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Committing to social media as lawyer : Because it matters

20130424-222812.jpg Even after practicing law for 36 years, Joe Masiuk (@floodmasiuk) writes in a wonderful post at Avvo’s Lawyernomics that he’s committed to social media for the long haul.

Masiuk, who does estate planning and elder law work in Southampton, PA, is no ‘rah-rah social media guy.’ He’s “more of the relationship-oriented, conversational, visual, touchy-feely type.” As Masuik describes it, he’s a reluctant participant.

It wasn’t until Masiuk and his partner saw a sign at an Amish market stand that read “Please ‘Like’ Us on Facebook,” that he thought ignoring this new trend would be done at his peril.

Blogging, tweeting and posting to Facebook for quite a while, Masiuk wondered if anyone was listening.

Then, almost overnight, the world changed for me.

It came when I was reviewing my appointments and saw that my book for the upcoming week was virtually full. I asked my assistant where all these new potential clients had come from and was surprised to learn that each and every one had found us online.

Why should Masuik or any of you expect blogging and other social media to work overnight?

…[A]s I thought about the history of our firm, I remembered that everything worthwhile about our firm for the past 27 years of our existence has taken discipline and time—time to nurture, develop, attract, sustain and just plain grow. You might say we’ve spent 27 years becoming an “overnight success.”

Masuik’s and any lawyer’s unease and impatience is about much more than social media itself.

…[I]t’s about Change and our ability to accept and adapt to it. Trust me, at this stage of my career, the last thing I had in mind was adapting to a Brave New World in communication, relationship building or marketing, but here I am, nonetheless, faced with a simple choice: either we adapt–or fold our tent and steal away into the darkness of anonymity. Since I still am passionate about serving the needs of those with estate planning or elder law challenges, I will find a way to adapt, because it matters.

Finding a way to adapt because it matters – to the people you serve, to yourself, and to your family.

When I left the practice of law 14 years ago to help lawyers build relationships and a strong word of mouth reputation via the Internet, and in particular when I founded LexBlog 9 years ago, I told lawyers to have faith.

Like building relationships and a reputation offline as means of building a practice, it takes time I told lawyers, but it works — even you don’t understand why at first.

I find stories like Masiuk’s very moving and, I hope, inspirational to lawyers wondering whether to make the commitment to social media.

Have faith — it can be a life changer.

Image courtesy of Flickr by eschipul.