Frank Ramos is the Managing Partner at Clarke Silverglate in Miami, Florida. There are about ten attorneys at the firm who do a mix of litigation, commercial products, and employment. Feel free to connect with Frank on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/frankramosylt. If you scroll down to the bottom of his profile and find publications, he has several free books mostly geared towards lawyers regarding leadership, marketing, and other topics as well.
If you have not been on LinkedIn, get on LinkedIn. Once you are on, try it for a month. Give it a shot, it’s not for everybody, but you may find that you enjoy it and that it creates another avenue to market your company and creates another revenue stream by gaining referral sources. However, if you are going to be on a platform, you need to use it properly. Each platform has its own way of working and its own expectations of what appropriate content is.
Reaching Out to Connections You Want to Create a Relationship With
Frank sees people that are interested in his posts – they are liking his posts, sharing them, or commenting on them – and he will generally send them a message thanking them for their interest and ask them if they want to meet for coffee. Before COVID, Frank would meet with LinkedIn connections about twice a week, but has since not been able to have as many coffee meet-ups. Most people online, if you are engaging with them and providing content to them, are happy to meet with you.
A long time ago, Frank decided to start posting on LinkedIn daily. In 2016, he committed to posting every day, including weekends and holidays. What he posts about generally is advice and practice tips for younger lawyers, but a lot of experienced lawyers also enjoy his content. He is not specific to a certain practice area, he is posting generally about soft skills. If he is traveling, he will make it a point to reach out to the people in those cities in which he is traveling to grab coffee or meet up with them.
Producing Content on LinkedIn and Engaging in Others’ Content
Frank had first started posting to promote a free book called The Associates Handbook for the Defense Research Institute. The first few weeks he posted a few excerpts from the book, a few sentences here and there. You are limited to 1,300 characters in a post on LinkedIn, which is not very much. If you can come up with a general topic or idea, something that emphasizes your brand, you would be surprised how much that you could write on that topic. You need to make posting a habit and it takes about a month to get used to it. If you can commit to doing it for one month, at the end of the month it will become second nature and you will not have to purposefully set aside time. It doesn’t take long once you get used to posting to post 1,300 characters or less and less is more. Try to see life through the lens of having something to say.
A good thing to do before you jump in is to write an article on a topic you want to talk about – top 10, top 15, life advice, 20 things every lawyer should know or every client should know, etc. It is just coming up with a broad strategy. You can see lawyers writing about non-lawyer things and non-lawyers writing about lawyer things, so you just need to keep it professional. Find something that you feel comfortable with or that you may have some expertise in or that you are willing to develop some expertise in and be willing to share it. People are not always going to like what you have to say, and you might not get a lot of likes, shares, or reviews, but it takes time. You do it consistently, and people will come.
Frank will try to comment or send messages to individuals whose content strikes a particular chord with him. The first thing you have to do before jumping in is decide what you are going to post about – “Is this topic broad enough to continue posting on it for that period of time?” Just because you are saying something and doing it daily does not mean necessarily that it is good content. Pick your main practice area that you are working on and post about that. People will come to see you as an expert in that area. If there is someone specific that you want to reach out to, make it a point to read their feed and what they are posting. If they post articles, or something they have shared, if they have been featured somewhere, make it a little bit more personal and mention those things.
The End-Goal with Networking
As you build out your network, things start happening for you. It takes time, but eventually it pays off and you start getting calls for referrals and you start getting asked to speak or to volunteer or write, and it grows your footprint online. The more you do, the more you reach out and the more that you pay forward on platforms like LinkedIn, eventually it is going to come around and benefit you.
When it comes to your personal cases, try not to share or over-share facts about your cases. When Frank speaks about matters, he speaks about them generically and does not reference specific cases or clients. When he is trying to reach out to people who may be a potential referral source, he does not pester or annoy them. Each state has their own rules regarding professional conduct. The best thing to do is try to find other lawyers and other professionals that may become future referral sources. LinkedIn also allows you to create groups so another option is to create a group of like-minded lawyers and professionals or you can take it offline and create a monthly networking group. There are a lot of different ways of using LinkedIn as a platform and jumping off of the platform to do other things as well.