Facebook for Lawyers: Three Tips for Your Firm

Facebook continues to grow and is on the verge of 2 billion users – and most lawyers could care less, according to an article by Kevin O’Keefe.

  1. Why It’s Important for Lawyers to Be on Facebook for Business Development
    Many lawyers believe that name recognition and getting attention is the name of the game for business development success. That’s a great way to start, but these days active listening and engaging in conversation with your target audience is what will truly win business. As Facebook represents a powerful avenue to connect with your audience and get them engaged with you and your firm in a personalized way, lawyers are doing themselves a disservice if they’re not using this platform.
  2. Does Your Firm Support Your Use of Facebook for Business Development?
    O’Keefe points out that most law firms establish a marketing culture where Facebook is viewed as “below their lawyers” for business development efforts. They espouse that if Facebook is to be used at all, it should only be for personal purposes and as such, some firms won’t even allow their lawyers to log into Facebook on company computers.If that’s the attitude at your firm, you need to make the case that people use social networks to communicate and interact with each other, and that Facebook is the Internet’s entry point for that communication for the vast majority of people. That fact that Facebook is approaching 2 billion users really speaks for itself and presents a huge opportunity to connect with your target audience.
  3. Stop Holding Onto the Past
    Lawyers have become accustomed to email and cellphones as a means of business development communication. Today, Facebook is arguably just as indispensable. With so many people using the platform, Facebook essentially represents a town hall discussion, with the people involved and the topics discussed framed by who you engage and what you share.

So as O’Keefe so aptly points out, “It’s time for lawyers to do themselves and the public they serve some good by actively using Facebook.”

It’s Time for a Marketing Tune-Up!

It’s not too late to improve your marketing results for the year!

With six months of the year behind us, it’s time for a marketing tune-up. Mid-year is the perfect time to take a look at what your marketing has achieved so far and assess whether or not everything is going according to plan or if you need to make some changes. It’s the time to ask yourself: Are results meeting my expectations thus far? Do I need to tweak the budget to re-allocate funds away from tactics not working and put them toward tactics that are working well?

You have a full six months of data to use to re-focus and re-energize your marketing, and another six months to implement changes and see positive results by the end of the year.

Interested in learning more? Watch our complimentary webinar, “Marketing Reset: 5 Steps to Repower Your Mid-Year Marketing.”

Project vs. Program

Projects and programs are not the same thing. A project is something that has a beginning and an end. It’s execution-oriented and usually has a lower-level person assigned to it. A program, on the other hand, is usually ongoing and evolving with the eyes of senior management on it. This according to Kalev Peekna, Chief Strategist at One North Interactive, at the recent LMA conference.

When you think about projects and programs in this way, you can re-think how to scope budgets. More and more professional firms are moving to quarterly as opposed to annual budgets as they’re more predictable in terms of the amount of money being spent. It also means you don’t have to go to management with a big ask once a year. It’s easier (and more palatable) to go in for smaller amounts, quarterly.

When thinking about your program and budgets, it’s wise to scope to the budget – not budget to the scope. This means you’re looking at programs in terms of what you can do for the amount of money you have during a specific timeframe instead of thinking you can’t get started because you don’t have enough money for the grand plan, or having to abandon a grand plan, leaving it unfinished and ineffective because of an empty wallet.

 

Berbay Visits the Natural History Museum

As a part of our Cultural Camaraderie program, the Berbay team took a trip to the Natural History Museum in Downtown Los Angeles, and even got a behind-the-scenes tour of its Dinosaur Institute.

We learned about the labor-intensive process of collecting dinosaur fossils. In some areas, it’s not possible to use cars to carry fossils, as the tires could create ravines and alter the landscape. Instead, paleontologists have to walk long distances and hand-carry the bones, which can weigh a few hundred pounds!

My favorite part of the museum was its Butterfly Pavilion – a seasonal exhibit that features hundreds of free-flying butterflies, including the California native monarch. It was a little alarming to have them fly so close to me, but it was a beautiful sight to see them up close.

Berbay recently launched its Cultural Camaraderie program with a focus on exploring the vibrant culture that is Los Angeles as a stimulus for innovative thinking and creativity, as well as encouraging team building.

Take a look at some of the pictures from our trip!

The Dos and Don’ts of Marketing Your Firm Through Speaking Engagements

Speaking at a conference, CLE event or workshop is a great marketing opportunity—as long as you know how to take advantage of it. According to Hire an Esquire, speaking engagements are the second most useful lead generation tool, right behind referrals. If you have a captive audience, don’t waste your chance to convert them into regular clients. Here’s how.

Do start planning early.
Many of the more well-known conferences start planning next year’s agenda as soon as the last guest at this year’s event is out the door, so plan accordingly. Keep a running list of every relevant venue, note application deadlines and make it a habit to periodically scan your list and see if anything is upcoming. And in the meantime, it never hurts to brush up on your public speaking skills in your spare time by taking a class or joining a club like Toastmasters.

Don’t be afraid to make an investment.
Plenty of conferences are free to participate in, but if those are the only ones you’re considering you could be missing a huge opportunity. If you have room in your marketing budget, it’s worth every penny you have to get in front of the right audience. Securing just one new, high-paying client can pay for the cost of participating and then some. Don’t let sticker shock prevent you from leveraging a major marketing opportunity.

Do think like a storyteller.
You can name every statistic, show every bar graph and cite every study you want, but at the end of the day people only care about one thing: stories. When you’re writing your talking points, make sure they read like a story, with characters, a central conflict and a happy resolution. Find a way to humanize the knowledge that you’re sharing, and always bring it back to people—what problems they’ve had, how they’ve responded and how you’ve helped them.

Don’t prioritize audience size over audience engagement.
It’s always better to be in a room of 20 people with 10 or 15 ideal clients than it is to be in a room of 200 people with only one or two ideal clients. Big, splashy conferences have their place and they’ll certainly get you some name recognition, but if your main goal is to generate leads, you may have more success at niche events. They allow you to target a very specific audience, and give you more opportunity to engage with potential clients in the audience one-on-one.

Don’t act like a salesperson.
Yes, one of the main benefits of participating in a speaking engagement is the potential to find new clients. But audiences don’t usually decide to go to conferences or workshops because they’re in the market for a new lawyer—they go because they want to gain useful knowledge that will make their lives easier. That’s what you must be responsive to. Provide your audience with the information they want and you’ll build credibility, which will keep you top of mind when they really are in the market for a lawyer.

Four Essential Steps to Creating a Commercial Real Estate PR Strategy

When done well, public relations has an exponentially positive impact on commercial real estate firms. PR is extremely cost effective, and it’s often considered more trustworthy than traditional advertising. Plus, earned media placements can be leveraged in so many ways, from sharing on social media to posting on your blog, long after they’re originally published. By harnessing the third-party credibility of the media, you can help increase the public’s trust in you.

Whether your firm is new to PR or you’re looking to ramp up your existing PR efforts, begin with these four steps to ensure that your strategy is successful.

Step 1: Hire a PR team.

Alright, I may be biased here, but there’s no getting around it: the next three steps are made significantly easier when you have an experienced PR team doing the heavy lifting. Public relations just isn’t something you can keep on the back burner. If you want it done correctly, it requires an investment of time and effort. The right PR firm will take the time to create a strategy that fits your needs and, more importantly, actually works. If you have the budget, spend some time finding a firm that will understand your business goals and set you up for success.

Step 2: Keep your finger on the CRE pulse.

If you want to jump into the CRE conversation, not only do you need to know what’s being said, but also how it’s being said. Learn who the top CRE reporters are, what issues they’ve already covered and which topics and angles they seem to value the most. Most likely, your firm can speak to a number of industry issues and trends, but to secure media coverage, you have to present those perspectives in an enticing way. Understanding what makes a story newsworthy is the foundation of any PR strategy.

Step 3: Be prepared to show off your expertise.

If you keep up with the news, sooner or later a golden PR opportunity will present itself. Maybe there’s been a shift in the market or a new development has been announced, and you have an insightful, unique and authoritative perspective to bring to the conversation. But in the end, it all comes down to this: are you prepared to share your perspective with the world? That golden opportunity can easily slip by if you haven’t written a media pitch, built relationships with reporters and gone through media training ahead of time. If you’re prepared, you can make the most of those breaking news stories.

Step 4: Be patient.

Scoring a major media placement is exciting, but that’s not where the work ends—in fact, it’s more like where it begins. Public relations is an ongoing effort to build and strengthen relationships with reporters and find new ways to demonstrate your value as an expert. There’s always another angle to pitch, a different outlet to be published in and a fresh news cycle to take advantage of. Sit tight—you’re in it for the long haul.

Berbay Visits the Gamble House

As a part of our Cultural Camaraderie program, the Berbay team was fortunate to take a tour of the famous Gamble House. The three-story home in Pasadena, California was originally intended as a winter residence for Mary and David Gamble of Procter & Gamble. After buying the lot in June 1907, the Gambles commissioned architects Greene & Greene to design their home.

The home remained in the Gamble family until 1966, when it was turned over to the city of Pasadena in a joint agreement with the University of Southern California (USC) School of Architecture. Today, two USC students live in the house full time.

During the tour, I was in awe of all of the custom-built furniture and foreign features that the family fell in love with during their travels – like the glass Tree of Life design on the front door, which takes inspiration from the family’s time in Japan. Many of the home’s features are preserved in their natural form, from the original fixtures to the rugs – standing the test of time a century later.

Berbay’s recently launched its Cultural Camaraderie program with a focus on exploring the vibrant culture that is Los Angeles as a stimulus for innovative thinking and creativity, as well as encouraging team building.

Plaintiff-Attorney Advertising and Its Impact on Litigation. Is It In, Or Is It Out?

Legal Advertisements and Their Impact on Litigation

Legal advertising seeking persons injured by medicines, medical devices, sports helmets or airbags have saturated the airwaves and dominate cyberspace. Stephen G.A. Myers introduces, “The Impact of Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Advertising on Mass-Tort Litigation,” by telling his audience that this is no coincidence. There has been prevalent and increasing evidence of the impact of these advertisements; however, courts have been generally reluctant to allow evidence of that impact into the courtroom.

Stephen’s presentation discusses an abundance of information; the existing legal precedents on the subject and the evolution and current landscape of legal advertising. He also brings to light new information that is available on legal advertising in this age of “big data,” and the ways that defense counsel might use these data to overcome the courts’ collective reticence to allow this sort of data into evidence.

Berbay Practices Mindful Wellness

More than 8 in 10 employed Americans are stressed out by at least one thing about their jobs. Although this statistic may surprise you, luckily there are many practices you can do to minimize or eliminate stress. For our cultural camaraderie program this past month, the Berbay team met with instructor Natalie Bell to discuss mindful wellness.

Bell encourages mindfulness and paying attention to the present moment. Many of us dwell on the past or concentrate on the future. By paying attention to the present, we can listen and engage better while balancing what is needed in the moment.

One lesson Bell taught us about was the STOP exercise, which stands for:  Stop what you are doing. Take a few breaths. Observe what you’re feeling. Proceed with what you are doing. The STOP exercise is a quick and easy way for individuals to bring clarity and concentration to the projects they are working on and the people they are talking to.

Berbay Marketing & PR’s cultural camaraderie initiative was recently launched to promote the health and wellness of our employees as well as to encourage team building.

Berbay Marketing & PR
2001 South Barrington Avenue, Suite 305 • Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310)-405-7345 Fax: (310)-914-4201 • info@berbay.com


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