Has Pinterest resulted in leads for your practice? “Absolutely.” Here are links, screen shots, and details on how he does it.
This firm greatly reduced its spending and increased the quality and volume of its leads by taking one big step. What was done and how. Pinterest is one of the newest social media sites online, but its importance cannot be overstated. Attorney Mitch Jackson is a testament to that fact. Mitch Jackson is a personal injury attorney in Laguna Hills, California. His law firm, Jackson and Wilson, won the 2013 California Lawyer and Attorneys of the Year Award for litigation, and Mr. Jackson is recognized as one of the top 100 litigators in California. He can be found at http://jacksonandwilson.com/ where he blogs daily. He is active on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/mitchjackson/ and Twitter at https://twitter.com/MitchJackson. Mr. Jackson would like attorneys to know that Pinterest alone is not a social media strategy. He uses a multi-faceted approach to interacting with potential clients online that involves an interconnected web of social media using a variety of contextual and audiovisual tools, one of which is Pinterest. Pinterest allows you to create pinboards. You can style your pinboards around specific interests or topics. Then you can pin images, videos, photos, or anything with a visual element and add a short summary to give your pin some context. Other Pinterest users can re-pin your pins and like them. They can also comment on those pins. Like any social media site, it’s about the connections you can make to other Pinterest users. Mitch Jackson has some great ideas for lawyers.
1. Has Pinterest resulted in you generating new leads for your law practice?
Mitch Jackson: Absolutely. I’ve been on Pinterest for a year or two. When we do a blog post, a podcast, or a video, we take a screenshot and share it on Pinterest with a summary and a link to the post.
2. If yes, can you trace those leads directly to Pinterest or do your clients come to you through a variety of means that include Pinterest?
Mitch Jackson: All of the above. What we do is, when we are contacted online or through contact forms, e-mail forms, text messages, or direct message on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever, we always follow-up and ask, “How did you hear about us?” Most of our business comes from referrals from other lawyers and judges. With respect to our clientele, when someone new comes to us we always follow up with the question, “Where did you first see us?” A large number of them say they saw us through a video or saw a photo on Pinterest.
3. What kind of metrics are you using?
Mitch Jackson: We’re not tracking to any particular detail, and there’s a reason why we’re not tracking that way. Those are old-school statistics. It’s like this. If I were to ask you what kind of ROI do you get from your relationship with your dog or cat, what would you say? I feel the same way about social media. It’s a matter of how much are you doing it and what are you doing. The big problem with a lot of law firms is they post an image of their law firm, a logo, or whatever, and say how great they are. They’re doing everything all wrong. You should be posting images, photos, videos, and content that show people how you are helping them get answers to their legal questions.
4. Do you blog, and if so, how do you employ your blog in conjunction with Pinterest to attract new clients?
Mitch Jackson: Yes, we blog. For example, we published a post this morning. We took a screenshot image of the blog post and uploaded it to Pinterest. Then we added a short keyword-focused summary of the post along with a link back to the post so people can click to the post and read it. But if the image is descriptive enough on the blog post, then we’ll just upload the image to Pinterest. Depending on the content, we may also post independently to Facebook or Twitter.
5. What specific Pinterest strategies have worked best for you in obtaining new clients?
Mitch Jackson: It’s important to engage other people on Pinterest. So you should use the options that Pinterest has to offer to help you share pins, comment on other people’s pins, answer questions consumers have about the law, and to dive into the platform. You want to become a part of the platform to develop a reputation as someone who answers questions. I normally try to direct people back to Twitter, Spreechat, my law firm website, or somewhere else for a follow-up dialogue. Telephone is even better. It’s a great way to connect with people. We do it by telephone, Skype, Spreechat, or Google+ Hangouts. Any of those are good communication mediums where we can connect with people on a deeper level.
. What other methods do you employ in conjunction with Pinterest that lead to new clients for your law practice?
Mitch Jackson: In all honesty, I’m not using these platforms to bring clients into my office. I’m using them to expand my sphere of influence to help other people. I have a lot of clients, I don’t need new business. I use these tools to build relationships. It’s really how you approach these things. If you approach them the right way, it will affect how they work for you. We enjoy using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Google+, and YouTube. Blogging is the foundation. It comes before everything else.
7. So how do you have time for all of that?
Mitch Jackson: How would I not have time to do all of this? It’s critically important. Lawyers that aren’t on social media and who are not engaging with people through these media may not have a practice in five or 10 years. We also use real-time video and a free chat service called Spreechat. It’s so important. I have a Spreechat board set up on Pinterest. When I conduct an interview or meet with someone on Spreechat, I’ll pin it to that board. I’ve got Spreechat pins with Seth Godin and Chris Brogan, who are big names in online marketing, Katie Couric, Lance Armstrong, and other famous personalities that I’ve interviewed over time. I’ll screenshot the image of the Spreechat and post it to the Spreechat board. People are coming to my Spreechat from that particular board. I like to think of these as welcome mats. I tell other lawyers they are virtual or digital welcome mats. You may have the best content out there and you’re putting it on LinkedIn, but your clients on Facebook or Twitter will never hear you sing your song because you’re only on that one platform. It’s important that you have as many platforms as you can and that you are comfortable with.
If you are comfortable with podcasting, you should be podcasting. If you are comfortable with video marketing, then you should be doing video. If possible, and you are comfortable with them, you can do them all. If you’re not comfortable with being on video, it will show and your videos won’t be coming across like you want them to. With everything we do, it’s all about enriching the client experience. It’s all about making the client experience exceptional. With young adults, they’re on these digital platforms, so by giving them access to your law firm, you’re making their experience one they are comfortable with and one they appreciate you taking the time to do. Lawyers can connect with people through digital platforms. I think that’s huge.
8. How would a lawyer go about getting started with Pinterest if they wanted to increase their exposure to new potential clientele?
Mitch Jackson: I would tell them to spend some quality time clicking around the site and to get a feel for how the site is being used by others, to understand the context of the site. That’s where a lot of people blow it. It’s not always about the content. It’s about the context in which that content is being presented. What works on Facebook doesn’t work on Twitter. What works on Pinterest doesn’t work on Facebook. You have to understand how the platforms work. Pick up a couple of books on Pinterest or Google “how to use Pinterest” and read some blog posts about it. Read “The Zen of Social Media Marketing” by Shama Kabani. She has a chapter on Pinterest in that book.
9. How long after starting to use Pinterest should an attorney expect new business from his or her efforts?
Mitch Jackson: It’s going to depend on content and the context of their pins. What are they doing on other platforms? If it’s a situation where they are going about everything correctly and they’ve developed other platforms and they’re cross-referencing the platforms, I would suggest it shouldn’t take too long at all. I cross-post my Twitter messages to Facebook and Pinterest, then I cross-post from Pinterest to Google+ and LinkedIn. You have to work the Web. It’s an interconnectedness that you have to work. When it comes to social, it’s a marathon. It’s not a race. Approach it as though you are training for a marathon. You have to be very slow and methodical to get long-term results.
10. What other suggestions do you have for lawyers regarding attracting new clients or generating leads from using Pinterest?
Mitch Jackson: I would say to make sure that you listen and explore the website. Listen 70% of the time and pin 30% of the time. Offer solutions and share other people’s pins. Slowly integrate so that you build trust, and position yourself as a person of expertise in your law firm practice. Support your initial presentation with quality content that helps people so that when they eventually need to call a lawyer they will think of you because they trust you. Everything we talked about is or will be indexed by Google. The content on the different platforms is going to be searchable somewhere. You have to think like that. I’m huge on Google+. We have about 1,100 trial lawyers sharing tips on how to succeed in trial cases. Everything on Google+ gets indexed by Google. Twitter’s not indexed by Google. I’m not sure about Pinterest, but all of this stuff we’re doing is potentially indexed by a search engine. All of these things are helping you build your credibility and ranking status with Google. It’s all intertwined.
Mitch Jackson’s Pinboards include:
- Current Events and News
- Legal Videos We Like …
- Legal Tips for Consumers
- Trial Lawyer Tips
- Legal Stuff
- Our Recent Quotes and Commentary in Articles, Magazines, Blogs …
- Books I’ve Really Enjoyed
- Websites of Friends-People-Companies I Like …
- Lawyers We Recommend
- Personal Stuff
- Rotary and Community Service
- Social Media and Marketing Stuff
- Where Was This Taken?
- Fun Toys and Things
- Quotes, Stories and Inspiration …
- Spreecast – Live Interviews!
- Cool Places
- Boat Names I Like …
- Settlements and Verdicts
- Our Firm Newsletters …
- Podcasts About The Law, Business, Social Media and Life
- Google Glass
- Communication Tips
- LA Auto Show 2013
Mitch Jackson: Treat Pinterest like it’s a marathon. Train for it like you’re training for a marathon. Take it slow and learn about how the platform works. Then, once you get comfortable with it, listen 70% of the time and pin 30% of the time. Cross-reference your other social media tools in an interconnected web of interaction with others that helps them answer their legal questions and builds trust for your law practice.