Like many of us, I am inundated with invitations, almost daily, for “social media for legal professionals” type seminars, conference, workshops and books. Some programs are full-day intensive workshops, others are 60-minute webinars. There are white papers, studies and now books on social media and networking for the legal professional. The pricing ranges from complimentary to several thousand dollars.

Buyer beware!!! Not all social media programs are the same, and not all experts know what they’re talking about. For instance, I received an invitation today from a legal industry publisher to purchase a book on social networking for the legal profession at the “discounted rate” of $500. Looking at the index of content, I can name a blog for each that cover these topics extensively. For free!! So here a couple Dos and Don’ts from me:

  1. Do attend programs hosted by Kevin O’Keefe from Lexblog. First off, Kevin’s funny, along with being informative. He’s living what he is teaching, and he is honest. Kevin’s the first person to tell you that we’re still learning a lot of this stuff as we’re going along.
  2. Don’t pay an exorbitant fee to attend a program when you can attend a better one for free or at a nominal price. Kevin’s programs, for instance, are complimentary and he archives the programs on his website. I know how much it costs to put on a webinar. Personally, if a program is over $100 I just hit delete.
  3. Do listen outside the industry. Not to insult any lawyers out there, but the legal industry is usually one of the last to adopt a new “trend.” I always like going outside the legal industry to see how other professional services, and how corporate America, are incorporating new technology and trends, and I am willing to pay for those.
  4. Don’t believe the “guru” hype. There are too many people out there teaching and coaching, but not doing. So you need to do your due diligence. A Google search will tell you a lot of what you need to know. Read the guru’s Twitter feed. What about their blog? Sorry, but if they don’t have a personal or professional blog, how can they claim to be social media and networking savvy??

Once you attend a few of these programs you start to realize that people like me, Kevin, Jayne Navarre, Tim Corcoran, Russ Lawson, Nancy Myrland and numerous other legal marketing professionals are conveying the same, but really more and better information, by sharing our personal experiences and best practices through blogging, speaking at conferences, or just by living what we preach. (image via Xara Xone)