I think it is safe to say that lawyers are risk averse. We are a cautious bunch who, for the most part, tend to over-think and analyse everything we do. These personality traits may be why some of us are afraid of social media and have yet to embrace this key aspect of marketing our practices.
When I first joined Twitter I would often quickly draft my 140 character tweet, only to edit it and re-write it over and over again until finally I would talk myself out of even tweeting it and delete it all together. Why? The thought of having something go out into the "Twitter-verse" with my name on it, where it would exist forever, was daunting. Would this tweet come back to haunt me? Did I use the right tone? Is the tweet appropriate for my profession? Fortunately, with some practice, I am getting (a bit) better.
If you are a lawyer and are a little hesitant to try Twitter, or LinkedIn, or to start your own law firm blog, there is help for you. I recently met Eva Chan, a former practicing lawyer turned social media strategist. While there are lots of social media coaches, Eva is unique because she focuses on helping lawyers. She understands our quirks, risk aversion, and our target market. Eva's services include devising a social media plan, one-on-one coaching and training. For more information on Eva and her services, visit her website: www.evachanweb.ca
Tweeting, blogging, being on LinkedIn, etc. are all great tools to get your name out there and recognized. I have now met many of my Twitter followers at law events and some have referred work to me. I have also received work through LinkedIn contacts. My social media marketing is working. There is no time like the present to re-consider how you can use social medial to your advantage.
Erin C. Cowling is a freelance litigator, researcher & writer at Cowling Legal Freelance and President and Founder of Flex Legal Network Inc., a network of freelance lawyers.