Thoughts and news from the LMA-MN – Midwest Region – Minnesota Local Group

Two LMA-MN Members Awarded Scholarship

This year marks the first year the Minnesota Chapter of LMA has awarded its members scholarships to attend the LMA National Conference. The Minnesota Chapter will continue to offer the National Conference Scholarships to its members each year. Entrants are required to write an essay outlining the entrant’s desire to attend the National Conference. Details will be forthcoming on the LMA-MN website.

Amie Allison of Aafedt, Forde, Gray, Monson & Hager and Jennifer Albrecht of Arthur Chapman were recipients of the 2013 National Conference Scholarship. Amie and Jennifer describe their before and after conference thoughts below.

Jennifer Albrecht

Before conference

What made you want to apply for the LMA National Conference Scholarship?
I believe in the LMA organization as a whole and continue to receive great value from my involvement with the local chapter. Attending the national conference extends my reach to national colleagues and vendors from who I can learn, collaborate and receive support. While my firm fully supports my involvement with the organization, this scholarship ensures that my attendance at the national conference does not stretch the budget.

Have you been to a conference before, or is LMA National – Vegas your first one?
I attended the conference in Dallas/Ft. Worth last year but was so new to the legal industry and my job with the firm, that I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting in to. I made some great connections and learned a lot. I’m looking forward to taking full advantage of the networking, education, and general camaraderie of this year’s event.

What do you look forward to at the conference?
At this year’s conference, I am looking forward to reconnecting with those connections I made last year. I am excited about learning from the many great education sessions and hearing about the latest tools the service providers may have to make my job easier. I always come away from these events feeling inspired to take on new projects, improve the processes we use, and to bring new ideas to the table.

What do you want to get out of the conference?
In addition to those noted above, I look forward to reconnecting with those colleagues I met last year in Texas and strengthening relationships I have with colleagues from Minnesota. I am also looking to gather information on new resources and tools available to us, and to being inspired by the speakers and “new ideas” environment.

What does being a part of LMA mean to you and your job?
Being an active member of LMA provides me with an outlet to not only access new ideas and information, but to be a part of a community where I’m reminded I am not alone in celebrating legal marketing successes and working through challenges. I appreciate having the network of LMA members to turn to when I need to bounce an idea off someone or look for information that will help me do my job better.

After the conference:

What are some of the takeaways you received from the conference?
I was able to attend some timely and informative presentations on website development, content development, etc. I also found the information about the state of the legal industry helpful. Overall, the takeaways include an increased enthusiasm for larger, strategic projects, and the knowledge that I am not alone in dealing with the challenges I face in my job on a daily basis.

Did you have a favorite session at the conference?
The candidness of the general counsel panel was appreciated. The questions the moderators asked of the panel induced informative answers, and I was grateful the counsel took time to address the legal marketer crowd. I also very much enjoyed (well, mostly) the fitness boot camp I attended early Tuesday morning. It was invigorating to participate in such a great small group activity and to get energized for the day.

Explain a great experience you had.
I had the opportunity and great pleasure to meet a number of new friends while on the trip. I was also grateful to make additional connections with people from our own LMA-MN group. Hearing about the various experiences others bring to their jobs, learning more about how we can help each other, bounce ideas around, and support one another is always a great experience.

Would you recommend this experience to others? Why or why not?
Absolutely. I was new to the industry when I attended my first LMA conference in 2012. At that time, it provided me with a great overview and introduction to the industry. This year, with another year of hands-on experience under my belt, I was able to dive further into the information and felt more comfortable reaching out to new connections while strengthening the relationships I had built with other marketers from around the country (and world!). LMA is one of those organizations that provides more the more effort you exert. I find that just opening my mind to new information and viewpoints teaches me a lot.

What is the one thing you would recommend to people attending next year’s conference?
Bring layers. Joking aside about cold seminar rooms, I would recommend that folks go in with a willingness to learn and take in new things, no matter where you are in your career path. I also recommend being open and engaged just as much outside of the “classroom” as you are in conferences. There is so much we can learn from one another.

Amie Allison

Before conference

What made you want to apply for the LMA National Conference Scholarship?

Because I work for a smaller firm, naturally, I work with a smaller marketing budget. Applying for, and being awarded, the scholarship made it possible for me to attend the LMA National Conference.

Have you been to a conference before, or is LMA National – Vegas your first one?
The 2013 LMA National Conference in Las Vegas was my first conference, and hopefully not my last!

What do you look forward to at the conference?
I look forward to all of the opportunities at the conference – learning new information, exploring new and trending products, and of course the networking!

What do you want to get out of the conference?
I would like to walk away from the conference armed with tools to apply to my job and ways to work efficiently and effectively. I also welcome the opportunity to expand my resource network.

What does being a part of LMA mean to you and your job?
Being a member of LMA has been invaluable to my job and my personal development. LMA is a wonderful resource for anyone in the legal marketing profession.

What are some of the takeaways you received from the conference?
A couple take-aways I came home with would be the evolution of clients’ evaluation of firms, which leads to the need for honest client feedback and disseminating that information throughout the firm. Also, the need and importance of a polished business development plan, including strategies, tactics and tools. Casting a wide net in an attempt to catch more fish is not a good approach.

After the conference:

Did you have a favorite session at the conference?
One of my favorite sessions at the conference was Alvidas Jasin’s session, Breaking Through the Barriers:  Building a Sales Culture in a Law Firm. Alvidas’s session was phenomenal. He is a very engaging speaker and provided some excellent tools to help build a sales culture within a law firm.

Explain a great experience you had.
I was transformed into a ninja, if only for a few minutes. After the session titled, Breaking Through the Barriers:  Building a Sales Culture in a Law Firm, the speaker invited attendees to stay for an exercise. He guided the group through breaking a 2×8 board with their bare hands. I did it! And it was one of the most empowering activities I had at the conference.

Would you recommend this experience to others? Why or why not?
I would absolutely recommend this experience to anyone wanting to learn more about legal marketing and meet others in the same field. You become immersed in the legal marketing sphere for three days of invaluable learning and resources.

What is the one thing you would recommend to people attending next year’s conference?
Make sure to bring business cards with you wherever you go and take advantage of the networking opportunities. Also – bring a cardigan or jacket to the sessions as the rooms tend to be a little cold.

LMA-MN June 2013 Program Notes

LMA-MN June Program Notes
Date: June 12, 2013
Presentation Title: Effective Law Firm Video Marketing
Presenter: Marsha Redmon, Esq., Marsha Redmon Communications

Video Statistics and SEO

  • Google loves video!
  • 75% of Fortune 500 executives watch video for business purposes.
  • YouTube is the #2 search engine; Google is #1.
  • Google + YouTube = Strong Visibility.
    • When titling video, accurately labeling is extremely important. Include keywords, name of attorneys in video and tags.
    • Paste transcript.
    • Google and YouTube scan written, not spoken, words.
    • Video improves SEO.
    • Most searches for most things start with Google.
    • Additional video hosting sites: Wistia (great analytics) and JD Supra.

How to Make Video Worth the Effort

  • Repurpose: use past slide decks to create or enhance video.
  • Meet audience needs NOW; make video useful.
  • Select a highly targeted video audience for maximum search results.
  • Use evergreen topics for video longevity; remove videos with outdated content.
  • Keep it simple, short and focused.
    • Video should be 2-4 minutes; 1-2 minutes even better.
    • Define specific video process to streamline project.
    • Limit who “gets” to do video –> subject should be personable and warm on camera.
    • Requirement: practice and prepare.
    • Create an interview format vs. reading teleprompter.
    • Add a contact “slide” to end of video.
    • You don’t always need to use a video camera! Screencasts use slide decks/PowerPoints, still footage, etc.
      • Use to: promote event or recap a seminar.
      • Create a 20-40 second video to highlight a legal alert.
      • Screencast software options:
        • For Mac: ScreenFlow
        • For PC: Camtasia
        • Free: Screenr

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Video

  • Use multiple speakers/subjects that each provide a nugget of valuable information.
  • No swivel chairs!
  • Not ideal to shoot in front of a window/light source (will make subject appear dark).
  • Create a YouTube channel to organize videos.
  • Editing software: Pinnacle or iMovie.
  • Use an iPad –> good quality, high definition video and plenty of apps to increase functionality.
    • Limitation: no zoom feature.

DIY Set-Up

  • iPad (easy to edit directly on device).
  • Lavalier microphone (never shoot video without a microphone).
    • Most important part of video is the audio.
    • Tripod.
    • Portable light source.

Video Shooting Basics

  • Shoot a series; make it worth the lawyer’s time.
  • Focus on giving value, i.e., is this of interest to clients or potential clients?
  • Finishing touches.
  • Put together a full “rough cut” before circulating so subjects can see their portion of the video in context.

Video Distribution Sample Process

  • Include in regular and targeted emails.
  • Post on YouTube channel.
  • Create a video page on firm website.
    • One page per video for analytics / tracking.
    • Link to bio pages of featured lawyers.
    • Post on social media sites (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook).
    • Other uses: pitches and submissions.

Video camera recommendation: Kodak zi8 or zi10.

  • Best small video camera presenter has used.
  • Discontinued; visit Amazon.com now!
  • Has a built-in microphone jack.

LMA-MN June 2013 Program Video Marketing

Law Firm Video: What’s New and What Works
Presentation by Marsha Redmun, Esq.

Video is a new medium for most law firms and legal marketers. It makes sense that creating professional video that is effective for legal marketing can seem daunting at first. This program offers practical advice, checklists and recent law firm video examples from Morrison & Foerster and other firms.

In this presentation Marsha will cover:

  • Examples of the types of videos that are most effective for practice group video marketing and that are the most efficient to create
  • Detailed checklists of considerations when planning a video marketing project. Including:
    • messaging checklist and effective parameters for professional services video
    • video length
    • format for video
    • ways to distribute video
    • how to leverage video
  • Tips on how to help lawyers look and feel comfortable on video

Marsha will share her practical insight on the full process of narrowing the video topics, managing the lawyers, planning and conducting the video shoot, editing, distributing and then re-purposing and re-using the video.

Marsha Redmon is a former practicing lawyer and television journalist who has been teaching lawyers to get the business and recognition they want through business development, communications, video and media interview workshops and coaching for the last 13 years.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
11:30 AM Registration
12:00-1:30 PM Program
Briggs and Morgan
80 South Eighth Street Suite 2200
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Registration available here.

Many thanks to our June sponsor, Promotion Select!

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