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SEO Secrets

How to Build a Thought Leadership Strategy for Your Law Firm

By Annette Choti

If your marketing strategy is not getting your law firm the search rankings or lead conversions you strive for, it may be time to reevaluate. One way to improve your results and reinforce your brand is to incorporate thought leadership content into your marketing. Here’s how building a thought leadership strategy can help your firm reach its goals.

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First, What Is Thought Leadership?

Defining thought leadership can be challenging. While there are a variety of definitions, one theme remains consistent: Thought leadership content should be inspirational and have educational value. When you consistently present high-quality content on a specific subject matter, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Thought leadership content varies for different professions. As an attorney, thought leadership content may consist of:

  • Content on industry trends or changes
  • Educational content for prospective clients
  • Industry content
  • Inspirational content
  • Opinion-based content

Thought leaders are typically CEOs, authors, educators and consultants. As an attorney, you can use thought leadership as part of your marketing strategy to express your opinions, share your knowledge and experience and showcase your legal services to potential clients.

The Benefits of Thought Leadership Marketing for Lawyers

There are a number of business benefits to incorporating thought leadership into your law firm’s marketing strategy. Here are some of the most far-reaching benefits:

  • Attracting potential clients. As you publish content that establishes your practice as an expert, there is a chance you will attract clients directly. Authoritative content encourages those seeking help to reach out to you for answers.
  • Establishing brand awareness and authority. When you post thought leadership content, you have the opportunity to increase your brand awareness across multiple platforms – including social media, your website and legal directories. As your brand awareness grows, you could see your overall web authority increase.
  • Strengthening website SEO. While thought leadership is not a direct SEO strategy, you can potentially boost rankings and website visibility through backlinks, shares and mentions. When thought leadership content is successful, it organically encourages interaction.

Developing yourself or your firm as a thought leader takes time. You will need to dedicate time and resources to producing the right types of content.

Building a Thought Leadership Strategy for Your Law Firm

Building a thought leadership strategy for your law firm can seem complex. Fortunately, you can break the process down into steps.

Define Your Goals and Audience

As with any content marketing strategy, you need to start by defining your goals and audience. Take a look at your current marketing goals and how close you are to achieving them. The results can give you an idea of your thought leadership goals.

When it comes to defining your audience, it is more than likely that your target will be prospective clients. As with any other piece of content, your firm’s thought leadership content needs to provide value to your audience, so they are encouraged to seek your legal services.

Identify Your Firm’s Thought Leaders

If you are a solo practitioner, it is likely that you will be the only potential thought leader. However, if you are part of a larger firm with attorneys who specialize in different areas of law, you may be able to establish multiple thought leaders over time.

Create Thought Leadership Content

Thought leadership pieces begin with research. Begin by generating potential content ideas — what topics are trending and relevant to your clients? A quick Google search can give you an idea of whether the topics are essential to your audience. Examples of curated thought leadership content include:

  • Blog posts
  • E-books
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • White papers

Once you have chosen your topics and the types of content you want to create, you need to consider how you will produce the content. No matter how you produce it, a second set of eyes should always review pieces before they go live. Grammatical errors and inaccurate information will not help you become a thought leader.

Publish and Promote the Content

Even if you write educational and insightful content, it will not mean anything if it is not distributed properly. Thought leadership content should be promoted on internal and external channels, including your website, social media channels, legal publications and directories, and more. Depending on your marketing budget, you might consider purchasing sponsored content to ensure adequate distribution.

Analyze the Success of Your Thought Leadership Content

There are a number of metrics you can analyze to determine the effectiveness of your thought leadership content. Some of the most common include the following:

  • Actual leads and sales
  • Backlinks
  • Email subscribers
  • Feature and interview invitations
  • Media and PR mentions
  • Organic traffic
  • Social media following and engagement

The tools you use to analyze your thought leadership content may vary. You will need to use some type of analytics software. For example, Content Audit and Google Analytics can examine your website metrics, and tools like Post Tracking can monitor external publications.

If you are struggling with your firm’s thought leadership, you can use those tools to gather deeper insight into your online presence and identify areas of improvement.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, engaging and authentic content is crucial to establishing your firm as a thought leader in your specific area of law. It takes time to produce and publish that type of content, so it is best to have a strategy in place before starting. When you use a content marketing platform or outsource your marketing, your firm should constantly research and identify relevant and trending topics to help you create content that will organically rank and appeal to your target audience.

Illustration ©iStockPhoto.com

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Annette Choti Annette Choti

Annette Choti graduated from law school 20 years ago, and is the CEO and owner of Law Quill, a legal digital marketing agency focused on small and solo law firms. She is the author of “Click Magnet: The Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide for Law Firms” (2022). Annette used to do theater and professional comedy, which is not so different from the legal field if we are all being honest. She can be found on LinkedIn or at annette@lawquill.com.

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