What, me worry?


There are a lot of things I do that could be considered marketing. But there are a ho lot more things I don’t do.

Many of these have to do with social media which, as you know, I tolerate but don’t rely on for marketing my business. There are many reasons, one of which is that I simply don’t like it.

It ain’t my thang.

My site has “share” buttons that allow visitors to share my content on their social media platforms, and they do that. They also follow or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and get my posts in their feeds.

And. . . that’s about it.

You won’t see me on Instagram or Snapchat or 100 other places people like to hang out, learn things, and share pictures of their latest meal.

Am I missing opportunities to promote my content or meet new folks? Sure. Do I regret that? No.

I don’t worry about what I’m not doing. I’m too busy doing what I do.

Things I like. Things I’m good at. Things that work better for me.

I can’t do everything, nor do I want to. I look at a lot of things, reject most, choose a few, and settle in. I’ll look at things again at some point, to see if they have changed or if my needs have changed, and occasionally add something to the mix.

Mostly, however, I stick with a few basics. In my opinion, that’s what you should do, too.

This isn’t just about social media. It applies to any form of marketing.

Find a few things that work for you and do them well. They will take you further than all of the things you don’t do and might only do half-assedly if you forced yourself to do them.

Don’t worry about what you’re not doing. Unless you’re not doing anything.

Plan your marketing by using this formula


Is Twitter marketing for lawyers a waste of time?


A new study, reported by Mashable, finds that while nearly half of Americans use Facebook, only 7% use Twitter.  So, is it safe to ignore Twitter in marketing your law practice? The answer lies in an understanding of who uses Twitter.

According to the study, Twitter usage is dominated by “power users,” (approximately 22%) who are responsible for the majority of Tweets (approximately 90%). While these probably don’t reflect the target market of most lawyers, it’s logical to assume that this group of regular Tweeters is comprised of well-connected, avid communicators who could turn out to be a great source of referrals for lawyers.

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here by suggesting that the frequent-tweeter club includes a lot of professionals, many of whom have followers in your target market. The numbers may be small but the influence is great. These are the folks you want to meet–and network with–and Twitter is a great way to find them.

Twitter is also continuing to grow and enter the mainstream. Those of us who have staked a small claim will benefit by that growth.

I don’t consider myself a power user of Twitter or any other social media tool. Far from it. But through Twitter, I’ve been able to meet some power users. And that’s the point. Networking is not about meeting everyone, it’s about meeting a few of the right people.


What do SEO and client relations for lawyers have in common?


“I’m a busy lawyer. I don’t have a lot of time to write a newsletter or blog.”

Good. If you have time to write a lot, your clients and prospects might not read what you send them.

While frequency of contact is important, quality is far more important. Instead of writing low-quality weekly messages, you’ll do far more to strengthen your relationships and build your reputation by sending a high-quality missive once a month.

I am subscribed to hundreds of blogs and email newsletters. My email inbox and RSS feed reader are inundated. Several times a day I peruse these offerings. I spend most of that time skimming the headlines and deleting or archiving nearly every article. I may scroll through ten or twenty percent but I probably read no more than two percent. The ones I read (and, often save) are where the real value for me lies.

I stay subscribed to this multitude of newsletters and blogs because they give me a sense of what’s trending in my areas of interest. I also find articles I can share with my Twitter and Facebook companions. And, I do find articles worth reading. If I don’t have time to read them on the spot, I save them to read later. Many of the publications I follow publish several times per week; some of the bigger publications publish twenty or thirty articles per day.

I filter through a large quantity of articles looking for the few of high quality. Sometimes they come from the multitude. More often, they come from the handful of sources that consistently provide high quality material. They may not post frequently and not everything they post is golden, but the most useful material (for me) usually comes from the same sources. Those are the ones I look forward to and make sure I read.

So, if you write a newsletter or blog, you don’t have to write every day or three times a week or even weekly. Write when you can but make it worth reading. Your clients and prospects will appreciate it.

Apparently, uncle Google agrees. Carolyn Elefant writes that while in the past, quantity of keywords and links to a web site determined primacy in search engine ranking, Google has modified its algorithm to better reflect the quality of those keywords and links. You don’t need everyone linking to your site, so long as you have the right ones.


Lawyers: Now you can get legal marketing videos on youtube


legal marketing videosOkay, this first video isn’t specifically about legal marketing, but I’ve got a youtube channel now and will be posting videos you can watch while sorting email or having your morning coffee.

Actually, I’ve got some good things planned and when you subscribe to my channel you’ll be notified when there’s a new video posted. I also added social media badges to the blog for youtube and linkedin.

What’s this first video about? Well, social media. I wanted to have a simple page where people can find the links (badges) to all my social media accounts so they can friend/follow/like me. Since I have another business and blog, this was even more important. I was getting to the point where even I couldn’t remember how to find me. Anyway, this short video explains what I did in case you want to do the same.

Please leave your comments (or questions) below. Since this is my first video (imagine that), I’ve probably left out something important and I’m sure you’ll want to mention it (as my wife just did when she poked her head in the door to tell me about how I messed up “attorney marketing”.)

Oh, please also use the share button or tweet button to tell people about this post. They might want to show their spouse that they aren’t the only ones who can’t speak proper English.

[mc src=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhZEpFTg8XI” type=”youtube”]How to create a personal social media hub page[/mc]


Other ways lawyers may use social media (besides marketing)


Lawyers are usually not early adopters. Although more and more lawyers are using social media for marketing, many others feel constricted by their employers’ policies (i.e., firms that insist the attorney promote the firm instead of themselves), by concerns about ethical issues, or, simply, by their natural tendency to “play it safe”.

Many attorneys who have no objection to using social media but are either overwhelmed by the myriad of choices or (believe they) just don’t have the time.

I see social media as nothing more than an electronic extension of the “real world”. It’s still just communication with people you know and people you want to know. We’ve been networking all our lives; why should networking online be any different?

True, the Internet provides reach and permanency that do not exist at a Chamber of Commerce dinner, although the presence of cameras on our phones tends to blur that distinction. But if we mind our P’s and Q’s (does anyone use that expression anymore?) it isn’t difficult to stay out of trouble. And let’s face it, it’s a lot easier and less time consuming to interact via your iPhone than it is to press the flesh, although, arguably, not as effective.

Whatever your viewpoint and experiences with social media, one thing we can all agree on is that it’s here to stay. Like any trend that changes the way people communicate, we ignore social media at our peril.

Social media is starting to be used as evidence, for example.

So, like it not, use it not, we all have to pay attention. Experts say, “lawyers already tuned into social media are not only on the right track, but will have a head start on the competition.”

How about you? How are you using social media in your law practice? Please add your comments below.


How lawyers are using social media marketing


Lawyers are starting to use social media in a variety of ways only one of which is marketing. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networking platforms, make it easy to find prospective clients and referral sources, as well as other opportunities to grow your practice.

It’s easy to find people online who write for or consult with people in your target markets and it’s easy to approach them (“friend,” “follow”). If you’re not networking online, you’re missing out on a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to grow your practice and otherwise further your career.

I know. I resisted doing so for a very long time.

Then, I discovered Facebook and realized it’s not just a site for college kids. I spent time watching what others were doing and learned what to do (and what to avoid) to meet more people online and do business with them. I’ve made a lot of new friends on Facebook and re-connected with some old ones from high school and even earlier.

I set up a Twitter account, but didn’t use it. I just didn’t “get” it. I do now.

I’ve been blogging for a couple of years now, and this I do get. I just started working with a lawyer and went to her web site for a quick take on what she’s doing. Well, one of the first things I will suggest to her is to add a blog. I believe it is the single most valuable thing a lawyer can do to market their law practice online.

If you’re new to the world of social media (marketing) I can tell you that the individual components–the various sites and resources that are available to use–are relatively simple to understand and begin using, but if you’re like me, you won’t appreciate their power until you have a better understanding of how they all fit together.

Over the weekend, I read “Crush It!” by Gary Vaynerchuk. The book provides a fascinating look into a bigger-than-life personality and a road map for creating a brand and monetizing it via social media. I was surprised at how much I knew (and was already doing) but I also learned a lot. More importantly, the book made me think about my brand, my “DNA” as Vaynerchuk describes it, something every professional needs to think about, no matter what kind of marketing they use.

Another valuable lesson is the importance of being yourself. That’s sometimes hard for professionals to do, but it is our authenticity that makes us simultaneously unique and attractive to the people in our niche.

The bottom line is, once you create your own brand and use social media to connect with people in your niche markets, you will not only do a better job of selling yourself to the world, you will also attract a lot of business via the Internet traffic that is a natural byproduct of the social media network.

Educate yourself and get started. Social media is here to stay and if you take it one step at a time, it is not only remunerative, it’s a lot of fun.


How to market legal services on Facebook


Facebook is a great place to meet prospects and potential referral sources. With a few clicks, you can find and connect with exactly the kinds of people you’re looking for, at no cost whatsoever. The ease with which this can be done, however, too often leads otherwise smart professionals to do things that actually chase prospects away.

Facebook is not an advertising medium, it is a networking medium, and the rules of networking are the same online as they are in the “real” world. Use Facebook to meet people, just as you would at a Chamber of Commerce or Rotary event, and then build a relationship. It’s okay to let them know what you do–that is what people do when they meet, after all. It’s not okay to assault them with self-serving promotional messages.

Just as it’s easy to add friends on Facebook, it’s just as easy for them to block your messages or delete you. Understanding and applying a few simple rules of networking etiquette will go a long way towards helping you use Facebook and other social media sites to build your law practice.

Make your profile about you. People want to be friends with real people, not companies or products or causes. Use your real name, and provide information about yourself–what you do, what you like, where you have been, what you think about the world.

You can describe your practice in your profile and add links to your web sites. Think of this area as your online business card. If someone wants to see what you do, they can look in this section. If they want to know more, they go to your web sites. You can also establish a fan page or group for your practice and link to this from your profile.

Your profile photo should be, not surprisingly, a photo of you. Photos of your dog or a pretty sunset can go in your photo album, but when I’m considering a friend request, I want to see who’s asking. Use a decent head shot and don’t clown around. You really do have only one chance to make a first impression.

Be appropriate. The world is watching –and judging you. If you use inappropriate humor, if there are photos depicting you as inebriated, if you are too extreme in your viewpoints–these can all have serious negative consequences.

Use spell check. Use correct grammar. Be judicious in your use of emoticons, abbreviations, and slang. Your real friends may not care about any of this but I can assure you, many of your business prospects do. All they have to go on is what they see on your page, so be careful about what you post.

As for invitations to join your cause or attend your event, please be aware of how your friends might perceive you in light of your activities. Are you involved in anything ill-suited to your profession or the image you wish to portray? Are you always playing games or taking surveys and, seemingly, never working?

Don’t advertise. Don’t post an ad (or a link to your website) on someone’s wall. Ever. Disguising it as an offer for a free ebook that is part of your sales process doesn’t fool anyone. Don’t do it.

Look, you wouldn’t like it if someone came to your house and stuck a sign in your lawn advertising their services, so why would you think anyone wants your ad on their Facebook property? If you post an ad on my wall, I will delete it. If you do it again, I will delete you.

The same goes for email. If I accept your friend request and you immediately send me messages about your product or service, that’s a big turn off. You might have something I want, the best price, the greatest service, but don’t be surprised if I don’t buy from you.  It’s not quite spam, but it’s close, so don’t do it.

Your status message is different. It’s on your property–I only see it if my settings so allow. But don’t abuse this by posting a never-ending stream of promotional messages. Once in awhile is fine. Do it every hour, like I see some people do, and we’re done.

I change my status message usually once a day. That works for me. It’s okay to change yours several times a day, but make sure you have something meaningful to say. Some say it’s okay to make your status posts two-thirds about you, one-third about your business or offers. I say that’s too much advertising. There are other, more subtle ways to spark interest in what you offer. (See below.)

Add value. Your profile, your status updates, your notes, your videos, your comments on others’ posts, should be perceived, by and large, not as self-serving or frivolous but as adding value.  That doesn’t mean you can’t let your sense of humor show or that everything you do must render a benefit. It does mean that you should show people that you have something to say and something to contribute to the relationship.

You can offer tips and advice, share resources, or describe interesting experiences. I  try to post an interesting quote every week day, and I post occasional videos and links I believe my friends would like to see.

You could write articles (“notes” on Facebook), and provide helpful information. This note is an example. When you post articles, not only do your friends see you as making a contribution, they also get a demonstration of your expertise.

By contrast, updates about the sandwich you just ate or the movie you watched are of no value to anyone unless they come with a meaningful recommendation. I don’t care that you are walking your dog or checking your email. You wouldn’t call me on the phone and tell me these things, so why tell me online? Someone who posts something merely for the sake of posting isn’t adding value, they are simply adding clutter to an otherwise over-cluttered Facebookisphere. [I just coined that word; feel free to use it.]

Adding value also means making an effort to patronize your friends’ businesses.  You’d do that in the real world, wouldn’t you?  And if you can’t hire them or buy something yourself, provide referrals. When you do that, you help two friends and earn the gratitude of both. Be a matchmaker. If you have a friend who is looking for a new employee, for example, and you have another friend who might be a good fit, introduce them.

Add value and people will want to be your friends. Waste people’s time with meaningless information and you might soon find that when you do have something of value to offer, nobody’s listening.

Be yourself, but be normal. Don’t hide your personal side. The things you do for fun–hobbies, games, surveys, widgets you post on your page, and so on, define you and make you interesting. When your friends see they share those interests it can strengthen your relationship. But if you are on Facebook to build your business, you must establish a balance between your personal and business identities. When in doubt, always lean towards your business persona.

In the real world, if you came to my office and I threw a sheep at you or gave you photo of a chocolate martini, that would be weird, wouldn’t it? And yet that’s what people do online. Look, I do silly things on Facebook. I’m opinionated and have a profoundly warped sense of humor and I like to stir things up from time to time. But the majority of my Facebook friends who have an opinion of me would, I think, describe me in positive, business-like terms.

A little flair now and then is interesting. All flair, all the time, is clownish, and people don’t do business with clowns.

Friends first. There is a maxim in marketing that says, “All things being equal, people prefer to do business with people they know, like, and trust.” Be that person.

“How To Win Friends and Influence People,” written decades before the father of the founder of Facebook was born, offers great perspectives on how to do business on Facebook.

Dale Carnegie counsels us to focus on other people,  not ourselves. Talk to your Facebook friends (through messages (email), IM (instant message), and, eventually, by phone and in person) about themselves. Ask questions and listen. Let them do most of the talking.

What do they want in their business or personal life? What problems do they wish to solve? Look for ways you can help them. Provide advice or information or referrals, if you can. Just listen if you cannot. Again, that’s what friends do.

If your services can help them solve a problem or obtain an objective, offer them. If not, don’t. And if you do offer them and they aren’t  interested, drop the subject. They may come back to you some day, when they are ready, or they may not, but they will never hire you if you pushed them or annoyed them to the point where they deleted you.


Is social media a fad?


[mc src=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIFYPQjYhv8″ type=”youtube”]The social media revolution[/mc]


Social media marketing for attorneys


This isn’t an attorney but he offers a cogent explanation of how social medial should fit into an attorney’s marketing mix. What’s that? You don’t have a mix? Oh my, you really should have a mix. . .

[mc src=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zn1cspHx7DU” type=”youtube”/]