Podcast: Episode 1 – How To Start Attracting More Clients For Your Law Firm Through Social Media

January 22, 2019

We all want to attract new clients for our law firm, and social media is the perfect avenue to do that. As a social media attorney and digital marketer, I’ve seen firsthand how Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram can be used to create awareness for our practice, engage prospective clients, and develop new leads for your law firm. Now it’s your turn to take advantage of these powerful marketing tools. Our first episode of the Social Skills podcast will provide you with a roadmap for using social media to bring in more business regardless of your law firm size, practice areas, or experience with social media. I’ll also teach you how to develop a social media marketing plan that will allow you to target your ideal clients and attract them to your law firm. So, what are you waiting for? Give it a listen:

Transcript:

Looking to attract more clients for your law firm on social media? On our first episode of social skills, you’ll learn the very first step you should take to start bringing in more clients today. You’ll also learn the one major roadblock every lawyer faces on social media and how to get around it. Ready to get started? Let’s go.

Welcome to Social Skills. I am your host, Ethan Wall, social media attorney, digital marketer for lawyers and author of our newest book Social Skills: How to Attract More Clients for your Law Firm through Social Media Marketing. And I’m here with my tag team partner Chido.

Hey guys, I’m Chido Chola and I am the social media manager here at Social Media Law and Order. Welcome to the Social Skills podcast. On today’s episode, we are going to be discussing how to start attracting more clients for your law firm through social media.

We all have different goals in life and in our practice. Some of us want to grow our own firms. Others may want to build a book of business so that we can become partner at our law firms and others want to create a steady stream of leads so we can spend more time with our family and friends and less time working.

This podcast is going to teach you how to use social media to attract more clients for your law firm and accomplish your goals in life and in your practice.

All right. Ethan, before we dive into our first episode, tell us a little bit more about yourself. I am a social media attorney and yes, that does exist.

I’ve been practicing law for over 10 years in both litigation and transactional practices and back in 2015, I founded the social media law firm, which is the world’s first law firm, dedicated exclusively to social media legal issues. I’ve now authored eight books on the effect of social media on the law, including the social media guide for lawyers and our newest book social skills. I’m also a law professor at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where I teach social media and the law. I also founded Social Media Law and Order, which is a social media and digital marketing agency that helps lawyers and law firms attract more clients and grow their business.

Okay. You sound like a huge nerd, so why did you start this podcast?

I started this podcast to help other lawyers achieve their goals. I’m at a point in my career where I’m lucky to have achieved a lot of success. Thanks. In part to using social media to my advantage and I’ve learned a lot along the way from both making mistakes, learning from them and then applying them in my practice and so I want to show other lawyers how they can use social media to achieve their goals. Chido, I practice social media law. I don’t think anybody else out there does this, and so I feel confident that by giving people the tools to succeed, they can use it to grow their law firms, their practice, and achieve what they want to achieve in life using the same things that have worked for us.

Awesome. So what can we expect from this podcast?

You can expect to learn the same skills, strategies, and techniques that we’ve used to grow the Social Media Law Firm and also have helped our clients at our social media agency grow their firms too. We’re going to start by discussing how you can develop a social media plan that is tailored specifically to your law firm and the types of clients that you want to attract. We’ll then discuss specific strategies that you can use to target your ideal clients using social media, your website, and digital marketing and transition your followers into leads and potential clients we’ll also discuss how the legal advertising ethics rules apply to your personal and professional social media use. Best of all, each episode is going to contain a specific action step that you can take right away to begin attracting new clients for your law firm on social media.

So let’s get down to business. What will we be discussing on today’s episode? Are you going to give us your secret sauce, your top secret approach for using social media to attract new clients?

I wish there was a top secret approach that worked for everyone, but the fact of the matter is that every law firm and lawyer is different. Everyone has different skills that makes them unique. Some lawyers are great writers and they want to use a social manage, a social media strategy that focuses on blogs and articles. Other lawyers are excited to get out in the community. They thrive on using video content photos and getting involved and engaging their community. So because every lawyer is different and the types of clients that we want to attract are different. There’s no one size fits all approach. Instead, every lawyer and law firm needs to start with a plan on how they’re going to use social media to attract their ideal clients.

And on today’s episode we’re going to teach you how to get started. We’re going to cover three main items. First, where do you begin? Then, what will the process look like? And finally, what’s the one major problem attorneys face and how they can get around it.

Awesome, so what are we waiting for? Tell us where to start.

We need to start with the end in mind. Consider this. A skilled litigator starts by thinking of what they want to say at their closing argument and then work backwards to develop their trial strategy. This helps them to know what witnesses they wanted to pose, what evidence they need to collect, and what their strategy is going to be leading up to trial in order to achieve success. The same process works with a skilled transactional attorney. We may want to negotiate a really successful deal for our clients, so we start by thinking what is the ideal outcome that I can get from this negotiation and then begin to work backwards to figure out how I’m gonna handle this negotiation.

The same process works with social media marketing for lawyers, meaning the very first thing we need to do is start with the end in mind by figuring out what is our law firm’s goal. Assuming that we want to attract new clients, we need to figure out what are the types of clients that we want to attract, what social media platforms that we’re going to be using, what type of content we need, and what type of messaging is going to be relevant and resonate with our target audience and once we figure out our ultimate goal, then we can work backwards to put together a plan that works for our law firm and the types of clients that we want to generate.

Awesome so once we establish our goal and we know what it is, what does the process look like from there?

Well, even though every law firm is different, the process is the same meaning regardless of your goal, your law firm’s familiarity with social media or how long you’ve been on social media or even if you’re just using it for the first time, the process is the same and that is plan, prepare and execute. Meaning, some lawyers like to dive right in and just execute right out the gate. They want to learn by doing, sign up for a social media profile and get started. And trust me, I love that gusto. I myself started doing that many years ago, but what happens is that when you begin using social media and adding a few connections, posting things from time to time, but you’re not getting a lot of engagement, you’re not really seeing leads. Clients aren’t coming in. We begin to get discouraged and then we give up on social media. We don’t think that it’s a great tool and we invest our time and energy elsewhere, but what I’m here to tell you is that it’s not that social media isn’t a powerful tool to use for marketing or business development. It’s that we may not have the right plan for how we need to use social media specifically for marketing and business development.

So starting with a plan, then preparing all the assets that we need to execute that plan, and then going online and executing really is the right process for any lawyer or law firm that wants to be successful on social media.

Alright, so we all need a plan. What does it plan look like?

Everyone’s plan is going to look a little bit different because we all have different strengths or weaknesses that work best for us and but regardless of our plan, there’s really going to be four key elements. Every plan is going to include a communication strategy, a content strategy, an engagement strategy, and a conversion strategy.

Got It. I’ve never heard of those terms before, so you have to break it down for me. What do they mean?

So a communication strategy means creating messaging that’s going to be relevant and resonate with our target audience. All of us are different, so we need to figure out who are our ideal clients, how can we help them, and what makes us unique?

By figuring out those elements, we’re going to know what’s the type of content that we want to write on social media that’s going to attract potential clients and resonate with them. We then need to create a content strategy. This is the content assets that we need to tell our story, meaning what type of photographs, videos, and blogs might we use to get in front of our target clients and drive them back to our website. Get them to engage with our post and ultimately contact us. You then need to put together an engagement strategy. This means where are we going to engage our target clients? Are they using Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter? Is it through our personal profiles? Our law firms pages? We need to figure out the right channels within which to engage our target clients and finally we need to come up with a conversion strategy, meaning that likes are great, comments are awesome, but if they’re not leading to new leads and potential clients, then they’re not helping us to accomplish our goals. We need to come up with a strategy that’s going to convert followers to leads to potential clients and we can do that through awareness, engagement, and conversion campaigns. We’re going to do a deep dive into each of these subjects throughout our upcoming podcast, but those are the four key elements that should be in every lawyer and law firms plan.

Excellent. So over the next four episodes, we’re going to break down those four elements into more detail, but before we do a deep dive into those, what is the one major roadblock that all attorneys face that we need to get past?

We need to address the elephant in the room and that is ethics. Attorneys are conservative by nature. We don’t want to unintentionally violate the legal advertising ethics rules because they can have real consequences for us and as a result, many attorneys are afraid to use social media because they don’t know how the legal advertising ethics rules will apply to their social media use and advertising.

And it’s also difficult because every jurisdiction is different. If we practice in Florida, the rules may be different from New York or California or Texas, especially in California where everything is done a little bit weird. But what I’m here to tell you is that while the ethics rules do exist, they’re really just guidelines for us within which to follow. Meaning that I like to think of the ethics rules as a sandbox. These are the different ways that we need to avoid getting in trouble. But so long as we know what the rules are, then we can play within that sandbox in a way that helps us to accomplish our goals. And while different states do have different ethics rules, and while this podcast will not be providing legal advice on those rules, the principles that are behind those rules are very much the same, meaning almost every single state models are rules after the American Bar Association model rules and the principles that are there, serve as a guideline for us to be able to use social media. So by not ignoring the elephant in the room and saying, we understand that ethics rules exist and we must respect them and we can respect them, but by understanding how they work and how they apply to social media, we can embrace that reality and deal with it and move forward past that roadblock and begin to take advantage of all of the powerful marketing tools that social media provides.

All right, but what if, in my opinion, the risks of violating the ethics rules outweighed the rewards?

Each of us have to make that decision for ourselves. I can’t tell you that you must use social media for marketing or that the potential for violating the ethics rules outweighs any potential rewards. What I can tell you is that social media is not the future. It’s the present. And that us as human beings, as lawyers, we need to constantly evolve or else our law firm is going to be left behind and I can tell you that your competitors are using social media. I’m using social media. Other lawyers are using it and some of them may be using it incorrectly and over time they’re going to have to deal with the consequences of that. If they don’t educate themselves on how the ethics rules apply, but you really have a choice. Your choices. I can sit on the sidelines and not expose myself to any risk and not use social media at all and hope that my current marketing strategies are going to work now and in the future and it may very well be okay for you or you can get into the game. You could figure out how to use Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram to create exposure for your firm to attract a steady stream of leads over time to engage them and convert them into clients and said that your law firm can grow now and build sustainable marketing efforts for the future in a manner that complies with the legal advertising ethics rules. I will cover those rules throughout our podcast.

Awesome. I’m convinced so, but you did say at the beginning of this podcast, after each episode, you would leave us with a tip. So what tips do you have for us to start using social media?

So I’m going to assume that for most of us, our goal is to attract more clients for our law firm. I’m going to use that as a baseline for a lot of the discussion that we have, but if there’s one thing that you can do today, it’s figuring out what is your goal for social media. If it’s to attract new clients, awesome. We’re going to cover that in detail, but it doesn’t mean that the strategies and techniques that we cover don’t work equally well for other goals. So for example, your goal may be that I want to run for a contested election for my state’s board of governors and therefore I want to create awareness for who I am, what I’m all about, and how I serve my community so that people will think of me when it’s time to cast a vote on election day.

Or your goal might be a bigger picture to say, look, I’ve been practicing for 20 years. I own my own firm. I’m hiring employees, but I personally don’t want to be doing all the work all the time. It would be easier for me if I was able to create the foundation to have a steady stream of leads that were coming into my firm both now and in the future so I can spend more time with my family, my friends, and less time in front of a computer. And I’m here to tell you that you can do that using social media, technology, automation, features, and other things that we’re going to discuss during this podcast. But what I can’t figure out for you is your goal. You need to start there and then you can develop a plan on how you’re going to achieve your goal.

Now we’re going to cover over our next series of episodes, how you can create your social media marketing plan, but if you’re ready to get started today, Chido and I have prepared a free five step guide to developing your law firm social media marketing plan. This short guide is going to be tailored towards your law firm and the specific types of clients that you want to attract, and if that would be beneficial for you, I invite you to download our guide by visiting DevelopYourPlan.com. You can download our free five step guide to developing your law firm’s social media marketing plan and use it to follow along with this podcast to take the tips, strategies, and techniques that we talk to you about and apply it to your specific firm.

So, I hope that you enjoyed today’s episode that you’ll download the guide, you’ll subscribe to our podcast, and you’ll use these techniques, strategies, and skills to put in work for you and your law firm and accomplish your goals in life and in your practice.

All right guys, that’s it for today. On our next episode of Social Skills, we will be discussing how to identify and target clients through social media, but before you skip to the next episode, please take a moment to subscribe to our podcast. If you’d like what you’re hearing, please leave us a review and if there’s anything we can do to help you attract more clients for your law firm, please send us a message.


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