This Epsiode is all about social media marketing for IP lawyers. We have an interview with Anne Pryor, who is a Certified Online Brand Strategist, Future Mapper, global LinkedIn Trainer and Speaker. In addition, Rolf is explaining his personal social media strategy, how his > 25.000 Twitter followers and > 5.000 LinkedIn contacts have helped his business development and what a Klout score means. Also, we will tell you about some useful resources on the internet for mastering your social media skills.
Rolf Claessen and Kenneth Suzan
Episode 14 – October 31, 2014
AP = Anne Pryor of Meaningful Connections
RC = Rolf Claessen
KS = Kenneth Suzan
Hi. This is Alex Butterman at Staas & Halsey LLP in Washington, D.C. I love podcasts because they help me survive my long commute and I love a podcast by a couple of colleagues who are helping me stay up-to-date with IP Law. You are listening to IP Fridays. Thank you Rolf and Ken.
KS: Hello and welcome to this episode of IP Fridays. Our names are Ken Suzan and Rolf Claessen and this is THE podcast dedicated to Intellectual Property. It does not matter where you are from, in-house or private practice, novice or expert, we will help you stay up-to-date with current topics in the fields of trademarks, patents, design and copyright, discover useful tools and much more.
RC: Welcome to Episode 14. Today we are not talking “legalese” but rather social media. Our guest today is Anne Pryor. She is consulting lawyers all about social media and I will tell you about my personal social media strategy. I am using Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter and everything and I think I have some success with it and also I want to tell you about some useful Websites regarding social media.
So, first of all I want to tell you about a Website called “Social Media Examiner” whose link is in the show notes. Michael Stelzner is a really important person in social media, in my opinion. I learned a lot from him and I am listening to his podcast every single episode and he is also sharing tips and tricks in his blog and his advice is really helpful and useful to me.
Then, Anne Pryor is also hosting a really lively LinkedIn group and a link is in the show notes called “Meaningful Connections” and they are having several updates per day and they have a lot of discussion going on there about social media. Ken had the chance to discuss with Anne Pryor and here is the interview.
KEN SUZAN’S INTERVIEW WITH ANNE PRYOR
KS: Thank you Rolf. Today I am joined by Anne Pryor who is a meaningful connector, online brand strategist, LinkedIn coach and trainer, future mapper and speaker. She leverages marketing strategy, business objectives and online tools to help clients look good, be found and make meaningful business connections and works with business owners, entrepreneurs, startups and sales and marketing executives to create their online presence to attract and create successful business opportunities. Anne is considered one of the leading authorities on social connections with a specialty in LinkedIn, generating millions of dollars for her clients. She is certified in online branding and has trained more than 45,000 people since 2008 how to strategically leverage LinkedIn. As a marketing and sales executive formerly with Carlson, Lifetouch, Mall of America, Knott’s Camp Snoopy and Valley Fair, a portfolio career entrepreneur, career coach, certified online strategist and future mapper, she understands branding. Anne holds a Master of Arts in Human Development, Holistic Health and Wellness and she is a certified Nordic Walker Instructor and a soul color water artist. Anne, welcome to our program.
AP: Thank you Ken. It is a pleasure to be here.
KS: Yes. Anne, tell me how long you have been advising individuals and companies about social media?
AP: You know, Ken, I have been a marketer for 30 years in corporate America and since 2008, when the downturn happened, I really began to leverage social media, especially LinkedIn, to try to connect me to great jobs and friends to great jobs. So, it has been about seven years now where I have really been leveraging this tool.
KS: Can you tell me a little more about your business? It’s called “Meaningful Connections.” Who is your typical client and how do they find you?
AP: Ken, my clients are individuals and companies, oftentimes C-level executives, perhaps people in job transition, but people who really care about their brand online. Mostly they find me through LinkedIn and through online strategies and through referrals. What we do is we help people clarify, communicate and bring their brands to life both online and offline.
KS: Now I notice on your bio what is interesting to me is “Future Mapping.” What is Future Mapping?
AP: Future Mapping, it’s actually called “Whole Mind Mapping”, it is a new process founded by Masanori Kanda and Paul Scheele of Learning Strategies. Masanori is out of Japan. Ken, it is a process of helping people unearth, through their subconscious, what they really desire and pull forth opportunities to help them create the life that they choose and it could be just to help them understand and implement a goal opportunity. It’s a very unique process. There are only about 300 of us trained throughout the world.
KS: Where did you go for your training for that?
AP: Masanori came to Minneapolis from Japan in 2013 and that’s where we were trained.
KS: Wow. That is very, very interesting. What changes have you seen in the last few years in connection with social media? Any trends to note for our listeners?
AP: So, because I work both in corporate and with attorneys, and with job seekers, what I see is HR, for instance on LinkedIn a lot of the HR people owned LinkedIn and now I see marketers are finally getting on board. So I am seeing a shift from career strategy to really leveraging tools to create relevance. You have been doing this for a really long time and that is how we met.
KS: That’s right.
AP: When you were in New York, you pinged me on LinkedIn and I thought who is this great guy and then low and behold you move to Minneapolis and you invited me to lunch and here we are today. So, look at how that can transcend. I am seeing more and more of that outreach actually happen. What I am also seeing is more relevance, impact and credibility. In the past, I saw things like you wouldn’t put on social media for business and now I am seeing so many more trends and innovations take place. Let me just tell you something that is a little disturbing, what I am also seeing and that’s what’s missing, and Ken, what’s missing would be the Gen Xers. And what’s missing would be any diversity. Now, we’re from Minneapolis so perhaps that’s our demographic place but I am concerned about that. Those two pods are hubs that would be missing from a lot of the social media, especially on LinkedIn which I train on.
KS: Anne, can you comment for me on any big changes that you know of on the horizon for 2015? What do you think is going to be happening? I know you brought today Google Glass and that’s really a great thing to talk about.
AP: So, you know, I see five trends sort of happening on the horizon, Ken. The first trend I see in social media is more caring and so I am seeing people being more helpful to each other without expecting anything in return and I love that and that’s what I teach through Meaningful Connections. It’s about lifting each other up. I see organizations in Japan adding Lifeline so if there is a major disaster coming, immediately people can understand who to follow on Twitter. So I am seeing more caring.
The second trend I am seeing is more reach. On the Internet, you know, about 20% of people worldwide are on the Internet but the reach that I am seeing are tools like LinkedIn. They created the publisher’s tool which you are using. So we are just blogging on our LinkedIn profiles. I am seeing more of that kind of reach that is happening. I’m seeing more podcasts, like you are doing, and you have been doing since May, which is innovative. You are an IP attorney. You are crossing all of your gifts. You are creating meaningful connections from your own soul using the gifts and the tools that you have to bring this to life. I think that’s amazing.
KS: Thank you.
AP: And I love that and that’s what we do in creating meaningful connections. So you are gaining more reach.
I am seeing more user control. So an IP attorney like you would care about the new issues and opportunities that are going on with the settings on LinkedIn. So, now I can download my content and I can see at a glance all of my connections, every word, that I have said on LinkedIn. I can see everything that I have said to everyone else. I can see everything I’ve said in groups. Now, how is that going to manifest for attorneys? Well, there is going to be a heyday, right? Because now you can have access to what anybody has said on LinkedIn for all kinds of different legal opportunities. So, that is the fourth thing I am seeing.
The fifth thing I’m seeing is more real time, just like what you are doing right now, and what I am seeing is video and Google Glass. So this Google Glass that you saw me wearing, I am a Google Explorer so I have been using Google Glass for about a year now. I can take a video of us right here. I can tap my eyes and upload it to my Twitter account, to my Google Plus account, to my Facebook account and anybody can see what I am doing in real time. I see, you know, from Vimeo to Vine to Talk Fusion to so many different video tools. You’re on trend, you’re ahead of trend, with this blog. It’s just all real time. And then I see more security and safety. I’m talking about rules and regulations. So, this morning, I read an article about Google Glass and how we can’t use Google Glass when we drive and now we are going to be stopped and there’s going to be all kinds of more things. I can’t use Google Glass when I go into many of my manufacturing companies because they don’t know that when I wink I am taking pictures and I’m starting video and I can immediately upload it just by scratching my ear basically. So those are the trends that I am seeing in 2015 that are happening. A lot more more if you will.
KS: Sure. Now, the name of your business is Meaningful Connections and as a trademark attorney obviously I look at all words and think about them greatly. Can you tell me why did you choose that name and how does it fit in with what you do?
AP: That’s a great question. The name really found me because when I was unearthing my own brand, a friend of mine named Aaron Keller, who is the president of Capsule Communications here in town and has written many books on design, he is an expert in that area, invited me to LinkedIn for the first time and what I proceeded to do was download my 947 connections without a personal message and I immediately got kicked out of LinkedIn because 5 people put “I don’t know you.” So, when I called Aaron and I said “Aaron, what is this tool?” He said, “Anne, you are a meaningful connector, figure it out.” And the brand stuck. My whole life I have been connecting people meaningfully and my business partners, Kathleen Crandall and Rise Kasmirski, are of the same brand, if you will. What I believe, Ken, is that we are all connected in this world, we are all here to do our highest and greatest good, and we need each other to do so and so it’s basically the circle of life and I wanted the brand to represent that and that’s what we are doing for people. We are helping them manifest their soul’s desires. If you will notice, my logo has seven green circles. So, green is the color of healing and of heart love and so that was purposeful. In addition, the seven circles mean awakening, awareness and inner wisdom. Again, it’s the circle of life, it’s the connection. So when I am working with clients, I want to know how they desire to connect with themselves, with their community, and with the world in general and then we bring that message to life in the way we communicate it both in person and online.
KS: Wow, that’s a lot of thought that went into that logo.
AP: Yes, you understand and appreciate that.
KS: For sure. How can people today make their connections more meaningful, particularly on LinkedIn? What should they be doing if they are not already doing it?
AP: Okay, I am going to start by telling you our seven step question process. So, tactically I can tell you what to do. But I want to go deeper and the first question that Rise Kasmirski, my business partner, asks is, “Who are you?”
The second question is, “What do you desire?”
And then Kathleen Crandell brings the brand to life and she says, “What three things do you aspire to be known for?”
Her fourth question is, “What happens because of you?”
Once our clients understand the foundation of who they are, then they come to me and I bring a brand to life and I ask them three questions. The first question, Ken, is, “How do you want to be seen?” The second question I ask is, “How do you want to be found?”
KS: Yes, that is very important – How do you want to be found.
AP: The third question is, “Who do you want to find you?”
KS: Yes, another important piece.
AP: Yes, so if they don’t know who they are and how they want to be communicating their brand, then I can’t help them yet because they have to do that foundation work. Once they do that foundation work, I can take that information and bring their brand to life online. If you look at my LinkedIn profile, you will see that I say what I believe and why I do what I do, and what I do and who I have done it for, and so the story is all told there. People hire you, Ken, for why you do what you do and they hire me for the same reason.
Simon Sinek has a YouTube video which is The TED Talk and it is profound if you haven’t had a chance to listen to it. It’s all about the why.
KS: Anne, can you tell me about key words? I know you talk about key words often. Why are they so important for LinkedIn users to have in their profile?
AP: Yes, Ken, LinkedIn is much like Google in that it is search engine optimized. So you must know who you are, you must know the practice areas you are targeting, you must know who hires you, you must know your industry segments, and then as a social media online brand strategist, I populate those key words in the right spots on LinkedIn to help you be found in search. So I know the spots on LinkedIn that are highest in search engine optimization and one is the headline right underneath your name. You get 120 characters. What I want my clients to have there would be their title and oftentimes I will work with attorneys and their title will be “Partner at Law Firm” and that’s it and you know what? No one searches for “Partner”. And sometimes they don’t know the brand of the law firm. So what I want you to do Ken is put “IP Attorney, Trademark Lawyer at Barnes & Thornburg.”
KS: Those are very important points. Very important.
AP: Exactly. The summary also has key words. The title line of your job has key words. So once again, our attorneys just put “Partner” in the title line. I’m sorry but they are never going to get picked up in search. In addition, perhaps you have heard me say in your title example, you must have “attorney” AND “lawyer” because some people call you either way.
KS: Or they may not type in “lawyer” but type in “attorney.”
AP: That’s exactly right. So the cool thing is that we can immediately change your search criteria with one key word.
KS: Very, very fascinating. Now, we talked about leveraging the power of LinkedIn. What are other things people can do to leverage the power of this social media platform on a daily basis, let’s say?
AP: So, I have a seven step process. The first step is Look Good, Be Found – that is building your profile with those key words. The second step is Invite Meaningful Connections – people you know, you like and trust. The third step is Communicating Your Brand – because until your house looks good and until it is cleaned up, don’t invite people over to the party and you won’t have anything to say because nobody is listening. The fourth step is Leveraging LinkedIn – so when I work with an attorney, I really want them to understand that they can find anybody that they desire on LinkedIn. So the advanced search criteria are very significant in leveraging LinkedIn. In the advance search criteria it is already “Booleanized”, if you will. Boolean is a search criteria that you use on Google, it’s and, or and not. You can search for anybody that you desire. Once those people, if you will, pop up on LinkedIn, you can connect with them meaningfully. You can see what group they are sitting in. You can follow them. You can communicate directly with them. So, some of my attorneys, for instance, are franchise attorneys and we put together a strategy where they were going to a tradeshow to speak and prior to going to the tradeshow we built their profile with the key words, they looked good, they had a great picture, and then we joined groups where that tradeshow was going to be talking to those people. Those people were going to be attending the tradeshow. And then we put together a Marcom strategy and, you know this better than anybody because you are an expert in this, you communicated in different facets that you were going to be at the tradeshow. Once at the tradeshow, the attorney spoke and the attorney said, “Hey, go to my LinkedIn profile and you can download my PowerPoint presentation or listen to the video or see the video. It’s only going to be up for 24 hours.”
KS: Okay so you put a time limitation.
AP: Yes, a time limitation.
KS: Now, are there other ways that people can contribute on social media channels? What should people be thinking about? Obviously, we have a podcast – IP Fridays. What other things can people do to contribute to the dialogue on social media?
AP: One of the things that an attorney can do is to ask a smart question in a group and they can uncover sort of what is going on in the world out there. They can respond in a group. But because we don’t want to give your advice away free online all the time, there is an opportunity in a group to reply privately, which is what I do. Another opportunity would be to share information and insights, which is what you’re good at. So you start being helpful and adding value by sharing articles that may be important. Another one might be that there is a law that changes and you are the first one to send out that opportunity.
KS: Having a scoop on everyone else.
AP: Exactly. Another one would be you are speaking at an event or a tradeshow and you want to let people know you are going to be there and you connect with them in advance so you are not wasting time and you are never eating alone, huh?
KS: For sure. What about migrating conversations off of the online world? When are you supposed to do that? How do you do that? You and I met on LinkedIn but what do you recommend to people?
AP: You know, it’s back to that hug strategy. The hug strategy really is set with an intention. My intention is to help lift up others and when I set that intention, my light hug is saying that I am open to dialogue and the first thing that I do is just like you did, you’re curious. So, I’m open to dialogue and I have researched you and I find you fascinating and I find you interesting and I would like to share some insights and some advice that you have. You are a master at this. You are.
KS: Well, thanks Anne.
AP: The other way is in groups. To take the information off line.
KS: The groups also fascinate me. There are so many groups. How do you know which ones to choose?
AP: Yeah, you know what I do? I look at my clients and I see what groups they are in and I join some of those groups because I want more clients like those people.
KS: That’s smart.
AP: Yep, and so in addition, being authentic. I understand what I am intrigued with and I join groups where the future is happening. For instance, Wisdom 2.0 is about mindfulness and social connection and I want to see what executives are sitting in that group and then I want to start dialogues with those groups. So, like you, as an innovator and a futurist, I am going out to see what am I interested in? Let me give you an example. So, I got Google Glass last year and was one of the first to get it. Now, typically I’ll turn my group setting down because I don’t what everybody to know every nit and nat and every group that I am joining. So there is a setting to turn that down. But when I started Google Glass, I turned the setting up and I wanted people to know that I am into some new technology. What ended up happening then is people started being intrigued with what I was doing and then I started following on Twitter, which I love, other Google Glass people that were in trade publications that had something to say and then I brought them into LinkedIn because LinkedIn is my primary golden Rolodex, if you will, and then we started the dialogue and now I am having conversations with doctors and nurses and futurists who are using this tool to find out why does it really matter.
KS: Oh, that’s great.
KS: That’s a great success story indeed. Another thing which I think is important for our listeners to know is you are controlling the settings on LinkedIn. There are so many dials, let’s say, and switches and things that we can do to change the way in which our profile is being viewed. If you had to identify three settings on the LinkedIn profile page, what would you recommend they change or look at?
AP: Okay. That’s a brilliant question and it’s the first thing I recommend anybody do, Ken. I never did it for two years and I didn’t even know where the setting were. First of all, the settings are under your little head, way up at the top right of your profile. The three settings that I recommend for everybody, and especially anybody in the legal field, would be to turn off your activity broadcast. That’s the first one so that every little nit and nat change doesn’t blast out to all of your friends. It’s obnoxious, huh?
The second setting is what other’s see when you viewed their profile. Now some of my clients are litigators, some of my clients are defense attorneys, some of my clients are job seekers and we don’t want to be leaving bread crumbs behind every time we peek at somebody’s profile. So there is a setting to turn that down when you are looking and, if you will, sleuthing and researching and then the setting to turn it to show your name and headline so that people can see that you have done your research on them. That’s the second one.
And the third one is edit your public profile. The reason you want to do this is because it’s where you can customize your profile URL. When you customize your profile URL to your name, you come up higher in Google, Bing, Yahoo and LinkedIn searches. In addition, you want to make your public profile visible to everybody. That’s why you are on LinkedIn is to show it to everybody. But Ken what happens is when you start creating and changing your profile, I call it the gremlins. Gremlins get in and they eat the check marks and when they eat the check marks, it makes that LinkedIn, Bing and Yahoo don’t get to see the key words that are in those boxes.
KS: Interesting. Wow.
AP: So there are those three settings and just to give you some context, I call it the file folders. They are on the left-hand side when you go to settings. They are profiles, communications, groups, companies, apps and account.
KS: Wow. This has been really, really fascinating Anne. I’m so glad that you have been able to join us for today’s IP Fridays episode. If people want to get in contact with you, how can they do that? I know you are on LinkedIn and connected with everyone, but how do people go about contacting you for further discussion?
AP: I would love for them to visit my LinkedIn profile at Anne Pryor on LinkedIn and I would be happy to connect with them. If they make note that they visited this podcast today, I would love to connect with them. I have a group on LinkedIn called Meaningful Connections that they can join and I give updates every day on that Meaningful Connections group on what’s happening on LinkedIn and they can start discussions and practice there as well.
KS: Thank you Anne for joining us today on IP Fridays.
AP: Thank you Ken.
RC: If you want to know more about Anne, please go to www.meaningfulconnections.net. The link is in the show notes.
So I promised to tell you a little bit about my personal strategy with social media. I currently have a little more than 24,000 followers on Twitter, a little more than 5,000 contacts on LinkedIn, nearly 5,000 friends on Facebook, and in Germany there is a particular business network called Xing and I have over 8,000 contacts there. So you might say why do you need so many contacts to be successful on social media? Well, that is really simple. The secret is “Top of Mind” so if you are posting really helpful content that people like and not only bragging about yourself but rather writing about other really helpful articles or Websites that you found or other useful stuff, then people will first of all connect you with this particular field that you are in. In my particular case, that’s trademarks, patents, and designs and also they will keep you in mind in a positive way because you shared valuable content. So you are in the mind of the readers in a positive way with the content that you want to be associated with. Even if the people who see your posts do not really have an immediate need for your services, they will just be reminded of your name and what you can do so whenever they hear about a problem with trademarks or patents or something like this among their friends, or, for example, if they have a problem in let’s say two years, they might remember your name and the more they hear your name in the context of patents and trademarks and designs, in my particular case, they will more likely remember you for what you do.
So, how many times do I post per day? That really depends on the social network. So, for example on Twitter, it is important to post a lot of times per day. I am personally posting around six to eight times per day. You know, Twitter is just a stream and people are sitting in front of Twitter and they are only seeing you if you are posting in just that time that they are sitting there or you are retweeted by any luck. So you will only reach a very small percentage of your followers on Twitter when you are tweeting. So it is important not to post all of the tweets at the same time but distribute it throughout the day. You might be asking how you can do that. Well, there is a small App called “Buffer” and you can find it at www.bufferapp.com and what it does is that it takes whatever you want to post at one given time and it will post it at a predetermined schedule. So you can tell it to post every two hours or at 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00 and then 1:00 or whatever you want. What I do personally is I have an Android phone and in the morning I read all of my different blogs and RSS feeds and Websites with a particular App called “gReader” and this App has the possibility to post anything I like to Buffer. So I fill up the Buffer in the morning and then throughout the day all of these links that I want to post and all of the stories and blog articles and other postings they will be sent out via Buffer to all the different social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and all the different other social networks.
So, how do you know that you are successful? Well, success is really not measureable or not well measureable really easily with social media so what obviously counts is if you get clients through this you can immediately see that you have success so that is the most important measure. So if people remember you and call you that they have found an article or you know you ask the people who call you how they found you and they say ok I listened to your podcast episode or I read a tweet that you sent out or whatever they say. So you have an immediate feedback from new clients and also there is a tool called “Klout”. You can go to Klout.com and what it does is it monitors all your different social media channels and finds out how many people are commenting and liking and sharing your content and Klout considers you more influential and more successful in social media if people are liking and sharing and commenting more. It calculates a certain Klout score between zero and one hundred. One hundred being like Obama and Justin Bieber and zero being nothing. So you have a kind of feedback on how you are doing among your peers so you can type in any name of your colleagues and see how successful they are, how many times they are liked and shared and commented and that gives you a kind of feedback on how successful you are on social media.
So, I hope this helped a little bit and you had fun listening to this episode although it was not “legalese” and I am looking forward to welcoming you next time. Bye-bye.
KS: That’s it for this episode. If you liked what you heard, please show us your love by visiting http://ipfridays.com/love and tweet a link to this show. We would be so grateful if you would do that. It would help us out to get the word out. Also, please subscribe to our podcast at ipfridays.com or on iTunes or Stitcher.com. If you have a question or want to be featured in one of the upcoming episodes, please send us your feedback at http://ipfridays.com/feedback . Also, please leave us a review on iTunes. You can go to http://ipfridays.com/itunes and it will take you right to the correct page on iTunes. If you want to get mentioned on this podcast or even have comments within the next episode, please leave us your voicemail at http://ipfridays.com/voicemail .
You have been listening to an episode of IP Fridays. The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of nor are they endorsed by their respective law firms. None of the content should be considered legal advice. The IP Fridays podcast should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents of this podcast are intended for general informational purposes only and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions. As always, consult a lawyer or patent or trademark attorney.
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