By Beth Rosenfeld, Lisa Peskin and Brynne Tillman
Special to the Legal
How much attorneys know and how good they are at what they do are key factors when clients choose whom they want to represent them. These same things are equally important when lawyers consider which colleagues they will refer business to.
One of the most effective ways to appeal to potential clients is to position yourself and your firm as a “thought leader” in your area of expertise. When one can share insights and interest in a topic, you engage others and attract them to you. There are two things to consider when taking on a subject-matter expert role. First, you must have good original content that your target reader will find interesting. Second, your audience must be composed of potential clients and referral sources.
Let’s tackle the content first with three considerations:
- Identify the things that matter to your potential clients and the attorneys who already refer business your way. Ask around. What topics in your area of expertise would draw them in? What information would be a valuable takeaway from your article?
- Keep it simple, engaging and short. You don’t have to give them all the details of the topic. If they want more, they can reach out to you.
- Invite people to take a next step. Be sure to end all your content with a “call to action.” Invite them to share their thoughts, concerns and/or perspective. They can email, call you or simply request more information on the topic.
Regardless of how great your content is, if no one reads it, there is no impact. Assuring that your information gets in front of both potential clients and referral partners is of equal importance to creating good content in your messaging.
Following are some suggestions on how to get your message in front of the right audience:
- Participate on panels and get involved in speaking engagements targeted to your potential clients and referral sources. Chambers, associations and networking groups are always looking for speakers on new topics.
- Publish articles in law reviews, journals, research guides, papers and online resources. Media channels are always looking for great content.
- Blog. Have a consistent content stream that speaks to your clients. Keep your ideas simple and offer actionable steps. The goal is for the reader to walk away thinking not only was your article an interesting read, but that it made an impact upon how the reader will think and react to relevant situations after reading your blog. When this occurs, credibility is instantly created and you become a top-of-mind thought leader. Similar to writing an article, when blogging, always include a call to action asking the reader to connect with you.
- Weekly/monthly emails can have significant power with your existing network, yet, again, keep it simple. This is a great way to share your blog, upcoming events and industry insights that your target client cares about.
- Social media, though rarely an exact science, is a very effective way to rapidly distribute your message to a large audience. Be cautious to choose your media carefully. If your prospective client is an individual and your firm focuses on estate planning, divorce, family law, medical malpractice, PI, etc., you may want to have a Facebook presence. If your expertise centers on companies or corporate law, LinkedIn is likely your best outlet. Posting to your status will keep your current connections aware, but posting your content to groups will get new eyes following your content.
The bottom line is that the more you get your message out and position yourself and your firm as a subject-matter expert, the more new cases, new clients and new referral sources will come your way.