This week in Things I Wish I Knew, attorney Joleena Louis shares 7 tips to using Instagram to market a solo law practice.
I recently wrote about my blogging activity and how it has helped me market my law practice. But it is not the only form of social media that I use for marketing purposes.
Surprisingly, I have had a lot of success with Instagram.
I have had a personal Instagram account for a few years and, at the urging of my husband, I started a business account early on in my practice.
Instagram is basically a social networking app that allows to you upload, edit and share photos. If you “follow” someone, their uploads will show up in your news feed and you can comment or like their photos.
Facebook bought instagram for $715 million in 2012, and according to a Citigroup valuation in December 2014, its now worth $35 billion. And as of December 2014 it averaged over 300 million active users a month.
Initially I wasn’t sure how a service provider could use Instagram. I didn’t have any products to show and I certainly couldn’t include anything about clients. But after a few months I figured out a winning strategy.
1. Don’t advertise.
My Instagram strategy is to not scream “hire me” but to share interesting content that people want to see. My posts are rarely about me or my firm but share quotes, information, or funny meme’s related to family law.
2. Post regularly.
New posts only stay in your followers’ news feed for a couple hours max, depending on how many people they follow so to stay relevant you have to post daily or multiple times a day. I save interesting quotes and pics I find on the web and share them on Instagram a couple times a day. My husband is also very helpful by finding interesting content for me to post.
3. Engage your followers.
I always respond to comments by followers and follow them back and like or post on their photos as well. The number of followers I had really started to grow once I started doing this. It seems like a lot of work, but it really only takes a few minutes a day. I also repost interesting photos or quotes from my followers which is even less work for me.
4. Use #hastags.
I use #divorce #familylaw #newyorklawyer #familylawyer so when people search these hashtags they can find my posts.
5. Follow ethics rules.
Don’t give legal advice or answer any legal questions online, tell them to contact you for a consult. And if you use posts to promote yourself make sure you insert “attorney advertising” in the photo. There are apps you can use to add words to your photos.
6. Keep it local.
I had to add “nyc” in my profile name because I kept getting contacted by people in other states. Also be sure to put your contact info in your bio so people know how to reach you.
7. Be authentic.
The biggest challenge that clients have when going to hire an attorney is trying to differentiate one lawyer from another. Often our marketing materials look like clones of our competition, perhaps dressed up in different colors or font. Social media gives attorneys a great opportunity to show off their personality. On social media, authenticity goes further than our typical notion of a buttoned up professional. By being authentic, you will start building a following who is attracted to you and your personality. Those people, the tribe you build, will ultimately yields your your best customers.
Instagram may not be for everyone and it will only work if you are willing to put in the time. I am a social media addict so its fun for me and worth the time I put into it.
While I do get a good amount of leads each month, they are not always quality leads or my ideal client. But every once in a while I get a good case that I would not have gotten otherwise.
Follow me on Instagram @joleenalouislaw_nyc.
Joleena Louis is a matrimonial and family law attorney at Joleena Louis Law, a ﬁrm she founded after leaving a boutique matrimonial ﬁrm in Brooklyn. Joleena is a client in Law Firm Suites’ start-up program in Downtown, New York. Her weekly blog series Things I Wish I Knew… explores her thought process and experiences in her transition from small law ﬁrm employee to successful solo practice entrepreneur.