â€œWhat type of personality should I have online?â€ A client recently asked me.
â€œWhat makes you ask that question?â€ I responded.
â€œWell my neighbor is a big time computer guy, and he stressed that I need to be careful in deciding what type of an online persona I wanted to create.â€
â€œThe question isnâ€™t really something you need to worry about.â€ I explained.
â€œWhy not?â€ she asked curiously.
â€œLook, the only thing you can possibly be GREAT at online, is yourself.â€
How are you perceived online? Do you tweet too much? Do your blog topics diverge from the siteâ€™s stated purpose? Are you constantly worrying, â€œwhat will people think if I take such a controversial stance?â€ We have a finite amount of creativity and personality, and our best shot at attracting long term clients is by being ourselves, and the like minded individuals will follow us. Iâ€™m not saying you have carte blanc to write anything you like, but you certainly shouldnâ€™t lose sleep over it.
Conan O’brien was asked, when he was visiting the University at Buffalo, if he was going to tone down his comedy once he took over for Jay Leno. He basically responded by saying that being funny is really really hard. He explained there is a reason NBC hasn’t put together a really funny show since Seinfeld- it is very challenging. He ended by saying that he was going to keep being himself, because being funny was hard enough without adding restrictions. Blogging and tweeting are similar, creating good content isn’t easy- especially if you limit yourself.
I received a direct message on Twitter a few days ago that said basically the following:
â€œI follow you for law updates, but you donâ€™t tweet about the law much. If u are going to tweet about football, u should create a different profile.â€
I looked at this individualâ€™s Twitter profile, and big surprise- they were only following 10 people total. He was obviously a new Twitter user that hadnâ€™t discovered the Tweetdeck. More importantly though, he might NOT want to follow me. My tweets arenâ€™t all law related. To help all my followers make an educated decision if the would like to follow me, I have created a breakdown informally of my tweets:
Law Related Tweets â€“ 35 %
Conversations with Twitter Friends â€“ 25%
Social Media Related Tweets â€“ 15%
Tweets promoting my new posts â€“ 10%
Football Related Tweets â€“ 5%
Buffalo Related Tweets â€“ 3%
Travel Twit pics â€“ 2%
Palm Pre Tweets â€“ 2%
Harrassing @ginidietrich and @sarahrobinson â€“ 1%
Trying to get TO (terrellowens81) to respond — .5%
Retweeteing lolcats – .3%
Battlestar Galactica Tweets – .2%
You get the picture. If lolcats either offend or disturb you, you may not want to follow me. If reading a ten word football related message rubs you the wrong way, go ahead and unfollow me.
When the inspiration hits me, I write. When boredom hits me, I tweet. When I see something I think is awesome, I pass it along. Am I doing it right? I donâ€™t know, but I donâ€™t think Iâ€™d be much good at blogging or tweeting any other way besides simply being myself.
Adrian Dayton, esq is the author of Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition, a step-by-step guide for professionals interested in using social media to bring in business.Â You can get a free copy HERE.
Week 1: Diving In
by David Derrico
They all have cleverly used social media in promoting their objectives whether it was in organizing a presidential election, promoting a website, or trying to get the word out about political issues during a media lockdown. I used to think social media was something teenagers did to pass along high school gossip with their friends.Â I recently read statistics by comScore that placed 45-54 year olds as the largest age group of users on Twitter. I guess the world has changed.Â If countries, Presidents, and new media mavericks have all hopped on board, can the legal profession be far behind?
Allow me to share my insights.Â I am an attorney by trade, and will be immersing myself in this new world of social media for the next three months. I am currently enrolled in a marketing course with a focus on the changing landscape of marketing.Â Adrian has invited me to write occasionally on his blog, and has generously agreed to offer me weekly marketing guidance.Â How does one use social networking?Â Is Twitter better than Facebook? Who are the primary users of these networks? How can these new tools be leveraged to increase awareness, share ideas, and promote a business objective?
I invite everyone to follow me and as I learn I will share my experiences. In return I would like to learn from you, so please comment and offer suggestions.
It was Lao-tzu that said, â€œA journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.â€ Well, this is my first step, the Twitter account is created, let the tweets begin!
My guest writer David Derrico, esq has decided to dive in to social media.Â Every Monday his blog posts will illustrate what he has learned, and what he has to share.Â Hopefully those of you new to social media will find his posts helpful.Â In addition, I will be holding FREE weekly conference calls each Friday at 10:00 AM EST to help new professionals as they try to figure out social media.Â This Friday’s call is titled, “3 Steps to Making a Great First Impression Online” and you can sign up for the call here.
Over the last 9 months I have had the opportunity to travel all over the country speaking to lawyers about social media.Â We have often exchanged business cards, and kept the conversation going afterward through phone and email.Â Suddenly I find myself swamped, because I want to talk to everyone, but it is hard to find time.
So, here’s the deal.Â I am going to start holding free weekly conference calls, every Friday at 10:00 AM EST, to talk about social media for lawyers and other professionals.Â There will be different topics and guests each week, but to start it out, the topic this week will be “3 Tips to Making A Great First Impression Online.”
There will be introductions and Q&A- so please come join us.Â Simply click here and enter your name and email to receive all the details for the upcoming call.
Oh yeah, the best part is- it’s FREE.Â But space is limited, so make sure to call in a few minutes early to guarantee your spot.Â Look forward to talking with you OFFLINE.
On Martindale Hubble Connected the questionÂ Priya Marwah Doornbos asked was basically, “What are the top 3 most effective social media sites for lawyers?”
This question immediately made me question, aren’t there about 100 of them?Â There are so many “communities” online, that it can be impossible to decipher which to join.
Here was my answer to her:
I use only 3 social media sites (in any meaningful way)
Twitter– to generate traffic to my blog, spread my message, and build my brand.
LinkedIn– to connect with people too old to understand how to use Twitter.
Facebook– for friends and family to keep connected.
As for any social network, you only get out of it what you put into it.Â You reap what you sew, so pick a couple of communities that work for your target market, and attack in a strategic way.
Oh yeah, it should also be fun.Â I love Twitter and I get great results from it, so I spend most of my time there.
Just my thoughts.
The reason I didn’t recommend any Legal networks is because I believe in what Stephen Fairley calls “contrarian marketing” which means you should market where your competitors aren’t.Â On a site full of lawyers, it may be harder to get attention.Â Don’t get me wrong, I love some of the lawyer networks, we just need to be careful how much time we spend on them.
So what about Avvo, JDSupra, LegalOnramp, LawTweet, Lextweet, and Connected?Â These are all great sites for lawyers.Â Â They each have great possibilities for cross marketing opportunities for lawyers, sharing information, etc. They also have a lot in common with the Bar Association cocktail parties.Â It is worth while to attend once in a while, but not at the risk of missing higher probability business development opportunities in the community at large.
Lawyers, just like any other professionals, have two finite resources: Time and Energy.Â Choose carefully your online community.Â Don’t stretch yourself to thin.Â If you try to engage with EVERY site and community- you aren’t likely to get very far.
So which social networks do you use?
At the age of 32 Ed Scanlan has become a big name in the legal industry.Â According to INC. Magazine he has mastered the art of running a company like a start-up. How has that been working for him?Â Well his company was named to the Crain’s Fast 50, here is an excerpt:
This Chicago-based provider of back-office support services to small law firms claimed its second place spot by doubling its revenue each year since the company started in 2002, posting revenue of $23.9 million in 2008.
What makes Ed Scanlan tick?Â Listen in to hear him explain:
1.Â How he keeps his employees engaged and passionate.
2.Â What helped Ed and Total Attorneys put on an exceptional legal conference.
3.Â How companies can embrace social media and reap the benefits.
OK, so there hasn’t been a REAL street fight, but from the comments I hear a fight is eminent. This is a major problem in the Internet marketing industry. The skill set that makes an individual GREAT at SEO is not the same skill set that makes someone great at social media. The talented SEO guys are brilliant hackers (that’s a good thing), while the most talented social media people are your typical party planners. These two skill sets could not be any more different, yet the the SEO pro’s are often pretending to be party planners.
Here are the three major problems as I see them:
1. Keep it Simple Stupid: Social media, like Twitter, is very simple. The simplicity is the power behind Twitter, and the power behind great websites. Great web pages also need simplicity to clearly convey a message and take website visitors from point A to point B, ending with a call for a consultation, or to order services. Unfortunately, most old school SEO people want to load the pages with a TON of content so that the pages rank high in Google. This is such a misguided strategy because people will be so overwhelmed by the crowded page they won’t stick around. And even though the site is #1 in Google, the close rate is low, resulting in wasted effort.
2. Connection is Key: One of my clients took my advice, and asked their web guy to put “follow me” social media tabs on their web page to connect with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles. What did their SEO expert from Reuters say? “You don’t want to encourage visitors to leave your page with those icons!”
Are you kidding me? What you want is to be connected, you want followers, you want raving fans. Individuals buy from those they know, like, and trust- in that order. You want your visitors to get to know you, not just read your advertising copy. The best chance of this is by connecting with you through avenues like social media.
3. Pretty is the New Ugly: It isn’t about what your site looks like anymore. The art, the animations- forget it. Are people linking to your site? Does you site provide up-to-date, helpful content? People want sites that are helpful and dynamic. Google search loves fresh content as well, and that is a fact that SEO peeps and Bloggers alike can agree on. Most professionals, and even most companies, can’t afford to have a webmaster step in each time they want to change content on their site. The employees need to be able to do it themselves. They need to jump on, share their knowledge in the form of blog posts, and hit PUBLISH. They can’t worry about everything looking perfect, or they won’t ever post.
I am not an SEO guy, and I am amazed at how talented some of them are at getting high page ranks. But there has to be more. What I really want to know is, can these two groups co-exist? Can there be simple social-media-friendly pages with great SEO? Can we send people away from our site to social media sites AND increase the close rate of our web visitors? Can we have gorgeous sites that can also function as great tools? I don’t know the answer to these questions. After all, I’m just the party planner.
Please spread the word about tonight’s tweet-up in San Diego. All attorneys and law types are invited. There have been many questions about whether non-law people are invited, and of course everyone is invited, but I think the prizes will appeal more to attorneys and those working in the legal profession.
When: Tonight, September 11th, at 5:30 PM
Where: The Embassy Suites Hotel Bar on the first floor
Why: Hanging out is way more fun than “conferencing”
Who: Anybody and everybody, but especially law types.
Some awesome prizes that will be given out:
Hot off the presses, I will be giving away a free signed copy of Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition. There will also be additional copies available for purchase.
Total Attorneys: Get-A-Life Conf DVD’s, and free t-shirts to the first 20 attendees.
Rainmaker Institute: Giving away a free 3 set DVD on How to Become a
Abacus Law: Giving away a free copy of their new book.
Hope you can make it! DM me or shoot me an @reply if you have any questions.