Lawyers have a lot to think about when setting their business development goals each year. Aside from toiling over their busy practices, they worry about the number of new clients they should bring in or the amount of revenue they need to reach to consider it a successful year. Then, on top of that, they must figure out ways to succeed at these goals.
Many attorneys may think that the only way to support their business development goals is through attending a networking event, joining an organization or taking prospects out to dinner. However, this is not always the case; blogging is an effective, simple way to support business development goals. It demonstrates your thought leadership, answers questions for clients and drives traffic to your firm website while not requiring an inordinate amount of time.
Below are five tips for creating blog posts to support your business development efforts.
Think about your target reader. Identify who will be reading your content – is it small business owners or C-suite executives? GCs, in-house lawyers or others who make referrals? Or is it someone specific in a company, like an HR director? Your audience will determine your tone and how much background the reader might bring to the topic. Also, what does your target reader want or need to know? Highlight this message from the beginning and continue reiterating it throughout the post.
Grab the reader quickly. A catchy title is more important than you might think, as it is powerful in attracting both readers and search engines. Additionally, section headers can also be important (depending on the length of your blog) as it can help readers who are scanning posts for specific information. The bottom line is that you have about 20 seconds of reading time to persuade your visitors to stay with the article. You don’t have to be overly clever, but you need to tell readers quickly what you are writing about and why they should read it.
Less is usually more. Readers don’t want to read an entire rundown of a recent court decision or a new law that has just been passed. Instead, they want to know why the topic is important and how it affects them and / or their business. These are all reasons why the reader is coming to your blog in the first place so keep it simple, identify the most important details and leave them wanting more (which we discuss below). Also, avoid dense legalese and instead keep your writing conversational, focusing on how the topic impacts your readers and their businesses.
Identify action items for readers. Is there a new rule that affects employee handbooks? Instruct readers to review their employee handbook as a possible next step. Is there a new case that affects the way arbitration clauses are handled? Explain to your readers that businesses in their industries may want to look at their contracts with such clauses to ensure they comply. Identifying these action items helps readers feel they are receiving not only knowledge but practical guidance on next steps as well.
Leave them wanting. Don’t give away your secret sauce; leave your readers wanting to reach out to you to learn more about the topic or for assistance with implementing your advice. This could lead to several new projects – updating contracts, creating new processes for clients or simply advising on how to deal with the issue presented in your blog post.
If you or your firm are having trouble deciding what blogging style works best for you, our Poston Content team can help. We’ve created content strategies for Am Law 100 firms across the country, and our work has covered some of the most complex and emerging areas of law. Click here to learn more about our team or contact us today.