I’m a patent attorney, and I work in a law firm. like many mid-level attorneys I’m trying more and more to transition away from doing work for other attorneys’ clients and doing more for my own. Not only is it more financially rewarding for an attorney when they have their own clients, but it is also more emotionally rewarding to be an active participant in a client relationship.
Of course, this begs the question, “how do you get clients?” I know there has been a lot written on the subject, and I am clearly not an expert. While it’s clearly not the whole story, I think social media can play an important role.
Social media isn’t really a whole new world. It has just given us ways to scale the types of interactions we had before the internet age. There are still crucial aspects to the relationships we develop by using social media that have always been needed in any relationship. In the context of a professional trying to market there are still two major needs.
First, you have to cultivate a sense of expertise. The reader must feel that the professional who is providing content is knowledgeable and reliable in the fields for which they provide original content. A big part of any professional relationship is the trust that the service provider knows what they are doing.
Second, you have to develop a relational connection. At the end of the day we are all replaceable by people with similar skill sets and experience. It’s the relationships that we develop that make the difference.
In the next two posts, I’m going to lay out my personal thoughts on how I hope to cultivate a sense of expertise and relational connections with current and prospective clients through blogging. There are unique challenges to doing both of these things in the context of social media, especially for lawyers.
I’m definitely not an expert on social media but I’ve put some thought into this and would love to read comments from others on this road.