It has been said over and over that people hire lawyers, not law firms. Smart attorneys know they need to build their own personal brand to generate more business for themselves and their firms. They also know they need more than just great legal acumen to win business.
Attorneys have lots of methods available to them to establish their own brands. Speaking engagements, email blasts, published articles, podcasts, media appearances – these all have a role in establishing an attorney’s credibility. But perhaps the easiest and most versatile tool available to a lawyer today is social media.
Social media allows you to promote and amplify your marketing initiatives. It also gives you a platform to establish yourself as a subject matter expert (SME) by allowing you to share your content as well as relevant content produced by others.
Social media as the cornerstone of your personal branding
When adding social media to your marketing plan, consider what you would like to accomplish. Are you looking to:
- Build your personal brand?
- Establish yourself as a subject matter expert?
- Generate speaking and writing opportunities?
- Grow your relationships with current clients?
- Attract new clients?
While you cannot accomplish everything at the same time, establishing goals around what you want to achieve will help you narrow the focus of your social media efforts.
Whatever goals you choose, informing, educating, and adding value to your clients and prospects needs to be first on the list. These individuals are looking for an attorney who is a credible partner and knowledgeable resource, both of which you can demonstrate using social media.
Determining your ideal audience
Once you have set your goals, determine your ideal audience. Think about your ideal client. What is her role? What is the size of her company? How large is it? What is their annual revenue? What type of legal service needs do they have?
Beyond your ideal client, also consider which editors, publishers, journalists, conference organizers, and industry influencers you should connect with. (HubSpot has a great tutorial on creating buyer personas.)
Choosing the platform that aligns with your strategy
Now that you know who you are looking for, you can determine where they hang out online.
Are you a transactional lawyer whose clients are often businesses? Or are you a litigator whose work is largely referral-based? Then LinkedIn is the best platform for you. Maybe you are an attorney who mainly handles DUI/DWI cases. Facebook might be the right platform to find new clients. Are you looking to connect with journalists in an effort to get published more often? You will want to make sure you have a strong presence on Twitter.
LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have traditionally been the platforms that attorneys have considered for social media. But other platforms, such as Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat, Reddit, and others are worth considering if they align with your ideal client. Buffer has a great piece on the top 21 social media sites.
Once you have determined which platform(s) is best for you, find groups where your ideal clients may hang out and join them. Then follow the pages of industry influencers and strategically add contacts to your network. These are the people who will amplify your message and generate business for you.
A little planning goes a long way. Now that you have designed a social media strategy that aligns your goals with the platforms most likely to reach your ideal clients and prospects, executing your plan will be more efficient.
Our next post, Executing Your Plan: The Smart Attorney’s Guide to Social Media, digs into the what, when, and how of your social media strategy.
Ready to get started? Check out the LISI Resource Center for helpful tools and templates.