A Lawyer’s Guide To Building Your Personal Brand On Social Media
In the past social media has been undervalued and underused by lawyers, but in recent years the tides have been changing. In 2019, 85% of lawyers surveyed said they use social media as part of their overall marketing strategy, and this number is only rising year over year.
But are lawyers using social media correctly? Are they getting as much value out of the platforms as they could be? For the most part, the answer is no.
Most lawyers lack the knowledge and best practices needed to reap all the benefits of social media, leaving them to misuse the platforms or find them too intimidating to even get started. Some of the biggest social media mistakes lawyers make are:
- Trying to be the ‘jack of all trades’, positioning themselves on social media as an expert in every industry instead of truly mastering one.
- Thinking that simply reposting their firm’s social updates will cut it when it comes to being active on social media.
- Posting sporadically and with little focus on what they’re actually trying to achieve.
To help lawyers navigate the do’s and don’ts of using social media to grow their personal brand we’ve outlined six best practices you should follow.
- Stay Informed
In order to share knowledge with your network you need to be up-to-date on everything that’s happening in your industry, as it happens. Make a list of leaders (both companies and individuals) in your industry and reputable publications that can keep you up to date on all the latest news. Follow these people, companies and news sources on LinkedIn and Twitter and subscribe to get updates from the publications. There are platforms that automate and streamline all of this information and deliver it right to your inbox that you’ll also want to consider.
- Take Stance
Building a standout personal brand is about more than just sharing news. You’ll want to add an extra layer of insight or opinion onto news items that you share to give your network a unique point of view and truly demonstrate your expertise. For example, rather than just sharing that a merger took place between two large players in your industry, talk about what that merger could mean for the competitive landscape moving forward or what legal consideration the companies would have taken into account during the M&A process.
- Engage with others
Building your brand online isn’t always about starting the conversation – it’s just as important to be part of conversations that you aren’t leading. Where you have the ability to add insightful commentary, you should comment and/or and share other people’s posts. This will help you gain exposure to a wider network, since your comment will be seen by the original poster’s group of connections.
- Leverage events
Events and conferences are a prime time to be active on social media. Most times, the conference will have a designated hashtag that’s being used for that year’s event and attendees will be using it to share their key takeaways and favourite quotes from each of the sessions. Following the hashtag is a great way to see who else is at the conferences and provides an organic way for you to add them to your network. You could send a connection invite with a message similar to this: “Hi John, I noticed you were also attending TechInnovation 2020. I hope you’ve been enjoying the last few days. Would love to add you to my network. Best, Jane”.
- Stay consistent
Consistency is key when posting on social media, so decide how often you can commit to and make it happen. Whether once a week or once a day is manageable, block a time in your calendar and keep that appointment with yourself. Schedule about 30 minutes to allow yourself time for a bit of research, composing the message, and posting it to social media.
- Set benchmarks and goals
Knowing what your end game is can be really important to staying motivated and focused in building your online presence. Here are a few examples of goals you might want to consider setting:
- Grow the connections in my network from 500 to 1000 in 6 months
- Book one introductory meeting from social media connections each month
- Post to LinkedIn every week for one year
Making S.M.A.R.T. goals (goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) will help set you up for success.
Time to Take Action
Here are a few things you can do to get started today:
- Look into software that will help keep you informed about everything that’s happening in your industry (hint: we do this at Kaitongo, and would love to help you!)
- Send LinkedIn connection invitations to all of your past and current clients
- Follow all of your past and current clients on Twitter
- Identify upcoming events and conferences
- Commit to a social media posting schedule and block the time in your calendar to do it
- Make your first post – use relevant hashtags and add insightful commentary