First impressions are important. Today, more and more Certified Legal Nurse Consultants are making their first impressions online, not only with the legal community, but also with other CLNC® consultants.
Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, Michelle Neal, RN, BSN, CLNC states, “Social media is a great way to promote your CLNC business. My go-to social media platforms are Facebook and LinkedIn. I actually received my first case through a Facebook post one month after becoming certified. Social media is an easy and effective way to network and market your business, and it’s free.” Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, Robert Malaer, RN, MSN, FN-CSp., SANE-A, CNLCP, CALM, CLNC adds, “Social media is an interactive part of my marketing plan. Due to the limitations on in-person marketing during the COVID-19 pandemic, marketing via social media became an even more integral part of my marketing plan.”
What impression are you making with your online presence? Do you have a plan to guide and steer your online efforts in the right direction? Here are some strategies for making your first online impression count.
If you want attorneys and Certified Legal Nurse Consultants to find you, make your Facebook profile public. Keeping a public profile makes it easier for people to find you.
Some CLNC consultants keep their Facebook profile open only to friends and people they know. Whatever your preference, think about who your “friends” are and what they are saying. Screen your prospective Facebook friends carefully. Do you personally know everyone on your friend list? Whether you do or don’t, you’ll need to check your Facebook postings daily and keep your profile page tidy. You may not write something offensive on your wall, but someone else might and if an attorney-prospect sees it while vetting you, that might put an end to a relationship before it even begins.
Consider having a Facebook page that is for business only, so that attorneys and CLNC colleagues are not privy to your personal posts. Make a choice; Facebook is either business, personal or both, but you blend the two at your own risk.
Another form of social media is professional networking sites like LinkedIn. As social networking grows in popularity, more and more people are drawn to it. But be careful who you endorse, recommend and admit to your network. There’s an old saying that people judge you by the company you keep. Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, Robert Malaer shares, “LinkedIn is my primary source of social media marketing. I update my profile regularly to keep it actively scrolling, and I post articles highlighting key concepts and ideas. I plan to start uploading live video recordings to increase my exposure on social media.” LinkedIn is a personal favorite for Michelle Neal who states, “In my experience, attorneys are quite active on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an easy way for attorneys to assess what you do as a legal nurse, what your background is and how they might benefit from your CLNC services. My goal is to post something on my professional LinkedIn page and Facebook business page at least once a week. My posts range from motivational business quotes to information pertaining to healthcare and legal nurse consulting. I also share articles from medical and nursing publications.”
If you join Twitter you should know why you’re joining and be prepared to put some thought into your tweets. Be careful who follows you and who you follow. Just because someone has 2,121,407 followers doesn’t mean they have something important or relevant to say. There are lots of ways to artificially inflate follower totals using autofollowing programs. If you want to follow someone, take a look at who is following them. If their follower list is packed with spammers, crackpots or other undesirables you may not wish to follow that person. Likewise
We recommend that you cull your Twitter followers to only people who tweet professionally. Again, people will judge you by the company you keep and Twitter isn’t the place to let it all hang out on religious and political opinions or anything you wouldn’t want children to see.
Keep your tweets professional, avoid shameless self-promotion and don’t be a serial tweeter. If someone has nothing to do but tweet all day, it’s apparent they’ve got nothing else to do and that tells you all you need to know about their success level. Tweet when you have something relevant and useful. Our motto is quality over quantity.
If you want to use Twitter for personal use only – keep it out of your business materials. There’s no middle road. Tweet professionally and to professionals and expect the same back.
Keep It Professional
If you’re using your social media networks for professional use, the same rules apply to all social media sites regarding headshots, biographies and content. Post only a professional-appearing photograph for your thumbnail and reflect the image you wish to convey when adding photographs to your galleries. Those Catwoman Halloween costume shots are out no matter how much you like them.
Write a professional biography for your profile. CLNC consultant, Robert Malaer advises, “Ensure everything you do is professional and reflects the image and brand you want to be known for. Ensure your profile is complete and stays up-to-date. Change and update something in your profile weekly to keep it actively cycling. Stay active on the platform to increase your network and to be seen. Do something different, but professional, that attracts positive attention to your profile and your business.”
Only post when you have something to say, but do stay active. CLNC consultant, Michelle Neal shares, “I haven’t always been good at this myself, but one of my 2021 goals was to post at least weekly on LinkedIn with informative information which might attract attorneys. Always respond to messages from attorneys in a timely manner. Even if you don’t actively post, check your inbox regularly. If you are actively seeking attorney-clients, connect with different attorneys, read their profiles and send messages regarding your experience and CLNC services. Always write professionally and use proper spelling and grammar.”
Make sure your posts are about something you’ll be comfortable with other people reading. Always remember, social media is a form of communication that will last on the Web for a long time after you (or someone else) have posted and may come back to haunt you when you least expect it. CLNC consultant, Michelle Neal recommends, “Keep politics and personal matters off of professional platforms. It’s important to remember, you’re always representing your CLNC business.”
Be mindful when posting online that there’s no such thing as personal use only. More and more attorneys and their staff are searching the Internet, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites for such diverse purposes as expert witness screening and jury selection. Companies have long been Googling not only prospective, but current employees as part of the hiring and retention process. You’re being looked at whether you want to be or not.
Keep It Your Own
In whatever type of social networking you choose to participate, use the same good judgment you would when creating your website or running your legal nurse consulting business. Don’t use materials or intellectual property owned by others without their permission. As the ultimate publisher, you’re the one who will be held responsible for any infringements.
Savvy Certified Legal Nurse Consultants run variations of their name through the different search engines at least once a month. These used to be vanity searches, but today think of them as image maintenance. Look to see what profile you present to the web and to prospective attorney-clients. You might be surprised, pleasantly or otherwise. If it’s unpleasant, it’s time to take some steps to correct that image. See you in social media!
Success Is Yours,
Vickie Milazzo Institute
P.S. Comment and share how you are using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to make an online impression.