Like many of my Immigration law peers, I’ve often griped about the burdens of practicing law and how court deadlines, Appeals and demanding clients at times leave little room for anything else. That all changed, however, when I stumbled upon my passion and somehow found time to pursue it while continuing to build my legal career.
It began several years ago when I was trying hard to find an economical way to market my practice. As a small law firm owner I decided that, despite my day job, I wanted to become a marketing expert. After all, I had gone to law school in my 20s in Europe, Obtained a Masters in Law passed the Bar exam, and finally started my own firm. Marketing my practice couldn’t be harder than that—could it? I would soon learn the importance of perseverance in accomplishing one’s dreams.
Within days of setting on that mission—I knew that marketing was indeed my passion. I learned that Marketing was an art as well as a science, I became captivated by this. Nothing short of that could explain my behavior. Despite the long hours at the firm, I eagerly climbed out of bed at 4 a.m. to take online courses about marketing before work. I went to seminars every weekend. On business trips I listened to podcasts in the airport, on the airplane and in my hotel room late at night. I devoted my vacations not to relaxation but to learning about Marketing. I finally found my secret formula while searching for wine online. Yes, wine. This person who was selling wine online had an amazing following online and off line. He was passionate about his business as well as Marketing. He determined that we live in special times and he called it the Thank you Economy.
He writes that “no relationships should be taken for granted. They are what life is all about, the whole point. How we cultivate our relationships is often the greatest determinant of the type of life we get to live. Business is no different. Real business isn’t done in board meetings; it’s done over a half-eaten plate of buffalo wings at the sports bar, or during the intermission of a Broadway show.
“It’s done through an enthusiastic greeting, with an unexpected recommendation, or by offering up your cab when it’s raining. It happens in the small personal interactions that allow us to prove to each other who we are and what we believe in. … Now imagine you could take those interactions and scale them to the hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people who make up your customer base, or better yet, your potential customer base.” Read: social media.
“social media” … is a misnomer that has caused a boatload of confusion. “[W]hat we call social media is not media, nor is it even a platform. It is a massive cultural shift that has profoundly affected the way society uses the greatest platform ever invented, the Internet.” Imagine the power of change this cultural shift can bring to immigration law and the need to change this system.
So I started a few Blogs and never stopped writing. I have developed a Media roster and often reached out to story craving reporters. I contributed to hundreds of online forums and started answers questions for free. Suddenly things started to happen, reports started calling and asked for my take on stories.. We got featured on the Radio, TV and National Papers. Once it is a story about H1B visa, or the Birth Right Citizenship issue, High Skilled workers leaving the US and most recently our victory for Ayded Reyes that was featured on ESPN. As we get publicity through these mediums, I always mention the problems with our immigration system and the need for reform. This is the only way to make a difference and bring the change we need.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association provided me with great tools for advocacy and information over the years. I have attended every single AILA conference since joining the organization and look forward to our meeting this June in Nashville at the National Conference. I look forward to the open forum sessions with our government partners, and look forward to using all our social media tool to update our followers live, as well as providing valuable commentary to our readers.
Bottom line is new technology is the name of the game. Companies that use YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, etc. to forge personal relationships with customers on a massive scale with untold speed, come out the winners. Others will simply be left behind. This applies to lawyers as well. Those who use this medium to connect with clients and the public to spread the word about immigration, will get more business and Change Immigration Law. Others will …oh well you know.