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Podcast Ep. 132: Transforming Thought Leadership in Professional Services Firms

by Talia Schwartz • June 24th, 2021 • Podcast

In this episode of the Legal Marketing 2.0 Podcast Guy is joined by Charles Cousins, the Business Development Director at Passle. At Passle, Charles works with the Marketing and Business development teams at law firms to help them implement successful thought leadership programs. Tune into this episode to learn why getting your law firm’s attorneys to contribute to your content creation is vital, how writing benefits your attorneys, common hiccups in the content creation process, and how Passle can be used to mitigate content creation problems at law firms. You can connect with Charles on LinkedIn.

Podcast Show Notes

1. Why is thought leadership at law firms something that needs transforming?

One of the key findings that came out of Passle’s research this year was that the average attorney creates 0.5 pieces of content a year, so the bar is set very low. There’s a huge opportunity to do so much better. By creating content, lawyers are able to demonstrate their expertise and ultimately, it’s going to help your firm win business or reach new audiences. If you could get every attorney in your law firm to create just one piece of insight a year, then you’ve doubled what the average is.

2. What are the key things to change?

When we have conversations with law firms they always say the same thing: lawyers are too busy to blog. So really I say that efficiency is probably one of one of the biggest things law firms have trouble with. One client I was speaking to the other week said, “we’re not too bad at it, but often we’re too late to the party and we’re running a bit too long”. What they meant by that was they think about an issue that’s happening, and then they have a bit of a process of how they’re creating content which they go through, but it takes too long and the lawyers over think it a bit too much and then come back with a three page document when actually all they really needed to do was just give a short update on what was being done so, I think that efficiency is key.

3. When it comes to content marketing, what are law firms doing wrong?

We’ve already touched on the inefficient processes, and this could be referred to by how they’re actually doing it or something as simple as an approval process. Quite often, that slows things down and when we talk about responding to things that are happening in the moment, if you don’t have a robust approval process or robust workflow that slows things down quite a lot. If you put a hurdle up there’s a good chance someone is going to trip over it. If someone is doing 100 different tasks in a day their mind is somewhere else, and you need to make it as easy as possible for them to get that content out. 

Furthermore, oftentimes an attorney will also spend time creating a fantastic piece of thought leadership, it will get shared on the firm’s website and that attorney won’t know if anyone’s read it or if it has led to any business, so I think most of the time that feedback loop isn’t complete. Attorneys should have clear insight into the data behind the blogs; they should be informed on what’s worked and what hasn’t.

4. What happens when a thought leadership process goes right?

When it’s going right you start to empower everybody and get cross-sectional representation, everyone who’s got something to say can say it. I think that’s particularly important when you think of the up-and-coming attorneys who might be absolute whizzes in a particular area, and they perhaps might know more than some of their partners do. It’s important to empower everyone across the firm to have a voice and demonstrate their expertise, because everyone at the firm does have an expertise and giving them a platform to speak is key. The attorneys that are creating this content can begin building themselves a profile online in their niche. They start to be recognized as a thought leader and if a consumer has a problem, they become their go-to person. Ultimately, they win new business.  

5. How do firms leverage Passle to do this?

Passle is a very easy program to use. The client success team does a fantastic job of helping attorneys understand the “why”. It’s so important to be able to encourage attorneys to have that “light bulb moment” where they realize “this is why I need to be making content”.  Passle comes in and makes the difficulty of writing content a bit easier for attorneys. Our client success team then provides continued motivation and confidence to a law firm’s content creators. That’s where I see Passle coming in and helping out law firms.


Getting your attorneys to actively contribute to the firm’s thought leadership and content creation process doesn’t have to be difficult. Be aware of the common communication and process inefficiencies law firms experience and do your best to mitigate them by establishing deadlines and keeping your attorneys in the loop when it comes to performance. Encourage lawyers to write more because it’s truly a win-win.

Are you lacking the time and resources to keep up with a consistent blog? We’ve got the largest cadre of legal writers and journalists in the industry, helping to take your idea and write the content as if you had the time to write it yourself. Let our experienced content professionals help you tell your story. Contact us today for a consultation.


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