Note: This is the first of a series of posts for Legal Ink Magazine in which I will endeavor to teach you how to ethically use social media sites to build your book of business.
There is a huge difference between Social Media Marketing and Social Media Networking. Although these phrases have become interchangeable, if you want to be more effective in using these tools to grow your book of business, you must understand that there is a difference.
Remove the words “social media” and what you are left with is “marketing “and “networking”; now, it becomes a bit easier to see the distinction.
Marketing is traditionally a method used to push your message out to the world. In that oft used phrase: “People do business with people they know, like and trust”, marketing allows you to become known.
In the old days – you know the days before the internet – legal marketing consisted of advertising (both on television and in print), brochures, sales letters, public relations, printed newsletters, and writing articles for publications. The audience was smaller because it was expensive to reach out to the masses. Now, with the internet a lot of these marketing tactics can be accomplished, reaching a wider audience, with a lot less money.
Social media has allowed attorneys to reach millions of potential clients and referral sources with their message.
Networking is about creating relationships. Relationships = Rainmaking.
It is about individually meeting people and creating the like and trust of the “know, like and trust” formula.
And now, because of social media, you have the ability to “meet” people from across the world that you would never have met in real life and create relationships with them. You actually have the ability, on all of these platforms, to create discussions which will help you move the relationships you create virtually into a real world situation.
However, what happens on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of other social media sites that exist is that attorneys log on and push their message out by selling. It would be the equivalent of walking up to a person at a networking event and handing them a card while saying: “Hi, I’m a lawyer. Hire me.” This actually happened to me, but thankfully this person was not an attorney; the result was that I left the card on the table – literally.
The point of social media, when it began, was to create conversations. It was social networking. However, as the mediums have grown up, the marketers have taken over. They realized that with the large populations on these sites, for example the total monthly active users on Facebook is 1.3 BILLION, they could reach more people.
As a Marketing Consultant, I see the value of using social media sites for getting yourself known. As a Rainmaking Trainer and Coach, I know that creating the relationships is much more valuable for obtaining new clients and referral sources.
So, how do you effectively (and ethically) use social media to get yourself known, liked and trusted? You will have to create a strategy to meet, market to and network with the ideal client and referral sources and the next post will explain how to get started. Stay tuned….