traceysinclairconsulting

Writing, editing and legal directories advice

Networking in a digital world

One of the most important – but often most difficult – things to do when you’re a freelancer is to network. Not only because this maximises your chance of getting more work, but because if you work for yourself, especially if you work from home, it’s all too easy to become isolated.

I recognise that, like many freelancers, this is something I’m not great at and I need to improve – it can feel calculating, or even dishonest: am I just being nice to this person to get something from them? But I’ve found that the best way to get around that is to think about networking simply as broadening my circle, not necessarily with any endgame in sight, rather than spending my time worrying about whether I’m making the ‘right’ connections, or whether they will result in any more work/sales for me.

With this in mind, I’ve been seeking out more writing communities to get involved with. I mentioned in my last post that I have joined the writers collective Strictly Writing – my first post goes live next week – and this week I started contributing to Byte The Book. Byte The Book is a relatively new site, set up as a community of writers, illustrators and digital publishing professionals: it recognises that the publishing industry is changing, and is helping people at the forefront (or sometimes just the sharp end) of those changes connect. Importantly, founder Justine Solomons sees the importance of human connection in an online world, and so organises regular ‘literary soirees’ so that the site’s contributors and other interested parties can meet face-to-face. My first post went live today: a short story in the Writing Showcase and a Book Review, and I’m looking forward to my first meeting next week. If you’re interested in any aspect of digital publishing, it really is worth checking out the site.

Strictly Writing – joining the team.

Just a short post this week, as I am assuming – hoping – everyone will be having too much fun over the long bank holiday to be online. Though, the weather being what it is, inside and online might turn out to be the best place to be!

So I shall just use this post to highlight that I am now a featured member of the writing collective Strictly Writing, a blog aimed at giving writing advice, support as well as insight from a group of writers who are at varying stages in their career, from the not-yet-published to the award-winning. If you’re interested in fiction writing, do pop over and check out the blog. My first piece is on the decision to self-publish, so might be useful if that’s something you’re keen to explore.

The perfect getaway – taking a break when you work for yourself

With the summer fast approaching, most of us are starting to think about our holidays. But if you work for yourself, taking a holiday can seem like an unaffordable luxury – especially in today’s economy. However, not giving yourself a decent break is a surefire way to build up stress levels, which can lead to decreased efficiency and even ill health, so it’s important to schedule proper down time. Here are some tips to make yours a happy holiday:

Take a proper break
Put on your out of office, switch off your mobile or BlackBerry and leave your laptop at home! If you spend all of your time checking emails or dealing with clients, you might as well be working. If you run a business, avoid telling your staff they can contact you ‘if it’s important’ – you’d be amazed at how ‘important’ things suddenly become. If you absolutely can’t relax without checking the world isn’t exploding in your absence, then at least restrict yourself to a set time: say, an hour every morning. Make it clear you won’t be available outside that time, and don’t get sucked into dealing with every little thing as it arises.

Tell your clients in advance
I’ve worked with a lot of freelancers, and am always amazed by how casual some are when it comes to letting clients know that they won’t be around for the holidays. While obviously it’s not unusual to have the odd day when you’re uncontactable – and there will always be emergencies no one can predict – if you are going to be unavailable for more than 48 hours, let regular clients know this well in advance, so they can plan their own requests around your availability. Nobody will resent you taking a holiday – but they will resent you leaving them in the lurch!

Know what you need
Everyone is different in terms of their own requirements. Are you a two weeks on a beach person, or do you need an active city break to invigorate you? Do you work better when you take one big holiday, or lots of short breaks? One of the benefits of being self-employed is, childcare commitments aside, you are free to choose your own holidays – so go for what best works for you.

Time your trip
Taking a long weekend when you’re two days from finishing a major order is pointless – you’re likely to spend the entire time worrying about it and wishing you were at work. Holidays should be a time to concentrate on yourself (and your partner/children, if you have them) not fretting about what you’re not doing back in the office. Consider your deadlines and delivery dates and plan accordingly.

…But don’t wait forever
It’s also important to accept that, if you work for yourself, there will never be a perfect time to take a holiday. There will always be things that need doing and a hundred reasons why you should be at work, so it’s easy to keep pushing yourself with the promise that you’ll take a break ‘when things calm down’. Treat having time off as a serious task and timetable it the same way you would any other important item. No business should be so fragile that it will collapse if you take a few days away from it.

Don’t expect too much!
Finally, when you do manage to take a holiday, don’t put pressure on yourself to have the perfect getaway. The aim is to relax, not make yourself even more stressed! If you only take a short break, don’t try and cram so much into it you come back more exhausted than you left. Be realistic about what you want and what you can achieve, and you’ll get so much more out of it.

How to cope when you both work at home

With the rise in homeworking – and the downturn in the economy – it’s no longer uncommon for more than one person in the house to be working from home (or, more stressfully, for one person to be working from home while the other looks for work). While this can have positive side effects – companionship, mutual support – it can also be disruptive. So how do you cope if your partner or housemate also works from home? Here are some tips that can help keep the peace!

Have separate spaces:  unless you are actually working together (and sometimes even then!) try to have different workspaces. This may not always be possible, of course, but even allocating separate shelves for your work materials or deciding who works in the kitchen and who works in the living room, can be beneficial, so that you aren’t tripping over one another, or getting your work mixed up.

Respect one another’s working style: you may be the kind of person who thrives on clutter and distraction, happy to take frequent breaks and work with the radio blaring in the background – your partner may not. Treat one another with the same respect you would treat a fellow office worker: if they need to focus single-mindedly on one task, leave them to it. Don’t sulk if they won’t take a break and don’t inflict your distractions on them.

Don’t judge! Equally, if you’re the kind of person who likes to get up early and work for eight straight hours, it’s easy to think your partner is skiving if they don’t seem as dedicated. Remember that different people have different rhythms, and different jobs have differing demands. Providing they are getting their job done and handling their share of the household responsibilities, it’s not your business how they spend their time. Unless they ask for your advice, leave them to it!

Agree on who ‘owns’ the house landline: if more than one person is working from home, it’s important to agree who has priority over the landline (or simply agree that the home phone is for personal calls, and that you will use your mobiles for work, or vice versa). It’s a fast track to frustration and disagreement if one of you is desperately waiting for a call but the other is ‘hogging’ the line.

Timetable breaks: taking formally scheduled breaks can reduce the temptation to waste time chatting through the rest of the day. (I know one couple where the husband worked upstairs all day and ‘pretended’ to come home for lunch and to be out the rest of the time: sounds corny, but it meant both worked undisturbed but still had the pleasure of a sociable lunch). Again, though, respect the fact that while for some people a lunch break is an essential part of the day, others prefer to work straight through – don’t try and impose your schedule on anyone else!

Be disciplined: when both of you work from home, the temptation to skive is enormous – that extra hour in bed, the extended lunch, finishing early for a glass of wine… Remember that if you encourage one another with this sort of thing, soon the only thing you’ll be doing together is signing on!

Blogging for business – what to write about

Choose the right format – is blogging right for you? There are many reasons why blogging can be great for your business. It can attract traffic to your website (Google loves regularly updated content); it can help establish you as a thought leader in your field; it can help build relationships with your customers or clients. But it isn’t right for everyone. There are a lot of social media platforms out there, and before you start it’s worth taking some time to gauge which is the right one for you.  If you’re a law firm keen to promote your expertise, blogging is ideal – but if you’re a restaurant trying to build a community, or a crafter trying to sell your products, you may be better off just creating a Facebook page, or setting up a Pinterest account. * Consider your ideal market (and where you’re likely to find them), your content, and the amount of resource you have available, and decide accordingly.

Identify a problem, offer a solution: many people think that a blog should just be a sales pitch – but that’s not what will bring people to your site. The best blogs offer their readers something, and this is often in terms of solving their problems. This can range from the significant to the trivial: a legal blog, for instance, will be focused on issues that can have major repercussions – what does this law mean for me? How do I comply with it, and what happens if I don’t? But not all ‘problems’ are life changing – that doesn’t mean we don’t want an answer. For instance, if you run a furniture business, you might be answering questions such as: what’s the most environmentally friendly material I can use in my house? How do I make more storage in a small space? What are the most hardwearing products for a child’s room? Think about what your potential customers and clients might ask, and set about answering it.

Adding personality: the amount of personal information you include in a blog will, of course, depend entirely on the type of product or service you are offering, and the ‘brand’ you are creating. But in general, readers won’t care about you or your company, so it’s best to limit this kind of information. Some personal content can help humanise your brand, though – so the occasional post about, say, a charity event, can be interesting and add colour. Personal content can also help certain types of business connect with their peers – for example, if you run a small, local business, a blog about your experiences networking and tips about local groups could be interesting and useful. You don’t want to be giving away trade secrets, but don’t be stingy with your knowledge – sharing information can be a great way of building a profile.

Visuals: some blogs can be text focused (eg law blogs) but most will require images of some sort. While you don’t have to use a professional photographer, remember the quality of images will reflect on you, so you can’t just stick up blurry photos taken with your phone! Also, be wary of using images taken from the internet – some may be usable through a creative commons licence (but must be properly credited), but you must be careful not to use anything subject to copyright.

Keep at it! Few things look worse than starting a blog, doing a couple of posts and then neglecting it – what kind of message does that send to potential clients and customers? So only start a blog if you really think you can keep it going, or if you can afford to pay someone to blog for you. (Many writers, me included, offer this service: you can check sites such as freelancer.com for writers with web experience, or do a search under ‘blogging’ on networking sites like LinkedIn).

*It’s worth noting that, while it is a phenomenally popular platform, there is some controversy over the terms and conditions of Pinterest. Do make sure it’s right for you before you sign up.

Adventures in self-publishing

One of the things I enjoy most about being a freelancer is having what is now commonly referred to as a ‘portfolio’ career: my legal directories work, blogging (personally, and for business), web content work, as well as writing fiction. Having had two books published by a small press, when I wrote a more mainstream, urban fantasy novel this year, I decided to experiment with the self-publishing route. So much of my work is in the digital sphere that I thought it would be a useful – and hopefully fun and rewarding – experience, and the immediacy and control of e-publishing appeals to me. While I am enjoying it, it has been a learning curve, so if you’re thinking about e-publishing, whether fiction or non-fiction, the following might be helpful in knowing what to do, and what pitfalls to avoid.

Tips on self-publishing: I spoke to Suzy Greaves at The Big Leap about publishing my book, and wrote some tips on how to get the best out of self-publishing. You can access them here.

Getting the perfect cover: my cover designer – and publishing expert – Caroline Goldsmith wrote an interesting post on designing for digital here.

Below is the final version, available on Amazon here.

Of course, if you are writing a book and require editorial support, do feel free to contact me at traceysinclair23@gmail.com

Dark Dates - a new urban fantasy book by Tracey Sinclair

Dark Dates - my new novel

 

 

 

Twitter for business made simple

Of all the social media platforms, Twitter is perhaps the most misunderstood and maligned – but it’s also one of the most powerful, and used properly can promote your business and attract traffic to your website. So here are some tips on how to get started, and how to make the most of Twitter for business. (There’s even a glossary at the end…)

Short is sweet, so keep it snappy! You only have 140 characters, and ideally you want to use less, so that if someone wants to “retweet” your message (ie, repost it so that their followers can see it) this leaves room for them to add a comment. (Eg – “Great post from @yournamehere )

Shorten your links: Twitter will often shorten links in posts, but if you need to shorten your URL to make space you can use a ‘link shortener’ such as http://bit.ly . Simply paste your link into the site and it will create a new short link for you. This also has the advantage that if you set up a (free) account, you can see on bit.ly how many times your link has been opened.

Be clear: don’t try and be too clever or opaque in your tweet, or people simply won’t click through to the link. Remember that most people on Twitter will be following literally hundreds – or even thousands – of people, so you need to catch their attention in a split second. That said, a little bit of humour or character will make people warm to you and can help you stand out.

Use keywords and hashtags: people search on Twitter using keywords – so if everyone is talking about “phone hacking”, you don’t want to be talking about “telephone espionage”. You can use a hashtag to emphasise this, eg #phonehacking (no space after the # or between words, but put a space after the hashtag if you’re using punctuation – eg ‘Murdoch denies knowledge of #phonehacking ! – if you don’t leave a space, the punctuation negates the hashtag as Twitter doesn’t recognise it).

This aids with searching so that people can easily see a group of tweets on the same subject. Hashtags can be used to highlight your topic even if the specific word isn’t in the tweet. (eg, Murdoch interviewed about emails #medialaw). If you’re not sure of whether a hashtag is appropriate, you can do a quick search to see if the one you want to use is being used already. But don’t worry – there’s no such thing as an “incorrect” hashtag, so there’s no penalty for getting it wrong. Though note: never add a ‘trending’ hashtag to a post where it’s not appropriate just to get attention (eg #ladygaga The FSA today announced new fines…) – this can lead to being ‘flamed’.

Understanding hashtags, part 2: although this is less relevant for a business account, it’s worth knowing that hashtags have now developed to become humour: it’s common for people to add them as a punchline to a joke. So not all hashtags are actually subject specific or relevant (eg, ‘I am working late and everyone is out of the office #mightaswelleatallthebiscuits ‘).

Caution required: Twitter is PUBLIC: every one of your tweets is public and can be seen by everyone on Twitter – even if they don’t follow you – and can come up in a Google search. Even if you delete tweets, people can find them – just think of some of the news stories about people being arrested for what they post online. This includes replies sent to other people’s tweets (but not private messages). Use sensible precautions. Don’t be abusive or offensive, and be careful using humour – it may not translate. Remember that if you’re tweeting a series of messages, followers may only notice one: so don’t rely on context to clarify your tweet. Also, if you’re tweeting to promote a business, poor spelling and grammar and an over reliance on ‘text’ speak can look unprofessional. Never tweet anything confidential and be careful about being controversial. If in doubt, don’t tweet it.

But, don’t be scared: it’s highly unlikely you’ll break the internet. Providing you don’t tweet anything abusive, confidential or offensive, it’s not a disaster if you accidentally have a typo or a broken link in your tweet, or send something out half typed. Just send a “Sorry, here’s the correct link” type tweet.

You have to engage! Those who use social media a lot are rightly suspicious of people they see using it JUST to broadcast about themselves. Don’t just use Twitter as a way of advertising your blogs, products or newsletters, but to build relationships with contacts, potential clients and other thought leaders. There are a number of easy, low maintenance ways to engage with Twitter:

  • Build a “following” list, and keep adding to it: every so often look at the list of Twitter suggestions and add a couple who seem relevant. Following only a tiny handful of people makes it look like you really don’t care that much.
  • Look at who’s following you and consider following them back: you don’t have to follow everyone who follows you (and you will get a fair number of ‘spam’ followers) but if it’s appropriate, it helps build a relationship.
  • Retweet other people’s tweets: again, only where appropriate, but it’s a good way of a) showing you read your feed, and therefore engage and b) building relationships, because people can see who has retweeted their tweets.
  • Check your messages: Twitter has a ‘@mention’ button on the main screen. By clicking this you can see if people have retweeted your tweets or sent you messages. Always reply to any direct messages, unless they are clearly spam.
  • Follow Friday“: Follow Friday is a way of recommending other feeds to your own followers. This is done by posting #FF then the address: so #FF @rpcprivacylaw . You can add commentary also: “For up to date news on privacy law, #FF @rpcprivacylaw.” It’s considered good ‘netiquette’ to thank people who have suggested you as an #FF – simply by tweeting “Thanks for the #FF @name” or similar. (You can see who has done this by checking the @mention button).

Glossary

Twitter – a social media “microblogging” platform

Tweet – each post or message that you put on Twitter

Retweet – reposting someone else’s tweet

Hashtag – # symbol that helps when searching for topics (see below)

Trending – what people on Twitter are talking about which shows up as a list when  you search topics (eg, at the moment, you will often see #Leveson trending as people follow the inquiry).

Followers – the people who are following your Twitter feed

Following – the people whose Twitter feeds you follow

@mentions – tweets where your twitter address has been used

Flaming – abusive tweets or messages, often multiple

Spam – useless tweets often aimed at getting you to click into dodgy websites; direct messages from people you don’t know inviting you to click onto links.

Bots – automatically generated spam messages. Ignore.

URL: the unique web address of a webpage, blog post, news story etc: eg http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17867537

Blogging and writing for the web made easy

With the vast increase of online content, it’s never been more important to be able to write clear, concise and compelling copy. Here are some tips for writing blog posts or web content – aimed particularly at those more used to writing legal documents!

‘Front-load’ your article: you should be spelling out at the start what the article is about, and why your audience should read it. Make the title clear, and the first paragraph should outline what the article is about – or people may not read any further. Remember that on many sites, only the title and first 1-3 lines will be visible on the landing (main) page, so you need to encourage people to click through to the full article. (This will also give your article more weight in a Google search).

Make it easy to ‘skim’: many readers online will only briefly scan text, so it’s important to make your text easy to read on screen so that they can pick up the important points easily and quickly. Use short paragraphs, subheadings and bullet points to break text up – few things are more daunting to read on screen than reams of unbroken text. If appropriate, use images to break up the writing and add visual appeal.

Keep it simple and jargon-free: it can be difficult for lawyers and other professionals to put themselves in the mindset of non-expert readers, but unless you’re actually writing a legal/technical document, you should avoid, as far as possible, jargon and unexplained technical terms. This isn’t ‘dumbing down’, it’s being reader friendly. Blogging especially is about communicating with your audience, not intimidating them with your intelligence.

Write to match the way people read: again, this can be a challenge for lawyers or technical professionals, who are used to drafting documents in such a way that the most devious of souls can’t find a loophole in them. But this isn’t how normal people read. So while it’s fine to write in a legal document, “The contractor in place (“the Contractor”) sued the Baxter and Sons Delivery Company (“Baxter”)”, in more informal reading, this sounds over-mannered and stilted. If you refer to a contractor in the first sentence, a reader will naturally assume any future reference to the contractor is to the same one unless you introduce a new one; you don’t need to spell it out.

Use hyperlinks (though not too many): readers online now expect to be able to move easily from one article to another, so if you refer to a blog post or article – your own or someone else’s – link back to the original so that the reader can visit it; you shouldn’t make your reader head off to Google to find out what you are talking about. Links should be added to the body of the text (this is easy to do in most blogging or content systems), but using too many hyperlinks can be messy and distracting, as you risk sending your reader off in so many directions they don’t come back to you. If a lot of links are necessary, consider adding a ‘for further reading’ at the end. (Handy tip: you may prefer set your hyperlinks to open in a new screen, so that you’re not sending people away from your site as they may not come back). DON’T underline words for emphasis when writing online content – readers will assume they are broken links.

BUT be careful with links! Remember the links you use reflect back on you – so you might happily link to the FSA, BBC news or HMRC, but you probably don’t want to link to www.stupidstoriesforcrazypeople.com. Also remember that directing readers to a site with a pay wall can annoy them, so it’s usually best to link to free access sites. Use specific URLs (web addresses) so that you direct people to the actual story, not to a general site – for example, if you are linking to a story on the Roll on Friday site, you need to link to the actual story (the long URL at the top of the screen when you click on the title of the story), not just the news page, as that will be updated regularly, so by the time your reader visits it, the story you were talking about has moved off the main page.

Use tags: tags are extremely useful on blogs, helping readers easily find articles on the subjects they are interested in. These may appear in a list on the front page, or a ‘tag cloud’ which shows the most popular topics. If you are starting a blog, it’s worth creating a list of common tag words in advance, so as to be consistent: if you are contributing to an existing blog, be sure you use the same tag words the site already uses. (So, for instance, you don’t want to be tagging an article ‘Bribery Act’, if all of the other authors on the site simply use ‘Bribery’, or vice versa.) Tags are also a useful way of adding weight to your pages for a Google search.

Key words and phrases: ‘Search Engine Optimization’ (SEO) can be a tricky business (and there are whole industries out there aimed at helping people maximize traffic to their blogs and websites, so I won’t pretend to be any great expert) but as a general rule, make sure you help Google and other search engines identify your article or blog correctly by using the appropriate key words, especially in your title, first paragraph, tags and labelling of links (and, if you’re feeling particularly techie, in the ‘metadata’ sections of your blog or site – which again can sound scary, but is generally very easy to do). You don’t need to go crazy – it will look weird if you do – but it really doesn’t hurt to spell out what you are writing about. It can be tempting to write a cleverly oblique title, but bear in mind that people will search Google using clear, direct terms – so they may not see your article unless you title it in the same way!

If you have any questions about how blogging can help your business, feel free to contact me at traceysinclair23@gmail.com

A version of this article first appeared on www.deferolaw.com

What is a legal directories consultant – and do you need to hire one?

Love them or loathe them, legal directories like Chambers and Legal 500 are an influential part of the modern legal landscape. And, as they become more ubiquitous, so a new brand of professional has emerged: the legal directories consultant. So what is a legal directories consultant – and do you need to hire one?

What does a legal directories consultant actually do?
This answer to this is, generally, whatever you need them to do. It’s a field populated by individuals and (very) small businesses, most of whom offer a service that is bespoke to their clients’ needs – this could be as extensive as handling the entire directories process, from writing the submissions to sitting in on interviews and coaching lawyers, or as little as giving your final submissions a review and ‘tweak’, or even doing a one-off talk to your partners or BD staff on how to make the process more efficient. There are also services that offer a less bespoke but more affordable package aimed at making it easier to handle the process in-house (for example the Defero Law Directory Tune Up Group – of which I am a member – offers a one-off submission review and a series of articles and tip sheets clarifying the process).

Is it expensive?
As the above answer will indicate, that is a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question: it depends on the level of service you need. You may be billed for individual submissions, by the hour or a flat ‘package’ rate: this will depend on the consultant and the level of support you require. But most consultants will aim at significantly reducing the amount of time fee-earners have to spend on submissions, which can mean they virtually pay for themselves.

Who is a typical consultant – and why should I listen to them?
Most consultants will have considerable experience of working on submissions, and many will have worked in-house in positions of authority in the major directories. My own experience – which is not atypical – is several years at Chambers, working across their books and including editorship of the UK book, followed up by a stint in-house at a Top 50 law firm. This kind of background means that a consultant will know – from bitter experience! – what it’s like to be a researcher, what the guides are looking for in terms of information, and how best to present it.

They also bring an objective eye and an authoritative voice to proceedings: because they are free from the kind of internal politics that even the best law firm will have, they can look at your submissions clearly and tell you whether you are presenting your strengths to the best effect, and can also give you a realistic view of your chances. Because they are experts – and you are paying them for their expertise – their opinions will often carry more weight with fee-earners.

Can they definitely improve my rankings?
Absolutely not. There is no magic wand here, and hiring someone who used to work at one of the directories doesn’t buy you special favours. What they can do is maximise your chances of getting a better ranking by improving the way you communicate with the guides – and in my experience, better submissions and clearer information help the researchers learn more about your firm and can lead to more recognition, but this is in no way guaranteed.

So do I really need to hire a consultant, or is this just a sales pitch?
Obviously, if you feel you need a consultant, please do get in touch! But to be serious, only you and your firm know the answer to that: the first step is identifying what your issues are. If it’s resource, then hiring a temp to handle the admin might be a better idea, or looking at improving your internal systems so that information is collated over the year rather than pulled together in a desperate rush.  Check you are not making obvious, easy to fix mistakes, such as sending submissions in very late, or not telling your referees you have put them forward.  Join free forums such as Defero Law and LinkedIn, where professionals discuss these things; you might find you have not being doing something that is very obvious! If you want feedback from the directories themselves, try contacting the editors direct or, for Chambers, attending one of their Meet The Editor sessions. Chambers Confidential – while not cheap – can also be a useful way of identifying what the market and your clients are saying about you, and finding out if there are issues that you need to address.

There are lots of options out there: a directory consultant can be invaluable to some firms, but might be the wrong fit for others, so it is worth considering what you need and shopping around. One thing is for certain though – the directories aren’t going anywhere. I know from my own in-house experience that clients are increasingly asking for rankings in pitches, and independent verification from the directories can be a powerful marketing tool.  Dealing with them in the most effective and cost-efficient way possible should now be part of every law firm’s marketing and business development plan.

Further reading

Can you opt out of the directories process?
What to do if you don’t get the results you want.

Defero Law social network for legal professionals – what is it and why should you join?

There are now a plethora of social media sites to choose from, and keeping up with the ones which are best for your business can be time consuming and confusing. So could using smaller, more targeted sites be the answer? I spoke to Richard Pettet, founder of Defero Law, a social networking site aimed specifically at legal professionals, to find out what he thought.

What is your professional background? I spent 11 years working as an advertising manager at Chambers and Partners legal directories.

When and why did you start the site? The site was officially launched in its current form in March 2011. The original concept was simply a legal marketing blog but when others started to join in and asked to post content then the site started to develop into more of a community. What took me by surprise was that law firms were asking to use it as a publishing tool. And so a legal social network was born.

What makes it different from other social networking sites like LinkedIn? Content. LinkedIn is great for connecting, but do you ever ask yourself why you connect with half the people you link up with? I do. The mantra for Defero Law is ‘be found for what you say’. Content is still king when it comes to online marketing and with Defero Law’s great SEO and publishing options, it’s simply a better platform on which to promote your content and win clients or meaningful connections.

What has the market reaction been? Positive, given the risk averse nature of the legal industry. It’s aimed at SMEs really because ‘Big Law’, broadly speaking, have not really cottoned on to any form of social media yet. They will, but not yet. For now the smaller law firms who are looking for additional online exposure are loving it. Members also tell me it’s a friendly place to connect and share, which is something I’m proud of.

Who is a typical member?  A healthy mix of lawyers at small to medium sized law firms and business development staff at a range of firms, from small High Street firms to Top 50 corporates. The Top 50 guys are the site ‘lurkers’, sussing out if and when to dive in with a blog or similar once the committee has approved it. You know how it is.

Where do you see the site going next? World domination of the legal social media landscape! Or just providing a safe, friendly environment for the legal industry to promote itself in the face of changing market conditions. I’m not sure which sounds better…

So, does Defero Law sound like a good fit for your business goals? Check out the site here to find out more.