Why lawyers should blog
Take full advantage of your marketing activity – and help people to find solutions. It makes sense to engage with your audiences regularly – and not just within your existing networks.
We’re sometimes met with scepticism when we recommend a blog for our clients’ websites. Generally, law firms tell us that they receive new instructions from existing clients, word of mouth recommendations and referrals from other professionals and associations.
This may be so for much of your business to date, but in a world where marginal gains are so important to profitability, you could be missing out on maximising all your communications channels.
And, right now, with so much pressure on people and business to cope in the new world reality of COVID-19, there’s an altogether more altruistic reason to share your expertise…
You’re in a position to help people – if only to provide a reassuring voice, guiding people to the best solution and supporting them in managing their life and business affairs.
Why blog? Why wouldn’t you?
You know your stuff. You have years of experience to share and, after all, you’re in the business of helping people to achieve their goals. Fundamentally, you enjoy interacting with and helping people. So, why not engage using all media available to you?
Yes, you’re also in the business of selling a service. Yes, you’re very busy advising. And, yes, you don’t want to give out free advice.
But how else are people going to get to know you? Why should they choose you over others from a few static pages on your website? How will they find out about your exceptional expertise and get the right support for them?
Search engine fodder
A blog is not a vanity project. It has valid reason to exist and a growing status in the communications mix. Providing fresh, interesting content on your website engages audiences and helps search engines to find you. It allows you to link to that fresh content via social media accounts which also adds to your search engine attractiveness – having sites linking to your website demonstrates that you are a credible contender for rankings and develops your online presence.
Use blogs to share your interpretation of legislation, advise visitors with practice guidance notes or engage with new audiences and entice them through your sales pipeline.
Blog for profile
And, no, online is not just for B2C (business to consumer) enquiries. Web content and social media are increasingly used to reinforce your credentials. A blog demonstrates your technical knowledge and can establish you as a leading authority in your field.
This doesn’t just provide a touch point for existing clients and contacts; it allows you to interact and engage with new people or visitors to your website and social media profile. It may also attract the attentions of third parties – industry bodies, referrer relationships, the media.
You have nothing to lose but a bit of time – and some creative juices. What’s stopping you?
Tips for writing a blog
- Know your audience The foundation of all marketing activity – ALL marketing activity. If your content misfires your visitors won’t engage – and they’ll be less likely to want to come back for more.
- Think about who you want to target content to and why you are doing it – what’s your goal: to support clients… to raise your profile in a particular field… to interest new visitors..?
- A technical, legal update may require more reading (and writing) time than a handy 5-step guide to making a Will.
- Write compelling headlines in layman’s terms
- Don’t be sensational, too smart or ambiguous – sometimes a direct approach is best
- Do make the title easy to understand – legal topics are often heavy on technical terminology – will your readers switch off? What words would they use to search for your article? Those are the words you need to consider in your title and content.
- Format your content for skim readers Use subheads, bullets and short sentences – keep it simple and direct.
- Optimise for search engine optimisation (SEO) If the tips below mean nothing to you – your web manager can help.
- Write a meta title – include keywords and make it brief.
- Add an engaging meta description – this is often the description that Google displays in search results. Ensure it’s relevant to the content and up to 160 words.
- Optimise content for keywords and include synonyms for variation – e.g. “dealing with Separation can be a difficult time for families… When a couple splits up…..the partnership…..”
- Add images – with alt text and captions – these elements help with SEO as the crawlers look for the concentration of keywords throughout your article.
- Include internal links to content on other pages of your site e.g. “see more in our Guide to Family Law”.
- Don’t forget to say goodbye! A call to action will encourage interaction and, if monitored, can help you to identify the source of enquiries. Add your contact details or a contact form on every article – invite the audience to engage with you directly for more support.
We support professional services firms in all aspects of marketing – from planning strategy to making the most of social media and networking. Laura Paliotta specialises in marketing communications for law firms – contact me to discuss how we can help.