Tag Archives: networking

Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating

This will be a short post because I am in the middle of several patent infringement cases (some of which involve aspects of social media–yay!). I was recently given an AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale. For those who are not familiar with the awards and rankings, here is a quick explanation:


Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ reflect a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating. A threshold number of responses is required to achieve a rating. The General Ethical Standards rating denotes adherence to professional standards of conduct and ethics, reliability, diligence and other criteria relevant to the discharge of professional responsibilities. Those lawyers who meet the “Very High” criteria of General Ethical Standards can proceed to the next step in the ratings process – Legal Ability.
So there you have it. Someone–and not just anyone–sees me as preeminent. And no, I did not receive anything from Martindale, nor did it receive anything from me, as a result of this of any other post.

Free Digital “Business Cards” for Lawyers –

I was at a deposition yesterday and, as is nearly always the case, we wen through the ritualistic exchange of business cards. We joked, like we always do, about the fact that business cards are basically worthless these days (setting aside, of course, the court reporter’s need to have everyone’s contact information). We laughed a little and proceeded with the deposition.

After thinking about it a little more, I started to wonder what lawyers are using to replace the “traditional” business card. Nearly everyone has a “bio” page on their firm’s website. And that page usually contains all the necessary contact information (and oftentimes, you can find a .vcard to download straight to your address book). But people like us (meaning you and me) like to be progressive, so we don’t want to rely on the static firm biography page. We want something more. Here are a couple of ideas (based on what I have done). I hope that you will provide some more suggestions (so I can use them).

At the outset, think of this as the online version of the elevator pitch. “How can I present the information I want to present in the fastest, most memorable way pospsible.” That is the goal here. Create an “online business card” that is easily accessible and easily remembered.

First, you almost certainly have your biography listed on LinkedInMartindaleAvvo, or somewhere similar. You can always use links to those listings as a business card of sorts:


But those sites are not really designed to serve the purpose provided by the traditional business card. And no one, including you, is going to remember the actual URL, even if the site provides some form of automatic link shortening:


So, what is the solution? Here are the two things I suggest.

First, you can use one of the many free “profile” websites. The two I am most familiar with are about.me and flavors.me but I know there are many others. Signup for an account and in 10 or 15 minutes, you can create a nifty looking “business card” biography:


There are some beautiful about.me and flavors.me websites out there; mine is not one of them. But it did take less than 15 minutes. (And I do plan on making it better.)

Option two: create your own online business card:


I would have gone with tyson.com (but it is taken by a chicken company) or tysonsnow.com (but it turns out there is a pretty good artist named Tyson Snow and he already has it). So I’m stuck with http://tysonsnow.co, which, in my book, isn’t half bad. It is short. It is easy to remember. It’s my name. And it allows me to present the right amount of information in the exact way I want to present it.

While it may look fancy, it is nothing more than a simple WordPress site that turns out to be a great place to send people who may want to learn more about me. It is easy to add to emails, tweets, status updates, or anything else. It registers high in search results. And it is mine. All mine.

You can do the same thing by registering for a free WordPress or Blogspot account and setting it up in a similar manner. But the real value in this approach is being able to choose the domain name; if you are serious about it, setup your own site.

In sum: If you are looking for fast and free, use something ending with .me
But if .me isn’t enough for you, you can always do something similar to me.

LinkedIn Endorsements and Networking

I recently published an article at Avvo’s Lawyernomics blog titled: “Who Have You Endorsed Today? Networking Through LinkedIn“. The post describes LinkedIn’s new feature that allows users to endorse specific skills and areas of expertise of those in their network. More importantly, the post discusses how you can use this new endorsement tool to connect and re-connect with people you want to network with. The following slideshow describes the LinkedIn endorsement feature:

Summarizing from my article, which you should read in its entirety:

Once you have endorsed a particular person, that person recognizes: your name (from your endorsement), your business or industry (from viewing your profile), your location and interests (also from your profile), your mutual friends (from the shared connections box), and much, much more. No longer are you some faceless person on the Internet that is simply trolling for clients; now you are an actual person, with recognized skills and expertise that would like to get together and chat. All it took was a few mouse clicks.

As always, be sure to check out all of the posts on Lawyernomics. And I hope you enjoy: Who Have You Endorsed Today? Networking Through LinkedIn.

Social Media, Esq.™ Social Media Vacation

For those of you who follow this blog or follow me on Twitter (@tysonESQ), you may have noticed (or, more likely, probably had no idea), that I haven’t been around for a few weeks. A multi-week jury trial + deliberations in addition to every sprinkler in my yard deciding to spontaneously explode while the entire State of Utah burns to the ground, well, I’ve been a little busy.

But do not worry. I have plenty of new updates, news, and insights in the pipeline. And besides, while there are many out there that claim you must maintain your social media presence at all times, even when you are on vacation to remote places with sketchy internet access, I am not one of them. For the most part social media is designed to feed me; whatever I can add to the conversation or assist others with is crème de la crème. 

With trial over, my inbox slowly getting smaller, and my sprinklers being generally fixed (hopefully), I’m hoping to start pumping out some new content. Will it blow your mind? Probably not. Will it be informative? I sure hope so.

Avvocating 2012 – Day 1 Wrap Up

Here is a quick wrap up of some things I took away from the first day of Avvo‘s 2012 Avvocating Conference. First and foremost, Seattle is rainy. Second, there are a lot of people here who are a lot smarter than me. Here is a quick run down (and yes, for those of you who listened to my panel, I am using my jottings in Evernote to flesh this out):

Rich Barton (@Rich_Barton) is somewhat visionary. Consumers are empowered these days. They are also impatient and demanding. “42% of consumers surveyed indicated they would contact another service provider if they have not heard back within one hour.” Not only are consumers empowered, they are using that power to review and rate nearly everything, including you, your abilities, your service, and your law firm. “If it can be reviewed, it will be reviewed.” Rich’s vision is obvious from has past and current endeavors: Expedia, Zillow, Glassdoor.com, Trover, Netflix, Nextdoor, Avvo, etc.

Mark Britton (@mark_britton) is extremely (extremely) impressive. Founder, CEO, and President of Avvo. Here are some highlights. Target three things: (1) your audience; (2) your time; and (3) and your spend. Having a strong Core Web Presence (“CWP”) is essential. It doesn’t have to be a $10,000 website–it can be a strong Avvo profile or a solid blog (like this one haha). But your CWP is imperative to your marketing efforts and ultimately your success. Everything should link back to your CWP. Looking forward, three things that are changing: (1) the social media opportunity; (2) the video opportunity; and (3) the mobile opportunity. “Video is changing everything” and, if you are forward thinking, you should be optimizing your web platforms for mobile devices. My favorite tidbits: (1) don’t get wrapped around the “risk axle” and avoid potential opportunities. Write down all of the opportunities before you start looking for the risks and/or negatives; and (2) be proactive on Twitter–don’t wait for consumers to come to you, go out and find there groups and become a part of their community.

Carolyn Elefant (@carolynelefant), author of MyShingle.com. Carolyn really hammered home the point of hyper-local practices and marketing. She is an expert (through experience) on developing a niche practice (and even a niche within that niche). When it comes to social media, offer things of value–things that other people value to the extent that they want to pass them along to their friends. She also suggests making basic legal forms free to your clients as a business development tool. The information is out there. Consumers will find it. They might as well get it from you so that you can offer up some value-added services to these same consumers.

Matt Homann (@MattHomann), founder of LexThink and the NonBillableHour.com blog spoke on retaining existing clients. Advice: just because you write it, tweet it, blog it, or post it, it doesn’t mean that it matters or your clients care. Lawyers need to spend more time on improving their clients’ service experience. Think about the stages of the “service experience.” (What does the client see? What does the client hear? What does the client wonder? What will the client tell others?) Breed client loyalty by making your client smarter, more successful, and sexier. In my mind, the most valuable point he made is that you need to focus on your clients’ “influencers.” In other words, who (or what) influences your clients and their actions? Hone in on them and utilize them. Maybe this is where to target some of your marketing dollars. After all, these are the people that are really driving your clients’ decisions.

Panel Discussion Moderated by Matt Homann: Mischelle Davis (@MischelleDavis), Kelly Phillips Erb (@taxgirl), Tyson B. Snow (yours truly, @tysonESQ), and Tim Flynn (@clarkstonlegal). Candidly, I was having too much fun participating in the panel presentation to provide much insight here. All of the panelists were great. Mischelle has me more interested in Facebook as a marketing platform. Kelly is simply brilliant, both in her approach to blogging and social media, as well as in life in general. Tim is a real world guy who is implementing all of these techniques and doing it successfully. His advice to “always remember you are a lawyer first” should not be ignored. I learned a lot from all of them. And Matt did a great job of moderating. For whoever was watching, feel free to give a panel summary in the comments.

Mike Blumenthal (@mblumenthal) is a Google / search engine guru. Mike is simply brilliant. I consider (or like to consider) myself a tech nerd. After all, I did pay my way through law school by running PPC search engines (back in the day of ah-ha! and Overture–even before Google Ads had hit the scene). But Mike blew me away with his presentation. I feel like I need copies of his slides so that I can study them for hours (in order to properly understand them). This guy knows search. His understanding is so deep that it can be difficult to comprehend. Google’s search algorithm is extremely complex–Mike seems to know all about it. Follow this guy and you will learn a lot. A lot.

Now, two general observations. I am really, really impressed with Mark Britton. Whatever he is selling, I am buying. He is innovative, thoughtful, and quite charismatic. He cares about his product (Avvo) but he cares more about the users of Avvo and whether the product is resulting in success stories. Meeting and speaking at length with Mark will definitely be one of the highlights of this trip. He is one good guy.

Matt Homann is one of the best presenters I have ever seen. That guy is nails on stage. The combination of humor, entertainment, and quality content mixed with his presentation style and skills went unmatched. I would recommend him to any firm or organization looking for a consultant or a speaker for any event. This guy is legit. I can’t wait to see him present again.

Finally, let me add that it was awesome to be associated with a group of so prominent, so successful people. I look up to and admire all of these people and it was a pleasure to share the stage with each of them. It was also fun to talk with Kevin O’Keefe off-stage (at length). Kevin and I have been Twitter friends for a long, long time.

Great first day. My apologies if I missed anything important. Feel free to contact me with any additions you think are warranted. Having written this up, I’m even more excited for Day 2!

Thanks Avvo for the opportunity and for putting on such a great presentation. As I come across other summaries, I will add links so you can get perspectives from others in attendance.