How to Use Hashtags on Twitter: A Simple Guide for Marketers from The HubSpot Blog by Magdalena Georgieva. Â A Twitter hashtag is a keyword phrase, spelled out with spaces, with a pound sign (#) in front of it. Â For example, #legalchat and #iplaw are both popular hashtags in the legal world. Â Check out this article for great tips on how to supercharge your tweets for maximum exposure.
How Google Search Works, In a Nutshell, again from The HubSpot Blog, by Pamela Vaughan. Do you know how to write blog posts that will rank well via Google Search? Is SEO another acronym you know nothing about? Rest assured, this article should simplify things for you. It includes a nifty little video titled â€œHow Does Google Search Work?â€.
How to Use Google+ Hangouts for Your Business from the Social Media Examiner by Phyllis Khare. Are you familiar with Googleâ€™s new social network Google+? If so, do you see any use for business development? This article explains what hangouts are and shares some creative ideas on how to use them!
Why You Need Social Media, Even if Your Customerâ€™s Donâ€™t from the HubSpot Blog by Corey Eridon. Â Did you know that 79% of US adults are using social media. Â And eMarketer is predicitng there will be 1.43 billion worldwide social media users by 2012? Even so, weâ€™re certain many law firms still think their clients donâ€™t use social media. Definitely check out this article for some interesting facts and statistics.
Should you Upgrade to a paid LinkedIn Account from MacWorld by Kristin Burnham. By now, weâ€™re betting almost all attorneys have LinkedIn accounts. Do you know whatâ€™s available with a paid LinkedIn account? One of the features allows you to move to the top of the list if you apply for jobs via LinkedIn. Â Another allows you send InMails. Â A definite must read.
Get a Fricken Website Already from The Legal Watercooler by Heather Morse. Does this really still happen? There is no excuse why any law firm or lawyer should not have a website in this day and age. Â Check out Heatherâ€™s rant about how she had difficulties doing her due diligence when checking out some lawyer referrals she received.
(p.s. the new AmLaw 100 list is out, updated blog list to follow next week.Â http://www.americanlawyer.com/PubArticleTAL.jsp?id=1202489912232 )
The bookÂ MoneyballÂ by Michael Lewis examines the actions of a rogue general manager by the name of Billy Beane who is able to take a team with a payroll of $39 million and compete with the New York Yankees, which at the time had a payroll of around $114 million. With his ragtag group of players that he described as “from the Island of Misfit Toys,” he was able to field a team that won 20 consecutive games, more than any other team in the history of professional baseball. How was he able to have such great success? How can we apply those strategies to law firms?
Billy Beane was able to have such phenomenal success in part because Major League Baseball teams are run like an old boy’s club, and he was willing to go against the grain. Among these teams, decisions are often made on based on precedent, gut instinct or other intangibles.
When statistics are used, some are hugely overvalued, like runs batted in, while others are greatly undervalued, like on-base percentage. Beane was able to change things by ignoring precedent, exploiting inefficiencies in the marketplace and focusing on the right metrics. How can law firms do the same?
One area that seems particularly perplexing is law firm marketing. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on salaries for marketing staff, yet most of their time is spent on highly unproductive activities. Pitch books, Chambers submissions, holiday cards–do these really constitute the highest and best use of their costly time? Statistics would indicate otherwise.
Take the area of Web site bios, for example. According to Great Jakes, the law firm Web site company, 55 to 75 percent of the time visitors spend on law firm Web sites is spent on bios. In the range of important statistics and less important statistics, this is incredibly important. Think about it: Who looks at Web site bios? Potential clients, potential new hires and perhaps a smattering of competitors.
Best Writing Techniques for Online Readers from the Larry Bodine Law Marketing Blog. Â As we all know, writing content for a blog is much different than preparing legal documents. Â This article is full of great tips about writing content for online readers. Â Do you know the four common qualities of digital marketing content that make it stand out from convention marketing copy? Check out the link to find out! Youâ€™ll be happy you did.
3 Pinterest Tools That Will Have You #Pinning in No Time from Top Rank by Ashley Zeckman. Are you pinning yet? According to the statistics, Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. This article shares 3 useful tools to help you master the art of pinning. Also, if you donâ€™t have a Pinterest account yet, please feel free to contact me and Iâ€™ll send you an invite.
4 Ways to Grow a Twitter Following That Matters from the Social Media Examiner by Rich Brooks. Do you use Twitter for business development? If so, how is it working for you? Check out this neat article on how to grow a relevant Twitter following. Remember itâ€™s not how many followers you have, but how many relevant followers you have! The first pointer explains how to find and follow relevant people. A definite must read.
Facebook Allows Users to Download Expanded Archive of their Information from Inside Facebook by Brittany Darwell. Even if you donâ€™t use Facebook for business development, youâ€™ll be interested to know that Facebook has now increased the amount of data it provides users when they download their info from the site such as catalogues of friend requests users make, IP addresses theyâ€™ve logged in from and previous names used. This is an interesting read for those interested in Facebook privacy settings and issues.
Search Engine Optimization
Does SEO Work for Attorneys from the SEO for Law Firms Blog by Gyi Tsakalakis. Is search engine optimization part of your online marketing strategy? Â Check out this article to find out which SEO strategies work best and which ones to ignore. Â Gyi also discusses that many forms of online engagement that serve a purpose in acquiring new business from the web.
LinkedIn Adds Ability to Target Follower Updates from the Marketing Pilgrim by Cynthia Boris. Â By now, Iâ€™m sure you all have created Law Firm Company Pages for your law firm, but did you know that you can now target follower updates? Â You can now send updates to a specific segment of your follower list. Â Itâ€™s important to grow the number of followers your Company Page has to make this new feature work. Â As of now, this service is only available to a chosen few but theyâ€™ll start to roll out to the masses soon.
The top ten firms according to the number of blogs in the AmLaw 100 are:
Thanks to Samantha for all of her research on the 2012 list. Please email her email@example.com if we missed any of your firm’s blogs.
Have a Little Common Courtesy from Real Lawyers Have Blogs by Kevin Oâ€™Keefe. Do you send LinkedIn connection requests without adding a personalized message? This article is for you! Kevin gives some insight on how he vets connection requests as well.
More People Search for â€œAttorneyâ€ than â€œLawyerâ€ from the Larry Bodine Law Marketing Blog. A handy article about why you should use the keyword attorney instead of lawyer when writing blogs, online articles, web bios, LinkedIn updates, tweets, Facebook pages and any other content.
Use Facebook Timeline to Make A Better Facebook Page for your Law Firm from The Sociable Lawyer Blog by Matthew Hickey. Does your firm have a Facebook Page? If so, did you know all Facebook Pages have switched over to the new timeline format? Check out Matthewâ€™s articles for some great tips and tricks on cover photoâ€™s, timeline features and the updated admin panel.
Google+ Redesign Takes the Cake, And a Little Facebook Too from the Hubze Social Media Blog. Do you use Google+? If so, did you notice the redesigned Google+ website? Emphasis has been on customization, for example Google+ profile pages will now feature timeline-esque cover photos. Check out this article to see what over 170 million users are now seeing when they log in!
Getting More out of Pinterest [Infographic] from the Marketing Pilgrim Blog by Frank Reed. Are you obsessed with â€˜pinningâ€™ yet? Check out this article for some insight on how to best use Pinterest for the greatest impact. Â Are you using Pinterest for business development? Do you think it has a place in legal marketing?
The Anatomy of a Great Blog Design from For Bloggers by Bloggers by Danny Brown. Learn how to keep readers interested in your blog by checking out this great read by our friend Danny Brown. Â Topics include custom headers, layout, navigation and typography. A great read for those interested in creating a great blog design.
I’m convinced that anybody can make it to the base camp of Mt. Kilimanjaro. It sits at about 14,500 feet of elevation (higher than any mountain in the 48 states) but you get there slowly. We had been hiking for 5 days to aid acclimatization. The average day of hiking was anywhere from 4 to 7 hours per day, so nothing too intense. The real test was coming at dark. We went to bed early, as in 6pm, and then woke at midnight to hike all night to reach the summit.
Even though the summit hike itself only takes about 7 hours, the challenge is three fold. First, your body is exhausted from hiking for 5 days straight. Second, you are at such high altitude that your blood oxygen level is around 60-70% of normal levels- you just can get enough air. Third, you are climbing the crater of a volcano, so the very hardest part – the scramble to the tip of the crater, known as Gilman’s Point (named after a lawyer, the first person to Ski down the glacier in 1926) is not only the steepest, but also comes at a time when your body is physically tapped out.
All this being said, we weren’t worried. We made great time every single day that week, so I couldn’t help but wonder how fast we would make it to the summit. I wasn’t afraid of the high altitude. I should have been.
We assembled just before 1 am, after a quick breakfast of oatmeal and hot chocolate, we were all equipped with headlamps, three layers of clothes on our legs, 5 layers on our bodies, trekking poles, gloves, hats and plenty of water. We headed off with our guide in the lead, giving the instruction “Po-le Po-le” which in Swahili means “Slow, Slow.” For practical purposes, it means you put one foot in front of the other in a very slow and deliberate manner to conserve energy.
In the summit attempt there are three stages. Stage 1- reach the halfway mark to Gilman’s Point up the steep crater face. (2.5 hours estimated) Stage 2- reach Gilman’s Point (2.5 hour estimated) and then finally, Stage 3- finish the more gradual ascent around the crater to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in all of Africa (final 2 hours).
The guides break it up this way for psychological reasons, so that you can focus on one goal at a time. So we made our way in the dark towards Stage 1. In other hikes, we had chatted and eaten snacks as we hiked, but in the pitch black and thinning air, we were silent as we marched up the switchbacks. Our lead guide, a Tanzanian by the name of Joshua was in front keeping a slow but steady pace, it was his 161st attempt at the summit. Behind us was Felix, the assistant guide and a porter named Nasaret who had been the lucky porter chosen out of a group of 12 from Team Kilimanjaro to join us on the summit attempt. Stage 1 wasn’t much more difficult then any other section we had hiked, it was quite a bit steeper, but we were going at a much slower pace and there were switchbacks. We could see lines of headlamps above and below us of other groups slowly trudging towards the top.
Then, just as we were about to arrive at the marker for Stage 1, something turned in my stomach. With dread, I realized that a wave of nausea was rushing towards me and I likely wouldn’t be able to prevent it. We stopped to rest, and I casually walked over to Joshua, “I’m feeling a little bit nauseous, should I take some Diamox?”
“Yes, take 250 mg right away,” Joshua urged me.
Diamox is a medication that helps the body deal with the effects of high altitude. My wife Natalie been taking it for two days, my Father-in-law for 3 days. I of course was far too stubborn. I had felt great all week and so I had refused to take the drug, even though Joshua had advised all of us to take it. That decision would cost me.
After drinking some hot chocolate (that was barely warm because of a broken thermos) I took the Diamox and we headed off for the second stage. 5 minutes in, I threw up the tepid chocolate along with the drugs. The next 30 minutes was a mixture of slow hiking intermingled with pauses to vomit. My heart was racing, and I couldn’t get enough air to calm myself down. Every switchback, I would pause and hold up the group for 10 seconds- while I tried my hardest to catch my breath and allow my stomach to relax.
I pulled Joshua to the side, “I know you have seen these symptoms before, am I going to make it?” I asked him. Once the symptoms of altitude sickness became too severe, there is no other choice but to descend immediately. I was faced with the real possibility that after 4 months of diet and training, flying half-way around the world and hiking for 5 days and half a night, that I wouldn’t make it to the summit. “I think you will be fine,” Joshua answered, but try taking some more Diamox,” he urged. I took a double dose, a small sip of Gatorade and we continued on. I couldn’t tell if Joshua was just staying positive, or if he suspected that my symptoms this early meant I would have to turn back.
I was faced with a gloomy realization. The nausea was one thing, but it would likely only get worse, since I was only at 17,000 feet of altitude and still needed to reach 19,300. I had five more hours of hiking straight up ahead of me, and at least two more back down until I would be at a lower altitude where I might feel better. It was impossible to think of getting there with the way I was feeling. So I blocked it out. Instead, I told myself a lie.
“You feel good, you feel great,” I said as I planted each trekking pole. “You’re going to make to make it to Gilmans.” Over and over I told myself this, maybe a thousand times. “You feel good, you feel great, you’re going to make it to Gilmans.” I felt awful. Every step I would close my eyes and imagine I was asleep for just a moment, to try and fight off the severe exhaustion and dehydration. Those two hours to Gilmans Point may have been the longest two hours of my life.
We finally reached Gilman’s point, I wanted to celebrate, I wanted enjoy the Red Bull that Joshua had saved for each of use to denote the hardest milestone, but I felt worse than ever. I was sucking in as much air as possible, but it just didn’t seem like body could get enough oxygen. We took a few pictures where I faked awkward smiles, including one picture with me laying down, appearing to be dead- demonstrating how I actually felt. Then I realized I was starting to freeze, so I urged our group to push on. Joshua had insisted I drink the entire can of Red Bull. I drank only a third, emptying the rest into my partly full Gatorade bottle. I would throw the Red Bull up just 10 minutes later.
At this point I was past worrying about pain, exhaustion or discomfort, I was mechanically making my way up the mountain. I knew that the only way I would ever feel better was to summit and descend. My training had prepared my legs for the summit attempt, and I had decided that would have to be enough.
Halfway between Gillmans and the top, is a place called Stella Point. When we reached Stella, I was so determined and so cold, that we didn’t even stop for pictures. We just kept chugging along. “Po-le, po-le” I began to say. The sun had begun to rise about 15 minutes before, warming us up and putting the horizon on fire. The blanket of clouds stretched for miles away from us. And something just clicked for me. I don’t know if the double dose of Diamox had made it into my bloodstream with some Red Bull or if the adrenaline of nearing the top was getting to me, but suddenly- I started cruising up the mountain. “You are the guide now,” Joshua said to me, “Go.” I went from feeling like a 2 on a ten scale to feeling like a 9 1/2.
There was less than a half mile left up to the summit, and I couldn’t believe it, I felt great. My legs chugged in front of me, and I was flying up the mountain. Stopping every 100 feet to laugh and catch my breath. A wave of relief and emotion hit me, and I would have started crying, if my tear ducts weren’t also so dehydrated. I was more than 150 feet in front of the rest of the group, and so I stopped triumphantly at the top of a rise to wait for my wife to catch me, so that we could enjoy the moment of reaching the top together. “I’ve never seen someone recover so quickly,” Joshua commented.
We reached the chilly summit of Kilimanjaro together at 7:20 am in the morning of March 24th. Total strangers were embracing, guides from the other companies were clapping us on the back and I savored an emotional high unlike anything I’ve experienced in a long time. We made it. We snapped a couple of quick pictures, said words of thanks to our guides and began the long descent. (The descent would take two days and over 20 miles, and in the week we logged over 50 miles on our hiking boots.)
The lesson for me from Kilimanjaro, is that we are capable of far more than we realize. Those moments where we find ourselves tested to our limits teach us that we have more power than we know.Â