Blogging, Social Media, Social Networking Websites, Technology

Law Is A Social Business

I’ve never met Amy Hrehovcik, but the beat of her Twitter stream thunders:

I’m sure that cartoon trigger chuckles in many marketers and business developers trying to help lawyers grow revenue. Why? The legal profession traditionally is slow to adapt….

Well, slow-moving lawyers, change is afoot in law and social is a big part of that. Social changes how you and your clients live and work. In fact, $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in annual value can be unlocked by tapping into social channels, platforms and technologies.

That shouldn’t surprise you. The “practice of law” isn’t static. Legal precedent evolves and is overturned all the time. The “business of law” is no different. Old-school networking is evolving into new-school networking.

Social — done right — is a way to strengthen and develop your existing and future client relationships both offline and online.

To all those moldy, crusted lawyers, saying “I won’t change!” isn’t smart or competitive or a strategy. It’s just lazy. Do know that your obstinance is sweet music to the go-getting, resilient lawyer. That’s the pro building a solid future on your stiff-necked resistance.

Here are two points — pinched from Forrester and McKinsey (because they have time to do solid research) — that might give you, intransigent lawyer, the incentive to adapt:

Forrester’s take:

100% of business decision-makers use social media for work. That 100%. The more nuanced picture:

  • 98% of business decision-makers are Spectators (they read blogs, watch videos, or listen to podcasts)
  • 79% are Joiners (they maintain a profile on social networking sites)
  • 5% are Critics (they comment on blogs and post ratings and reviews)

This helps you understand how your clients and prospects use social as a part of their professional lives. Let this knowledge inform your approach to social.

Your [clients] don’t make blanket use of “social media,” “social networks,” or “communities” in general. Instead, they use specific social networks and communities and communities for specific goals, both personal and business-related. The communities your [clients] visit for personal reasons are not always the ones they use for business purposes.

Darwin QuoteSitting on the dock makes no sense — jumping into the river of conversation that’s right for your practice niche/audience does make sense. LXBN is an example of lawyers taking full advantage of the Internet and the power of online exposure. This social channel showcases and networks lawyers’ voices, opinions and knowledge in a whole new way. These lawyers are shaping a narrative and driving their agenda online. They are your benchmark for getting social right.

What’s McKinsey say?

The $750 billion global legal sector is a part of the $3 trillion professional services industry. According to McKinsey’s social economy report:

This industry has the greatest potential of any industry to see huge return-on-investment benefits from social media.

Why McKinsey? Because:

Professional services firms, more so than other businesses, are innately social organizations. They depend very heavily on social interactions – with clients and among professional colleagues — to carry out their work and develop new business.

Forrester and McKinsey are screaming at you: social is a powerful way to signal your passion and subject matter expertise. Get online. The 2013 In-House Counsel New Media Engagement Survey by Greentarget, InsideCounsel and Zeughauser Group underscores this:

  • 74% of in-house counsel say they use social media in listen-mode only
  • 67% of GCs have used LinkedIn for professional reasons during the past day or week
  • 53% of GCs say quality blogs influence hiring decisions

Your call-to-action:

Law is a social business and the best way for you to develop new business is to interact socially offline AND online. These days your online persona must equal or exceed your offline persona or you risk not being found by the savvy business decision-makers making social work for them.

Resources

Amy Tweet Innovatino Dying OutWebinar: To learn more about how you can get on board with social, LexBlog is hosting a webinar on June 25 at 1:00 PM Eastern. The guest speaker is attorney and law blogger Tiffani McDonough of Obermayer. Tiffani will share her insights for becoming more visible online. Register here.

Reading: LMA’s P3 Conference in Chicago offers insight into the business aspects of developing a successful law practice. Here’s a summary.


Kevin McKeown (@KevinMcKeown) is president of LexBlog, which empowers lawyers to increase their visibility and accelerate business relationships online. With LexBlog’s help, legal professionals use their subject matter expertise to drive powerful business development through blogging and social media. Visit LexBlog.com.

LexBlog also hosts LXBN, the world’s largest network of professional blogs. With more than 8,000 authors, LXBN is the only media source featuring the latest lawyer-generated commentary on news and issues from around the globe. Visit lxbn.com now.

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