When I ran my own law firm, I learned early on about the importance of asking how someone found out about me and my firm. With a small practice, it’s a small world. Most times, they’d mention a fairly predictable source like a former colleague, a former client, or maybe some website I used to promote.
One time, a client came in from a totally different state—let’s call her Sara. My practice was in Alabama, and Sara lived in Texas. At first, I thought maybe she had some dealings in Alabama, like maybe she owned a store or a home, or maybe had a business partner here. However, when I asked her questions, I learned that the winding road that ultimately led her to my office on the fastest interstate highway: the internet. And Sara navigated by crowdsourced GPS coordinates.
Sara had been looking for representation for business law, scouring the web before joining a few different groups on Facebook to help her source the right person or practice.
One of the group members directed her to an email listserv of people with a similar problem. This listserv exists so that the subscribers can help each other, and someone suggested watching videos about her problem on YouTube.
“Any recommendations who to watch?” Sara asked the group.
One group member shared a link of “some guy who does them, and he is really helpful and doesn’t ask for anything.” Pop some popcorn, folks, because this story is just beginning.
After watching a few videos, Sara emails the group a thank you, and notes that she wishes that this guy was in her state. Never fear! Responds one of the listserv members, “He represented me from out of state, and even traveled to appear in court.”
So, after going through this whole exercise, Sara left a comment on one of my YouTube videos, and to her surprise, I responded the same day. I left my email and I scheduled her an appointment. Upon talking, I decided to represent her and fortunately, I was able to help her.
What a happy ending.
It seems like an unlikely pathway. The odds that she would find me, and the number of people, groups, emails, chats, and videos that she maneuvered in order to get to me: a Facebook group led to an email listserv led to YouTube led to the right connection. It feels almost impossible. And yet, when people set out to help other people, the world seems a lot smaller and more manageable. We all feel more connected and human. Words FLY and I’m glad they flew my way.