One of the questions I am asked most often is about how to manage relationships when we’re all so busy – and we are ALL so busy these days!

LinkedIn is a great tool for professionals (even lawyers!) to employ to efficiently and effectively develop relationships without a huge time investment. Yes, like with any social media, you have to be somewhat diligent about not getting sucked in to it and losing time, but with some time management safeguards in place, it’s possible to maximize your use of it without wasting your efforts.
Continue Reading Two (Easy!) Ways to Use LinkedIn to Supercharge Your Relationship Development Efforts

In today’s rainmaking recommendation from expert and coach, Jaimie Field, learn the difference between social media marketing and social media networking, and why you need both in your arsenal.

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One of the things that I haven’t discussed in a deeper manner is how to use various social media networking sites for Rainmaking Purposes.

I have touched on the fact that if you use social media you need to take the relationship from online to off in order to allow you to create the relationships that will lead to more referrals, prospective clients and deeper relationships with other. 
Continue Reading Rainmaking Recommendation with Jaimie Field: Social Media Marketing v. Social Media Networking

I am absolutely gobsmacked that we’ve made it to nine years of blogging here at Zen. It’s been an adventure! I never imagined when I first began writing in this little corner of the internet how much joy blogging would bring me, but it’s allowed me to connect with people all over the world, and have some brilliant and interesting conversations with some wonderfully smart and thoughtful people.

In nine years of blogging, we’ve seen:

  • Almost 1,110 posts
  • More than 58,000 page views (WOW!)
  • Visitors from almost 200 countries and six of the seven continents

I’m looking forward to connecting with even more of you in the future, and continuing to deepen the conversations that we’ve had here on Zen.

So what has 9 years in legal blogging taught me? I wanted to share with you 9 lessons about the legal industry that I’ve picked up over the last 13+ years.
Continue Reading Happy 9th Blogiversary to Zen & the Art of Legal Networking!

Here we go, folks, it’s the post you’ve all been waiting for. What are the truly ugly commercials from this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads?

Before we dive into this year’s, I wanted to take a look back at some of the ugly commercials from previous years. Which made me realize that we’ve been doing this annual round up for seven years. WOW. Looking back shows me that we really have improved in the “ugly” category. In this year’s group, we have two, where we used to have 5 or more! If you’d like to enjoy a trip down advertising memory lane, here you go:

Some other interesting observations strike me from looking back:

  • It’s been a few years since we’ve seen a Go Daddy Super Bowl commercial. Historically they haven’t been overly well-received, and that’s probably why they’re not investing in the Super Bowl anymore. But they certainly got a lot of name recognition from it. Does that mean the adage “there’s no such thing as bad press” doesn’t hold true here? Have you even thought about Go Daddy recently?
  • Where has Snickers gone? They’re another disappearing brand from the Super Bowl radar. I don’t think Snickers are in any danger of disappearing any time soon, but give some thought to the idea of what might happen if you’re not regularly reaching out to your clients, and especially not reaching out to them in the big moments. Looking back, I realized that Snickers is missing. But otherwise, I wouldn’t have thought about it. Would your clients even notice you were missing if they didn’t hear from you?
  • Historically, I’ve apparently really disliked Coca Cola commercials. But this year, they really came around. That shows that you CAN turn around someone’s opinion on your message, and that messaging is an important factor. Although, interestingly, I had to look back to remember feeling that way about Coca-Cola. So also worth considering is the idea that when your BRAND is incredibly strong (is it?), you can withstand some messaging mishaps. Doritos has also improved, but I was WELL aware that I usually don’t like their commercials when their ad started. I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed their commercial so much. It shouldn’t be a surprise to a client to have a good interaction with your messaging, even if they generally like working with you.


Continue Reading Super Bowl Commercials – The Ugly of 2018

Last week, we took some time to review my top spots from this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads. And now it’s time to take a look at where things got a little…yucky. While we were fortunate to be overwhelmed with good commercials the last two years, there are still a few brands that are missing the mark for one reason or another. And those spots leave us with something to think about. Let’s take a look.

Continue Reading Super Bowl Commercials – The Bad of 2018

All right kids, it’s that time again! Whether your team won or lost or you don’t care about sportsball at all, you might have spared a moment or two for the secondary contest of Sunday evening…and I’m not talking about the highly contested puppy bowl (everyone wins there).

That’s right, it’s time for my annual review of Super Bowl Commercials.

As we did last year, we’re seeing a positive upward trend. Brands are spending a lot of money, and they’re doing it wisely for a change, with mostly good, solid commercials. We saw a lot of themes on social justice and togetherness, along with some clever humor. There were a couple of truly ugly spots, including some local ads that only ran in the tri-state area (you’ll have to wait for next week for those!). But overall, it was a solid crop of advertising wins. Pat yourselves on the back for a change, agencies!

One overall trend I saw on a couple of spots that I think we’ll see more of is the overlaying of the brand watermark on the ad. We have been seeing hashtags for the last few years, which I think will continue to be the case, but with so many brands focusing on more social messages, and delivering on stories rather than pushing their product in your face (something I embrace, by the way), we’ll also see more of this brand watermarking so that there’s no mistaking who is delivering the message.

Of course, that makes it a little bit difficult to choose the top spots, but there were a couple of clear winners, with lessons for lawyers and law firms, to share with you here. Let’s relive those.
Continue Reading Super Bowl Commercials – The Good of 2018

Last week, we delved into some methods for leveraging your law firm or referral networks to provide additional value. Building on that theme this week, we’re going to look at three opportunities to develop fertile ground for further relationship and business development within your networks, among your clients, and within your jurisdiction.

Content

As a recommendation for building relationships within your networks, we suggested co-authoring articles on areas of mutual interest. Of course, content doesn’t end here – law firms are already fairly expert at producing a fair amount of content, whether it’s articles, blog posts, podcasts, video, client alerts, etc. You can start to leverage content from your fellow network members in a strategic way that will benefit both of you.
Continue Reading 3 Tactics to Squeeze More Value Out of Your Law Firm Network

For those of you who’ve been regular readers of Zen, you may know that I’m a fan of social media marketing for lawyers. Last year, Anthony Marrone, II, Esq. sent me a copy of his book, The Social Media Marketing Blueprint for Lawyers, and I really should have gotten around to reading it before now. Whether you consider yourself a social media maven, or you’re still wondering what “the twitter” is, this book will offer you some valuable insights into how to successfully and effectively market your practice using some of the newest tools available. Obviously, since it took me a year to read it, there are a few updates that have come out since then that Marrone hasn’t covered, but for the most part, all of his recommendations and advice still holds true. 
Continue Reading Book Review: The Social Media Marketing Blueprint for Lawyers

You’ve probably heard a lot of chatter about “big data,” “data,” “metrics,” and other buzzwords, which can sound like a lot of fancy talk about things you can’t be bothered with (Spoiler alert: in general, it’s not).

While I’m not going to get into a big discussion about data and all the ways you can use it, I AM going to talk about two practical things you can use today in order to support and improve your content marketing efforts. If you’re thinking “hey, ‘content marketing’ sounds like something for other people to do, and not me!” ask yourself – do you write articles or blog posts? Do you participate in speaking engagements? Do you write memos that you send to your clients and prospects? Do you want more people to know about the kind of law you practice, and how you can help them? If the answer to any of those questions is “yes” then content marketing IS for people like you, too. And for our purposes, when I use the phrase “content marketing” I’m talking about the actions that we undertake to promote the written and oral work  you do as a lawyer to a wider audience – it’s likely something you’ve done all your career, but it just may not have been how you referred to it. 
Continue Reading “Metrics” is Not a Dirty Word

Today, I’m excited to bring you a guest post from my friend, Jennifer Simpson Carr. Jenn joined Lowenstein Sandler as a Business Development Manager in 2013. With 10 years of experience working in law firms across the US, she has worked extensively to help firms and attorneys engage target audiences and win new business in competitive markets. She recently attended and presented at the Legal Marketing Association’s Southeast Conference, where she gained some excellent, actionable advice that firms can implement immediately. Below, you’ll see her five takeaways from the conference, which range from client service to analytics to succession, and her advice for what action firms can take to implement them.

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Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in the LMA Southeast Conference (LMASE17), which I found to be one of the most inspiring and thought-provoking conferences in my 10+ years in the legal marketing profession.

I find conferences energizing. They offer the opportunity to connect with the legal marketing community, share ideas and strategies, and gain new perspectives. This conference was no different and set new standards of excellence.

LMASE17 offered three days packed with educational programming, many sessions addressing the topics that are top of mind for in-house business development and marketing professionals as well as the agencies that support them.

As I reviewed pages of notes and contemplated how to use some of this newly-acquired wisdom to make an impact, five themes stood out to me as strategic and actionable, and yet easy opportunities for any professional to affect change.
Continue Reading 5 Actionable Takeaways from LMASE17 to Make an Immediate Impact at Your Firm