Should we as lawyers marketing our practice with a blog? Or, should we have a blog at all? Tom Kane asked a similar question recently in a post called, should your law firm be blogging?
I recently did a post over at the Home Office Lawyer called, Why Write a Blog? Why not write a blog? And I was completely serious. In order to explain my position, I must do a little blowing of my own horn.
I do five blogs. However, the one I do for my main practice area is the Kansas Family and Divorce Lawyer. The results have been amazing. For example, in the last 2 months, I have acquired at least 14 new clients with the blog. Four of those in the last two days.
Kevin O'Keefe at LexBlog had a nice post about some of the success I have had blogging and here is some of what he said:
Grant, though not a LexBlog client, has become a good friend the last year. I helped guide him a bit and have enjoyed our give and take.
Grant has landed 10 new divorce clients in the last 6 weeks solely because of his blog. In addition he helped a young lawyer, who lost her job as an assistant DA when the DA lost his seat in an election, do a criminal defense law blog. Grant listed himself on the blog with the other lawyer. 30 days into that blog Grant has picked up 3 solid criminal cases.
Carolyn Elefant asked the question recently, "will a blog get me business." Carolyn has one of the best blogs on the Web, My Shingle. While she admits that her opinion was once a little conservative. It would appear she has changed her position. To answer her question, she used my blog as an example.
So I decided to try to figure out the reasons for Grant's success. I visited his blog and it's a great example of a practice-focused blog, a mix of helpful information for clients and links to current events and news stories. Then, I put myself in the shoes of a prospective client using the Internet to find a divorce lawyer in Kansas and ran a couple of searches like this and this and this. No surprise that Grant's firm comes in top five under any of these combinations.
But, what does all this mean to you, either the new lawyer or law student. If you just look at my results alone, blogging works to market your firm. I do urge those I talk to however, to pick a niche to blog about. Whether you have different practice areas in your firm or not. I do not believe a blog should cover all areas of your practice. Use niche marketing with your blog. My blog and even Jonathan's blog California Personal Injury and Insurance Blog are niche blogs. We picked a certain area of our practice and target market with that blog. I do see this being broken down even further, and why not. Take for example my area of practice and the family law blog. Why couldn't you break that down to custody disputes as a blog. Adoption as a blog. Grandparent visition rights as a blog. Are you getting my point? You can target market down to case specific niches and really target the type of clients you want. In essense, I couuld take my family law blog and break that down into 6 or 7 individual blogs.
Would this take some work? Yes. Would it be worth it? What do you think? Blogging is not something you should do, unless you are willing to devote at least an hour a day to it, if you want to market your firm and see some of the same results I have seen. I post a lot. I do that because I enjoy it and because I have seen the results.
Posting to your blog does not have to take a lot of your time. The key is posting. You don't have to do it everyday. The biggest advantage of blogging over a static website is its ease of updating. Posting is updating your blog. There are bloggers that have been successful who only post once a week to a couple of times a month. However, there are advantages to posting as often as you can.
Posting and updating your blog is what attracts the search engines. This is one key reason why blogs almost always place higher in searches than a static website in Web users google searches.
Blogging not only is a great way to market your firm or business, but it also can be a tool to get your clients or customers involved. Everyday, I receive comments and emails from my readers. I use those comments and emails to come up with topics to post about. Those comments and emails are telling you what your clients and/or customers are interested in and what questions they are asking. On that same note, I use my TypePad stats to know what people are looking at on the Web. One feature of TypePad that I use everyday is the stats page. You can actually go to the search request people are doing and see the questions they are typing into the search engines. Look for patterns of questions and post on that subject. I did that a lot when I first started my family law blog and continue to do it today. You are answering questions that are being asked and you will see results in your placement in search engines.
Blogging keeps you informed on the services you provide or the business you run. You will actually be better informed because you are reading more about your own business or service area. You have to, if you are going to blog about it. I use RSS to keep up on topics I am interested in and topics which I blog about. You will be better informed and it will show, not only on your blog but in your everyday dealings with your clients/customers and your peers.
One other advantage of blogging over other forms of marketing is the community you build and become involved with. For example, I have developed friendships and associations with other bloggers in the family law area. As such, we follow each others blogs on family law. This allows us to link to and post about each other's information which is being provided. This, in and of itself, drives traffic to each other's blog. Kind of like an indirect referral source. People will find you just by going to a fellow bloggers blog. Are you and the other bloggers competing against other? NO!!!!!! You are working together. You both will see an increase in traffic and this will in turn give you more exposure and results. After all, where is the best place to put a fast food restaurant? Next to a McDonalds. The success of other blogs you link to will indirectly cause your blog to become successful. Try that with a static website or the Yellow Pages.
But don't take my word for it. Larry Bodine from Legal Marketing Blog had this to say not too long ago:
Blogging is something that legal marketers really need to pay attention to as a number of firms out there are using blogs to create a competitive advantage.
I really could go on and on. Am I excited about what blogging can do for a law firm? Heck yes!!!! Do I think it works? Just look at my results alone. Should you do a blog? Why wouldn't you do a blog is a better question to be asking yourself?
------Grant special to The Practice