Recently the lawyers in my new firm, Venjuris, decided to be more active on social media, particularly in blogging and on a Facebook page. The partners are looking to me for guidance on how to build their online presence, and I, in turn, am looking to them for guidance on what the firm’s persona is.
I know how we are when we interact within the four walls of our office — but what aspects of the firm do we want to highlight in our online presence?
One of my goals is to be authentic in my own online interactions. The difference now is I have to think about the entire firm.
As regular readers know, I joined Venjuris as an of counsel attorney earlier this year, though I still have Carter Law Firm for speaking, writing and social media activities. When I’m speaking as Carter Law Firm, it’s just an extension of myself. But now that I have access to post as Venjuris, I have to think about the firm’s personality and the 10 other people who help create it.
I also have to think about who our audience is.
To better create a united voice among those of us who’ll post to the firm’s Facebook page and upload blog posts, I’m inviting the team to gather for pizza so we can talk about who our audience is and how we provide value to them. And I’d like to inspire them to think beyond the legal services we provide and think of the firm as a part of a larger community.
In developing the framework for the meeting, I’m thinking of an entrepreneurs’ workshop I attended, led by Pam Slim and Charlie Gilkey. They helped us identify our individual audiences by asking questions like:
- Where do the members of this audience work?
- What are their families like?
- What do they wear?
- What do they read?
- Where do they get information?
- How do they spend their free time?
- What values are important to them?
- What issues do they care about?
- What problems or concerns do they face in their daily lives?
Each December, I usually take a few days to myself for a personal retreat to reflect on the year and make plans for the one that’s coming. One of the things I do is revisit the above questions and analyze if and where my audience has changed — and how I can better serve them in the future. As a member of a firm, now I get to do this on a larger scale for our social media presence.
Identifying who the audience is and what their needs are makes it easier to identify and create content that will be helpful to them. As I’ve learned in listening, watching and reading Gary Vaynerchuk, Peter Shankman and Jay Baer, you always have to provide value to your audience. It’s about helping them, not about telling them how awesome you are.
Actually, one of the things on my to-do list is to grab my copy of Vaynerchuk’s latest book, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook,” which is filled with real-life dos and don’ts about social media marketing, and reread his chapter about Facebook.