Are you fully taking advantage of the huge client development opportunity the Internet has given you? I am frequently surprised by how few lawyers are “fully” taking advantage.
I was once asked by an Association of Legal Administrators chapter to speak on Blogging and Social Media.
I don’t put a lot of words on slide, but if I did, my first slide would have been the bold assertion:
SOCIAL MEDIA REDUCES THE LUCK FACTOR IN CLIENT DEVELOPMENT
I got the idea by thinking about my own experiences and looking back at an article Seth Godin wrote 15 years ago for Fast Company magazine Unleash Your Ideavirus. It is so interesting to look at the article in 2015, knowing what has happened in 15 years .
Welcome to the third century (of our country’s history): This one’s about ideas…If you can get people to accept, embrace, adore, and cherish your ideas, you win! You win financially, you gain power, and you change the world.
Seth Godin was right and he went on in the article to talk about how ideas spread and move faster and cheaper than ever before using things like Netscape and Hotmail. Near the end of the article he says:
Think back. Really far. All the way to 1990.
How many people did you have regular contact with? Maybe 10,20, or 30 in your personal life and maybe 100 at work?
Now, take a look at your email inbox and your instant-messaging buddy list. How many people do you hear from every week.
Do you see where I am going with this?
In 1983, I received a call from the general counsel of what later turned out to be my largest client. I had been recommended by a lawyer who had been on a panel with me earlier that year.
Think about the luck involved in me getting that call. I had to have been on the panel with the lawyer and the general counsel had to speak with him.
In 2000, I received a call from a potential client who had read an alert I had prepared and had emailed to the state executives of construction associations. Email had expanded my network of potential clients and referral sources who would have the opportunity to read my materials.
So, while luck was a factor, it was less than it had been in 1983.
In 2015, your network is even greater and your method of distributing your ideas is even more efficient.
I am no longer practicing law, but I am using social media to reach out to lawyers. When I looked yesterday, I have over 2421 people following me on Twitter. That is not a lot compared to someone like Chris Brogan who has well over 400,000 followers.
The number following me is way more than the number of people I sent emails to when I was practicing law in 2000.
I have a Facebook Coaching Fan Page with 221 lawyers and friends reading my content. With 1,000,000 lawyers in the United States, I would like to have at least 10,000 lawyers reading my ideas.
When I write an article and do a presentation, I make note of it in groups I belong to on LinkedIn. I have had lawyers all over the world request copies of my materials.
When I do presentations, I put the slides on Slideshare.net. One presentation has been viewed by thousands and downloaded 782 times.
Because of social media, I have dramatically more people with whom I connect and I do it more frequently and in less time.
If I want more followers on Twitter and more fans of my coaching page on Facebook, and more lawyers reading my blog, the ideas I share must be perceived as valuable and timely to lawyers. So, luck is less a factor when someone recommends me or someone hires me.
You have both the same opportunity and the same challenge. It is easier than ever before to spread your ideas to a greater number of people and make luck less of a factor.
Your challenge is to create valuable ideas. Seth Godin said it well: “…an idea that moves, grows, and infects everyone (your clients and potential clients) it touches…that’s an ideavirus.”
P.S. If you have some extra time, take a look at my Blogging and Social Media iBook which can be found on iTunes and Slideshare.