Attorney 2.0 on Marketing 2.0

I’ve been asked to speak on social media marketing more often than any other subject lately, so I though it would be timely to blog (with permission) this excerpt from Bernie Borges’s awesome book, Marketing 2.0, available at Amazon.

See if you can tell which of my own rules I almost but not quite constantly fail to honor.

Case Study: Personal Branding with Attorney 2.0, Brent Britton

I have witnessed firsthand the Marketing 2.0 style of a hip attorney named Brent Britton. I asked him to summarize his marketing strategy for this book. When I received his email, I decided to publish it unedited to give you insight into his personality and marketing style. Clearly, Mr. Britton understands the power of personal branding. Do a Google search for his
name, and you’ll find several links to him on the social web. Below is Brent Britton’s firsthand account of his Marketing 2.0 strategy, which is summarized by building and fostering relationships both online and offline:

“I am a lawyer running a very busy technology law practice. I use the Internet to connect with my current and future clients and instill in them the necessary confidence that I am the right lawyer for all of their legal needs. I do this with my Web bio, emails, and direct messages of various types, as I have done continuously since I first began using the Internet in the early 1980s.

“More recently, however, I have been able to imbue my business development efforts with unprecedented breadth and scope using some of the new social networking tools, including my pages on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and with my blog and my podcast.

“Few business people hire lawyers they do not know personally. Clients almost always hire a lawyer based on some history of personal contact; hence the adage, ‘Clients hire lawyers, not law firms.’ In most cases, a law firm’s brand is largely meaningless. Unless the dudes the firm is named after are hanging out in the lobby serving cocoa, they are absolutely irrelevant to my clients. *My* brand is far more important. And my brand is the aggregation of every interaction I have with my current and future clients.

“In this business, networking rocks the house; successful lawyers have always been great social networkers. The new tools available on the Internet today just make that process much easier and efficient, for those who are willing to adapt their client development strategies accordingly. Those who are unwilling to adapt will, as in nature, undergo attenuation in their capacity for survival. If you’re not on the net, you have no brand. You do not exist.

“In the past, to build my brand equity, I had to meet new clients face to face and impress them in that context, often on the spot. Turns out I’m pretty good at that, but no one gets a slam dunk every time. Perhaps they would hear me speak at a conference or read a magazine article I wrote, but there was little else they could do to learn about me or get inside my head short of meeting me and spending time with me in person. And my bandwidth for that has been and always will be, regrettably, quite limited.

“Social networking tools have increased my networking bandwidth substantially. The power of these technologies is in how they increase the power and reach of my brand. My future clients can now time-shift how they learn about me and discover how I think in a manner that is completely untethered from scheduling conflicts.

“Here’s what I do when I am communicating with current and potential clients:

1. I assume everyone is a potential client if they aren’t a current one. Every caller, every emailer, every reader of every tweet.

2. I always answer emails and phone calls on the same day or the next.

3. I always answer text messages as soon as I see them.

4. I write/post/communicate with as high a level of authenticity as I can possibly muster. Nothing, absolutely nothing, will ruin you and your reputation on the net faster than dishonesty. And the truth always comes out. Everything is on the record and the record will be preserved and studied. On the net, dishonesty is a big fat CFIT [acronym for the oddly euphamistic aeronautical term, ‘Controlled Flight Into Terrain’].

5. I tweet once or twice daily, on average. I try to keep my Twitter presence relatively constant, though I do experience highs and lows. I try to mix my tweets about 50/50 about the law versus about other things, even just silly puns. LinkedIn is my resume; Twitter is my personality.

6. I auto-direct my tweets to update my Facebook status. Lots of people read me on FB who do not use Twitter.

7. I join LinkedIn groups and participate in the conversations, especially answering substantive legal questions.

8. I try to blog every Monday morning, usually about entrepreneurship. If I do not have time to compose something thoughtful, interesting, or at least entertaining, I do not try to phone it in. The minute your blog gets boring, no one comes back. It’s got to be great every time.

9. I accept nearly every FB friend request and I follow back nearly every Twitter follower.

10. I honor requests from other sites like Plaxo, but I do not actively participate in these communities.

11. I am fortunate to co-host a radio show, The CEO Lounge, that gets posted as a podcast on iTunes. I am also working on others.”

Didja see that one about blogging every week? Ahem.

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