By: Kevin L. Nichols, Principal, KLN Consulting Group (June 15, 2011, pages 70-71, KNOW Magazine for Paralegals)
The landscape of generating new business for law firms has drastically changed over the last 2-3 years. Arguably, “the billable hour” is on life support and Alternative Fee Agreements (“AFA”) are revolutionizing the industry. Lawyers need to find new ways to develop business while teetering on the line of violating the self promotion and direct marketing rules governed by the American Bar Association (“ABA”). Thus, firms are turning to technology to solve this problem by allowing potential clients to find them via social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and other “tech” methods. Knoodle has an inexpensive tool that can help as well.
Knoodle is a “cloud based” (hosted) tool that allows novice users the ability to synchronize audio and/or video files with PowerPoint presentations in a dual-panel display in a matter of minutes. The presentation can be saved and viewed in a branded learning environment on the Knoodle platform simply by sharing a link to it or exported as a Portable Presentation (standard movie file) that can be viewed on mobile devices, emailed, embedded in a website or blog, or uploaded via social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube.
Many of Knoodle’s clients use the tool to create an online classroom/training learning environment, where users can add downloadable PDFs, documents or hyperlinks and chat live with the presenter and other participants. Moreover, it allows users to make comments and other annotations to the presentations. Some universities use Knoodle to teach online classes; however, the legal industry could benefit by taking its power a step further. Here’s how:
Utilizing MCLE Presentations for Business Development Purposes
Attorneys are regularly asked to give presentations on an array of topics for MCLE credits to non-profit organizations, professional organizations, clinics, corporate counsel, clients, and potential clients. Rarely do they use these presentations after they have been completed and seldom are they used for business development purposes or future training. What if law firms videotaped these presentations, synchronized the slides, and invited current and prospective clients to view them? What if they made them available for other lawyers in need of MCLE credit and were willing to download the presentation for a fee? If the presentations were embedded on the firm’s blog with appropriate SEO and potential clients looking for the best employment litigators specializing in the fur trade industry found the firm’s page because it was first on Google’s search results? LinkedIn recently announced that it reached 100 million users so one can imagine how many people can see one of your firm’s presentations by sharing the link to it within groups or via the firm’s status update. Capturing this information could be very useful in developing a brand for your firm without directly marketing it. Moreover, Knoodle provides law firms and vendors the opportunity to “pre-record” webinars to insure the quality of the content and spend more time focusing on the real-time online chat features of WebEx and GoToMeetings. Knoodle has an audio dubbing feature that you can record the presenter talking over each slide in a controlled environment and the presenter can avoid answering difficult questions that he/she may not otherwise be prepared to answer on the spot.
Firms can also use Knoodle for “sales pitches” when they are responding to a Request For Proposal (“RFP”) from a potential client. Inexpensive high definition cameras, such as Flip cameras, are easy to use and can produce good quality video. That, coupled with a charismatic presenter, can distinguish one firm from the rest. This would most likely be in concert with an in-person meeting.
Using Knoodle for New Hire and/or Internal MCLE Trainings
Firms can also save time and money by requiring new hires to attend prerecorded presentations prepared by your employment counsel. The classes can have an online exam at the end of the presentation and Knoodle can provide the test results and other analytics to confirm that the employee passed or failed. Further, Knoodle can be used to create libraries of MCLEs that attorneys can share with multiple offices and have tests to insure that the participants digested the material appropriately.
Knoodle’s pricing model is very cost-effective and offers competitive plans for high volume users. Most clients can expect to pay around $1 per viewing hour per month – for example, controlled learning environment of 10 viewers each watching an hour presentation would cost the firm $10 per month. One can easily imagine how revenue can be generated over the minimal costs of utilizing such a tool. Knoodle is a cost effective, user-friendly tool that anyone can use to create and maintain a brand, and the legal industry could benefit greatly by harnessing its power. For more information and to sign up for a free trial, please visit http://www.knoodle.com.
Kevin L. Nichols is the Principal of KLN Consulting Group located in San Francisco. For more information, please visit http://www.klnconsultinggroup.com.