A critical objective in every law practice is to build top-of-mind awareness with targeted clients and referral sources. You want to be the go-to lawyer when someone has a problem you excel at solving.
To build that kind of awareness, many lawyers ask, is social media really worth their time? To answer this question, review the following business development tactics. How are you doing in each of these areas?
- Staying informed on what is happening with your clients and the professionals in your network.
- Sharing information about what is going on in your practice.
- Demonstrating expertise for solving specific problems.
- Building your reputation both online and off.
- Expanding your network from professionals you know to professionals you should know.
- Providing ongoing value to key professionals in your network.
If you see gaps in your use of these tactics, then you may want to consider using social media as part of your business development plan.
A Simple Plan for Using Social Media
If fear of not knowing what to do has kept you from engaging in social media, fear no more. Here are four simple tips for using social media to build top-of-mind awareness.
Listen to Others
When learning anything new, the first step is to listen. How does that apply in this context? Explore how other law firms and lawyers are using social media. What captures your interest? What do you like? What don’t you like?
Begin to listen by reading your newsfeed on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. Another helpful tool for listening is search.twitter.com. This tool allows you to type in an area of interest and read what is being posted on the topic. For example, if you are a family lawyer, simply go to search.twitter.com and enter “family law,” “co-parenting,” “high asset divorce” or any other topic of interest in the search box.
Define What You Want to Achieve With Social Media
Clarifying what you want to accomplish gives you direction on where to focus your efforts. It is the foundation for getting the results you want. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to deepen relationships with existing referral sources and drive referrals, increase awareness of your expertise, reinforce your personal brand or something else?
Review your business plan. What are your goals? Use social media as a tool for accomplishing what you want to achieve in your practice.
Clarify Your Target Audience
Who do you want to reach?
If you have written a business development plan or created a core message, you will know the answer to this question. If not, now is the time to answer one of the most important questions to grow your practice: Who is your target client and what are their most important problems?
Post, share and like content that is relevant to your target client and reinforces your expertise and personal brand.
Implement Your Plan
Write out the actions you will take each day, week or month to implement your plan. Here is an example:
- Listen. Once a day, review your personal newsfeeds. Once a week, go to search.twitter.com and listen to what competitors and industry leaders are posting on social media.
- Connect. Schedule 15 minutes a day or once a week to post, share and comment on LinkedIn.
- Educate. Once a month, write a blog, article or post that is relevant to your personal brand and share it on selected social media platforms.
- Inform. Look for opportunities to share tips. Try to take photos of events at your firm or at professional events and share them on social media too.
Social media alone is not the answer to building a thriving law practice, but it can be an effective tool to help you achieve your business development goals. Through social media, you can stay informed, share your knowledge, reinforce your expertise, build your reputation, acknowledge others and expand your network. If social media can help with this, why not give it a try?