Taking Inspiration from Adjacent Industries

Let’s face it, sometimes writing a lawyer blog is tedious, even boring. When you feel like you are stuck in the same patterns, or want to provide your readers with some useful but different information, taking inspiration from adjacent industries may be just the way to do it.

Lawyers writing law blogs don’t always have the easiest job. Legal work can often come off as boring, even though most of the work we are doing is not. The problem is that ethical issues, including attorney-client confidentiality, can keep us from talking about the most compelling parts of what we do. We may not be able to discuss a confidential settlement or the work that went into finalizing a difficult case.

But we can use this as a starting point to find inspiration from adjacent industries. Because these posts are disconnected from our specific clients, we can blog, or invite guest bloggers, without fear of ethical complications.

Incorporating Adjacent Industries Into Your Law Blog

No legal issue is an island. When you have a topic you want to blog about but can’t do it directly, take a look at the adjacent industries involved. You may be able to come at the issue from an unusual direction, protecting yourself and your client while still making the most of an interesting situation.

There are two ways to incorporate adjacent industries into your law blog:

  1. Reference professionals in the adjacent industry in your law-related post
  2. Invite adjacent professionals to guest-post on your blog

Let’s use the example of a family lawyer wrestling with how to schedule holiday parenting time for parents who follow a different religion from herself.

References and Links to Adjacent Professional Resources Help Inform You and Your Readers at the Same Time

As our family lawyer wrestles with understanding the client’s religious holidays and practices, she probably heads to the web to research the policies and practices of the different faith. She may find a calendar of holy days, and a blog article by a religious leader about bringing children up in the faith that discusses the importance of including children in the ritual.

Now it’s time for our family lawyer to post her weekly blog. The case is still on her mind, giving her all the inspiration she needs to write a great post. She can use those online resources she found in her research to draft a well written, and well-sourced article that respects the other religion and shows her readers she cares enough to get things right. By quoting from the source article and linking back to the site, she can give authority to the religious leader, and lend credibility to her own post.

Guest Posts from Adjacent Industry Professionals Give Regular Readers a New Perspective

Let’s say the family lawyer wants to go further. In learning about this other faith tradition she found they were underrepresented in the legal field and needed help from lawyers who understood their needs and traditions. Rather than just writing a reference post, she may want to take a step further, inviting that religious leader to write a post for her and her readers about family law issues within the faith tradition.

By extending the invitation to an adjacent industry professional, our family lawyer develops a strong referral connection while also providing her readers with a different perspective. Guest blogs are also great from an SEO perspective, because they naturally create connections between the family lawyer’s website and other places where the guest blogger is featured on the web.

Whenever possible, arrange for the guest blogging to be mutual: promise to write a post for their website if they will write them for you. That way, you get twice the reach and twice the SEO connection between the posts.

Finding the Right Adjacent Industries to Target

Our family lawyer’s adjacent industry came out of one particular case she was working on. But other times you may have to go looking to connect the dots. Consider the types of professionals that are involved in your cases. Those are the industries you may want to connect with in your marketing efforts. Here are some ideas for some of the most common types of law:

  • Auto Accident: Vehicle repair shops
  • Personal Injury: Doctors or physical therapists
  • Divorce: Therapists
  • Business Law: Accounting
  • Estate Planning: Financial Planners
  • Real Estate Law: Landscaper
  • Intellectual Property: App developers
  • Labor & Employment Law: Career coaches

There are very few bad choices for adjacent industries. The key is to find a way to connect what you or your guest blogger wants to write about to your core practice area. The landscaper, for example, may write about how regular lawn maintenance will give a good first impression to potential buyers or renters.

Not every post on your law blog needs to be about a new statute, court rule, or legal opinion. Your blog can be as varied as your work. The key is to take inspiration from adjacent industries and incorporate them with quotes, links, and the occasional guest blog. All three will help inform your audience and keep your blog from getting dull.

Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist in Ferndale, Michigan. She provides blogs and web content for lawyers and small businesses. If you need help keeping your law blog interesting, contact Legal Linguist today to schedule a meeting.

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