According to Debra Donston-Miller of Network Computing, “There is a social network for every taste and demographic these days, and social businesses should take notice of the potential opportunities these very focused audiences provide.”
That being said, my career has always revolved around strategic sales of some sort. From my first job until today, I’ve held positions which revolve around selling. Initially, as a commodities trader, I sold a product. Today, as a social media consultant, I’m essentially selling a service.
There is an art to selling. Just as in another favorite activity of mine, tennis…a strategy is involved. In tennis, we serve or receive a serve, then we begin to construct a point accordingly from there on.
The same applies to many aspects of life, particularly a career as a self-employed individual, which I’ve been for the vast majority of my career, since my mid 20’s.
In my ideal career path going forward, I would like to forge a relationship with consulting firms such as Accenture, McKinsey and IBM, etc., in order to help them better develop the strategies social media offer in order to not only grow and improve their businesses, but to ideally also be up to date with the most cutting edge digital benefits the various social media platforms offer.
Up to now, LinkedIn was the manner in which I best knew to grow a sphere of influence with companies in this realm. Today, I now know industry-specific social media sites exist, which work much like LinkedIn groups, however, are geared exclusively to specific areas of business.
As per this week’s lecture, “Industry-specific social media sites allow you to blend your career interests into hopefully the perfect job.” While this is the goal I’d like to achieve with regards to an industry-specific social media site for consulting firms. Unfortunately, it is challenging for such a site to exist, at least for now. The nature of consulting firms is to provide clear strategies for many different types of industries with highly educated, dedicated and talented teams of individuals who specialize in different fields. So, to narrow the industry-specific site to just one, would be challenging and perhaps, defeat their global purpose.
Sites such as Credo, where a company may search for specific social media consulting, exist. This is not an industry-specific social media channel, however.
So, an industry-specific site which forms the bulk of my clientele is found within attorneys. According to Webmarketingtoday.com, “Founded by an attorney, Avvo’s mission is to help people find legal help more quickly. “At Avvo, we provide you with detailed information on lawyers and legal issues so that you can make the choices that are right for you,” said the Avvo website. Users can rate and review attorneys, and lawyers can claim their profile, for marketing purposes.”
Let’s face it, people need attorneys. Whether it’s contractual advice, family disputes, wills, trusts, power-of-attorney documents, accidents, the public needs attorneys. Now that mobile devices will be equipped with technology to text individuals searching for legal advice, together with recent searches on mobile devices, attorneys can use the power of proximity marketing together with particular mobile technology to reach clients who may have performed recent searches near a courthouse, government or other legal-type building to reach potential new clients. They can offer services such as a one-hour complementary consultation for discovery.
Avvo also allows for attorneys to be rated based on reviews the client would leave. So, this site also doubles as a public review site to allow a future potential individual seeking legal services to make an educated decision.
What are the benefits to attorneys using Avvo?
According to Lawyernomics.com from just 4 days ago, “While most attorneys find online directories to be burdensome, it is important to recognize that positive online ratings, including those on your Avvo profile, add value to your marketing efforts. Here’s why:
- Avvo comes up very high in Internet searches for lawyers.
- Avvo ratings are important to the average consumer (just like Super Lawyers).
Avvo provides free online real estate that you should take ownership of. Otherwise, you look bad when people search Avvo for you or your firm.”
They also benefit with several mobile apps. http://www.avvo.com/apps, taking advantage and recognizing the need to be relevant on the mobile platform.
While I believe AVVO is a strong platform for attorneys in which to grow their business, they are missing out on much business and exposure. Though they do have social sites, ror example, their home page doesn’t have links to ANY social sites whatsoever. They spend money on search engine optimization, yet lose the ability to provide key, free, information, with the potential of further growing the business of local attorneys by not having exposure to digital platforms. This needs to change immediately. Their Facebook page does provide a similar look and feel to their main website, however, not letting the public know with those social icons listed somewhere on their website is a mistake.
Avvo also misses the opportunity to obtain funds from advertisers such as my company who could further help attorneys, too. Should they allow service consulting firms such as my digital company to also join their platform, not only would attorneys benefit from my services, AVVO could find another source of income. Moreover, through our digital growth strategies, we could also help grow such businesses.
Overall, Avvo provides an excellent platform for which to grow a business with attorneys. However, allowing for others to advertise and join their platform, on a different level, would also help their digital presence.