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Business Development

Short Sale: Small Content is the Future Present

By Jared Correia

Short is the new black.  In a society where each and every one is frenetic, overworked and overwrought, the most effective marketing is compact and to-the-point. But, even if you can write it, they will not come unless you choose the most effective platforms for delivering your message. Enter the micro-, micro blog.

We’re trained from birth these days to consume information in bite-sized tidbits, and to then move on to the next item, in one never-ending cram session. The tools we use to manage and broadcast content track our learned behavior: the trend is small, easily-consumable. Blogging is the self-publication of short-form articles. Facebook and LinkedIn provide snapshot profiles of users, and new content is published through short status updates. Twitter trims the fat from both Facebook and LinkedIn, with a 140-character limit. A number of attorneys use these platforms, and platforms like them, to market their practices, as well as for personal enjoyment.

In this economy, everyone is hustling after something. People are trying to find jobs, or keep the ones they’ve got. Everybody is trying to get known, to establish or to expand a reputation for expertise. Everybody knows that content production and distribution is one of the best ways, if not the best way, to establish a niche, to become a go-to expert. Content is to your successful marketing efforts what coal is to a speeding locomotive; distribution of that content is your huffing, churning engine.

Not surprisingly, then, attorneys want to write content and publish it effectively, even in an environment in which sustained effort is quite nearly impossible. Neither readers nor authors have the luxury of time to spare; so, those with shortened attention spans write small pieces for those others with equally clipped attention spans. If authors can become trusted sources of information, the thesis is that business should grow exponentially, alongside the expansion of the content provider’s reputation and reach.

And, for both sides of the distribution channel, it is clear that, in today’s environment, there is no better way to give and receive than through micro-content publication platforms, like Twitter, and Facebook, and LinkedIn, including through overarching social media dashboards, like HootSuite. Even if the sell is to more rangy content, the introduction must be slight, and for that, these referenced tools answer the call. Everything’s got to be hooky, like a latest jam.

A Brief Prediction

That all being the case, and since 2012 is to be a year of predictions, here’s mine: I think that the trend for shortened content continues, and expands. That popular microblogging and publication tools will remain so, that similar existing platforms will gain steam, and new such products will be developed and utilized heavily.

Within that category of existing programs gaining steam, sits, most prominently, Tumblr, which can best be described as a micro-, micro blog, to which you can publish pretty much anything your little heart desires. Tumblr, if the right theme can be derived, has constant viral potential.

The only person I’ve seen in legal who approaches Tumblr for what it is is Matt Homann; here’s his page. The trick for law firms will be to professionalize the platform while keeping their feeds consistently interesting. But Tumblr is so easy to use, and so potentially powerful, that it cannot be ignored. I think that lawyers and law firms will eventually get it.

Jared Correia is the law practice advisor at the Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program. Prior to joining LOMAP, he was the Publications Attorney for the Massachusetts Bar Association. Before that, he worked as a private practice lawyer. Jared is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School and of Saint Anselm College, where he was a captain of the debate squad that finished as national runner-up in 2000. He loves James Taylor.

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Categories: Communications Skills, Daily Dispatch
Originally published January 12, 2012
Last updated October 18, 2018
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Jared Correia Jared Correia

Jared D. Correia is CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting, which offers subscription-based law firm business management consulting services, and works with legal vendors to develop programming and content. Jared is also COO of Gideon Software, Inc., which offers intelligent messaging and predictive analytics software built exclusively for law firms. A former practicing attorney, Jared is the host of the Legal Toolkit podcast and speaks frequently at industry events. In addition to his Attorney at Work column, Managing, he writes an advice column for Lawyerist and on tech startups for Above the Law. Follow him @JaredCorreia.

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