You might already be familiar with Reddit, the forum that bills itself as “the front page of the internet.” It hosts news, obscure facts, message boards, and a subgroup for pretty much any and every interest. It’s sort of a microcosm of the internet itself.
But did you know you can use it to grow and market yourself as an attorney? Reddit law advice might not sound the most credible to a layperson, but the platform does offer real opportunities for law professionals to share insights and provide value. You can also use the Ask Me Anything (AMA) function, which we’ll get into more later on.
Here we’ll go over how to use Reddit to connect with people and grow your law business. We’ll explore why Reddit in particular is a good place to grow your business as a lawyer and the dos and don’ts of posting.
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Why use Reddit to grow your law practice?
According to The Wall Street Journal, there are 52 million active users on Reddit every single day. That’s a lot of people that could be finding your content — and your law business.
Attorney Lauren E. Scardella compares Reddit to a gigantic supermarket, stocked with everything you could ever want where you can wander the aisles as long as you need to. The aisles in this case are Reddit’s subcommunities, called subreddits. Browse them judiciously, and you can often find people who need legal advice from a professional.
Users on Reddit are anonymous, and therefore might be more willing to look for answers to their legal problems on the platform. It also functions as a discussion forum, with a question-and-answer format that’s ideal for gathering advice.
Among the site’s many, many communities are, of course, subreddits dealing with the law. Within those subreddits are even more minutely divided groups, depending on the branch of law and the topics being discussed. Subreddits are designated by the letter r and a backslash in front of the title — so the subreddit for all things law would be r/law.
Say, for example, someone has a housing dispute. They’re in an argument with their landlord over rent and want to get an idea of their rights as a tenant. That person might go to the r/legaladvice subreddit looking for answers, where you can see their question and provide concrete, actionable advice if it’s within your area of expertise.
There’s also a private subreddit just for licensed attorneys. This can be a great place to go to seek advice on growing your business from other lawyers, or just to discuss the practice. It’s called (you guessed it) r/lawyers.
How to use and navigate Reddit as a lawyer
With millions of people on the platform, it can be daunting to figure out where you should look first. One of the best places to start is the r/legaladvice subreddit. When users post to any subreddit, they can tag their comment with a topic — or “flair,” as it’s called on the platform.
This makes it extremely easy to navigate to the posts best suited for you to answer. Popular flairs are listed in the right-hand sidebar, and they’re clickable, so it’s easy to go right to the posts on housing or contractor disputes. When you post content, you can also “flair” it with relevant legal keywords so it’s easier for people to find.
Reddit uses a system called “ karma points” to discourage spam content. The more karma someone has, the more likely it is that they’re a real user and not a bot or spam account. As you build a presence on the platform, you’ll accumulate karma.
Reddit content is also usually moderated to help prevent harassment. Each subreddit has clearly posted rules, and accounts that violate those rules get banned. That makes it less likely the people you’re interacting with will get harassed or spammed. Here’s an example of an answer that was removed from a r/legaladvice post:
Once you’ve created a Reddit account, you’ll be able to share articles, blog posts, links, and other useful information. As on any other platform, that’ll help build your credibility.
In addition to these basics, there are a few other dos and don’ts that apply pretty much anywhere on Reddit. Abide by these etiquette — or reddiquette — rules, or risk getting banned.
Conduct yourself the same way you would in the real world — with professionalism and ethics. You’re representing yourself and your practice here, so act accordingly. A good rule to follow is to consider whether you would actually say what you’re posting to someone’s face.
Look over the subreddits you’d like to contribute to. Make sure they’re really within your wheelhouse and you have something concrete to add to the discussion. People will call you out if you don’t.
Review the rules of any Reddit community before posting to make sure you aren’t violating them. Do your best to keep the information you submit factual and free of bias. Help others out by upvoting posts that you think provide value, even if they’re not yours.
Proof your posts for grammar and punctuation mistakes. Nothing decreases trust in someone online — especially in a highly technical profession — like a post riddled with typos.
Engage with other users instead of constantly self-promoting. In most subreddits, selling your services outright will get you banned.
And lastly, if you’re going to downvote or take issue with a post, try to provide constructive criticism. Consider whether it can be a lesson for that person and take a helpful tone rather than digitally yelling at them.
Don’t go for the hard sell. You’ll get called out and banned very quickly as the moderators are very committed to stopping spam. In that same vein, avoid making duplicate posts across a bunch of different subreddits.
If you have someone’s personal information, never post it publicly. That’s known as doxxing and could cause someone serious harm.
Don’t use cheap, attention-grabbing tactics like all-caps titles or time-sensitive words like “breaking” in your post headlines. People will recognize that for what it is and be much less likely to engage with you.
Avoid flooding a forum with a bunch of posts and stories at once. That may get you banned or suspended, as the moderators might think you’re a bot account. Avoid only posting content from your own site.
Don’t ask for people to upvote your submissions for more traffic. It’s usually against the rules of any subreddit and will make you look desperate rather than authoritative. Don’t upvote your own posts.
If you downvote a post, have a good reason for doing so — don’t downvote a post because you don’t like it, or don’t like the person posting.
It can take a while to get the hang of a new platform. But as long as you’re professional and considerate, you’ll be just fine.
How to use Reddit law advice to grow your practice
Once you’ve got your feet under you, you can start to utilize the tools that Reddit gives you to grow your law practice. Done right, it can be a crucial part of your marketing strategy.
Engage with people in subreddits
No matter what your area of legal expertise is, chances are there’ll be a subreddit for it in r/legaladvice. There are posts in this subreddit from people looking for Reddit law advice on everything from tenant rights to mail theft.
Do some browsing to familiarize yourself with popular subreddits and see what kind of content gets posted before posting your own. You’ll have several different options for posting content, including:
Look for people in need of legal advice that you can genuinely help, even if it isn’t in your area. If you have the knowledge, let the person know you don’t usually work in that area but can provide some helpful information.
Helpful, valuable content is key to this strategy. It’ll probably take some digging to find the right subreddits and the right people to contact, but they’re out there, and they’ll appreciate your help.
Take this post from r/legaladvice, for example:
“I live in Harris County, near Houston Texas. My common law [sic] husband of 20 years passed away a year ago. He did not leave a will. Now his grown children from a previous marriage are demanding the house, car and all other earthly goods that we attained together. They even want the furniture (most of which my money purchased [sic]) my jewelry and money I have saved in my savings account. My name is not on the house deed nor car title. Do I stand a chance in court?”
Within hours, a lawyer in the area responded with steps this person could take, including the hiring of a Wills and Estates lawyer and how to find one. They made sure to note that their response shouldn’t be taken as strict legal advice, but offered concrete and helpful insight. You can read the rest of the answers to that post here.
Find comments like this one, conduct yourself professionally, and offer sound advice. It’s also a good idea to note, as the lawyer in the example above did, that you are not acting as a lawyer for the people you’re responding to and that your response should not be taken as strict legal advice.
If your responses help people, they’ll remember you. Consistently help enough people, and they’ll start recommending you to others.
Use the AMA feature
Reddit lets you host a sort of live chat with people on the platform called an Ask Me Anything (AMA). You’ve probably seen celebrities and big CEOs hosting them, but you don’t have to be famous to do it.
Before hosting an AMA, there are a few steps you’ll want to take before you’re ready to go. First, you’ll be asked to verify your identity. You can do this in two ways:
- Create a page on your website with a photo of yourself and a short blurb saying you’ll be hosting a Reddit AMA on X date, then submit that link with your AMA request to the moderators.
- Use Twitter to post a photo of yourself holding a piece of paper that includes the AMA information and your username on it.
Once you’ve verified your identity, you can submit your AMA request to the moderators via email. Look for the contact in the About section of your subreddit — when logged in, a list of moderators to contact should be available.
You’ll need to submit the following with your request:
- Reddit username
- Description for your bio
It’s a good idea to get a jump on the process by announcing your AMA days or even weeks in advance. This gives the moderators time to process your request and people time to mark it on their calendars.
Create a guide that participants can refer to when participating in your AMA. That should include what topics you’ll cover, what conduct is acceptable, and how long the session will last, among other relevant information. Send out invites via email.
30 minutes before the AMA is set to go live, make your post on Reddit with your attorney bio and the topic you’re covering. Include your proof links so people know it’s you. Once the post goes live, you can start answering questions!
An AMA is a great way to establish credibility and build your following. You can meet people who need your help who might not have found you otherwise and answer people’s questions in real-time.
Making Reddit work for your law practice
While not the first place many people think of when it comes to promoting their business on social media, Reddit can be a great place for a lawyer to grow their practice. Many people who use Reddit law advice do so because they don’t know where else to turn, and they’ll seriously appreciate your help.
Using Reddit to provide law advice can demystify what many people see as an opaque profession, and provide help to people who sorely need it. Using subreddits makes it easy to find and engage with them.
Make sure to spend some time getting to know how Reddit works before jumping in too deep. It doesn’t operate the way other social media platforms do, so there’s a learning curve, but it doesn’t take long to master.
As long as you conduct yourself ethically and abide by Reddit’s etiquette rules, you’ll build karma, credibility, and a following for yourself. And that could translate into both clients and referrals.
Looking for more advice on marketing your legal services? Check out the Constant Contact blog and handy downloadable guide.