Current thinking about marketing holds that a business’s success depends on creating quality marketing content. For example, the Content Marketing Institute preaches that businesses are not selling goods and services; they are selling their content across multiple platforms, which in turn induces people to purchase the actual good or service.
Well, you may be thinking, that’s fine for a business with a dedicated content creation team. But I’m trying to practice law here.
Counselors, it’s time for a mind reset. You are regularly creating content in your briefs and memoranda. The trick is to recycle the document you’ve already created into marketing content. Sometimes you can do this right away, though you do need to take the time to camouflage identifying data. Who knows? Maybe your judge will see and be influenced by the persuasive arguments you publish. Other times you will want to wait for the relevant matter to conclude. Even then, respect client confidentiality rules and just plain courtesy.
First Quick Recycle: Email Marketing
After you have put in the work to create a legal document, edit it for your email marketing newsletter. That entails scrubbing client identifying information and any secret strategies. Make sure your newsletter speaks your client’s language, as in plain English, not legalese. Include definitions of any terms of art.
Second Quick Recycle: Blog Post
Post that same content to the firm’s blog. Assuming you have not made that blog private, now the world (and Google) can see your content.
Third Quick Recycle: Social Media
Post links to your newsletter and blog posts on the social media platforms you frequent. Minimally, that’s likely to include LinkedIn for a business-to-business practice and Facebook for a consumer practice. And don’t overlook Twitter.
Fourth Quick Recycle: Medium.com
You can easily recycle your blog posts as articles on Medium. Just import the whole story by copying the URL. You can post up to three articles a day and edit them on Medium before publishing. Be sure to tag your posts with the keywords people are likely to search. Once you publish an article, Medium generates a new URL and prompts you to post the new URL on social media.
A Slow Recycle: Law Journals and Bar Publications
No question about it: Publishing an article in a law journal or bar publication is prestigious. It’s also slow.
Your content need not be even-handed for these outlets. There are plenty of publications geared solely for solo practitioners or BigLaw habitués, for lawyers representing plaintiffs or defendants, tenants or landlords, consumers or big business.
After you reformat your article for your target publication and submit it for consideration, at least several months will probably pass before you see publication of your work. Inquire about the timetable for the review process and publication schedule so you know what kind of delay to expect.
Maximizing Your Effort
Many lawyers feel daunted by the prospect of marketing by writing. Once you have put in the time to research and write quality work, you have the building blocks for marketing the expertise you have developed with a negligible amount of extra effort.
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