Discover more from Off The Record
A few thoughts
The latest on what I've been thinking about, including social media, community, and legal tech
Before I go back to talking about unicorn jobs and invaluable skills I wanted to give you a ll a quick update on a few things I’ve been doing (like visiting LinkedIn—see FN2) and thinking about.
If you’re not a subscriber you’re missing out. Seriously.
My first official sponsored post!
Last week I posted my first ever “paid partnership” Tik Tok. It’s for a book called Servants of the Damned by David Enrich, and HarperCollins reached out to me to help promote the release. It was such an interesting experience, not only because I was paid to create content, but also because I got to experience the process of negotiating an influencer contract! I actually hosted an Ironclad webinar on this topic earlier this year, and learned a lot about the process then—in fact, right before hosting, I did a sponsored post as well, although I only received three pairs of free shoes from the brand as opposed to getting paid a fee.
This time around was all legit though. The HC legal team was super cool, in fact one of them recognized me from my Tik Toks and asked me if it felt meta to be negotiating my own contract (it did). Anyways it’s up, and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out—especially from the early comments to the post.
Understanding the real world impact of social media.
This has been a broad theme this year, and has led me to attend more in-person conferences and meetups than I expected to. In July I attended the South Asian Bar Association conference in SF, which led me to realize that I had to attend NAPABA. So I am! (Btw if you’re going to be there in November, shoot me an email!) As it turns out a bunch of my old law school friends are going too, so it should be a lot of fun. This morning I also learned that my friend Cece Xie will be a panelist there, so I’m definitely excited!
Relatedly I’ve spent a lot of time in the past few months thinking about how social media platforms are different, especially for lawyers. I wrote an Above The Law piece about it over the weekend. The idea came from the fact that as I’ve been meeting more of my online friends (and “fans” which is still weird for me to say) it does seem like most know me from LinkedIn.There are also a lot who know me from Instagram, but I’ve met very few from Twitter or Tik Tok.
Also, I’m trying something completely new tomorrow (9/20). I’ll be taking over Ironclad’s Twitter account. I’ve had a lot of success posting content on social under my own name, let’s see if I can do the same for a corporate account. Support me by following Ironclad on Twitter!
Community and content marketing gains even more acceptance in legal.
In recent months I really have felt an increase in interest among b2b / legal tech companies investing in community and social media content. A few examples off the top of my head from the past year:
LawTrades hired Matt Margolis to be head of community
Legal.io hired Jacqueline Rudolph to be head of community
Priori has an open job posting for director of community
Logikcull hired Kate Bridal as a content creator
Persuit promoted Cynthia Lareine to director of community
Clearbrief hired Maryam Salehijam to lead business development & community
Other contract management companies that shall remain nameless (since they compete with Ironclad) are launching communities and hiring evangelists
Plus off the record, I know there are several others who are starting to dip their toe in the community / social media waters. It seems to be recognition that a lot of business takes place on social, and it’s become a great channel to get in front of lawyers. Legal seems to rely on word of mouth more than other verticals, which means it may be more “ripe” for community efforts. It’s already taking place in other industries, perhaps because VCs have already started to spread the word—last week I recorded a podcast episode with Blake Bartlett at OpenView to discuss community and social media.
Make no mistake, the word is out.
What’s coming in legal technology / innovation:
Just a general observation but it does seem like there’s a lot of consolidation in 2022 among the smaller legal tech players who sell to large law firms. It kind of makes sense—with the funding environment drying up, startups are unable to afford to wait out the long sales cycles of selling to Biglaw. Larger companies like Thomson Reuters, Lexis, or Litera have established distribution to Biglaw, and can take this opportunity to acquire smaller players at lower valuations.
On the corporate legal department side, the contracts tech space continues to be a knifefight. Ironclad just rolled out a big AI announcement, that directly addresses a key pain point in the market that some of our competitors have been playing up. It does seem like all of the major players in contracts tech are well funded, and perhaps raised earlier this year right before the downturn. So expect the fierce competition to continue. Which is good news for buyers. But only if they choose Ironclad.
That’s all I’ve got for this week. By the way, let me know if you like this type of content and I’ll be sure to work it into the cadence. And if you’re not already a member of my newsletter, smash that subscribe button!
Incidentally, the brand did not want to give me a contract. I tried to pitch them on compensating me with a CLM demo for Ironclad, but then they ghosted me after. I wonder if asking for a meeting with their General Counsel spooked them and they were worried they’d get in trouble for working with micro influencers without contracts.
LinkedIn really has become a hugely strategic part of my platform. I’ve been posting for over six years now. Last week I spent some time at their headquarters meeting with my creator manager, talking about what LinkedIn’s priorities are for their creators and content on the platform. I’ve applied to their creator accelerator program and hope I get selected.
I believe there are inherent differences in the people who populate the different platforms and how they use it. Tik Tok users are younger, and really just want to be entertained on their phones. LinkedIn users, on the other hand, are older, more professional, and want to get out into the world and learn and connect with one another. In my mind, LinkedIn is where you want to go if you’re rich, Twitter if you want to seem smart, Instagram if you want people to envy your life, and Tik Tok if you wanna be cool.