By James Conway
A lot of young lawyers are trying to make a name for themselves with the goal of becoming recognized in their community, become visible to other lawyers (and employers), and to gain a degree of respect and notoriety to attract business. One way lawyers of my generation seem to be tackling this feat is by starting blogs, or writing for blogs on their firm websites (or on JDs Rising). This is a great idea because so many clients use Google to find a lawyer if they don’t have a direct referral. Because of the way Google’s search results algorithm works, having an active blog will improve your Google search results position, meaning you become more visible to potential clients. Also, your active blog can create a buzz in local social circles regarding the information you provide in the blog itself. I have found blogging to be a rewarding marketing strategy and have a few tips from my experience.
Pick a noteworthy topic. A great way to start a blog post is to discuss an issue that resonates with others. During the opening days of the Republican Primary season, there was a lot of media and social media attention paid to what the candidates were proposing. During many of the Republican debates, Michelle Bachman and Rick Perry took to the practice of calling certain programs and government activities unconstitutional. As it turns out, the very things they called unconstitutional were specific powers granted to government in the Constitution, so I wrote a blog post explaining this.
Another idea, related to the first, is pick a niche or local story and run with it. If you work in a small town (Shakopee isn’t all that small anymore, especially since we were mentioned on SNL), or a have a niche market, you have to speak to the community that brings you your clients. For example, Shakopee experiences annual flooding in the spring which causes lots of traffic problems as well as home and business damage. Because flooding was a hot issue last spring, I wrote a blog post about homeowners and flood insurance policies explaining that homeowners polices lack of coverage for flooding, and people in susceptible areas were at risk.
Add a video or something “cool”. In the flood post, I found a neat calculator for flood damage costs and embedded it on the blog page. I have done similar things with YouTube videos about Man Law (the Miller Lite campaign), and about bankruptcy. The Man Law post wasn’t anything substantive – but it showed a lighter, more humorous, and more human quality – sometimes clients forget that their lawyer is actually a person too. With a catchy media device, you can capture attention – and in our media-hungry society – can spread your message far and wide if your blog post “goes viral.”