Donna Fenn’s new book, ‘Upstarts!: How GenY Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business and 8 Ways You Can Profit from Their Success,’ highlights the success of 150 CEO’s born after 1975.

If you haven’t looked, business leaders are getting younger and younger. Their upstart businesses are leading the American economic recovery hiring people while large corporations are laying off people.

A year ago May I was speaking at the Community 2.0 conference in Las Vegas. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, was also presenting. This kid, at least that’s the way he looked to me to was sharing one good idea and story after another. Hsieh is 35 and just sold Zappos for $1 Billion. At age 24 he sold his company LinkExchange to Microsoft for $265 million.

Zappos and other upstarts are the companies law firms would die to have as clients. IP work. Employment and labor matters. Securities and corporate finance. You name it. These companies require a ton of legal work to grow.

How do law firms market to these upstarts? Social media. 96% of Generation Y uses social media. Social media including blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media/networking sites.

Landing upstart companies is not going to come via advertising, law firm websites included. Only 14% of generation Y trust advertising.

I’m a customer service fanatic. Zappos is known for outstanding customer service. So I sent Hsieh a private Twitter message (we’re following each other) asking what was his favorite book on client service. Four hours later he replied on Twitter with a link to Zappo’s library on best business practices. It was pretty cool though that his favorite was the same as mine, Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles.

I share my exchange with Hsieh as a an example of the ease of reaching out to a business leader through the use of social media. How else could I effectively do that before social media? A phone call? Email? Letter? I’m not certain I’d have ever heard back.

If you want to start building relationships with upstart corporate leaders, learn how to use social media. Traditional legal marketing and PR is not going to cut it.

Thanks to Anita Campbell at Small Business Trends for turning me onto Fenn’s book.