October 26, 2011
It was great, WordPress.com – and we’re grateful to still have your exceptional DNA – but it’s time for the Shatterbox blog to move on up to its own de-luxe domain in the cloud: Shatterbox.biz.
For you, gentle readers, not much has changed. The look, feel and layout are a little fresher and – one hopes – more engaging. The biggest changes will be going on behind the scenes, where we’ll be working to maximize the blog’s potential through cunning plug-ins and more customization.
Since it’s a launch of sorts, we’ll take this opportunity to rededicate Shatterbox to the motto:
“Endeavor to make it useful”
We hope you will follow us to our new home and continue to share your insights and opinions there as the spirit moves you.
October 24, 2011
While it might seem like incorporating background music into your firm’s marketing and informational videos will add a “professional” sheen, it’s a risky choice. Whatever is playing during the narration should unobtrusively complement and elevate what’s being said, not compete with it.
The video below on methods of purchasing a business is intended to instruct, which requires a higher level of concentration than a video meant to create a general impression. The folksy finger-picked acoustic guitar riff is too prominent and distracting, making it difficult to focus on the information being conveyed, let alone retain it.
What do you think? Does the music enhance or detract from the video’s overall effectiveness? What would you have done differently?
October 21, 2011
You’ve tried training, guilting, pleading, appealing to professionalism, more training — and still, getting your associates to blog, tweet or even share one of their presentations is like pulling teeth.
Have you considered linking social media content creation to performance metrics and merit increases? OK, forget social media. What about carrots and/or sticks for traditional business development and networking activities?
For all the hand-wringing about the difficulty of getting lawyers to create content for social media and participate in networking activities, there seems to be a deep-rooted resistance to even considering the use of performance evaluations and compensation as a management tool for driving those behaviors.
Having tried a voluntary approach to participation in the firm’s marketing and business development activities, one of my clients recently instituted some mandatory measures. In addition to weekly one-hour professional development meetings, firm management requires associates to log at least 72 hours of business development activities per year, which is tracked through a billing code in its ProLaw system. Research and writing time for blogs and articles count, as do networking coffees and lunches. However, passive activities like event attendance do not. Results will be discussed in annual reviews and factor into merit increases and bonuses.
- Spiffs – Practically everyone who’s held a sales job is familiar with “spiffs” — spot awards for selling particular items. If you’re having trouble getting people to submit blog posts or newsletter articles, try periodically offering $5 Starbucks or iTunes gift cards for the next submission. You’ll be surprised at how motivating a free spiced pumpkin latte or smartphone game download can be.
- Pay per submission – I worked with one firm that gave away $50 spot bonuses for every accepted staff blog post submission. Even the partners were eligible, and the managing partner took pride in his second income. So for only $7,800 per year — 3 posts a week, 52 weeks a year — the firm had a strong pipeline and frequency of posts.
- Executive face time – Lunch with the managing partner is a pearl of great price. See how many JD Supra submissions you can generate by offering associates that incentive (and they’ll have something to talk about during the meal).
- Time off – Offering extra personal days as an incentive for extraordinary contributions to your content marketing could be the most motivating compensation of all.
October 4, 2011
Today’s the last day for Austin NPR affiliate KUT’s on-air membership drive, and once again law firms have been heavily represented in the shoutouts provided to “Business Circle” contributors. If you’re doing it because it’s a cause you believe in — and it truly is an outstanding news and entertainment resource — thank you, and God bless. But recognize that on its own it’s a pretty poor use of scarce marketing dollars — a few mentions within a laundry list of names during the pledge drive, a random mention the following week, and an online directetory listing.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are a few simple ways to leverage your support for NPR that can generate direct, measurable marketing lift out of your generous contribution:
- LinkedIn mining – Use the online business directory to create a list of networking prospects in your area. Your shared interest in/sponsorship of public radio is a great opening line for an invitation to join your network.
- CLE for NPR lovers – Devise a CLE session for your fellow NPR supporters, inviting the prospects on the aforementioned LinkedIn list and existing members of your network.
- Take the station’s development director to lunch – As I’ve written before, fundraisers at non-profit organizations are creative, resourceful and formidable marketers. Odds are good that someone in the development department would make time to sit down with you over coffee and knock around some ideas for creating some mutually beneficial networking opportunities.
Do you support your local NPR station? Any networking stories you’d like to share?