Redesigning Your Website is Important in Law Firm Marketing

Did you know that 68% of marketers did a website redesign in the last 12 months and they spent a median of $10,000 doing so, according to Hubspot's Science of Website Redesign. This belies the myth that a major law firm has to spend north of $50,000 to revamp their website.

Hubspot cost of website redesign, legal marketing, law firm marketingWhat's more, only about half of website redesign projects finish and launch on time, according to the data, and 1/3 of marketers were not happy with their last website redesign. The data came from surveys of 100+ consumers, 100+ marketers and 100+ agencies.

"Most people think you should redesign your website every one to two years," according to Mike Volpe CMO of Hubspot. "Your website should be a living, breathing, chaning being. Edit and improve it constantly."

55% of the time the marketing team initiates the idea for a website redesign, although the CEO starts it 30% of the time. As to who actually undertakes the redesign:

  • 44% of website owners hired an outside company for the majority of the project.
  • 53% did the maority of the project internally.
  • Satisfaction with the results was the same whether the work was outsources or handled in-house.

It generally takes 4 to 5 months to redesign a website. Lightning speed is one month but it can take up to two years, as many law firm marketeres know.

Good and Bad Metrics

what was the reason to redesign your website, legal marketing, law marketing

How can you tell if the redesign was successful. Here are some better metrics:

  • Visitors
  • Leads
  • Sales
  • Conversion %
  • All of the above, but by source

Worse Metrics

  • Bounce rate
  • Time on site
  • Page views
  • Pages / visit
  • "Hits"
  • Google Pagerank

The key takeaway is that what visitors want most is a website that is easy to use -- not Flash, fancy design or artwork. Find out more about website redesigns that get marketing results.

50 Great Questions to Build Conversations in Law Firm Marketing

Nancy Fox, law firm marketing, legal marketing, networking, questionsNancy Fox of Los Angeles has put together a great list of questions to break the ice, build conversations and become a people magnet at networking events. Here are the top 10:

1. Tell me about your business?

2. How did you happen to come to this event?

3. What made you decide to attend?

4. What market are you in, who is your ideal client base?

5. What makes your business distinct? What are some of the unique aspects to your business?

6. How can I be a good referrer for you?

7. What are some of the biggest challenges in your market?

8. What are some of the biggest challenges you've experienced this year?

9. Do you have employees? Tell me about your employees?

10. What conferences have you attended recently that you've enjoyed or found valuable?

The get the other 40 questions, visit The Business Fox.


What to Wear to Win the Case for Male Attorneys

Modern Single-Breasted Suit
Modern Single-Breasted Suit
When I make a presentation, I wear my Armani suit. Here are some great style tips from Janine Giorgenti, a fourth-generation Italian-American fashion designer and image consultant in New York City.

Before you utter a single word, your clothing has already spoken for you. As an attorney, you need to prepare your wardrobe with the same attention to detail with which you prepare your case.

Your clients and the jury have a preconceived notion of how a lawyer should appear. It is important to fulfill their expectations. Your wardrobe should cloak you in an aura of confidence, with the assertiveness they anticipate.

If you are in a conservative arena and want to be taken seriously, dress conservatively. This applies to corporate law, taxation, finance, business, insurance, government, and labor relations.

The darker the color, the more authority the attire conveys. A gray or navy pinstripe suit communicates the highest authority. Wear this suit for court presentations, board meetings and for serious business with clients. The next best choice is a solid navy or charcoal suit.

There are times when the “power look” is overkill or too intimidating, and where a softer persona will further your agenda. This is true during arbitration, where being perceived as neutral can be an asset, or during a meeting with the adult children of the elderly, discussing sensitive issues. Wearing suits or sport coats in medium grays, browns, tans, and olives, comes across as non-threatening, friendly, and forthcoming.

You do not need to dress trendy, but you must stay current. Wear today’s suit styles and be perceived as updated and current with the times. Today’s look is a slimmer cut single-breasted 2-button coat with flat front trousers. If that does not flatter your physique, then a medium cut single-breasted suit with pleated pants is okay. For attorneys representing sports figures, and those in entertainment law, the music industry, or other creative fields, wearing trendy clothes can be an asset, but don’t overdo it, as you are still a lawyer. Try the new A shaped double-breasted suits, with the slimmer peak lapels or the narrow lapel single-breasted suits.

Collars. For dress formal, there is no excuse for not buttoning the collar because of tightness or wearing ill-fitting shirts; ditch them! The collar style you choose is important. Your face shape may be oblong, square, round, diamond, etc., and since many men will experience hair loss at some point, the collar is the most important element in giving balance to your face. Depending on your face shape, the most appropriate collars for a professional appearance are standard point that will take you from day into evening, or medium spread. Spread collars look elegant for formal occasions.

Ties. Out of everything you wear, you will be remembered most for your tie. Do not buy cheap ties, and ditch all those that reek of "birthday gift" unless they are in extremely good taste. Stick to high quality wool-lined silks that hold their shape and don’t twist. Always make sure the tie is the proper width in proportion to your chest and that the length extends a half inch below your belt line. Geometrics, paisleys, and rep ties are the most popular. For young attorneys or those in specialties that allow for a trendier look, the skinnier ties, worn with the latest new shorter collar point shirts, are a sure bet in dressing for success.

Blue Rep Tie

Red Geometric Tie

Gray Paisley Tie

Giorgenti's online store best custom shirts has been rated #1 by The Wall Street Journal. For more see what to wear, custom dress shirts, suits, business casual, image consultation, and ties.


Ten Ways to Increase Word-of-Mouth Advertising

Lawyerist, larry bodine, law firm marketing, legal marketingWord-of-mouth advertising is the most powerful way to generate new business. We lawyers innately know that what is said about us becomes our reputation. What we don’t always realize is that we can influence and even improve it.

Gossip, at the nadir of the scale, is trash talk that will arise no matter what we do. But praise from influential people is at the zenith and has a power of a third-party endorsement. Indeed, word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20% to50% of all purchasing decisions, according to the McKinsey Quarterly.

Its influence is greatest when clients are buying a service for the first time, or when services are relatively expensive—factors that make people do more research, seek more opinions and deliberate longer than otherwise, according to the McKinsey.

You can read my top 10 ways that lawyers can take to amplify their good word-of-mouth in my entry on the Lawyerist Blog.


Extend Your Reach on Twitter with Triberr

triberr social media twitter blogs bloggersIf you are as into social media as I am, it's time you knew about Triberr, "the reach multiplier."

Co-founder Dino Dogan explains that Triberr is a way several small troupe of bloggers to band together on twitter and share each other's audiences on Twitter. As a member of 4 tribes, I can reach 61,532 twitter followers with a single tweet. I am also the "ruler" of 3 tribes, and am adding more people to them every day. For example, I'm in the Social Media for Law Firms tribe with Samantha Collier, Jay Pinckert, Adrian Dayton, and Natalie Huha.

You can only get into a tribe by being invited. Once you are invited in, the number of people you can reach is greatly expanded. First you connect your Triberr account to Twitter, and when you post a tweet on Triberr, it is retweeted automatically by all the members of your tribe.

In keeping with Triberr's tongue-in-cheek humor, you can buy higher Triberr functions by buying "bones," which is a digital currency. Bones allow you to add additional tribes, expand your tribe membership slots past 7 members and Replay Tweets. Everyone starts out with 100 bones. "That’s our gift to you. You’re welcome," Dogan said. The more posts you send, the more bones you get.

Who do you let into your tribe? Dogan offers five tips. This video explains everything you need to know.


NJ Firm Shows Video Marketing at its Best

O'Connor Parsons & Lane personal injury employment medical malpracticeA great example of a law firm with an effective online marketing initiative is  O'Connor Parsons & Lane in Westfield, NJ. They have combined their website, testimonials, publishing and video to attract new clients.  The five-lawyer firm focuses on personal injury, medical malpractice, and employment law cases, and presents an online picture that matches much larger corporate firms.

I'm proud to say I had a hand in putting it together. The idea was to present exactly the information potential clients want, so that their next step is to phone one of the lawyers.

The home page:

  • Features people (not pictures of buildings or gavels)
  • Displays a quick contact form, has the phone number and contact info in the top right corner
  • Spells out their three primary services
  • Shows their US News ranking (linked to their profile)
  • Features several videos plus a client video testimonial.

The site features about 40 case histories, four client testimonials, real legal news (not partner announcements) and 45 video FAQs.

The lawyers publish timely news alerts such as O’Connor, Parsons & Lane Warns Job-Seekers About Rampant Hiring Discrimination.

The videos are what distinguish the firm. In each one a lawyer explains the law as opposed to talking about himself (which you see in a lot of other lawyer videos). For example:

The firm caps it off with a YouTube video channel, with each video described in detail, linked back to the website, and described in numerous tags. Each one is short, from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. The videos also cover practical information that clients want, like:

And those are just the high points. How would you improve their site?





Poll: How quickly will Google+ overtake Facebook?

Google+ approaching 20m users in less than three weeks, analysis showsGoogle+ growth chart by Paul Allen

Google+ growth chart by Paul Allen


Revenue Per Lawyer at U.S. Firms Increased 9.5% in 2010

Nigel Halloway Vice President, Research  ALM Legal IntelligenceU.S. law firms saw their revenues, expenses and income per lawyer increase in 2010, the first time this has occurred since 2007, according to ALM Legal Intelligence. The Survey of Law Firm Economics, 2011 Edition was conducted by ALM Legal Intelligence in association with The National Law Journal, and is available online now at


  • Revenue per lawyer at U.S. law firms increased 9.5% last year (from $412,220 to $451,449)
  • Expense per lawyer increased 6.1% (from $159,521 to $169,288)
  • Income per lawyer increased 11.7% (from $252,679 to $282,161).

The picture, however, is less positive for midsize firms (9 to 75 attorneys) than at small firms (2 to 8 attorneys) and large ones (more than 76 attorneys).  Last year, average gross receipts and income per lawyer grew by an average of 14% for small and large firms, but fell by 2% for midsize firms.  The disparity is even greater when comparing gross receipts and income per equity partner (up 19% at small and large firms, and down 5% at midsize firms).

“This year’s survey illustrates that small and large U.S. law firms saw their profits recover in 2010, but perhaps not as quickly as they hoped and certainly have not returned to pre-recession levels,” said Nigel Holloway, Vice President of Research at ALM Legal Intelligence.  “Midsize firms are still feeling the pinch.”

According to Holloway, other noteworthy findings included the following:

  • Billable hours inched up, but have not returned to mid-2000 levels.  Hourly rate increases were reported by small and large firms, but midsize firms have either not changed their rates or have lowered them slightly (-3%).

  • Firms are moving away from the billable hour.  Some 95% of firms have reported billing via an arrangement not based solely on hourly rates.  The majority (62%) have used alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) for up to 10% of their billings and the largest law firms in the survey (more than 150 attorneys) have used AFAs for between 11% and 25% of their total billing.

  • Compensation returned to levels that exceeded 2007 compensation amounts for the most senior partners and associates. For instance, median total compensation for 25-29th year Partners increased 8.2% from $322,813 to $349,300. Interestingly, for the fourth year in a row, average starting salaries for new graduates remained unchanged at $85,000.  The biggest jump in total compensation for both partners and associates was seen at the largest law firms (150 or more attorneys).

  • Staffing continued to be an issue in 2010, with U.S. law firms reporting some of the lowest staffing ratios since the Survey of Law Firm Economics started trending the data in 1985. Ratios were about 70 associates to 100 partners in the early 2000s. After a 1.8% decrease in 2010, they’re now down to just 55 to 100.

“One particularly encouraging finding was that more than 3 in 4 firms (78%) are optimistic about their law firm’s performance in 2012," Holloway said. "Although small firms (2-8 attorneys) are far more likely to be pessimistic than their larger counterparts.”  In addition, the majority of respondents across all firm sizes believe that profits per partner will grow by less than 5% next year.

First published in 1972, the Survey of Law Firm Economics is one of the most complete, accurate and up-to-date set of economic statistics and financial data available about the legal profession. This year's survey contains information about 12,952 lawyers including 4,535 associates, 7,306 partners/shareholders (equity and non-equity), 772 active counsels, and 339 staff lawyers working in 202 U.S. law firms. Data is presented nationally and by firm size, geographic location, practice area specialty, population area size, gender, year admitted to the bar, and years of experience.

The National Law Journal will report on the Survey of Law Firm Economics in the August 29th edition.


Tune up Your Online Bio So it Attracts More Leads

Your online bio is the cornerstone of all your online marketing efforts. No matter whether you're active on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter, how you describe yourself will determine whether your bio generate leads.

The trick to making your bio attract more leads is to turn your 30-second commercial into your bio. Describe (1) who you are (2) whom you work with and (3) what problem you solve.

Tips and Articles about Google+ for Law Firm Marketing

google+ plus social media law firm legal marketing Here's a great tip about Using Google+ that I picked up from Mike Elgan.

Instead of saying, "I'm going to write a blog post now," or "I'm going to send an e-mail" or "I think I'll tweet something" you simply say what you have to say, then decide who you're going to say it to.

  • If you address it to "Public," it's a blog post.
  • If you address it to "Your Circles" it's a tweet.
  • If you address it to your "My Customers" Circle it's a business newsletter.
  • If you address it to a single person, it can be a letter to your mother.

I'd say this is pretty revolutionary.

journalist circlThere are lots of great articles online now about Google+. Here are my favorites:

5 Ways Journalists Are Using Google+ - from Mashable

Google+: The Complete Guide - from Mashable

5 Possible Reasons U.S. Users Are Ditching Facebook

- from PC World

Why Google+ Business Profiles Will Trump Facebook Pages - from CFO World

35 Personalities To Add To Your Circles -- HuffPost Tech

How Clients Choose Lawyers

Thanks to AttorneyAtWork for publishing this article I wrote. Let me know what you think of these ideas.

1. Clients Want Experts, Not Generalists

You don’t want to be known as a generalist because, frankly, clients don’t want generalists. I illustrate this with a story about the time I was riding my bicycle out in the deserts of Arizona. I hit a rock, went over the handle bars and broke my collarbone. Even though I was in screaming pain, I knew at that very moment that when I got to the hospital I did not want a generalist who was good at setting bones. No, I wanted a sports medicine doctor to put me back together so that I could get back on my bicycle again. And that is how clients shop for lawyers.

The idea here is to become an industry expert. Start by looking over your list of clients and sorting them into lines of businessnot by practice group, by lines of business. There’s no need to be precise about this. It can be as broad as “food and beverage” or “transportation industry” or “manufacturing industry.” Now, whatever industry most of your clients are in, that’s the industry you need to become an expert in.

  • Join that trade association.
  • Be seen and visible at that trade association.
  • Go to that association’s meetings and events so people know they can expect to find you there.
  • Demonstrate your expertise—get on the board of directors, become the newsletter editor or become the program director of the business organization.
2. Clients Give Work to People They Know and Like

Rainmakers become rainmakers because they have more business relationships than other attorneys—and they know how to maintain them. You want to learn from and behave like a rainmaker. Rainmakers visit clients. They schedule quarterly meetings where the topic of discussion is “how’s business?” Rainmakers want to find out what obstacles the business is encountering, or what plans it has to grow. At these meetings, they’re not talking about current matters they are working on, they are looking ahead for the next matter.

The thing to remember is that clients are just like everyone else. They’re not going to give any work to that West Virginia lawyer who had never met any of his clients. They’re not going to give work to someone whose only contact with them is a FedEx shipment. And they’re not going to give work to somone with whom they have an e-mail relationship. They are going to give it to people they know. So, you need to get better at building good business relationships.

3. Clients Give Work to Trusted Personal Counselors

It’s lonely at the top. CEOs can’t go to the board of directors to complain how hard their job is. They can’t go to their direct reports and talk about how difficult their job is, either. They need somebody to talk to. Who better than a lawyer to offer a shoulder to cry on? You want clients to turn to you as a lawyer as someone who listens, someone who can offer business advice, and someone who they can talk with about their problems. And of course, in the process of them talking about their problems, you will be offering legal solutions.


SpyFu Offers Competitve Keyword Intelligence for Law Firm Marketing

Spyfu google adwords keyword competitive intelligence law firm marketingNow there is a way to find out what keywords your competitors are using in their Google Adwords campaigns: SpyFu based in Scottsdale, AZ.

  • Enter a URL and you'll see the top 10 keywords the domain website is using in their pay-per-click campaigns.
  • It will also show you every keyword the company has bought on Google Adwords, the company's daily Adwords ad budget and how each keyword ranked in organic search results.
  • Enter a keyword into the search box and you'll see the top 10 domains that are using it in their pay-per-click campaigns during the last few months.
  • Click on a colored box for a month, and it will display the advertisement connected to the keyword or URL.
  • A chart will display the cost per click, the clicks per day and cost per day.

Spyfu ppc pay per click keywords google adwords law firm marketing

It's online competitive intelligence that provides a detailed picture of their "secret marketing formulas." If you are paying for an Adword campaign, you can steer clear of dead-end keywords, spot hot buttons that drive clicks and mimic ad copy that is working for big-budget advertisers.

For example, if you've been using the keyword "executive compensation" you may discover that potential clients are searching for the phrase "wrongful termination." Once you know which keywords convert into sales or clicks, then you can put those words onto your website and can get organic search results from them.


The Hottest Ticket in law firm marketing: A Google+ Invite

I can easily tell that Google+ has hit the Internet like an asteroid the size of planet earth. I keep reading, "Please send me a Google+ invite! I'm desperate for an invite!" Google+ has approximately 9.5 million users worldwide, with 2.2 million joining in the past 32 to 34 hours, according to an estimate by Paul Allen, of

There's even a term for members of Google+:  we're "Plussies." I'm still playing with Google+ but so far I love everything I see.

  • It's way better than Twitter because you can speak in messages or comments that are longer than 140 characters.
  • It's way better than Facebook, because Google studied FB and avoid making all of its mistakes.
  • It's easier to interact with people on Google+, which is what social media is all about.
  • It's a chance to start over by putting people you actually want to communicate with into your circles -- as opposed to those people you knew from high school who you haven't talked to in 20 years.

Here's an infographic that compares the two:

Google Plus versus Facebook



How Lawyers Can Use Twitter to Get Speaking Gigs

speak, speaker, speech, law firm marketing, legal marketingThis post was originally written by Tim Baran and published on the Legal Productivity blog, created and maintained by Rocket Matter, (c) 2011.  Read the full version of "How Lawyers Can Use Twitter to Get Speaking Gigs.

Twitter is useful for many things — creating relationships, building community, marketing, even starting revolutions. It’s also useful for getting speaking gigs.

Start tweeting and build your reputation as an expert. Once you’ve tweeted and retweeted, your follower count will start to grow. Now it’s time to focus your message and join the conversation. Or start your own. Weigh in on debates, but be respectful. Post links to your blog posts, journal articles and Slide Share presentations.

Develop relationships with other lawyers, bar associations and CLE providers

Lawyers will generally recommend other lawyers whom they know, like and trust. So will organizations looking for speakers.

Strategically build your community. Bar associations and CLE providers are where you’ll find the bulk of available speaking gigs. Follow them. Look for trade associations in your practice area. Engage them.

I’ve created an MCLE Twitter list of over 150 continuing legal education organizations and professions. Click on “Follow this list” and that’s it! Mark Rosch has curated a terrific list of over 200 bar associations on Twitter.  Head over to Listorious for a directory of more targeted lists to follow.

Now what?

Take the relationship one step further. Contact lawyers, bar associations and CLE providers and send a direct message (DM) or email offering to speak. They know you and will be glad to hear from you. But first check their Twitter stream:

Search for opportunities

Twitter search sucks. There is no better way to describe it. Try Topsy, a marginally better search engine, and try a search like — looking speaker attorney, and you’ll get this:

Looking for attorney experienced in Sweepstakes/copyright/Trademark for possible speaker at Social Media Conf….any takers?

Search for — looking speaker legal, and you’ll get this:

looking for a high end speaker who can discuss the legal implications of social media….any suggestions?

You get the idea. Play around with the search terms, then create an email alert or subscribe to an RSS feed and you’ll get a notification every time a relevant tweet pops up.


ALERT: Your Law Firm Could be a Victim of a Lead-Generation Scam

lead generation scam law firm google places yelp law firm marketingLead generation scams have spread across the Internet and can affect your law firm.  You need to know this because one of the scammers may be using your law firm name and address as their location in Google Local or on

I just ran a search for a lawyer in New York and unexpectedly discovered a fake Google Place page. Clicking the link referred me to a law firm in another state.

Back on the Google search results page, I noticed there was a link I had never seen before on Google, asking: "Is this accurate?" I clicked it, completed the online "Report a Problem" form and reported that the link misdirected me.

Here's how the scam works: A "lead-gen" company, as they're known in the biz, collects leads from consumers needing services. They do this be creating hundreds of phony Google Local places and Yelp businesses listings online. A potential customer will conduct a search such as "lawyer in Seattle" and will view a selection of law firms with supposedly local name, address and phone number, all pinpointed on a local map.

However, when the customer clicks the displayed hyperlink or calls the number, they'll reach a phone bank -- sometimes in other countries -- which will refer the caller to a business that has paid to receive leads from that city, state or zip code. The scam is so widespread, the New York Times ran an article about it on July 10.

Many of the lead-gen scams will use the name and address of an actual business or law firm to steal leads that should rightly be coming to them. To see a video of how the scam has spread like a plague in the locksmith industry, watch Consumer Alert! on YouTube.

It was amazing to see the brazen audacity of the phony Google Places listing for the New York law firm I was seeking. The fake listing showed a picture of the real lawyer, his address, phone number and location on a Google map. But the link to the firm directed me elsewhere.

Gabriel Stricker google law firm marketing legal marketingWhat you should do if it happens to you

  • Google your firm name, address and telephone number immediately and determine if all the search results are legitimate.
  • If you find a fake listing, click the "Is this accurate?" link provided by Google.
  • Find the "Edit This Place" link in the fake listing, and next click the link "You can report a problem."
  • Contact Gabriel Stricker, the Director of Global Communications & Public Affairs at Google Inc, at 650.253.0139 or


Average Big-City Law Firm CMO Salary is $386,294

A new survey of law firm CMO salaries in three major cities shows that the average salary for CMOs is $386,294 and the median salary is $375,000. This figure is up from an average of $254,900 in 2009. Salaries in New York can go up to $750,000 and in Washington, DC, up to $650,000.

 Title    Average Salary    Median    Salary Range  
 CMOs:    $386,294    $375,000    $175K - $750K 
 Directors:    $213,051    $198,000    $86K - $450K  
 Managers:    $124,908    $120,500    $80k - $220k  

Other highlights:

  • The average tenure is 6 years.
  • 23.1% of respondents have been promoted with a title change in the past 2 years.
  • 73.3% received a bonus AND a raise last year.
  • Only 6.7% received neither bonus nor raise.
  • 80.9% plan on being in legal marketing 3 years from now

Wisnik Career Enterprises, Inc. sent surveys to CMOs, Directors, and Managers at top law firms in Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C. in June 2011. The results were generated from 94 responses.

"We believe that these salary and bonus numbers reflect the current market accurately. By this, I mean that if a firm were to call tomorrow and ask us what they needed to pay a marketing manager, we would confidently quote them the numbers in this report. We have found that the new jobs we have received since January fall into these ranges," said founder Eva Wisnik in New York. "As for the market, we have definitely seen a sharp increase in new law firm marketing positions since January and are hopeful that new opportunities will continue to grow."

CMOs can expect to put in a 55.5-hour week to earn this paycheck. Marketing directors and managers, respectively, put in 52 hours and 47 hours per week on average. As for staff size, see below for the average size of a marketing/BD department by number of lawyers. Marketing departmetn by law firm size

You can print out the survey results and should take them to your managing partner of executive director and ask for a pay raise.

Embed Twitter Testimonials on Your Website

Charlene Kingston has a great tip on the Social Media Examiner blog on how to auto-embed Twitter testimonials on your blog or website. What matters to most potential customers is not what you say about your business, but what your existing customers have to say.

Testimonials are powerful because they come straight from your customers in their own words. It’s important you add testimonials to your site. You can easily tap into tweets from people who say great things about your business.

Tweets make great testimonials for several reasons:

  • They’re short, so they get to the point quickly.
  • People write them in a moment of enthusiasm, so they’re filled with praise and excitement.
  • They’re written for public review, so you don’t need to ask permission to use a tweet as a testimonial.

Simply mark a tweet as a "favorite" and then visit the Twitter Widgets page.Follow the directions, choose the settings, preferences, appearance and dimensiions. Then copy and paste the provided HTML code into your web page. Here's how mine looks on


Wow Your Audience With a Killer Live Presentation

Amber Mac, Fast Company, public speaking, law firm marketing, legal marketingI found this great advice from Amber Mac on Fast Company:

1. Pack your presentation slide deck with audio, video, and pictures

During my early days keynoting events I did some social media consulting work with Tony Robbins. As part of the project, I traveled to a few of his seminars and got a unique perspective watching his motivational magic on and off stage. While Tony himself is a magnetic character, I saw how he incorporated music and video to turn his presentation into a show. He played energetic tunes, hilarious clips, showed touching photos, and each element was timed perfectly to keep the audience moving, laughing, and listening.

Think about it like this. Data slide, data slide, data slide, funny video. Repeat.

It sounds simple enough, but it's amazing how many presenters are great speakers but their slides are dry and boring. I learned a lot from Tony, so I now sprinkle YouTube clips and powerful images throughout every speech I do* (*I use Keynote presentation software on a Mac and rely on Snapz Pro X to record video online).

2. Make timely tweaks to keep things fresh

I am constantly tweaking information before I go on stage. There is nothing an audience appreciates more than hearing you say that you just found a new stat that very morning or you grabbed a relevant screen shot the night before. For example, I just spoke at a mobile learning conference, and I included a Twitter quote I saw from an attendee just hours before my speech started. I don't recommend that you change every slide at the last minute, but sprinkle in a few final tweaks to keep your deck fresh and your audience engaged.

3. Tell a few good stories to make your slides human

I watch my audiences closely and I can always tell when they're interested. Their heads are up, their eyes are ahead, and they're waiting anxiously for more. These moments always happen when I tell stories. I didn't learn this right away, but after a couple of years on the speaking circuit I started to notice the exact times when I had the most people engaged. My stories aren't long-winded, but simple little anecdotes to make the content more compelling.

For example, when I talk about how the tablet is changing the way we live, work, and play, I talk about the day my 2-year-old son walked up to our television set and tried to push on the screen to "make it do something." Clearly he was spending too much time on the iPad, so he assumed all screens were touch screens. This quick story always resonates with the new parents in the room.

Aside from building a killer deck, a good pre-speech routine can help to fight your nerves. Get some exercise. Eat some healthy food. Avoid caffeine at all costs. Once you get a few presentations under your belt, you never know, you just might like it too.

Arizona Law Firm Gives Clients an iPad

legal marketing, law firm marketing, ipadPhoenix personal-injury attorneys attorneys James Goodnow and Marc Lamber are using tablet computers to help solve an age-old complaint that attorneys hear from clients: I can never reach my lawyer.

They have given Apple iPads to 20 of their major clients. The tablet PCs - which are given back to the law firm when a case is over - are used as so-called "red phones" that allow clients to contact either attorney if they have a question or get more information about their case.

This eliminates the need for making an appointment that requires the client to drive to the lawyers' office, find parking, and wait in their reception area.

law firm marketing, lawmarketing, legal marketing, ipadThe Phoenix attorneys say that the tablet PC technology has been particularly useful for personal-injury cases. Corporate clients have BlackBerrys and other technology to keep up with their lawyers and track their legal affairs, but working-class personal-injury clients often do not, according to the Arizona Republic newspaper.

Clients use the iPads to speak with the attorneys via FaceTime (Included) or Skype (Free). The applications allow clients to speak with the attorneys from the comfort of home, while the attorneys can connect at the office on Mac Computers, on their iPhone, or on the iPad, because all of these devices support videoconferencing.

"We pride ourselves on being available 24 hours a day, day or night," Lamber told the paper.

One client used the iPad to access a dedicated e-mail account that is used only for case documents, to take photos of an accident scene, to record a video of her injuries and hold Skype video conferences with the lawyers.Preparing for Trial

The firm’s attorneys also use the iPad to organize files for meditation. The mediator can view video testimony, accident diagrams, and other documents in assessing the case.



Mobile Phones are Changing Social Media

I have seen the future, and it is viewed on a 2-1/2 inch mobile phone screen:

  • 30.8% of people use smart phones to access social media sites.
  • In 2010, mobile phone subscriptions hit 5 billion globally.
  • Samsung broke yet another sales record, selling 3 million handsets in 55 days. That’s one cellphone sold every 1.5 seconds.
  • Facebook is the top destination for mobile phone browsers. 100 million active users access Facebook on their mobile devices.
  • US mobile phone users view the web an average of 2.7 hours per day.

Mobile phones are changing social media

Chief Marketing Officers Forum Crosses 500 Members

CMO Forum, chief marketing officers forum, LinkedInIt all began with a successful ALM conference in New York in September 2008. Dozens of CMOs attended for programs about client feedback, client teams, competitive intelligence and a keynote by a managing partner. The attendees of event had developed such a rapport that they wanted to stay in touch after it ended. As one of the conference co-chairs, I set up a modest little group on LinkedIn called the Chief Marketing Officers Forum.

Since then it's crossed the 500-member mark. Without any promotion, it grew organically to 527 members before I even had a chance to write about it.  The group includes senior marketing professionals from across the US, plus members from Australia, Italy, Spain, the UK, Canada and more.

Our group is composed of marketing leaders to discuss strategy, methods and technology to generate new business and revenue for law firms.

Reflecting current events, our recent discussions have ranged from Google+, the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20, the future of social media marketing for professionals and the best practices in building your personal network. Members learned about the Summit for US-India Trade & Economics, a new rating site of vendors at, and webinars like "What GCs Look for on Your Website."

The gathering that started the online group is now called The American Lawyer's Law Firm Marketing & Business Development Leadership Forum and our online meetup continues at

Will you be member #528?

Dan Schwabel: Brand the Lawyer, Not the Firm

Dan Schwabel personal brandingDan Schwabel knows a thing or two about personal branding. Time Magazine named him an expert on the topic, he is the author of Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future and is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding. He's written about personal branding in, Business Week and the Wall Street Journal. Oh, and he's all of 27 years old.

I interviewed Dan and his thesis is that success in law practice comes to lawyers who turn themselves into personal brands. It's well known that clients hire lawyers, not law firms. But law firms make the mistake of branding the firm as an entity, and not the individuals who bring them new business.

Here's how to do it:

  • Get active in social media. "You want to be on the major social networks -- LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. You want to come up every time or you'll miss an opportunity if you don’t. Attorneys will get the most out of LinkedIn and can tap into 100 million people, get referrals and get introductions to people. Then you can fish where the fish are and bring them to back to your website."
  • You must have your own personal website. A bio on the firm website is insufficient. "Every person should have their own website," Schwabel told me. "People are searching for you online and you want to be on the #1 spot to that people can click and find you."
  • Create your Facebook page. It should focus on business, not your personal affairs. Remember, businesses have Facebook pages, individuals have Facebook profiles. There's a big difference. "There's no downside to it is you keep it professional," Schwabel said. "It can only help you if people "Like" your updates."
  • Define your brand. "Spell out what makes you different from everyone else -- your skills, personality, credential, awards you won, how many years you've been in business," Schwabel said. "People will talk about you based on who you’re associated with, who you’re friends with and who you do business with."
  • Attach yourself to a well-known brand. Schwabel accomplished this by working as the Social Media Specialist for EMC for two years. Lawyers can achieve this by working at a brand-name law firm. If that is not possible, then contribute to a well-known blog, write for a recognized magazine or speak at a national convention.
  • Comment on blogs. Schwabel said he commented on every single blog that focused on personal branding, "so people would see my name and face and come to my blog." Lawyers can find a choice of thousands of blogs to comment on at BlawgSearch.
  • Become an expert in your field.  "I wanted to become an expert as fast as I could so I read everything I could. Then I started getting published in, the American Marketing Association and BrandWeek Magazine. I was doing more than just writing a blog. I was showing people I had some credibility," Schwabel said.
  • Learn to become an extrovert. "I still am an introvert. An extrovert doesn’t have to push himself to get out there; I still have to push myself. Extroverts have a huge advantage because life is all about networking -- it will help you get ahead in career. I could write a book on how to be a successful introvert," Schwabel said.

 You can subscribe to Personal Branding Magazine to learn more.