The Undeniable Tour – The Recap

I asked all the social media movers and shakers that I met during The Undeniable Tour to sign the arrow

I asked all the social media movers and shakers that I met during The Undeniable Tour to sign the arrow

I’ve been home for a few days and I’ve had a little bit of time to reflect on the whirlwind trip that was The Undeniable Tour: 15 days, 2 airplane rides, 1932 miles of driving in the rental car (courtesy of my concierge sponsor Web3Mavens), 6 hostels, 5 speaking engagements, 4 official sponsors, a handful of other freebies, and a whole lot of awesome! Thank you to everyone who supported this crazy adventure, especially the schools and organizations who invited me to speak, the people who attended my talks, and of course my sponsors without who this tour couldn’t have happened: Web3Mavens, Enchanting LawyerTotal Networks, and Attorney at Work.

I have gotten a handful of questions about The Undeniable Tour which I’m happy to answer.

Why did I create The Undeniable Tour?
I noticed there is a gap in education for lawyers when it comes to social media marketing. I get most of my information about the logging and proper ways to use social media from mainstream sources. A lot of people ask me how I’ve been able to leverage these tools to get clients and make a name for myself and I wanted to bring the lessons I have learned to broader audience.

Last year I read the book Creativity for Sale by Jason Surfrapp (now Jason Zook). By the time I finished it, my head was buzzing with ideas for future professional ventures, including The Undeniable Tour, so I ran with it.

Why did I choose to stay in hostels?
The Undeniable Tour was a shoestring operation made possible by getting sponsors and small speaking fees. Staying in hostels is much more economical than staying in hotels, and I discovered that I liked staying in hostels a lot better than budget-friendly hotels. I don’t mind sharing a room with7-23 other people or using communal bathrooms and I love being more connected with the adventurous traveler community. Plus Wi-Fi and breakfast are often included in the price.

Have I noticed an uptrend in non-traditional lawyers?
I won’t say there’s an uptrend in the number of nontraditional lawyers; however, I think more lawyers are interested in the hearing about how others are practicing law differently. I suspect more people are dissatisfied with billable hours and working 90 hours/week and they see that others are doing something different and are happy or as a result, and they want to know more.

Are law students driven to go solo?
That’s depends on who you ask. At one school I went to over half the audience was interested in going solo and at another school, almost no one was. I suspect many law students are interested yet frightened by the prospect of going solo right out of the gate. (I certainly was.) I hope hearing my story showed them that it’s possible to go solo early in your career and be successful – and that there are lots of resources available for a lawyer who opens their own firm so they never have to feel like they are going it alone.

What will I do differently next time?
Oh geez. Probably everything.

If I do another tour, I will probably try to make it shorter in terms of time, do more engagement with the local media in advance (print, blogs, vlogs, and podcasts), and try to schedule more speaking engagements (and maybe some CLEs for law firms) and a smaller area.

Planning this tour could have been a full-time job in and of itself. There is so much to do and coordinate. Hopefully having this tour be such a success will make it easier to plan similar activities in the future.

What advice do I have to anyone who thinking about organizing a similar event?
If you want to plan a speaking tour or get sponsors for your event, you have to be super organized and diligent about follow-up. A lot of my success from planning The Undeniable Tour came from follow up emails and phone calls. Additionally, you don’t have to necessarily re-invent the wheel – look to your network of contacts for suggestions and potential leads in terms of locations and sponsors.

If there is anything else that you want to know about The Undeniable Tour, feel free to leave it as a comment or shoot me an email.

Thank you to everyone who supported me during this crazy adventure. It took about 8 months to organize and execute this. A tremendous thank you to my sponsors: Web3Mavens, Enchanting LawyerTotal Networks, and Attorney at Work.

All Tour Sponsors

The Undeniable Tour Update – First Sponsors Announced

Redwood Dawn by Rob Shenk from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

I can’t wait to see these trees! Redwood Dawn by Rob Shenk from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

I have been working on The Undeniable Tour since July 2014, shortly after I finished reading Jason Zook’s book Creativity for Sale. It’s hard to believe that it’s happening in only a few weeks!

Total Networks LogoI’m happy to announce two of my “Fan” Level Sponsors for the Tour: Total Networks and Attorney at Work. I’ve known both of these companies for a long time and I’m so excited that they were among the first to jump on AAW Logoboard to support the tour. Total Networks provides IT services to businesses (including many Arizona law firms) and they are the “only business in Arizona to have achieved the CompTIA Security Trustmark, a respected industry accreditation certifying that the business meets or exceeds the best practices in critical areas such as data protection, personnel security, and access management.” Attorney at Work is a law practice management website that releases new content every weekday by leaders in the legal industry and they have awesome downloadable bonus material. I write a monthly column for them where they encourage me to rant way too much.

In other tour news, I’m building out my travel schedule. I booked all my lodging except for one night – there aren’t any hostels at the California/Oregon border and there aren’t that many people on so I may actually have to by a hotel room for one night of this adventure. I finally booked my rental car and I was shocked that the fees were twice as much as the rental itself. Why did they do that? I hope some of the fees are for optional bells and whistles that I can decline. There are quite a few legal and social media movers and shakers on the west coast that I want to see so I’m trying to get as many of them on my calendar as I can and fill the remaining time with random fun adventures and seeing my friends. It’s going to be a busy trip. (I’m working on a post for The Undeniable Ruth comparing what it’s like to stay in a hostel versus a hotel – at least in my limited experience.)

I need to make a correction from last week’s blog post where I talked about the tour stop I will be doing via webinar for the Washington State Bar Association. We had a miscommunication about the date of my talk so I will not be doing it until the end of May. That got me thinking – I can only bring The Undeniable Tour talk to places in-person if somebody is footing the bill, but I can do a webinar from any place with and internet connection. So if you are interested in having The Undeniable Tour talk presented to your bar association or legal group via webinar once I’m back from my speaking tour, let me know. I won’t charge you as long as you don’t charge your members to attend.

If you’re interested in connecting with me while I’m traveling please follow me on Twitter. If you have any questions or comments about The Undeniable Tour, please shoot me an email.

The Undeniable Tour Update – Building my Schedule

Fort Point by Tom Hilton from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Fort Point by Tom Hilton from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

I’m starting to get really excited about The Undeniable Tour. I booked my flights and I’ve locked in five main speaking gigs, and talking with two groups about organizing two more. Now that I’ve locked in those speaking dates, I’m shifting my focus to what I want to do on the other days of the tour – I’m going to be on the road for two weeks total.

Because my brain works in a very systematic way, I’m building my calendar day by day starting with my first day in San Diego and the last day I will plan will be my last day in Seattle. This trip is giving me the incredible opportunity to reach out to so many people I admire and either want to meet again or meet in person for the first time. I have a short list of people I really really want to meet and I’m wondering how many times I have to tweeted them or message them before they respond – if only to tell me to shut up. And when it comes to this trip, I’m going big. I’m trying not to be so intimidated by anyone that it causes me to not attempt to contact them. As my friend Jason Zook says, “You don’t get what you don’t ask for.” (If you haven’t read his book Creativity for Sale, go buy it immediately. It was because of his book and his course on How To Get Sponsorship For Anything that I was inspired to do The Undeniable Tour.)

I’m getting close to solidifying my lodging for each night. When I said I was handpicking where I wanted to stay each night, I meant it and I only reached out to places where I really really wanted to stay. (What is with me and “really really” today?) I know a lot of these awesome hotels and B&Bs probably get a lot of solicitations like the ones I sent asking for a free or reduced fee night in exchange for giving them exposure. I know I get plenty of opportunities to speak and write for free and I generally turn most of them down because I just don’t have the time, so I’m not offended that a lot of the places have declined the opportunity to give me a free night as part of The Undeniable Tour. There are a few places that I like so much that I may pay full price and stay with them depending on my final budget, and for the other nights, I’m looking into more economical options like couchsurfing and hostels.

I’ve never couchsurfed with strangers before and I’ve never stayed in a hostel. I’m using my upcoming trip to San Francisco to experience hostel life for the first time. I’m really curious to see what it’s like to stay in a dorm room with strangers with the communal bathroom down the hall. It may be the closest I get to camping, and if I like it, I can absolutely see myself traveling more often and using hostels instead of hotels. When I go on an adventure, I don’t really care about where I sleep as long as it’s warm, dry, and safe. Why pay $100-200/night plus a fee for Wi-Fi when you can stay in a hostel for $25/night or couchsurf for free?