Bench & Bar

MAR 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

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Page 52 of 87

If you are an attorney who hasn't turned to social media as part of your business development, consider the following. As of Septem- ber 2017, market leader Facebook was the first social network to surpass 1 billion registered accounts, and currently has 2.06 billion monthly active users. LinkedIn boasts 467 million accounts, with 106 million of those active users. As of the third quarter of 2017, Twitter averaged 330 million monthly active users. Having social media accounts isn't enough. To be effective, you must be active, as with any other type of business development. Accord- ing to a recent survey of the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center, more than 70 percent of respondents reported that they use social media for career development and networking. e problem, however, is that when asked whether using social media produced actual clients, more than 21 percent didn't know the answer. e reason for this may be that, according to the survey, only 16 percent of lawyers participate regularly in social media, and the longer a lawyer has practiced, the less likely he or she will use social media. As with other forms of business development, effort results in cli- ents. Not taking the time from your busy practice to market your brand and skills results in clients heading elsewhere. In my 27 years of practice, I have concluded that the best business development centers around the tremendous relationships I've been fortunate to be a part of during that time. In-person meetings or telephone conversations once developed those relationships. Now, most of the time I spend with current, former and potential clients is through social media. With computers and mobile devices, these sources of business are literally at my fingertips. I can "like" a family picture they post on Facebook, or I can comment on a milestone anniversary they are celebrating or an accomplishment of their child. ink about when others "like" one of your Facebook posts or make a comment that makes you feel good. Don't you want to do business with these folks, no matter their trade? I know that I do. How does developing this niche and brand translate into clients? Various studies indi- cate that clients hire specialists, instead of general practitioners. ink about how you search on the internet. If you were looking for medical help, you search for the area of expertise of a physician. If it's a heart issue, you want a cardiologist—not a neurosur- geon. People look for attorneys in much the same way. ey want someone with experi- ence in their type of case. DO YOUR HOMEWORK For younger lawyers who are still trying to develop that niche, also focus on getting work from others within your office. John Remsen runs the Managing Partner Forum in Atlanta, Georgia. He has a top 10 mar- keting tip list for young attorneys, chock full of helpful advice. 51 BENCH & BAR | ABOUT THE AUTHOR Robert A. Young is the managing partner of English Lucas Priest & Owsley, LLP in Bowling Green, KY, and is a former chair of the ABA's Law Practice Division. Follow him on Twitter @BobYoungELPO. at list includes two great tips for in-house marketing. First, find out what your firm is doing in terms of marketing and business development, and get involved. If you're a strong writer, volunteer to research and write articles for your practice group newsletter. If your practice group doesn't have a newsletter, maybe you should start one. It would be a great source of data to include in your social media feeds to also help brand yourself outside the office. Remsen also recommends to "be the go-to associate for partners who are involved in your area of interest." "If you're still unsure of what type of law sets you on fire, research legal trends," he recommends. Find your niche early and use it to your advantage. For young lawyers, the best source of business will always be from the other lawyers in your office, especially if they have the confidence that you are up to date in a specific subject matter. For a firm or an individual, developing a brand takes a great deal of work. But the alternatives are to accept whatever label you're given, or worse, have friends and relatives ask you repeatedly, "What type of law you practice?" Branding yourself or your firm won't ever be simpler or cheaper than it is today with the right technology—and there's no time like right now to get started. ©2018. Published in Law Practice Today, January 2018, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. is information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder. See Page 22 for Convention Details THE WAIT IS OVER!

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