Yesterday online lawyer directory AVVO kicked off their national tour in Miami. I, having a ton to say in criticism of online lawyer marketing, was invited as a featured panelist.
This in and of itself is pretty fascinating because if you don't know, the self-proclaimed and lacking in credibility internet/social media/tech expert lawyer "advisors" have a rule that they do not address dissent, nor answer questions about their backgrounds. I was on a webcast last month talking about social media and lawyers, and the snake-oil salesmen and "social media experts" were all a twitter about how there was "disagreement" on the panel.
One of the first comments from AVVO about me yesterday was that their first interaction with me was "not positive." But there they are, saying "come speak on a panel with us, let's have a real discussion."
Initially, I questioned the concept of AVVO and the issue of being about to enter information on a profile that increases your rating. I sent AVVO a list of questions, and they answered every one of them - fully and honestly.
Too bad most of the social media people avoid real discussion that hurts their attempts to prove the greatness of themselves that is a complete fallicy.
If this AVVO tour is coming to your town, go.
Yes, they are there to tell you about AVVO, and yes they do have products and services that cost money - it is a business you know. But the 3 1/2 hours are filled with tips on general online marketing and is perfect for someone who has no idea about blogging, facebook, twitter, or other sites that lawyers use to market.
The advice is right from CEO Mark Britton and others who have a good sense about how lawyers are perceived, and what they can do to have a better online presence.
And it's free.
I tweeted the conference yesterday, and my comments can be found at http://search.twitter.com. At that site, type in #avvotour.
Here's some of what I said:
 If you have an online presence, you must have an offline presence. You must be a real lawyer with a real practice with real clients, and not just be creating an image on the net.
 You can whine and moan that twitter is a waste of time. 55 million people are "wasting their time" on twitter. There you will find former clients, potential clients, current clients, other lawyers, people looking for lawyers, and people who don't need you now, but may, or may know someone who will.
 Don't post specifically about your clients or specific information about your children.
 When blogging or twittering, know that people are more interested in non-technical legal talk.
 Social media is not about you, it's about everyone else. As Mark Britton said, it's a party, if you're there "pumping yourself" people won't listen and will grow tired of you. Here's a twitter account I grew tired of quickly: http://twitter.com/coloradodui
 Blogging is the best way to let people know who you are, and what you're thinking.
 If you're joining social media solely for the purpose of making money in your practice, it will never work.
Thanks to the guys at AVVO for asking me to join them in a real conversation about the future of online marketing for lawyers.
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 www.tannebaumweiss.com