issues surrounding today’s problems leaves little space for things that do not create instant billable “ROI.” Continue Reading

Posted in Legal Marketing, Social Media

Three Ways to Motivate Lawyers to Content Marketing Success

photo-1429051883746-afd9d56fbdafBefore we jump into our regularly scheduled post, I wanted to mention that the Legal Marketing Association has put together several of the sessions from the Bay Area Chapter’s Legal Tech Conference, which are available as a webinar series – members can download them for free, and non-members get them at a rate which is really a bargain, considering the depth of content offered. One of the sessions is the panel I participated on with Adrian Lurssen of JD Supra and Laura Toledo of Nilan Johnson & Lewis, but as an independent attendee for the other sessions, I can say that the content was really smart and thoughtful, and would be well worth the time and cost invested! So I share the link with you in the event that you’d like to take a look at it – descriptions of the sessions offered with this bundle are included.

I watched our panel from the conference again, and one of the questions that we were asked during the session is one that I think Zen readers would benefit from discussing as well – that is “How do you motivate lawyers to produce content?”

It’s easy to become convinced that content development is a time-consuming process that you have to devote significant resources to. But if you invest some time in setting up good processes, and marketing professionals act as the support team for the lawyers that are producing the work, it can run much more efficiently than you’d expect.  Continue Reading

Posted in Roundups

Week of January 18, 2016 on ILNToday – A Roundup!

roundupAs we on the east coast batten down the hatches for winter storm Jonas, it’s time for another roundup! Don’t forget to check in about how you’re doing with your LinkedIn challenge as well – are you reaching out to your connections? This week, I managed to make a new connection from someone who had looked at my profile, and I realized that I could help him by introducing him to two of my lawyers who share a practice area specialty with him – potential referral sources for everyone! So while it’s been taking some discipline to stick with reaching out to three connections a day, it’s proving to be worthwhile in deepening my LinkedIn experience.

Posted in Rainmaking Recommendations

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: The Top 5 Excuses for Not Becoming a Rainmaker

I’m a big fan of today’s post from rainmaking expert and coach, Jaimie Field, who talks about the disease of “excusitis” – are any of the reasons she cites below holding you back from becoming a rainmaker?


A deadly disease is plaguing your legal practice.  It’s called “Excusitis”.

Excusitis occurs when you come up with the various reasons why you cannot do something.  Here’s the rub – no matter what excuse you may have, someone has already debunked it.

For example, the “I’m too old to ___________ (insert activity here)” excuse.   Age is truly just a number.  Colonel Harlan Sanders began to franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken at the age of 65, Anna Mary Robertson
Moses, better known as Grandma Moses began her prolific painting career at 78. George H.W. Bush went skydiving at the age of 80, 85 and 90 years of age. Continue Reading

Posted in Legal Marketing, Two for Tuesdays

Two Content Marketing Resolutions for 2016

photo-1439556838232-994e4c0d3b7cAlthough we’re well into 2016 now, it’s not too late to make some resolutions for your content marketing. I came across this Forbes article from the end of last year with 6 Content Marketing New Year’s Resolutions to Make This Year, and there is some great food for thought in there that I’d like us to consider. As it’s a Two for Tuesdays day, we’ll focus on two of them to start with.

Why content marketing resolutions at all?

It’s easy to get too into the weeds with content marketing, and be so focused on the process of producing and distributing content that we forget to take that step back once in a while to make sure that we’re sticking to our strategy, working with a strategy that makes sense for us, our practices, and our firms, and continuing to produce and distribute content that meets with what our audiences really want to consume. Continue Reading

Posted in Roundups

Week of January 11, 2016 – A Roundup! 

roundupIt’s our first roundup of the year, thanks to my travel schedule and the holidays – coming to you from rainy, but balmy (for a change) Chicago! I’m getting ready to head into judging weekend for the Legal Marketing Association’s Your Honor Awards, considered to be the “Oscars” of legal marketing, and it’s an intense process by which we weed out who is doing some of the best, most brilliant, work in our industry.  Continue Reading