Lawyers understand the value of thought leadership, or do they? Thought leadership can grow your law firm better than most marketing methods.
If you look at law firm websites, you will think that they all promote thought leadership as they clearly state their expertise on their websites.
When you investigate just a little bit more, you quickly realize that most lawyer websites say the same boring and generic thing, namely who they are and how wonderful and skilled they are.
According to lawyer websites, they are all experts in multiple fields of law. They drum on their chests like gorillas, shouting out how just how skilled they are.
Legal clients are increasingly becoming more astute, and they see through the 'fluff.' To make you stand out in the very competitive field of marketing your law firm website, you must become a thought leader.
Wikipedia defines a thought leader as an individual or firm that is recognized as an authority in a specialized field and whose expertise is sought and often rewarded.
If you are a legal expert and you specialize in a field of law, such as divorce law, and you share and guide others around you, you educate them on an ongoing basis, and then you can be viewed as a thought leader.
When your website is not so much about you, but it answers questions asked by your audience and your peers, you will become sought after in your field of expertise, and you will not struggle to get new clients through your doors.
Thought leaders are innovative action takers.
You will be the leader of the pack. As an innovator that acts, your ideal audience will seek your advice, and they will be willing to pay for your expertise.
A thought leader can be anyone. They come in various shapes and sizes. When you see a thought leader, you will likely recognize certain traits, and it will be useful for you to learn these traits.
Lawyers though leaders, are fully aware of what is happening in their industry or field of practice. They study the relevant laws, regulations, practices, and case law. They do not only "fall in" and repeat what others are saying. They think about challenges and possible solutions for these challenges. They are leaders with their own opinions, and they are passionate about what they do.
It can be tough to state your opinion in a matter, especially if it goes against the norm. These leaders are willing to stand their ground and make changes when they feel it is necessary to do so. This even though they may fail. They will also admit when they are wrong and take personal responsibility for their failures.
Because thought leaders are passionate, they are well prepared, and they believe in their cause. Their passion shines through, and people cannot help but notice them. They can take complex issues and explain them in simple terms. Because of their passion and preparedness, they are very persuasive to their audience. This audience in the legal field can be their peers, clients, prospective clients, or the Judges and Magistrates hearing their matters.
You cannot be a thought leader if you do not act. Their actions convince other people to act. If your prospective client has a real legal problem, and they consult with a thought leader, they are very likely to convert and appoint that thought leader lawyer to assist them with their problem.
You will not be a thought leader just because you share your ideas. You need to be an expert with your unique view of the law, and you must share your opinions widely – even if your opinion is controversial.
When people cite you or you regularly get invited for tv and radio interviews, that is when you know that you have made it as a thought leader.
You can become a thought leader if you are not already one, by taking action.
If you are an unknown lawyer, do not try and be everything for everyone. Decide where your interest lies and in what type of law you want to specialize in. Then define that part of the law for you and your specific circumstances.
Even if you practice in different fields of law, it is easier to become a thought leader if you start with one niche.
Become an expert in a field of law and stay focused on the long term. Repeat your message so that people know who you are and what you stand for.
It is essential to know your field of practice. Stay aware of the most current changes to the law and critical court judgments.
Once you are well established, you can expand your reach, and you can then build your reputation up as a well-rounded lawyer.
You need to identify your target audience. This will assist you with your messaging – it serves no purpose if you create exciting content on a subject matter, but your message is published before the wrong audience. Nobody will then care about your message.
By knowing your audience, you will know whom to target. It will be easier to understand where to find your ideal target market. You will also be able to determine the best tone and style to use.
You should try different social media and other platforms, or you can mix and match the ways that you use to get your message out.
Try different forms of social media – from Facebook, Twitter to Linkedin.
One important aspect is that you must make sure that your message, across all the various platforms, is consistency.
Have a plan and schedule time for thinking, researching, and content creation.
Content creation can be time-consuming, but it is not always necessary for extended content. You can write long articles, make videos, or even send out a simple regular tweet of your content and ideas.
Do not have conflicting views every second day. It is okay to change your opinion on the odd occasion if you are honest with your audience why you had a change in mind, and you do not try and hide your shift in mind.
If you do try and hide the message and it comes out, your audience may think that you are not trustworthy.
Get involved in different platforms and forums. Engage with people, and this will assist you in becoming 'the' expert in your chosen field.
It is important to add a bit of your personality into what you are doing. Do not be afraid to take sides. If you have done your homework, and you are convinced of your point of view, do not be scared to say what you think.
You will always have people that agree with you and people that have opposite views. Try and not take things too personally. You will always have trolls, especially on social media platforms.
It is also important to share information with your audience. Do not think that your clients will try and do things themselves if you share too much information.
Your ideal clients will use the contents differently; they will look at it and use it to form a conclusion, i.e., that you are in expert in your field. The generous sharing of information will likely help you attract the right type of client.
Use the power of online marketing by getting visitors to your website. This should be your cornerstone to show your expertise and build trust with your audience. Lawyers are often surprised how powerful content creation can be to increase their marketing efforts and to obtain more qualified leads.
We always think that we must build our audiences on every available platform available. This is not the case. You must look at what is achievable so that you can have a consistent presence on that platform or platforms. If you have the capacity to only utilize Linkedin, then use Linkedin and make sure that you become a force to be reckoned with on Linkedin.
If you spend hours drafting a 5000 words article, do not only post it on your website. Create links to your other platforms and share the content so that you can reach many more people.
Build a way to reach your audience regularly. They must get the newly created content as soon as you release it. You must always be on your audience’s mind. You can do this by building an email list, or with push notification. Nurture your followers, respond to their questions, and be willing to engage with them in a healthy debate!
Use networking opportunities to extend your reach. Find other influencers and sites in your field of expertise that you can collaborate with. Reach out to the media – Journalists are always looking for experts in various fields.
Find and work with mentors, especially if you a newly qualified as an Attorney. Learn from them, observe their actions, and ask them for assistance. You will be surprised at how many people are willing to become mentors.
Attend related functions and events and use these opportunities to network with people that can help grow your profile.
Publish your content and share your content on various groups. You can also do guest blogging to gain access to other people’s audiences.
Though leadership is attainable and within reach of most lawyers. You must be willing to put in the work consistently. If you work hard to become a thought leader, you will likely become a much sought-after lawyer in your chosen field of practice, and you will not have to find clients, they will find you.