Well, that’s all she wrote – Sponsor A Law Kid (SALK) is in the books! I was petrified when I initially announced this program. I didn’t know if it would be a success or if I would fall flat on my face. I never could have imagined how incredible this experience was. I wanted to share some final thoughts about SALK.
What Have I Learned From This Experience?
This experience taught me that sometimes your opposition becomes an asset. I don’t think I would have had so much support for this program if I didn’t get such negative backlash initially from the legal community. My supporters would have probably thought, “Cool idea,” and moved on, but because I was confronted with venomous negativity, they stood beside me and supported my idea and efforts. SALK taught me that innovation will always be met with opposition and the best thing to do is to let the haters hate and focus on the task at hand.
If I Could Go Back and Do It Again, What Would I Do Differently?
SALK went from a passing idea in my head to the initial announcement in about 72 hours. I didn’t fully commit to the idea until about 12 hours before the blog went up and I wrote that post was written in about 20 minutes. I wish I had had more time to completely flush out my ideas and proofread that initial post. It was written very much in my stream of consciousness. People who knew me completely understood what I was saying, but others who didn’t, took offense because they didn’t get it. If I could go back, I’d take a little more time before making the initial announcement to make sure that I conveying the message in a way that would be better received by my readers.
If I could do it again, I would have announced SALK about 2 months earlier too. It was hard work getting SALK going and soliciting sponsors in such a short period of time!
How Did I Find Sponsors?
I started out by posting the initial SALK blog and posted links to it on Twitter and Facebook. I also made a post about it on the Phoenix Professionals Group on LinkedIn. Then I made a list of all the products I use and the stores I patronize on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I use a lot of national brands and chain stores, so they usually ignored my requests for sponsorship.
I looked for ways to reach out to some of these businesses in person. For example, I had to get my oil changed in December. While I was waiting for Toyota to be done with my car, I spoke with a marketing person at the dealership and walked out with a check and 2 more sponsored days.
I also reached out to every business that advertises in local magazines that I occasionally read and I sent emails to every major news station in the Phoenix area to see if any of them would be interested in running a story about SALK. I was pleasantly surprised when ABC Channel 15 called back 10 minutes later asking if they could send a reporter to my house that afternoon.
What Was The Biggest Challenge?
The biggest challenge was creating quality content every day. After writing blogs for 23 consecutive days, I was grateful for a day off. Some days I wouldn’t get done with my school work until 9pm and I’d still have a blog to research and write before I went to bed. If I did not know the person or company well, it took longer because I wanted to be sure that I wrote a thoughtful and accurate blog.
How Much Money Did I Earn With SALK?
I earned over $3,200 by doing SALK. This includes the days that were sponsored and people who purposely overpaid the days they sponsored. The total also includes Bashas’ Grocery Stores. I asked them to sponsor a day, and they responded by offering a $1,000 scholarship.
Would I Do It Again?
Should Other Law Students Do This?
Absolutely! This was a great way to make a national name for myself in the legal community and to network with other professionals while offsetting the cost of my education. Besides the fact that I was more tired than I otherwise would have been, there was no downside to this program.
With SALK, I offered every day for sale between January 1 and July 27. That’s a lot more days than a typical academic semester, and thus, I had the potential to make a lot more money. If I only sold the semester, I could only sell about 115 days, including weekends. That would not have covered the entire cost of a semester of school. If anyone wants to have their own SALK program, I suggest doing the math to see how much you might make if every day sold.
Thank you to all my sponsors who made SALK a success: Darvin and Jane DeShazer, Amanda Ellis, ThinkGeek, Donna McGill, Vincent Cannizzaro, Debbie Walker, Camelback Toyota, Tyler Hurst, Henry’s Hope, Sara Shea, Tyler Allen, Michael Vincent, The Foster Group, Nancy Smith, Jana Knapp, K Royal, Jane Ross, Katrina Holland, Brand X Custom T-shirts, the Ferreira Family, Fred Von Graf, Bev Wolf, Sheila Dee, Bristol6, Two Men and A Truck, Pam Gibson, Michelle Diaz Cannon, Stephanie Green, Micah and Danielle Larripa, Aaron M. Kelly, Linda Day, Kerry Mitchell, Matt Hollowell, and David E. Mills. I couldn’t have done this without you!
Please see all my SALK posts here.