When the board of GPSolo magazine invited me to write a biannual column (The Social Media Strategist), I was both honored and thrilled. This column has given me a platform to share knowledge and points of view with thousands and thousands of solo and small firm lawyers.
However, the time has come for me to step aside and pass the baton to an author who can give you yet another perspective on this critical and evolving topic. I am pleased to introduce Jordan L. Couch, Esquire, who will serve as GPSolo’s Social Media Strategist beginning with the January/February 2019 issue. To learn more about Jordan and get a taste of the great writing and helpful tips you can expect in future installments of The Social Media Strategist, check out his article “Communicating with Clients: Five Conversations You Must Get Right” in this issue of GPSolo.
My final column consists of a compilation of past articles written for both GPSolo magazine and GPSolo eReport. My great hope is that you will refer to these resources as you grow your presence and participation in the social media world.
The Secret of Getting Ahead Is Getting Started
Most agree that success in a given arena requires strategic planning and execution. Some of you have followed suggestions provided in my past columns, and I appreciate the feedback and encouragement you have sent my way. However, I suspect that others did not have the chance to read the articles at the time of publication or weren’t ready to move forward in the social media world.
Building a social media program that attracts new business requires an investment of time and money. The “why” is obvious, but the “how” can present a major obstacle. For the convenience of GPSolo members, I have compiled below the titles of each of the articles that I have written in the arena of social media for both GPSolo magazine and GPSolo eReport, along with a brief synopsis of the content. Through the years, I have attempted to give broad coverage to the topic and to touch on areas that would help lawyers in their day-to-day practices. If you are unable to access any of the following articles, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will be happy to send you a PDF version.
Compilation of Social Media Articles by Cynthia Sharp
“Making the Case for Social Media,” GPSolo eReport, August 2013. As the first installment of a GPSolo eReport column on social media savvy, this article answers the question: Are attorneys ethically obliged to take a greater interest in social media? Digital natives and digital immigrants alike will benefit from the information.
“Social Media Marketing and Ethics,” GPSolo eReport, October 2013. Discussion of online ethical pitfalls, including the problem of unintended representation and why attorneys must review every detail of the firm’s website before it goes “live.”
“Social Media and Other Research Tools,” GPSolo eReport, December 2013. This article introduces practical no/low-cost resources and includes material regarding the proper citation of social media sources as well as a solution to the sticky problems of link rot and reference rot.
“Social Media: The Litigation Context,” GPSolo eReport, February 2014. Introduces several key issues in the litigation context that cannot be ignored and suggests a few strategies that can be immediately implemented.
“Social Media: Moving Forward with Social Media,” GPSolo eReport, April 2014. Seven tips designed to motivate attorneys to engage in a social media initiative.
“Social Media: The Importance of Law Firm Policy,” GPSolo eReport, October 2014. A must-read for lawyers who have not yet enacted formal social media guidelines for their firms and who are looking for guidance on how to begin.
“Research in the Cyber World,” GPSolo eReport, April 2015. An introduction to a smattering of the infinite online research tools that will be useful in any lawyer’s bag of legal tricks.
“Social Media Ethics in the Age of Documented Mischief,” GPSolo, May/June 2015. Advice on how to avoid online professional and personal embarrassment, guard your ethics, safeguard your bar admission and employment prospects, adjust your privacy settings, and plan for the digital hereafter.
“Leverage Your Professional Brand Online,” GPSolo eReport, June 2015. Although personal professional online branding cannot be reduced to a blueprint, the five-step process set forth in this article can be relied on as the basis for an initial action plan.
“The Social Media Strategist: Using Video to Connect with Your Target Audience,” GPSolo, May/June 2016. I urge each reader to consider stepping more deeply into the worlds of video sharing, videoconferencing, and instant live streaming. The focus is on leveraging these platforms to attract more business to your law firm. After all, creating and deepening connections with clients and referral sources will result in more cases coming your way.
“The Lawyer’s Guide to Profitable Virtual Presentations,” GPSolo eReport, Part 1, January 2017; Part 2, February 2017; Part 3, April 2017. Many attorneys are participating in online webinars offered by third parties such as bar associations or by their own law firms but don’t feel equipped for the project. Part 1 addresses the challenges of choosing topics and finding audiences. Part 2 focuses on how to engage viewers/listeners who will ultimately either refer or become a client. Part 3 provides guidance on effective preparation for and deliver of a presentation to a virtual audience and gives tips on following up.
“The Social Media Strategist: Gain a Competitive Advantage by Using Competitive Intelligence,” GPSolo, January/February 2017. Discusses the use of competitive intelligence as a means of guiding, informing, and leveraging a law firm’s traditional marketing plan. As with all marketing activities, results will improve when a strategic approach is adopted and consistently implemented.
“The Social Media Strategist: Social Media Content Strategy,” GPSolo, July/August 2017. My mission in this article is to help lawyers who have a message to disseminate but who remain unheard by the marketplace. A six-step strategy for consistent, efficient, and effective content development is provided.
“The Social Media Strategist: Building Profitable Relationships,” GPSolo, January/February 2018. Outlines a plan of action for lawyers who want to enhance their firm’s market share by engaging in meaningful and personal communication with the firm’s community.
“Book Review: LinkedIn Marketing Techniques for Law and Professional Practices,” GPSolo eReport, February 2018. This review includes a list of six recommendations in the LinkedIn arena that can be implemented immediately. The book’s author, Marc W. Halpert, urges readers to “get into the game” and notes that “LinkedIn is not a spectator sport.”
Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow
I would be remiss if I did not thank the Editorial Boards of both GPSolo magazine and GPSolo eReport for their support through our years together. Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Allen and Managing Editor Rob Salkin have given me great professional latitude, and I appreciate their confidence in my writing. Most of all, I am grateful to you—the readers—for being open to new ideas and for taking the time to read in the midst of a demanding career. Please connect with me on LinkedIn or send a Facebook Friend request.
And now I pass the baton to my esteemed successor, Jordan Couch. It will be fun to be a reader, instead of a writer, of this column.