Full disclosure: My son works for LinkedIn.
I'll be mentioning LinkedIn in this column, so I thought I'd make that disclosure to avoid any potential scandal. But I don't own any stock in the company and I'm pretty sure LinkedIn doesn't need any promotional help from me.
Full disclosure: I once worked (very briefly) for Forbes Magazine.
I'll be mentioning Forbes in this column but I'm pretty sure no one working there will have any idea who I am. And the magazine doesn't need any promotional help from me.
Now that we've got the ethical technicalities out of the way, let me point you to an article posted on the Forbes website by some self-proclaimed marketing expert headlined: "Want Hard Proof that LinkedIn Works? Ask a Lawyer."
Let me emphasize one word from that headline: "A."
The article is about how one guy got some more business by going on LinkedIn.
Maybe the headline was supposed to read: "Hardly Proof."
The one lawyer described in the article had referrals within a few weeks "worth $12,000 in billable hours that he would not have had without his 3-5 hour LinkedIn campaign. That represents an 8-10x ROI on the time he dedicated to it ...
"The pace has calmed since he harvested that low-hanging fruit."
How calm we don't know.
Be that as it may, going on LinkedIn might be a good idea. The company is certainly good at nagging.
Before I say any more ...
Full nondisclosure: I signed up for LinkedIn a few years back (before my son got the job - but I'm pretty sure there was no connection). I was not looking for a job - for some reason I thought it would help me sell something.
I'm not going to tell you what I was selling. It was a really terrible idea and I'm one of the world's worst salesmen. I mention this also because I shouldn't be trying to sell anything in this space (although I'm not selling now what I was trying to sell then).
Have fun speculating.
Now back to the main topic.
Since I once signed up for LinkedIn I'm constantly getting weird emails about people (or myself) being endorsed or adding skills or morphing into aliens or something. Half the time, I have no idea who these people are.
I don't care who these people are.
But you can see the marketing advantage to this. You don't have to do much to get the word out about yourself and aggravate large numbers of people.
My main criticism of the Forbes article, though, is that it doesn't go far enough in describing the potential for social media marketing. There are lots of other Internet sites and apps to consider.
Here are a few to think about:
Tinder: This is a great sales opportunity for you young, handsome lawyers just starting out. A simple smartphone swipe could yield hundreds of potential clients and/or lunch dates.
Just be clear that you're not interested in starting litigation on the first date.
About.me: Here's your chance to recruit solipsist clients by telling them that everything is about them and their money only exists in their minds so they might as well give it to you.
World of Warcraft: What better way to form alliances than hacking potential clients to bits with your Blade of Thunder and plundering their inventory to demonstrate your prowess?
Or you could go the healer route and randomly aid strangers.
Remember, these are people spending hours on their computers. Their legal affairs must be a mess.
Writeaprisoner.com: I can't think of a better way to boost a criminal practice.
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