Targeting your ideal client via LinkedIn

Originally published in The National Law Journal on April 3, 2013

There used to be a time when layers of secretaries and executive assistants insulated decision-makers against strangers, including peddlers of services. It was hard to position yourself to meet and impress the boss. Social media—and LinkedIn in particular—have broken down those barriers.

Through an advanced search on LinkedIn, you can build a list of your ideal clients while gaining insights into how best to connect with these hard-to-reach people. The first step is finding them.

It doesn’t have to be complicated.

“I found the names and companies of 100 general counsel in the Kansas City area with just a simple search on LinkedIn,” Burton Taylor, a marketing consultant at Proventus, told me recently. He started by selecting “advanced search.”

Then he simply entered the title, “General Counsel,” added the zip code and set the geographical search limit for “50 miles.” Read more

6 Fresh Digital Marketing Ideas in 60 Minutes

Last week in Las Vegas over a thousand attendees got together for the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference. You may have noticed me tweeting about this under the hash tag #LMA13. The session that I designed was called DMI: Digital Marketing Ideas Worth Spreading. The idea for the format was partly influenced by TED Talks and by Matt Homan’s Ignite program. We allowed six very different legal marketing professionals to share great ideas in exactly ten minutes. (Note: the first 7 slides in the first deck were intro slides to the program created by me.)

How to improve your rating at

avvo five star rating

Originally published in The National Law Journal on March 21, 2013

If you’re a lawyer, you likely have a profile on, even if you have never visited the site., which bills itself as the largest online lawyer listing service in the world, has developed a database containing almost every lawyer in the country. Each gets rated from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best possible score. Clients and peers can post positive or negative comments.

“Why am I only a 6.5 out of 10?” A trial lawyer asked me a couple weeks ago. “And why does John [the lawyer across the hall] have a rating of 10?”

First things first: Why should you care?

If you’re a corporate, business-to-business attorney, you might not need to care very much. If you’re a business-to-consumer attorney, your score might matter a great deal. The clients you’re interested in don’t tend to hire lawyers very often. They don’t understand what makes a great or even competent attorney. They might turn to Google, where they’ll be bombarded with advertisements for lawyers. But they don’t want ads—they want unbiased information. Read more

How to look good on television

Originally posted in The National Law Journal on March 14, 2013

“In the future, everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes,” Andy Warhol said. Let’s say your time has arrived—your social media messaging has caught the attention of an old-media platform and you have the chance to be interviewed on national TV. Will you be ready? How should you prepare to make a great first impression? How will you make the most of your 15 minutes of fame?

staley_joelI asked this question of Joel Staley, who has worked with celebrities, senior executives and brand representatives for Fortune 500 companies.

“Lawyers know how to do their homework” when preparing for a deposition or researching a brief, Staley said. “They need to take that same preparation when getting ready for the media. Don’t turn off your research and inquisitive approach, because you are going to need it. Keep that mindset.”

Your first question should be: Who is the reporter? “What is their interview style? Watch them online. Read them. Get a sense of their style. Are they a Diane Sawyer, who is so sweet and pretty then throws darts—these barbed questions that leave you looking like a deer in the headlights? Or are they like Ed Bradley, the machine gunner who relentlessly attacks people with questions? This tends to make a person look flustered and inarticulate. Inarticulate can make you look guilty.”

Staley advises interviewees to research how the reporter has handled the subject matter before. “You could be sucked into a story where the interviewer already has a bias. Be aware of what their slant is before you talk to them.”  Read more