- By Cathy Goodwin
- Published 07/17/2009
- Writing for the Web
Most lawyers now recognize that they can increase credibility, exposure and ultimately revenue by generating massive amounts of high quality Internet content. This content needs to work with your website to create an integrated online professional services marketing strategy. Your online marketing strategy calls for several critical decisions. First, you need to decide that you want to make a commitment to providing a strong, solidly professional Internet presence. You will need to devote time to planning your strategy, even if you outsource to qualified marketing professionals. Ultimately, you have to decide what message you want to send. Do you focus on a single specialty or a specific target market? Are you a formal expertise-based practice? Do you want to come across as approachable and non-judgmental? These are just a few of the questions you need to consider when creating a content strategy.
Your Internet marketing foundation begins with a strategically planned website. Many professionals begin by calling a web designer or web developer. Instead, start with a website that communicates your message: who you are, what kind of clients you would like to attract, and why you are unique. Many attorneys make the mistake of thinking, “I’m just another lawyer.” In fact, yo
ur website can highlight specific elements of your background, experience, credentials and track record, so you will become the first choice of specific types of clients. Your website will be supported by a blog. Blogs are no longer viewed as diaries. Your blog is the place to present your ideas and showcase your expertise. You can comment on contemporary events, provide case histories (disguising details to protect confidentiality), and provide an insider’s perspective on a new piece of legislation. Your blog drives traffic to your website. You can drive even more traffic when you write articles and arrange for distribution. Articles can expand your blog posts, with modifications because you won’t know when and where they will appear. Many highly Internet marketers have built large businesses solely by article marketing. Finally, you can drive traffic by using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. When you use social media for professional promotion, be aware that you are writing copy, just as you would write for a website or sales letter.
Each post and tweet supports your marketing strategy. You’ll see lots of posts like, “I just ate a donut.” But you probably will skip those mealtime reports. Of course, if you’re looking for a folksy, friendly image, you could post something like, “All morning at a negotiation. Just time for a donut for lunch.”