Social media and lawyers! I know two concepts that probably don’t really go together but let me tell you, there are a few lawyers out there who are working their social media accounts like online pros and it turns out they are great lawyers to boot!
Social media has been an area that most law firms have tried to avoid in the hope that the ‘Facebook fad’ would soon disappear. But 12 or so years on, we know that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat, YouTube and all the others are here to stay and most lawyers and law firms are finally turning their minds to jumping online and joining this online marketing trend.
The challenge for lawyers and firms is that the idea of being ‘social’ in a very public space is entirely against their traditional brand image. And sadly when some dip their toes in the social media well, they get it so wrong! Before you know it, your Facebook feed is full of links to complicated legal articles written by the recently promoted Senior Associate.
But the thing is, anyone who uses Facebook in their own ‘non-law’ life knows that it is the last place you go to read articles about lawyer stuff! Facebook is the classic of voyeuristic platforms where we can keep up with our friends every move, as if they lived in the house next door! We want to see fun, frivolity, life and sometimes even a little bit of controversy. We don’t really want to be made to think too hard and will quickly run away if you make us!
From Facebook to Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter there are a good few lawyers and firms now actively using social media to drive their businesses and here are a few that I love to follow and encourage you to check out too-
1. Jessica Kerr, Sinclair and May, Melbourne @thelawyerslunchbox
I fell across Jessica’s gorgeous Instagram account one evening and let me say, her account is stunning! Jessica regularly shares beautiful images to suit us Insta fanatics but more importantly, she seamlessly incorporates stylish images that directly relate back to her core business ‘Sinclair and May’.
Jessica is a business lawyer running a firm from Melbourne. The thing is, she is so slick with her imagery that her business messages are seamlessly fitting into her feed, encouraging us to click through and read her latest blog post or reminding us business owners of helpful things we should know.
You will also enjoy Jessica’s snapshots of her life in Melbourne and as her handle might suggest, there are a good few gorgeous snaps of her eats and treats throughout the week too!
You will find Jess’ account on Insta here @thelawyerslunchbox go check it out!
2. Diane Ruhl, Ruhl Family Law Centre, Townsville
Townville is fast becoming the mecca of great lawyer based social media accounts. I struggled to limit my list to the 3 I mention here as there are about 10 great lawyers from Townsville that I love to follow online. One of my favourites though is Diane Ruhl and her firm ‘Ruhl Family Law Centre’.
Having only recently launched her own firm, Diane has hit the social media marketing with a bang from the get go! She has quickly grown a strong following on Facebook where you will find lots of fun behind the scenes images of her and her team, making me want to go and work there! Diane has found the perfect balance of brand building but with a hint of fun. Her #mondaymotivations are always great to start your week too! Moving between Facebook and Instagram, Ruhl Family Law Centre is pitching itself as a contemporary and vibrant place to be and I have no doubt that their social media has helped them hit the ground running with the launch of their new firm.
3. Connolly Suthers, Townsville @connollysuthers (Instagram) @Connollysuthers (Facebook)
Another winner from the far north is Connolly Suthers. Now if you are in a firm that has been around forever and you are about to try and tell me that your lovely historic brand just won’t work on social media then please go and have a look at the great work of Connolly Suthers.
A firm that has been a mainstay of the Townsville Legal scene for well over 120 years, they are doing a great job of building their business brand on both Facebook and Instagram. On Facebook they keep me entertained with a good mix of useful business blogs and the fun weekend adventures of their various team members who seem to always be up to some sort of great fitness adventure! On Instagram they have found the perfect balance between great images, behind the scenes fun and smart business messaging.
This post from a few weeks ago was one of my favourites- what a smart way of creating a real sense of the people behind the business.
4. Mel Storey Scott- ‘The Lean Lawyer’ @The.Lean.Lawyer (Instagram) ‘Pearls and Protein’ (Blog)
I am yet to meet Mel, the face behind one of my favourite Instagram Accounts at ‘The Lean Lawyer’ but I am pretty sure she is someone I would love to hang out with on a Sunday morning as I know from her online antics she would bring a big smile to my face!
Mel is the ultimate successful corporate lawyer by day but after hours enjoys sharing her passion for health and fitness on her blog and social media accounts as ‘The Lean Lawyer’. Now I understand Mel also has a rocking Snapchat account, but for the life of me I cannot work out how to use Snapchat so if you know how, head over and let me know what I am missing out on.
Mel has embraced the new ‘Instagram Stories’ feature and has had me in fits of giggles with her real life ‘flower crowns’ as she tries to bring the best of the Snap Chat filters to the Instagram platform.
Go and check out Mel’s online accounts and trust me- you won’t be disappointed- she is one fun lawyer!
5. Kate Pateman KLP Family Law @KLPFamilylaw (facebook)
Another one of my favourites from the Far North is Kate Pateman and her firm KLP Family Law. KLP’s Facebook account is definitely one to follow and if you are lucky like me you might win next year’s Easter Egg giveaway! (Over 300 Easter Eggs were kindly shipped down to me this Easter after I managed a correct guess and my daughter is still finding them in the kitchen after she hid them all over the house!)
If you are a dog lover then the KLP Facebook page is for you! Kate’s two beautiful puppies are a daily feature at her firm and regularly appear in the firm Facebook feed- and they are gorgeous!
You can also be entertained during summer with the Townsville Table Tennis Championships- where the local lawyers of Townsville all come together at KLP Law to battle it out for the title! I was enjoying the live feeds most Fridays to keep up with the medal tally- it is better than the Olympics, trust me!
You can check out KLP’s facebook page here so pop over and join the fun!
6. Nik Koolik, Koolik & Associates @themindfulmediator (Instagram)
This is a relatively new account but one I am really glad to have found. Nik’s wife happens to be a stunning photographer and so if you are into beautiful landscapes and just lovely images then this account is for you!
Each weekend Nik runs a great mindfulness competition encouraging his followers to share their own image on the weekly mindfulness theme. I love this concept and it is such a great way of building and engaging with his community online in a very personal way. Nik runs a small practice in the Northern Suburbs of Brisbane but with his Instagram account, is growing his work as a lawyer and mediator well outside of the Brisbane region.
You will find ‘The Mindful Mediator’ on Instagram here.
Social media, when used well, gives you the opportunity to have your brand in front of your potential clients every day of the week FOR FREE! Every firm should be looking at ways to engage with their ideal clients, referrers, potential employess and brand ambassadors on the various platforms that are available. If you don’t know where to start then pause and think about where your clients are (and if you don’t know the answer then ask them!)
Pick one platform and master that one well before trying another- better to do one thing well than 10 things poorly. If social media is not your thing then consider engaging a social media marketer to give you a hand or better still ask around your team- chances are there will be someone that has a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat addiction that they will be only too happy to share!
If you know of some more great social media accounts from lawyers send them my way.
Clarissa Rayward is a Divorce Lawyer and the Owner of Brisbane Family Law Centre. over the past 14 years, Clarissa has worked with over 2000 families during separation and divorce. She specialises in assisting her clients to experience a dignified divorce- staying away from the Court process and finding sustainable agreements for the future. This past year Clarissa has begun to tackle the challenging issue of unhappiness in the legal profession through her writing and weekly Podcast ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life’ where once a week she interviews lawyers who have found a way to maintain a successful career in the law while not giving up their life outside of their career.
In January 2017 Clarissa publisher her second book, ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life- How to the be Happy in Law and Life’ and launched the first ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life’ online course, helping lawyers nationwide to better understand how they can drive happiness in their careers.
You can order a copy of Clarissa’s Book or find out more about her Online Course and Podcast below.