Social media is here to stay, although many of my clients wish it were dead.  93% of lawyers surveyed use social media and 83% say it’s an important strategy for them, according to the recent Social Media Market Survey by Attorney at Work.  Lawyers are using social media more than ever before, getting real ROI but seriously wasting their time.

71% say Social Media is very important to gaining clients

Compared to just a few years ago that number is amazing. I still remember having to beg clients to try social media because lawyers were sure it was a fad that would eventually go away.

Some lawyers were certain that it was unethical to tweet or post articles. (It’s not but there are some guidelines to follow). Social media is a great way to educate potential clients. You can…

  • Build awareness that PNC have a problem that has a legal solution
  • Inform PNCs that  have knowledge and experience with their specific type of legal problem
  • Coach PNC on how to select the best lawyer to help them

Today’s legal consumers want to know that you can help them with their problem and you will be worth spending the money. They expect a good client experience and using social media is one way of sharing what it is like to work with you as a lawyer.  Ask your social media manager to help you think of visuals that convey your story without violating any ethics rules.

Track where clients first hear about you if you’re not already doing that.  Linkedin and Facebook are obvious choices but don’t just guess. Get the data. Survey past clients or hire a virtual assistant to call past clients.  

You want to know both where people found you and what content they interacted with so you can share more of that type of content.  Most lawyers post their own content, which increases the ‘know, like and trust factor’ but also consider sharing more news related content.  These topics keep you top of mind and show that you care about clients beyond their legal matter. Delegate the content curation to a virtual assistant or simply use Google alerts.

20% of Solo lawyers say that social media is ‘very responsible’ for bringing in new business

Linkedin is a natural fit for lawyers since it’s a business platform.   Another 49% of lawyers say social media is ‘somewhat responsible’ for brining in new clients.  Those are amazing numbers especially if your practice is new or struggling. Solo lawyers must use social media, and Linkedin especially, to attract new clients.  You are leaving money on the table if you don’t.

Use Linkedin to find clients and make connections to others (lawyers and related professionals) who become referral partners or offer you visibility on a podcast or by guest post. To find these partners, imagine who else would your PNC think to go to for help? A divorcing couple needs a lawyer but also an accountant and possibly an estate planning attorney. They might also need a parenting coach.

A new business needs a business lawyer and a CPA to decide on entity formation and probably needs a healthcare broker and HR specialist, too.  You see where I’m going with this, right?

Make sure you have a strategy for what you post and the frequency on Linkedin. Right now, Linkedin seems to be favoring video content.  I think about it this way. Posting regularly is like waving to the neighbors on your nightly walk.  They appreciate seeing you and sometimes they stop to catch up on your news.

80% of Solos do their own the social media management

This number blows my mind for all the wrong reasons. Why?  According to the Clio Legal Trends survey, most lawyers only bill about 2 hours a day.  Solos can’t afford to spend their billable time doing social media.

The Attorney at Work survey says 51% of solo lawyers spend up to 5 hours a week on social media.  Wowza. Do the math!

That’s an investment of $1250 a week, if the average billable hour is $250. That’s $62,500 over the course of a 50 week year. That’s crazypants!

I advise my clients to stop wasting their time and delegate their social media work.  A US-based social media manager may cost you $50 per hour to hire from Upwork (more on this later).  She is going to be better trained in social media and more consistent than you will be as a lawyer. Her messaging is likely to be better than yours as well. It’s worth the investment to hire a social media manager, even if you do it as an experiment.

How to hire a social media manager

These days virtual assistants specialize in many different services so you won’t have any trouble finding resources.  Social media management, by my definition, is asking another business owner to find relevant content (curation), produce attention-catching graphics (production) and to distribute that content for your (distribution).  

Most lawyers want to do the curation and production themselves, which is a bad idea.  If you get caught up in a trial or other legal work, your social media accounts suffer. Don’t risk that. Hire someone to help you. Here’s an overview of the different types of social media help available to you.

Use an Outsourcing Marketplace

There are all kinds of outsourcing marketplaces available. You can find quality people on outsourcing platforms like Upwork. Upwork is one of the last direct access marketplaces, meaning you can browse and select your virtual assistant yourself. Many platforms like Freelancers now have a gateway where you tell them what services you want and they do the looking. Not my cup of tea. I like to explore for myself.

There is quality talent on Upwork but you have to do the proper research.  You’ll want to make sure the person specializes in your prefered social outlet and has plenty of experience.

Look at their portfolio to make sure you like their style and it is aligned with your branding.  I suggest only working with people with a 90% success rate who has worked in the last two weeks and earned over $1k.   Hire the person on a fixed rate, not hourly. Of course, you want to use a password manager like Dashlane to share login credentials safely.

Using a virtual assistant from a marketplace can work well if you are willing to accept that you will be driving the strategy and action yourself.

Work with an Independent Business Owner

There are other business owners who offer social media management who work independent of an outsourcing platform.  You have a choice between an individual and an agency.

If you like the personal and local touch, find an individual social media manager in your town.  Here in Oakland, I send people to Tess Owens of Omni Social Media.  

Tess can help you set your social media strategy as well a take over the management of your accounts. She offers a membership that includes trainingsand graphics packages so you can ease your way into a relationship with her. Using a service like Tess you can expect to invest around $450 monthly.  

Tess offered this advice for you regarding social media strategy

The biggest thing is communication. Make sure your social media liaison is checking in with you and encouraging you along the way.

It is hard to know where to spend your time when you are scrolling the newsfeeds. Spending 90 minutes building out a plan with your liaison to can get guidance + energy. Tess Owens

When I work with someone like Tess I expect them to consider themselves part of my team. I want them to bring me new ideas or techniques.

Working with a social media agency is another option. The biggest advantage is that you never have to worry that your manager has gone on vacation or is sick. There is always someone available to cover your work.

The downside of working with an agency is that you probably won’t be able to meet or assess everyone who is working on your account.

3rd Party Tools- the right tool for the job

For those who are still resisting working with a social media manager, you can use 3rd party tools.  It’s not the best solution but it will work until you come to your senses.

The tools put you in control but they also require your attention.  Just like your car, these tools can’t drive themselves. You have to learn how the tool works best for you and constantly add content to get results.

This is a list of the most popular social media tools currently.  I’ve used most of them including Edgar, Hootsuite, Buffer and Coschedule.  CoSchedule was my favorite tool. Your content will be more cohesive and valuable when you use an editorial calendar to focus. CoSchedule adds an editorial calendar directly inside your blog so you don’t forget to distribute your blog posts on Twitter, Facebook or any other channel.

These days I’m testing MissingLettr, it’s an automated tool that draws content from your blog RSS feed and transforms it into social media posts and graphics then distributes the content at scheduled intervals over the course of a year.  Yep, a year!

If you’re blog isn’t quite up to snuff, check out Audience Ops.  Brian’s crew will create all your content for you. Best of all, they are accustomed to working with lawyers. I had the pleasure of working with Brian on as a beta tester for CoSchedule. An editorial calendar for your blog.

Stop wasting your time

Social media is key to growing your law practice.  But only if you don’t spend your billable time to manage it. I recommend that you invest in a social mediator manager.

Your social media manager should help you develop a strategy that includes firm brand and achieves your overall goal, whether you want to raise your visibility or gain more clients or both.

Try using a tool like ContentCal to plot out the workflow with your SM manager.  It gives you the ability to easily approve content until you build your trust in the work relationship. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.  It will take time to adjust to working with your teammate and for you to see the results.

Your manager will do the curation, production, and distribution for you on schedule so that your clients and colleague will say they see you everywhere.  New clients will chase you instead of the other way around because your social content educates them and demonstrates your knowledge. And, you can happily do the lawyering.

If you’d like to get your social presence and management straightened out, please book a discovery call and I’ll get you sorted out.


DLE
DLE

Dina Lynch Eisenberg, JD, is the CEO of OutsourceEasier.com, an outsourcing training/consulting firm for successful lawyers and entrepreneurs based in Oakland, CA.

    1 Response to "Stop wasting your time with social media"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.