7 Easy Ways to Earn, Engage, & Keep Your Best Readers - Law Firm Content Strategy

by JD Supra Perspectives

This summer my colleague Adrian Lurssen released a series of short videos of focused writing tips for lawyers and the marketers and business development folks who support them in their thought leadership efforts.

Adrian's quick-hit video tips (available below) cover the full range of helpful writing suggestions: from finding new writing ideas that will be interesting to readers to crafting titles that people will click to read, from engaging readers for the longterm to establishing yourself as a leading expert in the subject at hand.

I've embedded all the videos for you to watch and hear, below, in the order I think that makes most sense as you're honing your thought leadership skills. I recommend sharing these tips internally with anyone on your team with a stake in your firm's content efforts: writers, marketers, business development folks, and attorneys. Enjoy!

1. How to Find New Writing Ideas

Two tips from Adrian here. The first, above, is a simple exercise that enables you to turn frequently asked questions (from clients, connections, and others) into evergreen topics in a back-of-the-envelope editorial schedule.

The second, above, is a simple email interview exercise that can be conducted between an attorney who wants to write but might not have the time for sustained focus and someone in a supporting role who can serve as editor/interviewer. It's quick, simple, and effective!

2. How to Earn and Engage Your (Busy!) Readers

I wrote "your" readers in that headline, but they're actually not your readers until you earn them. Don't assume you'll be read; you're competing against other writers who work hard every step of the way to be helpful and engaging with each piece they publish. It begins, of course, with a good title. Write your titles to say why someone should stop what they are doing and click to hear what you have to say:

The hard business of earning an audience doesn't end once you've managed to get readers to click on your title. Here's a key way to edit your work to bring the point of your writing up front. Consider it an essential goal in your writing for professionals whose attention is pulled in a multitude of directions all day, every day. Get. to. the. point:

My theme, should it not be obvious yet: your readers are busy. Each step of the way, your job is to engage and sustain interest with an audience that should not have to work hard to understand why you want their attention, and want it right now. To this end, one more tip. Write to be scanned. This enables a prospective reader to see, at a glance, if you what you cover matters to their particular situation. If they're able to answer that question quickly and easily, they're more likely to stick with you:

3. How to Be Indispensible (and Keep Your Readers)

The focus of this post and these videos is, of course, helpful writing tips for lawyers, law firm marketers, and anyone else with a stake in engaging clients, prospects, and other influential readers who can impact business growth for the firm.

And yet, perhaps the most important tip in this collection is quite simple this: don't write about the law...

I'm not going to give away the punchline; you'll have to watch the video above to see for yourself. Then watch it again. And again.

And finally, this: stop the random acts of content. That's a phrase that probably began with our friend Ryan King at Ogletree Deakins and reflects the ad hoc way some writers (and firms) approach this endeavor. One solution: turn the issues you cover into campaigns. Adrian with more on what this means, exactly:

Links to each of Adrian's videos are available here. He tells me he is at work on a new series, with a focus on the opportunities that present themselves when you are read and know for your thought leadership. In other words: a dive into how to use your analytics. Stay tuned! (Connect with Adrian on LinkedIn.)


[Paul Ryplewski is VP of client services at JD Supra.]

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