Where is the Proof Social Media Works for Growing Your Practice?

Last week I gave a workshop on social media to over 30 collaborative practice  lawyers, mental health professionals and financial advisers.

A few of the participants were skeptical about social media and were not sure it was worth their time.

Others saw it as an opportunity for accelerating the growth of their practice.

Who is right? How do you know social media will work?

I believe the answer is not about whether social media works, rather it is about taking action to attract clients and referral sources to your collaborative practice. 

Taking action is the key to growing your practice.

The more action you take every day to convey what you do, who you do it for and the value you provide, the more clients and referral sources you will attract.

The following are emails describing the "action" taken from people attending my workshop in New York and from a law firm retreat I conducted in London.

"Since the workshop, I have added lots of people to my Linked In account and rewrote my bio.
 I am using Constant Contact to keep track of my clients, lawyers I work with and a coach list. I have just sent my first Constant Contact email announcing a workshop I'm doing on creating a Vision Board for clients.
 I was able to figure out how to put a link to the announcement on my website. It's another way to get people to sign onto my mailing list.
 I've written an involved article on the pros and cons of the one and two coach models (or Neutral and Co-Coach) and I'm developing my email lists.

Thought you'd like to know that there's a lot going on around here with a lot of people."

Micki McWade, Divorce coach New York.

" I am just discovering the joys of LinkedIn and Twitter though it is a bit unnerving when complete strangers start "following" you.

What I have found though from my first steps along the social media highway is that the more you do/say the more people notice you. A simple example is that the number of people who have looked at my LinkedIn profile has increased markedly since I started tweeting. I haven't yet directly related that to an increase in referrals but I guess that will take a bit more time.

The other thing I have found is that you have to make time to do it - and that's the real challenge."

Gillian Bishop, Family Law in Partnership,London

Stay tuned for more "action" focused tips for growing your practice in upcoming blog posts. Let me know what is working for you.
I will share your tips with other professionals in the Family law and Collaborative Practice community.



Mind Blowing Social Media Statistics- What Does This Mean for Lawyers and Collaborative Professionals?

In my Google reader this week, I saw a number of blogs refer to an impressive article titled 20+ mind-blowing social media statistics revisited. The article is getting a lot of attention from on-line enthusiasts. In less than 3 days, over 66 people have re-tweeted the article, 13 posted a comment and many more have written about the article in their blog, including me.  

Why so much excitement? Depending who you are and what you do, these numbers can represent a lot of things. For the social marketing consultant, they give solid evidence that social media is an essential component to the marketing mix.

But what do these “mind-blowing statistics” mean to the already too busy lawyer or professional?

The article states that more than 80,000 websites have implemented Facebook Connect since December 2008 and more than 700,000 local businesses have active Pages on Facebook.

No longer can anyone serious about growing their business or law practice ignore the revolution we are in as it relates to the new rules of marketing.

These statistics provide a reminder that our world is changing and the way we communicate, share, learn and connect with others is also changing.

Now is the time to step back and pay attention to the opportunities that social media provide.

Today make a commitment to do one thing that will engage you in the social media environment.

The following are three steps to get you started:

1.       The first step is to listen to what is being said, read what your colleagues, customers and referral sources are saying on their blogs, LinkedIn groups and tweets.

2.       The next step is to connect. Join or initiate groups in LinkedIn and facebook. Subscribe and follow your favorite blogs, invite new people to your facebook and linked in accounts.

3.       The final step is to make a contribution. Comment on blogs that you like or don’t like, respond to comments in your LinkedIn or facebook groups, re-tweet a favorite link. Post engaging and interesting blogs that tell the world how you think, what you stand for and how you solve problems for your clients.

In summary, social media is like any good social interaction, it starts with listening, followed by observing and connecting and finally making a contribution when you have something to say that others are interested in hearing.

I will be presenting a seminar in New York on Thursday, February 4th on the topic of Using Social Media to grow your Collaborative Law Practice. Please contact me if you are interested in bringing this workshop to your organization or firm.