Transcript: 9 Social Media Mistakes Costing Lawyers Money (and Loyalty) with Dina Cataldo
Okay, so I want you to know right now I am so committed to you that even though I have a tweaked back in which I can't sit down and the fact that I have a cold, none of that is going to deter me from getting this podcast out to you because I know that there is someone out there, maybe it's you who likes to have a little something on the way to work to kind of like get their groove on.
And I'm hoping that I'm that person for you. So I am here today and I really want to talk to you about social media because I have just been obsessed about upping my social media game and it really does require changing different aspects of how you show up in the world. And it's not just, you know, trying to get more followers or trying to get more likes. It's really about connecting with people. And I feel like lawyers in particular that we might have a difficult time connecting with people because we are so serious all the time and we're all business and we're all work and we've got to get things done and we're always busy and things are in our way to get what we need to get done and we're busy arguing and all of this stuff gets in the way of creating the authentic connections with people.
And I see this in myself all the time. Like, I see this when I'm in court and I'm in a rush and somebody sits next to me and they try to, you know, engage with me. But I've got three different things happening at the same time and I have to be really mindful that I want to connect more with those people. So I just want to give some tips, specifically nine tips to help you connect more with people. And it's, you know, this is like a fancy title, right? Like nine social media mistakes costing, lawyers money and loyalty. But really what's at the heart of this is connecting with people and making it easy for people to connect with you. So that is really the foundation of this podcast. Now I'm assuming that you have a legal practice of some sort or you work for a, a large firm or you even maybe work within a government agency.
I am talking to you all right. If you're just starting, if you're just starting whatever endeavor that you're doing or if you're promoting a government agency or if you are, um, you know, promoting yourself or you want to somehow get your firm more involved in, uh, creating a social media presence, this is definitely for you. If you're just starting out some of the foundational things I want and I, and some of the foundational things, I'm assuming you already have. Um, just choose one platform to start because if you spread yourself too thin, this is going to be a real pain in the butt. Okay? You are going to have so many, um, difficulties as it is if you start to spread yourself too thin, it's really gonna hurt your game. Um, particularly you're going to be overwhelming yourself when you can dial one platform in and then begin to move over to new platforms.
I've found this particularly with me. I, I really like Instagram, so I spend a lot more time on Instagram than I do on ones like Facebook or Twitter. Even LinkedIn, even though I know that LinkedIn has a lot of my ideal client, I find myself attracted to Instagram. So if you really find yourself attracted to one platform, I would start there. But traditionally what you want to do is you want to look at where your clientele is. I know I have a lot of my clientele on Instagram, so I feel okay spending more time on Instagram. If you find that you have more people on Facebook, maybe you want to devote your time into investigating Facebook and what works for Facebook and start there in terms of growing your social media following and know what you sell. You're not selling, for instance, estate planning. You're selling peace of mind that a client's family is taken care of and you're not selling a criminal defense to someone's crime.
You're selling trust that there's someone experienced who can navigate the law and advocate zealously on their behalf. You're selling to a feeling that the client wants more of. You're eliminating a pain, so just recognize what it is you're talking to. And if you're a lawyer within a government agency, you're selling trust that the people doing the job are experienced and always doing their best to do the right thing and an all practices. You're showing that you're a real human. That's what people connect with. We don't connect with people talking at us. We connect with stories and I've been working on weaving more stories into my social media and I do notice an increased engagement. And lastly, treat this all as an experiment. If you're not getting engagement in social media, that means you've got to tweak something. If that's you, I especially hope you take these tips to heart.
Now before we jump in, I want to give you something that we all need more of and that is time. Yes, I'm giving you the gift of time. Sound amazing. So how do you do this? I've created a short guide that walks you through the very things I did to create more time in my day. It's how I incorporate my full time legal practice, this podcast, my life coaching practice, my day to day errands, staying consistent in my yoga and meditation practices. And how I managed to find time to hang out with family and friends. Now if you're craving more time in your life to do more of what you want to do, go to Dina cataldo.com forward slash busy lawyer to download my free guide. It's called the busy lawyers quick start guide to getting five hours back each week. You can get [email protected] forward slash busy lawyer.
You can also get it on Instagram. Have you joined me there? I'm at Dina dot Cataldo and there you will find not only my profile where I am attempting to connect with you, but you'll also find a link, a link there that will take you to this free guide and I'm going to talk to you more about how you can do that in your social media platforms to make it easy for people to connect with you. Now once you've downloaded this free guide, just pick one of the suggestions I make and implement it. You will begin to see a difference in how you show up and you will make more time. Now if you've already downloaded it, cause I know there's several of you who have, let me know what your takeaway was. Find me, they're on Instagram at Dina. Dot. Cataldo DM me and tell me what you're implementing right now and how it's making an impact on your week or better yet, post an Instagram story and tag me and I would love to see what's going on with you.
And I would love to share what you're doing with the quick start guide and I would love to share it on my platform. So you see all of that. Look at all that connection. Okay. And so let's dive in to these nine social media mistakes costing lawyers money and loyalty and really connection. So the very first thing I want to talk about is how much fun social media is supposed to be, right? It's not supposed to be boring. It's supposed to be a diversion. It's supposed to be something that entertains us. It's replacing the old fashioned television, it's replacing all of those old fashioned things like meeting in person. And what we've forgotten as lawyers is that we are supposed to be entertaining in order to connect on social media and that's something that I have been working on myself. So it's not as if I've always been, you know, super entertaining.
It has been an evolution. So what I encourage you to do is to start following other firms that are doing it right now. There is one firm in particular that really stands out to me when I go through social media and that's the Simon law group and they are a larger firms. So they do have, you know, more things they can do, but you can model a lot of what they're doing. So what I'm going to do is I am going to link to all of the accounts that I talk about, all of the links that I talk about [email protected] forward slash 85 so you don't have to write any of these down. You can just go to Dina cataldo.com forward slash 85 when you're done with this podcast and you can follow all those accounts or check them out when we are done here.
But I want to highlight them because they really encourage engagement within their firm and with people outside their firm. It they really live in it up. So when they have an event, they record it, you know, and then they put it up, they have a podcast, they put little clips there. You can do that with wave.co um, they actually can create a little video so that you can have that audio for your podcast in your Instagrams. And then you can also do things like they did above and beyond. They did a lip sync with their firm and they videoed it and they have it in their highlight reel on their Instagram account. I mean, it's fabulous. So I really encourage you to start making things a little more fun when you have an event in your office, take some video of it, makes it really easy to post.
Now, a lot of the examples I'm going to give here are for Instagram because I am super Instagram centric right now, but you can translate any of these to the relevant platforms. So if you find you have a really easy following on Facebook, you can bring these over to Facebook. If you find you have a following to LinkedIn and you want to be a little bit more, um, if you want to be a little bit more engaged with people, then you can follow people like Mel Robbins and get some ideas for how she's engaging with people on LinkedIn because she's having a lot of success there and that I like to look at her stuff because she just has so many videos that really try to pull people in and it really seems to be successful. Judging on the comments that she's receiving and the likes that she's getting.
So just recognize whatever platform you're on, find people to emulate so that you can see what's working and model it. Don't copy it, just model it. Okay. All right. So number two, one of my pet peeves, this kinda drives me nuts, is improperly using photos and links that are not native to the platform. So one of the things I see fairly frequently is a link within an Instagram post that is something like a, I'm just going to make this up. A Dina cataldo.com forward slash five two four dash (875) 679-2321 you get my drift. Okay. That is not a proper use within Instagram for the platform. And you can do things like devil posts. So for instance, I do this, I will post something in Instagram and I will direct them to a link in my bio, which is the primary form of connecting on a website on Instagram.
And I will double post it on Facebook at the same time. So for the benefit of the Facebook users, then I will make a simple link. It will be a short link. It can, you can use pretty links in order to do this. You can and that's a, uh, a software extension that you can put on your website. So you can always do something like when I do Dina cataldo.com forward slash 85 that is actually a pretty link. It's something that I do to shorten the link that is naturally given to me by my web website and my WordPress site, so I don't want to have to do Dina cataldo.com nine social media mistakes.dot dot. I want something super simple for you to remember so that you can just go straight to the website. You go to Dina cataldo.com forward slash 85 so I also put that in the Instagram post because I know it's getting double posted onto Facebook and that is going to be more native to Facebook than saying link in my bio.
But what drives me nuts is when people don't either create a short link understanding that they're double posting on Facebook or they ignore the Instagram user entirely and they don't say anything about link in the bio. Just do it. It's really easy. It makes it really simple for people to do things. I actually created a website on my page. It's Dina cataldo.com forward slash, Instagram. That way I can not only track people coming to my website, I can see what people are interested in and I can create buttons and I can change them so that if I have like a freebie, like the, um, get five hours back, that busy lawyers Quickstart guide, I could put a button on there and people can click on it and they can be taken over to the freebie for them. So just know that you can make it really easy for people to get in contact with you.
The third mistake I see is not building an email list with an incentive and then promoting it within your posts. So I have seen a lot of lawyers out there promoting their services saying, you know, I'm an estate planner and this is what I do, or here's a testimonial. What I don't see a lot of. And so there's always room to enter the market this way is what traditional entrepreneurs do. When I mean traditional entrepreneurs, I guess what I mean is online entrepreneurs, online marketers. So if you have a business of any sort and you're not building an email list, you're missing out. I was recently in long beach and I went to a teak store and they had a beautiful collection of pieces. It was fabulous. And you know, I would love to see them on Instagram, but they don't have an Instagram account.
And wouldn't it be great if you're interested in patio furniture to have that option and know that it's available. Right. So we'll talk about more about what you can do to promote your brand within media. But what I was telling this gentleman, and it wasn't telling him anything new, he was just not, uh, he wasn't up with the times. He was a little bit of an older gentleman. Okay. But, but he understood based on what his kids were telling him and what his wife was telling him that this was the way to go. And I suggested to him, I said, Hey, why don't you just, you can always just make like a short guide. It can be something like five ways to care for your teak to make it last. And you can promote it either on social media or you could put it on your website because he said he had a website and then he could get people's emails and then you could send them something once a month, twice a month saying, Hey, we've got some new stock in.
We have some new options available for you. This is what we're doing. Here's a sale. Whatever is going on, he can promote it because he always has that email list. Now, the one thing to understand about social media is that we don't own it. We do not own the connections that we make on social media that is up to the social media platform. They can take that away from us at any time. We have the benefit of them allowing us the space for free to promote our businesses, to promote ourselves and connect with other people who might be interested in our services. Why not take advantage of it, but at the same time, we also have to be mindful that we need to create a more lasting connection with people that isn't reliant exclusively upon social media and the platforms because we need to be able to maintain that connection.
And if you're not sold on email marketing, I want you to know that this is what online marketers are doing and this is how they are creating larger followings and this is how they're getting their messages out. Whenever you see someone who has a large following, you bet you're behind. They have an email list and I don't know the, I understand there's a lot of resistance to this because it seems like it's work or there's all these moving parts. Get out of the resistance part. Okay, I'm going to link to something actually, um, [email protected] forward slash 85 and it is convert kit. If you don't already have an email list getting started, I'm going to link to a link for convert kit. It is, I'm an affiliate for them. I love them. I use their emails. It's their email list. It's so fabulous. It's really easy to use.
So I will link to them. You can get more information from them for free too. So if you don't have a list building a thing going on, that is a great place to start. Okay. So, Oh, okay. I want to make sure I covered this. So when you have an incentive, I want you to link to it everywhere, whether it's on your webpages, whether it's in your social media bio, and make sure you're promoting it. It's a freebie. You're trying to, you know, get people onto your list. You don't have to do it every single time you post, but you can do it more times than not. Okay? So that way you have the ability to try to bring some of the people who you're meeting on social media and you're connecting with on social media, into your more immediate world. Okay? The fourth thing that I've seen and I'm guilty of is not doing storytelling.
Sometimes you might sell more than just storytell might say, okay, well this is why I have an estate planning business. Um, it's for you to make sure that your kids are protected. You know, it could be, it could be something really plain and boring, which is fine. Like that's basically what you're doing, but it's not creating connection. You're not creating that connection with some. Someone really good at storytelling is Selena Soo. If you are interested in learning more about Selena's free training, coming up on promoting your business through the media, come over to Instagram and DM me, I will make sure that you do not miss it. Okay. I want to make sure that your, you become a part of that because she really starts to talk about storytelling in a way that might make more sense to you. I ne no, it started to make more sense to me and when I started seeing how I could be sharing more of my stories and connecting more with people, I did notice that there was an increase in the engagement in my posts.
I also had help with this from another person. I'm going to link to her information in my website as well. Dina cataldo.com, forward slash 85 a R K a, uh, she is fabulous. So she is definitely someone that you might want to model and look at her Instagram account. The fifth thing that I see that is a real issue is not making your practice searchable on the relevant platforms, specifically with Instagram. The ways that you are drawing people in are through hashtags that are relevant to your practice location tags and your about page. Jasmine star does some amazing work on talking about Instagram and how to do this. Um, I also have, um, had Tyler McCall on the podcast and he talked about um, what he does and he also helps create engagement and storytelling on Instagram. So I'm going to link to that podcast as well, but I want you to see that there are so many different things for each platform that will draw people in.
Um, let's say in your Instagram profile or your LinkedIn about area, you want to say where you practice your law. So let's say you practice in San Diego. Um, where do you or what do you practice as a estate planning? Is it a family law? Do you help people through divorces, mediation, whatever it is you want to say those things in your profile in a short, concise way that makes sense. And don't say something vague like, I help protect your future. I say I bring you peace of mind by planning a, your estate, something that is specific to what you do. And just so you know, LinkedIn uses their about page in order to, uh, like that's their SEO. So if you're not familiar with search engine optimization, that is one thing that LinkedIn does. Um, they will be able to bring you up more in search options as well when you Google it or when you're looking in LinkedIn.
So I just want you to know that there's all these different ways that you can make your firm more searchable on these platforms. And the sixth thing that I wanted to mention and the mistake that I see often is not creating regular content. So regular content can mean a blog. It could mean a podcast like what I'm doing right now. Um, let's see, what else? Um, it could be just like a regular email newsletter. It could be a newsletter that comes out every week, but it's gotta be something that is regular, something that gives you an excuse to talk to people, something that contributes to society generally and contributes to your customer in particular, something that they're going to find relevant. And that's why it's so important to talk to your clients and talk to your potential clients because you want to know what they are interested in, right?
You want to be able to give them what they need and then they know you're the go to person. You are the person that they want to go to when they need to know information about whatever area of law it is. So if you're interested in podcasting, I have a resource for that if you want to get started in that, and I will link to that in the show notes. The seventh thing that I notice that is kind of a pet peeve of mine is adding off-brand images. Something like using all stock photos, right? And using all these different colors for text images and always using a different font. And this might take time to refine. Okay. Cause I'm, I'm not perfect at this by any means, but I work at it. You want to create a feeling about your brand, where the person who sees an image from you knows it's from you, right?
So one person who does this really well is a copywriter Laura Belgray. Her Instagram account is at talking shrimp and you may not be able to take your social media to the edge like she does, but you can get ideas of how to add personality and consistency to your social media platforms. And if you are in that edgy person who wants to understand storytelling more and how to be more fun in your profile, Laura is perfect for this because she's always telling funny stories. I would definitely subscribe to her email list even if you just want to get the stories just for fun cause she just has really fun stories. Number eight, not meaningfully engaging with accounts that engage with you and that doesn't just mean engaging with you like likes and comments. And that kind of thing. It means actually going out and finding people that are, um, I don't know, like relevant to your area.
So for instance, I am in contact a lot with people who are with like hire an Esquire. They're people that I'm connected with or um, Laura Belgray, you know, I'll comment on her things because I, I've worked with her. So find people that are in your area maybe that you work with or people that you would like to work with and start engaging with them. And not only because this creates connection, but it also helps up you in the algorithm. So all of these different social media platforms that are out there, they all rely on engagement to determine whether or not you should be boosted in the algorithm. And they don't just term engagement by how many people comment on your posts or how many people heart your posts. They also gauge engagement by you actively going outside of your page and engaging with people. So my suggestion to you, which I've gotten from people like Tyler McCall and Jasmine star, is to not just sit back and hope that people engage with you and comment.
It's giving out as much as you want to receive. It's going out to those people that you want to reach out to and commenting on their posts and liking their posts and [DMing] them. Because when you start actively engaging, that's creating the community that these social media platforms want to see. And that is when they will start increasing you and your positioning in the algorithm. Um, and one other thing, go ahead and comment back to all of the comments that you get. Um, the reason for this is because of the algorithm. I see so many people just hurting something. But if you're really engaged in your platform, you really should be commenting on every single comment that you get. Unless you've got, you know, 20,000 followers plus and you're just getting way too many comments. Maybe just comment for the first five minutes that you're on Instagram and respond to those.
Um, because I understand that it can be overwhelming if you have really large accounts, but if you have a smaller account, like I have a smaller account so I respond to every single comment. There's no reason for me not to, so if you comment on any of my pictures, you're going to hear back from me. Okay. The ninth thing, the ninth mistake that I see lawyers making all the time is not changing your social media strategy when you don't see engagement, and I'm thinking of a particular account right now, I will not share which one that is, but they have been posting consistently for quite some time and it is the exact same content. There is no switch up. There is no difference in how they approach their social media. They just post this same old boring content over and over. How do I know it's boring because nobody comments on it.
There are zero comments you might see like the occasional comment from somebody who you know, might have some mental health issues, but seriously it's not at all engaging. And it's unfortunate because there are some really meaningful things happening for this particular social media account that I'm thinking of and they could be sharing so much, they could be bringing so much personality into this, but instead it's really boring. Like you have people, you know, sharing, you know what they do for a living, but they're not actually creating a story. They're not creating a brand. It's really just information and we don't need any more information. We want entertainment. That's the whole purpose of social media is we want that entertainment. And I was totally guilty of just talking at people and I really, really am working at not doing that, but actually creating the story, like having some engagement, having something interesting to bring from my life, to share with you, to not only just humanize me, but to have a real connection with you.
And I noticed when people write back to me, Oh my gosh, I love Buffy the vampire Slayer two that got me through law school. I love that kind of thing. I love hearing from people who tell me those kinds of things cause that means they connected with something I said or somebody else commented, Hey, I used to eat, um, potato chips on the couch too. And just Netflixed you know, and not get anything done. I can totally relate to that. I love hearing that because it means something that I said clicked with them. And that's how you create that engagement. That is how you start to really creating that know, like, and trust. And if you're building a firm, that's also how you begin to build a following of people who are not only interested in what you have to say but are going to think of you when they need whatever it is that you offer, whatever you have.
And I know you have something because you have so much to offer this world and I know that you wouldn't be listening to this podcast if you weren't excited about something that you could give to the world. Whatever you have, you want to promote it in a way that is heartfelt and connected and telling stories is the best way to do that, to really show that heart and to really connect with people. Oh my goodness. Okay, so I hope you got something from this. If you did join me at Dina dot Cataldo on Instagram. You know, take a picture of you listening to the podcast and tag me in your Instagram story or you know, share something on your Instagram story, what you got from this podcast. Share it with people because that's how we create connection. That's how we not only create connection, but also expand our network, right?
That's how we begin to share things that are relevant with for us and hope that they're relevant for the people that we're talking to too. And this is a big experiment. Let me remind you of that, what I said earlier. This is all an experiment. It's not going to be perfect. It's never going to be 100% just right. And that's okay. It is all a big experiment. The big failure here is not treating it like an experiment and just, you know, doing the same old thing with the same old results and not thinking differently, not thinking bigger, not thinking more connected. So I hope that you at least got that from this podcast. So if you have not already downloaded that busy lawyer Quickstart guide to get five hours back each week, I want you to download it. It really, really is the key to everything.
And to me, when I created it, it wasn't just about creating time, it was really about living better, it was really about feeling more fulfilled, feeling more connected to myself. And each one of these things that I share to you in the Quickstart guide are things that I did over the years in order to create that feeling. So if you want to go to Dina cataldo.com forward slash 85 I will have that busy lawyer quick start guide there for you, and you can download it there. It's totally free. Why not? What's it going to hurt? All right, I will talk to you soon. I hope you have a fabulous week. Bye.