I am attending the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women’s Summit. Our firm is a sponsor, and our partner Karina Sterman was a panelist.

Image of LABJ's Women's Council & AwardsFor the legal marketers reading this post: get out of the office and attend the events you sponsor. I am always “too busy” to attend, but I am reminded once again today why it’s so important.

First of all, I now understand this event, the nuances, and how to market this event within our firm. Even if our table is filled, the “sales” side of the program will always makes space for you to stop by and “get a personal feel” for the event.

Secondly, Karina and I were able to brainstorm some strategies in the back of the room and we are going to create a program for our clients based on some information we heard.

Beyond seeing how our firm can be a better sponsor and take advantage of the program, I’m gleaming good information for ME.

It’s a professional women’s summit. The panels are all about our careers. With 20 years invested in my legal marketing career, there is always more I can learn, and pass along. Continue Reading Free advice on a Friday afternoon

cropped-11149468_10153176009878926_9114104145154145142_n1.jpgI remember taking my first Myers-Briggs assessment way back when. I was an ENTJ. The “E” completely confused me. I hated people. I preferred to be alone. Ugh. I had to be an introvert. Right? Wrong.

Fast forward 20 years and I have completely come into my extroversion (is that a word?). I get my energy from being around others. And, more than anything, I get my work energy from the LMA Annual Conference.

Transitioning to a new firm this year has really taxed my mental energy. I have so many ideas swirling around my head every day. There are so many things to do, and many more possibilities as well. I have a great support team back in the office to help me process, wade through my ideas, help me to decide what’s a go, and what’s a no-go.

Continue Reading I don’t need to zone out, I need to zone in.

Dilbert-60-hours My post from the weekend, Rambling thoughts from 30,000 feet in the air, is about the BUSINESS of law (moving law firms from good to great; the metrics we’re measuring for success). Tim Corcoran‘s latest post, Working Smarter, Not Harder, is about the BUSINESS of law (h/t for the Dilbert). Kevin O’Keefe, Nancy Myrland, Gina Rubel (and colleagues), Ed PollSteven Harper, Greg Lambert (and colleagues), Cheryl Bame, Cordell Parvin, Patrick Lamb, Jonathan Fitzgarrald, Adrian Lurssen, Adrian Dayton, and one of my absolute favs Ed Reeser — and the list can go on and on and on — are ALL talking, writing and/or blogging about the BUSINESS of law. My apologies for not listing everyone. Check out my Twitter lists for more names to follow, and please suggest more in the comments below.  As we continue to elevate the conversation of the business of law, I would suggest that we all create a “Business of Law” tag or category on our blogs, if we haven’t done so already; and that we use the same hashtag (#bizoflaw) on Twitter. LinkedIn, unfortunately, does not recognize the “Business of Law” as a tag for our posts, but if we all create an “skill endorsement” of “Business of Law” and add it to our headlines, then perhaps we can create a movement. And, please, endorse me for “Business of Law” and “Leadership” on LinkedIn. I just added both to my skills list. What it comes down to is that we are all talking to one another on a weekly or daily basis about the BUSINESS of law, and we all basically agree with our messages. We need to strategically broaden this conversation to more and more people (attorneys in key leadership positions, other c-level legal professionals, influencers — conference organizers and the legal media) who SHOULD be recognizing, listening, participating, and joining us in this conversation. So who is with me? #bizoflaw #leadership #lawyers #lmamkt

Don’t camouflage your Twitter address if you want attribution

We had an interesting conversation at the LMA Annual Conference about attribution while live-Tweeting at a conference. Nancy Myrland very nicely captures the discussion in her post, Who Said That? How to Live Tweet a Conference.

To aid attendees at our session on Generational Marketing: Strategies and tactics for engagement with Boomers, Gen Xers and Millenials, Jonathan Fitzgarrald and I deliberately included our Twitter addresses not only on the opening slide, but in the footers. (Click here for the slides)

If we wanted the attribution, we didn’t want to make you work for it.  And it worked. The Twitter thread was incredible, lots of attribution to us both. Lots of feedback. And many new followers.

I just realized today, however, that for those reading this blog and wanting to share it on Twitter, it’s not as easy to find my Twitter address for attribution.

It hit me because I was reading a post from Lloyd Pearson while on my commute this morning, Chambers USA 2014-15: Get Organized via my reader. The post was easy for me to share from my iPhone, but his Twitter address didn’t auto fill. I was about to hit the tunnel, so I sent it off without attribution. Not really like me.

I have become so accustomed when using Bitly or Tweetdeck for the app to auto fill the name, but it doesn’t do so always, making it difficult to attribute on the fly unless you already know the person’s Twitter address, or are really determined.

To make things easier, I just updated my blog image that you see on the desktop to hyperlink to my Twitter profile, and added my address in the caption, and I urge you to do the same.

And when you do the update, check your mobile app version. My image doesn’t show up, so I have updated the subtitle of my blog to include it as well.

Not as pretty, but this is about engagement, conversation, and attribution.

 

I just read the following post SCOTUSblog Won Readers, Not Clients: Popular blog didn’t work as marketing tool for law firm but was a hit with readers, founders tell UGA audience.

I have to disagree.

In general, and in most cases, a corporate legal blogger might not be able to point to a particular piece of business and say, “I brought that in from writing this blog post on that date.”

However, if written correctly, the attorney can most likely point to their practice and see a correlation between their increased business and the launching of their blog.

I just don’t think the folks at SCOTUSblog are correctly measuring its value.

A corporate legal blog is NOT a business development (read SALES) tool in and of itself. It is there to provide what Nancy Myrland calls “digital breadcrumbs“:

Blogging, just as all other content scattered across the Internet, is what I always refer to as “digital breadcrumbs.” The words, thoughts and opinions we share in these spaces serve to help others find a path to us when they happen to need us, or at least when their interest in our areas of expertise is heightened.

A blog, done right, is an educational tool that will position the author and firm. Avvo‘s Josh King agrees:

Too many attorneys and firms treat them like outbound marketing vehicles, doing more overt sales pitches than information and thought leadership.

Blogs are about value, and education. They are about telling the story you want the general counsel to read as they are doing their due diligence on the attorney and the firm. They are about having the right results on page one when your name is Googled.

Getting back to the softer ROI that we’re talking about, Virtual Marketing Officer, Jayne Navarre, points out that the SCOTUSblog article contradicts itself: Continue Reading How NOT to measure the value of a legal blog

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
Wake up and smell the coffee people.
Wake up and smell the coffee: Google matters. Google counts. Copyblogger said so this morning (Seriously. Go get some coffee and click on the article. It’s a must read today):

A forewarning from Google’s Chairman

Just 19 days after my predictions for 2013, the Wall Street Journal published its comments on The New Digital Age, a book written by Google’s chairman, Eric Schmidt. These comments included this quote (bold is mine):

Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.

This is a powerful statement by one of the most powerful people in Google. Schmidt makes it clear that Authorship will be a very material factor in search ranking.

For those of us operating in the legal community this is REALLY good new. Why? Because lawyers have content. Lots of it. The job of the legal marketer is to help them get that content into digital, and connect with the Google game. I’m not talking about gaming Google, but realizing that Google has a strategy to promote good content, and we legal marketers and lawyers need to stay awake and on top of it. Continue Reading Google Profiles + Google Author Ranks + Google In-Depth Articles = WAKE UP!!!

I know I’ve covered this topic before, but I had another reminder this week about how you should be living your passion. And, if you don’t know what your passion is, you need to find it.

What do I mean by that?

When you love what you do, or who you do it for, it shows. People notice. It differentiates you.

If you hate your job, or are just going through the motions, people notice. It’s a turn off. Rather than exude energy, you suck it out of the room.

My friend Nancy Myrland exemplifies living her passion. As do Jayne Navarre, and Tim Corcoran. You can say the same about Catherine MacDonough, and Keith Wewe. The list can go on and on.

And all these people have something in common. The Legal Marketing Association (LMA). We are all passionate about what we do for a living, we enjoy what we do. And, we do it well.

It’s what differentiates LMA from any other professional association that I know of.

But, if stuck in an elevator, if I told a group of people that my passion was working with lawyers, they’d wonder if they’d walked into a scene out of Devil.

I get it.

A little over five years ago I worked for an AmLaw 100 law firm and I was MISERABLE. It had nothing to do with my firm; I had lost my passion.

My solution was to took some time off through that summer to try and recapture my passion and my enthusiasm.

By mid-summer I realized I loved what I did for a living. I loved the people I get to work with, especially my close friends who I have met through my professional association (LMA).

I didn’t want to leave my industry, but I needed to find a balance between my passion for legal marketing, and the passion I had for the rest of my life.

The passion I live is not limited to legal marketing.

I am passionate about being a mom, and a Girl Scout Leader.

I am passionate about music, sports, and my family.

I am passionate about the Sports Dude and still am amazed that the boy I fell in love with when I was just 16 is the man I am married to today.

My life has its ups and downs. Whose doesn’t. But without that passion to guide me through to the next day, well, I’d be sucking the life out of the world around me as well.

Nancy's Mom
I woke up this morning to the sad news that my friend Nancy Myrland‘s dear mother had passed away:

God welcomed his newest angel at 4:35 a.m. He couldn’t have given me a better mother. I will miss her dearly.

That’s the message Nancy posted publicly on her Twitter account. Privately, several of us from the legal marketing community received a different message via Facebook messenger, as we have been doing all we can to support Nancy from our little corners of this big country. I’m not sure about your experience, but social networking has expanded my life in ways I never could have imagined when I logged on to Twitter for the first time back in 2008; and, yet, at the same time, it has brought my entire world into the palm of my hand via my iPhone. For me, these past few years have been about finding a balance between public and private. And, I do believe, we are all capable of sharing portions of our personal lives without over sharing. How we conduct ourselves within our social networks says a lot about how we conduct ourselves in our business interactions. It is a reflection of our character. Why would we want to hide that part of ourselves? I assure you, what I share on Twitter is much different than what I share on my Facebook wall, which is different than what I share in private groups or messages. Contrary to my daughters’ complaints, I don’t share EVERYTHING they do on Facebook. A few years ago I went through a divorce. My ex-husband and I are very active in, and share, the same support network. It would have been insensitive and wrong for me to publicly or privately take my complaints, problems, and resentments with the divorce there. I was able to turn to my social network for the support I needed. Through Facebook and Twitter, I found the friends (old and new) I needed to help guide me through what could have been the worst days of my life, without compromising the respect the father of my children deserved. I was able to walk through my divorce with my dignity intact because: 1) I had a network of people standing behind me, both publicly and privately, supporting me all the way; 2) I was mindful and measured in what I shared publicly and privately, without compromising my authenticity and what I was going through.; and, 3) I knew “you” were watching me. And THAT is so important to remember. How we conduct ourselves on our social networks says a lot about how we conduct ourselves in our business interactions. You never know who is watching you online. You never know who is filing away your experience, and who might have need to call on you for assistance — professional or personal — down the line. I cannot tell you how many people have called me in the past couple years who are contemplating or going through a divorce. In fact, I spent my afternoon yesterday on Facebook, on two private message streams, supporting a friend who came home to a process server and a 400-page document from her husband who had just filed for divorce. My friend included me in her short list of friends for support due in part to how I conducted myself during my divorce on line. I’ve had my eye on Nancy and her family for the past several months. I know that one day I will be walking through her shoes, and I’ve been watching her closely. Nancy and her siblings have been exemplary in their dedication to their mother. Nancy has literally been by her mother’s side, day and night, for what seems like months. I’ll tell you one thing, knowing Nancy, I would have expected nothing less from her. Will I be able to be that selfless? I hope so. Today, both my parents are alive and well. Mr. Morse is off golfing (it’s Sunday, after all), having celebrated his 75th jubilee this past week in Palm Springs (because there was no snow in Mammouth). My mom is living her best years as well in Tennessee, sending pictures back to us in California of this strange thing they have there called snow. I am so fortunate in that I have never had to walk through either of my parents EVER being ill, but I know that I will one day.

(l-r) Gina, Me, Lindsay, Gail, Nancy, Laura and Tim.
I also know that I will get through it because Nancy, Tim, Gail and Gina have all done so before me. I also know I will not walk through it alone, because whether they are by my side, or in the palm of my hand, my friends and support system are never far away. To Nancy, my deepest sympathy on the loss of your beloved mother. Thank you for the honor of being your friend. Thank you for walking through these painful days with dignity and grace. Thank you for sharing with us your love and affection for your mother. Thank you for sharing with us your siblings, who are as lovely and wonderful as you. All of which, I am certain, stems from your wonderful, wonderful mother.

I swear, sometimes I ignore vendor calls because when I am nice and say “no thank you,” they hear “keep calling and try to get her to say yes.”

I posted that on Facebook the other day and the Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time LMA players (Mike O’Horo and Nancy Myrland) chimed in on what my call must have sounded like. We had fun, going back and forth, but, sadly, they weren’t too far off.

“Hey, wanna buy some apples??”

VENDOR: ‎”I’ve got apples. Wanna buy some? These are really good apples. And apples are good for you, too. So, wanna buy some? Did I mention that they’re good? I mean, really good?”

ME: “Um. No thanks, I really don’t need any apples right now.

“You mean you don’t like apples? Well you NEED to find a way to like apples because I’m selling these apples, and the firm down the street likes these same apples….”

“That’s okay. I’m sure your apples are great, but I’m really not shopping for apples right now.”

“Come on. They like apples at Latham. In fact, I can do a whole presentation on how they like apples at Latham, and at Allen Matkins. They like our apples there, so why don’t I come by next week and show you why you need to buy our apples too? In fact, why don’t you get a group of your senior partners together and I can explain to them why your firm needs our apples?”

“I’m glad they like your apples over at Latham, but I don’t have it in my budget to purchase any apples. I’ve got some pears, and that’s working for us right now.”

“I’m sure your pears are nice, but pears are NOT apples? Did I mention that we have no price increase this year, ya’ know….only $3K an apple, and I’ll throw in a free apple!”

I really do have to go. But thanks for calling.

“Wait, wait. Here’s what I can do for you….but I have to check with my boss first. I’ll give you 2 bushels of cherries, also, if you buy a dozen apples? The only thing is that, well, you’ll have to sign a confidentiality agreement if we agree to this so no one else knows the deal I’m giving you … ‘k?”

“No, really. I have to go.”

“Can I send you an email with our materials?”

“Fine.”

Great. I’ll follow up with you next week.

At this point I’ll say anything to get off the phone. Fine. Send me your stuff. I’ll delete it. My office phone rings, and I see your number, I’ll ignore your calls. But, you’re really not doing yourself any favors by being so pushy. I might not need your product today, but one day I might. Maybe here. Maybe at another firm. I might have a colleague looking for what you’re selling. Don’t relegate yourself to being screened out of my professional circle of influence. Don’t be a pushy apple salesman.

Okay. I did it. I accepted Steven Swimmer‘s invitation and have now set up my Google+ account and I’m good to go. I updated my profile, set up some circles, I’m adding people here and there. Right now we all seem to be in the “Hmmm” stage. So far I realized, 1) you have to turn off the e-mail notifications ASAP; and, 2) I have more questions right now than answers. So who out there is checking out Google+?

  • What are your thoughts??
  • How is it different, better, the same than FB, LI or Twitter?
  • Do we REALLY need another social media platform??
  • Or is Google+ a good alternative to one of the others???

Right now a lot of you are already Following, Connecting, Friending and Liking me. Do you need to Circle me too? But, then again, I was just talking to a partner who doesn’t do Facebook. It’s way too outside this person’s comfort zone. I’m thinking Google+ might be a good alternative. Not as impersonal and overwhelming as Twitter, yet not as personal as Facebook. I don’t have the answers to WHAT Google+ is and will be, but you can find and CIRCLE me here: http://gplus.to/heathermorse (if you’ve received an invite to join. I only have 6 more to extend). Oh, and thanks to Nancy Myrland for the tip on where to create my Google+ custom profile URL.