Content

EP 77 – Michael Bond – Embracing Social Media and Gauging Your Share of Media Across the Internet

Michael Bond is the Senior Media Director at Blattel Communications. Michael has been involved in legal marketing now for 15+ years. He has held several in-house positions in New Jersey as well as California and transitioned to Blattel Communications about 10 years ago. Blattel Communications meshed well with what Michael loves in life, which is media. He enjoys pairing what he loves doing with his job. 

If you are interested in learning more from Michael, visit his website https://blattel.com and find him on social media or reach out to him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelabond/ 

Getting In Front of Your Clients Through Social Media

The professional services realm is one of the slower realms to adapt to changes in the marketplace – particularly media trends. In the B2B world, finding content and finding value can be challenging. It is finding the right ways to package thought leadership on the right channels. We are in a universe now where you have a viewer and multiple channels in front of them. There are normally several channels going on at the same time. For law firms, it is important to find that visibility. When the pandemic happened, specifically the shut downs, screen time use went way up. The reason is simple – we did not have a physical connection, so humans were looking for more connections and social media is one venue to do that. There is real value for the law firm, for that professional services firm, to be in your feed as you are going through it. It is a way to inject some personality, keep the law firm’s brand relevant, and to appear in the feed when followers are scrolling through for new pictures and new stories.

There is a lot of information that needs to be brought to clients quickly – a lot of it was about getting critical knowledge out there to a wide range of individuals from small business owners to very large businesses. You need to tailor your content so that it remains relevant while also keeping it visible using those social media channels. The world is different and it is changing every single day and sometimes that poses a challenge. That challenge, though, was met by the advantage and the immediacy of social media because you are constantly getting that new wave of content up to the top and these channels are optimized to keep the eyes on them and that’s why you are seeing that screen-time increase. So, it’s a good way to get in front of people, it’s a good way to ensure that your clients and your potential clients are getting the right information at the right time.

Gauging How You Are Doing Relative to Other Firms

All metrics are not precise. They are subject to interpretation. If you don’t have the tools to put that together, you can use just a rudimentary Google search to search for your competitors and go under the Google News tab to see where things are showing up. Another thing that is important to consider here is to be able to parse the quality of what you are getting. You should be able to look back at how many hits you had, the ad equivalency, how many people read those articles, etc. Aside from specific issue campaigns, there is also a block-and-tackle which is still very important. You need to have a comprehensive strategy in place. 

Understanding What Metrics You Need to be Looking At

With each client being different and each attorney or professional being different, one of the keys is that we do not want to fall into the trap of seeing something that has an issue of a lot of media potential but no business development behind it. One of the ways to overcome that is by really having those conversations one-on-one, in-depth with marketing departments and also with the professionals that they are working with. What is the shared definition of success that you are going for? There are so many aspects. They can leverage the content in a way that will be very beneficial. It is a formula that is proven, but it is more qualitative than quantitative. Michael and his team try to coach people to become well-rounded individuals who are self-promoters, that are trying to make sure that the things they are writing are reaching a wide audience. You are reaching your shared definition of success, but you are also reaching that level of a business development success and that’s really what we’re all after here. At the end of the day, the efforts are really focused on business development. There is a level of brand stability that you need to be thinking about, especially during a challenging time in terms of the economy and visibility overall.

EP 74 – Chase Williams & Ryan Klein – Strengthening Your Content Strategy to Be Consistent and Excel in Performance

How to Find and Write Great Content Topics

The common recommendations for most firms is at least 4 pieces of content per month. It feels like content has turned into this monotonous, arbitrary, unexciting thing that you have to do to get into the good graces of Google. Researching content is important – not only what’s trending and what has volume, but what is going to get you people that want to retain you for legal services. We do use Google News quite a bit to see what is trending, but we want to couple that with what people are searching for and where they have intent. People ask questions on Avvo all the time – those are great topics and those are trending topics as well. We have actually used forms and message boards and even social media to find trends. People like to ask their community legal questions and sometimes they are very interesting and very unique. 

There are multiple reasons why blogs are bad – it could be because the writers are trying to write for search engines and the keywords or call to actions are not helpful. Back in the day, that used to work but unfortunately, it does not work as much these days. You want to verify your traffic by using a tool – we like using SEMRush as a way to verify the potential traffic. Related keyword searches are also helpful. It can help to push some ideas in different directions just by typing into Google and see what specific searches are auto populating. Another thing that works is competitor research. If you know your competition, which most lawyers will know in their respective markets, then you can determine who is doing an outstanding job. There really aren’t too many situations where someone ranks high for keywords and they aren’t taking their blogging seriously. Those that are having success online typically do a good, thorough job with their content as well. If there are any opportunities where maybe they have written about a topic but might have fallen short and you think that you can write it better or elaborate on it, things like that definitely work. 

Other forms of content that do well on a legal website besides blogs are granular service pages, case overviews and results, FAQ pages, geo-specific pages, transcribed content, long-form articles, testimonials and reviews, other types of blogs, checklists and tutorials, and ebooks. All of these things are ways to create great new content, be consistent, and diversify and switch it up so that you are able to continue to be consistent with your content strategy.

Understanding What People Are Searching For

Google Search Console is a great way to determine what your content is ranking for and understand what people are seeing it for. Google Search Console, previously called Google Webmaster Tools, is a place to get additional information, diagnose your website from a technical standpoint, and to get more insight on how Google perceives your website from a search engine optimization standpoint. One thing that Google Search Console does is it has good transparency with what keywords, specifically search terms, people are searching to get impressions and potentially clicks to parts of your website. One part that we love using is a part that involves performance and from there it can break down to landing pages and then further break down from there what keywords you are showing up for on a landing page basis. This is a great way to do additional optimization to get additional visibility for all of the content that you already created.

Revitalizing and Re-Optimizing Previous Content

There are several reasons why your content might not be working for you. The first reason is that your content strategy is writing about things that do not have any volume. A lot of people have content strategies in place that do not have search volume. You have to verify the search volume, the intent, and have some sort of confirmation that the content you are producing is going to get eyes on it. Posting content for the sake of posting content is one of the biggest ways that a content plan does not even get off the ground. Other reasons include not observing basic on-page optimization, some people just don’t take the time to do some kind of keyword density, h tags, meta information is weak, no internal or external links, not meeting a word count, refreshing existing pages, etc. There has to be a basic checklist of SEO for every page you are doing because you want to maximize it’s visibility. Another big reason your content may not be working is that you are not fitting new pages into the site architecture or placement in a sitemap. A lot of people now have a content management system but when you write a page and publish it, you can’t navigate towards it. All of these people have all of these pages that are published on their website and they just sit there on an island. Some other things are being observant of core web vitals, don’t cannibalize your own content (just make sure you are not rewriting over and over on the same topics), making sure that your content is not plagiarized, if your website is not secure that will not help, if your website is not mobile friendly then people can’t interact with your website or your content and trying to set up your content to rank for too many keywords. 

EP 61 – Michelle King – How to Pitch Yourself to the Media to Effectively Position Your Law Firm

Michelle King is the President and Founder of Reputation Ink. Reputation Ink is a public relations and content marketing firm working mostly with law firms. The primary service they provide is getting attorneys and law firms in the media – getting them positioned as thought leaders/experts in whatever niche they’re in – securing the media coverage, but also securing the firm as a whole covering their case wins and matters they are involved with. On the content side, they work with firms to figure out what kind of content they should be publishing, how to do that effectively, as well as how to utilize a lot of that content for public relations purposes. If you are interested in contacting Michelle, please reach out by visiting their website at www.rep-ink.com or you can email Michelle directly at michelle@rep-ink.com.

Determining Your Subject Matter Sweet Spot

What do you want to be known for? First, you have to figure out what your subject matter sweet spot is. You can determine this by figuring out the intersection of your expertise, your clients’ interests and needs, and your unique values and expertise. You really need to figure out what the subjects are that you want to be known as an expert on, but also ask the ‘so what’ questions such as, do your clients care about that or does the media care about that? You  also need to understand the media. This goes into knowing what your clients are paying attention to. A PR person is a matchmaker between the client and the media and they are figuring out what the media needs and how their client can fit into that. Michelle coaches attorneys to figure out what is newsworthy and how to intersect themselves into newsworthy topics, which a lot of that for lawyers is providing analysis on specific topics. Lawyers who can do media relations correctly can really shine by using their legal knowledge, providing context and analysis, what happens next, and what clients need to know. Two of the main things that they are often doing are pitching an attorney to write an article or pitching an attorney to be a source in a news story.

How to Present Yourself in a Different Way to the Media

If the media has someone who responds to phone calls quickly, shows up on time, speaks well in front of the camera, and provides insightful analysis, they will go back to them every time. You have to begin by proving yourself on a smaller scale, so do some public speaking, be a guest on podcasts, write articles, etc. You will then have these resources to show others that you are a good media source, but a majority of it is just getting back to them quickly and having something to say,  not regurgitating the news, but giving an insightful analysis of what is happening. The best way is to start writing for publications to give you the sense of how the media works. Editors on a day-to-day basis have to create content for an audience that drives advertising dollars, so they are experts at figuring out and knowing what content works and what kind of information their audiences are looking for. This will also depend on where your client base is and what your clients are looking at. If you want to become a national media commentator, you have to start playing the media game – contributing, putting out media pitches, writing articles, and pitching yourselves to podcasters to serve as a guest. When you do start pitching national shows, you will have a little bit of a resume to show. In doing this, there is time involved, but it is a great way to get into the game.

The media continues to evolve and change. Podcasts are a perfect example of this. Clients often rely on podcasts and can listen to them on the go and they are a really niche media as well. There is such an overload of information out there that people want information tailored to their specific needs. Some outlets have shifted to a pay-to-play model and your best bet is to try to insert yourself into the news. Do you have an interesting take or insight on something that the news  may be covering already or an idea for an article that is really unique and valuable? Most publications have not transitioned to pay-to-play, so there are several sources that are still taking contributions from outside sources. Good PR is proactive, so you want to work with a PR person who is proactively monitoring the news, understands your goals for getting into the news, and is regularly meeting with you to find out what they could pitch but is also monitoring editorial calendars and publications and getting google alerts for topics you want to be positioned as it is an on-going type of activity.

Goals for Law Firms When Engaging with PR Firms

Some firms have a really clear idea of wanting to be in the Wall Street Journal. Some of their other clients know they have seen some lawyers in certain publications and they know they can do a better job of that. But most often, their biggest goal is looking for greater visibility. When a client starts working with Michelle’s firm and starts to get that visibility, it is fun to see the impact that it has. They will start hearing from clients, their web traffic will significantly increase, and it gives them a credibility boost which is valuable in all other efforts of their business development. PR is probably the most difficult to trace back to revenue, but once they start getting more coverage, they definitely see the value. What they are finding is that the media is slammed right now with all of the news of coronavirus and they are having to turn so much content around. If the PR firm secures an interview for the client, they will first talk to the reporter and see what kind of story they are wanting to write and what kind of information they want to get so that the client can be prepared before the call and show up with the right information. The PR firm’s  job is to understand the background behind the interview, what they are hoping to get out of it, and then a little prep around what the media outlet is like, what the reporter has written on, etc. Work is often hard to go viral and if your whole goal is to go viral, that is going to be difficult. Michelle encourages her clients to think about their own clients and narrow it down to think about just one person. Always have one person in mind and try to be as clear and understandable as possible. Most clients stick to the  tried and true of providing value and insights.

EP 46 – Kwame Christian – Having Conversations with Clients, Employees, and Your Community About Race and Injustice

Kwame-1

Kwame Christian is the Director of the American Negotiation Institute where he conducts negotiation and conflict management workshops around the country. He is also author of the Amazon best seller – Nobody Will Play With Me: How to Use Compassionate Curiosity to Find Confidence in Conflict and host of the word’s most popular negotiation podcast – Negotiate Anything.

On This Episode, We Discuss …

• Recognizing Social Injustice and What Constitutes Action

• Steps of the Compassionate Curiosity Framework

• What is a Lawyer’s Role as a Defender of Justice?


Webinar Information: June 5th, 2020 at 12 PM EST – americannegotiationinstitute.com/justice

EP 41 – Dan Brian – Utilizing the Value in Content to Get Your Audience Enagaged and Increase Brand Awareness

Dan Brian is the Director of Digital Marketing at Riddle & Brantley, LLP. He has been in the Digital Marketing Industry for over 14 years and primarly worked in the agency world when he first began his career. Dan developed a love for applying scrappier startup tactics and strategies to online marketing that he eventually brought with him when he transitioned to legal marketing a little over one year ago.

On This Episode, We Discuss …

• The Importance of Repurposing and Recycling as Much Content as Possible
• Following the 80-20 or 90-10 Rule in Content Writing
• Steps and Tools to Use in Organizing Your Content Development Process

EP 35 – Mark Beese – Strengthening Your Firm Leadership Through Feedback and Strategic Process Design

Mark is the President of Leadership for Lawyers, LLC. They provide training, coaching and consultation to firms in the areas of leadership development, business development and marketing. Before working with Leadership for Lawyers, Mark had more than 25 years of experience as a Chief Marketing Officer for professional services firms. He is teaches Strategic Marketing and Business Development at the University of Denver Sturm School of Law. 

On This Episode We Discuss…

•Disruptions That Law Firms Are Facing Today
•Process to Design a Solution to Address Both Internal and Client-Facing Problems
•How to Effectively Give Feedback to Others with Differing Personalities

EP 33 – Eva Wisnik – Working from Home – Staying Productive Long Term While Continuing to Produce High Quality Work

Eva Wisnik is the Founder and President of Wisnik Career Enterprises, Inc. Eva began in NYC as a recruiter for two large Wall Street law firms over 30 years ago before founding Wisnik Career Enterprises. Wisnik now works with law firms to develop training programs as well as help firms find and hire the right people. WCE has conducted over 700 training programs on topics ranging from Interview Training to Achieving Professional Visibility to Time Management Techniques for Attorneys. Each session is designed specially to fit that specific firm’s needs. WCE has also placed more than 800 Recruiting and Marketing Professionals over the course of the past 20+ years.

On This Episode We Discuss…

• Setting a Game Plan & Developing Rituals to Break Up Your Schedule While Working from Home 
•Steps You Can Take to Be Effecient
•Certainty in Reference to Robbins’ Human Needs Model

EP 32 – Susan Freeman – Raising Awareness of Communication Theories to Combat Bias in the Workplace

Susan Freeman is Founder and CEO of Freeman Means Business. Susan strives to help women in business communicate effectively with the world and to help men communicate effectively with women in business.

She hosts a podcast to give an opportunity for other business women to share their stories; she travels to host client appreciation events and conscious inclusion exercises; she also hosts workshops on how men and women communicate differently and tools and tips you can use to get where you need to be after learning about those differences.

On This Episode We Discuss…

• Communication Theories – Why We Do What We Do
• Vertically Structured Beliefs vs Horizontally Structured Beliefs
• The Differences in Diversity and Inclusion

EP 30 – Chris Kirby – The Positive Transformation of a Firm From Well-Executed Strategic Plans

For more than a decade now, BridgeField Group’s founder Chris Kirby, has focused on assisting attorneys and other professionals in all aspects of professional and personal success. Though he has maintained an active law license for over 22 years, for more than a decade, Chris has been solely dedicated to coaching and training corporate and legal clients throughout the United States and internationally. By recent count, Mr. Kirby has worked with well over 3,000 professionals from over 100 law firms and other organizations in 38 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 40 countries.

On This Episode We Discuss…

  • Why Strategic Plans Matter and How to Create Them
  • The Benefits of Strategic Planning Communication and Competition 
  • Applying Strategic Planning to All Facets of Your Law Firm

EP 26 – Christina and Joe Hammond – An In-House Video Studio is a Gamechanger for Thousands of Law Firms

Christina and Joe Hammond are the founders of Producify. A boutique full-service video marketing company based in Florida. We manage every aspect of video, from concept creation, production, and post-production to distribution on all media channels.