Get out of that air-conditioned cabana. Take a dip with your clients, their clients, friends of your client’s clients, and YOUR referral sources.
In an earlier post I suggested that if law firms and lawyers want to provide relevant counsel on legal issues related to their clients’ business, they should know if and how social media is changing the face of their business. To be really hip, they should tune into the ways in which their clients’ customers interact with them and buy from them using the Web.
Jump in. The water is fine. You may be surprised. Here are a few ideas.
- Blog on a topic relevant to your clients, comment on their blogs, follow them on Twitter, and scan the netscape for things that may be relevant to their business.
- News travels fast; can you say light speed? Imagine your client’s delight when you send them a link to a news comment on BusinessWeek.com that puts their company in a positive light, before they even know of it.
It’s so much easier than it was in the old days when you had to hang out at the newsstand and flip through all the dailies, weeklies and industry pubs to see what was going on in the world. Today it’s delivered to your desktop 24/7.
There really are no excuses, only opportunities. With some content management strategies, utilizing some of the aggregation services and browser portals available, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
Here are a few basic ones I recommend to help get you started.
- Alltop.com (The most comprehensive source for locating blogs by industry, major news media outlet, and topic.)
- iGoogle.com (The easiest service for setting up browser portal to handle RSS feeds from major news outlets, blogs and Web sites. It delivers customized headlines, weather, sports, financial news, articles, and status updates from LinkedIn, Facebook, JDSupra, Twitter, and more. Note: much different than other portals. Try it. It will become your BFF.)
- Smart phone apps. (They give you mobile access to the ABA Journal, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, NPR, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and you can download podcasts of syndicated content that you can listen to during the commute.
- iTrip Auto. If you commute by car, get an FM transmitter that allows you to plug your iPod or iPhone into the lighter or 12v auto outlet and play your podcasts through the car radio.
- Evernote. Great little application that allows you to easily capture information from anywhere on the Web using whatever device or platform (Mac or Windows) you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere. Replaces the fax. It’s free.
Whatever you choose to do, don’t let the process overwhelm you. Start slow. Commit 15 minutes (use a timer if you need to) each day to finding a new site, a new service, or to perfect the settings of one you already feel comfortable using.
The really great thing about social computing tools is that the answers are everywhere. Don’t hesitate to ask others. We all learn that way in this space. Almost every social Web site has a help tab or a user forum with answers to your questions or that give you practical pointers to make your experience easier and more productive.
You owe it to your clients and yourself to …..get out of the cabana and into the sea of change!
Leave your tips in the comments below. Thanks!