I might not have learned much in my college statistics class, but I did learn this:

Statistics are for populations, not individuals, in the sense that while they are a guide as to what might happen to us in general, they cannot predict what will happen to you or me as an individual.

And while the above quote is referencing medical conditions, I find it true for just about everything … including legal marketing.

There has been a lot written and debated in recent weeks as to the effectiveness of social networking, Twitter in particular, to legal marketing and business development efforts.

All I can say is that statistics are for populations, not individuals. If it works for you, great. If it doesn’t work for you, that’s fine as well.

Twitter, for me, is just another tool in my legal marketing toolbox. It rests there with speaking, writing, cross-selling, up-selling, sales, direct mail, advertising, client “face time,” client interviews, and so on. I approach every attorney and practice as a unique entity and situation. By pulling out my “bag of tricks,” I can hopefully create an individual approach for the person or situation at hand

Am I concerned about the “statistics” of social networking and how many people drop Twitter after a month? Not at all.

For me, as an individual, I can point to the direct benefits. I have heard story after story about how social networking IS working for attorneys. Later this month, I’m moderating a panel on Social Networking for Lawyers: A Roadmap for Success at the LACBA Small Firm & Solo Practitioners Conference with a panel of attorneys who have all been extremely successful in their social networking efforts.

Just because “it is there” does not mean it will work for you. You have to put your PERSONAL effort into your marketing and business development, whether it is in a 2.0 medium or not.

Social networking is about building your personal network. It is the law of attraction. And it is the law of hard work.

Jeffrey Gitomer breaks it down like this:

1. Position yourself as attractive with your valuable information that others can use and benefit from. My weekly column in papers. My book in bookstores. And my weekly email magazine in your inbox positions me as a person of value that offers valuable information about sales, service, loyalty, leadership, and personal development that people resonate with and can use the minute they read it.

2. Build a platform where people can easily find you and get the information or message you’re trying to convey. Website, blog, ezine, speeches, books, white papers, creative ideas posted, and philosophies offered in writing creates major attraction.

2.5 Work your ass off. Reality bites – especially when times are bad or volatile. If you are serious about creating the law of attraction, you gotta resolve, create a game plan, and work at it daily. Harder than you can imagine.

The 2.0 medium (including Twitter) is still new, but it is growing and here to stay. The early adopters are paving the way and best practices are starting to emerge. Give it time and create your own results through your personal actions and efforts.