She’s got some really good insights on some of the things that are holding a lot of attorneys back from getting started with social media, and I think if you watch her interview, you’re going to see that social media doesn’t have to be as complicated as everyone wants to make it seem today.
The only thing holding you back is yourself. So, watch this interview, get inspired to take control of your law firm and your marketing and, hopefully, this will get you going on social media.
Andy: What’s going on with lawyers? You were saying earlier that there’s some interesting things happening with lawyers.
Angela: I’m Angela Langlock, I’m a trademark and business law attorney, and I’ve been using social media to build my law practice. I think one of the perceived reasons why lawyers aren’t doing social media marketing is because they are afraid of the bar, right?
Because, oh is it advertising? Do I have to comply with the advertising rules? And, if you look at most of the advertising rules, social media isn’t considered attorney advertising.
I have the right to get on and talk about the law, right? I don’t have to ask anybody’s permission to talk about the law, and I think too that attorneys are worried that they’re going to be perceived as less professional.
I’ve got a secret for you, the less professional we seem, the more we can relate to people, right? Because part of the issue is that we’re really intimidating to people. We have all this knowledge, and it’s like we’re god or something. I mean I’m joking about being god of course, but it’s like people think that we have all this knowledge, and we do, but we’re just people too, right?
I just want to connect with people, and I think social media is the best way to do that. I’ve been using video to do that successfully, and I love it, and I’m having a lot of fun.
Attorneys Are People Too
Andy: What’s interesting is that everybody wants to appear to be perfect, and then the reality is just people relate to people that have the same problems that they do. For example, I have a DUI attorney client who is also a family law attorney, and she’s been involved with domestic violence cases.
At first, she was kind of like, “I need to my past out all this,” I told her that she needed to embrace that. You need to say, “I know what you’re going through as a DUI attorney because I’ve made mistakes in college and I’ve got a DUI also.”
Good people make bad decisions, but it’s the same thing with the videos, sometimes people obsess with the quality in their video and the quality of their content. It’s essentially analysis paralysis because they worry so much about it that nothing is done. I’m sure you deal with that too, where you just have to let it go sometimes and know that it’s not going to be perfect.
Angela: Yeah, I embraced that fact and I am never worried about making it perfect. I think part of the reason for that is because I’m used to doing things that make me uncomfortable.
For example, I spend a lot of my time studying different languages. In order to be a good speaker of a language, I practice. I just got really comfortable with the idea that I was going to make all kinds of mistakes, right? I was going to make all kinds of mistakes, and if people didn’t like it, it’s okay. I was still going to talk to them, and if they wanted to laugh and make fun of me, they could, but I didn’t care. Because the most important thing for me was to communicate, right?
For me, the most important thing that I do on social media is I communicate. I show up, I say my opinion and people like it, right? And if people want to make fun of me, guess what? I don’t care.
I haven’t had any haters yet. I haven’t had people troll me yet. If they do, you know what I’m going to say? Hurrah, I’m important enough to have haters.
Andy: Exactly, while you’re doing that, if another attorney’s going to give you crap about whatever, they’re not putting content out there. While you’re creating, they’re hating, and you’re taking their clients.
How Angela Uses Social Media As Her Primary Method To Market
Andy: What do you do? Do you use social media as your primary method to market your legal services?
Angela: Yeah, it is. And you know why? Because no one else is doing it.
Andy: Exactly, it’s a completely wide-open market.
Angela: While attorneys are out there paying for advertising, I’m doing it for free on social media.
Andy: So, tell me what do you do? What’s your daily social media routine?
Angela: I’m still working on pushing out content to places like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram because I have a system that does, but right now, my blog isn’t working correctly. So, the RSS feed isn’t pushing out stuff like it’s supposed to, but that’s all minor, right?
What I do is I go live on Facebook every day, and I talk about trademark law. That’s my primary area of practice, trademark, and business law and people seem to be really into the whole trademark thing, because there’s a bunch of fun stuff that I get to talk about.
What I do is I go live every weekday on Facebook, and I talk about trademark law, and you might think, well, what do you talk about every day? Well, heck, I get inspiration everywhere, but what I do is I repurpose that live video as content.
That live video and the description that goes along with it, the description becomes a blog post, and the video becomes part of the blog post, and I can push all of that out to Twitter. I can push it out to LinkedIn, on my business page, and I can push it out to Instagram and Twitter.
The key is to repurpose all of your content, and when you do that, it just becomes really easy to produce content. But I am producing content every day, right? So, I’m producing content every weekday, and it goes out to people, and my Facebook lives are watched, some of them literally hundreds of times. People share them, and people ask me questions. It’s really fun to do this kind of content because I like video and video likes me. It’s something that I have been having a lot of fun with, and it’s had a great impact on my law practice.
When Did You Start Seeing Results?
Andy: Let me ask you when you first got started, was it easy and did you get results right away? Or did it take a little bit time to build and how was the experience in the beginning?
Angela: Don’t hate, but I got clients the first week.
Andy: Okay, you’re rare. In my experience, it took me about two months before things really started snowballing.
Angela: I expect that more and more people will find me because I’m producing live video every day and Facebook loves live video. I’ve had people tell me that they searched for trademark attorney on Facebook and found me, right? So, it’s a way for people to find you.
Andy: You know what else is great? You touched on this before, where you’re repurposing all your content. You’re creating one piece of content, and you’re syndicating it everywhere, but every time you could create a piece of content on every platform, that’s one more opportunity that somebody can find you.
So, if you publish it to Instagram and then to YouTube, and someone does some sort of obscure search, they then get brought into your world because they find a video that you did about some random trademark law that nobody would have ever thought of. Nobody else created content on this, but now you’re talking about so many different things that you’ve got all these hooks in the line, allowing to catch all these fish.
How To Naturally Get Followers
Andy: Let me ask you this, how do you find people? How you get people to follow you? How do people find out about you? Does it just happen naturally or what do you do?
Angela: Well, I’ve been an online marketer for several years so, I have a lot of, followers on my personal page on Facebook. I’ll also tell people “listen, if you want me to answer your questions about trademark law, then you need to like my trademark business page so that you’ll be notified when I go live, and you need to comment on my video and ask the question.”
So, if you want to ask me a question, that’s how to do it. I’m getting some engagement on my videos, not as much as I would like but, people are starting to engage with my videos, and more importantly, they’re watching my videos. I also get a lot of referrals from people who know me. I also get tagged in a lot of questions on threads.
Andy: Is that a result of people you know in the real world or people that you’ve come in contact with on Facebook?
Angela: Both. Most of my Facebook friends have never actually met in real life. I know, that’s super weird but, that’s how it is these days.
Andy: You use a personal page, right? Because I know you have a trademark doctor page, then you also have a personal page. Do you go live at the same time on both pages?
Angela: You can’t do that because it’s against the terms of service, but I also have a tool that pushes out the pre-recorded video as a live. I’m complying with the terms of service because I’m saying in the description that some of it’s pre-recorded.
Andy: Which one do you find gets better results, the live on your personal page or the live on your fan page?
Angela: I have 2,000 friends and 2,000 followers on my personal profile, so I get a lot more engagement on the personal profile. But, I tell people if you want to ask me questions you have to do it on the trademark doctor page. In the end, I’m trying to generate more engagement on the trademark doctor page, which is my business page.
How Does Your Experience As A Lawyer Come Into Play?
Andy: How long you’ve been an attorney?
Angela: I have been an attorney for 19 years.
Andy: Obviously Facebook live wasn’t around 15 years ago. What did you do before that and how did you get into social media?
Angela: I got into social media when I divorced my husband. We had a law practice together, and our area of expertise was the firearms industry, and we built that by going to trade shows.
At one point, I was filing 40% of the applications that got filed in class 13, and class 13 is basically firearms, and other things that blow up. We built that practice by going to trade shows and talking to people in the firearms industry, with zero percent of that on social media.
When I divorced, I gave him the law practice. This was 2012, and social media was starting to become a thing for businesses. I kind of wish I had realized this and started earlier, but here I am now, right?
I also wish I had bought Bitcoin then too, but that’s another story. It took me a while to find my way, but it just happens when you get divorced. Your whole world is turned upside down, and I enjoyed being a trademark and business law attorney, so that’s what I kept doing.
I also kind of started a media company and dabbled in some other stuff but, teaching is what I loved to do. I get the opportunity to teach every day on a Facebook live, right?
And people like me. It also helps to be attractive. But even if you’re not attractive, people will still watch you if you are engaging.
People wouldn’t watch me if I produced boring talk. You have to put out content that’s interesting, and you have to be engaging, and you have to talk about stuff that matters to people, right?
Andy: The other thing that’s interesting is you don’t pitch or sell things.
Angela: No, I sell absolutely nothing.
Andy: That’s the same thing for me.
Angela: You know what the trick is? I offer to answer questions and strategy sessions. If you’ve got some IP that you need help with, you may follow all of the strategy sessions, and I’ll point you in the right direction. That’s really your consultation, but it’s not intimidating, and it’s offering value. That’s the secret I think, and you’ll probably agree with me that the secret is no matter what you do, you cannot go wrong if you provide value.
That’s what I think a lot of attorneys don’t understand is they try to make everything perfect. They worry about the lighting, they worry about all this kind of stuff. Providing value is all that you need to do, and the nice thing is that there’s no competition.
I’m sure that this is horrible for business attorneys, but for other attorneys, it’s awesome. So, what would you say to attorneys that are kind of on the fence about doing this? I tell them all the time, you need to do it.
For god’s sake, just start doing Facebook lives. Yes, it does take time to do them, but if you think it’s all fancy, I use a desk lamp. I also use Yeti Blue Microphone on a boom. If it bothers you to have all this stuff in your desk, you can put it somewhere else. I also use a tripod/selfie-stick that will hold your phone while you use the camera.
People try to complicate this stuff, but it’s not complicated, and the most important thing is good sound because people will put up with a lot of stuff, but they will not put up with bad sound. Just get a USB microphone that plugs into your phone, if you’re going to use your phone as a camera. Also, level your mic clips on your lapel. They’re like 20 bucks on Amazon.
You can also go to a quiet place. I don’t even have a microphone for my iPhone, but I make sure it’s quiet so that you can hear me.
Andy: What stops attorneys is just them making excuses. For example, “I’m not comfortable on camera.” Well, guess what? The more you do it, the more comfortable you become. Like, I didn’t wake up one morning and say, “hey, I think I’m going to be comfortable on camera.”
You get comfortable on camera because you do it every day. The first time you’re in a courtroom, were you comfortable? Heck no, you felt super awkward, you didn’t know what to do, and eventually, you found your way. So, you just kept doing it. If you don’t like the first few videos that you produce, you can delete them later, and redo them. It won’t cost you anything.
I’ve coached attorneys on video, and I have got to tell you attorneys suck on video…but everybody sucks on video. They’ll do these weird things where they’re pulling faces, rolling their eyes at themselves. I have to be like, “just stop and pretend like I’m your grandma and talk to me.” In the end, the camera is a camera, it’s not a gun. Nobody’s going to die if you look bad on video.
Another thing I found interesting is that the first 20 videos you do are going to suck. There’s no way around it, it’s going to suck, but the good news is is that nobody’s probably going to see them anyway.
While you’re building your following, you’re getting all the jitters out, and there are very few things in life that you do over and over again, that you get worse at. You just get better, and it becomes natural.
I’m horrible on camera, but I just keep going. I’ve gotten better but, I say, “umm,” I stutter, I repeat, I lose half of my videos, I forget what I was talking about in the middle of the video, etc.
People have analysis paralysis, they just think about it over and over again, and while you’re thinking, other people are doing it.
Are You Critical Of Yourself When Watching Your Videos Back?
Andy: When you’re recording a video, because I do this, and tell me if you do this. It’s always worse in my head when I go back and watch it. It’s not nearly as bad as it was when I was recording. Does that happen for you?
Angela: I don’t typically spend a lot of time being self-conscious about what I do in camera, but when I go back and look at it, I’m like, damn, I’m good.
Andy: I’ll go through, and I’m not self-conscious about it because I’m not going to redo it. You just get self-conscious and get in your own head, and then once you kind of step back, you realize that you’re really not as bad as you think you are. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. If you put value out there, it doesn’t matter if you say umm.
Angela: It also doesn’t matter if you make mistakes, right? Like the other day, I was recording a video. When I watched it afterwards, I realized that I said copyright infringement instead of trademark infringement, but it kind of was copyright infringement too.
So, I was like, okay, well, whatever, who cares. I’m not going to go back and fix it because I don’t care and if somebody wants to say, “Angela was wrong, she said copyright when she meant trademark.” I’m like, so?
The whole point of these videos is to communicate and make it look like you’re a real person, right? And I don’t think people are as intimated at the thought of hiring me as an attorney after seeing me in a video. To me, there is no better medium than video for the like and trust factor.
I want people to know me. I want them to know that I’m an attorney. I want them to know that I can solve particular legal problems for them. Maybe they won’t like me, and it’s okay, because if they don’t like me, then we shouldn’t be working together.
I’m fine if they don’t like me, but if they watch what I’m doing and like me, great. Do they trust that I know what I’m talking about? It’s obvious when you get me on camera, and this stream of consciousness about trademark law comes out.
It’s obvious that I know what I’m talking about. There’s no better medium for attorneys to communicate, to build rapport with potential clients, to exclude those who wouldn’t be good clients.
Because if you don’t like my vibe, then that’s totally okay, there’s another attorney out there that you’re going to like, you don’t have to like me. I’m going to put myself out there anyway because I want to attract the clients that like me and want to work with me.
It’s a great way to eliminate people which makes your life easier. Now, you’re working with clients that you like that aren’t going to be a huge pain in the ass the entire time. That’s half the battle for me, is just making sure that my clients aren’t a pain in the ass. I like all my clients, and I have been able to do that by eliminating the ones that I don’t like.
But, like you were saying, the trust, that’s a huge thing. If they trust that you’re the authority on trademarks, they know you’re the person to handle issues for them. I always compare lawyers to comedians, because a lot of times attorneys will create these videos talking about “oh, if you need a trademark, I’m the best, I’ve been, blah, blah, blah, I’m the best trademark attorney,” but it’s like comedians.
Comedians don’t go up there and tell you how funny they are. They prove they’re funny by going on stage and being funny. You prove you know about trademarks by talking non-stop about trademarks, the ins and outs, the nuances of the intellectual property laws. You don’t have to get on there and say, “hi, I’m Angela, and you should hire me because I’m good at trademarks” You don’t have to do that if they already know that.
The biggest point that I’m trying to tell people is that if you’re the authority and if somebody watches 10 of your videos about trademarks, why are they going to call another attorney about a trademark? You’re the one they trust because they just watched all of your content.
There’s a lot of credibility with the video. We are trained to believe things that we see on the screen, right? We were trained practically from birth because people are so used to watching television, that we accord that a high degree of credibility.
You can read people’s body language, and you can tell a lot about them and their personality by watching them on camera. I don’t have to tell people that I know what I’m talking about. Either they believe that I know what I’m talking about or they don’t, and if they don’t, I’m not going to try to convince them.
Some More Advice For Attorneys Interested In Using Social Media To Grow Their Practice
Andy: If you were starting social media over again, what would be the one piece of advice you would give yourself?
Angela: Start now, don’t wait, because here’s the thing, as an attorney, you have the opportunity to get it on the ground floor, as they say. There are so few attorneys using social media effectively, especially video because attorneys are like completely freaked out to get up and do video.
If you’re doing a video and if you’re engaging and know what you’re talking about, it is a great medium to communicate with your potential clients. So, I would say, start now, start sooner, start right now. Stop thinking about it and just do it.
It’s not as bad as you think it’s going to be. You think you’re going to look awkward on camera and maybe you will, but who cares? You’ll get better at it over time, just like you got better at everything else.
Andy: In the beginning, there’s a good chance that nobody’s going to see it anyway.
Angela: Exactly, no one’s going to be watching your stuff.
Andy: Angela, I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me. What’s your Facebook page so people can check out what you’re doing and follow your journey to see you use social media effectively?
Angela: My Facebook business page is facebook.com/trademarkdoctor, all one word. You can find me online at TrademarkDoctor.net. You can probably find me on other social media channels as well, but it’s all going to be the same content because like I said, I’m repurposing everything.