Q&A with Nicole Abboud-Shayan, WordRake's Newest Hire

What made you decide to join WordRake?

It was simply a great opportunity presenting itself at the right time. After over three years of growing my marketing and branding company, where I worked almost exclusively with lawyers and law firms, I was looking for a new challenge. I wanted to expand my skill set and be part of a company that would allow me to grow as a leader. That’s when I stumbled upon a Twitter post about the WordRake Business Development position opening and felt compelled to apply. I was already impressed by the product after using it, and I knew that the company had a great reputation in the legal industry. It was a no-brainer.

And I was jazzed thinking about working with our VP of Strategy and Business Development, Ivy Grey. I had been following Ivy on Twitter for a while and her reputation for being a legal innovator and champion of women in law and tech preceded her. I knew that she would be someone I could learn a lot from and jumped at the opportunity to work with her.

What do you believe are the biggest strengths you bring to WordRake’s business strategy?

One of my greatest strengths is my ability to actively listen. Having spent five years interviewing lawyers on my now-dormant podcast, The Gen Y Lawyer, I learned the importance of listening to understand instead of listening to react. Listening to understand allows me to empathize and communicate more effectively. As the Business Development Associate, I can use this strength to build and cultivate relationships with customers, strategic partners, and key stakeholders.

As you think about goals for your first quarter with WordRake, what are your top priorities?

As to be expected with the start of any new position, I will spend some time becoming familiar with the company’s internal processes and workflows. I want to become more comfortable with my specific duties and learn how they integrate into WordRake’s overall vision and objectives for this quarter.

Once I have a good grasp on the internal systems and my role within the company, my focus will be to develop and implement strategic business development initiatives to help broaden WordRake’s customer base. Another priority is supporting current marketing initiatives like executing a more comprehensive enterprise engagement process and social media presence.

Why did you start using WordRake?

I started using WordRake because I realized a lot of communication these days is done in writing, whether it is sending letters, submitting professional documents, or exchanging emails. This became especially true during the recent coronavirus pandemic that forced many people to work from home and communicating online. As someone who wrote throughout the day, I needed to make sure my writing was clearly conveying my message.  I turned to WordRake to provide that extra set of “eyes” on my writing, making sure I communicate effectively.

Like me, not everyone aspires to be a best-selling author, but they do write for work every day. I want to connect with and show professionals who write for work that using WordRake can improve their business communications and help them connect quicker with their readers.

Thinking longer-term, where do you want to see WordRake in one year? Three years?

If 2020 taught me anything, it’s that life is unpredictable! That’s why I don’t like to plan too far ahead. I can’t tell you where I see WordRake in three years, aside from my general hope that we’re thriving as a business. However, I will share my insight on where I want to see the company in a year.

In one year, I hope to see WordRake become more of a “household name” in the legal writing industry. I want to get our software in the hands of every lawyer who relies on writing for a living (aka every practicing lawyer). I am certain that once we’ve established a stronger presence and brand in the legal industry, we can grow our market share.

We don’t just want to know about your professional strengths and goals. Let’s do a few questions to get to know you just a little better:

Favorite book?

My favorite book as an adult is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Growing up, my favorites were Wayside School is Falling Down by Louis Sachar and The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Favorite place to write?

At home. When I’m no longer able to concentrate at home, I set up shop at a local cupcake cafe. It’s always empty, quiet, and the desserts are abundant.

Coffee or tea?

Hands down, coffee!

A podcast you’re currently enjoying?

It’s difficult to choose just one so I’ll list two that I’m currently enjoying:

Second Life with Hillary Kerry, a podcast showcasing the stories of women who have had career changes at any age and The Minimalists, which focuses on living a meaningful life with less.

East coast or West coast?

West coast. I was born in Los Angeles and have lived here most of my life. My family moved quite a bit as a child but we’re Angelenos through and through.

What’s your favorite hobby? How did you start?

My all-time favorite hobby is running. I actually run for fun…and also to justify eating all of the sweets I consume. Another hobby is going thrift shopping. I’ve been learning a lot about the negative impacts of fast fashion on the environment, and I’m interested in sustainable and conscious fashion. So I spend a lot of my free time going to secondhand stores, looking for vintage and unique finds.

Thanks for following along! Click here to start your free seven-day trial of WordRake to see why Nicole enjoys utilizing WordRake in her own work. You can find Nicole’s official new hire announcement here.

About the Author

Nicole Abboud-Shayan is the Business Development Associate for WordRake. Prior to joining the team, Nicole practiced law for several years and then launched her own media and marketing company. Follow Nicole on Twitter @nicoleabboud or connect with her on LinkedIn.

Our Story

WordRake founder Gary Kinder has taught over 1,000 writing programs for AMLAW 100 firms, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies. He’s also a New York Times bestselling author. As a writing expert and coach, Gary was inspired to create WordRake when he noticed a pattern in writing errors that he thought he could address with technology.

In 2012, Gary and his team of engineers created WordRake editing software to help writers produce clear, concise, and effective prose. It runs in Microsoft Word and Outlook, and its suggested changes appear in the familiar track-changes style. It saves time and gives confidence. Writing and editing has never been easier.