With the proliferation of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, podcasts, blogging, listservs, RSS feeds, email marketing, video blogging, webinars, and other forms of digital media, it can be challenging to know what will work for you. This article will help point you in the right direction, and show you the reward at the end.
Determining Your Unique Value
Before you can start producing content you must know what uniquely differentiates you in the marketplace. Ask yourself: What expertise do I possess that is different than others with a similar practice? What do I want to become known for in the marketplace – to become the expert on? What questions do I routinely receive from other lawyers (both in my firm and outside)?
Use these questions to help you identify topics upon which you should be creating and sharing content. Remember that clients today will hire “the expert” before working with a legal generalist. Having refined expertise in a key subject area will drive the right kind of clients to your doorstep.
Sharing Your Knowledge
Once you figure out what you want to become known for, consistently share your knowledge and perspective. Here are a few ways in which to do so:
Social Media Posts – Make posts on social media that link to articles focused on your key area(s) of expertise, or highlight a past or upcoming presentation, article or blog post you have written on your targeted topic.
Webinars – You can share content by delivering webinars on key topics. The service we use at PSM is www.GoToWebinar. com. You can then create replay links on your website so anyone visiting can hear you substantively discuss your niche.
Videos on YouTube – With a high quality Web camera, you can record your own videos and post them to YouTube. You can also publish recorded webinars on your YouTube Channel. We have a client who has received over 35,000 views of his webinar on Divorcing a Narcissist. Read More in the article I wrote on “Adding Video to your Website” (Attorney at Law Magazine, Feb. 2016).
Podcasts – Podcasts are much less formal than webinars, but are a great way to showcase your expertise. Think of it like being the DJ of your own radio show. While podcasting requires more of a commitment, you would be amazed at how many podcast series (and their subscribers) are out there. Every iPhone now includes a purple podcast icon and anyone can access podcasts through the iTunes store. Spend some time looking at the plethora of podcasts out there! Blog – You can easily create your own blog using popular blogging platforms like wordpress.com, blogger.com or squarespace.com. Think of a catchy title for your blog that ties to your niche, then read my earlier article on “To Blog or Not to Blog: A Primer for Lawyers” (Attorney at Law Magazine, Jan. 2016).
Listserv – A subscription-based electronic mailing list where you can share thoughts with those interested in similar topics. For example, the Minnesota State Bar Association has a listserv for small firms and solo practitioners. Here, lawyers can compare notes and share expertise, as well as solicit “Who do you know” requests that may direct business your way.
Email Marketing – With services like Constant Contact and MailChimp, content sharing is a lot easier. Selectively create an e-database of contacts interested in your subject matter expertise. Send communications to industry contacts, clients, peers, referral sources, and other colleagues you know.
What Results Look Like
So let’s go on a journey with the family lawyer above (with 35,000 YouTube views) who has a niche in the area of divorcing a narcissist:
• Attorney begins to blog on the topic of narcissism in divorce by writing on topics including, “How to Determine If Your Spouse Is a Narcissist,” “What to Do If You Are Married to a Narcissist and Want Out,” and “The Children and the Narcissist: Who Gets Custody?”
• Attorney promotes blog posts on his website, e-newsletter and social media sites, including LinkedIn groups populated with family therapists.
• A noted provider of CE programs for therapists sees the lawyer’s expertise in the area and asks the lawyer to present at its annual conference attended by hundreds of family therapists.
• The session is videotaped, which the lawyer adds to his website.
• A family therapist with a very difficult case involving narcissism, who happened to attend the CE program remembers the lawyer and does an online search for “divorce and personality disorders,” or “divorcing a narcissist” and finds the lawyer she remembers, dominating the first page of Google.
• Because of his experience with narcissistic personality disorder and the plethora of information on social media the therapist has found that validates his expertise, the therapist reaches out to him and sends one of her clients to the lawyer.
• Because of his focused expertise in this area, the therapist arranges for the lawyer to present a session for the other therapists in the practice.
• Lawyer becomes the go-to resource for family therapists involved in working with families going through a divorce where one of the parties is a narcissist. Family therapists continue to produce high quality, complex divorces involving how to divorce a narcissist.
By showing you are a subject-matter expert and building your social media and other digital marketing initiatives around this topic, you will generate clients and referral sources that will continue to produce clients for years to come.