People don’t believe what you tell them. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves.
— Seth Godin
You’ve been reading my column for a while, haven’t you? So by now we must be friends, buddies, pals, right?
Right.So listen to me my friends, my fellow lawyers, my technologically-challenged colleagues: 2010 is the year you must focus on your online presence.
Believe me when I tell you the Internet is where therest of the world spends much of its time. If your business is not there, much like Bender, a character from one of my favorite movies, “The Breakfast Club,” it may as well not exist:
I urge you: Do not let your firm suffer the same fate as Bender. I’ve been trying to convince you of this fact for years now and, as Seth Godin aptly notes in the opening quotation here, telling you your online presence is of paramount importance simply
Andrew: You know, Bender ...you don’t even count. I mean if you disappeared forever it wouldn’t make any difference. You may as well not even exist at this school.
hasn’t been enough. It seems I’ll have to prove it to you by way of example, show you that a strong online presence will pay off in the long run.
Let’s examine an effective online presence and its benefits,shall we? To that end, I offer you my story.In 2003, I had been practicing law for more than eight years. At the time I was an associate with a Rochester law firm. I loved the firm, but nevertheless was unhappy. I wasn’t sure why I was unhappy, but I knew that I was. I felt as if a part of me was dying and I desperately needed a change. So, I took a self imposed hia-
tus from law.
I returned to law in 2005, opening up shop as a contract attorney and started my first blog, “Sui Generis.”From there, things began to fall into place. As I blogged, business found me. Lawyers hired me to do work for them and, at the same time, writing and speaking opportunities were offered to me based in large part on the body of work I’d created through my blog.
Those opportunities arose because my online presence —which includes blogs, Web sites and active participation on a number of social media platforms —is very strong.How strong? My blog is the first result on Google when you search for Rochester, NY lawyer; Rochester, New York criminal lawyer; New York law blog; Rochester, NY technology lawyer; Rochester, New York technology lawyer; Rochester, New York Internet lawyer ; Rochester, NY Internet lawyer; Rochester, NY online lawyer; Rochester; New York online lawyer; Rochester, NY cloud computing lawyer; Rochester,
New York cloud computing lawyer; or Rochester, New York lawyer.
My blog is the third result for this search: Rochester,New York attorney.For the search Rochester, NY social media lawyer, I am mentioned in nine out of 10 of the Web sites listed on the first page of the results.
Because of my online presence and my high standingin Google rankings, I regularly receive inquiries via e-mail and phone from people seeking an attorney.The strength of my online presence and the body of work contained in my various law blogs has resulted in many other opportunities, the likes of which otherwise never would have been available to me.
Since I first started blogging in 2005, I have been quoted in the print media nearly 20 times. I have spoken about the intersection of law and technology 14 times since the spring of 2007 and I have four speaking engagements booked this spring at conferences sponsored by the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association, among others.Early on, I began to write this column for The Daily Record and was offered the opportunity to co-author the West Thomson treatise Criminal Law in New York.
Currently I am in the process of writing a book about social media for lawyers, which will be published by the ABA in the spring. I also recently signed a publishing contract to write another book, which will focus on cloud computing for lawyers.The strength of my online presence, based in large part on the useful content I create and share online, resulted in all of those opportunities. Imagine what an effective online presence can do for you and your law firm.
Shouldn’t 2010 be the year you stop wondering and find out?