Hello Osceola Bar Association and anyone on the World Wide Web reading this article. I started my solo practice after my stint at the Osceola County Public Defender’s Office and some work with small firms and large firms.  The time was the Spring of 2012 where I took my leap of faith and started solo work.  I had a friend that helped me design and create my logo.  A supporting wife that helped with my starting website plus getting my firm up and running.  It has been a roller-coaster ride but well worth every moment.

Yesterday a fellow colleague and friend was asking me for helpful tips regarding starting and maintaining my solo practice. I gave that person some valuable information…areas that I call “learning from my mistakes.”  One area that I will discuss in this article is “Social Media Advertising.”

One thing to consider, as with any and everything, is the cost and what you are willing to spend. These advertisements can cost a pretty penny.  However, with proper planning a small amount can lead to bigger and greater things.  The biggest pro for me is that it assists with search engine optimization or SEO.  Having a Facebook page, twitter feed and other social media avenues helps with SEO.  The more connections and hits you have with your social media will lead to a higher standing with Google and other search engines.

Another positive aspect is it helps create business relationships. You must be careful and do your research with these business relationships before getting with them, they are not all the upstanding connections that you hope it to be.  Here’s an example, a business that targets small firms will help you bring new clients.  You sign up, things work for a little bit of time and then poof nothing.  Poor customer service, the leads stop and then you are stuck in a contract.  It works itself out, but as a solo practitioner, time is a valuable commodity.

On the other hand, here’s the good part. You get connected to another law firm (one that does not practice in your area) and you created a nice referral basis to each other.  Saves you time and money!  Great for both businesses.  Also, your service providers; process servers, court reporters and others that you meet gives you options that can help your business succeed.  All these connections made through your social media advertising.

A few other positives of utilizing social media advertising, is that you get real-time client feedback. You know whether to continue using the advertising or move to a different form.  It helps establish a base for word of mouth advertising for your law firm.  Our generation is constantly connected and have access to technology, it is a great way to increase you online exposure.

Here are some cons on the use of this form of advertising. There are a few, and with patience and hard work you can create a strong online presence with your business while overcoming these cons.  As I mentioned before you will have to invest time and money in managing your law firm and social media/online presence.  You have to be patient before you see a stable ROI or return on investment.  If you have staff, training them on the social media and/or outsourcing to a social media firm.

In my opinion, it is an area of a solo practitioner’s firm that can have huge rewards with the proper planning and time put into the endeavor. In this day and age, it is important to have a strong online and social media presence.

by Richard C. Mendoza