You can’t rezoom the practice of law without including the finer points of social media. This month’s blog will cover how to use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to your benefit.
Using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram will enable you to engage with people looking for and willing to help you. You never know. Facebook tells someone who you are and what you are doing. LinkedIn is business oriented and will give you the opportunity to outline and describe your professional self. Twitter is 140 characters of instant information. It may seem daunting at the beginning, however, once mastered these electronic platforms will make future connections easily accessible.
Joining the social media frenzy enables your high school, college or professional school acquaintances, who may be looking for someone with your skills, realize you are available. They know, like and trust you so the hurdle of introduction has been removed. One insider tip – if you have kids ages 10-25 your mountain climbing guide/tutor is probably sitting at your kitchen table. If not, think about hiring a local high school or college student as an intern because they are masters of social media. Have them start the ball rolling by helping download these social networks and then have them teach you how to navigate social platform building. If you don’t have a guide, do it yourself directions are easily found on line.
Rezooming the practice of law without including social media is inefficient and you are not as effective if you use snail mail, email, a phone call or a webpage. You need to connect with colleagues and prospective clients in a 21st Century way. The easiest means of doing that is by joining Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. These are the three most commonly used platforms and you need to learn to navigate them. They are relatively easy to use and will instantaneously send your message to prospective colleagues and clients, in short, the world.
If you are nervous or uncertain about the ethics of networking, take the time to read the ethics rules and commentary on social media in your state. It will help you act in a way that will not run afoul of your ethical responsibilities.
If you use Facebook for your personal posts, consider making a Facebook page for your new legal business. It allows you to invite people to like your business page in a professional manner and limit the postings that are family oriented.
Facebook for business reaches colleagues, ideal clients, prospective employers and collaborators. You can link relevant articles or write articles of your own and reach more people when hosting or attending an event.
You can boost your posts on Facebook. It helps you reach a broader audience. Spending $5.00 to reach 1000 people is effective marketing. Always make sure to place the Attorney Advertising Disclaimer at the bottom of your post thus assuring that the reader has been alerted to the fact that this is legal information, not advice.
Consider joining closed groups on Facebook in your practice area or where your ideal clients hang out. It may be the easiest way to become a trusted colleague. You must ask to join these closed groups, the administrator of the group reviews your application to see if you are a good fit and either allows or disallows your entry. A helpful tip when joining groups; do not solicit business from members. These groups respect one another’s privacy. Allow members to speak, offer support, but let them ask, off- line, for additional assistance. Selling within a group not based on exchange of services is TABOO.
The ability to exchange ideas and information within these groups is limitless. Be aware of how much you post. Do not bombard. The effectiveness of Facebook lies in knowing what is just right-the Goldilocks method of posting.
This is the perfect platform for the rezooming attorney. It enables you to post information about yourself, where you have been, what you did before and what you want to do now. Always speak in a positive manner. Present your experiences in such a way that the reader has a clear vision of what you have been up to. This enhances what you are looking to rezoom. Declare your hopes and dreams.
Find LinkedIn friends who may be able to assist you in the practice area you prefer as you rezoom. If a friend of a friend works at a firm with whom you would like to interview, ask them to connect you for a virtual cup of coffee. If they do not have time to introduce you, see if you can use their name in an in-mail.
Subscribe, comment and write articles about your practice area on Linkedin. Join in conversations among colleagues about interesting posts. This will help you write things that are non-confrontational or disagree in a supportive way.
Join one of LinkedIn’s practice/professional groups. I recommend starting with your college and high school groups. Then look for professional and local groups that will enhance your visibility. They not only increase your ability to find relevant information about which to comment, but provide a venue for articles you have written for distribution and comment. It is a very important step toward giving yourself the opportunity to be understood and working with others.
Twitter is the 140-character wonder. It is the easiest way to connect with people who are doing what you do or who need you. It allows 140 characters to say it all. You get very good at stating the facts and not getting too wordy. Follow people who interest you and are doing the work in which you would like to get involved. Retweet with comment, about what they said, if it fits your rezooming practice model.
This is not a platform for getting business. You must first be seen as a legitimate authority and have people respect what you are posting. How you conduct yourself when commenting on others posts is key. If you have followers retweeting your tweets you are doing it right. If no one is retweeting your tweets, ask yourself what you are saying that is not resonating? Identify a colleague and study how they use twitter effectively and follow their lead.
Twitter is the easiest way to meet people who are stars in your field. They may not respond to an InMail but they may retweet your comment on their tweet. It is the most effective means of establishing a relationship that can then be enhanced through Linkedin and Facebook.
This is the time to employ social media. It is especially crucial for the rezooming attorney. You can rezoom without it, but why would you? Join LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter today (in that order) and get out there and rezoom.
All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.