Last Thursday Eugene and I had the pleasure of running a PSMG lunch and learn workshop hosted by Shearman & Stirling. The main aim of the afternoon was to impart some of our learnings and best practice around the successful enablement and empowerment of busy lawyers amongst Passle clients, but also to share the experiences (good and bad) around content creation of those attending.
The workshop started with everyone unanimously coming to the same conclusion that lawyers could, and should be producing more authentic content in the form of insights and thought leadership. Luckily for us, this is heavily backed up by our yearly rankmyfirm report where we analyse and then rank the top 200 law firms in order of the insights they produce. It shows that the average number of insights created per fee earner is just 1.2 every year or in other words, the bar is pretty low! The opportunity for those doing it and doing it well is massive and there is a whole raft of research backing up the fact that insight-led selling started early in the sales process and done authentically, is the most impactful. Edelman's research in conjunction with LinkedIn is particularly insightful and can be accessed here.
With the problem outlined, the session then focused on building out a replicable and easily implemented framework with four key potential barriers identified and then combatted. The four key barriers covered off were:
Inspiration: Falling at the first hurdle can often become a reality for very busy lawyers and so little tips like not starting with a blank piece of paper, suggesting content for them, and leveraging other formats such as podcasts and videos can help break this down. The overarching message being: 'Your clients want to hear from you after all!'
Workflow: So often, the first barrier is hurdled only for a long-winded or inefficient workflow process to block the insight from going live. Simple fixes like having a short and uniform workflow process in place with minimal approvers work well.
Distribution: This is a key area and barrier within most law firms because there is no point empowering your fee earners to produce more content if clients and prospects then don't get to see it. Content should be published on the firm's website but then pushed out on the right channels at the right time (LinkedI=-n, Twitter for instance) but also internally and externally (via newsletters and e-mail)
Feedback: This is the glue which holds everything together and something which should be shared across a business on a regular basis. Feedback doesn't just have to be numbers based (i.e. the number of reads, shares etc.). This can be demonstrating who has been reading the content, positive feedback from clients, as well as little pointers on how individuals can improve writing etc. This feedback is the missing link to drive a lasting behaviour change which scales.
A culture of sharing success as well as things which did not go so well is paramount to ensuring feedback has the desired effect.
The session was very interactive and we really enjoyed orchestrating the workshop. Thanks to all that attended, organised and hosted - including the 14 fluffy Octopi. (there is no collective noun before you ask!)