Does Your Blog Engage Your Clients?

It’s great to provide consistent, informed content to your clients and referral sources. But are your readers engaged? How can you increase your followers’ involvement in your writing?

I recently attended a blogging for business workshop hosted by social media guru Heather Coleman Voss and the Ferndale Michigan Works. Professionals of all kinds came together to learn how to improve their blogs.

One question was on everyone’s lips: how can I better engage my clients through my blog?

Support Your Blog With Social Media Engagement

Your blog is the place to provide great content, but to make it popular you need to pair it with excellent social media outreach. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and many other social media platforms give you a great opportunity to reach a broader audience. The key is to embrace and encourage likes, shares, retweets, and favorites.

Provide Accessible Content

Your readers aren’t looking for a legal treatise. They want quick answers that are easy to understand. You can do this by structuring your blogs as numbered lists, how-to guides, and tutorials.

Diversify the Voices

You want to have a consistent voice, but that doesn’t mean that every post has to sound like you. By using client testimonials, quotes, and guest bloggers, you can give your readers a variety of perspectives. This can help them understand your topic and your business.

Ask For Feedback

Your blog has a comment section that is designed to engage your readers in conversation. But often lawyers will find their posts riddled with spam and nothing else. If you want quality comments that start a dialog among your readers, ask for it. End your posts with thought-provoking questions, and don’t be afraid of controversy. You can always moderate offensive content later.

There are a lot of great ways to engage your readers on your blog. The most important thing is to create a conversation whether in the comments or on social media. What techniques have you tried connect with your clients online? Let us know in the comments.

 

China Law Blog Shows There’s More Than One Way to Win at Blogging

Recently the editors at attorneyatwork.com interviewed Dan Harris of Harris & Moure PLLC, the author of chinalawblog.com. They asked him questions about his strategy, effectiveness, and tracking. Despite his success, Mr. Harris’s answers may surprise you.

One thing that probably isn’t a surprise is that chinalawblog.com adds new content almost daily. But it’s not a one-man show. Other lawyers in the firm, guest bloggers, and even staff members, make contributions to keep content fresh and new articles flowing. While daily blogging isn’t for everyone, the more often you can post new content, the more frequently you will appear on social media feeds and in your referral partners’ inboxes.

Mr. Harris’s strategy parts ways with conventional knowledge when it comes to tracking views, comments, and other metrics. Social media experts will tell you one of the most important parts of blogging is tracking your readership. By learning what your readers are interested in, you can write more effectively and develop a target audience. But in response to a question regarding tracking effectiveness, Mr. Harris said,

In the first year, I would check readership numbers with some cheesy device I added to the blog. I tired of that after I realized that the number of readers didn’t really matter. Since then we have done absolutely nothing to track any aspect of the blog.

Instead he measures effectiveness qualitatively: through reviews, clients who make reference to the blog, and awards.

Mr. Harris’s purpose for blogging is also slightly different. Rather than emphasizing marketing strengths and focusing on clients and referral partners, Mr. Harris says to

Write because you are fascinated by your topic and because you want to start a conversation with your readers. Blogs written for “marketing purposes” virtually always fail.

In a way, he is right. Your blog should be connected to your passion, and the best articles are the ones you will feel most strongly about. If you are only writing your blog because someone told you it was a good marketing strategy, eventually the ends will not justify the means.

Mr. Harris also gives one very good warning:

It will take you at least a year of pretty much daily postings to build up a readership, and if you are not prepared to stick it out for at least that long, don’t even bother.

Blogging is an investment, not an ad placement. If you are expecting instantaneous returns you will be disappointed. It is possible to build up a readership with a thoughtful weekly blog, but it may take more time. Cultivate your audience and don’t get discouraged when your readership numbers plane out from time to time. If you need help building your blog readership, contact ghost blogger Lisa Schmidt today.

Which Social Media Networks Should Your Law Firm Be On?

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and on and on. There are so many social media outlets that demand your attention as a business owner. But you can’t possibly do them all, can you? So how do you choose?

Just like when it come to choosing a topic or scheduling your posts, the decision of which social media sites to focus on depends on your audience. Where are your potential clients spending their time? That is where you have to be.

That said, for most law firms, venues that focus on articles and professionalism tend to provide the largest return on investment:

  • Facebook has made it easy to link blog articles and other websites with eye-catching photos.
  • LinkedIn‘s emphasis on professional networks and discussion panels make it an ideal place to show off your expertise to other professionals, if not direct clients.
  • Twitter‘s emphasis is on immediacy, so it is ideal for the fast-paced aspects of law, like updating your followers over the course of a trial.

On the other side of the spectrum, the very visual mediums of Pinterest and Instagram are much better suited to product markets rather than the service industry. Unless your target market is craftsmen or women or you work well with infographics, your attention may be better spent elsewhere.

YouTube breaks this rule. While YouTube’s video feeds are inherently visual, they are a great way to demonstrate your likeability and expertise directly to potential clients. Using YouTube to create quick tips, FAQ, or blog videos can give you a face and set you apart from your competition.

The world of social media has gotten too big for small law firms to cover it all. You have to be selective and focus on the venues best suited to your practice. If you need help planning your social media presence, contact blog coach Lisa Schmidt today.

Should You Blog Over Vacation?

With Memorial Day behind us and the summer ahead, you are probably looking at your calendar looking for a few days’ vacation. But how should you deal with your blog while you are away? Here are a few ways to get through your time off:

1. Write Ahead

If your blog is still getting its sea legs, you probably will want to take the extra time to have blogs scheduled and ready to go while you are away. Most blogging platforms allow you to schedule your posts in advance, so you can set everything up and walk away without worrying that something could go wrong.

2. Write Abroad

One of the great things about the web is that you can access it from almost anywhere. Sometimes your vacation will inspire you. If it does, write. Don’t bottle it up and try to wait until you get back. You can upload your blog posts on the go or save them electronically to use later.

3. Cut Back

Maybe you don’t have time to write a fresh blog for each day of your vacation (if you are blogging daily), but you probably have time for 1-2 extra posts. It is okay to cut down your frequency while you are away, as long as you pick it back up when you get back.

4. Use Guest Bloggers

If your blog has a decent following you probably have a few other bloggers reading your work. Send out a call for guest bloggers to fill the gaps while you are away. This will take burden off of you and will help grow your audience at the same time.

5. Use Ghost Bloggers

If none of these options suit you, you can always hire someone to write on your behalf. A ghost blogger reads what you have written and provides additional articles that fit your topic and writing style. You can hire one to keep up your content stream while you are away.

Just because you go on vacation doesn’t mean your marketing efforts have to go with you. With some careful advanced planning you can have an uninterrupted flow of content marketing while you are away that will keep you up and running when you get back. If you need a ghost writer to help fill the gaps, contact Lisa Schmidt today before you jump on that plane!