Getting Social: My Social Media Journey

Social media has been very good to me! I have made friends, connected with colleagues and potential clients, been able to brand myself as the “Gen Y Lawyer,” been asked to do interviews and guest posts, landed a couple of writing gigs (for example, that’s how I got this job writing for Solo Practice University®!), among other things. I highly recommend social media as an effective way to brand and market yourself as a young or new (or older) attorney.

Recently, I was asked by Amanda Ellis to create a video for her presentation at the recent NALP Conference sharing my experiences with social media and the methods that I have used successfully. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, the video was unable to be shown. So I figured, why not share my social media experiences with all of you? Check out the video below:

In summary, here are the steps I took to get started on social media:

- Open Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. If you don’t want to use your personal Facebook page for business, create a professional Facebook page. Be sure to upload a picture and write an engaging bio.

- Start following, friending and connecting with people who are doing what you aspire to do. For example, I knew I wanted to open a solo practice so I started following Susan Cartier Liebel and Carolyn Elefant on Twitter.

- Offer interesting, useful content to your social media community; usually a blog article you’ve written, but could also be audio or video.

- Engage! Share the interesting, useful content that others in your community are posting, comment and have conversations. Its fun!

- Spend no more than 1 hour every weekday on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. That is plenty of time to share your content, engage and be “in the know” on what’s going on in your social media (professional) community.

How do you use social media? What awesome people and opportunities have resulted from your social media activity?

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®.

This entry was posted in Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Social Media, Solo & Small Firm Practice. Bookmark the permalink.

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10 comments on “Getting Social: My Social Media Journey

  • Congratulations on your accomplishments. However, I think your hour a day would be better spent doing many other business development activities. For example, spending an hour a day having lunch with your clients is far more likely to make you a better lawyer and will generate many more referrals.

    Imho, the curating articles is a waste of time for marketing purposes (however, keeping update with legal trends is important professionally). Quick quiz, you follow me, can you name one article that I shared?

    • Hi Fred,

      Obviously, I disagree. I think using social media (including curating articles) is an excellent way to market yourself as a lawyer. I’m not sure why you think taking clients out to lunch is a better development activity than communicating with clients via social media. I think they can both be valuable but social media provides a wider audience of potential clients (and for the new/young solo, its much cheaper than buying lunch for clients).

      Additionally, taking clients out to lunch is not feasible for lawyers with online based practices, such as my own. I live in California, while many of my clients are in New York City, some of whom I have never met. I think online based marketing will be required and online based practice (through an online law office) will also be required as more and more of the client base becomes more and more technologically savvy and reliant on technology.

      I think there is value in offline marketing as well, and I do spend time doing in-person networking, meeting folks for coffee and attending relevant events. Yet, I have many more clients coming to me from my social media marketing activities.

      Regarding your quiz, I definitely don’t memorize the titles of the various articles I read, but I am pretty sure I read an article on your blog regarding Harvard Review’s top ten legal mistakes that entrepreneurs make.


      • Rachel,

        I tend to agree with you. They are not mutually exclusive activities nor necessarily occupy the same time slot in the day. Much turns on practice area and clientele and not all activities are suited for all types of law, clients, or office structures or even personalities, for that matter.

        Many I know have garnered much success from getting out there in the social media space but not at the exclusion of other marketing efforts which are appropriate for how they practice. It’s just not an either/or proposition. It’s a percentage allocation and the greater the success, the greater the percentage allocated.

    • PS- Why would communicating with clients off-line (lunch) make one a better lawyer than communicating with clients online (through social media)? I can’t think of a reason as to why that would be true.

  • A few thoughts:
    1. If you find a niche, however small, in which you have specialized knowledge, social media can help you efficiently market your expertise. Give a little knowledge away free, and people will contact you for more.
    2. As long as this is knowledge that you would be accumulating anyway, you are simply repurposing work you’ve already done. What do YOU know that few others do?
    3. In my case, I’ve been researching free CLE, so posting links to it is an efficient way for me to give back to the community, which rewards me in its turn with recognition and contacts.
    4. Monetizing free information is a long-term proposition, so it’s probably wise to “keep your day job”.

    • Incidentally, if you do host a free CLE program (preferably on the web, but in realspace if fine) you can publicize it for free here: Putting together an educational program and then giving it away for free via social media can be very good for your reputation (as well as substantively useful for the community!)

    • Wow, that is intense. It has lots of great tips but if you’re a one person show, handling all of that marketing on your own, in addition to doing all of the other tasks required in a solo practice is probably not feasible (that is, for those that enjoy sleeping!). ;)

      Thanks for sharing, Paul.

  • Of course, I believe that social media has enormous power – I can say that I would not be where I am today but for starting the MyShingle blog. Still, having said that, the value of social media interaction varies depending on industry. Yesterday, I went to an energy regulatory lawyers meeting in DC. I talked about how I get so much energy information on Twitter and one guy asked me if I update my twitter stream on the typewriter (ha! ha!) while another joked that I was a twit (double ha ha). When I informed them that FERC (where one of them worked) has a great Twitter feed, the guy said “Why would we have that?” When I returned home that evening to send out “nice to meet you” thank yous, I discovered that one of the lawyers did not have an email, nor did any of the other 8 lawyers at his firm.
    I don’t know if these guys would ever refer me a case – but I would never even have an opportunity to try for one if I limited myself to social media.

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