4 Ways To Establish Legal Thought Leadership in Your City

Establish Legal Thought leadership
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As a legal professional, your single biggest selling points are your professionalism, experience and expertise. 

The best way to attract new clients is to ensure you communicate those qualities in your marketing materials and brand-building exercises.


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Clients want to know that their lawyer is invested in their case, takes it seriously and is capable of winning. But how do you achieve this? 

By displaying thought leadership.

Thought leadership is about providing valuable advice and information that highlights your understanding of the law and how it applies to your region. It’s an indirect but effective way of making it clear that you are the right lawyer for the job. 


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One unbreakable rule with thought leadership content is that you need to give it away for free. A paywall barrier will only limit the number of people who consume the content and reduce the efficacy of your campaign. 

It’s also a good idea to remember that smaller firms need to keep things local. 

You want to target customers in your city or state – not many New York residents will be looking for Chicago-based lawyers! There are also plenty of state-specific laws that make working with out-of-state clients impractical.

Let’s look at four key ways to establish thought leadership in your city.


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Appear On Local Podcasts

Appearing on local podcasts is an excellent way to speak directly to residents in your local area. Recent studies show that 62% of over-12s listen to podcasts (Statista). 

That figure is increasing year over year. With so many U.S. adults listening to podcasts, appearing on the right show can drastically improve your brand reach and provide significant exposure.

However, we can’t stress this enough, you need to be focusing on local podcasts. 

The goal is to boost your authority and brand recognition amongst the people who may realistically enlist your services. 

Many legal professionals make the mistake of trying to appear on nationwide law themed podcasts. This won’t win you customers.

Law podcasts are targeting lawyers and other legal professionals as their listeners. Not the people in your service area who could potentially need legal services.

Instead, you need to be focusing on podcasts that are dedicated to the local goings on in your community.

To find these podcasts your first stop should be Google. Use keywords related to your city or state. You can also search Twitter for podcast or podcaster accounts in your area. Finally, keep an eye out for podcast meetups or events taking place near you. 

Local podcasts tend to have a smaller audience but are much easier to book. There are a few ways you can secure a spot. Many podcasts provide listeners with contact information (usually a Twitter profile or email address), so they can get in touch. However, you can also search for the host on LinkedIn. 

This will come across as more professional and means your reach-out is less likely to be lost amongst the listeners’ messages. 

Finally, always tailor your pitch to the theme of the podcast you’re targeting and make it abundantly clear what you bring to the table and how you can help the podcast’s listeners.

Post Blogs On Local Issues

When potential clients are looking for legal representation, the first thing they do is jump on the internet and head to Google. 

Some search for law firms in their local area (e.g. ‘law firms in Chicago’). Others ask more specific questions (e.g. ‘DUI laws in Chicago’ or ‘what to do if the police pull you over in LA.’

When they make this type of inquiry, there’s a greater chance they will end up reading a blog post that was specifically written to answer that question. 

Part of demonstrating your thought leadership is ensuring that potential clients are landing on your blogs and associating you or your firm with the answer to their problems.

To make sure you meet the needs of your target audience and write content that people are searching for, use an SEO tool like Semrush or Ahrefs to get information on popular Google searches.

Target keywords that are relevant to your local audience, and you are more likely to generate convertible leads who are interested in your services. 

If you’re producing high-quality content that’s well targeted, provides value, and includes a convincing call to action, you will attract new customers.

Engage With Groups On Facebook, Discord And Slack

You want to engage people across various platforms when targeting new customers in your local area. 

Facebook, Discord and Slack are all fantastic examples of this type of platform because there are groups dedicated to local communities on each platform!

Speaking directly to individuals is potentially the easiest way of demonstrating your expertise. It enables you to communicate your legal knowledge and understanding in a more human and approachable manner and ensures you’re providing relevant information to potential clients. 

Opening yourself up to Q&A sessions means you’re offering value to those in the local community. Even if those people don’t end up using your services, you’ll build your brand through word-of-mouth recommendations.

Again, targeting local groups on Facebook, Discord and Slack will be more effective than putting yourself out there on more general, nationwide groups. Use the platforms’ search functions to narrow things down and find relevant local groups. 

Work out your key terms and limit yourself geographically. Make sure you try a variety of terms, though! If you operate in Chicago, search for Chicagoland, Illinois, Windy City, etc. 

Create And Post Viral Video Clips

Finally, the most effective way of highlighting your legal expertise and thought leadership is via video. Internet users love video content. 

A recent Hubspot survey showed users pay more attention to video than any other content type. Research by Insivia concluded that users retain 95% of a message when it’s in video format but just 10% when it’s in text.

To put it simply, if you want people to engage with your content you need to be creating it in the format that your audience most wants to see. That’s video.

Now, to demonstrate thought leadership you want to create many short video clips that provide clear and concise legal advice on issues affecting your target audience or tackle trending internet topics, such as the Amber Heard v. Johnny Depp court case. 

Make sure you keep your information up to date and relevant, this will give you the best chance of getting likes and shares across social media!

And also, remember to post regularly and consistently. Everytime you post, you have a better chance of boosting your organic reach and having your content appear in a new potential customer’s newsfeed for the first time.

If you’re struggling to develop ideas for your legal marketing videos, try taking the keyword research you’ve done for your blogs and turning those searches into videos. 

Make sure you add in terms that pinpoint you geographically as well. You need to ensure that you’re reaching local clients and not just users who are halfway across the country.

Closing Thoughts

A marketing industry secret is this: People aren’t always ready to buy your products right away, the purpose of marketing is to make sure they think of your brand first when they are ready to buy.

This adage is doubly true for the legal industry. Generally speaking, people don’t approach lawyers until they’re in some sort of legal trouble.

That’s why building your thought leadership is so important. By dominating the content space in your service area, you can guarantee that you’re the very first legal representative that people think of when they’re in need.

All you need to do is ensure that your content is easily accessible, useful to your audience, and establishes your expertise.

Get this right and the customers will soon follow.

John Butterworth

John Butterworth is an experienced digital marketer who believes the fastest way to grow any business is by automating their lead acquisition. He's helped many companies to scale rapidly through a tried-and-tested combination of SEO, CRO, and email automation. John’s career has taken him across specialist roles in China, Vietnam, and The UK. Currently, he works in-house for global video creation platform Viddyoze.

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