Technology is constantly evolving to meet our ever-changing needs, and as a business, if you don’t keep pace, you’re going to be left behind. As the great H.G. Wells said, “Adapt or perish!”
This maxim is especially true when it comes to the legal profession. In our crowded, ultra-competitive space, lawyers, as well as law firms, need to make sure that they are utilizing every technological tool at their disposal in order to reach as many potential clients as possible.
Of course, traditional marketing and advertising methods, be it television, print, or radio, are still important and effective means of spreading brand awareness, but in the twenty-first century, they’re simply not enough.
Today’s world is online. Today’s world is social media.
Presumably, you and your firm are already taking advantage of the audience available via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But there is more you can do.
There is TikTok.
The silly lip-synching dancing videos thing?!
For those unfamiliar, or only vaguely aware of what TikTok is and does, it’s a social media platform that allows users to create, watch, and share short videos with others around the globe. And the numbers are staggering. Each month, over one billion people engage with TikTok, and the average user is on the app for about an hour a day. No matter who you are, or what your profession is, that’s a pretty impressive audience at your disposal. So if you’re a lawyer, or in the legal profession, here are some thoughts on how and why you and your firm should use TikTok.
TikTok offers a fresh opportunity to destroy the archaic stereotypical image of the humorless, uptight, stuffy lawyer. Through TikTok, you can show the world that you’re a real, three-dimensional person, not just some monster in a suit looking to send people to jail. It’s time to soften the image and let people know, and see, that lawyers can be fun, and silly and goofy, too!
But how do you do this?
By being yourself.
People respond to authenticity. What do you do when you’re not working? Do you sing into a mixing spoon while you’re cooking? Film it! Do you dance with your daughter in the bedroom? Let’s see it! Do you wrestle with your cute puppy? I’m here for it! So go on, crank some tunes, loosen up, throw some vids up on TikTok and show the world that lawyers are human too!
But maybe you’re just not that outgoing. That’s okay, too. Don’t try and be someone you’re not. Think of other ways to express yourself. Why not consider doing a fun and informative Q & A session? Start making a list of the most common legal questions you get from strangers, and make a video answering those. Consider what TikTok’s younger demo would be interested in with respect to the law? Student loan debt? Post a fun video addressing it. And talk off the cuff, don’t worry about a script, speak your truth, relay an anecdote, tell a joke, think visually, surprise people with your location, answer tort reform questions from a raft in your pool, give legal tips between swings on the golf course, get creative, be active. If you feed people interesting legal information in an entertaining way, from a visually stimulating environment, they’ll continue eating it up.
And while you’re on TikTok, take advantage of the networking opportunities it offers. Use hashtags and searches to reach out and connect with other legal professionals around the country. If you’re based out of a large Los Angeles firm, perhaps there’s someone in a small New York shop with some interesting ideas or techniques that can help you, or that you can adapt and apply to improve your own services. You never know what friendships may form or where connections might lead, and while you might not see an initial benefit, if you’re patient and persistent, networking on TikTok can be an investment that pays dividends down the road.
But whichever approach you take to advocating your law career via TikTok, goofy, wild, silly, interesting, entertaining, informative, remember to always be yourself. Don’t act. Don’t try to be cool. People respect authenticity, and people loathe, resent, and can sniff out phoniness.
Also, try to take what you know and make it relatable. There have been thousands of television shows about lawyers and the legal profession. Why? Because people find it inherently interesting. So, think of fun ways to talk about your denser topics. For example, sticking with the television theme, perhaps you watched an episode of The Practice last night and laughed at something absurd that one of the lawyers said, or watched an episode of Billions and were shocked at how ‘right’ the writers got it. Talk about it! As a lawyer, tell us what rang true and what did not. And why?
And if and when you finally decide to use TikTok to promote your law firm, remember to be patient. You might get frustrated that you’re not getting many views. That’s okay. Keep filming. Keep posting. Keep experimenting. Use engaging captions. Think. What makes you click? What makes you laugh, what is it that makes you go back and check out another video?
And finally, be consistent. Make a commitment to yourself or your firm to post 1-2 videos a week no matter the response. Every week. You never know when one might hit, and at worst, you’ll be building an ever-growing portfolio of new material.
So go ahead and give TikTok a try, you owe it to yourself and to your firm. And if you only remember one piece of advice, make sure it’s this one… Have fun!
For more inspiration on posting with TikTok, check out our podcast, ‘TikTok for Attorneys in 2021’ . If you’re in California, register for our in-person event, ‘TikTok for Attorneys in 2022’ this Friday with LawWorks and the #1 attorney on social media, @LawByMike.