Droste Clock 2 by photomastergregA few moments ago, I was on my account on Facebook, and read a post written by Conrad Saam of Avvo.  Conrad is less than happy with marketing consultants he has observed lately that advise lawyers that lots of Followers are necessary to make Social Media efforts successful.  He also said the marketing consultants he has observed are also telling lawyers that it doesn’t take much time to engage in a meaningful Social Media marketing program.

I don’t know what consultants he’s been listening to, but there are as many different suggestions for how to tackle Social Media as there are consultants, advisors, coaches and users of these tools.  This is because these are marketing and networking mediums, just like all other marketing and networking efforts.  There is no one right way to do this in “real” life, so there surely isn’t only one right way to do this virtually.  Observing many, and learning as much as time allows, helps all of us arrive at our style, along with a bit of advice now and then when necessary.

I’m not here to set Conrad, or anyone, straight on what we as Marketing Advisors do.  That’s not necessary or productive use of my time today, nor is my stereotyping of all consultants wise because we are all different.  I am acquainted with Conrad, and know he doesn’t need me to try to set him straight.  He was simply commenting on his observations.

I am here to help my clients understand Marketing and Social Media, and how they fit together.

My response to Conrad, with additional thoughts that you might want to think about:

You are right that trying to build huge numbers of Friends, Followers and Connections is not the key UNLESS they fall within your target audiences as identified in your marketing planning process.

You are also right that this takes time, as do other marketing activities.  No one should ever promise that any method of building one’s practice is not time-consuming, but we all have to admit it is necessary.  It doesn’t happen on its own. Work doesn’t magically walk in the door, just like your office didn’t build itself, and your phone system didn’t install itself.  You had to take part in the creation of all of that so that it would sustain you for the duration of your career.  Marketing is no different, and probably more important.

Marketing is the responsibility of being a business owner, a lawyer, and yes, even a marketing advisor.  I know it takes time, even when I don’t have it.  If I have any hope of potential clients finding out about me, or if I am interested in developing relationships, then I know it takes time.  I won’t pretend otherwise, but that doesn’t stop me from making time for it, some days more than others.

There are shortcuts we can all take to make posting and monitoring more efficient.  There are times when it takes more time than others. But the wonderful characteristic of Social Networking is that it works even when you are not.

In positions I held before starting my own business in 2002, we spent a fair amount of money on traditional advertising.  As with any wise media buy, we would buy time, then rest for a while, then place more media, send a different type of communication, rest, etc.  The interesting phenomenon that has taken place in every situation like this is that there is a perception that we were always in the media, when we were not.  When we, or you, spend enough time consistently sending our message and communicating with our audiences, then some of that effort continues to pay off even when we’re at rest.

With Social Media, we can’t rest for long because there is a lot of traffic out there, and people will forget.  It’s not their job to remember us.  It is our job to help them remember us.  My point is that yes, it may take more time today or this week, but it doesn’t have to be like that every day if we have taken the time to build the relationships that Social Media revolve around.

Bottom Line: Yes, this takes time!

Thank you to PhotoMasterGreg for the image above

Nancy Myrland, President

[email protected]

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  • Lydia Bednerik

    Nancy, you’ve clearly expressed some of the ways that the virtual networking world mirror the real world. I think some of the fear that people have of the social media platforms as related to relationship building is based in the fact that many people have expended considerable effort and, yes, time in real world networking that has not proved as fruitful as they would have hoped. Flailing about at random cocktail parties is about as successful as approaching social media without a strategy or plan. Many folks have felt the push pull of “time investment” vs. “time suck” in their real life networking activities and fear how that will play out in an online world. Thanks for continuing to give us gems to consider as we explore how we’ll best use this expansive tool at our disposal. -Lydia

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  • Nancy, this is a great post. I actually was on the phone with a client, former law firm partner who asked how much time it took to do social networking. I heard a visible sigh from the other end of the phone when I said, it does take time. Now, social media does seem to speed up the process, but the key word is it is still a process and should mirror/compliment your offline networking activities. I so love your approach to social media, and you are very good at it. Love your take as always. Great job!