How do you become known as an expert in your field? You don’t have to win a groundbreaking case or give a big lecture to a room full of your peers, though both would help. Sometimes, you just need to start writing a blog.
In his book, Reinventing Professional Services; Building Your Business in the Digital Marketplace, Ari Kaplan says:
“The new formula for prosperity among most professionals is to become a visible enthusiastic expert.”
To set yourself apart from the other thousands of attorneys who do what you do, you need to be the one people see talking about what they do in a smart way. You need to sound like you know what you are doing. But more importantly, you need to appear approachable – like people can bring you their problems without worrying about the billable hour.
A Visible Enthusiastic Expert Talks Freely About Her Work
Instead, you need to look eager to talk about your work, and to give little tidbits of advice to people facing the kind of problems you solve. This isn’t “giving away the milk” so people won’t “buy the cow.” That kind of thinking simply doesn’t work anymore. Remember, in the modern era, there is an answer for everything on the Internet. But it may not be the best, or more nuanced answer that you could provide. Kaplan says:
“The increased number of choices and the prevalence of tools that enable potential clients and customers to do some of the work themselves is causing commoditization. . . . [A] variety of legal documents can be drafted for free. People are now much freer to eliminate or reduce the need for licensed resources that once held a monopoly on trusted information. This shift requires those experts to convey basic knowledge, but in a way that tailors their understanding to the issues with which their existing or future clients are struggling. They are required to routinely engage in conversation on issues about which their clients . . . have acquired some knowledge and may have preexisting ideas.”
As a legal expert, you need to be ready to meet your clients on their level, which may be more sophisticated now than ever before.
Blogging Makes you Visible and Demonstrates Expertise
There are few ways better than blogging to become a visible enthusiast expert in the digital marketing world. A blog allows you to develop your expertise while at the same time showing your ability to handle particular problems to potential clients and referral partners. A blog’s limited length and informal nature allows you to appear enthusiastic and approachable, rather than making you out to be an aloof keeper of arcane knowledge. The medium, like other forms of social media, also allows for some slip ups along the way. Kaplan says:
“In a technological environment, people tend to be more forgiving in marketing. They are used to hiccups. . . . Minor mistakes are part of progress.”
You don’t have to be an expert blogger to start blogging. And you won’t be. But that’s okay, because your readers will be willing to forgive an occasional typo or aesoteric blog topic as long as the bulk of your work is readable, interesting, and shows you are a visible enthusiastic expert.