Today, while everyone is posting about the SCOTUS decision to uphold the PPACA, I thought I’d talk about Adrian Dayton’s webinar to the Legal Marketing Association’s Social Media Special Interest Group.
Adrian’s webinar focused on "how to get your firm blogging," and the invitation to the SIG members described the session as:
Drawing from the bestselling book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and from over a dozen case studies within law firms, join us for 60 minutes on the 22nd of June as Adrian Dayton, author of Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition (2012, 2nd printing) and LinkedIn & Blogs for Lawyers (West 2012, co-authored by Amy Knapp) shares three keys to moving lawyers from neophites to habitual bloggers and social media users.
Included in this webcast you will learn:
- How to persuade your lawyers to start blogging
- Helping overcome common objections to blogging
- Three steps to forming habits
- Internal implementation strategies
- Case studies from medium to large law firms
Adrian covered a number of things in his presentation, but the highlights include the following.
He asked the question – How do you get your attorneys blogging? You need to help them to form the habit of blogging. To form habits you need:
- Routine: do it for 20 consecutive days
- Reward: what’s the payoff?
What are some possible habits for attorneys to form as part of motivating them to blog?
- Check-in using social media daily
- Spend an hour per day on Facebook
- Share good articles via Twitter and LinkedIn
- Write a weekly blog post
- Set up meetings every week with potential clients – through social media
- Use social media daily for research
Of these habits, the keystone ones are writing a weekly blog post and setting up meetings with potential clients through social media. Adrian pointed out not to limit these meetings to potential clients, but to also include existing clients and potential referral sources. He also indicated that those best suited to breaking into blogging at firms would be junior partners and/or senior associates, and not always those who are more established in their careers and business development patterns.
In terms of developing the routine, Adrian recommended that firms require a blog proposal from those attorneys interested in blogging, that they require eight new posts before the launch (some of these can be held in reserve), and any blogs that are inactive should be put on probation. He stated that the goal should be for 52 blog posts per year, or one per week.
Adrian also commented that law blogs often fail because they are too full of "legalese" – blogging is not necessarily about teaching and sharing knowledge so much as it is to show that the attorney author is likeable. It’s important for attorneys to write like journalists – that being said, my comment at the time is that it depends on your audience. The majority of audiences do want a less technical set of posts to read, but there will be some cases where they do prefer the more technical ones. So know your audience!
And finally, to create a habit, you need to show your attorneys the rewards of their hard work. Adrian identified these as:
- Increasing traffic (number of blog views)
- Lexology or JD Supra reports
- Twitter mentions
- Emails from clients/prospects
- New clients (this may take time)
Adrian talked about creating a social media contest at your firms to foster competition among the attorneys and encourage the use of social media. For example, updating your LinkedIn status would be worth 1 point, as would sending a tweet, while setting up an appointment through social media would be worth 50 points. Bringing in a new client would be worth 200 points. The firm that Adrian used as a case study who did this was able to show four new client engagements and over 45 appointments set up as a result. How could this work in your firm?
Marketers, what other tips would you add from your experiences in working with attorneys at your firms to set up blogs? What has been successful? What has been particularly challenging?