I sat on a webinar recently where Joe Calve, Deborah Farone and Kevin O'Keefe explored Why Thought Leadership Matters More Than Ever, I think this applies to any knowledge-based or consulting business.
I think this was a particularly important insight for marketers who are now more valuable than ever to coordinate and lead these efforts.
There were several brilliant insights however I was particularly interested in Joe's comment from the Edelman & LinkedIn Thought Leadership Impact report that shows whilst many decision-makers say content influences them there is a smaller number that says it is of no value to them. So why?
From the same report, Edelman & LinkedIn found that the best performing thought leadership is concise, relevant, timely and from a trusted source (i.e. your attorneys). So perhaps this is what this content is missing?
This certainly resonated with Deborah's thought that the content needs to be relevant to the audience, it needs to be helping them, it needs to be delivered well, it must be shorter as attention spans are less (Deborah mentioned the leading firms are doing short pieces that are informative), write in 'plain English' and importantly must be unique. Due to our current environment, Deborah also stressed the need to be human first and empathetic - something attorneys are needing to adapt too on the internet now.
Kevin also had a similar view. Firstly Kevin suggested that we see blogging as a learning tool and listening rather than writing. I understand this as the need to be relevant and only write on topics that are of value to your clients. Kevin also stressed that you must show personality, passion and the best articles showcase the individual.
Kevin gave a great tip to get started. Take a list of FAQs that you find will help your clients from listening to them and put your answers down alongside them. This ticks all of the boxes mentioned above.
The final point that Deborah and Kevin agreed upon was delivery. Both agreed that whilst picking up the phone is the first move, the second is to send a short note with a value-added piece of content with the note 'I was personally thinking about you and wrote this comment....'.
There is clearly a big opportunity for both attorneys and marketers. Marketers can now lead their firm with modern communications since we have to keep our clients virtually close more than ever. As Kevin pointed out, if attorneys focus on a specific niche during this time of turbulence then they can own it going forwards.
Your law firm managing partner and CFO are not going to invest in web-stats and subscribers. Heck, there is no line item for stats in your firm's financial statements. What you should be looking at for law blog success? Are you growing a network of relationships providing professional and business development opportunities. Are your lawyers growing a word of mouth reputation as "go-to" lawyers in their area of practice and/or your locale. Are you not just retaining and landing new clients and work, but high quality work and clients. Ask yourself if you are achieving these things through law blogging. Word of mouth and relationships do not come over night, that's okay - they count.