Law firm marketing has three primary drivers throughout the industry: establish your authority, differentiate from the many competitors, and make the greatest impact with the lowest investment of resources needed. (For the sake of this article, resources extends beyond financial to also include time and energy reserves.)
As a lawyer, you have a specialty area that you are most knowledgeable and impassioned about. Your marketing should embrace and build on that.
One of the most effective ways of establishing your authority in a certain field is with content marketing. Simply, it is creating openly available content that is educational, entertaining, and engaging to your ideal clients.
Content marketing has proven to be effective for many businesses, from local startups to global Fortune 100 companies. Unfortunately, few lawyers have started participating in content marketing.
An Opportunity for Lawyers
What that does mean is there is great opportunity for lawyers who get involved now to build their authority.
You need to understand that if you do all your content marketing yourself, it can take time. You have two options: plan to do whatever you can manage to get done or hire a writer to draft ideas at least.
The most common form of content is blogging, so we will assume that is the medium you choose to communicate through.
Writing To Be Read
If you are writing or finalizing content yourself, there are a few principles to keep in mind. First, keep a beginner’s mind. As a lawyer, you are an intelligent, prolific writer. Yet, that doesn’t always translate into writing that others want to read.
When talking about complex subjects, make them as simple as possible. Use simple words as well. For bold, clear writing, aim for a reading level of Grade 10 or less (using the Flesch–Kincaid model).
Other principles include embracing white-space, starting new paragraphs after 2-3 sentences, and using headlines and subheadings. It is part ease of reading, part joy of reading, and part visual elements of the entire article. To get better, read up on copywriting!
Material To Point To
A benefit, which balances the time investment in creating content, is the database you will build.
When you create content to benefit your ideal clients, you are building material that you can share with them as they need it.
One way lawyers can use this is to cut the remedial explanations on basic must-know legal elements. While it can deepen your relationship with clients, there’s a more tangible benefit as well.
The general and basic conversations that you repeat with clients can be built into your online content, serving as a platform to educate them without taking up your time. Now, when you meet in person, you can deep dive into more important information.
Build a Digital Platform
Finally, this is all taking place online primarily, so we need to talk about that part.
If you have been in marketing for a while, you are likely familiar with the term SEO (search engine optimization). The point of SEO is to rank as high as possible on search engines like Google and Bing when someone searches for something relevant to your services.
As search engine algorithms evolve and become more sophisticated, content marketing becomes more relevant. The old ways of gaming the search engines have been replaced with a need for valuable content.
The result? Higher search engine ranking, better informed visitors, and more leads generated because of the value you offer and expertise you communicate.
Let’s recap: What benefits do you get as a content creator?
- Establish authority
- Be a resource where others are not
- Develop your communication skills
- Build a database of material to point clients to
- Demonstrate your value
- Further your relationship with your clients
- SEO Benefits for added traffic
- Generate leads online
If these reasons aren’t enough to convince you to at least consider content marketing, I’m not sure what more you need. But, I’ll leave you with one last reminder.
Traditional marketing is expensive.
You pay a lot to get your name on billboards, TV, radio, and displayed on bus stops across your city. Yet, only a minute fraction of eyes on those displays even care or need what you offer.
When someone goes online, I can promise you they aren’t reading about legal material for fun. They go with intent; they need help. Content marketing is your way of showing you can help them.
So now that you know a bit more about content marketing, here are some next steps:
- Develop a creation, publishing, and promotion schedule
- Create an outline of who your ideal client is
- Brainstorm some ideas for content
- Do a test project
And always make sure to educate, entertain, and engage.