Among my most popular posts last year were those dedicated to talking about LinkedIn, which tells me that it continues to be the tool that resonates most in the legal industry. I know that it’s in part because it’s become such a robust and useful platform, but I also suspect that it’s in part because some of us are still hoping that there’s a silver bullet out there when it comes to networking and relationship building. I hate to tell you – there isn’t. Even when you’re using social media, which can supersize your efforts, you still need to have goals, develop a plan, and invest time and effort in order for it to pay off for you. 
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Daily, we interact with lots of people – this happens in person, at our offices, in the coffee shop, at our kids’ sporting events or art classes. It happens online, through our group chats, text messages with friends, Facebook shares, LinkedIn comments, etc. We interact so much and so frequently, that we’ve reached a real saturation point with these interactions, and even with our professional messages, we can see a lack of care that a lot of us are giving to the details over the tools and the shiny new thing. Instead, we’re just blindly producing more and more and more and more, adding more noise (as Adrian Lurssen would say). 

If you’re sure that YOU are producing things of value, and not just more noise, ask someone in your circle if they can remember the last thing you shared on LinkedIn, or the last article you wrote. If they can’t, chances are, you’re not producing anything memorable. You’re not creating connection in your relationships. 
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Content marketing is a tool in your arsenal for building effective business relationships.

But like any tool, it’s not going to be useful to you if you don’t use it efficiently. In the past, you could get away with producing *something* and getting the attention of a client or potential client, because you were the only one writing or talking about it. But today, content is so ubiquitous, that if you’re not standing out, you risk being relegates to background noise. 
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We know and are comfortable with the idea that the legal industry is a business of relationships. Lawyers do good work, their clients talk about it (hopefully) and that brings them other clients. That’s the basic principle behind the standard “word of mouth” reputation.

But with the introduction of technology, and in particular, social media, the way that we form first impressions of people and build the relationships that lead to referrals has changed. It’s not simply about doing good work anymore – it’s about whether your online reputation matches your offline reputation, and meeting people where they are. Let’s look at two pieces of this, referrals and first impressions.

Referrals

As someone who espouses social media, something that I hear fairly often is “But am I really going to get BUSINESS from using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc?”
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Recently, Greentarget and Zeughauser Group released their annual results for the 2019 State of Digital & Content Marketing Survey. I had the chance to chat with Greentarget President and Founding Partner, John Corey, about the results, which had some actionable findings for lawyers and law firms, as well as a few surprises.

First, the report – Corey notes that they work to take it somewhere new each year, and their six months of hard work are obvious. In addition to the report’s results this year, you also get access to some excellent thought leadership pieces that expand on the ideas revealed by the data. The data itself examines three categories of respondents – general counsel, the C-suite, and law firm CMOs, which gives a full and interesting picture of what your firm clients are looking for at various levels, and whether your firm may be correctly addressing these needs. 
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In most of the world, it’s been pretty hot, and many of you are either on holiday, or getting ready to leave for holiday. I know that the LAST thing you want to think about is building relationships for business development. But I’ve got an easy challenge for you that will set you up nicely to return to the office in September with some stronger connections and potential for added business, while your colleagues are working to catch up.

Every day, for the next month, reach out to three of your connections on LinkedIn by email.


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Are you using social media to its fullest ability to help you in business development? Learn how using social listening can help you to build your book of business in Jaimie Field’s latest post.

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Have you ever thought about using social monitoring to build your book of business?

Social monitoring/listening is using tools, like Google Alerts, Social Mention, Talkwalker, Mention (to name a scant few) to monitor what is on the internet based on specific queries that you set up. Many of them are free of charge or offer a freemium version (a less robust form of the program with minimum features of the version for which they would make you pay).
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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. 
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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.
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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.


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