Social Media for Lawyers: Attorneys Take Note - Major Corporations Pay People Just to Tweet

Law firms are still getting used to websites, and from what I've experienced, the leaders of the pack are getting comfortable with blogs. Which is just so sad.

Social media is the place to be and the Biggies know it. I've already posted about Martha Stewart's tweets (I just learned today that she bathes her cats. Of course she does. She's Martha.) -- but did you know that Ford Motor Company has a man on its payroll whose job is "head of social media" for the company.

That's right. Head of social media. His name is Scott Monty and he can be found here on Twitter.


Writing Law Firm Blogs - 6: Law Blog Directories

Is your blog listed in any blog directories? And what is a blog directory, anyway?

Any site that organizes and lists blogs dealing with the law can be considered a law blog directory. Yahoo! has one. Google Blog Search (search for "law blogs") theorectically gives you one. Technorati doesn't have a category for law in its directory, but you can find law blogs easily enough with their search feature.

Then, there are sites like:

US Law Blog Directory
Justia Blawg Search
Blog Catalog

Consider contacting all these directories to request that your blog (or "blawg") be added to their listing. It's free, it's fast, and you never know what kind of traffic this can generate for you.

Successful blogging is a time-consuming process, covering many months. Little things like getting your blog into the directories can prove very helpful over time.


Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter for Biz Pros - The Debut of ExecTweets

I'm still new to Twitter, and I'm not sure what I think about it yet.

I know that John Tesh's tweet about fecal matter on shopping carts (which got lots of national media coverage) has got me using those free antibacterial wipes at the grocery store.

And, I know that it's somehow eerie to get tweets from Martha Stewart about what's she is fixing for lunch, and whether or not she's going riding today. It's almost like you know her, somehow.

But how does this work in a business environment? Tweets seem so friendly, so informal, so MySpace versus Facebook.

Well, today I learn that Twitter's addressing that issue with its new ExecTweets....

ExecTweets boils down to tweets from business executives. CEOs and the like. Talking shop.

Which sounds good in one way, and bad in another.

I doubt these folk are going to be very revealing in their tweets -- their lawyers wouldn't like that -- and let's face it: part of the fun of Tweeting is the silly stuff, like Martha Stewart's two pugs (Francesca and Sharky) who've just started their own blog.

I dunno. For me, the jury's still out on Tweets, much less this new ExecTweet business. We'll see.


The Speech from Scent of a Woman

Principles building character.
It will do you good to listen to this monologue, again. I hope.
I know I found something important here.


Social Media for Lawyers: Attorneys Take Note - Yesterday's Reputation is Today's Personal Brand

The word "brand" isn't new to you. Brand names were there in your childhood, and you knew them.

Barbie. Band-Aids. Kellogg's Frosted Flakes.

Then, branding got bigger. There was the brand image versus the brand experience. There was attitude branding and brand management and the relatively recent "no brand" strategy.

Attorneys are ignoring the opportunity to build their personal brand.

Lawyers and law firms need to start thinking about branding. Because in today's marketplace, you need to be conscious of your brand or lack of it. And, there's just not that much good attorney brand building out there right now.

If it helps you any ... maybe you could just remember that old, archaic term from back in the day: do you really know your reputation out there?

Don't think because you've ignored your brand that you don't have one.

Today, what with the speed of telecommunications and the advent of social media, what your business (and you, individual lawyer as well as incorporated law firm) has, like it or not, is a BRAND out there in the marketplace.

There's a public perception if you're big firm or solo. If you're plaintiff's PI or exclusively tax law. If you're male or female, AV rated or you got no rating at all.

Sure, it sounds a lot like a reputation of old.

Here's where it gets different. You can build a personal brand via the internet in ways that you could never build a reputation in the olden days.

If you aren't on the net at all, or if you've got a 5 year old website that has never been updated, you're communicating something. Your fellow attorneys may understand and appreciate your position. To the client, however, you may look dated, behind-the-times, or just plain cheap.

Building Your Personal Brand Isn't As Hard As It Appears. It's Actually Cheap and Easy - if You're Smart

Strategically place yourself on Facebook and LinkedIn, start a blog, begin tweeting on Twitter, and you've got the ball rolling. You're filling in lots of personal information about yourself, for potential clients and referring attorneys to use in assessing whether or not to hire you, and you're in total control of what they see and when they see it.

Want to appear as an expert in your area of law? Start a blog. Post regularly. Sound authoritative. Give lots of info. Link to other sites that are scholarly and helpful. Start comment-communications with bloggers who are similarly situated - like professors, for example. Email the agency reps who handle the government websites. Provide good information, stuff that is quality and builds a conversation and a camaraderie.

You know, NETWORK.

Want to build personal relationships with your clients? Start Tweeting. Tweets let you provide more personal, informal, friendship-building information than other web vehicles. Check out Martha Stewart. Check out William Shatner. These are two masters of this type of communication. (And let's not forget Pres. Obama whose tweets were very, very helpful during the election.)

For a divorce attorney, or personal injury lawyer, tweeting can build a rapport with clients that is easy and fast -- and without much investment of time and NO money. (Twitter is a free service.)

What all does this mean?

By creating profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the like, you are building an image of yourself that distinguishes you from the pack. You are revealing yourself to those who may need your services. People tend to connect, and to contract, with those whom they feel a connection.

It's all about finding something upon which to build trust.

Be honest, be forthright, and be brave. Put yourself out there. Get your personal brand out there and build what your grandpa might call your "online reputation."

It's not that hard.


Lawyer Writer News Flash: Fair Use Doctrine & Excerpts on the Web: What's the Rule Now?

The New York Times has a nice, lengthy article dealing with something that's important for bloggers and web writers everywhere: when is the "fair use" doctrine protection against a challenge that you've violated someone's rights by using excerpts from their column/magazine/newspaper/book/etc.?

Apparently, that standard 4-part test we've all relied upon for years now to determine "fair use" is being challenged by those who are upset about some things.

And by some things, of course, I mean advertising dollars.

This is a big deal and getting bigger, and you need to read this article.