Episode 20

You’re listening to SmartTalk with Victor and Mark; SmartTalk is hosted by Victor Medina estate planning, elder law and private client attorney in New Jersey and Mark Merenda CEO of Smart Marketing a marketing and coaching firm for law firms, Attorneys and financial professionals.

SmartTalk is a podcast for solo practitioners and small firm attorney’s looking to improve their practice.

You’re listening to SmartTalk Episode 20 the languages of the workplace and the value of putting in the effort

Victor: Welcome back to another edition of SmartTalk with Victor and Mark I’m Victor Medina I’m joined by Mark Merenda, how you doing Mark?
Mark: I’m doing great Victor, how you doing buddy?
Victor: I’m doing fine, we have no special guests this week its just you and me
Mark: no special guests and no special topics, we’re winging it
Victor: it’s been a little break since we put one out we’ve got a lot to talk about it would just be unfair to any guest we might bring on
Mark: that’s right, we never let them talk anyways
Victor: all right, new year, 2012, we are ready to launch, we’re ready to go
Mark: we’re ready we’re rolling
Victor: give us our first topic
Mark: you want to talk about that book that we both read recently or are reading about The Five Languages of Workplace Appreciation? I thought calling the author and seeing if he wanted to come in as a guest, but realized we weren’t going to let him talk anyways so we might as well talk about the book
Victor: for purposes of our audience here, they can pretend that he’s on
Mark: that’s right
Victor: it’s the same experience
Mark: it will work better anyway
Victor: explain a little bit about the book; give us some background
Mark: okay, these two authors came out with a book five or six years ago and it was pretty interesting and it got a lot of attention; it was called Five love Languages or the Five Languages of Love
Victor: The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace
Mark: wait a minute, first it was
Victor: I’m sorry
Mark: first they came out with the Five Love Languages
Victor: I’m sorry, I’m correcting you and I’m wrong!
Mark: I really wish you wouldn’t talk on this podcast; if it could just be me for the whole thirty minutes or whatever its going to be, it would be so much better
Victor: all right, I’m sorry I’m sorry I’ll be quiet now; the Five Love Languages
Mark: all right, so the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and Paul White and what they said I thought was really, really interesting which is; they said that people have a preferred way that they wish to be shown that they are loved. They were words, gifts, acts of service, touch and one other which I will find here on the Internet or if I can remember what the heck it was; it was interesting to me in the sense that in relationships you see sort of comic misunderstandings between husbands and wives all the time, amongst the people you know, friends, maybe its on a TV show or something like that where you see somebody, lets say it’s the wife who says to her husband ‘ you never tell me that you love me’ and the husband says ‘ya but look I did the dishes last night, wasn’t that showing you that I love you?’ kind of thing. The point is that if you’re not speaking in the language, the preferred language of the person that you’re talking to, your message, your demonstration isn’t going to be very effective; the opposite of what I just said would be somebody who says ‘honey I love you’ and the response is ‘ya you say that but then you don’t do anything; you don’t do the dishes, you don’t show me through these acts of service that you love me.’ and so if you’re talking to these people in a language that’s not theirs, its not going to be very effective. Words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. The one I left out before was quality time.
Victor: understandable
Mark: I don’t have time, I don’t have time, sorry I don’t have time! So then they took this book and moved it into the workplace in terms of The Five Languages of appreciation in the workplace
Victor: which I think was brilliant by the way
Mark: yes
Victor: because no one wants to invest in the five languages of love, they’re not buying it but if you tell them it’s a workplace book it will sell like hotcakes.
Mark: yes, business books you can sell like crazy, self help books, I don’t know, I don’t know whether they sell or not. I found that in my reading for business purposes its applied to relationships and my reading about relationships has applied to business a perfect example of that is one we use in our coaching program Victor, ‘Between Parent and Child’ by Dr. Haim G. Ginott which is one of the best books I ever read on communication; its written between parents and children but it applies equally between married couples in the workplace or what ever, its really about listening and validation and so on and I think it has broad, broad implications in all of those arenas. That’s what they did here, they took five of those love languages and transferred it into the workplace and obviously if you have employees for example, you’ve got some that really value praise, words of affirmation. Others would appreciate it if you took them out to lunch and spent quality time with them, focused on them. Others would value receiving a gift, others who would value an act of service, something that you did for them. Others that value physical touch; now obviously, just to state the obvious, you have to be careful with that one;
Victor: you’re not speaking from experience are you?
Mark: unwanted physical touch in the workplace might generate lawsuits so you have to be careful with that one; but there is certainly nothing wrong with walking beside somebody in addition to words of praise touching them on the shoulder or something like that there are people for whom that means a lot
Victor: and I think it is also important to understand that as long as you realize that touch is how they feel appreciation, that you could be banging your head against the wall giving them an Itunes card or something like that
Mark: yes, in reading the book, they ask you to take a test, an assessment, and I’ll give people the address on the web where they can take that assessment test, but if you haven’t taken the test they also give you some clues as to how to tell who’s who and what they value. One of the questions they ask for example ‘ do you have somebody in your workplace that always gives little gifts to people and I immediately though of my own employees and yes, there’s somebody here that is always making things like Christmas tree ornaments to give to somebody else, or a bookmark or some craftsy thing that they made themselves but they give out and I thought ah-ha, that person values gift giving as a way of being appreciated. I’m still in the early stages here but I’m finding it very useful in order to figure out how to reward my employees how to communicate with them in their preferred language.
Victor: Well, this is interesting because it refers back to a couple of topics that we’ve hit upon; we had Molly and Laney on talking about their book ‘Don’t Be A Yes Chic!’ its sort of how to get employees motivated or how to understand how employees might work better in a team setting. So we trying tailor the job and the responsibilities and the growth of the practice to the team that you have in place. And in the past, I think that we’ve discussed Daniel Pink’s work in the area of motivation;
Mark: Drive, his book is called Drive
Victor: yes and I think we’ve also referenced a great YouTube clip in which he just takes about ten minutes of his thoughts and they kind of white board that and its under the RSA animate if you do a search, if you do RSA animate Daniel Pink you’ll find it, but again, the whole idea that for some people either at different levels of what they’re getting paid or the type of work that they do the motivation isn’t simply about money and again I wonder if you might be able to tailor or dove tail all these things together where you have a job in which autonomy according to Pink would be something more rewarding then money and the n you understand in addition to that they like to feel appreciation in the way of words of affirmation and then you might do a great job of getting a team on board and keeping them motivated and keeping them productive.
Mark: Right, right, so there are people who if you raised them form fifty thousand dollars a year to fifty five thousand it wouldn’t make that much difference to them but if you told them ‘hey you can make your own hours from now on’ that would be huge; they value autonomy, they value being able to make their own decision. If you want to take what they call the MBA inventory, which stands for motivating by appreciation, it’s essentially a test, on online test in order to figure out what your language of appreciation is you can go to www.mbainventory.com and take the test and you’ll know what your particular language is and if you have employees you can have them take the test and figure out what their preferred language of appreciation is.
Victor: Let me ask you a question Mark because you’ve certainly employed more people then I have, you’ve employed a lot of people in running Smart Marketing over the years; how do you reconcile you sort of being at the top and having things that you need done and ways that you like to work and things that you think are important in getting the job that you have to do done, with having to tailor each message to a specific employee how do you reconcile those two things?
Mark: that’s a good question and if you’re a sports fan the way you and I both are Victor I know, and that some of our listeners might be, then if you look at the job of say a baseball manager, you know you’ve got some players that you have to build a fire under they don’t seem as motivated as hard driving and this and that and then you got other players that you have to reign them in cause they’re wild, they’re crazy, they’re over aggressive and then you have others that you have to leave alone, they know what to do and they’re going to do it and you have to shut up and stay out of their way. I think it requires some keen physiological insight and it needs a willingness to adjust your management style but you’d be surprised, or at least I’ve been surprised over the years how effective you can be if you stay out of people’s way and let them do what they do. I saw this great quote from Woody Allen it was in USA Today, I was traveling, and I don’t usually read USA Today, but in some of these hotels, they put it under your door and there was this article about Woody Allen on the front page of the entertainment section talking about his movie Midnight In Paris and talking about his career in general. At the same time, coincidentally I saw this show on PBS, American Masters it’s a series, it was a two hour documentary about Woody Allen and I thought it was just terrific, I really admire the guy and he’s talking about the secret to his success, and in his usual way he said something that’s very true and very funny at the same time and that is he said ‘It’s really very simple the secret to my success; hire a bunch of talented people and let them do what they do try not to interfere too much and when its great success, I claim credit.’ And in some ways, that’s the way I feel about what I do; I hire terrific graphic designer, terrific writers, terrific website builders and terrific event planners and stuff like that and I let them do what they do and I try not to screw it up and in the end I claim credit. As a matter of fact, I think that’s what I’ve done with my son basically since he was born; I get up every morning and try not to screw him up and basically when he turned out well, I claimed credit. A lot of bosses get in trouble by interfering too much and when I watch baseball managers do what they do, I imagine you don’t need to build a fire under Dustin Pedroia to pick one of our favorite players
Victor: Sure
Mark: if anything you might need to rein him in every now and then. I don’t think you have one management style and it applies to every employee because it just doesn’t. I saw another great quote that I loved, the opposite style of management. It was a quote from a French film director who said ‘I define a team effort as a whole bunch of people doing exactly what I tell them’
Victor: Well that’s how a lot of lawyers approach management of their firm; they hire people and they see it as their job to issue orders and see that those directives seen through
Mark: I think they’re depriving themselves of a lot of talent; if they hire smart people and you have to over direct them, then you’re depriving yourself of what they can bring to the table. When I was a novice at this whole marketing thing, I would hire a graphic designer to basically execute my design. I’d stand behind the designer and say ‘ok, I want the headline here, and lets have a picture of so and so here, and here’s where you can put the tags and everything, and I need it this size.’ I was basically hiring a robot arm with a pen in it.
Victor: Right
Mark: until I realized I was depriving myself of their talent; now what I say to them is ‘here’s the job, here’s what its supposed to do, now knock my socks off show me how great you are.’
Victor: Right
Mark: that sure works a lot better.
Victor: You’re happier with the result the clients happier?
Mark: Yes because I’m a crappy graphic designer
Victor: You’re a sharp dresser but a
Mark: yes, I just didn’t know it; it doesn’t mean I’m a bad person
Victor: I think that’s important too, I found that a few things happen when I start to bring people on board; in addition to finding talented people and letting them do what they do, I get the opportunity I think, to see whether people are in fact talented
Mark: right
Victor: and I think I pick up rather quickly is worth somebody investing your time in order to get them better because the line between those who are talented and those who are not you get a little more in tune with it when you start to release over some responsibility and autonomy and the ability to let them direct their own way
Mark: well, I guess it depends too on your definition of the word talent; I think in a lot of businesses there are jobs that don’t require talent. I guess I would define talent as some god given or humanly developed gift in some area of enterprise. In some jobs, if you have somebody that’s hyper organized and efficient and reliable and all of those good qualities, that’s fine in a typical admin job, that’s fine. Now you could day that’s that person’s unique ability, and I’m splitting semantic hairs here; talent to me is, since we’re talking about graphic designers or we can talk about baseball players again, its kind of like, you can have all the great qualities, you can work hard, you can practice hard, you can be a character guy, you show up on time and you have all of those great qualities, but if you can’t hit the ball, you can’t hit the ball. If you don’t have that hand eye coordination you can’t hit the ball. When it come to the position of a graphic designer or something like that, you can have all of those wonderful work qualities, those character qualities that we desire and if you don’t have the talent, you don’t have the talent; that’s all there is too it. I’m sure all of our listeners Victor, know that you sing in an acapella singing group
Victor: if they didn’t know before they certainly know now
Mark: now they know, and I’ve seen you sing and I know you’re terrific at it and you know what? I can practice eight hours a day for the rest of my life and you’re not going to let me anywhere near your singing group
Victor: no
Mark: no, cause I can’t sing, I don’t have that talent
Victor: right, I’ve seen you try to sing,
Mark: it’s not pretty I think you have to distinguish between those kinds of positions where a specific and special talent is required as opposed to just a good work ethic and good organization and all of those kinds of things.
Victor: Lets go back to the book and sort of how to apply that in a practice; are there any checks for this? How do you know when you’ve correctly diagnosed or picked out?
Mark: I, think the only way, and that’s not even a hundred percent sure is to have them take that test, the NBA assessment test at that website that I mentioned before; other then that I think once, its one of those things that’s right I front of you but until you become acquainted with the concept, you joust never noticed before. There are people who, when you tell them what a good job they did, you can see them just perk right up and they’re totally motivated, and for the rest of the day you can see that they’re walking on air and they’re working twice as hard and all that kind of stuff and it didn’t occur to you before that was anything out of the ordinary and that you should make note of or anything like that. Probably the same thing goes for the other languages of appreciation they’re probably right in front of you being displayed everyday but because you haven’t been told the concept, you don’t really take note of it and therefore you don’t use it.
Victor: I think that’s probably a fair way of looking at it; do you there’s any value in actually looking for and surrounding yourself with people that have a particular way of appreciation? In other words, that can show for it? I think there are a lot’s of people here that would like to reduce the number of staff members that feel appreciation by gifts, something that costs them more money versus something that costs them less money. Do you see the value in that Mark?
Mark: yes, I think that’s a great question and I would think that there would be some value in it but I would think that you have to find what is your typical way, you have to take the NBM assessment for yourself
Victor: why do you think that’s important?
Mark: well, because if I’m the kind of guy that likes to manage by walking around telling people how great they are and what a great job they’re doing if that s my natural style if I do that because its my natural style, but if I’ve hired a bunch of people that think that a lot of hot air, words, words, words, where’s my gift, where’s my at of service or quality time? That’s not going to work out very well, so I think that there probably is some value to it. I don’t think that this is be all, end all, this is the new management technique, but I think it’s a good thing to take note of.
Victor: I was just about to say, geez Mark, you’re making hiring a four-month endeavor; you’ve got to give them a Colby test, and then there’s other personality profiles, you’ve got to figure out their appreciation, some of these people just want to practice law and build a nice little practice. How important is that?
Mark: You know how important I think hiring is; maybe in a previous podcast we talked about the interview that I saw on CNBC with Jack Welsh, the former head of General Electric who was being questioned on his various strategies and why he was so successful and he interrupted the interviewer at one point and said ‘look, let me make this simple for you; you hire the best people and you win’
Victor: That’s it?
Mark: That’s it; and I just think that it’s so crucially important. Let’s say that you have four employees and let’s say that you have one that is not so great in your office; what that means proportionally is that twenty five percent of your workforce is less than good, less than great. You can’t afford that
Victor: right, you need A plus people in every role at that level because its such a high percentage of what you do.
Mark: That’s right, if you have a hundred people and one of them is not a stellar performer, then ok, that’s one percent its no big deal but if you have a small office as many of our listeners do, you can’t afford to have anything less then a great employee. I’ve been both lucky and good in the sense that I’ve gotten a lot of great employee’s to work here and to stay here and I get wonderful compliments all the time on the quality of the staff the service, the service that they give, its not that we’re perfect or never make a mistake or anything like that, but we’re always trying to do the best that we can do here in terms of client services and the clients notice it and that means a lot. I got an email yesterday or the day before and I won’t read you all of the wonderful things that he said but
Victor: your not making this up right? This is an actual email? You didn’t make this up it wasn’t signed by MM right?
Mark: No, no, from the start etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, ‘The folks at Smart Marketing are incredibly responsive and able; without exception, I have been impressed with the people I have interacted with at the company.’ That was music to my ears; that is not unusual at all I had a conversation with a client yesterday who said ‘oh my god, last week we needed an ad suddenly in two days it was Thursday and we needed it by Friday night and your people just did it; no fussing, no complaining and it was great they just did it like that’ I love hearing stuff like that. If you’ve got a small business, a law firm or whatever, then that’s what you want to strive for and you’re only going to get that if you hire great people.
Victor: this has devolved into a discussion about hiring in general the book has sort of served as a launching point for that. You and I shared an article recently the hiring practices of a particular company; their process went for a very long time. They had an evaluation after they made a new hire that was four months or so and they really stayed after that. Do you remember the details of that article?
Mark: Yes I do; I thought it was really good. Their idea was that the initial hire was going to be on a contract. The applicant was told ‘we’re gong to offer you a contract for four months to see how this goes and then we’ll make a decision about permanent employment’ and I thought that was great in the sense that really gives you a chance to see how that’s going to work out. And another thing is that they said that I thought was really interesting was ‘forget about the resume its all about the passion.’ They wanted to see in the applicants the passion for the job. I really want this job, I really want to do this, it would be so exciting blah, blah, blah.
Victor: and I think there was another interesting lesson that came out of that if you read between the lines, I’m not sure that it was there directly; it was about the employer, it spoken to the employer which was you’ve got to be willing to invest the time to make great hires; invest the time in which you may not get great results and have to switch direction or let somebody go and bring somebody else on.
Mark: Yes
Victor: That situation was preferable to just putting somebody that wasn’t an A plus person in that role..
Mark: right, from the point of view of the employer its tough because you’ve go this opening and you need it filled.
Victor: absolutely
Mark: So your inclination is to fill it with the first acceptable person who can do the job.
Victor: You’ve been preaching to us for as long as we’ve had this podcast about bringing staff on and leveraging and keeping to yourself the things that are your unique abilities, we should be filling these roles we need somebody here, why are we mailing stuff out?
Mark: Right, we need somebody and we need somebody now.
Victor: right
Mark: and that would incline is to rush and pick somebody who is simply adequate and I think that is a mistake, because in this economy particularly, jobs are incredibly valuable, jobs in a good firm and with a swell guy like you Victor, that ought to be something very, very valuable. So you ought to be able to insist upon somebody who’s terrific not somebody who’s good enough.
Victor: Yes, I think that’s right; I think that’s right but I think it’s important also to have invested in the types of systems that not only have the training portion of it easier to do but also the implementation of it. You could get the passionate person but if you’ve done your work in terms of how they’re supposed to do their work, then it becomes a little bit easier less burdensome for you go ahead and bring them on, try them out, invest some time and move on to somebody else.
Mark: Yes, obviously, we could do three shows on the hiring, training thing and maybe we will at some point, questions are prompted like ‘how do you find great people that you need?’ that kind of thing.
Victor: That’s a whole other podcast
Mark: right, that would be another podcast I think
Victor: let me go back to the book; do you think there are any issues in which you are starting to treat people appropriately in terms of how they want to hear appreciation or receive appreciation, be appreciated and that sometimes results in disprite treatment, somebody who’s getting an ‘atta boy’ or ‘atta girl’ or a pat on the back and somebody else is getting the Itunes card. Does that result in more problems if you’ve got a staff like that?
Mark: I think the potential is there for the problem; so and so got a raise and so and so got an Ipad. But I suppose that if this book is accurate and you do it right then each one feels good cause each one got it in the language that they wanted it.
Victor: I’ll tell you one thing that can be controlled just for the fact that you accurately pegged them is then you’re meeting their needs and their not as likely to complain
Mark: yes, that’s my thought
Victor: it can get expensive; those Ipad’s aren’t cheap
Mark: yes, if you give somebody a gift and its something they didn’t want and you see that they’ve given it away to somebody else, maybe you didn’t do such a good job.
Victor: they re-gifted your gift
Mark: they re-gifted yes; I think in short that’s an interesting book, a book worth reading if you’re a business owner and if you have employees and I also think that the original book ‘The Five Languages of Love’ is really worth reading too. If you ever heard your spouse say ‘how come you never say you love me?’ or something like that
Victor: or if you don’t have a spouse and the last thing some said on the way out the door
Mark: Yes, exactly and maybe you might learn a little bit about how to communicate in that context as well. So I think its well worth the purchase; The Five Languages of Appreciation In The Workplace and you can grab that on Amazon or in Barnes and Nobles or whatever your favorite bookstore or bookseller is. I would definitely recommend that and its led to an interesting discussion today.
Victor: Yes that’s great; I’m going to switch gears a little bit, a little shorter topic, just kind of round this out. Two or three days ago, I sent out a tweet that basically saying; I have a book in March; I have a dozen appointments coming in and I got them all through using Pinterest. I can’t even pronounce it, which so happens to be the latest social media fad that was on there
Mark: the flavor of the month is Pinterest ladies and gentlemen
Victor: and I will tell you that it was amusing to me because I did it completely in jest, just as a funny kind of thing, I can’t tell you how many people reached back out to me saying ‘how did you do it? I want the details’
Mark: That was an amazing string on Facebook, a thread that you started with that comment, you booked all these appointments in March and it was all due to Pinterest and I couldn’t resist of course, chiming in as part of that and claiming credit that I had advised you to put all of your marketing resources in Pinterest but people just went crazy
Victor: that latched right on
Mark: some got the joke and laughed
Victor: and there was a host of others that simply didn’t, that simple took it as serious
Mark: they thought you were serious and wanted to know your secrets
Victor: I even had a friend of mine from high school reach out to me on Facebook writing a business of a completely different industry and wanting the secrets and it kind of gave me a moment to pause because on the one hand, I was really kind of callous in thinking ‘come on you people, this is really pathetic give me a break’ but when my friend reached out and sent me her email, I could see and sense a real sense of desperation and a desperation that comes out of two different things; the first thing is a feeling of ignorance, a feeling as though I really need to make this happen and I don’t know how to do it anyone who suggest who might know I really want to talk to them that was really related to my friend and her question and the other thing that came out of it from lawyers that reached back out and some of them still hammering me for the answer I had to
Mark: I just took a look back at the thread on Facebook there are eighteen comments
Victor: I had retract and say I was kidding but what I got out of that is that the idea of some people are so eager to be successful quickly that anyone who is offering a magic pill they want to latch on to and if I’m representing that its quick and easy and doesn’t require much effort on their part and they want a piece of that and that’s just not the case right?
Mark: its astonishing to me and I get requests all the time for the magic marketing pill; come and tell me the one thing, the secret that they don’t want you to know that is going to transform my business into a million dollar business and won’t require any money or any effort on my part
Victor: money and effort? They’re really reaching for the stars aren’t they?
Mark: it is laughable and it is also for me in terms of me when I’m talking to prospective clients as a sales technique, it’s not a really great technique for me to be telling people that there isn’t a magic sales bullet here’s what you have to do and you have to do it consistently and I’m sorry but the express elevator to the top floor is broken and you have to take the stairs one at a time.
Victor: Like everyone else
Mark: like everyone else who wants to hear that? I compare when I’m talking about search engine optimization and people who want a magic trick to get to number one on the organic Google search results; I tell them that search engine optimization and search engine rankings are a lot like weight loss; that is that everyone knows what works. What works is that you eat better stuff then you’ve been eating, you eat less of it and you move. You exercise and you move your body and you do these things consistently over a period of time, say six months to a year and you will absolutely get the results, they’re guaranteed. But nobody wants to hear that; they say if I buy this machine for two thousand dollars that I saw on late night TV or if I take this diet supplement that says I’ll lose thirty pounds in thirty days that’s going to do the trick. Everybody wants the magic bullet, the silver bullet and it doesn’t exist. You become convinced that they know it doesn’t exist but they still want it.
Victor: right
Mark: I think it applies to marketing and I think it applies to so many other things in life where what really works is consistency over time but people really don’t want to hear that they want the magic bullet.
Victor: Let me if I can also bring it home for some of the listeners in this way which is; there are a lot of people that come in that are prospective clients with a problem they’re are looking for the magic pill and we’ve been trained to say ‘well there is no magic pill and in fact you’re not paying me for results, you’re paying me for an effort; my effort happens to be pretty good, I think we can do x, y, or z’ but the result is not what you’re there for and you can’t just buy a set of documents or just can’t buy access if that’s what they’re selling in criminal defense, but that’s not how this works and I think that most lawyers, if they think about it hard will realize that in fact the clients that understand that what they’re getting is not a magic pill are actually better clients. They’re better clients to have, they’re better clients work for, their expectations a little more realistic and so they would be much happier with a roster of folks like that then a roster of people they’re trying to be themselves which is looking for some sort of magic solution on the other end.
Mark: Right
Victor: the same principals apply
Mark: of course that desire that they have sets them up to be the worlds biggest sucker; you get the emails, I get the emails that says I can get you in the number one position on Google in two weeks
Victor: oooh, I’m tingling
Mark: now you’re talking
Victor: can you do it on a monthly payment?
Mark: anybody who know anything about this type of marketing, search engine rankings, the first question would be; you can get me to number one for what search term? If you can get me to number one for Victor J Medina, that’s maybe not such a great accomplishment
Victor: in Pennington New Jersey, I’m there already
Mark: You’re there already; but if you can get me to number one in estate planning, New Jersey, that’s much better. There’s in my case for example, I have seventy-five key word search terms. I have to have search terms for attorney marketing, lawyer marketing, law firm marketing, for attorney advertising, for attorney brochures, for attorney seminars and all the variations. I have to sit there and think of what somebody might type in and try to maximize for that. There is no magic bullet
Victor: and you’ve been at it for fifteen years, since the virtual invention of the Internet
Mark: if there was ever a circumstance where the time honored advice of ‘if it sounds too good to be true; it is’ applied, it’s here.
Victor: And the service of which you put up their pictures and things that you’re interested in – c’mon, c’mon, I didn’t get any clients
Mark: with the new social media, my attitude is I’ve got to go in all of them till its proved to me that they’re not effective at all. I’m not a not able to predict what newest thing on the Internet is a stupid fad and what’s the next big thing.
Victor: Okay
Mark: When I first went on to YouTube, ninety percent of it was short videos made by college kids in their dorm rooms
Victor: yes, skateboarding
Mark: or singing the lion sleeps tonight, making funny faces, just sophomoric, literally very sophomoric stuff. I sort of ignored it and turned around a year later and said ‘oh my god! This things huge’ to the point where the Pune International Report came out about six months ago and said that the number one activity on the Internet is watching videos.
Victor: Okay
Mark: Who knew? I didn’t know
Victor: right
Mark: how many people have you heard say, and I speak at legal conferences all the time,
Victor: Twitter
Mark: Twitter, I don’t get it, my thirteen-year-old kid does it all the time, people tweeting about what they had for breakfast, why would anyone pay attention to this? When it first comes out, you just don’t get it. To me, you just have to give it a chance and I guess that’s the way I feel about Pinterest that is, I’m going to give it a chance.
Victor: Yes, but even if you give it a chance, it is going to require time and effort
Mark: oh yes, you have to put something into it
Victor: and strategy;
Mark: you have to pin something that’s worth looking at, it might be shared, but if we take social media as a whole Victor, and when I get this kind of resistance and I get it all the time especially from middle aged white male’s who don’t get a whole lot of it.
Victor: I hate those guys
Mark: yea, me too especially those with gray hair or are losing their hair or something its such a cliché anyway, I asked them have you always heard is the single most important form of advertising? and most of the time they will correctly answer ‘word of mouth’ and I tell them ‘look all this social media stuff is word of mouth in cyberspace; it the same thing. its people telling their friends and neighbors and family ‘don’t go see this movie, I saw it and it stinks’ or ‘I went to this great restaurant the other night, try it’ so that’s incredibly powerful, its been acknowledged for ever as the single most powerful thing
Victor: and yet all of the same principals apply which is it takes time to develop the kind if credibility to receive the word of mouth
Mark: and effort
Victor: sure
Mark: you have to put some thought and effort into it. I thin I told you but I didn’t ell our listeners and I think this could be potentially a place to wrap this segment if you want too, its about the guy who called me and wanted some marketing advice but didn’t have any money. I said to him ‘well if you don’t have any money’ I said ‘Einstein famously said that time is money well in marketing it’s time or money.’ So that means that if you don’t have any money then you have to put in the time. If you want to do something that has no ancillary cost, no cost like printing or renting a room, or anything like that, then I think the single most effective thing you can do is blog; there’s no printing cost, there’s no advertising cost or anything like that. You start a blog you put in some time to put in some valuable content in that blog; and he said ‘ well yeah but that’s going to all the time and effort and I’m going to have to spend an hour everyday and really don’t want to do that.’ And I said ‘okay, let me get this straight, you want to do marketing but you don’t want to spend any money on it, and you don’t want to expend any time or effort on it but you want great results is that right?’ ‘Yea yea, that’s what I want’
Victor: that’s perfect
Mark: that’s great, I said me too!
Victor: I’m still trying to develop the business where they just send me checks
Mark: yea
Victor: I just want to send here and open envelops full of money
Mark: and they don’t want any services for that
Victor: yea its like I don’t want to produce anything for it I was wondering Mark and we’ll wrap up after this, how often do you think our listeners would guess that we actually talk? Because I got to tell you the number of times we’ve referenced the fact that we’ve discussed something off the air or before a podcast would probably make them think we live next door in some sitcom type of situation we’re looking over the fence
Mark: that’s one of the great things isn’t it about technology is that you can be in touch with your friends and not have them live next door to you and not have to visit or pick up the phone or whatever. You and I communicate mostly via instant message and probably six to twelve times a day?
Victor: yea, I would say, I thought you would have gone with hours, I would have gone with six to twelve hours a day; we’re really doing a service for the audience because if we gave you everything that we talked about –
Mark: they should really send us checks what’s your hourly rate?
Victor: oh man, do you know how much I wasted on this podcast? I could have been making money, real money
Mark: it’s your hourly rate they should send us money
Victor: some money, something
Mark: a little something
Victor: I’ll put it up on Pinterest they can buy it on that
Mark: all right, good move
Victor: all right, so we’ll wrap up with that; this has been another edition of SmartTalk with Victor and Mark Thank You for joining us and we’ll catch you on the next episode.

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