Two weeks I introduced a new blog series containing a set of weekly action items. The aim is to inspire attorneys who are stuck at home to use their downtime wisely and productively in a way that will position their firms for success when life and business get back to normal (whether the old normal or a new one).
This is week-three.
I urge you to use this time productively. As lawyers, we have not only the ability, but the obligation to lead through the COVID-19 crisis and aftermath. Doing so will not only serve your clients and your community, but will help position your firm for success for years to come.
My suggestions are mostly around marketing, though at times I’ll throw in other suggestions as well, mostly having to do with the business of running a law firm. Take what’s useful to you, and discard the rest. The important thing is that you’re showing up and putting in the work for yourself, your firm, your family and your community.
This week’s legal marketing challenge:
So let’s get started with this week’s to-do list. If you’ve been following along with this series so far, the first four items this week will look identical to last week. That’s intentional and is designed to help imprint a new habit of regularly creating content that is useful to your potential clients, referral sources and the general public. But this week, instead of bonus challenges like last week, I will propose a topic specific to the current (along with some ideas to weave into it) to write about in at least one of your blog posts, and to share via social media.
For the week of April 13, 2020, I challenge you to do the following to ensure the future success of your law firm:
Write 4 Blog Posts: Write and publish to your firm’s website at least 4 blog posts, of at least 750 words each on topics relevant to your clients or potential clients. You can write these all at once, or space them out over the week. In at least one of your blog posts, find a tie-in to link out to one of the blog posts you did last week (if applicable), and to at least one health or financial resource outside of your firm that is relevant to your clients and potential clients during the COVID-19 crisis. If you are a LawLytics customer and want help with logistics or topic selection, let us know.
Do 4 Social Media Shares Per Post: With each blog post, announce the post to a minimum of the following platforms: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you’re a LawLytics customer, the ability to do this automatically is built into your blog publishing window. If you need help with this, or want to make sure that your social media accounts are integrated and currently connected, please let us know. Assuming everything is connected, the announcements will take about a total of about one extra minute for LawLytics customers.
Read 10 Blog Posts by Other Attorneys: Pick 10 blog posts to read this week. This will give you an idea of what others are writing about and how they are writing. There’s no better fodder for one’s own blogging than reading other blogs. Note that not all examples you come across will be good examples, so read with a critical eye and ask yourself who is the post’s target audience, and is the attorney/author effectively communicating their message? If you’re a LawLytics customer, you can easily discover what fellow customer firm’s are writing using the built-in LawLytics Network. Take notes when you get ideas from others’ blog posts. This should take about an hour total.
Post 1 Blog Comment: Of the 10 blog posts that you read, pick one that is most relevant to your practice (but try to avoid picking a direct competitor), and write a thoughtful comment that adds to the information presented in the blog post. When your comment is published, it will create one additional point of exposure for you and your firm. It will reinforce the authority of the blog owner (because another intelligent attorney left a comment). It will also put you on the radar of the owner of that blog, which can create cross-marketing and referral opportunities (more on these things soon). If you’re a LawLytics customer and you discover a blog post that you’d like to comment on in the LawLytics Network, you can comment directly in the LawLytics Network to save the time of entering your information directly on their blog, and, when approved by the blog owner, your post will go live and contain a small picture of you and a link to your bio on your primary LawLytics website. This should take no more than about 30 minutes, and could take you as little as a few minutes depending on the depth of your comment.
Suggested blog topic for this week:
For at least one of your blog posts this week I challenge you to write about how, as a lawyer the following make you feel, and then back up your feeling with a legal argument as well as the counterpoint:
1. The issuance of stay at home orders by state and local governments.
2. The enforcement of stay at home orders.
3. The issuance and enforcement of mandatory masks in public.
4. The labeling of some workers as “essential workers” and others as “non-essential.”
5. The powers of the federal government to declare the economy open or closed. The powers of the states to declare the same. Which governments have which powers, and for the people in your state, who is really in charge?
Now, within these questions there is a likely something (or many things) that you can apply to your specific areas of practice, and make relevant to your clients and the potential clients you want to attract, so try to weave those into your discussion to make it as relevant as possible to the audience you care about most.
Why blog about these heady subjects?
Because they are on everybody’s mind. They are on the news. They are on social media. And, as lawyers, the public is looking to us to explain what is happening, including what is legal and what is questionable. Your clients and potential clients are looking to you to be their guide in their case or matter. Your ability to guide them is only as good (at least in their minds) as your ability, as a lawyer, to rely on the laws that were in place pre-crisis, and on the normal process for making and enforcing laws that made our justice system mostly predictable and mostly fair pre-crisis. By providing them with guidance through this time, you’ll earn much more credibility and trust than if you’re only writing about the world and the system of government and laws (as it relates to all three branches of government) pre-crisis. Even if you’re optimistic that the pre-crisis normal will return soon (as I am), there should be a record on your website and blog of you guiding your clients through the crisis because, while the crisis will end and things will return to normal, the memory of this crisis will probably change people’s thinking for years to come. Regardless of your stance, as a lawyer, you can’t afford to be on record as having ignored it.
If you haven’t started doing it yet, this is a great week to assert your voice and to stand up and start answering questions that non-lawyers might not know to ask, and that other lawyers may be afraid to take on because they might seem anti-constitution, or anti-science, or too closely aligned with a political figure or party. By writing thoughtful pieces about the law in today’s crisis, its meaning and application, you can set yourself apart today.
Check back next Monday for another weekly legal marketing challenge. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy, stay positive and use this time you have productively.