Remember in college when you joined a ton of student groups just to beef up your resume, or because they threw awesome parties, or because your friend could get you an executive spot without you even trying? Being a joiner is still a smart idea – when you do it right. Online groups can be a powerful tool for building relationships with other attorneys and increasing exposure to your law practice. Here’s a guide to groups for sociable lawyers:
LinkedIn is a good place to find professional groups. Facebook has groups too. But these platforms are only one way to interact with group members. Follow group members on Twitter and subscribe to their blogs. Group members are a selection of peers who are facing the same difficulties and opportunities that you are. This makes them the perfect audience as well as a perfect source for solutions. Social networking is all about community, and community presumes a group. But don’t just join groups full of like members in your field of expertise; join groups where potential clients might be and display your expertise there as well.
This is not to say that you should join every group possible. Be selective about the groups you join. Look for high-quality interaction and content. Intelligent, moderated discussions are a good indicator of a group worth joining.
Share your expertise whenever possible. Answer questions. Publish tips. Contribute to conversations. Participate often and ask questions. The more regularly you participate, and the more valuable your insights, the more people will look to you as an expert and thought leader. This authority translates into client leads, content visits, and widespread adoration.
Lead the Pack.
The more industrious among you can even create your own group. By founding and maintaining a group you retain some control over its message, although this privilege comes with a greater time commitment and some responsibility for facilitating group discussion. Don’t create a group for your company, product, or service; create a group for your industry, trend, or activity. And be sure to invite top contributors from other relevant groups to engage with your group (they will bring their own following and contribute valuable expertise and insight.)
As for group etiquette, remember that groups are a forum for guidance and support. Don’t spam the forum with too many fresh discussions, avoid sales pitches, and do your best to add value with everything you post.
Team Power is Secret #4 in our series 10 Secrets to Super-Power Your Legal Practice (without Super Powers.) Read Tip #3 Lawyer by Day, Blogger by Night. Read Tip #2 Your Super-Suit. Read Tip #1 Your (Not So Secret) Identity.