There is a very interesting article by Anthony Green in Law Practice Today which talks about Web 2.0, Web 1.0 and social media in general. Not being one completing sold on all the hype surrounding social media, I agree with several points Green raises about the need to get back to basics.

He (and I) recognize the role social media can and is playing. The question is have we lost focus on the main point surrounding personal services marketing? As Green points out “In all likelihood, the big decision makers still prefer face-to-face communication…” and although social media and the virtual world is playing an “increasingly important (role)… keep in mind that most business in the professional services world is still done face-to-face.”

He sums up his article by pointing out the need for lawyers to spend less time in front of their computer screens and more face time with clients and prospects (and referral sources I might add). As he puts it: “The end goal of your marketing efforts should be to foster face-to-face conversations.”

In my mind that is Business Development 101. Green shares a quote from Jonathan Baskin, the columnist for Advertising Age, who said “we’ve allowed this (social media) nonsense to get out of hand.” So, let’s not lose focus on what it is that really develops business most effectively.

  • I agree completely that networking is always first and foremost. The problem these days is that more programming is done online, so the opportunities for face-to-face networking are diminishing. To get a one-on-one then, it helps to first build your brand (for yourself, not your firm) to help you get into the door. That is best done online these days (and it also helps to have built your brand first so that when you are out networking, people recognize your name – or even better yet, they actually seek you out and you don’t even have to be the one digging!).

  • Great post. I fully agree that Web 2.0 should be one tool in the marketing kit, but that face to face is the best way to seal the deal.

  • I, too, am not completely sold on the social media hype. Armchair marketing can be an effective method to get your foot in the door, but nothing replaces face-to-face communications to keep you and your company at or near the top of someone’s mental list of possible providers.

  • It’s possible that an excessive focus on social media/technology may also have an effect on our lawyering.

  • When done properly, social media, such as Linkedin, sets up the face to face meeting.

  • Adrienne Bowers QC

    Web 2.0 is a great tool, for me networking with Marriage Counsellors and Accountants has proven to be the biggest source of refferals.

  • Ha! I couldn’t agree more. We out some money into Facebook a while back and that was tantamount to burning it. Actually getting ‘out there’ and maintaining relationships with your referral network is the best way forward.