Why I Go to Australia

I’ve had a number of people ask me in the last few month, “why do you go to Australia?” So I thought I would share the story real quick of how I made it to Australia last year and why I’m going again for a month this next Monday.

2009 started out as a rough year for me. Lost my job as a lawyer, started my own business helping law firms with social media (a business I was told would fail) and I was also faced with the challenges of raising a family. I decided that if I was going to go it alone, that I would build the life I wanted for me and my family. I wrote down a goal on my dream list, “live in another country for one month, ever year.” Read more

Mining for Diamonds

(as originally published by the National Law Journal on 12/9/2010)

There is an old story about an African farmer who learned from a visitor that diamonds had been discovered. This farmer was so excited that he sold his farm and spent the rest of his life traveling Africa in search of diamonds. Never finding them, he died poor and alone. The buyer of his farm, meanwhile, was walking down by the streambed one day and found a large crystal, which he took home and placed on his mantle. The same visitor stopped by and noticed the large object — which, of course, was no ordinary crystal. The visitor informed the buyer of the farm that is was in fact a large diamond. The farm turned out to contain one of the largest diamond deposits in Africa.

So what does this have to do with business development? Read more

Twitter: Still Misunderstood by Law Firms

(as originally published by the National Law Journal on 12/21/2010)

According to the Pew Research Center, 8 percent of Internet users in the U.S. are using Twitter. While 8 percent may seem a small number, it represents a substantial population. More important than the size, though, is the influence wielded by that 8 percent. Every major media outlet has reporters and bloggers using Twitter to share information and to find sources. You can see for yourself at muckrack.com — an aggregator of Twitter conversations by reporters from every beat. Read more

Stupid things people say online

In my book Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition I sum up what a firm’s social media policy should be in four words: don’t say stupid things.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal symbol for sarcasm and there certainly isn’t a universal sense of humor online.  Some comments are taken too seriously, but some things should never be said at all. For every joke told there are those that think its funny, those that ignore it and those who don’t realize it was a joke.  Then sometimes there are people that take offense.  This is on my mind because there have been some bad jokes and insensitive comments shared online lately.  While these comments didn’t offend me personally, I will agree that they are all in poor taste.  Here are three of the more glaring examples:

Read more

How to Motivate Attorneys to Become Bloggers

(as originally published by the National Law Journal on 12/22/2010)

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of lawyers and marketing partners about social media and blogging at the LMA Toronto Conference, “The Changing Face of Legal Marketing.” When I finished speaking, one managing partner of a boutique immigration firm approached me and asked the question, “how can I motivate my attorneys to blog?” I didn’t have time to provide the details at the time, but I figured it was likely other firms are asking the same question, so here is my reply: Read more

5 Business Development Priorities for 2011

(as originally published by the National Law Journal on 01/13/2011)

In management circles there is an old saying: “What gets measured gets managed.” Think about it. As lawyers and law firms, we place a huge emphasis on measuring billable hours. We track these daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and on a yearly basis. Law firms have become very good at measuring and managing billable hours, but what about business development? How often do we measure these efforts? Here are five business development priorities that will keep you from overlooking business development in 2011. Read more

Rumors of the Death of Client Alerts Greatly Exaggerated

(as originally published by the National Law Journal on 01/28/2011)

Ryan McVay, Getty Images

”I get over 50 client alerts e-mailed to me everytime anything happens in the law,” one general counsel said during the Marketing Partner forum last week in Scottsdale, Arizona. “I don’t have time to read them,” complained another. “Unless the client alert comes from somebody I have a relationship with, I don’t read it,” said yet another. If nobody reads these alerts, why are we spending time and resources to produce them?

I shared these same quotes and this question with my subscribers last week, and monitoring the analytics I noticed that my open rate was well over 100 percent, so my e-mail was opened and then got passed on again and again. In short, my client alert suggesting the death of client alerts has been one of my most successful alerts ever. Did you follow all that? Read more