Can a free ebook help you grow your practice? Absolutely. While it certainly takes some time and effort to craft an eBook worth sharing, it’s much easier than publishing a printed book – and yet it can still yield many of the same benefits. By targeting a specific audience, discussing some of their most pertinent challenges, and sharing your ideas and solutions, you can establish thought leadership at your law firm.
If you’ve never sat down to write a piece of content longer than a blog post or maybe even a tweet, the idea of writing an eBook may seem overwhelming. In this blog post, we break down how to start creating your own eBook and the options you have for distributing it.
Who are you writing for?
Clients always come first. In the case of content this means, who are you writing for? There may be topics that you feel passionate about, but how will your target audience respond. The more specific your audience, the more deep your content can dive within your topic. The goal of an eBook (besides getting your name out there) is to provide value for prospects and clients. When brainstorming topics, consider the challenges or questions your audience may have and try to build an eBook around a solution.
Choosing a topic
Remember, there’s a lot of content on the internet which means you need to make your eBook stand out. You can do this by choosing a niche topic and providing new information from your own perspective. Avoid repeating what’s already been said to ensure your audience finds value in what you’re saying – this helps to establish thought leadership at your law firm. For example if you’re a family law lawyer, instead of writing an eBook called “The Guide to Divorce” try and be specific like “The Costs to Expect When Getting a Divorce in New York”. Not only does a topic like that narrow down the topic of divorce, but it’s also regional which will be more helpful to your audience than generalizations about the legal processes and costs associated with divorce.
Another helpful tip for law firms or lawyers who already have blog material is to combine several blogs on the same topic into a cohesive narrative. This reduces a lot of the time it takes to write an eBook as you’re simply repurposing content you already have.
Drafting your eBook
Okay, so you’ve considered your audience, chosen a topic, and outlined your eBook. Now you might be wondering how to actually create and distribute an ebook. It can seem like a mammoth task, but follow some simple steps to begin and you’ll have momentum before you know it.
After choosing your topic and your author (or ghostwriter) begin outlining the structure of your ebook. It should be about 3,000 – 6,000 words. Remember that the final product won’t be dense text like a published medium, but instead designed for digital use and graphics will matter just as much as the verbiage.
Within the copy, do not try to sell your services. Instead, keep the content focused on solving problems and providing information. At the end, create a biography page with information about your author and a plug about your firm and services.
Once you’re happy with the content, choose a catchy title and a descriptive subtitle that will let readers know what to expect. Ensure the eBook looks great and is easily read digitally.
There are two diverging paths you can take when it comes to distributing your eBook. Do you want your content to be totally free, as in ungated and accessible to everyone? Or do you want to gate your content behind a form that asks for an email address to download the content? There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer. If you’re more concerned about enhancing awareness of your firm or yourself as a thought leader and you want as many people as possible to read your ideas, you might want to make your eBook truly free and ungated. If your primary goal is to generate new leads and contacts, you can gate your content and collect new email addresses.
With either method there are some key distribution steps you need to take. First, create a specific landing page that points to the eBook. Additionally, you can create blog posts, microsites, and landing pages that point to the book or this URL. Share your content with partners, media channels, and clients through email and social media marketing. You can even try putting the title and link into your email signature. Once you’ve completed your eBook, you’re going to want to distribute it widely to ensure a high ROI.
The bottom line is, there’s a lot of value in creating rich content that clients and prospects actually want to read. Letting them have it for free is a savvy strategy that positions you as a leader in the market, and keeps your brand top of mind. If you would like help creating an eBook, or don’t know where to start, reach out to us.