Quinley likens marketing to planting seeds; some will fail, but some will grow, and persistence and dedication are vital to success. Kohane describes some lawyer marketing attempts as shooting off a flare that is bright, but fades and is forgotten. Both see online social networking as a valuable tool to increase visibility, but only if the litigator takes the time to use it and keep up with it. Quinley recommends at least five minutes a week to keep the content and tools timely and sharp. Kohane says he spends some time each day checking to keep his online effort current. Both said independently of the other that those who make a consistent effort project to others that they are the type of professional with whom others want to associate.
In my experience, many lawyers and other professionals set up Web sites, blogs, LinkedIn profiles, Twitter profiles and Facebook accounts without long-term game plan. In today’s crowded social media marketplace, business will not come just because you have have the technology. Consistency is more important than quantity when it comes to posts. You also must get engaged and interact with individuals in your target market. Spitting out information isn’t likely to get you far.
Whether it’s social media or using tools such as NotifyWorks, it’s critical to be patient, consistent and to consider your marketing and networking efforts a marathon rather than a sprint.
I am enjoying the opportunity to write posts as a guest columnist for Solo Practice University. Solo Practice University is the brainchild of Susan Cartier Liebel who built the site to educate solo practitioners and allow them to connect and network with one another. The courses are varied and include instructors that are at the top of their legal practice areas nationally.
Marketing expert Drew McLellan has a good blog post on why you cannot ignore Google+ for your business. Like Drew points out, I was one of those who initially resisted Google+ because it would be yet another social network to maintain. However, in the short time I’ve been active on Google+, I’ve found it to be easy to use and more beneficial since there is not nearly as much information clutter (so far).
With the changes in the way Google is changing its search, Drew appropriately asks,
Who do you think will get a higher search result – a business with or without Google+ content?
Law firm social media consultant Adrian Dayton shared the opposite view just a few months ago when he wrote a post that lawyers could ignore Google+. Of course a lot has changed in three months so I wonder if he would share the same view now?
I like this post from Kevin O’Keefe on whether lawyers should use Google+ in response to Dayton’s post. Kevin points out a couple of key things. First, the early non-lawyer adopters of these social networks are generally innovators and influencers in their industries. It’s good for lawyers to network with these types of people. Second, who cares if lots of lawyers aren’t using Google+? My experience tells me it isn’t bad to be one of the innovators yourself. Besides would you rather be one of a few lawyers at the party or one of many? Quit getting hung up on whether other lawyers are doing it. There’s likely even more opportunity for you if they’re not.
I’ve been blogging for almost six years now at www.rushonbusiness.com. The thing I’ve loved about blogging is that it has placed me on playing field once reserved only for the heavy hitters in big firms. Through blogging, I’ve appeared in the Wall St. Journal multiple times, the Des Moines Register carries my blog feed on its Web site and a steady stream of clients have come through my doors over the years.
No survey required for me to know that blogging can have a very positive impact on a law practice.
I personally have found LinkedIn to become a more valuable practice development tool over the last year or so as there is more opportunity to share and receive articles and information. I have also benefited from being a part of various LinkedIn groups. How about you? What do you think?
Kevin O’Keefe of LexBlog (and host of my law blog, Rush on Business) recently blogged about a study that shows 65% of online adults are engaged in social networking. I agree with O’Keefe that debating the merits of engaging in social networking for lawyers is moot at this point. For me, nothing has attracted new clients to my law practice like my blog but I also use social networks to distribute information to various connections. My blog acts as the hub while the social networks are the spokes.
But it seems to me that the primary use of blogging and social networking by lawyers is to attract new clients. Clients have told me they occasionally read my blog but mostly it is read by people searching for legal information rather than my clients routinely reading it. That is definitely worthwhile from a prospective client marketing perspective but it also means you need to find ways to stay in communication with your current clients. After all, as legal marketing consultant Larry Bodine recently pointed out in his blog post quoting Darryl Cross of LexisNexis, 90% of your profits come from 20% of your clients. Plus, new clients are very fickle and when law firms don’t maintain contact with the client they tend to leave.
That’s where NotifyWorks can fit in. It is a solution designed to help you maintain contact with your clients on a consistent basis and update them on their specific legal matters – even when you might be working on something else that day. In the competitive environment law firms exist in today, we’re confident that can help you improve your client relations and become more profitable.