Legal Marketing: Involving Associates in your Firm’s Blog
One of the best blogs I’ve found in the legal marketing arena is The Matte Pad, created by my friend and colleague, Tom Matte. His posts are targeted specifically at legal marketers, but there are a lot of lessons any professional services provider can learn from them too. Here is one he wrote on how to get your blog up and running by involving your junior staff.
By creating a team of people at your firm that are jointly responsible for your firm’s blog, you will soon benefit greatly from their efforts through new leads and closed business.
The biggest issue most law firms have with creating a blog is time. But keep in mind that partners don’t have to write your blog. Why not take advantage of the excitement and skills of your younger staff and associates to get your blog up and running. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Create a blog team. Rather than having one person write all the blog posts, why not create a team of people who are regular contributors? You may choose to be transparent in your blog and express that it is a group effort. The title of the blog can even reflect this concept. This way you can spread the work among multiple people and get different perspectives. If you have different service areas or industry niches, ask for volunteers from each area to write regular posts. Assign someone the responsibility of making sure articles are posted and edited (proofreading is important here!), but have multiple people do the writing.
Find out who is most interested and encourage them. While some people simply hate the idea of writing regular posts, there are probably those at your firm that would welcome the task. Poll your employees and see who is interested in being a contributor. Your younger associates are probably already using social media in a variety of ways, and some may have even written for other blogs in the past. Uncover who has a real interest in this and add them to your team.
Reward team members for business that comes to your firm through your blog. Most firms have some sort of system in place to recognize and financially reward referrals that turn into business. This, quite simply, encourages everyone on your staff to sell your services. Since your blog is another tool for business development, create a system for tracking the leads that your blog brings in and reward those on the team for those leads that turn into real business. This will further encourage them to be active participants in your blog process, and you’ll know how effective your blog really is.
Set reasonable expectations. Even if you divide the labor between multiple team members, remember it takes time to research, write and edit a blog post. If you simply add this as another task to team members, they may quickly grow weary of the added responsibility. Consider decreasing their billable requirements by an hour or two a month, so they know that you are serious about this marketing effort and are willing to set aside the time for it. Keep in mind that writing a blog is a business development activity, so it should eventually result in more business. Don’t look at it as billable hours lost but as an investment into growing your firm.