My short list:
- Ignorance of the unknown;
- Generational – generation ‘Y’ and all that stuff;
- “It’s not my thing”;
- No systematised programme that shows a big fat arrow to the bottom line;
- There is no Leader or Uber firm name(s) to follow;
- There is no rule book that says what you can/cannot do;
- Partners are not social – enough;
- It means thinking at the limit of the box;
- It means diverting people to a technology that is unproven;
- Not enough people are willing to cede control to those who have a voice and might not always be on message;
- No budget (but remember most of the platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn are FREE);
- No one would bill whilst they were messing with this stuff;
- It would mean crafting a policy that would open up the use of Facebook to everyone;
- It is a load of unmitigated BS.
I think you get the picture.
But amongst the plethora of Not to Do points, there is one stark reality that partners need to grasp: save in the case of long-standing, established relationships, more and more consumers of legal services will seek out their service provider via: (a) their friends, colleagues and acquaintances who will point them in the direction of a name or URL; and (b) the ubiquitous search on one or other of the search engines will be the way people find your firm. And it will those firms that have earned attention using social media that await the biggest prize – more clients/more instructions/more (obscene) profit.
[Oh and coming up on the rails is the idea of social indexing, which is linked largely to Facebook, where you will look or be able to view a stream to check out which of your friends likes a particular firm. If you need a good source for this check out the work of Forrester Research or Jeremy Owyang.]
Even if you have decided to dip your proverbial toe-n-a-i-l in the murky looking water, you need to start thinking total immersion. Trust me whatever the most outrageous position you can conceive will be nowhere near where you end up. If you end up with 10-15% of your marketing budget for 2011 committed to social media you will have done extraordinarly well.
My *top* tip for all partners who find there way to this blog:
Get on LinkedIn now, build your profile so that it says 100% complete and commit to it with 100% effort for the next 100 days so that by the end of it you have met with, off line, 50% of the people that you have connected with.
Call it the 100/50 CHALLENGE.
If you really want to raise the stakes conceive of a prize for the partner who achieves the most meetings in 100 days. Perhaps a weekend break for 2. The main thing is to demonstrate that this stuff has depth and meaning and is not just about the wretched cheese sandwich or whatever other lame point you keep coming up with for avoiding social media.
Oh and one final point – try to be remarkable in the way that you engage. You know in such a way that shouts interesting and not dullNESS!
For more on developing profitable business, innovating in professional practice and implementing social media, subscribe to the RSS Feed of my Blog. Follow me on Twitter at @0neLife, or @Ju_Summerhayes connect to me on LinkedIn or friend me on Facebook. If I can help you or your practice, check out my coaching and consulting firm via LinkedIn, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 075888 15384.