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Kevin O'Keefe
Just trying to do the best I can each day.
Just trying to do the best I can each day.

Kevin's posts

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Law students looking to learn, to build a network for professional growth and to build a name for themselves would be well served by blogging. Let alone the benefits they’d receive when it comes to getting a job.

But a little collaboration and leaning how to blog would help.

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Facebook referral traffic to blogs and websites has plummeted. In some cases by as much as 75%. Lawyers using Facebook effectively need not worry.

Those legal marketers and lawyers who look at Facebook as just another way to garner traffic to their blogs and websites are getting slammed by this development. Facebook, for them, is just another place to say, "look at me -- or least look at my content."

For lawyers getting to know others on Facebook in a real and meaningful way, a loss in Facebook referral traffic means nothing. These lawyers share valuable stories and posts, whether published by them or someone else. The key for them is providing value to others. These lawyers know that by sharing like this they engage their Facebook Friends, comprised of clients, prospective clients, referral sources and the influencers of all three (bloggers, reporters and association leaders). Engagement occurs through likes, comments and shares.

The lawyers using Facebook the right way get work through relationships and word of mouth. That's earned through engagement and networking not traffic.

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Per the Pew Research Center, 35% of all adults age 65 and over are now using social media. This is three times what was reported in 2010, when only 11% of seniors said they were social media users. Let alone 2005 when only 2% of adults 65 and over were using social media. The numbers jump to 50% for Americans age 50 to 64. And to 75% for those 40 to 45.

In addition to sharing links and photos, the Pew report found that seniors use social media to get news and information as well as to share information with their growing network of contacts.

The majority of lawyers I speak to proudly proclaim they don't use social media. No time, it's for kids, not professional, and ethical concerns are among their reasons. No wonder lawyers cannot find work and lawyers remain irrelevant to 85% of people. Lawyers refuse to engage average Americans.

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What's wrong with this picture? Lawyers, law professors and even law students write and edit pieces for academic legal journals, law reviews, periodicals and books. Most of all of it done for free while the publisher retains the rights and sells the content back to the academic institution which the legal professional is associate with at exorbitant prices.

With the Internet and readily available publishing platforms (think blog and blog-like publications), common sense dictates that many such contributors start publishing their own publication — online and in an open fashion.

Such niche focused publications are more apt to cited, shared and retrieved on Google search than traditional academic publications. In turn, the contributor's profile and reputation is more apt to be raised.

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Buffer’s placard on listening is a nice message to all of us. In this day of social networks a pleanty and our desire to grab attention, there’s a tendency to over share.

Do we listen enough online? Do we seek to engage via blogging and other social media? Or are we sharing for sharing? Sharing for attention?

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A blog is where it all begins when it comes to building a brand as a lawyer or other professional. 

Social media platforms, especially LinkedIn, often heralded as the key to building an effective personal brand, more realistically serve as the tail end of the process.

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LinkedIn, Medium, Casetext, Bloomberg, Above The Law, Thomson Reuters and more. Lawyers have plenty of places to publish online.

Despite all of these alternatives, the good old-fashioned law blog continues to thrive.

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NBA All-Stars Kevin Love and Blake Griffin along with The Players' Tribune are role models for lawyers and law firms who are stuck in the world of controlled messaging. Whether press releases, legal alerts, email newsletters or sanitized content marketing, most legal professionals refuse to share direct reflections, thoughts and experiences.

Some lawyers and law firms have ethical concerns. Others do not know how to truly use blogs and social media. Each reflect a bit of ignorance.

Lawyers and law firms are not athletes and professional sports teams, but there is no reason lawyers and law firms cannot join others in “speaking” to to their audience directly in a genuine and authentic fashion.

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Though viewing video jumped 20%, some law firms may be producing video that can not be easily viewed on a smartphone, if it can be viewed at all.

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In time, your law blog may well be consumed by more people in aggregators of news than at your blog itself. Your law blog may already be consumed on Feedly, Flipboard and in some legal networks ala the LexBlog Network.

Rather than fear the concept of distributed content, you ought to embrace it. There are hundreds of millions of Apple mobile devices on which people consume news and information. People will become accustomed to reading their aggregated news and information on these devices just like they did a newspaper, except here the publishers, writers and editors will not be working for one company.

You’ll still have your standalone blog sitting apart from your website. Your blog gives you stature and a home base from which people can subscribe and from which your content will be indexed on Google. Heck, you’ll need the stand alone blog for Apple’s News to see if you are a publisher of niche news and commentary or an advertiser, as would be the case of a blog inside a law firm website.
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