Last week, I was speaking with one of my lawyers about content marketing and social media, and he wanted to know whether “all this blogging and social media stuff” really brings in work for lawyers. It’s a question I get a lot from my lawyers, and one that ties in nicely with an article I was just reading this afternoon, so I thought I’d share my answer with you here as well.
While there are those one-off stories that you hear, when the timing is just right that a lawyer blogs about a topic and an in-house counsel is looking for an expert in that area at the same time, and they find each other and a matter is secured, that’s certainly not the norm. I’ve never suggested to my lawyers that they engage in social media because it’s going to directly lead to more work coming in. What I do tell them is that it enhances their existing word-of-mouth reputation. When I was speaking with my lawyer last week, I said to him what’s much more likely to happen is that a potential client will be looking for a referral, and someone that they know, like, and trust will give them a name.
As we all do these days, the potential client will then Google that lawyer. When they do so, if what comes up is a series of well-written, thoughtful blog posts on the subject matter that the potential client is interested in, a robust LinkedIn profile that showcases the lawyer’s expertise in the area, and a Twitter feed that shows that they engage with thought leaders in the industry and share relevant content (both their own and others) that puts them on the cutting edge, then the potential client will feel more confident and comfortable in giving the work to that lawyer. It’s human nature – we want to have our choices confirmed so that there’s as little risk as possible in making them.