By now we’ve all heard about social media marketing for law firms and other businesses. Everybody online seems to be talking about Facebook likes, Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, and even using Instagram, Pinterest, and Slideshare to market companies and firms of all sizes. But what does a successful social media campaign look like? And what...
C. Todd Smith is the founder of C. Todd Smith Law, a small law firm which focuses in the...
By now we’ve all heard about social media marketing for law firms and other businesses. Everybody online seems to be talking about Facebook likes, Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, and even using Instagram, Pinterest, and Slideshare to market companies and firms of all sizes. But what does a successful social media campaign look like? And what approach should lawyers take when starting a solo practice?
In this episode of New Solo, Adriana Linares and Jason Marsh interview C. Todd Smith, a small firm lawyer who has used various forms of social media for marketing his practice. Jason Marsh, an online marketing specialist for small businesses and law firms, also gives his insight into the importance of social media.
For lawyers launching a solo practice, this podcast will provide a broad idea of where to start with your social media campaign. Todd Smith recommends that lawyers choose one or maybe two platforms to focus on rather than trying to tackle all of them.
C. Todd Smith has been practicing law for 20 years in the Orlando area. He is the founder of a small law firm which focuses in the area of plaintiff’s personal injury law. Todd entered his company into Social Madness, an Orlando Business Journal social media contest and did very well because of his business’s active Facebook page. He is also very involved with Kiwanis, an organization providing teaching service and leadership to young people around the world.
Special thanks to our sponsor, Solo Practice University.
New Solo: Using Social Media to Market Your Solo Practice – 6/26/2015
Advertiser: So you’re an attorney, and you’ve decided to go out on your own. Now what? You need a plan and you’re not alone. Join expert host, Adriana Linares, and her distinguished guests on New Solo. Tune in to the lively conversation, as they share insights and information about how to successfully run your law firm, here on Legal Talk Network.
Adriana Linares: Hello and welcome to New Solo on Legal Talk Network. I’m Adriana Linares, I’m a legal technology trainer and consultant; I help lawyers and law firms use technology better. Before we introduce today’s topic, we’d like to thank our sponsors at Solo Practice University. Today I’m very excited to welcome C. Todd Smith to the show. I’m actually at his office in Orlando, which is very cool, the Legal Talk Network guys have given me a traveling podcasting station, so I’m very excited to be here. And I have a special co host today. On our first episode in this marketing series, we spoke to Jason Marsh, and I asked Jason if he would come with me and talk to Todd, so hey Jason.
Jason Marsh: Hey, how are you doing?
Adriana Linares: Doing great. Tell us a little bit about yourself in case someone hasn’t listened to the last episode, which of course they should.
Jason Marsh: Yeah, they definitely should listen to the last episode, but I am an internet marketing specialist. I work with a lot of law firms, small and medium sized firms, working on their internet presence to generate more clients online.
Adriana Linares: Excellent. Hey, Todd.
Adriana Linares: Great. Thanks for having us, you have a very cool and modern office down here in Thornton Park, Florida. Wait, no, we’re not in Thornton Park.
Adriana Linares: Baldwin Park, damn, I get all our parks confused.
Adriana Linares: I’m glad to be here. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your practice, and you’re a true solo, right?
Adriana Linares: We should say though, you aren’t solo as in totally solo in your office, because you have the ladies of Todd out there.
Adriana Linares: They do, you’re very lucky, you have an awesome group to work with. So I wanted to come and talk to you specifically because I feel having known you for many years, we used to be neighbors, which is a funny thing. We weren’t friends until after we weren’t neighbors, which was kind of funny.
Adriana Linares: A wave from one driveway to another and then years later, we’re like, “Wait, you’re a lawyer? Did you used to live on Miles?” It’s kind of a funny thing. But I’ve been watching you from my window first – I’m just kidding – but watching your presence locally as far as Twitter and Facebook; and then I am going to specifically ask you about the contest that you entered that the Orlando Business Journal did. But before I ask that, tell me a little bit just about when you decided to start using social media and your approach to it and why you decided it was going to be important to you as a solo to dive into social media.
Adriana Linares: And did you have some good, initial success with Facebook? Did you say, “Holy moly, this might actually get some traction here,” how are you using it?
Adriana Linares: And in a practice like yours, your goal in marketing is to be top of mind, so that when somebody needs a personal injury attorney, they think of you first, right?
Jason Marsh: It sounds like you did a really good job using Facebook to build your personal brand within your personal network, the people you already knew. You once told me a story about how I think you ran into someone that you hadn’t seen in literally since high school, 20 years or something like that. Some elevator doors opened and what happened?
Adriana Linares: Oh, wow. Perfect. That’s amazing. What about Twitter. Tell us a little bit about Twitter.
Jason Marsh: I wanted to go to Facebook real quick because Facebook, as you know, in terms of the organic reach of a page of business or an organization page versus a personal profile, has been throttling back the reach; how many people we actually see or post. What’s been your experience with that, specifically?
Jason Marsh: Yeah, it’s really become a pay to play environment, hasn’t it?
Adriana Linares: I mean, it’s just such a nominal amount.
Adriana Linares: And you must have gotten on pretty early because your vanity url is great. You have Orlando Injury Lawyers, so you’re Facebook.com/OrlandoInjuryLawyers, I mean you must have just hopped in on that thing.
Adriana Linares: And you do all the posting yourself, you don’t have someone else do it for you.
Adriana Linares: That’s very good.
Adriana Linares: Alright, well before we move onto our next segment, we’re going to take a quick break to hear a message from our sponsors.
Advertiser: Ready to create and build your own solo or small firm practice? Need a nuts-and-bolts education on the 360 degree experience of starting a business? There is only one online destination dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. Solo Practice University. The only online educational and professional networking community dedicated to lawyers and law students who want to go into practice for themselves. More than 1,000 classes, 58 faculty and mentors. What are you waiting for? Check out SoloPracticeUniversity.com today.
Adriana Linares: Welcome back to New Solo, I’m Adriana Linares.
Jason Marsh: And I’m Jason Marsh.
Adriana Linares: Before we left off, we spent a lot of time talking about Facebook; we dabbled in Twitter a little bit. What about some of the other popular social media platforms like LinkedIn or Pinterest? Do you use any of those to promote the law firm?
Adriana Linares: And what other types of advertising do you do or have you done? Anything that’s not necessarily social media but you have found successful that you could share with our listeners?
Adriana Linares: Are you still?
Adriana Linares: It’s never made it inside my actual home since they’ve been leaving them for probably 15 years. Straight from the step, into the garbage, it’s unbelievable. I’m going to ask you one more question non-social media related before we go back to it and that is you have a great location here. So you used to be downtown, you moved a little bit outside downtown but now you’re still in a very good location. Has that affected either walk-ins or your marketing ability in any way, your physical location basically?
Jason Marsh: In fact, you’re on a main street in a great neighborhood and community here. Do you get a lot of walk-ins through the door? Because you have a very prominent office on this street.
Jason Marsh: And have you ever gotten a call where someone just happened to walk by? They’re familiar with their brand from having just walked past it. Maybe they didn’t walk in the door to schedule an appointment but said, “Hey, I’ve walked past your place or I’ve driven by it a number of times.” In other words, you’ve been building your brand in that way.
Adriana Linares: So I wanted to make sure and ask you about the contest that you were in. Was it two years ago?
Adriana Linares: So this a very cool thing that the Orlando Business Journal – which is part of the national business journal group – they do a contest, and you’ll have to remind me a little bit because I don’t remember. I get the Orlando Business Journal and I remember when they were soliciting people’s companies to enter the contest, and it was a social media contest, specifically. Tell us a little bit about what it was and how you decided to throw C. Todd law’s hat into the ring.
Adriana Linares: We should not drink beer during these podcasts.
Adriana Linares: And they were grouped into firm company sizes.
Adriana Linares: So small companies, mid-sized companies and large companies.
Adriana Linares: Which made it more fair, which I thought was good how they do that.
Adriana Linares: Who’s name will not be mentioned here.
Adriana Linares: But might rhyme with Mariton.
Jason Marsh: What about Foursquare? Do you ever encourage your clients to check in when they visit you in the office?
Jason Marsh: Or maybe throw a selfie on Instagram.
Adriana Linares: Are you on Instagram?
Jason Marsh: You can always post like a really creative photo of a car accident.
Adriana Linares: I mean the filters they have are amazing.
Adriana Linares: Well i have a lot of respect for that, you don’t want to become that guy. But I suppose it’s just another source of platform that might bring bigger, broader awareness. Any other new and fresh ideas that you’ve been thinking about implementing or joining or looking at? What’s next for C. Todd Smith law?
Adriana Linares: Wow, you’re really not like most lawyers.
Adriana Linares: Well you’ll just have to pivot your practice to something else if that happens.
Adriana Linares: That’s very good. Do you have anything you can add, Jason, about Google and having a presence even though it doesn’t seem as popular as it is?
Jason Marsh: Yeah, well I think the biggest thing with Google Plus is the Google Plus local business profile, that’s the most important thing that a law firm wants to make sure they do. So essentially, Google Plus local for business, as a directory for online local businesses. So at the very minimum, you want to make sure that you either create or claim the profile if it already exists, you can claim it and make sure that you add the correct business name, address and phone number. It’s important that those three elements, name, address, and phone number, stay consistent across the web. But just claiming that profile’s important, again, because it’s Google.
Adriana Linares: So for listeners who don’t know what SlideShare is, explain it real quick.
Adriana Linares: So it links back to your website?
Adriana Linares: And so from an SEO perspective, Jason, I’ve certainly done plenty of searches for a topic over the past weeks, years, months. And inevitably, if there’s a very highly hit sideshow presentation, it shows up in those results.
Jason Marsh: Yeah, there’s no question there’s value. Something like SlideShare’s known as a web 3.0 property. So that property has a lot of authority in and of itself similar to maybe a Facebook, but by starting a profile at that and adding substance and valuable content, that’s just going to help your overall web presence.
Adriana Linares: That’s great. I want to go back real quick to the directories, because we talked about Google Plus. Yelp is another one that everyone should just get listed on whether you actively use it or not. Foursquare would be another one. I have my company on YP, yellow pages. Because even though there might not be a need for the physical anymore, I still have it listed in YP. Are there any others you can think of that we want to mention? What about Moz.
Jason Marsh: Well Moz actually offers a tool.
Adriana Linares: Which I did, I did that. Did you know that I did that?
Jason Marsh: Oh, you used it? I didn’t know you used it. But for anybody who’s interested, the tool is you go to Moz.com/local – that’s a free product for you guys over at Moz. But they have a great tool that helps where you can add all of your information and then it will distribute all your business information across many different online business directories including tier 1’s, which are the ones that all the other smaller ones actually license the information from. So if you can get your information in the tier 1 directories – and you can manually submit them yourself but the Moz tool makes it very easy. Nonetheless, all the other smaller ones will aggregate that information from all the tier 1 information providers online.
Adriana Linares: You know what’s helpful about the Moz service too is it will actually go and sort of look at all of those other directories and tell you where the information is not consistent. So if you had an old phone number in one place for your office and a new phone number, it will say hey, this information doesn’t match. And I think either they fix it or you go out and fix it. I can’t remember when you go to that service, but it’s very, very good.
Jason Marsh: Yeah, it’s a great tool, it’s about $80 per year.
Adriana Linares: Yes, I was going to say the only reason I even thought of it is because I just got a renewal notice and I think it was $90 or $99. Totally worth it. Well, before we wrap it up, because we’ve been here for quite some time, I want to ask you Todd about something that’s very important and near and dear to your heart that you love and you do all the time. And that’s your involvement with Kiwanis.
Adriana Linares: And if I want to get involved with Kiwanis but I’m out in Oregon or in Idaho, can I?
Adriana Linares: That’s great. Before we finish up, tell everybody how they can stalk you on the internet.
Adriana Linares: Great, well thanks so much for having us, Todd, we really appreciate it. Jason, thanks for being my rodeur today and helping in.
Jason Marsh: Thanks a lot, good to see you.
Adriana Linares: And Jason, before we let you go, can you remind everybody how they can stalk you on the internet?
Jason Marsh: Yeah, there’s a few different ways. You can email me directly at [email protected] My Twitter is @_JasonMarsh, or the best way is to subscribe to my email list at Marsh8.com/subscribe. You can get lots of great content, videos, podcasts, all sorts of information on how to can grow your practice.
Adriana Linares: That brings us to the end of our show. Don’t forget that you can always keep an eye on us – by us I mean New Solo – on iTunes, RSS, Twitter and Facebook. And if you want to learn more about what you’ve heard today, make sure you visit the New Solo page on LegalTalkNetwork.com. Thanks for listening. Join us next time for another great episode and remember: you’re not alone, you’re a new solo.
Advertiser: Thanks for listening to New Solo with host Adriana Linares. Tune in again to learn more about how to successfully run your new practice. Solo, here, on Legal Talk Network.
The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own, and do not represent the views of nor are they endorsed by, Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders, and subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.
[End of Transcript]
New Solo covers a diverse range of topics including transitioning from law firm to solo practice, law practice management, and more.
Daniel Whitehouse guides lawyers in the process of choosing secure, ethically compliant cloud services.
Marco Brown shares how to change your mindset, stop chasing money, and get paid for the great work you do.
Amanda Moore, CPA, shares tips on how to manage your practice’s finances and your bookkeeper as well as keeping yourself off the IRS’ radar.
Liz McCausland shares some of the professional and personal services she uses to improve both her work life and her personal life.
David Leatherberry talks about how healthcare law led him to start his solo firm, his experience in the legal industry and his current...
Renée Thompson talks about what tools enable her to accomplish her goals and to look forward towards her plan to run for Florida Bar...