Think. Write. Connect.
Transform Your Practice. One blog at a time.
Good lawyers get their best work by word-of-mouth. Always have. Always will.
What's different today is how an attorney's word-of-mouth reputation develops in the age of social media.
What Blogs Can Do and What They Can't
Blog posts authored by attorneys create a written record of thought leadership, opinion and authority.
Akin to traditional bylined columns and articles for newspapers, journals and trade publications, online blogs differ dramatically from old school print. Blogs are published quicker, more widely read, live longer and receive vetting by a single editor - you.
Functioning as a practice development tool, a blog amplifies and extends your networking with clients, prospective clients and referral sources. Since launching the first legal blogging network in 2003, LexBlog has answered legal professionals' concerns and curiosity about blogging and blawgs. With more than 7,000 author bloggers on the LexBlog Network today, we offer some blog basics:
How does a blog benefit a law practice?
Let Us Count the Ways
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, such as the media.
My firm already has a Website - why blog too?
It's Personal and It's Business. At Warp Speed.
Typical brochure-style law firm Websites are quickly outdated, static, neutral and passive. Blogs are timely, dynamic, personal and interactive - an agile practice development tool that focuses directly on your target audience.
Law firm Websites are notoriously slow to update content. Stale copy takes up valuable online real estate and is less effective at attracting readers, the media or search engines. Traditional Websites are a one-way channel - they don't invite interaction, feedback or commentary with readers. Blogs create immediate connections with your reader, launch conversations and keep the discussion lively. Much of this is attributable to the personal authentic voice that defines the best blogs and contrasts with the generalized, detached and third-person perspective on most law firm Websites.
My clients don't use social media, LinkedIn or Twitter. What's the point in blogging?
The Line of Influence is Not Always Straight
Frankly, it doesn't matter if your clients are using social media and social networking. Blogs and other forms of social networking are still integral to any law firm's client development program because your clients, and referral sources, are influenced by people who are visiting the blogosphere and online social networks.
As your blog helps build meaningful relationships with influencers, you may find yourself being contacted by the media because reporters do use social media. You might find yourself invited to speak at prestigious industry conferences and seminars because event organizers read blogs. And blogs make it more likely that your name appears in search results conducted by in-house counsel, because in-house counsel may not blog or use Twitter but they do use Google. That's how your blogging pays off - even if your clients don't blog.
What do blogs excel at?
Building Positive Recognition and Enhancing Reputations
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 gathers 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.
Blogs also excel as marketing tools for niche practices or specific matters. From food safety and cruise ship law to multidistrict litigation cases and injury specific plaintiffs' attorney practices, blogs perform with laser sharp precision to inform clients, and to connect on specific issues or concerns with the people who share them.
Are there any drawbacks to blogging?
Blogs Don't Write Themselves
The best blogs are personal, engaging and informative. And as any author knows, this requires some thought and commitment. Many bloggers embrace the discipline of blogging.
Bloggers say it's a way to improve their practice focus and they become energized by the free-flowing intellectual exchange of ideas that blogs provide.
Is blogging time consuming?
Quality Time Versus Quantity Time
Lawyers in the top 10 percent of the profession spend a minimum of 3-5 hours each week on practice development. That's not researching or talking to clients - it's time spent meeting new people. Blogging is a huge opportunity to extend the value and scope of practice development efforts.
Blogging is a time investment that provides continuing strategic return. Some attorneys post every day. Others write new posts two or three times per month. The point of a blog is to be topical and insightful, which for most people requires some work. Many LexBlog authors directly correlate the effort they put into their blogs and the responses they receive. One enjoyable aspect of blogging that many attorneys report is their control over the process.
Are certain law firms and practices better suited for blogging?
Blogs and Law Are a Match Made in Internet Heaven
Blogs are benefiting all sizes and types of law firms and practices.
Am Law 200 firm-branded blogs are supporting cross selling and collaboration across multiple practice areas and offices. For midsize firms, blogs are helping attorneys and practices distinguish themselves in a competitive marketplace. And small and solo firms are using blogs to magnify their influence and presence in far greater proportion to their sizes and budgets.
Do blogs require technical expertise?
It Depends Where You Blog
There are a variety of software platforms that blogs can exist on and each has its own technical requirements. Some demand significant computer knowledge to maintain a stable and reliable blog and to avoid appearing amateurish online. LexBlog is at the other, easy end of the spectrum.
We provide customized designs and support that allow posting a legal blog to be easy as writing an email. LexBlog believes that our authors should focus on what they're good at - creating engaging content. Let us focus on the back-end technical issues that allow readers to easily connect to your blog posts.