Tag Archives: Blogs

Leveraging Your Reputation: What to Do When You’re Tired of Blogging

Tom Ciesielka is President of TC Public Relations (www.tcpr.net). Tom has over 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, working with individual lawyers and midsize law firms. He is also a former board member of the Legal Marketing Association in Chicago and has spoken at Chicago Bar Association CLE programs. Reach him at tc@tcpr.net.

If you’ve been writing a blog or newsletter and have found it difficult to come up with content, don’t quit. It’s better to put out content on a regular basis than to stop, because you have to connect with your clients and continue expanding your publicity plan. Here are a few tips that will help you when you feel like you’ve dried up and feel burnt out:

Interview someone. Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves to constantly create new content and writing a blog or newsletter can become a chore and make us stressed out. Look at the books you’ve read and the interesting people you know. If you ask experts if they want to be interviewed, they will often say yes. Make a schedule to interview someone once a month, and you will find that it not only helps you relax, but will help their own reputation, for which they’ll be appreciative. You might also notice that your readership is increasing because the person you’re interviewing will post your link on their website and social media sites, too.

Create a quiz. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated; ask 5 or 10 questions, and keep the options simple. If it’s about a topic that people are interested in, your blog could get thousands of hits for years to come, and when you put it in your newsletter, it might be forwarded to several people.

Have a guest blogger. I know someone whose blog got thousands of visitors, but when she had no more motivation to do it and ran out of ideas, she wanted to quit. A friend of hers who was a good writer and wanted to get more exposure asked if he could post once a month, and it was the best thing that could have happened. Her friend’s posts were substantial, well-researched and interesting, which helped increase the blog’s traffic even more, and made her feel a lot better. If you know someone who you think can provide quality content to your blog or newsletter, ask them to submit a few posts that you can spread out over a few months. You can also rotate guests once a month or every other month. Not only will it relieve the pressure on you, but it will also help you to not feel alone in your writing pursuits.

I’ll share some more tips in the future, but try these out first. I bet you’ll notice a weight has been lifted and you’re able to come up with even more ideas to keep your blog and newsletter fresh.

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Becoming a good story teller

J. Nick Augustine, J.D., is the principal of Pro Serve Public Relations, a PR firm for law, finance and small business professionals. Nick is experienced in law, business, entertainment, public relations and his Secured Solo Practice™ agency model. Nick enjoys sharing career growth, strategy and experience with legal job seekers and attorneys in transition.

Yesterday I spoke at The John Marshall Law School on publicity and media relations for lawyers. A central theme in our workshop was learning how to spot your own stories and how to tell them. I realized most attorneys are storytellers, but they don’t always capture and share the story.

I have a few tips for becoming a better storyteller:

What are you going to say?

Lawyers are always telling war stories to each other. Try hanging out with divorce attorneys, you’ll get an earful. Without breaching confidence, you can tell people about the types of legal issues you encounter in your practice. You have to assume for a moment that other people aren’t sick of hearing about your cases. If you are passionate about being a lawyer, that passion will come out in your stories.

To whom will you tell?

Most clients come from referrals sent by friends, family and colleagues. These people are your good-will ambassadors and they want to see you do well. When you tell your closest people the stories of what you experience, they get a better idea of what you do and how you approach situations. Assume everyone you tell has a neighbor or friend who needs a lawyer.

Where will you tell it?

Your blog is a great thing when you use it frequently. I know it can be tough to find time to write and tell stories. You must allow yourself time for storytelling (Yes, this is your marketing we’re talking about). Keep things short and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details and focus on driving home the general rule of law or advice for life generally.

Why will readers care?

When you offer valuable content to people and speak to them, not at them, they appreciate your time and consideration. Many laypersons shy away from asking what they think might be silly questions. Save someone from asking and offer up some tricks of your trade. Studies show people feel positively about others who trust them with knowledge.

And then there were comments!

If you see another blog or news article that piques your interest, take the time to jump in to the comments section and offer your thoughts. People often read these comments, especially the articles’ author/editor. Keep it short and succinct and drop a link to your website to point people to your contact information if they want to continue a dialogue.

Leveraging Your Reputation: 3 things you can do to boost your publicity

Tom Ciesielka is President of TC Public Relations (www.tcpr.net). Tom has over 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, working with individual lawyers and midsize law firms. He is also a former board member of the Legal Marketing Association in Chicago and has spoken at Chicago Bar Associations CLE programs. Reach him at tc@tcpr.net.

How busy are you right now? Hopefully you’re not too busy to still think about your own publicity, and to actually do something about it. Here are a few things you can do right now, without even leaving your computer:

1 – Share a helpful article online. Every day we find interesting articles and websites that would be helpful to other people, but sometimes it doesn’t occur to us to share them, or we think that we don’t have the time. But it really doesn’t take much time, and by sharing with others, it helps keep your name at the top of people’s minds. Post a link to the story or website on your Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook account, or e-mail it to someone who might benefit from it. If the link is too long, you can shorten it at Ow.ly, (http://ow.ly), Bit.ly (http://bit.ly), or Tinyurl.com (http://tinyurl.com).

2 – Post photos. If you’ve spoken at an event, gone to an interesting place, or even if you’ve seen interesting things around town, choose a couple of photos that you think people would be interested in. Then post them on your Flickr, Facebook, blog, or other online account where you share photos. Even busy people will take the time to look at a photo. Just make sure it’s not too big so that the photo will easily load on people’s computers or phones. You can use Picnik.com (http://www.picnik.com) to edit your photo for free.

3 – Congratulate someone. A lot of people do incredible things, but not everyone bothers to recognize what they do. You can stand out from the crows by letting others know that you’ve noticed their accomplishments. If you’ve heard about a promotion, or have read someone’s article, write a congratulatory email. It’s a simple way to connect with other people in a positive way and to keep your name out there.

Try at least one of these tips—after all, they cost nothing and don’t take much time. The more you do to communicate with others in these ways, you’ll feel like your publicity plan is easier to manage.

‘Thinking of you’ e-mails mean a lot

Nancy Glazer is Manager of Legal Launch, LLC.  The goal of Legal Launch, LLC is to provide uplifting, career counseling for 3Ls, recent law school graduates and experienced attorneys.  Nancy offers her clients endless ideas and possibilities to help land them the right job in a competitive market.

                      www.LegalLaunch.net;      Nancy@LegalLaunch.net

Saturday morning is the time when I catch up on the past week’s articles and blogs about business news and legal developments.  My news feeds also provide me with the weekly business and legal industries’ gossip as well.

When I read an article about a subject that may interest someone I know, personally or professionally, I pass it along with a short note conveying my thoughts.  Not only should job seekers send these kinds of e-mails, but established business leaders and lawyers should too.  This is a fast and simple way to continue to connect with people.

A quick tickler is helpful for a job seeker in several ways:  (1) it shows you are thoughtful, (2) a quick e-mail reminds them of you, should they hear of any opportunities, and (3) it shows the recipient that you care about them and the news items they care about – your relationship is not just one way.  In general, thoughtful e-mails continue your relationship and give you reason to contact someone you haven’t spoken to in a long while again.

Similarly, if you are an attorney trying to market yourself better, sending a news article or an agenda for a future seminar or meeting, all show that you understand a client or a prospective client and their interests.  Recipients will be grateful that you thought of them and will appreciate receiving such timely information.  Keeping a relationship going with clients or prospective clients reminds them that you care about their business and what’s important to them.  If they are contemplating calling you about a legal issue, your breaking the ice makes it easier for them to reach out to you for assistance.

I learned this simple practice from my father.  As a child, I would find all kinds of articles on my dresser about issues of interest.  To this day, my dad, the king of marketing, still sends me articles of my interest from journals all the time.

Lest you think this practice is phony or self-serving, it’s not.  If you truly care about the people in your network and if you care about what they care about, you are just solidifying your relationship.  You are simply showing them that you are on their page.

It only takes seconds.  Subscribe to daily news feeds.  Not only will you stay on top of changing markets, but you will also connect to those in your world.

Summer cleaning

Tom Ciesielka is President of TC Public Relations (www.tcpr.net). Tom has over 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, working with individual lawyers and mid-sized law firms. He is also a former board member of the Legal Marketing Association in Chicago and has spoken at Chicago Bar Associations CLE programs.  Reach him at tc@tcpr.net.

Over time, we all have joined numerous networks online, opened up various accounts, updated different profiles, added ourselves to groups and lists, and published content related to ourselves and our firms. But how often do we check on all of those accounts and all of that content?

“Cleaning” and updating your online information should happen at least three or four times a year – usually more, now that we create and share information in real time. This post will give you a checklist to make it an easy, painless process, free of Lysol-fume-induced headaches.

For your firm and/or personal website:

  • Homepage – Give your website visitors a reason to come back often. Have a news teaser on your homepage that links to your news page. Sync your blog to a section of the homepage so content is always changing – as long as you regularly “clean” and update your blog. Consider adding some personality to your site by incorporating a “sticky” idea that engages visitors (we use a Post-it note on our site).
  • News – The news page should be updated monthly at the minimum. This is where you can highlight recent media attention or your current activities as it relates to your practices or your geographic region. Letting this get two or three months out of date paints a sloppy picture to website visitors, who may include potential clients.
  • Bios – Often times, we write our own website biographies as soon as we are hired or as soon as the website goes live. Then we leave it stagnant for years. Just as the news changes, so do you! Update your bio at least once a year, highlighting new achievements and new interests.

For ALL your social media accounts:

  • Pictures – Most social media accounts allow you to upload a picture so that people can identify you. It is wise to use the same one or two pictures across all platforms to stay consistent, not to mention it helps friends and connections recognize you and reinforces that you are active across multiple platforms.
  • Profiles – With profiles, you need to decide which nuggets of information about you or your firm are the most important and make sure that information is readily available on EACH profile you have. This is an important part of maintaining your brand. As with a bio, this information changes over time, so be sure to revisit each profile at least once a year to make updates.
  • Alerts/Privacy – Every platform has different settings for privacy and notifications. Take 15 minutes to log in to the programs and applications you use and see which settings you may want to change. Do you want to know when someone starts following you on Twitter? Do you want all of your friends to know when you commented on something on Facebook? These are all easy to control, so make sure you know what power you have.

Beyond blog basics

Tom Ciesielka is President of TC Public Relations (www.tcpr.net). Tom has over 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, working with individual lawyers and mid-sized law firms. He is also a former board member of the Legal Marketing Association in Chicago and has spoken at Chicago Bar Associations CLE programs.  Reach him at tc@tcpr.net.

Blogs seem to have taken the backburner thanks to other social media applications developing faster than you can say, well, “blogs.” However, this doesn’t mean that blogs are less important or have lost their effectiveness. If you have been a blogger for a while, consider the following ways to spruce up your blog and keep it relevant amidst the social media onslaught.

Give your blog a face

An icon or slogan is a great way to add character to your blog and set yourself apart. Plus, readers are favorable to the little details that make blogs unique. Genfavicon.com is a program you can use to upload your own image to create a “favicon,” or favorite icon, that will appear to the left of your blog’s URL address. This icon could be anything from your firm logo to a photo of something relevant to the legal world (e.g. a gavel). Using a favicon or other image will give your blog personality and make it easier for people to remember your firm.

Tie in your tweets

If you’re on Twitter, linking your Twitter account to your blog not only shows your readers that you are active on other social media platforms, but it also ties together your Internet presence. Perhaps you don’t blog everyday, but if you tweet often, readers will have fresh, updated material to view on your blog. A program called Twitter Tools allows you to completely integrate your blog and Twitter account by allowing such things as: automatically sending a tweet when you write a new blog post or creating a blog post from one of your tweets.

Ask for readers’ opinions

Everyone knows you should allow interaction on your blog by encouraging readers to comment on your posts, but you can do more. Programs such as Poll Daddy or Quibblo allow you to create your own polls or surveys about the topics you blog about. This can do a number of things: 1) get readers interested about a topic that’s important to you or your firm, 2) encourage them to revisit to find out the results, or 3) give you material to blog about once you collect a number of responses.

Working toward your wish list

Tom Ciesielka is President of TC Public Relations (www.tcpr.net). Tom has over 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, working with individual lawyers and mid-sized law firms. He is also a former board member of the Legal Marketing Association in Chicago and has spoken at Chicago Bar Associations CLE programs.  Reach him at tc@tcpr.net.

At our agency, we like to give people what they want. When we first meet with a new client, we ask them what their “wish list” is because we want to know which specific media outlets they want to see themselves in. “Oprah” is usually a given. And as much as we would love to give “Oprah” to our clients, with a big, red bow on her head, we always have other outlets in mind that can help us work our way toward those “wish list” media outlets. As they say, shoot for the moon; even if you don’t make it, you’ll still land among the stars.

Morning Radio? If you’re dying to be on a morning radio show, we suggest that you get some practice. Radio producers and hosts want to interview people who know how to be interviewed, so the more you’ve done, the better. BlogTalkRadio is a site that serves as a platform for various talk radio programs covering a wide variety of categories; books, law and culture to name a few. Being interviewed on one of these programs and the subsequent podcasts is great because 1) it gives you practice that can be added to your interview resume, 2) it is great online exposure and 3) the interview can be downloaded and circulated to other media. Think of it as the bait to catch the big fish.

Law Publications? If you’re just aching to be featured in a prominent legal publication, try saturating the legal blog world first. Not many people realize this, but reporters and editors read blogs to get ideas for their articles and stories. You can saturate in two ways: 1) Start your own legal blog. Find your niche and stick with it, offering quality advice and unique commentary. 2) Connect with other legal blogs and ask if they’d be interested in featuring your take on legal best practices or doing a Q&A or even a guest blog post. Being featured in a prominent legal blog gives legal publications a reason to come looking for you.

Television? Do you dream of a slot on primetime television? This may be a sign that you need to be more active on YouTube. We’ve all heard the stories: YouTube sensations, videos hitting the million-views mark in one day, going viral, viral, viral. But you don’t need to have a million views for your YouTube video to be a successful tool. Perhaps it is a legal tip of the week. Or footage of your most recent speaking engagement. Or maybe you stage a mock interview a couple employees. Get creative, get in front of a camera and prepare for primetime.