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4 November 2020

Social Media Strategy for Attorneys: The "How" and "Why"


Recently, Weltman hosted a special webinar, 15 Ideas for Marketers During COVID-19, with marketing agency thunder::tech, as part of our WeConnect 90th-anniversary celebrations. The hour-long session provided innovative and practical ideas for attendees across a board of industries, including: financial, automotive, and hospitality – just to name a few. 

The main takeaway was simple: Gone are the days of relying exclusively on networking events and face-to-face interactions. Whether COVID-19 is to thank or to blame is subjective, but the fact remains the same… a digital marketing presence is important now more than ever. Sure, pay-per-click (PPC) ads and a website with a list full of keywords and a strong search engine optimization (SEO) ranking is great, but we should start from the ground up. The first layer of the digital marketing masterpiece is your social media presence.


The Why:

No need to sweat, yet: Understandably, marketing and communications weren’t at the forefront of your law school experience; you may or may not even have a LinkedIn profile yet. But, the reality of it is, you’ve been marketing yourself much longer than you likely even recognize. We’re working to simply transform those blind efforts into strategic methods. And yes, just because your firm likely has a dedicated marketing department, you are still responsible for building your own brand, too. 

Your brand & your firm’s brand should work hand-in-hand: It’s not a threat or a competition to grow your presence while the firm itself does, too – so do it together. In fact, one of the takeaways from our recent webinar said it best, “It’s time to rework the sales and marketing relationship.” Meaning, as an attorney, you should not fear your marketing/sales department. Working with them and having a clear line of communication can ensure cohesive messaging across all fronts and can help you get started yourself. 

The development stage: Begin your marketing strategy by asking a few simple questions to set preliminary goals and objectives:
  • What am I trying to accomplish – brand awareness, lead generation, etc. 
You may have caught this on our webinar, but if you missed it, make note: the pandemic period is a great time to focus on client retention. Apply that concept to your goal here, if it makes sense. If you’re a newer attorney looking to acquire clients, perhaps consider a brand awareness campaign instead.
 
  • Who are my clients/prospects and what do they need from me?
You know your audience. Don’t overcomplicate it! Based off conversations you’ve already had with your clientele, you can determine what topics matter most to them. 
 
  • How will I track the success of my efforts?
This can vary depending on your knowledge of digital marketing. Perhaps you’re already tech-savvy and capable of analyzing your social media statistics. If so, great! If not, keep it simple. Take a tally-note approach, notating when a client mentions they saw your latest email alert or that a prospect appreciated the LinkedIn article you posted. Success, and metrics, look different for everyone. As with anything, your answers to the above will be fluid and should change with time. 
 

The How:

Getting digital: After identifying what you’re looking to accomplish, it’s time to set forth and conquer. Freshen up (or create) your profile online – whether it’s an Instagram account, Google My Business page, Facebook, and so forth. While the success of each platform varies by industry, we recommend getting started first with a LinkedIn page – it is hands down the most popular networking platform for professionals. Begin growing your connections by adding colleagues, clients, and prospects. Try adding a personal message when you send the invitation to connect, especially with your potential clients. Personalization is key!

Helping, not selling: Once you’ve established some friends or “connections” and your profile is complete, it’s time to share some content. One of the biggest mistakes we’ve seen attorneys make is they think every post they share has to be their own… and that couldn’t be further from the truth. The content you share with your network should be a solid mix of your original work AND recycled information that you are simply sharing from another source – for example, if you are a real estate default attorney and a credible source, such as The Wall Street Journal, publishes an article about an increase of foreclosures… share it! Add your own personal insight to the post when necessary, but by all means, share the article link.  Moreover, be sure to share your firm’s company updates on your personal page for quick content that benefits both parties. 

It’s important to note, whether you’re sharing your own article or repurposing another one, your platform should be a soft sell… your LinkedIn connections added you for insight, not a sales pitch. Be methodic, but not direct. Develop educational opportunities by sharing content that will help your connections, and in turn, help you. For more insight on how to do this, re-watch our marketing webinar.

Just the tip of the iceberg: It takes time… a lot of time. And caffeine. But once your social media presence is solidified, you can (and should) explore additional marketing options to continue growing your brand. The possibilities are endless: 
 
  • Digital: Pay per click ads, search engine optimization (SEO), legal directories, blogs/guest blogging, newsletters, webinars, podcasts, e-books, whitepapers
  • Print: Direct mail, local print ads, pamphlets, brochures, business cards, window decals, flyers, tchotchkes, park benches, highway billboards, community sponsorships
... and so many more!
Marketing is not one size fits all and is not about who can do the most, but who can do it best. What are effective marketing methods for a creditors’ rights attorney are likely not the same as those for a divorce attorney or personal injury attorney. 

For a deeper dive into social media techniques and best practices, be sure to register for our upcoming webinar, Leading in the Face of Adversity on November 13th. This attorney-focused forum will offer three sessions tailored to helping lawyers excel during these unprecedented times. Attendees will earn 2.5 hours towards their Professional Conduct Credit for their Ohio CLE requirements. To learn more and register, click here.

This blog is not a solicitation for business and it is not intended to constitute legal advice on specific matters, create an attorney-client relationship or be legally binding in any way.


 

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