Marketing for Lawyers – How to Make your Law Firm Blog a Powerful Tool – Part 1
Way back in 2012 and in 2014, there was much hype on the move to have Lawyers and the rest of the legal fraternity to join the ranks of professionals who were allowed to advertise market and promote their businesses in the wider market. The Law Society of Kenya circulated the draft Advocates (Marketing and Advertising) Rules 2014 to members for input and comments to much support of the fraternity of learned friends.
As per the draft rules, lawyers were to be allowed to advertise their identity, their law firm, and year of admission, location of office, address and website, among others but forbid lawyers from directly or indirectly seeking instructions for professional business or anything which can be regarded as calculated to attract business unfairly. Essentially, law practitioners were advised that any advertisement allowed under the rules must be objective, true and dignified. It is now five years and many lawyers are still confused whether to advertise, promote, market or not. Just like in any other business, the success of it is based on the foot traffic bringing in new wealth. And there comes in our solutions. Digital, Digitize and well orchestrated marketing campaign.
Having a law firm blog is no longer a pleasant option that you might do in your spare time. Blogging for lawyers has become an essential part of your law firm’s marketing toolkit. Now, this is not blogging like in the five or six years past that filled our tech space. It is strategic, purposeful and professional.
However, although most firms now recognize that consistently producing high quality content in their law firm blog is a good idea, most aren’t sure how to go about it.
Let’s fix that.
In this guide I’m going to show you:
- Why blogging for lawyers is an essential part of your firm’s marketing toolkit;
- How to decide what legal topics to blog about;
- How long your blog posts should be;
- When and where you should publish your articles;
- How to see if your lawyers’ blog is “working” and what to do about it.
Why Is Blogging for Lawyers Worthwhile?
There are plenty of reasons that your firm should be blogging, so let’s deal with the 3 main candidates:
- blogging brings you traffic – traffic becomes leads (if your website is done right) and leads become clients;
- blogging builds your authority as an expert;
- blogging builds you assets that keep working over the long term.
Traffic to your Site
Let’s remember that “traffic to your site” is pointless if you don’t have a functional website strategy. (Do you have a website strategy?)
But with that in mind, blogging consistently will form a foundation of useful information that people can find. Done right, blogging does your lead generation for you and helps bring qualified visitors to your site, some of whom may become clients, and if not, you become the respected thought leader in your specialty.
Every article you write on a topic that matters is a chance for someone to find you who may not have otherwise found you. Keep it functional, keep it fantastic.
Often I get told that lawyers “get all their clients from referrals” and therefore my delightful set of digital strategies is a colossal waste of time and effort.
Let’s ask a simple question: what’s the first thing someone’s going to do if they are referred to you or become interested in engaging you?
Just like you do when someone recommends an accountant, electrician, washing machine or dating service (I’m married – that last one’s just for you singles out there).
And when they find your site (which they will) are they going to find:
- a vibrant active series of blog posts on topics that interest them; or
- a “latest updates” section with a 24 word #case-study article about something that happened some months ago?
Please don’t say 2.
Long Term Results
Your blog is an asset. Over time it does more and more work for you. Of course, part of that involves having an effective method of email capture to ensure repeat visitors.
A blog is a long term investment and you should treat it that way. It can and will produce fantastic results and gradually diminish your need to do other forms of marketing, but it won’t do that if you don’t approach it strategically and carefully.
So, what should Lawyers Blog About?
Deciding what to actually blog about is one of the biggest challenges that many law firms struggle with.
As a result, their blogging becomes sporadic and unreliable. The easiest way to pursue this path is by asking Ask yourself this: what questions do my clients regularly ask me?”
Usually this is a side-effect of not having a real content marketing strategy (with no road map, you will stagnate, lose morale and eventually meet on objective) and relying on “update” articles as your content pieces. The problem is this: if nothing exciting happens in your industry (no cases, no updates, and no news) for a while, your blog and marketing campaign stagnates. And if really nothing is happening in your industry, you need to review your marketing strategy.
You can figure out what your lawyers should be blogging about in a few simple steps though:
- Determine why you want to produce content in the first place (a business case – more on this in the next post)
- Figure out who your desired clients are and what they care about. Also, you will need to find out what market segment you are targeting. Are they available online? If so, when and what do they do online.
- Make a decision about what kind of content you’re going to produce (in this case we’re blogging, but that might not be all you do)
- Produce a content map of ideas, topics and matters that your desired clients care about
- Consistently produce content (hot tip: put someone in charge of making this happen! This is an important place to involve a team like Crystal Perk that does content marketing for all its subscribers)
- Publish the content and share it.
It’s actually that simple.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is this: what to your clients actually care about. Ask yourself this: what questions do my clients regularly ask me? What do they want to understand? What kind of language do they use?
By looking at the above tips, you realize that you are doing a lot of marketing campaign, but you are so far from the advertising mark that LSK would have no qualms with you. The secret here is being smart and strategic; also don’t finish all our data with brouhaha that is neither here nor there, just to fill a blog. Cheap is expensive, hire a professional or do it professionally to get the desired results.
See you in the next post …