Months ago, when I was trying to decide how to increase traffic to our website, I decided that maybe the answer was in this new phenomenon called social networking. Having no idea what this was (I’m 63 but a relatively competent end-user), I did my due diligence on Google. Tweets, blogs, postings, followers, friends, Fans…. what was all this about? I was soon to find out.
Since I didn’t yet have a Facebook or Twitter account (what was I thinking!), blogging seemed to be the answer. WordPress is free – I was told. That was my cup of tea. Free software and access to the world so new clients could beat down my door. Where did that go wrong? As it turned out, I had my annual vacation coming up shortly so I stocked up on ‘…for Dummies’ books and off I went ready to take on the social networking planet.
Here I am less than four months later: 335 tweets, 263 followers, a personal Facebook account with a business page, 125 blog postings, a LinkedIn account and Lord knows what else! I’ve got my Tweetdeck working, I scour LinkedIn for new groups and connections, I check to see my new followers on Twitter, my new Fans on Facebook and on and on. Who knew that Twello would provide me a seemingly endless source of people and organizations to follow (and hope for a return ‘follow’)?
Keywords, SEO, viral networking and a host of other in-words are now part of my daily lexicon. Google Reader is part of my morning ritual – searching for new topics to share with my new Fans, friends, followers, connections – oh my!
So what has this all meant? – not sure quite yet. I actually have connected with some pretty interesting folks out there – no, not the follower who invited me to her dating service. My wife didn’t think highly of that ‘follow.’ Even though I’ve been intimately involved in medical malpractice for a long time – defense and plaintiff (yeah – you read that right!), forcing myself to stay current for new blog topics and to say ‘What’s Happening’ on Twitter has been, I admit, a good practice. I just wonder when I’m going to become the hottest medical malpractice social networker so that I wind-up on everyone’s blogroll and get retweeted about a dozen times a day.
Here’s the problem – I DO practice real law. I won’t bore you with the details of my professional life – read the About pages on our site if you really want to do so. Juggling being ‘relevant’ and being a real lawyer has its many moments. So what did I do to find some time to go to court, meet clients, do discovery – you know – lawyer stuff? I enlisted lawyers in my firm to share the burden. (That’s the good part about being the boss.) Now they blog too and I get to read their draft posts, modify them, approve them, insert links and pictures – UGH – did I really cut-down my time? In case they read this blog – thanks, Gang. Just make sure your links are correct and your topics are ‘niche-meaningful.’
So why am I writing this? Who knows – needed a break from tweeting, I guess. No, not really. As I was perusing about 30 newspapers, journals and what-not this morning, I wondered if I’m the only one out here in the blogosphere who feels this way – buried, intrigued, mystified and about 100 other adjectives to describe my new social networking life.
I think I’ll just become a ‘work-at-home’ entrepreneur – I had about 40 of them try to follow me on Twitter. Nah – why give up my real passion – practicing real law. What I do intend to do is use an occasional blog to share with my legal pals in the social networking world some ‘tips’ from time to time. Everyone else seems to have the “Ten Best Tips” – why not me? Maybe Tip #1 should be – make sure you have an extra 5 hours minimum a day if you want to get into this world of internet marketing for lawyers. I could write a book “Legal Social Networking for Dummies” – since there have been (and likely will be) many days where I’ve felt like the biggest dummy of them all.
Enough for now. Some client probably wants legal advice. What are THEY thinking? I’ve got to check Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn first. ”Who’s on the phone? My webmaster wants updates on what?”
Sorry… have to go…but I will be back…