I was lucky enough to attend the Inbound Marketing UK 2013 Conference in London last week.
The speakers ranged from a headlining Brian Halligan the CEO of Hubspot and the author of the term “inbound marketing” though to the captivating and entertaining Carrie Longton co founder of Mumsnet
For me the speaker with the most resonance for law firms and their content marketing was Doug Kessler of Velocity Partners who talked a lot of crap – or to be precise “Content Marketing in the Age of Crap.
Now, dear loyal reader that got me thinking about the current state of online content amongst firms of Solicitors.
In short, in my humble opinion, there is a lot of crap content being produced on law firm websites.
You need to avoid falling into the crap legal content trap.
Content is King of Law Firm Websites
My fervent belief is in law firms creating great content for their law firm websites.
My evangelical conviction is that law firms should turn themselves into educational treasure troves for clients and potential clients to discover initial answers to questions and possible solutions to their problems.
Client relationships in this Digital Age will be enhanced and new relationships started from the powerful content of your law firm website.
And crucially such content should be home- grown, in-house and organic.
But, Every Bugger’s At It
Yet, chances are you have not yet produced much if any of your own content on your law firm website.
You will have been offered - All for a pretty penny - website content by every Tom Dick and Harriet from SEO agencies (don’t get me started); Social Media agencies; Website Designers and Marketing Agencies.
And you can throw into the mix reincarnated copywriting agencies, video production companies and contract publishers who miraculously have transmogrified into content farms, rich content creators and content marketing experts.
And here is the danger: more content the more likelihood of pong.
Below par, average, mundane (and my pet hate of lawyer content) the turgid bombastic and orotund content is appearing on law firm websites so much so that it risks diluting the power of great content as a marketing tool to attract and satisfy existing and potential clients.
Generating Great Content for Your Law Firm
You know me well enough to protect you against such a ghastly outcome.
It is in your hands –literally.
You are the best placed and most qualified to provide great legal content which answers questions, guides with problems, helps clients be entertained as well as better informed, and which clients and potential clients ache to share with friends family and colleagues.
In short, your goal should be to elevate your firm into one of the great law firm content brands.
What You Need to be a Great Legal Content Brand
Great because you reach for the stars and seek to rise above the morass of general law firm output.
Great Law Firm Content because your goal is to be bigger and better regarded for your content than your competitors.
Great Law Firm Content Brand because you are able to deliver on your promise of great law firm content and the best brands always deliver on their promises.
Aspire to those goals and ensure your law firm will be famous for producing thought-provoking, pragmatic and entertaining content that your clients and potential clients will always be willing to devour with gusto.
And for many years to come thereafter, your great law firm content has the power to be your gift which keeps on giving.
5 Principals of Great Law Firm Content
Here is my take on what you will need to produce great law firm content:
1. See From Your Clients’ Eyes: Become Your Client
Write as you would wish to be informed.
Ask your self the questions that clients are always asking you.
How can you make your clients more successful, meet their concerns and guide with their problems.
2. Say It As It Is
Your goal will be to answer your clients and potential clients’ needs and worries before they ask the question. Be there for them in a way which breeds warmth and authority.
3. Say it Now and Often
Don’t hang around thinking about it- just get on with it. The more you reach out with your great law firm content the more likely you will be appreciated by your existing clients and discovered by new potential clients.
You will improve over time. Guaranteed.
4. Put In Your Heart and Soul
Passion is tangible - You can’t fake it. If you are disinterested or disengaged you will not create great legal content.
Stamp your personality on everything you do and avoid the same old or perceived style of academic legal writing.
If you don’t care passionately about making a difference it will show in your legal content.
If you are not up for it, don’t beat yourself up about: move aside and find someone in your firm who has the passion and desire.
5. Be bloody hard on yourself – or get a coach
Great legal content is hard work. “Slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” are bound to get in the way of your best intentions.
If you are self-motivated then that’s fine, but seek help if that will achieve your goals more readily.
Think Mo Farah getting up at the crack of dawn in the bleakest winter to put in his 130 training miles a week. It helps that his coach is beside him to guide him, to cajole him and to praise him when the session is completed.
The Return on Investment of Great Law Firm Content
Great Law Firm Content gets shared.
Your greatest content gets shared by many.
And those people who have be given your great content will share it with their friends in one great big exponential love-in.
And when great legal content gets shared it will lessen your reliance on the search engines and paradoxically be better appreciated by the search engines.
Your Law Firm Brand In the Spotlight
The greatest result will be the spotlight, hitherto unilluminated, which lights up all your legal services to adoring clients and potential clients alike.
And the best news of all is that you can let other law firms worry about the “pong” emanating from their websites.