If you don’t have the time or resources to invest in transforming your own website or blog into a high traffic, authoritative platform, then use someone else’s to share your ideas and insights with a wider audience. Creating and publishing content on sites that your target audience (and Google) already knows, likes and trusts is one of the best ways to attract attention, build your reputation as a thought leader, drive high quality traffic back to your own platform, and increase the domain authority of your website.
With coffee and a fresh to-do list in hand, most days for most lawyers begin optimistically enough. Because of the adversarial nature of the law, however, a lawyer’s day is uniquely capable of turning into a train wreck. As Mike Tyson said to a reporter in the run-up to his fight against Evander Holyfield, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
To do law firm content marketing well, a comprehensive strategy, which incorporates written content, guest-posting, visual storytelling, PR, distribution, and in-depth analytics is required. To stand out, your law firm must produce and market content that is high quality, strategic, and valuable to a defined audience.
Almost every lawyer I’ve worked with has struggled with time management. The solution to this problem does not lie in trying to find more hours in the day. The key to real, meaningful productivity is identifying the most important, essential tasks that drive success, and working to de-prioritize or eliminate the rest.
Here are 10 things lawyers should stop doing in 2019.
Lawyers work hard. It’s what they do.
The good news is that hard work can be deeply satisfying. It feels good to do a job well done. Accomplishment gives us meaning. Hopefully this resonates with you because it’s a feeling you’ve experienced before, at least in athletics or academics, if not yet in your professional career as an associate. But it’s not just me making this assertion about the connection between hard work and happiness—academic research backs it up.
There are more options than ever for law firms who want to market and grow their practices. This often leads firms to invest in many different tactics, hedging their bets by spreading their resources widely like one dollar chips scattered across a roulette table.
Content marketing is not new. Sharing valuable, educational, and relevant content as a means to attract new clients and customers has been an integral marketing tactic for businesses across a wide spectrum of the economy for decades. And it’s particularly effective in marketing sophisticated legal services—in fact, among all the alternatives, it offers the best marketing ROI for law firms in 2019.
You can buy attention. But no matter how much you spend, you can’t buy trust. And trust is the most valuable form of currency needed to sell sophisticated professional services. Effective marketing that garners both attention and trust must be built on a foundation of strategy. Developing an effective strategy requires an investment, but not merely writing a check. It involves listening, understanding, being empathetic, and putting in the labor necessary to truly know who your audience is and what matters to it.
What follows are not tactics. Rather, these are 10 maxims that will help you frame the decisions and, yes, make the investments necessary to make an impact with your legal marketing in 2019.
Effective marketing allows you to create a pipeline of prospects who become aware of and interested in what you have to say and offer. For most of these prospects, the need to engage a lawyer’s services at any given point in time will not be urgent. But for some, the need will be acute. If you lavish your personalized business development efforts on these highly qualified prospects you will experience success.
The key to this process, however, is keeping the prospect-pipeline flowing through effective marketing, and the most effective and scalable form of marketing for legal services is content marketing.
In my work as a marketing consultant for law firms, few questions are posed more frequently than this: How can we write more persuasive, effective content for our website?
This is an age-old question in legal marketing, and the answer is even older. Persuasive content is that which follows a path laid thousands of years ago by Aristotle, the original master of persuasion. Aristotle’s insight, which has as much relevance today as it did for the ancient Greeks, was that content that connects is structured according the rhetorical appeals of ethos, pathos, and logos.
Spare Your Clients another Evening of Cheese Squares and Chardonnay
Hosting networking, educational and social events is one of the best tactics to strengthen relationships with existing clients and establish connections with new ones. Events offer opportunities to engage on a deeper, more personal level, which is key to forming trust and laying the foundation for business development.
Since these benefits are relatively obvious, almost every law firm invests in some form of event planning. This means current and prospective clients get bombarded with invitations to law firm events that sound pretty similar. Despite making significant investments, many firms don’t get the ROI they’re hoping for because clients simply can’t stomach another evening of cheese squares and chardonnay.
The moniker of thought leadership cannot be bought, it must earned through hard work. The work primarily involved in becoming a thought leader is the sharing of compelling, interesting, and opinion-shifting insights in the marketplace of ideas. Some thought leaders write. Others speak. Most do both.
Thought leaders come in all shapes and sizes—from bombastic, colorful extroverts most comfortable on stage, to the introverts among us who prefer the quiet solitude of a keyboard and a cup of coffee.