Sometimes my lawyer friends throw me a compliment about being “good at Twitter.” I always have to stifle a chuckle.
The truth is, I put in less than ten minutes a day (and maybe less than five). I don’t produce or share much original content. I don’t even have all that many followers.
By most objective criteria, I’m actually pretty shitty at Twitter. #LOL
But compared to other lawyers on Twitter? Oy. I get it. There is an epidemic of assholery among lawyers on Twitter.
Lawyers’ Twitter feeds are often chockfull of boring advertisements, meaningless platitudes, and self-aggrandizing puffery. I mean, if every lawyer on Twitter is “tough,” “determined,” and “fair,” perhaps none of us really are?
To be clear, I’m all for social media marketing. But come on. Who wants to read your incessant twittering that robotically directs all comers to “hire my law firm!” That isn’t how you market yourself on Twitter.
How Do You Market Yourself on Twitter, Then?
I know why people like my feed. It isn’t a mystery. Here it is: I act like me on Twitter. If you look at my account, you see me. My personality sings, from my profile picture to my professional interests (tech, lawyers, and the nonprofit sector, which is my practice area), all sprinkled with a little spice of real life for good measure.
For example, here’s me talking business:
— Jessica Birken (@JessBirken) September 3, 2018
And here’s me talking fantasy football. I am (apparently) a diety visiting earth to vanquish my sniveling foes.
[/singing] I am the champion, iiiiiiiii am the champion! [/end singing]
??? Unlikely this will ever happen again, revelling while I can. pic.twitter.com/crNaurzAkH
— Jessica Birken (@JessBirken) August 31, 2018
Honestly, that’s all you need to market yourself on Twitter. Be human and care about something. Occasionally let the world know you accomplished something, too. That’s good. Create something interesting and promote it (articles, videos, downloads, seminars, quilts, whatever). That’s good, too.
Lawyers suck at Twitter because they want to repurpose shrunken versions of their firm’s already-lame billboard ads, or because they are petrified of showing even a glimmer of personality for fear of alienating a potential client. The result is that they barely seem human.
I’m not saying you should go overboard. Let’s keep our wits about us here, okay? But if you can just act like a human being for a minute, it’ll definitely help. Got it?
Okay, so here’s my patented, super-magical formula to market yourself on Twitter:
- Three to five times each week, grab a cup of coffee, open your app, and scroll through your news feed while quietly and contemplatively sipping your solid cup of joe. (Heck, you could even snap a picture of your coffee and share it if you’re feeling crazy).
- Use the search feature to find content on topics you care about, both personally and professionally.
- Retweet—with or without comment—a few things you find compelling.
- Follow a new someone every once in a while if you find their contributions to your life valuable.
- Say something genuine once in a while. Let folks know if you published some valuable content or just bought a ticket to a cool event or conference.
- And, if you don’t enjoy the format, don’t use it! You’re much better to delete your account than to put out trash. If it isn’t for you…it isn’t for you. That’s okay. Don’t force it; you’ll look silly.
Want an example of a kindof-mediocre-but-still-lovingly-human Twitter ninja? Follow me! I’m over at @jessbirken.