Dispelling Thought Leadership Myths: Content Marketing Basics for Lawyers – Part 1

Myth 1: The Billable Hour – My Time is Better Spent on ‘Real Work.’ More and more law firms are not only emphasizing billable hours, but the need to build a book of business, according to Michele Ruiz[i] , the author of Content Marketing for Lawyers - How Attorneys Can Use Social Media Strategies to Attract More Clients and Become Legal Thought Leaders. Myth 2: Law Firms Survive on Referrals - Investing in Thought Leadership Marketing is a Waste of Money and Time. Another frequently cited source of new business, is through word-of-mouth referrals, mostly from other lawyers or past clients[ii]. Myth 3: You Don’t Need to Prove Your Knowledge to Business Sources Who Already Know You. Additionally, thought leadership is evergreen, meaning it sticks around for a while unlike advertising or speaking engagements. A good body of quality thought leadership can also make it easier to get speaking engagements. A good body of thought leadership not only keeps your name out there, it can also serve as proof of your expertise and help you stand out from the crowd clamoring for business. Traditionally it was thought that a steady flow of client work would come if the lawyer almost exclusively focused on being the best lawyer he or she can be, and that sales was for products, not for professional services. Three out of 4 consumers seeking an attorney over the last year used on line resources at some point in their search process. At this juncture, it far easier for a potential referral source to think of recommending you and far easier for the potential client to reach out to you, when they have a need, if they’ve heard of you.

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Despite a changing legal marketplace, many myths persist about how to best present yourself and your firm to potential clients. Many of those myths revolve around content marketing–that attorneys should not waste their time, that time is better spent on racking up those billable hours or simply concentrating on being the best attorney possible. However, those myths do not stand up to scrutiny in today’s legal marketplace as a well-thought out content strategy can be a major asset to any attorney looking to build a book of business.

Myth 1: The Billable Hour – My Time is Better Spent on ‘Real Work.’

More and more law firms are not only emphasizing billable hours, but the need to build a book of business,

is it billable lawyer

according to Michele Ruiz[i] , the author of Content Marketing for Lawyers – How Attorneys Can Use Social Media Strategies to Attract More Clients and Become Legal Thought Leaders. Since all attorneys are now viewed as rainmakers, prioritizing some of the time spent on business development for implementing a content marketing strategy can save time in the long run. Several pieces of really good content that is promoted and shareable (i.e. people want to share it) can lead to others helping you with your business development.

Myth 2: Law Firms Survive on Referrals – Investing in Thought Leadership Marketing is a Waste of Money and Time.

But how do you build a business development culture when at many firm’s 20 percent of the firm’s clients contribute to 80 percent of the income? If these folks already know you, why do you need to invest in thought leadership and other business development efforts? Another frequently cited source of new business, is through word-of-mouth referrals, mostly from other lawyers or past clients[ii]. An internet footprint can make a referral decision easier. A thought leadership strategy can provide potential referrals with a sense of your professional expertise, providing a digital resume of your knowledge that doesn’t expire. Additionally, effectively distributed thought leadership keeps you top of mind with past and present clients.

Myth 3: You Don’t Need to Prove Your Knowledge to Business Sources Who Already Know You.

Increasing competition and the high turnover rate in the legal profession[iii], has heightened the need to keep attorneys, law firm names and associated expertise in front of current, past and potential clients. It’s a far easier sell, to refer an attorney or firm, if the potential client has heard of you. Demonstrating expertise…

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