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How to Meet Influential People On Twitter and Build a Name in the Process

A couple or three weeks ago a young legal professional shared on Twitter something to the effect, “I think I figured out Twitter. I follow influential and interesting people, I share what they say in way that I am almost sucking up to them, I get to meet them virtually and build my reputation as a result.”

My response was that’s about it – and that legal professionals would benefit from this style of online engagement, though they don’t need to suck up to anyone.

If I could find the my Twitter exchange with the legal professional who tweeted this, I’d share it with you.

The point is don’t use the net, particularly social media, as a means of blasting out your message. That’s if you are looking to build a reputation and relationships, the lynchpins of business development.

I put together a few Twitter lists at the beginning of the year. One being law school deans who tweet, one being law schools who tweet and the third being law librarians and law libraries who tweet.

When I see a tweet of particular interest, I retweet the tweet with a quote (comment) of mine.

Invariably, the person or organization who shared the original tweet likes my comment. In same cases they reply to me with a tweet.

Through this engagement I am meeting new people. People who I enjoy meeting for learning and business development reasons.

I have had one call with the assistant dean of a leading law school and will have another call with a law school librarian next week. Both about the Open Legal Blog Archive project that LexBlog is backing.

I am going to be reaching out to the head of professional development for a bar association to get her feedback on a publishing program for bar associations that LexBlog is going to launch.

In that case, after we exchanged tweets we connected on LinkedIn and engaged there.

The Internet is what you make of it. By building a “room” of interesting and influential people whom you’d like to meet, virtually to start with, you can engage these folks, build relationships and build a reputation.

You build your “rooms” by following people and organizations of your choosing. You then go into the room and meet the people by engaging them.

Sounds crazy, but it works, and it’s much more effective than walking into a room of people in the physical world where you have no idea who they are. Not as intimidating either.