How a former practicing lawyer used social media to reinvent his career.
When Mark Cohen first embarked on the voyage that led to his formation of Legal Mosaic, he was an accomplished, prominent civil trial lawyer with a unique perspective on the global legal landscape and the increasingly complex and dynamic regulatory challenges confronting attorneys and clients. He was also a successful entrepreneur who had introduced new paradigms to legal services delivery with the founding of two highly innovative enterprises: Qualitas, one of the first legal process outsourcing firms, and Clearspire, a groundbreaking law firm and legal services provider. Now a distinguished lecturer in law at Georgetown University, his experience and perspective made him a sought-after speaker renowned for his distinctive insights on the future of law and the challenges demanded from firms and law schools to keep pace. With such unique experiences, Mark was interested in sharing his accumulated knowledge with the larger global community where he felt he could have a greater impact. His search for a way to effectively reach that community pointed him to social media.
“I wanted to share the lessons I learned from Clearspire as well as relate them to my prior life as a law firm manager, trial lawyer, outside GC, receiver, and consumer of legal services” he explains. “I had a unique insider’s perspective on the legal marketplace, the new skills needed by practitioners and the changes demanded of law schools to evolve with the market. I recognized early on that my voice and message could resonate on a much larger scale if only I could broadcast and amplify it on the right stage.” Mark quickly concluded that digital and social media could serve as that stage.
It began with an essential revelation. As Mark explains, “Digital can be a big yawn if you are not imparting value…social media’s greatest facility is to connect you to a larger community of like-minded influencers all exchanging ideas on a common endeavor. By sharing useful knowledge and communications in an open way you are more likely to be found, meet peers, and create opportunities for deeper conversations and collaboration.”
Before diving headlong into social media, Mark retained Good2bSocial and sought training in social media best practices. He realized that although core social media tools are freely available for exploitation, wielding them effectively necessitated a learning curve. The professional guidance from Good2bSocial helped Mark take the plunge into Social Media methodically. He began by gathering his accumulated experiences and expertise, organizing and archiving his published works into a knowledge base for access online at his website. “Good2bSocial offered invaluable guidance to me as I compiled my existing materials and transitioned myself into a thought leader in the area of legal delivery. I took time to develop my core content and distinct messaging, leveraging my extensive trial law experience. I started blogging with frequency and commenting on relevant topics and current events from my own perspective”. Mark’s website became a repository for his published works and videos of his speeches and lectures. He bolstered his LinkedIn page to marry with the work he was creating online. Mark’s blogs allowed him to introduce and refine his thought leadership position and his messaging, and in so doing he successfully transferred his real-world reputation to digital and polished his voice for discovery by new audiences.
Digital presence established, Mark’s next step was to raise awareness and draw traffic. His self-described “dabbling” with Twitter released a torrent. “People in legal services knew me as a practicing lawyer and as a legal entrepreneur driving change in legal delivery. But they did not necessarily think of me as a thought leader or writer/speaker, so I had low expectations for the size of audience I might attract. I assumed most of my readers and prospects might be from the Eastern corridor of the US…but as I shared my posts to Twitter, suddenly my articles were being picked up globally.” In short order came opportunities with Bloomberg, Law 360 and other industry and scholarly journals worldwide. The enhanced exposure introduced him to other global thought leaders, speaking opportunities and client engagements worldwide. More and more of these online connections were interested in retaining Mark for his considerable — and demonstrated — thought leadership and legal acumen.
“I received so much interest in consulting that I revised my mission and retooled my website to reflect my new business offering.” Mark did not at first employ any particular strategy to grow his Twitter followers; he suggests it was the relevance and timeliness of his content that contributed to his exponential lead generation, “I just started to post…people found me based upon the value of the content I was sharing.” Thanks to Twitter and effective use of digital marketing resources, “Social Media is an evergreen business development resource and my gateway to the world.” Relative to the entire size of the community he had originally intended to address, Mark describes the reach of his posts now as “global.”
Mark shares the key lessons to which he readily attributes his social media success:
- Tell your story. Incorporate your core messaging into your blog posts and social media releases. Everything you output should be about enhancing your distinctive brand messaging.
- Offer value. Eschew vanity pieces and self-promotion; instead, make your website and your stories informative, timely, relevant, and distinctive from other online pablum.
- Have the discipline to publish weekly.
- Always offer links to your own blog or meaningful published works.
- Engage with your followers; social media is not simply you telling your story as an attorney thought leader. It is equally about commenting on other’s contributions of value and sharing them. It’s about being part of a larger community and constantly growing that community.
To learn more about Mark Cohen and to stay abreast of his ongoing guidance to the legal industry, visit his website or follow him on twitter @legalmosaic
If you are a legal professional or business executive looking to enhance your thought leadership position through digital marketing and social media, begin with a free assessment of your current situation and check the pulse of your competitors online by contacting Good2bSocial.