Law firm layoffs seem to be the “topic du jour” on blogs here and here, including around the cooler, see Heather’s post here and Renee’s post here . No one wants to get kicked onto the sidewalk, but when it happens, how will you pick yourself up?

In the old days we had to work the Rolodex, write letters, pick up the phone. Sometimes the Rolodex was slim. Cold calls were not for the shy, and cattle call ads were loathsome.

Okay…no excuses today. You can work your brand and your contacts with just 140 characters, 8 times a day. Yes, I’m talking Twitter – AGAIN. A lot has been said about the advent and uses for Twitter around the cooler. Here . And the ideas flow freely here and here.

Today I met @Chris Cheatham. (Without even leaving the office!) Chris is a construction law attorney in Northern Virginia. Chris has a great new blog and although he is on LinkedIn he says Twitter is “one of the best social networking tools out there.” I can’t wait to talk to Chris tomorrow on the phone and get more of his story. I met Chris because he contributed to a LinkedIn Group discussion I started on building a personal brand using social computing. He wants to help me out on an article I’m writing on the topic and I hope to help him out with some new ideas. A mutually beneficial exchange, again, resulting from a business social network. And to think it‘s taking off so slowly among lawyers????

I KNOW the construction business is hurting just like finance, law, banking, and real estate. Do you think Chris is going to tell me that he’s pain free? I doubt it. Do you think Chris is going to say that working his Twitter contacts is efficient and effective? Of course! Chris is a lawyer and isn’t every lawyer interested in efficient and effective? Their Web sites say they are. (hahaha) So what is holding so many really sharp and “brandable” lawyers and marketing professionals back?

Building your brand online is a really smart plan, don’t you agree? How are you building your personal brand online and how has it worked for you?