Internet marketing for Settlement Professionals and trial lawyers

In the last month I had the opportunity to present twice on the idea of internet marketing and how lawyers and settlement professionals can start to get in the game. These video podcasts of my talk given back on June 6th, 2008 cover the basics of internet marketing and i'm providing the links here for those of you who want to view them.

Part one of Mark Wahlstrom's talk on Internet Marketing.

Part two of Mark Wahlstrom's talk on internet Marketing.

However, in today's blog post I want to talk about social and professional networks for attorneys and what they are. As many people who are on the cutting edge of marketing are aware, or if you have a child under the age of 24 who has a MySpace account, the explosion of social networks has turned into a tidal wave of activity for those of us interested in internet marketing. No other area of what is often called Web 2.0 has shown more growth, attracted more venture capital money and is of such keen interest to advertisers then social and professional networks. However, I also realize that most lawyers have no clue as to what a professional network is or why it is essential that they join one if they want to be viable on the internet.

The most familiar networks that people can join, such as MySpace, Facebook, Linkedin and Bebo, have drawn all the big boys of the media and internet world, with Rupport Murdoch buying MySpace as the signature example. Why are they attracting so much money and what are the implications for lawyers, financial experts and legal marketing firms who are spending their current money on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), buying banner ads, Google clicks or utilizing email campaigns? It's simple, the money goes where the people go and right now the audience is moving strongly to social and professional networking sites. The bottom line is that the world is moving in this direction and that it won't be long before having a professional networking profile will be as essential as an email address and web site are today.

What is social/professional networking you might ask? In it's simplest, and crudest form, just go over to and check out the biggest social network. Essentially it is the creation of a personal profile by opening up a free membership with Myspace, putting your photo on it and then filling out a questionnaire, putting links to your content and basically letting the world know who you are and what you are about. Simple, right? Well, the simplicity is the value of the network and the fact that it allows you to find "friends" with common interests or common social circles allows you to expand your network and raise your profile. Of course in the Myspace world that often means finding dates, activity partners and others, not necessarily professional clients.

Now in the social world that "raised profile" means more potential dates and friends, but in the professional world it means that people who are looking for someone with your expertise and talents, would be able to locate you through the network or search engine results, and therefore could potentially be a source of future business. The issue up until now has been whether or not  the average lawyer, financial guy or legal marketer wants to put themselves out on MySpace or Facebook which are generally seen more as dating and pop culture sites for the general public and therefore risk diminishing their professional image by being seen in "that club".

So how does a legal professional obtain the massive benefits and exposure of joining a social network with out all of the potential draw backs? It's a pretty simple solution in that you just start searching for networking sites that specialize in your profession. The problem with that is that most "networks" are on list servers for state trial lawyer groups or bar associations, which by their very nature end up being isolated behind a membership fire wall. They don't allow for creation of individual firm or attorney profiles, they don't promote your specialty areas and they really only function as a question and answer board using technology around since 1990. They are exceptionally limited and provide the lawyer with only one of the three features of a social network and that is the abiiity to speak with their peers. 

What The Legal Broadcast Network has come up with is our own professional network that attorneys, law students, law professors, paralegals, media professionals and others can join that will be filled with their peers and the type of media you have come to expect from our platform.

We have titled it The LB Network and you can find it by clicking here.

What you will find is our beta phase test of a professional media network for attorneys that is totally open for any lawyer, law student, judge, law professor, reporter or legal marketing expert to join. Once you join you can create your media profile, links to your law firm, publications, up load audio and video podcasts and develop a blog all for no cost. The value to you is the opportunity to raise your profile among lawyers, clients and potential clients. In short, it helps them find you, refer you and communicate with you in an immediate fashion that other internet marketing options don't provide.

As this is the first of a five part series on developing your media profile and starting your networking program, you need to make sure you are subscribing to my RSS feed so you can read the next few posts that will get into the details of social marketing for lawyers and why you need to be part of it. My next post on professional marketing will get into the development of a professional media profile and it's essential ingredients.
Posted on July 26, 2008 and filed under New Media.