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The Secret to Social Media - Issue #1

The Secret to Social Media

The Secret to Social Media
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw
This is the very first edition of my “Marketing and Social Media for Lawyers” email newsletter. As such, I thought I’d start things off with sharing tips and solutions around the most important thing we all need to understand and do if we want to be successful on social media.
I truly believe what I share in this first issue of my new email newsletter is the true “Secret” of social media. But before I do just that, let me take a moment to lay the foundation for the value I plan on delivering to you each week, via my newsletter.
Much of the material I’ll be sharing each Friday morning will be based upon my own experiences, both good and bad. I’m also going to have friends of mine who are recognized marketing and branding experts to share their latest tips and ideas. When all is said and done, the proven content you’ll receive each Friday in your email inbox will be extremely valuable– especially if you take action after each issue.
I’ve always liked George Bernard Shaw’s quote. My goal with each and every newsletter issue is to communicate clearly and add value. If I don’t meet this high bar, I want you to promise me that you’ll hit the “reply” button and reach out for clarification or with constructive criticism and questions. I want this to be a two-way conversation so please don’t hesitate to make that happen.
OK, now back to the most important aspect of marketing and branding on social media. What is it? What’s the secret that I’m talking about?
The short answer is as following: The secret to social media is having a “Go-Giver Mindset.
I truly believe that until you wrap your mind and actions around this concept, it will be hard to find success on social media. In my opinion, lawyers who don’t fully buy into this mindset will fail quickly on the digital platforms.
Please give the following some thought.
When a gifted actor takes the stage and gives a memorable performance, she does more than simply read the lines that were given to her by the director. 
When an author pens a New York Times best-selling book, nobody asks what kind of computer he used to write each brilliant page.
Just because you can set up a free account and post content on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn doesn’t mean anyone is going to read or share your content.
There’s more to being successful in acting, writing or on social media than just showing up and going through the motions. Success on social media requires the right mindset and takes an understanding of what it is you’re trying to do, appreciating who your community is, and then creating and sharing your message the right way, on the right platform and with the right people.
All of the above, and everything in between, comes down to this one thing:
Success on social media is about having the success mindset of always listening, helping others, and adding value. You need to be yourself, selectively transparent, and show your human side. Being genuine and allowing your unique personality to shine for the world to see is a requirement and not an option on the digital platforms.
Let me say this again another way. Success on social media is about being you and helping others.
Be the lawyer who does this daily on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, Amazon Live, your podcast and live video, and I’ll show you a lawyer who’s top-of-mind and receiving new client referrals from around the world.
Yes, you can combine this free relationship building approach with paid advertising and promotions. One is not mutually exclusive of the other. In future newsletters, I’ll introduce you to experts who will share best practices when it comes to paid advertising but for now, in this edition, I want to dive a bit deeper around the mindset every lawyers needs but few take the time to master.
Social Media Isn’t a Sprint or a Marathon
At this time, let me address another aspect of social media that many lawyers just don’t appreciate. That is, you must embrace the fact that building relationships and marketing your brand on the digital platforms isn’t a sprint or marathon (like many experts say). 
In reality, there is no finish line. I believe that building your brand on social media is more like a good exercise routine or healthy diet. It’s an ongoing and always changing process. If done right, you can have fun, add value, and enjoy a very rewarding branding experience that’s working for you 24/7 across all the global time zones.
If you’re doing the social media dance the right way, good things will happen. If you incorporate paid advertising into the concepts I mention in this newsletter, you can expedite the process.
So taking a few steps back, let me share my journey with you and what’s brought me here today.
My first website and online effort started back around 1996. It took time to get things rolling and I wasn’t even sure if having a website would help my practice. Six months after putting the website up, a million dollar case came into the firm from the site. Now, I’ve never been accused of being the brightest bulb in the lamp but when this happened, I realized there was something special to “this internet thing.”
With this financial motivation along with a few other opportunities that came my way because of the website, I continued to work hard to learn the digital dance, create and publish content, engage with others and add as much value as I could to my online community. When social media as we know it eventually rolled out, I doubled down and continued doing these things on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snap, YouTube, Linkedin and other new and evolving platforms. Today, video, live video and live audio are all also a big part of my efforts and brands. The end result is a global brand and more clients, opportunities and income than I ever could have imagined.
With all the advancements in technology and new consumer expectations (your potential clients and referral sources all now expect you to be on digital), you can do the same thing a lot easier and faster. Everything you need is relatively inexpensive or free, and literally in the palm of your hand.
Using social media, give yourself 12-18 months to change your business, practice and even your life. Use the tools I share in this newsletter and at my blog to expand your brand from local to global. Yes, for some, good things can happen at a much faster pace, and that’s great. But what I’ve found to work well is simply focusing on using the methods, tools and approaches I share in my book, “The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Business Owners, Professionals and Entrepreneurs,” and adding value on a consistent and daily basis.
Sharing useful, helpful and engaging content, in a consistent fashion, while showing your human side, is the key to success on social media.
Read that last sentence again. Most lawyers just don’t do this. Don’t be that lawyer.
The Best Content
What’s the best content to create and post on social media?
My answer to this question might surprise you. For lawyers, it’s not about where you went to school, your awards, or your practice. When it comes to building your brand, relationships and referrals on social media, most consumers don’t care about this stuff.
What I recommend you do is figure out your WHY. Take a moment and give some thought and consideration as to what really motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? What are your hobbies, interests and passions? What gets you excited about life? I even did a video about this a few years back. Here’s the link if you’re interested.
After you figure out the answers to these questions, start creating and sharing content around these things. Get involved in Facebook and LinkedIn Groups, Clubhouse Rooms, Twitter Spaces and Spotify Greenrooms with other people who share similar interests.
Before you share your first post, it’s important to understand that having a unique personality, message and good people skills will separate you from everyone else in town. Offline or online, these skills are how you build relationships.
Based upon the above, create and share content that is:
(1) appropriately entertaining, 
(2) unique and 
(3) memorable. 
This is what works to capture attention, create engagement and result in social shares.
Post COVID-19, I’ve noticed changes in consumer needs and expectations. With this in mind, I would add the following considerations to your efforts to accommodate a new and more savvy consumer dynamic. This includes:
(1) being relevant (create and share content around trending topics, issues and news);
(2) be interesting and interested in what you’re sharing (people know so don’t fake it);
(3) engage with your audience and shine a light on others and
(4) lead with empathy and listen for understanding.
Doing all of the above is what I call the “digital dance” and it’s the most important and effective way I know to build relationships and bring in new clients into your practice. It’s also the best way I know to generate a constant stream of new clients and referrals from not only your city and state but also from the other side of the world.
I recommend that you get comfortable sharing your human side. What I’m talking about are your personal experiences, hobbies and everything else in-between. Pictures, videos and experiences are what help you be unique and connect you with other human beings on an emotional level.
Let’s say you’re a lawyer who enjoys riding horses, flying drones or stand up paddle boarding. You may want to create posts about your latest ride, flight or experience out on the water, and share pictures and videos of you enjoying these activities. Every once in a while, you can include a post about equine, drone, and admiralty laws, and even discuss related legal cases your firm has handled.
At the same time, you might share pictures from your child’s soccer sidelines or maybe a short video of your niece’s dance recital at school. Posting church, Rotary, and other community activities will also help people, over time, get to know, like, and trust you as a human being. The “professional” conversations will eventually happen. Just start with showing your human side first.
Make sure to share content in the form of interesting, engaging and entertaining stories. There’s no better way to build rapport than in a short written, audio, and video story. The third section of my book mentioned above contains 15 chapters on how to communicate better while telling a good, persuasive, story. I use many of the discussed techniques to win million dollar settlements and verdicts and build 24/7 global relationships and business opportunities. You can too. I’ll share more storytelling approaches in future newsletters so no worries. All the good stuff is coming.
Being able to tell a good story on social media, with your words, pictures or videos is important. But you know what’s even more important than learning how to tell a good story? It’s telling a good story in a way that empowers your audience to give themselves permission to take a specific desired action. Storytelling in and of itself is entertainment. Storytelling with empowerment is a game changing business tool.
If your personality allows you to do so, don’t be afraid to take a position on a matter or issue that’s important to you. Heck, that’s why I became a trial lawyer, to fight social injustice and take on the bad guys in the world. Social media now allows me to do this on a much larger scale than in years past. It also allows me to connect and build professional relationships with others who feel the same way that I do. For every person I may alienate with a post or comment, I connect with 10X more people who “get me” and want to support who I am and what I believe in.
When all said and done, do you. You’ll position yourself as a lawyer who’s not only a thought leader, but also a lawyer who your community will appreciate and know, like and trust.
Embrace Your Expertise
Because you are a professional– a lawyer on social media, DO NOT shy away from who you are and what you do.
Taking what I’ve shared above into consideration, go ahead and embrace your expertise. Because you’re a professional, people will subconsciously place a great deal of weight on what you have to say. This is a secret weapon that most professionals don’t even realize they have, but now because of today’s email newsletter, you do.
Famed Psychologist, Robert Cialdini, calls this “directed deference.” His findings show that people are conditioned to respect and follow the edicts of an authority figure.
As a lawyer, you’re already an expert and authority figure. Embrace this on social media. Do so in a human, kind, and empathetic way, but embrace this expertise. It’s a powerful brand building tool.
While you perfect this aspect of your social media journey, please remember to be kind to people and tough on issues. You don’t need to win the fights on social media, but you do need to lead with empathy and compassion.
For those of you just getting started on your journey, work daily to establish yourself as an expert and reputable source on social media. Then over time, leverage this to build trust and influence.
While we’re both here, there’s one more “concept” about social media that I need to mention in this email.
Unlearn Your Old and Outdated Habits
The fact is, the world is changing at an exponentially fast pace. Consumer expectations are rapidly changing too. This is especially true after what we’ve all been through with COVID-19.
To have an impact on social media, you must take these changes into consideration. The consumer is holding all the cards. Attention spans are incredibly selective, and everything consumers want or need is a simple tap or swipe away on their smartphone. Understand this new dynamic and you’ll be in good shape. Failing to appreciate this reality will put you out of business.
Another thing that’s changing on social media is how consumers are interpreting the context of your content. They are more savvy than ever and are skilled at reading between the digital lines. Whether you know it or not, the complete message of who you are and what you do is often much more than what’s written in your last post or comment.
How you look and how you interact with other people matters. What you say and how you say it will define your online brand. People are watching and because you never get a second chance to make a good first impression, put your best foot forward in all that you do on social media.
Understand and appreciate this new customer journey. You have to embrace the consumer experience on social media. Everything you do in today’s world, especially after COVID-19 must be premised around having empathy and creating the best client experience possible. Don’t automate yourself away from the opportunity to connect with others as human beings.
Remember, it’s an opportunity to connect with others. Taking the time to do so is not a burden, it’s a privilege. Together with your team, do everything you can to create exemplary client experiences.
Another important thing to do is take time to unlearn your old outdated habits. Take a step back and give some thought to how you can start disrupting your industry, who you are, how you market, how you interact with your audience, and how you build your brand on social media. Give yourself permission to be unique, show your human side, and stand out.
In Summary
The secret to social media is having a go-giver mindset. While doing this, please wrap your head around being strategically transparent and showing your human side on social media.
Don’t come across as “that professional” on social media with the personality of a wet dishrag sitting at the bottom of the sink. Instead, give yourself permission to share the dynamic human being that you are by highlighting your interests, hobbies and passions. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the sea of sameness as all the other lawyers in town. Instead, embrace what makes you unique and use social media to go from unknown to unforgettable. 
Social media has changed my life as a California trial lawyer. It’s allowed my firm to receive referrals from around the world and help good people who I would have never met, find justice. It’s created relationships and opportunities in my local, national and global communities that simply would have never have come my way if it wasn’t for social media.
Digital has allowed me to be on shows with Katie Couric and Anderson Cooper, to be profiled on stage multiple times before thousands of people at Tony Robbins Business Mastery events, and to be mentioned in a dozen leading marketing books and appear on hundreds of recorded and live shows. I’m not sharing the above to try and impress you, but I am trying to impress upon you the reality that social media works– if you go about it the right way.
The above is simply the result of having the right social media mindset, being consistent and opening the door when opportunity knocks. Seriously, that’s it. If I can find a bit of success on social media then you can too. 
One more thing.
Focus on the relationships. The fact of the matter is that social media platforms will come and go, but relationships can last a lifetime.
OK. That’s it for today. I invite you to put the tips I share each Friday into motion and see what happens. Adjust a bit and then take more action. Keep repeating this process, adjustments and all, until you get the results you’re looking for.
Let's Stay in Touch
Never hesitate to hit the “reply” button each Friday to share your thoughts or to just say hello. Connect with me on social media using the links below. Reach out with questions, let me know what topics you’d like me to include in my Friday newsletters, and let’s do the digital dance together.
Between now and next week, I wish you much success and happiness. Enjoy the journey and make each day your masterpiece.
Mitch Jackson
Streaming.Lawyer (my audio and video blog)
LegalMinds.Lawyer (my mastermind)
PS- Past issues of my Friday email are available here.
PPS- Next Friday: “Why Lawyers Should Embrace Social Audio”
Did you enjoy this issue? Yes No
Mitch Jackson, Esq.
Mitch Jackson, Esq. @https://twitter.com/mitchjackson

Extraordinary Marketing and Branding Strategies That Work in Today's Upside-Down Post COVID-19 World!
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“You are probably the best in the world at lawyers using social media.” Jay Baer

[Jay is one of the top marketing professionals on the planet. He's a New York Times best-selling author of six books, and a technology investor. He founded Convince & Convert in 2008, and it is his fifth multi-million dollar venture.]
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THE NEWSLETTER

I hope you enjoy my Wednesday morning email newsletter! Each edition features three decades of marketing and branding tips, approaches, and ideas that emphasize social media. You'll also get some great guest posts from top experts worldwide on how to expand your brand locally or globally. I cover topics like disruption and hacking attention as well as new ways to improve the way we can all market our firms so it's unforgettable for clients. In other words: New business + increased profits = success!

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Mitch
Streaming.lawyer

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Mitch Jackson, 65 Enterprise, Third and Fourth Floors, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656