Under my photo in the "Smart Staff" section of my company’s website is this (paraphrased) quote: "If you have a choice between being a great marketer and being a great attorney, be a great marketer. You can hire any number of attorneys to serve your many, many clients." Now comes Seth Godin, he of the Purple Cow, to say: Acting like a marketer first is being a good lawyer.
Today is the 442nd birthday of William Shakespeare, which, if you are not a Bardolator, as I am, might not mean a fig to you. Or perhaps you are still nursing grudge because of his line in Henry VI, part 2: "The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers." But that line, like many in Shakespeare, is widely misunderstood. In the context of the play, Dick the Butcher (who utters the sentiment) is speculating on what will happen when the King is overthrown. He is delighted to think that he and his friends will be free to do whatever they please (most of it pretty nasty). The lawyers are a symbol of the law, and also of people who are educated and well off. As such, they are resented by ruffians like Dick. Shakespeare actually reveres order, moderation, and the rule of law. Anyway, on this, his birthday, I offer my master, William Shakespeare, my love and gratitude. I celebrated yesterday by visiting the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. I was amazed to discover that of the 270-plus copies of the First Folio existing, fully a third of them are owned by the Folger. It was amazing to stand a few inches from one of them (under glass, of course). If you want to get me a nice present, an original copy of the First Folio will be auctioned off in July. Expected selling price: around $6 million.
Some time ago, I was made aware of some statistics that I found shocking: that spending on Pay Per Click advertising on the Internet had grown from .6 billion to .6 billion in 2005 (not so shocking), and that in that same period — one year! — advertising on ABC, NBC, and CBS combined had declined 21 percent. (That, I found very shocking.) Apparently the same thing is now taking place in the world of newspapers. Kevin O’Keefe points us in the direction of an article in Saturday’s New York Times that reports ad sales are lagging while Internet revenues are growing. Clearly, advertising dollars follow the eyes, and this shift is further proof that society is turning to the Internet as its first source of news and information. This certainly underscores the importance for attorneys and other professional service providers of putting more of their marketing efforts and marketing dollars into the Internet — in search engine optimization, in pay-per-click budgets, and in blogging and e-newsletters.
In a new book that should be of special interest to elder law and estate planning attorneys, The Denial of Aging: Perpetual Youth, Eternal Life, and Other Dangerous Fantasies, Harvard professor Dr. Muriel Gillick urges readers to stop denying the aging process and focus instead on making the most of it. In a Newsweek magazine article, Gillick’s ideas are described as the art of aging gracefully, yes, but also gratefully. The book cover (click on image at left to enlarge) is a real hoot, although one wonders how the author might have felt about her serious message receiving that treatment.
Interesting article in today Boston Globe about a new public television special (set to air April 9) entitled Almost Home. It’s described as "a milestone in addressing the issues of old age and long-term care in America." The article’s author, Len Fishman, believes the show is going to come as a nasty shock to baby boomers as they get a chance to gaze into their future.
" Yes, baby boomers will get old, and there is a good chance many will end up in a nursing home. It’s also likely that their spouses will age at a different rate, and they may end their lives living apart. Nursing homes, alas, are not organized around the needs of residents, but around the needs of the institution. Baby boomers will wake up when it’s convenient for staff; their meals will be regulated by a food service department; and they won’t have the privacy, independence, or self-empowerment that their generation assumes is theirs by birthright. Baby boomers should all take a deep breath, because if they don’t do something to change this scenario, that’s what’s coming down the pike."
However, despite this dire prediction, the film is actually a loving look at the families, residents, and staff of St. John’s On The Lake, a retirement home in Wisconsin that is "transforming the traditional nursing home."
An independent documentary, Almost Home is bound to be important to anyone involved in the issue of long term care, especially elder law attorneys and care-giver services, such as Parent Care in Naples, Florida, a Smart Marketing client, and the firm I employ to help me care for my mother. You can find out more about the film, including how to order a DVD copy, here.
You take your life in your hands by commenting on any perceived gender difference, but what the hell. I cannot help noticing that many of the most successful marketers among my clients are women. I have speculated on why that is. Recently, reading Tom Peters’s 111 Ridiculously Obvious Thoughts On Selling, I found this:
“TAKE THIS QUICK QUIZ: Who manages more things at once? Who puts more effort into their appearance? Who usually takes care of the details? Who finds it easier to meet new people? Who asks more questions in conversation? Who is a better listener? Who has more interest in communication skills? Who is more inclined to get involved? Who encourages harmony and agreement? Who has better intuition? Who works with a longer ‘to do’ list? Who enjoys a recap to the day’s events? Who is better at keeping in touch with others?"