This article has been written by Ramanuj Mukherjee, CEO, iPleaders.
Why blogging is becoming critical for all lawyers
Many lawyers get it completely wrong. And I don’t blame them. It’s counterintuitive and hard to believe unless you go deep.
For what sort of law practices do building a blog help? Many lawyers tend to think that it works for high volume, low cost services. Others think blogging is for those lawyers who are serving unsophisticated individuals, mostly B2C customers. Most corporate lawyers think, in my experience, that blogging would not give them enough RoI.
This cannot be more wrong.
Yes, blogging do help lawyers who are developing B2C practices and look for low margin high volume work. For example, if you are trying to build a practice around consumer cases, a blog will work wonders.
However, it works equally well or perhaps even better for law firms focused on B2B clients. The more niche and smaller communities we are targeting, easier it gets to impress them and get them to give you a chance. Even if they are already hiring you anyway, blogging gives an opportunity to strengthen your brand in the psyche of your target audience.
Let’s say you want to target foreign investors, or venture capitalists, or angel investors. Blogging will work wonders. There is a way to do it though. Don’t blame blogging if you do it wrong.
The content strategy, platform strategy, who writes – all that changes depending on the audience. There is a way you will build a blog if your target group would be private equity investors, but quite another if you are looking to strike a chord with in-house counsels of power companies.
There is a reason every law firm in highly developed legal markets or even big 4 accountancy firms or consultancy majors heavily invest in creating authoritative blogs. Design firms, innovation consultants, tech consultants, marketing consultants, and all sorts of other consultants around the world are using content marketing creatively to land blue chip accounts. Indian lawyers appear to be strange aberration.
Blogging is not just for drumming up readers and ratcheting big number of visitors.
It is about building a relationship. It is about building trust. It is about building a community around your blog, who look forward to hearing your views on matters that are important to them.
Gary Vaynerchuk says that we are living in a time when every business is media business, although very few realise it yet. Law firms that own their media by investing in blogs, YouTube channels, newsletters – no matter how small a target niche may be – will be having a huge advantage in years to come. Those who refuse to adopt with changing realities or take the ostrich approach will be very, very disappointed eventually.
Things will change faster than you can imagine.
Let me wrap up by sharing about the China Law Blog. A US lawyer started this blog and began to explain legal challenges one face while trying to do business in China. The blog helps the lawyer to generate clients worth millions of dollars a year.
Please read about it. Check it out.
And of course, it’s B2B. And it’s authoritative and provides thought leadership on the subject.
Unfortunately, in India we don’t have many good examples to share yet. Nishith Desai Associates clearly has a very aggressive and coherent content strategy. GLaws.in by Jay Sayta (I played a part in creating it) comes to mind, which focuses on the miniscule gaming industry in India but helped Jay to build a clientele just out of college. Of course, platforms like Lawrato and Vakilsearch heavily invest in blogging.
There are many lawyers who blog regularly but that is very different from being effective at using blogging for BD.
It’s a matter of time though. It won’t take much longer now. In years to come, every law firm that counts will have a blogging strategy.
Which is why at lawsikho.com we try to teach every lawyer who does any course from lawsikho.com more about blogging. In our premium courses, writing and publishing one blog post per month is mandatory. We even help the candidates to pick topics, to think through what target group they want to network with, to come up with their personal content strategy.
Those who do it, benefit immensely.
We even had a few law firms consult us on their content and blogging strategy. We help a few law firms to write their regular industry updates (baby steps). It’s not our main business, but I am so excited about the future, I can’t say no.
We also offer packages to law firms to train their juniors in blogging and guide them to write relevant content.
Here is a task for you: check out the law blogs of magic circle law firms, and those by McKinsey and Deloitte.