Lessons from #LawJobChat: @lancegodard on Legal Marketing

Way back in October, we hosted our 5th #LawJobChat and spoke with Lance Godard (@lancegodard), a legal marketing professional and business development consultant.

Lance is Principal at The Godard Group where he consults with lawyers and law firms on business development, B2B communications, strategic planning, and social media.  He’s also an active member of the Legal Marketing Association.  Finally, he is the force behind @22Tweets, a project through which lawyers may tell their stories over Twitter.  For those who are unfamiliar with the project, think of it this way: @22Tweets is Fresh Air and Lance Godard is Terry Gross (but male).

Lance spent over fifteen years at Jones Day, one of the world’s largest law firms, where he worked on international business development, communications, and management.  He specialized in helping the firm open new offices abroad.

When we spoke with him, we asked about how business development relates to one’s law career.  We asked when lawyers should start thinking about business development and how they should approach the subject at interviews.

It was interesting that this was the quietest #LawJobChat we hosted so far.  Perhaps it was due to Game 2 of the World Series.  Or, as Lance put it (liberally using quotations), “It’s like talking to a 7th grade class about sex.  Everyone has questions but no one wants to raise their hands.”  I think Lance’s characterization is pretty on point.


Business Development, Legal Marketing, When & How


Amanda Ellis (@aellislegal) & Melissa Sachs (@mjsq)

Guest Co-Host

1.  Lance Godard (@lancegodard) – Principal at The Godard Group; Member at Large – Board of Directors, Legal Marketing Association – Ohio Chapter; Moderator/Founder @22Tweets

Transcript (copied & pasted from What the hashtag?!)

All times are Pacific Time

1:00 am aellislegal: Welcome to #LawJobChat! Tonight we’re discussing the intersection of business development & your job search. #lawjobchat
1:01 am aellislegal: We selected this topic because we are seeing more firms look to hire attorneys (including associates) with portable business #lawjobchat
1:02 am aellislegal: We decided to invite a business dev expert to offer tips about how, when associates should dev business, including biz plan #lawjobchat
1:02 am aellislegal: Our guest co-host/expert is @lancegodard! Lance, thanks for joining us! Tell us a bit about your background #lawjobchat
1:04 am lancegodard: Thank you very much @aellislegal @mjsq for having me! #lawjobchat
1:04 am lancegodard: I did international business development & marketing for an AmLaw 10 firm for 18 years (Paris, Hong Kong, US) #lawjobchat
1:04 am lancegodard: Consulting for past 2 (as of next Mon), working w/ lawyers & firms to set BD / mktg objectives & develop plans for meeting them #lawjobchat
1:05 am mjsq: @lancegodard congratulations on your 2 year mark! #lawjobchat #lawjobchat
1:06 am aellislegal: and, I bet many of our chat participants have read your @22twts! Can you tell others what @22twtsis? #lawjobchat
1:07 am lancegodard: For those of you who don?t know, 22 Tweets (@22Twts on Twitter) are live interviews of lawyers I do on Twitter #lawjobchat
1:07 am lancegodard: It started as an experiment to explore Twitter as a comms channel, and really took off. I?ve talked to more than 80 lawyers now #lawjobchat
1:08 am lancegodard: They?re great fun to do and (I hope) a great way for lawyers to tell their stories on Twitter, stories that clients like to hear #lawjobchat
1:08 am OreLawPracMgmt: RT @mjsq: 30 minutes until #LawJobChat re: legal marketing & business development w/ @lancegodard! It’s going to be a good one!!
1:09 am aellislegal: I think @22twts is a great way to find lawyers to follow – esp if a lawyer or law student is new to Twitter, looking to connect #lawjobchat
1:10 am aellislegal: Follow @22twts for updates on @lancegodard‘s upcoming interviews with lawyers #lawjobchat
1:11 am aellislegal: Q1 @lancegodard, when stating your background, you mentioned “business development” and “marketing” – is there a difference? #lawjobchat
1:12 am lancegodard: Next week we interview @PriyaLawyer and the week after @paulrubell #22Twts #Lawjobchat
1:12 am lancegodard: Q1 Absolutely. Biz dev=identifying your targets: people / companies / etc in a position to give you business or help you get it #lawjobchat
1:13 am UTLawCSO: RT @aellislegal: …@22twts is a great way to find lawyers to follow-esp if…law student is new to Twitter, looking to connect #lawjobchat
1:13 am lancegodard: Q1 Marketing = tactics for reaching with those targets: publications, websites, meetings, social events, etc. #lawjobchat
1:16 am aellislegal: Q2 @lancegodard do lawyers need a biz dev plan AND mktg strategies? Are these separate “documents”? #lawjobchat
1:18 am lancegodard: Q2 Yes and yes. Biz plan is ?who what why?: who are potential clients, what are opps for work, why you best candidate for work #lawjobchat
1:19 am lancegodard: Q2 Mktg plan is the how: the way you’re going to communicate with those potential clients so they know what you bring to table. #lawjobchat
1:20 am aellislegal: Q3 @lancegodard Excellent! So, lawyers need (1) biz plan and (2) mktg plan. Which should come first or does it matter? #lawjobchat
1:20 am lancegodard: Q2 But doesn’t have to be formal. ID your potential clients, why they should be, and how you will reach them. Write it down #lawjobchat
1:21 am aellislegal: @lancegodard Good info – Biz Plan and Mktg Plan don’t have to be formal but should be in writing #lawjobchat
1:22 am lancegodard: Q3 Biz plan needs to come first: you need to set goals / objectives / targets before you decide which tactics work best for each #lawjobchat
1:23 am aellislegal: Q4 @lancegodard When should a lawyer create a biz plan? i.e., 1st year of practice, 3rd year of practice? #lawjobchat
1:25 am lancegodard: Q4 As soon as they can?. It?s a question of not waiting for good things to come your way, of being responsible for your success #lawjobchat
1:25 am lancegodard: Q4 If you know what you want, why not go thru discipline of figuring out who will buy your services & how you will reach them? #lawjobchat
1:27 am lancegodard: Q4 Although things may change at start of career, writing down a plan doesn’t mean it’s written in stone. So earlier is better #lawjobchat
1:27 am reneefishman: @aellislegal chiming in to #lawjobchat: biz plan comes 1st; mktg plan is part of biz plan
1:28 am aellislegal: Q4 cont @lancegodard So, a 1st year construction lit associate could identify industry orgs to join, key contacts n constrn ind? #lawjobchat
1:30 am aellislegal: Q4 cont @lancegodard And, then const lit assoc could outline key mtgs for the orgs, lunch dates w/developers, etc as mktg plan? #lawjobchat
1:30 am lancegodard: Q4 Absolutely. And the people in the orgs to meet. And maybe what she hopes to gain from knowing those pple & being in that org #lawjobchat
1:31 am aellislegal: Nice thought – biz plan as objectives and mktg = to do steps RT reneefishman biz plan comes 1st; mktg plan is part of biz plan #lawjobchat
1:32 am lancegodard: Q4 (slow fingers) yes, but before mktg plan she needs to think about the “who what why”: who to meet, what they bring her (cont) #lawjobchat
1:33 am aellislegal: @lancegodard Ha! No worries, Tweetchat is sometimes slow refreshing!! #lawjobchat
1:34 am aellislegal: @lancegodard Q4 – got it, biz plan obj first, then marketing steps #lawjobchat
1:34 am lancegodard: Q4 and why it makes sense for them to meet her, ie why they should talk to her and ultimately help her out #lawjobchat
1:34 am lawmgtguru: RT @aellislegal: We decided to invite a business dev expert to offer tips about how, when associates should dev business, including biz plan #lawjobchat
1:35 am aellislegal: Q5 @lancegodard How often should an associate review/revise objectives in biz plan? Monthly? Quarterly? Annually? #lawjobchat
1:38 am lancegodard: Q5 Regularly…. Obviously depends on how much they hope to achieve. Ideally they’d spend some time looking at it every week #lawjobchat
1:39 am aellislegal: @lancegodard Excellent! #lawjobchat
1:39 am lancegodard: Q5 But that may not be realistic. I’ve seen lawyers with very detailed plans that drive much of their non-legal work time #lawjobchat
1:40 am aellislegal: Q6 @lancegodard What if the assoc is interviewing, firm doesn’t ask for biz plan, should assoc offer it? does firm size matter? #lawjobchat
1:40 am lancegodard: Q5 and others that have vague plans they check in on from time to time. But if there’s too much to do, it won’t get done #lawjobchat
1:41 am lancegodard: Q5 likewise, if there’s not much to do, it’s probably not really a biz dev and marketing plan…. #lawjobchat
1:42 am aellislegal: Q6 cont @lancegodard i.e., is it appropriate to offer biz plan to mid-small firm but not to large firm (or vice versa)? #lawjobchat
1:44 am lancegodard: Q6 I think the mid to small firms much more interested in the biz plan since those associates need to hit the ground running #lawjobchat
1:45 am lancegodard: Q6 but in all cases, whether or not associate brings out the plan, the discipline of having done the plan will improve interview #lawjobchat
1:46 am aellislegal: RT @lancegodard: the discipline of having done the plan will improve interview #lawjobchat
1:46 am aellislegal: @lancegodard I like that … having a plan improves the interview! #lawjobchat
1:46 am lancegodard: Q6 Being able to talk about law you want to practice, market for it, clients that need it etc will make you stand out #lawjobchat
1:48 am aellislegal: Q7 @lancegodard What’s the best way for associates to get started with creating a biz plan? what if firm doesn’t offer training? #lawjobchat
1:49 am PriyaLawyer: Looking forward to it RT @lancegodard: Next week we interview @PriyaLawyer and the week after @paulrubell #22Twts #Lawjobchat
1:49 am aellislegal: RT @lancegodard: Being able to talk about law you want to practice, market for it, clients that need it will make you stand out #lawjobchat
1:50 am lancegodard: Q7 Firms should include marketing and biz dev training in their associate dev programs (it?s in their best interest)…. #lawjobchat
1:52 am aellislegal: @lancegodard If firms don’t offer formal training, should associate find rainmaker ptr in firm/section and talk to him/her? #lawjobchat
1:52 am squirrelpants: On the marketing side, how do you find publications that fit your practice area & determine which ones to focus on? #lawjobchat
1:52 am lancegodard: Q7 But if no program associates can start by sharpening effective mktg skills, eg asking questions, listening to answers, etc #lawjobchat
1:53 am lancegodard: Q7 Doesn?t have to be in formal situations, but in everyday conversations they have with clients / peers / colleagues #lawjobchat
1:53 am aellislegal: @lancegodard Or, should the associate look outside the firm? Coach/trainer, publications to read for guidance? #lawjobchat
1:54 am lancegodard: Q7 If they need extra help, there are many things they can do. First, there exist a lot of good materials online now #lawjobchat
1:55 am lancegodard: Q7 eg templates, plans, articles, etc. Hiring a marketing coach / trainer always a possibility. Investing now will pay off later #lawjobchat
1:55 am aellislegal: @squirrelpants clarification – publication where you want to publish or publication to read? #lawjobchat
1:56 am aellislegal: Q7 @lancegodard Can you recommend any online sites as a starting point? #lawjobchat
1:59 am aellislegal: Finally, back to @22twts – is there a site where ppl can read past interviews? What if someone wants to be interviewed? #lawjobchat
2:00 am lancegodard: Q7 JD Supra law practice section is good, Larry Bodine’s Law Marketing Portal, I have blog of mktg / BD reading recommendations #lawjobchat
2:01 am lancegodard: Q7 and there an ever-increasing number of LinkedIn groups that deal with law marketing and biz dev #lawjobchat
2:01 am aellislegal: Excellent! RT @lancegodard: JD Supra law practice sect is good, Larry Bodines Law Marketing Portal, my blog BD reading recs #lawjobchat
2:02 am lancegodard: Q7 Finally, I think that lawyers need to look to other industries for help and ideas, esp professional services but not only #lawjobchat
2:03 am mjsq: Q7 cont. I’d add on re: LinkedIn to join groups related to practice areas that may not be legally-oriented. #lawjobchat
2:03 am aellislegal: @lancegodard Thank you for chatting w/us! You’ve provided excellent biz dev tips to help associates stand out in interviews! #lawjobchat
2:04 am mjsq: Q7. e.g., an group related to energy but not only for energy lawyers #lawjobchat
2:05 am aellislegal: FYI, all – our Nov chat will be the 3rd Thurs (instead of last Thurs) b/c of T’giving — next chat is 11/18 at 9pm Eastern #lawjobchat
2:05 am lancegodard: @aellislegal you’re very welcome, it’s been a lot of fun! I could have gone on for another hour (or two)! #lawjobchat
2:06 am aellislegal: RT @squirrelpants: On the mktg side, how do you find publications that fit practice area & determine which ones to focus on? #lawjobchat
2:09 am lancegodard: I think it depends to a certain degree on the practice area, @squirrelpants, but Google search and blog search are very helpful #lawjobchat
2:11 am lancegodard: Once you find the universe of titles, it’s probably pretty easy to tell which are serious and can help you market & which cannot #lawjobchat
2:12 am lancegodard: You should also talk to clients and peers to see what they read; that can be a good guide #lawjobchat
2:13 am lancegodard: If you want to discuss further @squirrelpants, please feel free to DM me #lawjobchat
2:14 am lancegodard: I think there were a couple more unanswered #lawjobchat questions. First, you can read the 22 Tweets interviews at 22Tweets.com
2:15 am mjsq: @lancegodard, thank you for joining us. Take away point: Many job-seeking attys (entry & lats) would benefit w/ biz or mkt plan! #lawjobchat
2:16 am BetsyMunnell: #lawstudents/#lawyers–New to Twitter? @lancegodard has your back..RT @aellislegal: @22twts-great way 2 find lawyers to follow #lawjobchat
2:17 am lancegodard: The “DM me” goes for anyone who wants to discuss these points further. Biz dev & mktg can be daunting but they don’t have to be #lawjobchat
2:17 am BetsyMunnell: RT @lancegodard: First: Biz dev=identifying your targets: people/companies in position to give you business or help get it #lawjobchat
2:18 am BetsyMunnell: RT @lancegodard: AND..Marketing = tactics for reaching with those targets: publications, websites, meetings, social events, etc. #lawjobchat
2:20 am lancegodard: Thank you again to @mjsq and @aellislegal for having me on #lawjobchat. It’s a great forum for job-seeking lawyers!
2:21 am BetsyMunnell: More clarity! @lancegodard: Biz plan= ?who/what/why?: potential clients, work opps, why hire you & Mktg Plan=how to reach them #lawjobchat
2:24 am BetsyMunnell: Finding the right publications to read? RT @lancegodard: .depends ..degree on practice area but Google/blog search helpful #lawjobchat
2:25 am BaranCLE: Good stuff! RT @lancegodard Thank you again to @mjsq and @aellislegal for having me on #lawjobchat a great forum for job-seeking lawyers
2:26 am AdvertisingLaw: RT @BaranCLE: Good stuff! RT @lancegodard Thank you again to @mjsq and @aellislegal for having me on #lawjobchat a great forum for job-seeking lawyers
2:31 am BetsyMunnell: @aellislegal @lancegodard What a great #lawjobchat. You hit all the key points for young lawyers. Look forward to RT’ing Amanda’s summary!
2:32 am adrianlurssen: RT @BetsyMunnell @aellislegal @lancegodard What a great #lawjobchat. You hit all the key points for young lawyers…
2:36 am BetsyMunnell: Including JD Supra–critical resource! @adrianlurssen: RT @BetsyMunnell @aellislegal @lancegodardGreat #lawjobchat hit all the key points
2:42 am AdvertisingLaw: Thank you @mjsq for the invite! This is a great forum for job-seeking lawyers & lawyers generally. #LawJobChat // @lancegodard @aellislegal
3:02 am lancegodard: Thanks @BetsyMunnell @AdrianLurssen @BaranCLE for your kind words re tonight’s #lawjobchat. I’m not often in the hot seat (but enjoyed it)
3:06 am paulrubell: RT @PriyaLawyer: Looking forward to it RT @lancegodard: Next week we interview @PriyaLawyerand the week after @paulrubell #22Twts #Lawjobchat
3:35 am econwriter5: Looks like #lawjobchat was good tonight. Will have to catch up.
3:48 am aellislegal: @econwriter5 I’ll post summary + transcript tomorrow afternoon! #lawjobchat
4:17 am AdvertisingLaw: @lancegodard Lance, I appreciate the invitation from Melissa @mjsq to join in! It was a lot of fun – you did a great job! #lawjobchat
4:20 am AdvertisingLaw: RT @aellislegal @econwriter5 I’ll post summary + transcript tomorrow afternoon! #lawjobchat

Amanda Ellis’s Recap

Business Plans in Your Associate Job Search

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