Are law firm websites going to become extinct?

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Are law firm websites going to become extinct?

Thought-leader and legal marketing expert Molly Porter recently wrote about the new curated blogging platform that LinkedIn is introducing to spotlight industry thought-leaders and how that may have a profound effect on law firm content marketing strategies.

One provocative idea that she shares is that LinkedIn’s changes may eventually make law firm websites superfluous.

It’s an interesting idea (one that has been debated since Facebook came on the scene, and probably before that). But in our opinion, there are two significant reasons why this is not likely any time soon.

Marketing crossroad.

In the fractured universe of the web, where information about an attorney is scattered on dozens of sites like LinkedIn, JDSupra, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Wikipedia, as well as throughout your firm’s website, there needs to be a “home-base.” The attorney bio is evolving to be that home-base – a repository of an attorney’s entire thought leadership, social media activity, and personal interests.

Safeguarding your firm’s brand.

Communicating the firm’s brand to outside constituencies, as well as internal audiences such as the firm’s attorneys and staff, is one of the greatest benefits of a firm’s website. Handing off control of your branding to another entity, such as LinkedIn, is a risky move that law firms (and other companies) will avoid.

Making it all work together.

The promise offered by LinkedIn’s new blogging platform that Molly’s piece discusses, and those of other social media sites, is tremendous. Attorneys should embrace all those venues. They’re perfect places to repurpose their best content and ideas.

But to help potential clients understand the value that a particular attorney can offer, the first step is to create worthwhile content.

Worthwhile content opens doors, builds reputations and removes doubt. But for it to further the attorney’s business goals, it needs to complement everything else that the attorney is doing and has done. One way to ensure that is by driving readers back to the attorney’s bio page, where they can see other reputation-enhancing information, such as success stories and past accomplishments. Here’s an example.

For many firms, turning the attorney’s bio into a “home-base” may mean re-conceiving the format of the firm’s bio pages. Here’s a recent blog post that we wrote that addresses this concept: Content Drives Everything.

The bottom-line: the challenge is not where to place great content on the web – but how to create something worthwhile that people want to share and induces the phone to ring.

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