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April 01, 2018

Facebook Marketing Hack for Small Firm Attorneys

Dustin Sanchez

Big Law firms can’t do Facebook right—they must approach it as a corporate entity. Corporate entities get ignored on Facebook.

Solo attorneys and small firms have huge marketing advantages over larger firms on Facebook—most notably the ability to inject personality into their marketing efforts. You want to be real, to put your heart out there. If you embrace this advantage, you can beat every law firm in your city.

Step 1: Build an Audience on Facebook

This marketing tactic uses your personal Facebook profile, not your law firm business page.

As a thought leader in your legal field, you always want to “get in front of”:

  1. Your friends and family.
  2. Other attorneys in your city, state, and country.
  3. Potential clients in your city or jurisdiction.

As a solo, you should aim your marketing efforts at generating word of mouth (buzz).

Getting in front of groups one and two, with engaging content, is your best chance at generating buzz. Your friends, family, and other attorneys are most likely to share, like, and comment on your posts, thereby increasing your organic reach. Maybe you go viral. Maybe some media figure sees the post, and now you’re on the evening news. Only real, heartfelt, newsworthy content is going to achieve this.

First, make sure that you “friend” all your friends and family on your personal Facebook profile.

You also will want to “friend” a ton of attorneys in your jurisdiction.

For instance, let’s assume you practice real estate law in Florida. Log into Facebook and use the Search feature:

Basically, you are running a search for lawyers in your state. Later, you can restrict the search to your city.

Next you will restrict the search to “Groups”:

You can see in the image above that there are several Florida Lawyer groups, with several members. You are going to “friend” all the members (attorneys) in those groups whom you are acquainted with. For example, I’m going to click on the “Florida Solo/Small Firm Lawyers” listing above.

Then I’m going to click on “Members” in the left-hand sidebar of the group so that I can begin “friending” any members I might be personally acquainted with:

Once I click on “Members,” I get a list of all the attorneys in this group (it’s public info).

Join the group, introduce yourself, participate, genuinely contribute to the group discussion, and naturally become friends with the group members. Then you can start clicking “Add Friend” when you feel it is appropriate:

Join and contribute valuable discussion to the appropriate lawyer Facebook groups in your jurisdiction. This is how you becomes a “thought leader” among your peers.

WARNING: Do not go overboard friending people you don’t actually know. This is against Facebook’s Terms of Service.


Finding Your Potential Clients on Facebook

Up to this point we’ve discussed connecting with group one (friends and family) and group two (other attorneys on your personal Facebook profile). But what about group three: potential clients in your city or jurisdiction? Getting in front of this third group has the best chance of converting your content into income.

So, how can you find Facebook groups where your potential clients hang out?

Let’s continue with the example of a real estate lawyer in Florida. We’ll use the search function again:

From there, the process is the same. Join the group, contribute valuable content to the group, make friends, add those members as friends. You’ll also be notified of many offline networking opportunities as they get posted in the group.

WARNING: Do not sell in this group. Do not market in this group. Just add valuable insight when you can. (See the Bonus Content at the end of this article for how to add valuable content in a non-salesy way.)

The only point of joining this group is so that you can find and then connect with (friend) potential clients on Facebook.

As far as the actual search terms to use in the above example, use creativity to adjust the search to your area of the law and your geographic location.

A criminal attorney will join different groups than a bankruptcy attorney. A divorce lawyer will join different groups than a personal injury lawyer. But all these groups exist on Facebook, you just have to find them. It will require some creativity.


Step 2: Post Entertaining, Engaging Content on Your Facebook Profile.

Why do I want you to connect with all these people on your personal Facebook profile? You want to add friends, family, attorneys, and potential clients as friends on your personal Facebook profile because you are going to make entertaining, educational, engaging posts about your life as a real estate attorney on your Facebook profile.

This is a natural thing for a real estate attorney to do.

Go follow Kevin Hart or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or Gary Vaynerchuk on Facebook or Instagram. What do they post about? The Rock makes posts about being “The Rock.” Kevin Hart makes posts about being a comedian and living his life as a celebrity. Gary Vaynerchuk posts about being a marketing and social media expert. All this is done on their personal profiles and business profiles. There is no distinction.

You are the brand.

You are the business.

Facebook gives you an opportunity to be real, to be a person. And the mantra is: Entertain, Educate, Connect.

If you don’t entertain, then you’re not going to get their attention. Something about your practice is interesting. Something about your practice resonates with the average person.

Here is a perfect example:

Notice that this attorney did not “sell.” This attorney did not say, “Hire me,” but everyone who reads this knows that it’s from a criminal lawyer, and that the attorney practices with passion.

When you post something that is engaging, people engage with it. When they like, share, and comment on your post, it shows up in their personal Facebook feeds. Then their Facebook friends see the post. People who never would have seen a post from you will now see the post because of the increased organic reach caused by all the engagement:

This “text” post could also be re-purposed as a 60-second video, shot on your cell phone, walking from the courthouse to your car, then uploaded directly to Facebook and Facebook Live with a short two-sentence lead-in blurb. Something like: “What if your son was screwed over by a court-appointed lawyer? What if he was facing five years as a juvenile? This is why they came to me. . . .”

Later you could upload both the text post and the video post to your Facebook business page, then to your LinkedIn feed, then to your Twitter. Then you could repurpose the whole thing as a very short blog article and YouTube video. Embed the YouTube video on the blog article, then share the blog article to all your social media again a week or two later.

After that you could take the blog article and e-mail it to a reporter on your local paper with a cover note: “This is what’s wrong with our county courthouse. Let me know if you ever need any commentary.”


Beat Big Law

The only marketing advantage Big Law firms have over smaller firms is a significant budget, which means they can afford to hire marketing “experts” with zero skin in the game. Zero heart. They can afford to hire some marketing agency, which then outsources the fulfillment to some $9-an-hour employee sitting in a cubicle handling three other accounts.

Even if you know nothing about the Internet and online marketing, you are two to three months of light studying away from being able to beat a $9-an-hour cubicle dweller who’s also working on three other accounts.


Notes on Format

There is an art to writing social media posts that actually get read by people. It’s called “broetry”—kind of like poetry, but different.

Even if you have something awesome to say, if you don’t present it properly, it will get ignored.

It’s only the first one to three sentences that show up on most social media posts. So, you have to grab them by the throat right up front:

24,000+ free views for my lawyer marketing business.

Here’s the best article I’ve ever read about how to write good social media updates. It’s written about LinkedIn posts, but the format works just as well on any other platform.


Notes on Frequency

Most people quit after the first “no.”

I see lawyers all the time who make one video, upload it to their Facebook feed, and then someone makes a comment about the poor lighting. That little comment is all it takes for the attorney to give up on marketing.

Your first ten tries at marketing will stink.

The first 20 will be embarrassing.

Keep at it because something is going to hit. Strive for frequency, not perfection.


Examples to Follow

Kenneth Stephens. What’s more boring than construction law? Not much. But go follow Kenneth Stephens on LinkedIn. His construction law videos, posts, and updates will start showing up in your feed, and you will be entertained. Then you’re going realize why his firm is blowing up. Copy his methods.

The Law Ladies. You should follow this Atlanta, Georgia, law firm on Instagram and Facebook. What they are doing on Facebook and Instagram will be widely adopted in the next five years.


My Free Facebook Training

I’ll send my Facebook video course to you for free if you connect with me on Facebook Messenger.


Bonus Content

How to Add Valuable Content on Facebook Without Being Salesy

There is a wrong way to post in a Facebook Group:

This was posted in the Houston Real Estate Investors Facebook Group. It’s an obvious “hire me” post. It offers no value to anyone.

Do not sell in these groups.

You goal is to add value.

What does adding value look like? Like this:

These type of posts are commonly made in Facebook groups.

Here’s another:

And one more:

What if you were able to create a list of trusted real estate vendors? It would be easy to spend a day scrolling through the group feed to see what kind of questions are commonly asked. Then you do a little bit of research and make a list of trusted vendors in your area. Maybe even add online review information and contact information. Go even further and contact each of the vendors to let them know you are adding them to your list (networking). Then create a Google Doc, and save it as a .pdf file. Put your law firm name and info in the footer or header.

Every time people ask a question like this, you can link them to your .pdf file, and even chime in with some info on your favorite vendor for that particular issue.

That’s how you add value.

It’s also how you advertise, without advertising.

I hope this was helpful. If you’d like more law firm marketing tips, visit my blog for the latest tactics in lawyer marketing.

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Dustin Sanchez practiced oil and gas law for four years after graduating from the University of Houston Law Center in 2010. He is currently a lawyer marketing consultant