Monday, February 2, 2009

Shouldn't lawyers be tweevangelizing to clients?

I can't stop thinking about Chris Brogan's comment that 40-60% of his opportunities come from Twitter (mentioned here yesterday). That's a great commercial for Twitter. When will lawyers be able to say that? Five years? Ten? What will it take? 
There's been a lot of talk lately about lawyers on Twitter, how many are joining, what they are saying, how they are trying to make Twitter work. What about the clients?  If you want 50% -- or even 5% -- of your opportunities to come from Twitter, don't you need to increase the number of clients and potential clients that use Twitter and follow you? The type of clients that have legal issues and hire lawyers? Shouldn't you stop convincing other lawyers to get on Twitter, and start convincing your potential client base to take the first step? How are you going to do that? Some thoughts:
  • Put your Twitter username on your business card, above your email address
  • Let contacts know that you share a lot of information on Twitter that might be of value to them
  • Devote five minutes of every pitch to show your potential client how Twitter works and what you use it for
  • Ask new contacts to join Twitter and follow you
  • Organize structured tweetversations with colleagues on hot legal topics (à la Super Bowl ads discussion organized by Tom Peters)
What suggestions do you have?  Tweet them to me @lancegodard.


  1. Lance, I have gone with the Trojan Horse method. I re-branded my @SecuritiesD Twitter feed as a "news wire," and have it identified and piped-in via RSS to my website ( as such. Lawyers understand what a newswire is and like it. They didn't pay much attention to it as a Twitter feed.

  2. Lance -

    I think there many be some over-enthusiasm for Twitter as a client development tool for lawyers. I think there is a big variation depending on your practice.

    Chris Brogan gets lots of clients through Twitter because that is the nature of his business. He is a social media consultant. Kevin O'Keefe gets lots of business through Twitter because he is in the social media business.

    As a commercial real estate lawyer, none of my clients use social media. They do not read blogs. They do not use Twitter. Only a handful were even in LinkedIn.

    Even in my new area of compliance, there are very few people in the industry using blogs or twitter.

    If I were an IP lawyer or dealing with tech start companies. The opposite would probably be true.

    The other concern is the future Twitter business model. Right now, the company has zero revenue. That cannot go on indefinitely. Something will change. It may just put Twitter in the junk-pile (anyone remember Friendster?)

    I am a big fan of Twitter. But I am less sold on evangelizing it to clients. I would not spend the time in a pitch talking about Twitter. The focus should be on the client and solving the client's need not on your twitter habits.

    I like the idea of putting your twitter username on your business card. (That leaves out bigfirm lawyers. Their marketing department would never allow it.) I assume you would also want your blog URL on your business card. If the client notices, then spend some time talking about it.


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