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

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

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

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

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

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.

***

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

Recently, I was asked to appear as a guest on a new podcast with Louise Kulbicki, which focuses on teaching non-native English-speaking lawyers “Legal English.” Paid members can also get access to further learning materials, including quizzes and transcripts. Our conversation centered on the importance of social media, and LinkedIn in particular, for making and maintaining networking relationships. For the full podcast interview, head to this link here.

Louise has generously offered a 50% discount to Zen readers for Podcast Pro Membership, for a limited time – use the coupon code “Launch” when registering to benefit from this discount!

Although Louise also provides a transcript, I wanted to highlight below some of what we discussed and why I feel social media and LinkedIn are excellent tools for lawyers. 
Continue Reading

iSGu85T8TXS9zXJ20iBU__MG_9585With Instagram offering multi-account support (yay!) from within the app, it’s an appropriate time to talk about some marketing strategies for how to get noticed for using Instagram professionally.

Instagram is my favorite social media platform, and if you’re not yet familiar with it, or using it, Wikipedia tells us that it is:

mobiledesktop, and Internet-based photo-sharing application and service that allows users to share pictures and videos either publicly or privately…Instagram lets registered users upload photos or videos to the service. Users can apply various digital filters to their images, and add locations through geotags. They can add hashtags to their posts, linking the photos up to other content on Instagram featuring the same subject or overall topic. Users can connect their Instagram account to other social media profiles, enabling them to share photos to those profiles as well. Originally, a distinctive feature of Instagram was its confining of photos to a square; this was changed in August 2015, when an update started allowing users to upload media at full size. In June 2012, an “Explore” tab was introduced, showing users a variety of media, including popular photos and photos taken at nearby locations, trending tags and places, channels for recommended videos, and curated content. Support for videos was originally launched in June 2013, and had a 15-second maximum duration and limited quality, with Instagram later adding support for widescreen and longer videos. Private messaging, called Instagram Direct, was launched with basic photo-sharing functionality in December 2013, and has gradually received major updates incorporating more features, most notably text support and “disappearing” photos. In August 2016, Instagram introduced a “Stories” feature, letting users add photos to a story, with the content disappearing after 24 hours. Instagram added live-video functionality to Stories in November 2016, augmented reality stickers in April 2017, and face filters in May 2017.”

Many of you may be thinking “so what? It sounds like something for kids to use, and not that big of a deal.” So let’s look at the usage statistics:

After its launch in 2010, Instagram rapidly gained popularity, with one million registered users in two months, 10 million in a year, and ultimately 700 million as of April 2017. Its users have uploaded over 40 billion photos to the service as of October 2015. As of April 2017, Instagram Direct has 375 million active users, while, as of June 2017, the Instagram Stories functionality has over 250 million active users. Instagram was acquired by Facebook in April 2012 for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock. The popularity of Instagram has sparked an engaging community, including dedicated ‘trends’, in which users post specific types of photos on specific days of the week with a hashtag representing a common theme. Instagram has received positive reviews for its iOS app, and it has been named ‘one of the most influential social networks in the world’.”


Continue Reading

carl-heyerdahl-181868Does this sound familiar?

  • “I wrote a blog post, but no one called me to give me a case, so blogging must not work for business development.”
  • “LinkedIn is just a rehash of your resume, so it can’t work for business development.”
  • “Twitter is full of people talking about what they had for breakfast, so there’s no way I’m spending any time on there.”
  • “People only use Facebook to see what their friends and family are up to.”

Raise your hand if you don’t think social media works.

If you’re a long time reader of Zen, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of social media. I’m not here today to tell you that it’s the right tool for everyone – any more than I would tell you that public speaking or writing articles or attending networking events is the correct tool for everyone. But I AM here today to tell you that you’re asking the wrong questions about it.

All the time, I hear from my own lawyers, from marketers, and in the industry, people wanting to know whether anyone is “really getting business” from this “social media stuff.” 
Continue Reading

We are finally here at the “ugly” of the 2017 Super Bowl commercials – do you already have your list is mind? The first couple were really easy for me to come up with, and the last few were late additions after some extra thought was given to the crop of ads this year.

No need for extreme measures just Switch to Sprint!

https://youtu.be/w_8ms2RzSYk

Sprint, seriously?

The best that you could come up with after spending all of that money on this spot was the idea to fake your own death to get out of your phone contract?

Seriously icky and disturbing.

And while his family watches no less? Really? Just a no, all around.

We get it. You want to give us the message that it’s hard to get out of your phone contract. But is that really the reason you should switch to Sprint? Because it’s so hard to get out of your phone contract that you need to fake your own death? That’s the best you have to offer us?

Huh.
Continue Reading