Entrepreneurs Make Mistakes: And Schedule Webinars on Holidays

After some thinking, I’ve decided to move my first webinar to next Wednesday, September 15th from 4-5 pm and my second webinar to Wednesday, September 29th from 4-5 pm.

I know this is the second time I’ve moved the webinar so let me explain my reasons:

1) We had a short week due to Labor Day

2) Those who celebrate Rosh Hashanah have an even shorter week

3) I’d like to be able to get the power point slides to the attendees before they attend so they can have questions prepared.

4) Along the same lines, I’d like to provide more information about what I’ll be presenting during the webinar so potential guests will know if it’s for them.

On Friday, I’ll post a brief blurb about my presentation so you can find out more about it and decide whether it’s worth while for you to attend.

In the meantime, I’ll send an update to everyone who already registered for the webinar (thank you!).  You’ll get to either join for free next week or, if you can’t make it, I’ll hold a private “redux” for you.

And, no, I am not making a habit of changing times for webinars.  But, like the title says, entrepreneurs make mistakes.

Reminder: WordPress, Websites, and Your Firm

Next week, I will host my first campfire, an hour long training session that will include a presentation, Q and A, and any chatter for which we have time!

On Wed, Sep 8 2010, 4:00p.m. – 5:00p.m. EDT, the campfire will focus on how to use WordPress 3.0 to create a business website. You can sign up here.

WordPress, Websites, and Your Firm

Site members and newsletter subscribers will be able to sign up at a discount.

  • Site members should be able to login and see this post with the discount code on the blog page.
  • I’ll also send out the discount code in a newsletter announcement.

If you don’t receive the announcement but believe you should have, send me an e-mail! melissa at recruiteresq

What’s In It For Lawyers

Hey Legal Professionals!  Want to learn about social media marketing?  How about the secrets of lead generation, sales pipelines, and networking?  Before you say no, let me rephrase the question.  We all know that hand-me-down books of business are relics of the past.  In this world of personal branding, don’t you want to build your book of business?  Or in the words of that M.I.A. partner or marketing staff member who decided to crash your annual firm evaluation: Don’t you want to make rain?

Of course, you do!  Right after you finish drafting those disclosure agreements or that Fourth Circuit brief….

Even if you did have the time – do you pay for a consultant or do you watch that free presentation on SlideShare?  Do you branch out to “thought-leaders” like Jeremiah Owyang or Jeffrey Gitomer or stay conservative and stick with Larry Bodine, Kevin O’Keefe, and David Barrett.  Who the heck is Chris Brogan anyway?

Enter “What’s In It For Lawyers,” a new column on RecruiterEsq.  A hybrid of “best of” lists and your 1L case briefs, we’ll digest all those “must-see” lessons and publish the crème de la crème in a format all lawyers can understand: We’ll emphasize the main points in bold and include a brief analysis of how lawyers can apply the lessons to their practices.  Legal professionals can add their own ideas in the comments as well.  Similar to the Examples and Explanations series, our goal is to be a secondary resource and our analysis will be a starting point, not the final word.  Again, the goal with this series is to motivate legal professionals to think about innovative ways that they can intertwine social media into their practices.

The name of the column derives from “What’s In It For Me” or WIIFM, a favorite saying among marketers and salespeople.  Without getting too technical or psychological – mostly because I can’t find a reputable source to cite – the saying serves as a reminder that rational people act with self-interest.  When a prospect hears a pitch or proposal, their immediate reaction is “What’s In It For Me?”

Lawyers are busy people.  Maybe more lawyers or law firms would like to integrate social media into their practices …if they had time or …if they knew how.

We’re going to make it easy by showing ‘em how.

If you have any suggestions of presentations or articles to feature in this column, please send me an e-mail.

Quick Tip: How to Setup a Blog Using Blogger

blogger

Blogger is Google’s web publishing service.

By default, blogs created on Blogger’s platform will publish at a unique subdomain on Google’s .blogpsot.com.   However, users may choose to direct a blog created on Blogger to a custom domain name.  (We’ll explain how in another post.  Back to the setup…)

To setup a blog using Blogger, one needs to create a Google account.   On Blogger’s homepage, there are easy instructions on how to create an account.  Individuals who already have a Google account may use that account to log in or may decide to create a new account.¹

Once signed into Blogger, one must enter the desired name of the new blog – e.g. the title of the web page – as well as the desired .blogspot.com URL.  Again, the .blogspot.com URL will be where the blog is published on the web unless one chooses to publish his or her blog to a custom domain.

After the URL is created, one chooses a template.  A template is how the blog looks and feels.  There are only a limited number of choices when first setting up an account.   Templates are easy to change so think of this as a starter choice.

At this point, technically, the blog is created.  Although there are no posts, the blog will show up at the chosen .blogspot.com URL.

Adding Content

To create a post, one clicks on “Create” under the “Posting” tab.  There is a space for the post’s title above the box for the post’s content.  One may compose a post in HTML format or in Blogger’s what-you-see-is-what-you-get (“wysiwyg”) editor.   Depending on which editor is chosen, Blogger presents a different menu of tools to format the posts.   The default is the HTML editor.   For those unfamiliar with HTML, it may be best to click on the “Compose” tab on the upper right-side of the content box.  This makes styling the post’s content much more intuitive and the HTML tags do not show up when editing the post.

Once a post is drafted, one may add labels to the post for organization purposes.  A label determines how the post is archived. A post may have numerous labels and will be archived under each.   A post labeled litigation, federal court, and motions will show up under the litigation archive, the federal court archive, and the motions archive.

The last step is to press the publish post button.  A finalized post may also be scheduled for a future date and time.   Under post options, one would enter the future date and time and then press publish post.   Under the options panel, one may also decide whether the post will allow reader comments.

As a web publishing platform, one may decide to draft posts on Blogger even if the post is not finalized.   The save now button will save drafts of posts that are not ready for publication.  Like the save function on Microsoft Word, it’s best to freely use this function to prevent any future headaches.

After the post is published, the content will show up at the site’s URL.   It may be good practice to visit the live post to make sure it publishes correctly.

That’s it!   Without getting too fancy, a blog is created.

¹  Those with existing Google accounts may want to create a new Google account for privacy reasons. Google ties all affiliated accounts together. For example, a Google profile will display all Google products associated with one Google address. Although there are privacy settings for Google profiles, it’s best to create another account to prevent Google from disclosing this affiliation.

Other resources:

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Webinar Series: Blogging for Legal Professionals

I’ve finished the syllabus for Blogging for Lawyers.  It will be 7 classes with the option to attend individual classes.

Here are the basic details:

Week One:  Understanding Why Legal Professionals Blog

Week Two:  Style, Structure, & Stats

Week Three:  Content.  Content.  Content.

Week Four:  Creating a Blogging Strategy

Week Five: Hi Family & Friends!  Attracting (More) Visitors to your Blog

Week Six: Analyzing the Return on your Investment

Week Seven:  Blog Moderation; Now What?

Costs:

Individual classes:

$99 per class

7-week course – Full payment option:

$490 (one-time fee)

Bundle:  Classes 1 & 2:

$144 (plus, one week exclusive sign up for classes 3 & 4)

Includes:

  • One (1) hr Webinar and Q&A (live and/or available for download)
  • Instructor’s Notes
  • Personalized feedback on all course assignments
  • Discount on future courses

Refer a friend?  Get $40 discount for yourself and $15 discount for your friend.  (Discount for each friend you refer.  E.g. Refer 6 friends?  $40 x 6 = $240 = your discount.)

Leave any questions in the comments!

BigLaw: Google Custom Search

If searching on Google is too broad and searching on one site is too narrow, Google’s custom search may be the perfect fit.

Google allows you to build your own search engine, limiting results to certain domains, web pages, or portions of websites. Kind of a mashup between Google alerts and Google reader, this tool is great to keep tabs on an industry.1

I decided to give it a try and created an easy tool to keep tabs on the top 100 global law firms (“BigLaw,” as defined here).

Continue reading

Legal Industry (Lawyers, Law Firms, and Legal Professionals) Meet Twitter

Introduction

Whenever people ask me, “What is Twitter?” my automatic response is “Twitter is the proverbial water cooler.”

…all too often, I’ve noticed, this (semi-coy) answer leads to more confusion.

Though this may seem like a generalization, I’ve realized that people who ask me this question – namely, “what is twitter?” – have never visited the website or given Twitter a try.   Whereas I’m trying to be coy or philosophical (but probably sounding like a cliched ass), this answer skips too many steps ahead for all of those Twitter virgins. How can you get an inside joke if you’ve never been on the inside?

Therefore, for anybody in the legal industry who is a complete novice when it comes to Twitter, I’d like to start from the beginning.

“What is Twitter?”

twitterhomepage Twitter is a website that users join to connect with people.  It allows users to broadcast status updates to the world – or to the user’s network – in real time.

The catch?  Users must limit their status updates to 140 characters.  (That is about the size of a text message.)

For an explanation of the BigLaw Tech Score, see this post.

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And, status updates?  What are these?  “Hi World, I’m brushing my teeth.”  Is this a status update?

This could be a status update.   It’s less than 140 characters.  That’s the only rule.  Users share any type of information in 140 characters.

Thinking of status updates in literal terms – like telling the world you are brushing your teeth – is a bit confining and unoriginal.  It’s like thinking of a weblog as a frivolous log or personal journal.  Nowadays, many people run serious businesses on blogging software.

Twitter, like a blog, can be a means to distribute professional content.

Similar to a professional blog, Twitter has much more potential than telling the world you brushed your teeth.

The only difference between Twitter and an actual blog is the bit-sized bits of information users share on Twitter.  For this reason, Twitter is called a “microblogging” service.

Examples of Professional Status Updates

Instead of “Hello World, I’m brushing my teeth” how about a status update that includes:

- a new firm alert?

- a new blog post?

- a headline quoting firm lawyers?

Even if we forget about the other potential uses of Twitter (specifically, NETWORKING with attorneys and/or industry leaders), for most firms (big, small, mid-sized), these are ready-made resources.  Twitter is merely another means of broadcasting already-made content to (more) potential clients and/or (more) potential colleagues.

But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  There are many informative posts out there describing how lawyers can use Twitter.  I’m not going to go over them here.  In fact, this is not even a post about how lawyers can benefit from using Twitter.  I’m going to assume that it’s true.  For the effort it takes to create a Twitter account, a free service, I’m going to assume that lawyers, law firms, and legal professionals will benefit.

My goal is much more elementary.  In this next series of posts, I am going to walk through the process of setting up a Twitter account step-by-step and getting started with Twitter.  While this series of posts is targeted for legal professionals, I hope that it entices more professionals to utilize Twitter in their careers.