Blogging – serious blogging – takes dedication, effort, and skill. Now days I find most lawyers, especially solo lawyers or members of smaller firms, appreciate the benefits of social media and blogging and how they can improve their law practice. But it generally stops there, with an appreciation but no action.
Others will dabble with a blog, maybe put up a few articles, act surprised when it doesn’t result in a bevy of new clients, and then leave it alone. Some will even start strong, posting several times a week, but then fade out as the weeks go on.
I understand why people quit. Marketing your law practice through blogging rarely provides the instant results some seek. Further, in a profession where we keep track of our day in 6 minute increments, finding time to dedicate to marketing seems impossible.
I know your pain. But you can be a proficient blogger and you can grow your law practice through social media. Here are three steps that will lead you to success:
#1 – Be Consistent
Consistency is the key to success in marketing your practice online. In my experience you will need to write two to three articles per week to really get any traction – especially if you practice in a competitive area of the law like bankruptcy, criminal law, or divorce.
Writing two or three articles each week will not only keep fresh material for the search engines to find, it will help you build a large library of information that will increase traffic and keep potential clients on your site for longer periods of time – all pluses in building a successful blog.
#2 – Schedule Time to Write
For better or for worse the billable hour rules your life. It sucks. There is a huge amount of pressure to bill hours and get the work done. And if you are a solo or run a small firm you are not only billing hours but playing book keeper, HR, and custodian. If you are like most lawyers time is one resource that is seriously lacking.
You must commit to the marketing of your practice just like you commit to the actual practice of law. It must become part of what you do and who you are. You are no longer just a lawyer, you are also a blogger – congratulations! To help me adjust to this mindset I even added “blogger” to my list of jobs on Linkedin.
I typically schedule time in the morning to write my articles and get them posted online. I dedicate one hour to writing and publishing the article. That may sound like a lot, but if you are publishing three times a week you are only dedicating three hours a week to the growth of your practice.
It is going to feel like you are wasting time – or worse stealing time from your cases. I’ve been there and know how that feels. You have to get over that. A successful blog will take your entire practice to a new level, but you have to have faith in the process. Commit to setting aside a distraction-free hour (if such a thing exists) three days a week to get your content on your blog.
#3 – See the Big Picture
In a world of quick fixes and instant gratification it can be frustrating that there are no real short cuts to building a solid online presence. You need to view your blog as a five year deal not a 5 month commitment. And while online marketing is more of a marathon than a sprint, you will start to see results as sooner than you think.
I launched a new bankruptcy law website from scratch a while back. Within one year I was seeing traffic to my website of nearly 10,000 visitors per month and my bankruptcy articles had been read on various online platforms over 230,000 times! That is a ton of exposure for solo practitioner and the steady stream of clients into my office proves that blogging works. All of that happened within 12 months of starting a blog.
The more information/content you provide on your website the more your office will be viewed as an authority in your particular area of law. Even if you are a new lawyer you can establish yourself among much more experienced peers simply by putting yourself out there and providing potential clients with the information they are seeking.
Failing to have a solid online presence is no longer an option for your law practice. You will get left in the dust – check that – if you haven’t established an online presence you have already been left behind and need to catch up. You will see those that adopt online marketing into their business models succeed – even if you are a more competent or experienced attorney.
The good news is lawyers seem to be the last to adapt in many business arenas so there is still time to jump in and become a legal leader online. When do you start?