N.I.N.J.A – No Income, No Job, or Assets
Often used in connection with loans, it also applies to so-called social media “experts.”
There has been a ridiculous rise of people claiming to be some sort of expert or professional or guru in social media in the past few years. How many? Try this on for size.
So in the three years, the number of social media experts multiplied by 11 times. Either there has been legitimate, explosive growth in the need for social media marketers, or perhaps (just maybe) people are promoting BS and blabber. These people are hoping, desperately, that someone will buy into their BS for long enough to pay them for it.
Unfortunately, lawyers are often some of the people who buy into it. You would think lawyers would know better — logical reasoning, analytical thinking, problem solving, etc. Nope. Lawyers seem to fall prey to these people as often, if not more so, as every other business….
Why do lawyers fall prey to whatever is the latest and greatest in the online world? First off, they’re desperate for clients. Competition has never been fiercer. So firms, big and small, are availing themselves of any avenue that might lead to generating business. And computers and the internet are the hot new thing, right? Facebook, Twitter, Google+ (lol), etc. Lawyers keep hearing from futurists, gurus, and consultant wannabes that they need to “get on board” with the next new thing. To be successful, lawyers need to be everywhere. They need to be present. There are clients on social media. There are connections on social media. Just pay the marketeers some money and they’ll show you how to navigate it all!!
So lawyers end up spending thousands of dollars on courses, and websites, and social media accounts. They furiously blog, tweet, post, whatever. It lasts two months, they get no clients, they quit. Or they outsource their marketing. Or they dwindle down to maintaining a lame Twitter account, re-tweeting local news reports on car accidents. Like that is somehow going to get them clients.
It’s a waste. It’s a scam. There’s no real point to it. The time, money, and energy that has gone into the black hole of trying to develop clients on social media is shameful.
I’m not against social media, I use it – frequently. I chat with people, crack jokes, find new information from time to time. You can, in time, develop relationships with people. But it is a s-l-o-w process. Will it lead to clients/referrals? Who knows. I’m certainly not waiting with bated breath. But is “getting clients/referrals” what you are thinking of when you develop relationships with people in real life? What can this other person do for me? Me me me!? It’s all about me! Good luck with that.
Think about your best relationships. Are you puffing yourself up around them? Exaggerating your résumé? Constantly boasting of yourself?
No. Instead, you let your guard down. You’re helpful. You’re honest. You don’t expect anything in return. You’re a shoulder to cry on, an extra hand to move a couch, a hand up when they’ve fallen down. It’s a two-way street where they help you just as much as you help them. The person you are in these private moments is who you should strive to be all the time. You don’t need a curated version of yourself to display to the world:
Just be who you really are. As long as you are true and honest, it’s what the rest of us need from you anyway.
Keith Lee practices law at Hamer Law Group, LLC in Birmingham, Alabama. He writes about professional development, the law, the universe, and everything at Associate’s Mind. He is also the author of The Marble and The Sculptor: From Law School To Law Practice (affiliate link), published by the ABA. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @associatesmind.