“Advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content marketing is showing the world that you are one.”
The authors included the above Robert Rose quote on page 4 of Creating an Online Publishing Strategy for Law Firms, a new ABA Law Practice Division book by Jordan Furlong and Steve Matthews, and I was hooked. Admittedly, they were preaching to the choir.
Excuse my indulgence for a minute, but I appreciate this book for several reasons:
It’s in my wheelhouse. My entire history in legal marketing has been about content. It worked for me when I went out on my own and I’ve seen it work for countless others. It just works.
The book is less than 100 pages. That’s a big deal for today’s attention-deficit readers. It echoes one of my favorite tenants of creating content: Write with empathy for your audience. Be concise and make every word count.
And, last, but certainly not least, the book is authored by two people I’ve followed and respected for a long time: Jordan and Steve. This speaks to a couple of the primary benefits of consistently producing useful content: enhancing expertise and building trust. Mission accomplished.
Now, let’s get to what this book is about.
In a nutshell, it’s about law firms employing a publishing strategy to provide content of value that aligns with their business development goals and expands the firm’s reach.
The book speaks equally to small firms and practice area groups of large firms.
Don’t fancy yourself a worthy writer? Consider this statement in the intro:
“If you’ve ever written an article for a legal magazine, posted a case comment to your law firm’s blog, or recorded a podcast or video clip for your website, then congratulations: You’re already a publisher.”
It then goes on to provide a strategic publishing framework that anyone can implement.
Finally, I want to touch on chapter four before finishing up this concise review. The chapter is all about building a publishing culture at the firm. The web is littered with blogging ghost towns. Same with marketing efforts that involve producing content consistently. When discussing solutions with solos and small firm lawyers, I generally talk about making blogging and other content writing, a habit-forming process. Reframing the discussion to one of “culture” is helpful, particularly in larger firms where you need more buy-in and contributors on a regular basis.
As you begin (or continue) your publishing journey, keep in mind that the most effective way for a lawyer to engage through content is to ensure the content is focused on the audience’s interests and priorities.