At A2L, we work hard to stay in touch with our clients, potential clients and our industry. Like most litigators, lawyers and even litigation consultants, we use many traditional methods of communication like meetings, lunches, phone calls, and emails. But in the modern era of social networks, developing and maintaining relationships presents a new challenge.
In the past several years, we've enthusiastically embraced the movement toward communication via social networks and other modern communication methods. I think it is a great trend since it’s a way of finding out how much we have in common with our clients and other industry members, both in terms of common contacts and common interests. Also, since all of us receive too many phone calls from sales people, the more closed, self-selected network makes it easier for us to limit the number of people who can reach us. With social networking done right, clients can choose to spend virtual time 'with us' rather than via the old fashioned method of interrupting what they are doing.
While nothing can replace a face to face conversation with a long trusted adviser, social networking and modern communication tools are providing methods for lawyers, law firms, litigation consultants and litigation support firms to communicate in a meaningful way. Obviously, our clients agree that we’re staying in touch successfully - we've grown more in the last two years than ever before in our 17-year history - and I believe social media has had a lot to do with it.
I want to share eight new ways that we stay in touch with clients so that you may find one that benefits your client relationships. As described below, they all work for our clients in different ways. I encourage you to connect with us in any or all of these ways, and you'll quickly see how we do it. My hope is that by seeing how we do it, you can use these tools to form closer relationships with your client base.
- Blogging is the single biggest and easiest change a firm can make to increase client engagement. Our blog, The Litigation Consulting Report, covers timely topics in litigation, trial advocacy, and courtroom presentations and is updated several times a month. Since you are reading this, you probably see the value, right?
- LinkedIn, with many recent improvements and functions, is the new powerhouse of social media for the legal industry. We create new discussions on a variety of litigation groups each week and reach out to specific clients. It’s a great way to keep up with business developments of all sorts. Go to our company page and choose "Follow" to be notified of new articles in your LinkedIn newsfeed.
- Twitter is a powerful albeit quirky tool. It is a quick and easy way to see what’s going on, with links to our blog articles and other notable news items. Go here and press "follow" to see how we use Twitter as a business communication tool.
- Facebook is definitely not just for teenagers, vacation pictures and cute cats anymore. Yes, Facebook can be used for business purposes as well. Since I watch it everyday anyway, I find it especially useful to see news in my newsfeed, like articles A2L posts or litigation news. See A2L news in your Facebook newsfeed by going here and pressing "Like."
- Google+? Ever heard of it? Although Google+ hasn’t caught on as quickly as many expected, its interface is very clear and easy to use. I think it may find a place as a good business alternative to Facebook over the next year. Drop by our page and "Follow" us, and you'll get a sense of how we are using the tool. We're happy to add you back if it helps you.
- YouTube creates a lot of buzz for A2L. Just one of our videos has been viewed 70,000 times. So much of what trial lawyers do successfully can best be captured on video. Watch a brilliant closing argument that follows A2L’s advice or post one of your own. Visit our YouTube Channel and choose "Subscribe" to see how you might use it for your business.
- RSS readers allow you to aggregate stories from multiple sources in one feed. I think it is not the most user-friendly tool, but some people love RSS Feeds. If you subscribe to a number of RSS feeds, you can effectively create your own publication catered to exactly your interests. Here's our feed on Feedburner for you to subscribe to.
- Pinterest is one of the newest but one of my favorite social networks. We post a wide variety of materials here, some that we generate and some that are generated by others. You can even see a wider range of updates on Pinterest. This, the newest to catch on of all social media, is also going well beyond the personal and is a good source for business information. Visit A2L's Pinterest page and choose "Follow" to connect with a stream of litigation content you might not normally see.
I believe each of these tools can be useful for individual lawyers, litigators, law firms, litigation consultanthat ts and litigation support firms. For an individual, creating LinkedIn discussions may be enough. For a firm, several of these may allow you to reach a wider audience. For a sophisticated business, you really must make use of all of these services in a thoughtful way to properly communicate with your audience.
Other resources related to litigation leadership on the A2L Litigation Consulting Firm Site:
- Download a Free copy of the Leadership for Lawyers and Litigation Support Professionals E-Book
- Read about what happens when something goes wrong on a litigation team - hint, it's completely predictable
- Can we analyze litigation as a business and make sense of it?
- What is the outlook for 2013?
- Tell me more about Leadership for Lawyers