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Getting your lawyers to opt-in to social media beats the stick approach

How do we get more of our lawyers to blog and use other forms of social media? We’re starting a blog for our practice group, how do we get more than 2 of the 24 lawyers to blog with regularity? I hear these questions regularly in my strategy calls.

First of all, it’s okay that all of your lawyers are not clamoring to use social media. Some lawyers will want to learn all about social media and how it can be used for business and professional development. Others, the large majority, won’t.

The lawyers not jumping on social media bandwagon ought not be chastised for being behind the times or standing in the way of a movement that’s going to save the law firm. They just choose not to participate at this point.

Having accepted that everyone not ginned up to use social media is a dolt, you may want to nudge some folks along — or at least educate them as to the value of social media.

Michael Cohn, CTO of CompuKol Communications, has nice blog post on how to get people to opt-in to social media.

Social media nonbelievers are generally intelligent and well-educated people. They are well rounded and interesting. The only thing that is missing when it comes to online activities is their desire and their need for social media (or so they believe). Nonbelievers come from the school of thought that aspires to see no value in all things technologic.

However, if you can see your way clear to opening up a discussion with a nonbeliever about social media, in other words, if you can pique their interest enough for them to want to know what it is all about, you have a chance at converting them from nonbelievers to believers. Nonbelievers initially believe that it is not possible to have discussions online that will lead to any real business. Everyone who understands anything about social media knows that interactions through are based on interactions among people. Although it isn’t always obvious how discussions turn into revenue, it is easy to explain how this happens. Conversations lead to a relationship that is built on trust and credibility and trust and credibility eventually leads to people wanting to buy what you are selling because you have a relationship that has become important to them.

Additional tips from Cohen for getting opt-in include:

  • Social media has gotten a lot of sensational press that make sound social media may be best left to teenagers. Explain that’s the exception and that social media is tremendously for business.
  • Produce solid evidence that proves that you can actually successfully do business online and truly increase your business’s revenue.

In the case of blogging, it’s a win if one or two of your lawyers begin to blog. If they are blogging in an effective way, they’ll have client development successes. Use these as examples.

In the case of a practice group blog, it’s a win if one or two lawyers take to blogging, experience success, and blog much more often than any of the other lawyers.

You’re empowering the lawyers in providing them an effective client development platform. The ego of the other lawyers will bring some of them to blog when see the first lawyer or two getting exposure.

The carrot is much more powerful than the stick when it comes to social media and lawyers.