What I Learned at Avvocating 2012 (in a Nutshell)

Well, I learned a lot. But let me give you give you a dose of what I derived, from each speaker, in one sentence or less (yes, I occasionally write in fragments) with, of course, liberal use of semi-colons:

Rich Barton (@Rich_Barton) – If it can be rated, it will be rated; if it can be reviewed, it will be reviewed.

Mark Britton (@mark_britton) – Don’t get wrapped around the “risk axle” and avoid potential opportunities; write down all of the potential opportunities before you even start looking for the risks and/or negatives–stop being afraid.

Carolyn Elefant (@carolynelefant) – Focus on “hyper-local” practices and marketing to them; develop a niche practice and then develop a niche within that niche–be the expert.

Matt Homann (@MattHomann) – Focus on who or what is really driving your clients’ decisions–their influencers–hone in on the influencers and, in so doing, make your clients smarter, more successful, and sexier.

Panel Discussion Mischelle Davis (@MischelleDavis), Kelly Phillips Erb (@taxgirl), Tyson B. Snow (yours truly, @tysonESQ), and Tim Flynn (@clarkstonlegal) – the people on this panel are a lot smarter than me.

Mike Blumenthal (@mblumenthal) – You will never fully comprehend Google Places / Local and how it works; you need to follow Mike to learn how to best use Places (which is extremely important in today’s marketing world).

Josh King (@joshuamking) – Stop worrying about client testimonials–they are your friend (unless you have a specific bar rule prohibiting them); embrace Rich Barton’s view that “if it can be reviewed, it will be reviewed” and practice in a way that leads to positive reviews.

Sachia Bhatia (@sachbhat) – If you want a good Avvo score, keep your profile up to date, solicit testimonials and endorsements, and answer questions–and keep your eyes open for some awesome new Avvo features currently in the works.

Ari Kaplan (@AriKaplan) – You have a network, but what are you doing for that network; if you actively seek out ways to help your network succeed, your network will make sure that you succeed (and always have a smartphone and mic for on the spot interviews with cool people).

Vanessa Fox (@vanessafox) – Figure out what your audience is searching for and make sure that you are found there; speak their language–good content is and always will be king when it comes to search.

Mark Kelly (@chair10 / @mkelly7777) – If you are doing PPC, make sure your page headings match your search terms; when someone searches a key phrase, they want to see that key phrase listed in the page’s title so that they know that clicking the link will likely get them the information they want and need.

Duane Forrester (@duaneforrester) – Similar to Mike Blumenthal, you will never understand Microsoft Bing’s algorithm unless you follow Duane; recognize that Microsoft is incorporating more and more social into their results in order to make them more relevant to their users–after all, you are way more likely to follow suggestions from friends and family.

Stephen Fairley (@stephenfairley) – Your people run your systems; your systems run your law firm–get systems in place, teach people how to use them and let the systems run the show.

Mark Britton (@Mark_Britton) (closing remarks) – there are 20 cool products / apps / tools you should be aware of; maybe someone (or I) will list them for you.

You can check out my blog for a more detailed discussion of each speaker’s presentation: http://www.socialmediaesq.com

And there you have it: the 2012 Avvocating Conference in (essentially) a bunch of one-liners.

About the author: Tyson B. Snow is a founding partner at Mumford Rawson LLC in Salt Lake City. His practice focuses on management-side employment litigation and all facets of tech-related and IP litigation. He regularly presents and writes on the interplay of social media and the law and authors the Social Media, Esq.™ blog. You can follow him on Twitter at: @tysonESQ.