As the Greatest American Lawyer blog says “content can drive business.” In a post yesterday, it was pointed out that the advantage of blogging is that it can benefit both the lawyer and prospective client. Demonstrating one’s expertise by putting meaningful content on the Internet is a win-win. It makes it more likely that the lawyer will be found by a person with that specific problem, thanks to the plethora of search engines out there.

By educating the world about your legal capabilities, it not only helps your credibility, it helps educate potential clients about their problem and improves their comfort level in contacting you about your services. And according to the GAL blog, it can even improve the image of the law firm, the bar and lawyers in general, by reason of such knowledge sharing.

Pretty good reasons to start blogging.

Darren Rowse has a great article over at ProBlogger where he raises the question “Should I Change My Website Into a Blog?” He mentions six reasons to do so, while including five reasons you may not want to. Darren’s reasons include:

Reasons to do a blog:

  1. “Blogs give Individuals, Companies and Brands ‘Voice’;
  2. “Blogs are Conversational;
  3. “Blogs build Trust;
  4. “Blogs build Profile;
  5. “Blogs are Immediate (meaning that you don’t have wait for your writings to be published); and
  6. “Blogs are a doorway to Search Engines and Social Media.”

Reasons not to:

  1. “Blogs Take Time to Mature (so don’t expect a quick return);
  2. “Blogs Take Daily Work (not if you don’t post daily, two or three times a week can work);
  3. “Blogs Take More than Writing (it can also involve monitoring comments, having a good design, marketing your site, etc.);
  4. “Bloggers Can be Anti-Trust/Profile Building (meaning that depending on what you write and your tone, you could actually impact your reputation adversely); and
  5. “Blogs Rely Upon YOU as a Conversation Starter.”

For higher visibility for your law practice, blogging may just be the answer. But if you aren’t going to make the commitment to sustain it, then maybe not. 

So, the question is: Do you want to increase your visibility, dialogue, and credibility with your intended audience? Blogging is one vehicle to consider as part of your business development mix, IMHO.

Check out Darren’s article for more, such as whether to turn your web site into a blog or start a new site, as well as some recommended reading.  You may also want to look over the 38 comments he got in response to his post to see what others think about the idea.

Here is the final installment of my responses to questions by freelance writer John Egan for an article to be published in CPAmerica International’s newsletter relating to “marketing for law firms.” The first  three questions related to suggestions and mistakes, and budgeting. The final two questions address the hiring of a marketing person and a viable trend in legal marketing:

4.      “When should a law firm hire a dedicated marketing person?”

The day they open their law office. And the size of the firm doesn’t matter. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a full time, in-house person in every case. It could be an outsourced position or consultant. The important thing is that the firm be serious about getting professional marketing help.

As to when a law firm should hire an in-house staff person should be based on the firm’s needs and economics. Historically, there was a time when it seemed to be based on the size of the firm, and firms with less than 100 lawyers rarely had an in-house person. Now, there are firms with fewer than 30 lawyers that have a dedicated marketing person on staff. That decision should be based on when a staff position or positions make more economic sense than using outside help.

5.      “What are some of the latest (viable) trends you’re seeing in legal marketing?”

I’ve never been one to believe in the “marketing idea of the week/month/year” mentality. And “trends” often are just that, the latest fad. Having said that, I see blogging as a viable trend in obtaining legal work.  In essence, though, it is just a new vehicle for some of the more traditional means of developing business; that is, writing articles, making speeches, etc., all of which are ways of demonstrating one’s expertise and establishing credibility so clients will hire you.