Think. Write. Connect.
A lawyer’s best work comes from relationship and word-of-mouth reputation and referrals.What's different today is how an attorney's word-of-mouth reputation develops in the age of social media.This Q&A provides an overview of the importance of blogging in the legal professions and also answers some of the most frequently asked questions about blogging.
Blogs by attorneys: A simple definition
Blogs are powerful business development tools for attorneys and other professionals. Blog posts create a written record of authentic thought leadership, opinion and authority, and dramatically expand the digital footprint of a firm or individual. But more importantly, blogs enable attorneys to amplify and extend their networking with clients, prospective clients, and referral sources.
How do blogs benefit a law practice?
Lawyers publish blogs to enhance their reputation, demonstrate professional capacity, and grow the firm's business and their own practices. Clients, whether consumers, executives or in-house counsel, hire lawyers they perceive as trusted and reliable authorities in their niche. Using blogs, attorneys can establish themselves as authorities. Their blogs amass a body of easily and widely accessed commentary read by clients, and the people who influence clients. The best blogs engage readers and project the authentic personal voice of the author instead of the generalized, detached, and impersonal perspective that permeates traditional law firmcollateral materials. Blogs can also serve as intelligent listening tools that provide firms and attorneys with increased situational awareness about the marketplace, which in turn helps strengthen their business development activities.
Will I get new clients?
LexBlog clients will attest, blogs do generated new clients and increase revenue, and recent industry surveys back up these results. Blogging is a key way to expand your network—the larger your network, the more opportunities you have to grow your client base. A 2012 survey of lawyers and legal marketers by ALM Legal Intelligence reports that nearly 50 percent of firms say that blogging and social networking had helped produce leads for new clients.
Do I have to be at a big firm to blog?
Blogs benefit all sizes and types of law firms and practices.
- Am Law 200 firms using branded blogs are supporting cross selling and collaboration across multiple practice areas and offices
- Attorneys at mid-size firms use blogs to distinguish their practices and themselves in competitive markets
- Small firms and solo attorneys use blogs to magnify their influence and presence in far greater proportion to their sizes and budgets
Do I really need to blog if my firm already has a website?
Typical brochure-style websites are quickly outdated, static, neutral, and passive. Blogs are timely, dynamic, personal, and interactive—an agile, dynamic business development tool that focuses directly on a target audience specifically interested in an attorney’s practice area.
Moreover, traditional websites are one-way communication channels that don’t invite engagement with readers. Blogs create engagement and connections with readers, and initiate conversations among an attorney’s audience.
What if my clients don’t use social media and they don’t read blogs?
The line of influence is not always straight. In other words, even if your clients and referral sources aren’t using blogs and other social media channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter, they are influenced by others who are.
According to online marketing expert Lee Frederiksen, professional services firms getting 40 percent to 60 percent of their leads online grow four times (4X) faster than those generating no online leads. Moreover, the greater the proportion of leads generated online, the greater the firm’s profitability.
And the No. 1 technique for generating these leads among the fastest growing and mostprofitable firms was blogging.
Blogs and social media are proving highly effective at placing attorney authors on the radar of media and other influencers. All journalists, even from such venerated outlets as the Wall Street Journal, CNN and Forbes, use blogs to find expert sources. Law professors, judges and in-house counsel—usually voracious readers and gatherers of information—cull from print sources as well as online forums in their decision making process. If your name doesn't appear in their search, your invisibility eliminates you from consideration—a case of game-over before it even began.
Is blogging is time-consuming?
Attorneys who blog invest time in their blogs, just as they do with any practice or business development activity. However, blogging is a time investment that provides continuing strategic return through brand and name awareness, and leadership positioning. It also helps leverage and re-purpose the business development hours that every attorney invests each week.
The best blog authors have passion and authority and the best blogs are personal, engaging, and informative. And as any author knows, this requires some thought and commitment.
However, blogging doesn’t happen every day, or even every week. As long as you are consistent, your blog can be successful and effective.
Attorneys who blog often say it's a way to improve their practice focus and to become energized by the free-flowing intellectual exchange of ideas between authors and their audiences.
How do I come up with new blog topics?
Any attorney is surrounded by blog topics—it’s just a matter of identifying them. And at LexBlog, we don’t leave that to chance. We conduct frequent webinars that focus on content development and other key topics, and those webinars remain online to be accessed as needed. LexBlog’s account managers work closely with clients to regularly provide tips and ideas for blog content.
Do I have to be a technology geek to blog?
Not at all. Using modern blog platforms such as WordPress, attorneys can create and publish blog posts just as if they were writing an email or using a word processor.
LexBlog’s technology team guides our clients through blog creation and design, then provides ongoing support so blog authors can focus on what they’re good at—creating engaging content that increases word-of-mouth relationships and new business referrals.
Ready to start blogging?
Then consider LexBlog’s holistic, turn-key approach that helps you develop and hone your overall blog strategy, equips you with a state-of-the-art blog platform and then guides and coaches you going forward to ensure that you create a powerful online identity that generates more quality business and more revenue.
Think of it this way. Some vendors sell you the car, hand you the keys and wish you well as you drive away. As your social media partner, LexBlog works with you to design and build the car to your specifications, teaches you how to drive and then stays by your side to support the growth of your online reputation.
Ready to start blogging? Contact us now!