Yesterday, Passle was lucky enough to sponsor the London Law Expo at the Old Billingsgate. Over 1,400 people came to understand the latest in legal tech, business development, and operations.

Our very own Connor Kinnear gave a keynote presentation on a topic that is near and dear to us at Passle - How to turn your busy experts into recognised thought leaders.

Using a slide presented by Fujitsu, Connor spoke about the way that customers' behaviour has changed, how 57% of the buyer's purchase decision is made before buyers ever pick up a phone and reach out to sellers. 

So as a firm, your organisation needs to think about what it is doing to influence customers at this key early stage. If you aren't, of course, there is an opportunity for your competitor to do so instead.

To add this value, Connor went on to look at some research from the global PR experts Edelman. The first suggested that there were 5 things clients are looking for at those early stages - five characteristics that made thought leadership valuable and therefore successful.

This is what the experts in most firms are great at in person. Meetings, where an expert is brought in to help, provide authority and confidence are costly and something that is not mobile, scalable or accessible to clients in that hidden buying process.

But clients do want to hear from your experts. Another piece of research Connor pointed to from Edelman again was their annual trust barometer. The research shows that technical experts like lawyers and consultants are consistently the most trusted source of information inside a firm.

So firms who can leverage their experts to produce relevant, timely, industry-focused, digestible insights from trusted sources are going to be the ones that become the recognised thought leaders.

The good news for firms is that the bar is very very low. Passle's own research showed that the average fee earner at a law firm writes just 1.2 insights per year. A post once a month or every two weeks is the difference between being a recognised thought leader or an unknown competitor.

Most importantly these insights need to be targeted and written not for the sake of it, but for the small number of people that really matter.

Doing thought leadership for the sake of it leads to dropoff and frustration. It has to be part of a plan to reach the clients and prospects that matter.

Although I've heard the Passle message every day for the last couple of years, it was great to hear it all together on such a good platform with people from the legal community.