In this week’s Rainmaking Recommendation from expert and trainer, Jaimie Field, she talks about something near and dear to my heart – writing for your audience. We talk a lot about the WHO of your content here on Zen, and it’s an INCREDIBLY important piece of being successful in your writing – whether it’s blogging, writing industry articles, or even sending out a short tweet. WHO are you writing for?

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Okay, a confession:  I am definitely a legal geek. I love lawyers and I love the industry!

In addition to studying legal marketing and business development on a constant basis (as well as every other aspect of marketing and sales for many different industries), I read about law firm management (for Big Law to Solos), legal technology; and I read lawyers’ blogs – the blogs written by attorneys to showcase their knowledge to their audience.

Perhaps you have heard that writing blogs to create authority in your industry or practice area is a worthwhile marketing activity.

It is.

As one of my colleagues in legal marketing, Allison Shields, writes:

Blogging is an effective way for lawyers to generate traffic; demonstrate their expertise; develop relationships with strategic alliances, referral sources, and potential clients; create resources for clients, and more.” 

In fact, there are studies and statistics which prove that lawyers who blog have gotten clients because of their blogging activity.  According to the ABA TECHREPORT in 2016, the survey reported:

Of those who do personally maintain a legal topic blog, 42% responded that they had a client retain their legal services directly or via referral as a result of their legal topic blogging. Another 27% don’t know.”

And while those numbers are encouraging, I think they could be higher if lawyers decided for whom they are writing.

I have read blogs in almost every area of practice by lawyers who hail from every size firm imaginable.  And the one thing that strikes me most is the lack of decision as for whom the attorney is writing.  Most attorneys are still writing blogs from the stand point of the attorney or the court.  If you are writing a treatise for a law journal, or a brief for your case, then the way you were taught to write in law school is perfect: you are writing for your audience of lawyers and judges.

However, unlike myself, who happens to like citations and being able to read the courts decisions (but that is definitely a result of my training as an attorney), most “normal” humans don’t care about that.  And recently, I have been reading more lawyer blogs that seem like law review articles then actual blogs.

In order for your blog to become a successful way to showcase your authority and to obtain all of the benefits listed above, you need to step into the shoes of your reader.

A great way to do this is to imagine your ideal client or referral source is sitting directly in front of you and you are speaking, normally and naturally, to them about the idea about which you are going to write.  What would they want to know about that topic?

And then, write from that standpoint.

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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.