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September 2015 - Periscope
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Periscope: A Game Changer for Lawyers 

by Nicole Abboud

I’ve never been one to hop on the latest social media craze but I can’t stop raving about Periscope to all of my friends and colleagues. Periscope is Twitter’s livestreaming social media platform, and it’s taking the world by storm.

I know, I know! You’re probably thinking:  “Great! Another social media platform I have to master!” And to a certain extent, yes, this is yet another platform but I’m going to show you why Periscope is one platform that will not be a waste of your time and will, in fact, magnify your marketing results, strengthen your bond with your community, solidify you as an authority figure in your practice area, and help you attract clients like a magnet!

What Is It and How Does It Work?

Periscope is a live video streaming platform which allows you to live broadcast to your followers on Periscope and Twitter from anywhere. It’s similar to Skyping except it’s with a whole lot of people as your audience. These followers who join in during your broadcast can interact with you by posting comments and giving you hearts. You can then engage with your followers by answering their questions and responding to their comments in real time.

Your followers are notified whenever you begin a broadcast by receiving a notification that you’re starting a live transmission.  At the end of each session, the broadcast is recorded and saved for 24 hours within the Periscope app. So if your followers can’t catch you live, they can always catch a replay within 24 hours. Replay watchers, however, don’t have the ability to leave comments since that is a feature saved for live viewers only.

Why Should You Start Using It?

Periscope is going to be a game-changer for lawyers. It’s already changing the way news is reported, and entrepreneurs and business owners are discovering the benefits of livestreaming for attracting new customers and increasing sales. There is just so much potential for what lawyers can do with Periscope, from marketing, to educating, to connecting with other influencers.

I always preach that lawyers, especially young lawyers, need to make a name for themselves in this profession and basically, do what they can to distinguish themselves from the next lawyer. Periscope will certainly help you do that. Periscope is a fairly new app (found on iPhones and Androids) so learning about it now and being an early adopter means you’ll be ahead of the game when everyone else catches on to this great platform.   Just like with any other social media platform, using Periscope to support and strengthen your community outreach and online presence will only help bring awareness to yourself and your practice.

Imagine spending a few minutes each day, a few days a week informing your followers about your services and directly answering Q&A’s from your audience. Can you see how authoritative that makes you appear and how many potential clients you could reach? It’s been shown that clients want to hire an attorney they know, like, and trust. By sharing who you are and what you do in real time on Periscope, people will get to know you faster than through other means (aside from a face-to-face meeting of course). Overtime, you’ll build a rapport with your followers and when it comes times for your followers to hire an attorney, guess whom they’ll think of? Yup, you!

Picture being able to speak directly with your followers and sharing with them the latest legal developments in your practice area.  You might already display your knowledge of your practice area through a blog, videos, or a newsletter. Periscope can serve as a complement to your other content production by providing you with another medium where you can repurpose your content.

Better yet, imagine being able to market your firm and your services without having to pay for expensive advertisements. Using Periscope to connect and influence is (for the most part) free and rather effortless (although it does require that you be comfortable speaking in front of a camera). While Instagram is great for visual engagement and Twitter is perfect for short, quick interactions, Periscope will help you establish a deeper, more meaningful relationship with your community.

Ultimately, Periscope presents you with an opportunity that other platforms cannot and that is to instantly connect with your community. It gives you the opportunity to be authentic, be interactive, and share your message.  

How To Use It Correctly:

Legal and Ethical Concerns to Be Aware Of

Of course, with any kind of social media platform, you should approach Periscope knowing that there are certain limitations legally and ethically. Since Periscope is a broadcasting platform, be mindful of any copyright or trademark rights that could be infringed. For example, while you’re broadcasting, make sure there is no music playing in the background (unless you purchased a license or you own the rights) and make sure there are no trademarked items that appear on camera behind you. Also, keep in mind any privacy rights issues if you’re broadcasting from a private location where other people may be nearby. I know we’re all lawyers and we know this stuff. Just make good choices and try to avoid any legal pitfalls.

Naturally, be mindful and comply with your state’s ethical rules regarding social media use and advertising rules in general. Don’t offer legal advice while you’re broadcasting. Keep your “advice” nice and general.

Always Have a Strategy

Have a clear strategy before you begin Scoping (that’s official lingo right there). Think: Do you want to Scope daily? Twice a week? Twice a month? Have a set schedule for when you Scope. Consistency is key and your followers will anticipate your scheduled Scopes.  It’s recommended that you Scope somewhat frequently in order to establish a solid online presence.

Prepare a quick outline of what you want to cover in your Scopes. Don’t just start Scoping and have nothing prepared. Sure, you can just ramble on and on with no focus whatsoever but that wouldn’t be an effective use of the platform, your time, or your followers’ time. So be prepared and have some discussion points. Preparation is always more attractive, especially if you’re hoping to attract clients through your Scopes.

Have call to actions (“CTA’s”) during your Scopes. If you’re hoping to gain new clients, then make it clear during your Scopes that you offer free consultations or a free informational pamphlet and where they can find it. If you’re trying to build your email list or you have a community event you’re promoting, make it known that your followers can sign up on your website. Always offer CTA’s!  

Be Intentional. Be Consistent. And Be You.

Since Periscope is a fairly new social media platform, it’s still undergoing changes and users are constantly discovering ways to use it to promote their businesses. As a lawyer, having a platform like Periscope to share your message, educate and connect with others can only help make you a stronger lawyer and more effective marketer.  

 

About the Author

Nicole Abboud is a practicing attorney in Los Angeles. When she’s not lawyering, you can find Nicole chatting with millennial attorneys on her podcast, The Gen Why Lawyer Podcast. Through her podcast, Nicole hopes to inspire law students and young attorneys to shake off their fear of being unconventional and embrace their unique voice. You can contact Nicole at nicole@genwhylawyer.com, on Twitter & Periscope: @nicoleabboud, Instagram: @nic_abboud, or LinkedIn. 

 

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