Today, I’m bringing you a reprint of my friend, Lance Godard‘s latest blog post on 3 reasons every lawyer should study JD Supra’s Readers’ Choice Awards. The awards came out earlier this week, and while you may be inclined to dismiss them automatically as something only to celebrate for those who were honored, you’d be wrong. There are actually a number of important reasons you should be focused on the information revealed in these awards, and Lance is here to tell us why.

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[Guest perspective by Lance Godard, Client Relations Manager in the Ohio offices of employment law firm Fisher & Phillips.]

JD Supra just published their inaugural Readers’ Choice awards, featuring top authors and top content across 26 categories in 2015. The accompanying report provides critical insight into who’s reading what – and in which industry – that every lawyer should know. Some observations:

Clients Read What They Need To Know

First, the awards make clear that the “secret” of leading authors on JD Supra is to give the people what they want. These authors are writing about the issues relevant to the companies they want to reach. That may seem self-evident, but it’s not. Because it means you have to step away from your perspective as advisor, as someone who knows what her clients SHOULD be worrying about, and step into the shoes of those clients trying to understand a hundred different and diverse legal issues all at once. Of course you can (and should) write about issues you think your potential clients need to know. But if you’re not analyzing the developments they think are important, you’re not going to gain the credibility that will lead them to take your word for it.

…step away from your perspective as advisor, as someone who knows what her clients SHOULD be worrying about, and step into the shoes of those clients trying to understand a hundred different and diverse legal issues all at once.

This is particularly important because the issues keeping your clients up at night may not always be the ones you think. A top concern of Silicon Valley, according to the report? Immigration. Of insurance companies? Cybersecurity and data breaches. Of businesses in the broadcast media industry? Employer liability. And of course you may already know this (200 lawyers writing on JD Supra did…), but the point is the same: you’ve got to drill down and figure out what’s important to the people you’re writing for, if you want them to read your work.

…industry insiders really do read the legal analysis and insight that you post online.

Content Marketing Works

Second, the reader analysis done by the folks at JD Supra demonstrates that content marketing is working: industry insiders really do read the legal analysis and insight that you post online. A quick look at the “notable readers” makes that clear: people from Chevron, Johnson & Johnson, Amazon.com, Time Warner Cable, Wells Fargo, Cisco, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, Bank of America, Office Depot, Medtronic, etc., are going to the Internet for guidance on understanding and responding to the legal and business issues they face every day.

Less Is Definitely Not More

And finally, while it may seem obvious, the awards really drive home the point that you shouldn’t ignore a topic because you’ve already written about wage and hour law, or because your competitors have covered data breaches in the insurance industry, or because there’s nothing more to say about the Affordable Care Act. Your job – like every other lawyer – is to demonstrate expertise on the subjects that matter to your clients. A single article does not do that: you must write about the topics you know again and again and again. People are going to read your work when they need it, so your job is to make sure that when they are trying to understand an issue, your analysis is available to them. You do this the way almost every author in these awards did it: by turning up again and again and writing what matters to your readers and clients.

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Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles recruitment, member retention, and a high level of service to members. She is engaged in the legal industry to stay on top of trends, both in law firms and law firm networks.

In her role as Executive Director, she develops and facilitates relationships among ILN member firm lawyers at 90+ law firms in 67 countries, and seeks opportunities for member firms to build business and relationships, while ensuring member participation in Network events and initiatives. These initiatives include facilitating referrals, the management and execution of the marketing and business development strategy for the Network, which encompasses all communications, push-down efforts, and marketing partnerships, providing support and guidance to the chairs and group leaders for the ILN’s thirteen practice and industry specialty groups, the ILN’s women’s initiative, the ILN’s mentorship program, the management and execution of all ILN conferences, and more.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

During her previous tenure as Director of Global Relationship Management, the ILN has been shortlisted as a Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer for 2016 and 2017, and included as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network since 2011. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry, and was recently included in Clio’s list for “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was recently chosen for as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February of 2009.