Legal Technology

How a Solo Gained More than 600 Facebook Fans for His Fledgling Firm

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A solo practitioner in Massachusetts who struck out on his own about six months ago already has more than 600 Facebook fans for his law firm.

Solo lawyer Richard Vetstein tells the ABA Journal that the accomplishment, touted in a press release, has “absolutely” brought in new business. His goal was to promote his new law firm, the Vetstein Law Group in Framingham, and his blog, the Massachusetts Real Estate Law Blog.

“Did you ever see the movie Field of Dreams—If you build it they will come?” he asked. His Facebook success, he says, is “kind of that theory. It just started gaining momentum.”

Before striking out on his own, Vetstein worked as a litigator for 10 years with the law firm Edwards & Angell, now known as Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge. He jumped to a law firm closer to home, Mirick O’Connell, before starting his own practice.

Vetstein says he got a Facebook boost from lawyer David Barrett, director of social media legal marketing at the Rainmaker Institute, who recommended his site. “All of a sudden, I got flooded with fan requests,” he says. Vetstein also has an extensive network of contacts through LinkedIn and Facebook, and many of those colleagues became fans.

Vetstein built his contacts through old-fashioned networking. “I’m one of these guys, I take a card at a networking function, and I ask if they’re on Facebook,” he says. He also uploaded his e-mail contacts onto Facebook, which used them to search for potential friends. He also searched for old acquaintances stretching all the way back to his elementary school days.

His press release notes that he feeds his blog onto the Facebook fan page, “which helps immensely with search engine optimization.” He also posts articles and information about hot topics in real estate law.

Vetstein says social networking not only brings in new business, it also helps build relationships with existing clients and friends. He learns about their children, for example, or their favorite sports teams.

“People do business with people that they like,” he tells the ABA Journal. “Facebook enables you to get to know people in a way that strengthens the overall relationship.”

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