I am speaking next week at Santa Clara University Law School about “Finding and Developing Your Clientele” which prompts me to question the messaging of Larry Bodine’s blog post – “Four Top Reasons Social Media Matters.” While there is no question that social media is an important business development tool for lawyers, I think a focus on social media as a standalone element gives attorneys the impression that social media can deliver more than is realistic.
I’ve called my presentation next week, “Networking – Online and Face to Face,” because I emphasize that both are necessary and must work together. For example, an attorney may have a Twitter feed that is a snarky, fun place for him or her to vent about pet peeves in the law, this will not work well with face to face networking with non-lawyers. If that lawyer refers people he meets to that Twitter feed, they may react negatively or be confused about how that is relevant to the services the attorney offers.
Works Both Ways
If you meet someone who is a prospect, referring them to your blog, your LinkedIn profile or Twitter feed is a great way to extend and deepen this contact but only if those social networking efforts complement what you say and offer in the face to face arena.
Likewise, if you meet people online and want to deepen the relationship you need an in-person offer to build the trust in the relationship that simply isn’t available without face to face contact.