Thursday, February 26, 2009

Have you read these?

A smattering of useful and interesting posts from the blawgosphere and beyond

  • How to Market in a Recession” from John Quelch’s Marketing Knowhow blog at Harvard Business Publishing. This post from late September 2008 (read: before the world caved in on our heads) starts out quoting Bernanke: “recession is possible.”  As it turns out, the points on how to market in a recession are even older, from February 2008. And the eight factors to bear in mind when developing your 2009 marketing plan are as fresh as the day they were written.

  • Permission To Manage Your Career” from Jibber Jobber. We all need someone to give us permission to act now and then. This post takes an idea I once blogged about – knowing is nothing, doing is everything – and articulates it in a way that will prompt action in virtually everyone who reads it (wish I'd been able to do that!).  Go get permission to own your future, then get at it.

  • Five Great Things About the 2009 Depression” from the Law People blog. I really like this post, not just because I’m excited about 2009 (and you should be too), but because it gives us the permission that Jibber Jobber convinced me we all need to use the current economic climate as a driver for change. Change is inevitable this year. Own it.

  • 5 Ways to Gain More Value from Your PR Agency” from PR Squared. Last week I recommended you read a post to help you evaluate the value provided by your PR counsel and what they should be doing. This time it’s your turn. This post talks about your actions and attitude toward your PR counsel, and what you need to do to ensure you’re getting maximum value from your PR spend.

  • 2009 Readiness: Part 2: The best source of success is already with you” from the tompeters! blog. This post explains why it is crucial that you actively target your existing clients for new business. The bonus? You already know where this is going. It’s Part 2 in a six-part series on 2009 readiness. Read it and learn.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Have you read these?

A smattering of interesting posts from the blawgosphere and beyond

  • Make Better Presentations - The Anatomy of a Good Speech” from Chris Brogan’s blog. Brogan’s posts are generally quite valuable (and unique: remember how to catch a giant catfish?). A central thesis to this one is that “a presentation is a sale,” and in it Brogan provides a lot of useful advice on making your presentation great. For lawyers, it’s doubly useful because at some level, every sale is a presentation. Read this, follow Brogan’s advice, and your presentations (and maybe even your sales) will be better.

  • How Big Brands can Start Testing Social Media” from Conversation Agent. Read this. It’s good and you will learn something. Now go back to the top, replace “Big Brands” with “Biglaw” and read it again. What do you think of it now?

  • To friend or Not to Friend – Social Media for Lawyers” from The Legal Intelligencer Blog. I argue in my other blog that lawyers need to embrace social networking, but certainly recognize that there’s a lot to work through. This post provides a comprehensive look at one of the first and most important questions you’ll have to answer as you move into social networking. The bonus? This is Part I in a series that will “address the ins and outs of different social media tools.” Sign up for the feed. I did.

  • Be a Better Marketer by Saying 'No' Sometimes” from Legal Marketing This post could have been called “Be a better lawyer by saying ‘no’ sometimes.” The underlying assumption is that you need to think about what you are trying to achieve, what you are good at, and what you need to do to get there. Remember: even in the current economy, you can own your future.  

  • Why Market Your Law Firm?” from The Rainmaker Blog. I think this sentence sums up the unique challenges of law firm marketing: “Do not falsely assume the client will use rational parameters to evaluate your services before purchasing.” Follow this blog. Read the posts. You’ll be glad you did (and probably smarter).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Have you read these?

A smattering of interesting and timely posts from the blawgosphere and beyond

  • 10 Clues Your PR Pro is Worth the Dough” from David Mullen’s Communications Catalyst blog. Lawyers: don’t let the title fool you, you need to read this. Your clients are evaluating you using these same criteria. Doesn’t it make sense to get ahead of the curve?

  • L.L. Bean Understands “Perceived Value” Versus Discounts” from Idea Sandbox. L.L. Bean gives a good lesson in value. Hint: it’s not about playing games with prices. The added bonus? L.L. Bean also knows how to use social media: here’s their reaction to the first Idea Sandbox post.

  • Law firms question cost of responding to corporate RFPs” from The National Law Journal. According to a new Altman Weil report, RFPs typically cost firms $35,000 to $65,000, or 100 to 200 partner hours. That’s a lot of money for an effort that fails 70% of the time, and probably doesn’t even take into account staff time, supplies, and other “hidden” costs of responding to RFPs. Do clients really think this is in their benefit?

  • The Problem with Most Fixed Fee Proposals” from In Search of Perfect Client Service. Patrick Lamb doesn’t just criticize the problems of the billable hour, he built a firm around providing realistic solutions. So it makes sense that this isn’t just another chapter in the ongoing “the billable hour must end” saga. Read it and you’ll agree.

  • 15 Things I Wish I Had Known When I Started My First Blog” from Quick Sprout. File this in the “it’s never too late to learn” category. You can also file most of it in the “useful ideas for relationship-building, no matter what the medium (but especially Twitter)” category. One more? How about the “I now have Quick Sprout on my RSS feed reader, and you should too” category.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Have you read these?

A smattering of interesting posts from the blawgosphere and beyond

  • Welcome to the Future: A View From the Left Coast” posted by Paul Lippe on The AmLaw Daily. In this interview David Baca and Mark Usellis, Chairman and CMO of Davis Wright Tremaine, make very interesting points as they discuss positioning their firm for the future.

  • In Praise of the Un-Conference” from Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites. This sounds like a great way to run a seminar. It might be too unstructured for lawyers used to giving a standard Powerpoint presentation to nameless participants, but it’s easy to see how much value attendees and speakers alike could gain from this format. What’s keeping you from trying it?

  • Top 15 newspaper sites of 2008” from Nieman Journalism Lab. The face of journalism is changing. Fast. What it will look like once the dust settles is anybody’s guess, but it’s not hard to imagine situations in which free speech could suffer (see, e.g., “When no news is bad news”). So it’s both encouraging and perplexing to see how many unique visitors the top 15 newspaper sites had in 2008. Where’s the disconnect, and how can the industry fix it?

  • The rational marketer (and the irrational customer)” from Seth Godin’s blog. Seth’s posts always give me ideas about how lawyers can market their services better, and this one is no exception. You know that your firm, your model, your practice scope and your geographic breadth are better than that of your competition. You know why your client should hire you and your colleagues to do their work. You know it so well that you can’t believe they don’t know it too. But your client doesn’t care about any of those things. She only cares about what’s in it for her. Don’t sell what you’ve got. Sell what the client needs.

  • Does Creativity Still Matter?” from The Toad Stool by Alan Wolk. Why do I like the post? For this: “perhaps the most important thing good creative can do is make us feel even better about products we already like.” Lawyers, this will make sense to you if phrased this way: “perhaps the most important thing good service can do is make your clients feel even better about having hired you.” OK, maybe it’s a stretch, but that’s how my mind works. Read the post. You’ll learn something.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Have you read these?

A smattering of interesting posts from the blawgosphere and beyond

  • Who Washed My Briefs?” from 3 Geeks and a Law Blog. A story to help legal professionals understand and cope with the changes and challenges facing the profession today. Clever and instructive. You’ll enjoy it, and you'll learn a thing or two.

  • Lawyer's word of mouth generated reputation most powerful Internet marketing” from Kevin O’Keefe’s Real Lawyers have blogs. One of the best posts I’ve read on why lawyers should have blogs (including my own). If you’re a lawyer considering a blog, read this to convince yourself to take the plunge. If you already have a blog, read this to remind yourself why you’re doing it. Everybody else? Read it too.

  • The Disappearing Associate” from Jordan Furlong at You’ll appreciate Furlong’s perspective on the turmoil in the legal profession (read: layoffs, salary freezes, etc.). The title of the post provides a hint to what he sees as one of the most profound changes we’re in for.

  • Law Firms Can Now Register In India” from Practice Source. India is the only one of the BRIC economies to not allow foreign lawyers and firms to set up shop in the country. That may be changing. Follow this development: it could dramatically alter the global law practice landscape.

  • Social Media Perspective: Be a Lawyer” from JD Scoop. Lawyers, stop tweeting with other lawyers about social media. Stop writing posts about how lawyers should use LinkedIn. Stop spending your time analyzing new networking tools. Start communicating with clients and potential clients. Now.

Have you read these?

A smattering of interesting posts from the blawgosphere and beyond

  • 23 Ideas for How to Start a Consulting Practice” from Branding & Marketing. A lot more than 23 ideas here. Some very practical, some philosophical, and the rest in-between. Six screens of ideas (by my count), but you’ll be glad you read them all.

  • The Compleat Consultant” from Alan’s Blog at Contrarian Consulting. Good advice for any consultant, but especially good for lawyers: everything you do must communicate the value you provide. The value you provide, not the law you practice, not the cases you’ve handled, not the transactions you’ve managed. The value you provide. Is that clear?

  • Journalists, Bloggers & Media Outlets on Twitter,” a wiki hosted by Sarah Evans (@PRsarahevans) and the #journchat Twitterati. Great resource. Bookmark it. Tweet about it. According to Kevin O’Keefe, “Lawyers reach influencers on Twitter (bloggers/media).”  This is a list of those influencers. How much would you pay for this?

  • Ten Rules of Rainmaking” from Matt Homann’s blog, the [non]billable hour. Homann’s stuff is always great: thoughtful ideas for lawyers and legal professionals who want to think – and practice law – differently. My advice? Start reading now, and you'll quickly want to do the same.

  • Businesses currently on Twitter” from Another great resource. When I last looked there were 4,331. People used to pay a lot of money for this kind of information. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to do that anymore?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The ReTweek: Law

Interesting law-related tweets over the past week

The ReTweek: Important Stuff

Interesting tweets from the past week about important stuff you should know 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The ReTweek: Social Media

Interesting social media tweets from the past week

  • Oops. Did I say "Iraq?" I meant Fargo! Congressman leaks secret Iraq trip on Twitter.

  • Twitter's branding problem: every presentation I've seen starts by defining Twitter. Is that good?

  • Interesting survey on monitoring, managing, protecting your online reputation:

  • Chris Brogan on interaction. Connection + interaction = relationship. What comes next?

  • 10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know -

  • Linkedin's Reid Hoffman: personal and professional networks shouldn’t be linked

  • Who is on Twitter, by Sasha Frere-Jones:

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Have you read these?

A smattering of interesting posts from the blawgosphere and beyond

  • How can lawyers use Twitter?” from the 10e20 Blog. This is Chris Winfield’s presentation from the “What is Twitter and How Can I Use It?” panel he led with Kevin O’Keefe and Matthew Homann at Legal Tech New York last week. I wish I could have been at the presentation to ask how lawyers can go from talking about Twitter with other lawyers to talking with clients and potential clients on Twitter

  • Top 100 Leadership Blogs” from the Best Universities blog. There’s something for everybody on this site. Everybody that wants to read leadership blogs, that is. I’ve already added six RSS feeds to my reader.  

  • Digression - Advice for Surviving A Lay Off” from Open Source WorkInProgress. Everyone who has been laid off should read this. Everyone who works at a firm where layoffs have taken place should read this. Everyone who works at a firm that might be considering layoff off lawyers and staff sometime this year should read this. Did I leave anyone out? You should read it too.

  • Are you ready for the upturn?” from the No Option for Law Firm! blog. This post argues that the time is now for law firms to begin preparing for the upturn. One key point: be wary and look after your remaining staff to make sure they don’t jump ship at the first sign of improvement.

  • Jim Collins: How great companies turn crisis into opportunity,” an interview with Jennifer Reingold on Stop what you’re doing and read this. Now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Right now.  

  • Why you should lose some Twitter followers” from Shel Israel’s Global Neighbourhod. Everybody on Twitter should read Israel’s posts and follow his tweets. He gives great advice and even better perspective. Read this and see for yourself. 

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Have you read these?

A smattering of recent posts from the blawgosphere and beyond

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Have you read these?

A smattering of interesting posts from the blawgosphere and beyond

  • Self-Marketing Is Key to Being a Top Lawyer” on’s Career Center. Want to be a good lawyer? Work hard and do good work. Want to be a top lawyer? You need to start managing your career at the outset. Read this for guidance.

  • Staff cuts and short-term thinking” from Jordan Furlong at Law firm staff cuts is a subject near and dear to me, and Furlong’s analysis is as always very insightful. The added bonus? The ongoing dialogue in the comments is as rich as the post itself.

  • How Integration Drives Knowledge Management” from LawyerKM. I like reading about things I know are important but not within my comfort zone. This summary of the “How Integration drives KM” session at Legal Tech is one of those things. Law firm integration drives profits. Law firm knowledge management drives profits. Integrating KM systems is key to making it all work.

  • Hildebrandt: Now’s a good time for a business plan” from Legal Pad. In my book, ALL the time is a good time for a business plan, but I get their point. More importantly, I got the very useful Client Advisory from Hildebrandt that looks back at 2008 and ahead at 2009.

  • The Social Media Echo Chamber Makes Me Not Want to Listen” from Social Media Explorer. There are a lot of really smart people telling us how to maximize the value of SM. So why are we all only listening to the same few?

  • Does a new literacy call for a new book model?” from Webinknow. Did I say I like reading that which takes me outside my comfort zone? This post from David Meerman Scott certainly does that. How? I like the old book model very much, thank you very much. I don’t see why we need to change it. On the other hand, the revolution in literacy is undeniable, and books need to catch up or they’ll be left behind. Is this how?

Monday, February 2, 2009

The ReTweek II

Part II of the notable tweets and retweets from last week: