Attorneys spend plenty of time debating the importance, or lack thereof, of social media. Let me be clear: learning how to bring online conversations offline is the single most important skill lawyers need when using social media for business development. Everything else is secondary.
Without careful consideration on how to set up an offline meeting, sooner rather than later, your leads will fizzle and die.
The social media community is acutely aware that businesses are competing for their attention. How will you, as an attorney, take on this task without appearing like a greasy car salesman? Here’s 3 mistakes lawyers make when trying:
1. You ask your lead for an offline conversation minutes after following them on Twitter, liking them on Facebook or any other social media interaction.
How to fix it: You must build rapport with your potential clients. This requires genuine conversation and interest in their well being. A common comparison is the dinner party. Would you approach your dream client and talk business without building a relationship first? If so, how is that working for you? Not that great right? First, you must watch how your potential clients socialize online. How’s the conversation going? What do they talk about? What’s their social style? Do your research before making your first contact.
2. Your social media platforms are ghost towns of activity. This is one of the most common mistakes attorneys make when using social media. Twitter accounts are forgotten. Blogs are abandoned. You get the picture.
How to fix it: Be consistent with your online social media endeavors. Spend at least 30 minutes every day on each social media account you choose to join. Pencil it in to your calendar, set a reminder in Outlook, and most importantly, don’t skip it. Being a common fixture online builds trust within your chosen platform. It takes doing something 100 times to make it a habit – get started! Being consistent with your postings and engagement builds a track record of positive, relevant activity. When your prospect checks you out online, he or she will see you’re reliable.
3. Go into social media with a me-first attitude. One of the most common social media mistakes is to assume you can get clients online without “giving back”. Law firms are notorious for being blatantly self promotional. Check this attitude at the door please.
How to fix it: Educate rather than promote. Give away something of perceived value. Do you have white papers you can give away for free that your lead might be interested in? Do you have mutual interests that you might be able to keep them up-to-date on? See what your target client is interested in and see if you can help out in any way. The trick is to be authentic without looking like you want something in return.
How much do these mistakes cost attorneys in the long run? Enough to make their social media efforts worthless in my opinion. Make sure you properly qualify your potential leads before trying to take the conversation offline. Doing so ensures a smooth transition!How have you taken the conversation offline? How has it worked? And, the golden question, have you gotten work through your social media efforts? Let me know in the comments below!