Creating thought leadership content for your legal blog is no mean feat. You have to strike a fine balance between what is essential, informative, and credible while keeping your audience engaged.
This task can become even more daunting when you consider the struggle to just get eyes on your website. Never mind the overall increase (along with the dilution) of content over the course of the pandemic.
It can be tempting to write off blogging altogether; to seek other routes for client engagement and growing your business.
But remember: most prospective clients will do their due diligence. So, it’s more than likely that their first impression of your law firm will be online. If you don’t stand out, you won’t stand a chance.
This is why it’s so critical to craft content that gives your future clients an immediate impression that you are a trusted resource to be reckoned with.
Your Legal Blog Drives Traffic to Your Website
A law firm blog is a powerful tool to both drive traffic to your website and to pull in potential clients.
It’s also where the bulk of your thought leadership content will presumably reside. Remember, your prospective client isn’t looking to take your know-how and run with it, hoping to DIY their case and win on their own. Rather, they are looking for a vetted, expert resource. And finding the answers to their burning questions on your blog will reassure them that they are in the right place. Your thought leadership articles can provide a crucial return on investment.
What Exactly Is Thought Leadership?
Thought leadership is niche marketing content that demonstrates a law firm’s integrity and expertise. Or, in other words, it’s the content that builds your reputation as a trusted authority.
This is done by providing consistent, generous, and relevant erudition for your audience.
So, while thought leadership content can be anything from a blog post to an interactive presentation to press to social media, and so forth, it also must hit a metric of high specialization. It is not the nuts and bolts about hiring your firm, the profiles of lawyers, or even other marketing content.
Rather, thought leadership content should serve as a knowledge base built by your firm - as well as an ongoing conversation with both your current and future audience.
hOW TO PRODUCE THOUGHT LEADERSHIP CONTENT
While this article’s main focus is about blogging for lawyers, do know that thought leadership content is always expanding into new forms. Part of this is the byproduct of the everchanging digital landscape, but it’s also from law firms exploring new ways to distill their knowledge.
Keep in mind: great content has a long shelf life.
Here are some ways to produce thought leadership content:
- Determine your (distinct) perspective
- Provide value for your target audience
- Don’t be afraid to get specific
- Offer compelling insight on issues with dated-backed stories
- Solve difficult pain points for clients
- Help your audience understand a challenge in a new way
- Anticipate future challenges and provide guidance
- Build trust by creating consistent, credible, and high-quality content
- Use different platforms and mediums, i.e. videos and social media
- Be open, transparent, and generous with your content - no cliffhangers or holding back
7 WAYS TO IDEATE THOUGHT LEADERSHIP TOPICS FOR YOUR LEGAL BLOG
Put yourself in the shoes of an imaginary prospective client to anticipate what they might want from your law firm and, by extension, your blog.
If you’re already drawing a blank, pretend you’re sitting down with a client for the first time in a one-on-one meeting. What do you want them to take away from their “introduction” to your firm?
Now, keeping the above in mind, continue reading to learn seven ways to ideate legal blog topics that will serve both your law firm and your target audience.
bRAINSTORM WHAT YOU HAVE A UNIQUE OPINION OR POINT OF VIEW ABOUT
This leadership topic is where you can and should get creative.
What makes you stand out from other law firms and other lawyer blogging? Is there a specific area of law that you or your firm has an interesting stance on? Or perhaps you have a new perspective on an old issue?
Also, try to tackle this topic from several angles. What do your clients and peers say about you? What are you known for? What are the driving, core values of your firm - or you as a lawyer?
While this topic is a good way to help you stand out to clients, it also provides your clients a window into your law firm. One that they might not get from a typical first meeting and one that will compel them to come back.
cONSIDER YOUR PAST EXPERIENCE
Past experience is a rich area to mine from. It’s where your honest and authentic voice can resonate with your reader. It tells them where you came from, how you met past challenges, and if you have familiarity with their current problem.
Start by jotting down the highlights and challenges of your career. Or perhaps share an interesting bit of the history of your law firm.
Don’t be afraid to get honest or into the nitty-gritty, either. Powerful stories are universal, from sharing past successes to what you wished you did differently. It’s what tells your client that you’re not only honest but that you’re always seeking to do better.
THINK ABOUT YOUR CLIENT'S QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS
Whether it’s a question you’ve heard a million times or one that you can’t believe no one has ever asked, this is another area replete with wisdom to share.
Get right into the heart of it and don’t worry about getting too specific. That’s actually exactly where you want to go to impress prospective clients. Depth instead of breadth is critical when working with questions and concerns.
Again, this is because it tells a client that your law firm has the answers. It also foments trust. Your prospective client will be that much more likely to retain you, because they know that you’ve already helped someone like them.
READ ONLINE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT YOUR NICHE OF LEGAL PRACTICES
Writing legal blog topics from your niche allows your law firm to answer time-critical questions and provide your unique point of view on important industry trends.
Either way, it’s always a good idea to monitor forums, social media, and other platforms where your legal niche is present. These conversations will help you stay on top of what issues you and your clients need to watch out for.
CONDUCT KEYWORD RESEARCH ABOUT THE LEGAL SOLUTIONS YOU OFFER.
Keyword research is a two-way street. It helps clients find you and tells you what content drives traffic.
A good way to start is to list legal topics that you think potential clients might search for. Then expand on them. Next, using a web analytics tool, try to figure out what keywords might already be driving traffic to your site. (Make sure to note related search terms on Google, too.)
Once you have a solid list, you can either incorporate these keywords into blog posts that you’re working on or use the list to generate new legal blog topics.
In the end, successful SEO around thought leadership comes down to client-relevant content from an authoritative source with a solid body of work.
LOOK AT COMPETITOR'S BLOG POST FOR GAPS
If you can come up with legal blog topics that fill gaps left by your competitors, you’re not only helping clients but also getting ahead of the competition.
First, though, you’ll need to figure out who your competition actually is. While SEO tools and marketing professionals are your best bet for in-depth analysis, you can glean rudimentary insight simply by using Google.
Who comes up when you try to search for your blog?
Next, as you survey your competition, figure out what topics aren’t being discussed. Also, if your law firm has a unique take on a common topic, fill in that gap.
Another route is to do an audit of your site. Figure out if you’re not ranking in search results for particular keywords and if your competitors are. Or perhaps they’re writing about topics that you’re well-versed in - except that you’re either lacking that content or it’s not making the same impact.
This will help improve your ranking with search engines, as well as build your blog up as a well-versed and sound source.
Publications for your legal industry niche or your target audience are another excellent area to explore for legal blog topics.
Providing insight into publications gives your audience something to mull over and possibly apply to their specific problem, which is the crux of thought leadership content. It’s also another place to discover gaps that aren’t being addressed, as well as to find new target audience questions, concerns, or even interests.
Need Assistance With Creating Legal Blog Content?
High-caliber thought leadership content raises your law firm’s profile.
When the knowledge that you share is relevant, niched, and authentic, it helps your target audience better plot a course of action and gain new insight into a challenge. Prospective clients will want to learn more about who you and your team are, and with time, will come to look to you as an authoritative resource.
However, even if you have strong thought leadership content, getting it read by your target audience is a challenge in and of itself. One that involves strategic marketing, optimizing SEO, and possibly, recalibrating your law firm’s digital presence.
Download “37 Steps to Writing an Effective Blog Post” by the Yokel Local team to learn more about creating impactful thought leadership content.
Contact Yokel Local today for more inbound marketing assistance and insights to take your law firm to the next level.