I'm talking to YOU this week (and YOU have a bag or lampshade on your social media head) if:
• YOU don't have a LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook (or some other newly trending social media account (a "Social Media Account"));
• YOU have a Social Media Account but you do not have a headshot on your account. FYI: when you network in person you don't walk around with a bag on your head;
• YOU have a Social Media Account but you do not have a professional brand appropriate headshot. FYI: the world needs to know what you look like NOW and in your professional capacity. This is not online dating where you are hiding a bad comb-over or 25 extra pounds -- this is your professional image and brand. Confession: I'm guilty of using a "skinnier" headshot for some Social Media Accounts;
• YOU use your personal Facebook account for your professional networking or professional branding activity but your Facebook account includes personal pictures, images, posts or information that may negatively reflect on your professional brand (you are so drunk you have a lampshade or the modern equivalent on your head). Confession: I'm a YOU since my cats, dogs and nephew show up once in a while on Facebook);
• YOU use your real name and email address on your match.com account (or some other online dating account) along with the same picture you use for your professional Social Media Account. Hint: This is joke; or
• YOU think social media is for kids.
Yes. This blog is about social media. Or more importantly, why social media coaching is important to every lawyer's (or law student's) professional and practice development (if you are a law student -- getting a job!) regardless of where you are in your professional life cycle and regardless of whether or not you actively engage with social media for professional development.
A few facts:
• Unless you have been living under a rock for the past 20 years, you have some sort of online presence -- personal or professional.
• That online presence, whether you like it or not, is "public" and people with whom you interact or want to interact with professionally will seek out your online presence to figure out what you are all about, regardless of whether or not you are active in social media.
Let's put this in context. I Google every person (even if that person is part of a group -- Google is free so I search everyone in the group) or business owner and/or business who contacts me for legal assistance AND every lawyer with whom I interact with professionally. A word about lawyers. Without fail, unless a lawyer works for a governmental agency, there is some sort of website (with a picture) or other online presence or resource that provides me with at least minimal details about who this person is and what I can expect while dealing with this person.
Here comes the blatant promotion. Your online presence really matters and social media exists whether you like it or not. Look to your bar association for some practical resources that can help you get that social media bag or lampshade off your head. Welcome to the modern age of the practice of law.