3 ways to know if your writing is hitting the mark

by Adrian Dayton
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This morning my son asked, “Mom, can you write me a list of everything that bugs eat?”

He’s only six, so he didn’t realize he was asking for a pretty long list. But his head was in the right place, he wanted to make sure that what he put in the jam jar with holes poked in the top would satisfy the critter he had found.

Are you giving your clients the same level of care that my son gives to bugs? Wait, that came out wrong.

Let’s try this: Are you paying close attention to what your best clients need? What they like? Where they have an appetite for improvement? Your ability to write, blog, and create articles that satisfy the demands and needs of your clients tells them you are listening and shows them you care about them and their business.

hit-the-markHow do we know what they want? I’d like to share with you three simple ways to spot their appetite for content. All of them have to do with spotting trends.

1. Talk to your clients regularly. Look for common questions being asked by multiple clients in a short period of time. If one or two clients have a similar issue on their mind, there are likely hundreds more like them that would appreciate an article written to address that issue.

2. Track click-through rates on your blog posts. It doesn’t matter how many total readers view each post, what is important is the trend. If you usually get 60 views, but suddenly jump to 300, then you have hit on a nerve. (My two favorite ways to track clicks are bitly.com when sharing on social networks and Google Analytics for on-page analytics.)

3. Track open-rates in email marketing campaigns. This is low hanging fruit in my mind, and unfortunately even though over 90% of law firms have email services that track open rates and can show lawyers by name who opens each newsletter or e-alert, this information is rarely shared with the lawyers — because the lawyers aren’t demanding it. If you have an open rate that is substantially higher than your last few blasts, even just 5-10% higher, then you are having success and should go deeper into that topic.

At that point, you can “serialize” the content. This week in conversations with Adrian Lurssen at JD Supra, he talked to me about creating a 2,3,4 or 10 part series to go deeper into the topics that have been successful. Hold a webinar on the topic, put together a lunchtime CLE, or plan an event with speakers. Now that you know what your clients are enjoying, take advantage of that knowledge. Give your clients what they have shown they want.

Now numbers alone can be misleading, sometimes a flashy headline mentioning a celebrity can attract more clients, but when you are actually creating useful and timely information, the numbers tell a story.

This morning when my son was asking what bugs eat, I didn’t have the heart to tell him that it didn’t really matter what he fed them. Bugs just don’t live that long. You will have better luck with your clients by paying close attention to what they need.

 

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Adrian Dayton
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