Have you ever “Googled” your name? My Google Analytics shows me that most of the Google search engine traffic that comes into my site comes directly from people searching for my name, my name, and my book, or some other variation that includes my name. So to that end, here is my answer to the question, “Who is Adrian Dayton?” (hat tip to Niki Black who gave me this idea with her post, “Who is Nicole Black?” ) (Note: if you could link to my post when you write your own version I would appreciate it!)
My time is split between consulting to large and medium-sized law firms, speaking to professional groups about business development through social media, and writing for a few publications. I write a weekly column for the National Law Journal, a monthly column for Technolawyer, and on my own blog, https://adriandayton.wpengine.com. I am currently finishing my second book with co-author Amy Knapp entitled Social Media for Lawyers: LinkedIn & Blog Edition, which should be released sometime in the fall of 2011.
My career as a lawyer began in Western New York handling corporate work for the law firm of Jaeckle Fleishmann & Mugel LLP. During my first year, my team went from handling a $450 million merger one quarter, to literally having no work the next quarter. While things were slow I discovered social media. I was trying to get a manuscript published and a friend of mine Brian Watkins told me to, “Start a blog, start using Twitter,” and so I did.
A few weeks into it, I noticed a weet from one of my followers that was unexpected
“does anybody know a contracts lawyer?”
This was unexpected because I was following authors, writers, and publishers. I hadn’t even imagined using Twitter to bring in clients. I responded to the message and brought in a new file to my law firm. What was most surprising to me wasn’t that I had a random piece of good luck, but that even though any lawyer in the world could have responded to her question, I was the only one.
In the months that followed, I became addicted to social media and learned everything I could about using it for business development. Then it dawned on me that high-paid lawyers would never take the time to learn these tools. Those that did however would gain a distinct advantage. A service that helped to speed up that learning process could potentially be very valuable.
Then one day, the head of the corporate department walked in with another partner and they closed the door behind them. (This had never happened to me before.) My boss shared with me a few words that I’ll never forget, “I’m sorry, but we’re going to have to let you go.” And that was that. They were gracious enough to pay me a small severance and sent me on my way.
The next week I was offered a new job, and I see this as one of the defining moments in my life. I had to decide whether to go to work for someone elseor try to make a go of it for myself. At the time I was reading Tribes by Seth Godin and I know it sounds cheesy, but that book inspired me to try and build my own thing, and more importantly, it gave me the confidence to set out to influence the entire legal industry.
Six months later, my first book “Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition” was published and four months after that I was hired by my first Global 100 law firm who has continued to be my best client. Since then I have added large and medium-sized firms as clients, working primarily with AmLaw 100 and AmLaw 250 firms with a couple of clients in Australia.
My other passion is public speaking, and I have been fortunate enough in the last two-and-a-half years to speak all over the world. While the majority of my speaking is in the United States I have also spoken in Wellington, New Zealand;Sydney, Australia; Rome, Italy and Toronto, Canada just to name a few.
Before Law School, I had a few entrepreneurial ventures (some more successful than others) including an import company and a property management company. Before that, I earned an economics degree from Brigham Young University and studied Developmental Economics at the London School of Economics. During this time I also served a two-year church mission to Antofagasta, Chile for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
While I have an active law license in the State of New York, I no longer practice. Jaeckle Fleishmann & Mugel was the first firm to give me a chance, but they were also the first to realize that I had no business practicing law. I thank them for sending me on my way when they did; it has led to some of the greatest adventures of my life.
I’m now 32yearsold and I live in Amherst, New York with my wife Natalie and young son Taylor. I work from home and when I’m not traveling we have dinner as a family every night at 5:30.
Sorry, this was so long, but I figured since you Google’d my name, you might want to know my story, at least the first couple of chapters.