It’s Social Media Day, but why should you care? Hard proof that LinkedIn works ... from a lawyer

Posted on 06-30-2014 by
Tags: social media , networking , career advancement , LinkedIn , connect , Upgrading Your Skills , people , career management , clients , business development

The work of a lawyer is intellectually rigorous, demanding and you must be able to show that you have the intelligence and ability to absorb, assimilate and analyze complex material very quickly. And, the countess hours spent both inside and outside a classroom outweigh the societal norms of a “normal business week.” So, why should someone who has a pedigree education and background care anything about social media?

One reason, and 1 reason alone: Business Development. The traditional business development issue most small professional services firms have:

  • When they are busy, they have no time to prospect for new business.
  • When the business eases up, they find themselves in a dry patch, and hustle to reconnect with past clients, business networks and other referral sources.

For many, this cycle is considered a cost of keeping the firm small.

A recent article by Kern Lewis outlined a test plan conducted with an attorney friend, Mark D. Poniatowski. Mr. Poniatowski agreed to dedicate the time to test Kern’s plan of incorporating social media into his daily activities while still managing the demands of his day:

  • He chose one online networking tool to test, which was LinkedIn.
  • He spent 1 hour cleaning up his profile.
  • He spent about 3 hours reaching out to all the people he knew professionally, and connecting to those whom he found on LinkedIn.
  • He set a 30-minute appointment for a late weekday evening each week to work on building up his network of contacts, and engaging that network via pings and content sharing.
  • Many connection invitations came right back with social conversations, and were happy to reconnect.
  • A handful had business that they could place with him right away and were “glad he reached out.”
  • Within those few weeks he had referrals worth $12,000 in billable hours that he would not have had without his 3-5 hour LinkedIn campaign. That represents a 8-10x ROI on the time he dedicated to it.

The pace has calmed since he harvested that low-hanging fruit, but he reaped one other big benefit: Connecting with distant clients. Here is how Mark sums up his experience:

“I immediately recognized that I was able to connect with attorneys and clients that I worked with over the years and had lost touch with, so it was actually a fun exercise. Some of them were good friends as well and we’ve since gone to lunch. I think that the business generation aspect has been a natural fallout of reconnecting and will increase. I did find that the best LinkedIn for me is during the commercials while watching sports!”

LinkedIn does nothing for you but set up the channel of communication. You have to reach through that channel to electrify your network. It isn’t Rocket Science, but it does take commitment. 


Posted on : 23 Jul 2014 1:48 AM

Thanks for sharing this example.  I find the daily update emails from LinkedIn to be very helpful.  It's an easy way to touch base with clients who are celebrating a work anniversary or other milestone.  

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