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THE NUMBER ONE THING PROFESSIONALS SCREW UP ON SOCIAL NETWORKING AND WEB SITES

Attorneys and other professionals are caught up in their “professional standing” as a marketing tool. Attorneys, for example, think its important to market their Martindale-Hubbell rating, or their listing in Best Lawyers in America or a local ranking as a Top 50 lawyer in their city. These things are certainly important, but what professionals don’t realize is that people searching for an attorney or other professional are really more drawn to “who you are” than the professional accolades.

This is totally counter intuitive. I first heard this from prominent lawyer, blogger and social networker, Lee Rosen, from North Carolina. He has a section on his web site entitled, “Why I Became a Lawyer.” In it, he talks about his life and what he wants to achieve and why he wants to be a lawyer. After seeing that, I posted a similar statement, although my story is different.

Since then, I have read Michelle Golden’s book, Social Media Strategies for Professionals and Their Firms. She writes that people using social networking are interested in people and reject to the traditional “corporate speak.” She urges professionals to personalize their web sites and blog postings. She writes, “social media forums are not the place to broadcast advertise in the traditional or vague corporate speak way. When you think about the roles of trust and credibility played in the growth of Web communities, it makes complete sense that the values that reign supreme in the communities today are authenticity, transparency, humanizing, sharing information, and even respectfully disagreeing.”

After reading this, I saw a post by Lee Rosen and its title was, “ Seven Things That Scare Me.” In the post, he talked about fearing not having money for salaries and fearing making a mistake for which he might be sued. This was “humanizing.” It was not something lawyers generally like to portray about themselves. But, as Michelle has written, it drew me closer to Lee.