(EDIT: As of 5/03/15 Google Plus has updated their platform and circle sharing is no longer available. Obtaining more followers will now require the same types of engagement activities you would use on other social platforms.)
This is a continuation of “11 Tips to Grow Circles on Google Plus1” Tip #5 – Communities.
Communities on Google Plus enable lawyers in similar practice areas to share relevant content and experiences with one another. In addition to these benefits, there are also a variety of other marketing benefits with G+ communities.
For attorneys in your niche, most of them will undoubtedly share information about what they are working on, the types of struggles they might be facing or other information that could indicate trends. You can use this information to craft content for a blog2, optimize pages3 for specific keyword phrases or gain an edge on how to market to your audience. Obviously you can only glean this information from those who practice in a related area to you.
You can belong to communities where your firm or practice area is more complimentary than similar to others in the community. As long as you are engaging on a regular basis4 and being a productive contributor, others in the community are likely to share your profile and content with others who could be potential clients down the road.
Exposure among attorneys in similar practice areas is also possible. For example you could get referrals from other attorneys who may not practice in the same state or who want to refer the case for some other reason. The main idea is that other members of your legal industry will be aware of you, hopefully be getting to know you and then you can stay top of mind.
Let’s face it, the best way to make any business better is to share best practices. G+ communities allow people to share what they are doing to experience success in their firms. You can leverage communities to learn what others are doing that may be better than your current process. Maybe they have good marketing ideas, or business processes, or referral programs or something else that you had not thought of before.
Lawyers may also be able to get better advice on leveraging Google Plus for marketing their firm5. Odds are if there are active members in a community, they will have good insights on what works and what doesn’t when marketing online with G+.
As an attorney, you are usually the one giving out advice but that doesn’t mean you can’t ping your network for opinions on what they would do. Communities on Google Plus are great for this (especially if you are just getting started6). You can start or join a community that is only professionals in a certain practice area. If you have concerns about a certain case or anything else, you can ask members of the community if they have ever dealt with something similar. In this way, you have a knowledge base of many different points of view to help you through a challenge.
I have seen a lot of attorneys who are the owners or moderators of vibrant G+ communities. Check out the list:
• David Slepkow7 runs several communities on G+. Personal Injury Attorneys International8 for example is a fellowship of international negligence lawyers and others interested in injury law.
• Lawyer Networking9 on Google Plus run by Steven Sweat10 is another active community. At the time of this writing it has about 1,147 members and focuses on connecting lawyers to one another for success in practice.
• Lawyers on G+11 moderated by Preston Clark is another general community for lawyers.
(If there is a community for lawyers you think deserves to be on this list send me an email at email@example.com or send me an @ message on Google Plus.)