By Deborah Scaringi
Dolan Media Newswires
Savvy lawyers understand they must market their services to stay top-of-mind in the competitive race for developing new business and maintaining fruitful relationships.
Comprehensive marketing plans are chock full of networking events, public relations strategies, client touch-points, websites and other marketing initiatives.
With the advent of social media, including Linked In, Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook and You Tube, perhaps one of the most useful social media tools available to lawyers in the early 21st century is blogs.
Blogging is one of the best ways to build an individual’s (or firm’s) reputation as a knowledgeable resource in a specific area of law. Blogs are the on-the-go marketing tool that can be published by anyone at any time.
Attorneys can choose from full-service businesses specializing in lawyer blogs to DYI options like Blogger and WordPress.
Arguably, the hardest thing about launching a blog is getting started in a way that allows you to maintain momentum over the long term. Here are five starter tips for a solid blog strategy:
1) Be specific. Blogs are essentially a journal reporting on a singular theme. To be effective at positioning your blog as a go-to resource, it must be specific and consistent.
For instance, you may choose to write on medical malpractice, or you may opt to broaden your theme by writing on a variety of specific topics that concern the health care industry. The goal is to position yourself as a thought leader in whatever area you choose.
2) Build a habit. One of the most common concerns with blogging is finding time to post information often enough. Don’t let this hold you back. Consider collaborating with other lawyers.
It’s more important to post on a regular schedule than to post several times a week. Start posting content weekly, but on the same day each week. Then add additional posts when the opportunity arises.
Remember, content doesn’t need to be lengthy; it only needs to be timely, easy to read and on topic. Legitimate blog posts also include comments on relevant material from other reputable resources (yes, even other blogs!) with a corresponding link, which shows readers that you’re aware of what’s happening in your topic area and sets you apart as a resource.
3) Be relevant. When selecting the focus of your blog, it’s critical to choose an area of law that relates directly to your practice. Write on the industry’s must-read topics and display the depth of your knowledge, relevant experience and pertinent interests.
4) Be yourself. Use a personal touch that mirrors the way you conduct yourself in a business environment. Don’t be afraid to give perspective and analysis on a topic. Be mindful not to give legal advice, but don’t water it down too much. Let your readers know that you think about the same issues they worry about and that you have solutions for them.
5) Get readers. Simply writing your blog won’t bring you followers. Actively publicize it. Start by inviting your existing contacts to subscribe, include a hyperlink to your blog in your email signature, and use social media outlets such as Linked In, Facebook and Twitter to announce recent posts.
Blogging is a great way to use the most current tools to build credibility, communicate with an industry and position yourself as a thought leader. Blogging can be simple, but it does take time and attention to do well.
Deborah Scaringi is a consultant who works with law firms and businesses to develop strategic programs for marketing communications and business development. She can be contacted at [email protected] or by visiting www.scaringimarketing.com.