Thursday, September 10, 2009

Transparency On Twitter

Twitter has a dark side. While many see it as a social communication tool where people post every meaningless fact about their day, there are people trying to sell you, anything. Mostly, for lawyers, they are trying to sell you a practice.

There are three kinds of lawyers on twitter.

1. Lawyers with real practices who use twitter to socialize, post a blog post, and meet other lawyers and others with similar interests.

2. Lawyers who are trying to build a practice and are thirsting for any advice they can get; and,

3. Former or part-time lawyers who claim to have all the answers on social media - blogging, twitter, facebook, and all that is the internet.

The problem is that 2 is walking in the desert, and 3 claims to have the water.

Twitter and transparency don't always mix. In this economy, where laid-off and young desperate-for-business lawyers will listen to anyone talking, there are plenty of 3's talking on twitter.

The problem is that few of the 2's are asking questions.

So because all the scammers on twitter are quick to threaten defamation ("hey, you defamed me, I don't know anything about defamation, but I know you defamed me"), let me give you a hypothetical.

Lets say there was someone on twitter who offered services teaching lawyers to, uh, blog.

Now, I learned to blog by setting up a blog and typing, but if you need to pay someone to teach you how to talk on the internet like a human being, be my guest.

Let's say that person refers to themselves as a "former lawyer."

Would it make a difference to you, as a young hungry lawyer, that the "former lawyer" you were hiring to help you build your blog and hence your reputation, was disbarred?

If that lawyer told you he was a former lawyer, would you ask why? Should you?

Would you care?

Those that follow me on twitter know I'm growing tired of the lies, scam artists, and self-proclaimed "experts." Why? Because they are scamming otherwise good and decent lawyers who want not only a practice, but a reputation.

Sleep with dogs.......

So do me a favor, ask questions. These people won't tell you the truth about their backgrounds and experience, otherwise they'd be out of business.

Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. Please visit


1 comment:

Dave Lorenzo said...

I love you.

I guess you are saying that former lawyers who were disbarred for stealing from escrow accounts are not qualified to...oh say...teach marketing to lawyers...

I think I agree with that.

What about wacky lawyers who still claim to practice law and sometimes go on TV and talk about non-law related stuff and also claim to be marketing experts because they went to a "4-hour-work-week-type seminar"?

Are those law firm marketing experts? Hmmm...

How about current part time lawyers who copy Dan Kennedy marketing materials verbatim and then claim to be "Anti-Gurus"?

Are they good people to learn from? ( I love it when a guru claims to be the anti-guru by the way. That's like Tiger Woods saying he is not a scratch golfer.)

There are lots of former and part time lawyers out there teaching if it is something you can learn by reading a book or going to a seminar or by buying a presentation "in a box".

Marketing is as much science as any other business discipline. If you want to learn about marketing, seek out someone who makes their living, full time, helping lawyers with legal, ethical client acquisition methodology.

Small law firms and solo practitioners may not want to employ aggressive marketing methods (like doing follow-up mailing to current clients or conducting educational seminars to their target audience). But learning the right way to do those things (and about 127 other specific marketing tactics that are legal and ethical) is important. Integrating them into a cohesive strategy and doing so in a way that does not take you away from actually practicing law is important.

Hiring a part time lawyer to teach you marketing or a disbarred lawyer to teach you to write a blog post is like hiring a part time surgeon to perform your heart transplant. Good luck.