A whopping 91 percent of in-house counsel rate an attorney’s articles and speeches as very to somewhat important when evaluating who to hire, according to the latest data from Greentarget. Just as important, 77 percent rated relevant blog posts as such.
The key word is “relevant.” How to become so? By becoming a singular voice. And this means niche blogging. Why? Clients don’t hire generalists. They hire specialists. So be one.
There are hundreds of firms publishing client alerts of one form or another. Some AM Law 100 firms have more than 20 blogs apiece — and some, like Fox Rothschild, have nearly 40, according to Bloomberg Law. But the competition is not about having the most blogs. It’s about having the right blog. Competition for a potential client’s headspace is fierce. So pick a narrow topic and own it.
Making Niche Blogs Work
A lawyer at a big firm wanted to know how she could stand out in the marketplace and in the firm’s large intellectual property department. We picked one area of expertise to focus on: eviscerating opposing counsel’s expert witness on cross-examination in jury trials. A few published posts led to a Q&A with a reporter, and within months this lawyer “owned” that topic. It’s the perfect topic for a niche blog.
Similarly, don’t write generally about, say, cybersecurity. Carve out your own corner of the market. Maybe it’s cybersecurity for the hospitality industry or cybersecurity for privately held middle-market manufacturing companies.
Don’t just write about real estate law. Focus on the legal concerns for landlords of rent-controlled multifamily units.
There are a plethora of blogs on family law, but few on family law as it pertains to those with family businesses. Don’t write about personal injury law; stake out and own plaintiffs bike law, from fighting tickets for rolling stops to knowing what to do after being sideswiped by an Uber driver.
Pick Your Niche Topic Carefully
Analyze your strengths and current client base. More importantly, figure out where you want to be in 18 months. Match your passion for a subject area with what the market needs, and where you think you have the most potential for successful business development. Then, look at who is publishing in that space, with what content, aimed at whom.
Make sure your intended audience isn’t already saturated. Discern what is missing from the discussion, and how you can package information that may already exist in a more palatable, digestible format.
Niche blogs allow for a more unique, independent voice. This makes you sound like a person. And we all recall the maxim that people hire people, not firms.
With this approach, you don’t need a passel of readers or newsletter subscribers. You just need the right ones. If you can grab even one small industry or trade organization that shares your information with its members, your subscriber list of one has met its goal.
This doesn’t mean your law practice focuses solely on the topic of your blog. There are plaintiffs firms with bike blogs, for example, that do all manner of personal injury law. But niche blogs offer a way to stand out in the market and to speak to a very specific audience.
You will attract readers and then you can begin a conversation about their needs.
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