In the legal world, we hear from GCs time and again that, with all things being equal, they hire lawyers they know, like and trust.

Social networking isn’t about “selling” a product or a service; it is about expanding our networks and connecting with people with similar or like interests. It’s about becoming known, liked and trusted by those in a position to hire or refer us business.

Kevin O’Keefe
was amongst my first follows on Twitter. As we learned by using the tool, I would “listen” in as Kevin would Tweet baseball games. I got to know Kevin, like Kevin and trust Kevin through Twitter and other social media and networking tools.

While a lot of people were still questioning Twitter, we spent time over coffee, over the phone, texting about how social networking could impact client development for lawyers.

One thing became extremely apparent early on: Twitter was extremely powerful (and quick) in identifying a broad network of people with whom we could network and develop relationships. We just had to figure out how to convert these relationships into new business. Turns out, it isn’t that complicated.

Kevin writes about it brilliantly in Baseball and client development for lawyers.

But so many lawyers and legal professionals try to force the issue of networking through the Internet for practice and client development. They’re off chasing instant connections with people who they think may be the perfect client. Worse yet, they’re doing it by broadcasting stuff of little value to their target audience via email newsletters, websites, and ill written blogs. Often touting their own virtues.

Craig started following me on the net in large part because of my interest in baseball. Not only did I get an invite to speak at that seminar for Northwest corporate leaders, but Lane Powell is likely to become a client of LexBlog‘s (knock on wood).

I love baseball and all the history that comes with it. You love other stuff. It doesn’t matter what it is. Start following and networking with others with similar interests. Just because you’re a lawyer doesn’t mean you have to network through the Internet with the law being the overriding theme. You can relax and have some fun while doing client development.

I personally Tweet on issues I find interesting to me. Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 5:00 it’s usually about the business of law, with a big dose of my personality. “Twitter After Hours” can be about anything (Girl Scouts, music, traffic, movies) and where my personal connections deepen.

Oh, and Go Dodgers!!