Wednesday, May 12th, 2021
By Gideon Grunfeld
The past year has only fueled the move toward a more digital world. By now, many law firms have made use of Facebook or LinkedIn to bolster their online presence, but the utility of any online platform can wane quickly as potential clients and referral sources move on to other alternatives.
There’s a lot of room in the legal services space for attorneys who serve businesses and other institutions to build up the kind of personal branding more often done by consumer-facing lawyers. The largest firms have established names, but most boutiques and smaller firms are letting digital marketing opportunities slip through their fingers. Below is a list of suggestions to open your mind to the possibilities and to help you get started making your expertise known in an expanding digital world.
- Podcasts/Radio: Maryland-based attorney Andrew Torrez teamed up with a non-lawyer host to cover legal issues on their podcast, Opening Arguments, and it has attracted a significant audience. If a project like that seems beyond your current bandwidth, start by pursuing guest spots on programs that are relevant to your audience.
- TikTok: Social media platforms often start with teens and 20-somethings but over time attract an older, more affluent audience. That happened with Facebook and is starting to happen now on TikTok. Consider the American teen who reached hundreds of thousands of users with a video describing the “culture shocks” she experienced after starting school in Australia. Law firms could use a similar approach to educate their potential clients, including businesses.
- Clubhouse: If the idea of creating video content is daunting, you might prefer an audio-based platform like Clubhouse. This can serve as an inexpensive way to reach people with a common interest in the kinds of problems your firm addresses.
- Patreon: Get audiences invested through a membership service like Patreon. You can use it to garner financial support for a podcast, as the creators of Opening Arguments do, or you could follow the lead of Florida public defender Beth Bourdon, who raises funds through the site for her work assisting activists with Freedom of Information Act requests.
- Substack: When it comes to written content, your firm might benefit from monetizing its blog or newsletter through a channel like Substack. Well-known journalists and bloggers, including Andrew Sullivan and Matt Taibbi, have published to the platform, which, like Patreon, allows subscribers to pay for exclusive content from creators they like.
As our professional interactions continue to shift online, becoming an early adapter may be invaluable. With new apps always popping up, it’s understandable that many lawyers are hesitant to put time into additional marketing initiatives on top of already-full workloads. But as the industry changes, lawyers will benefit from communicating their expertise via a variety of platforms.