In a world flooded with free-flowing information, how can attorneys rise to the surface so their content can be seen? It’s a good question, and, unfortunately for many, the burden of overcoming this significant and very real hurdle is exactly why many decide against creating and sharing information in the first place.
If a firm wants to communicate and connect directly with its clients and other audience targets, then sharing information – specifically, thought leadership and narratives, such as case studies – is a worthy investment of effort. Sharing your stories and expertise puts you in control of your messaging, allowing you to drive your own brand reputation.
Of course, not every attorney is accustomed to sharing. So how do you create a culture where sharing is encouraged?
This article explores the importance that sharing content plays in law firm marketing, business development and branding, and provides some guidance on how you can cultivate a culture of sharing in your firm.
Why is sharing information critical to business development success?
As children, we are taught that sharing is caring, a lesson well learned and a best practice in marketing, business development and client retention. By sharing tips, case studies, news and thought leadership related to the client’s or potential client’s need and interest, you are positioning yourself and your organization as a brand they can trust.
Sharing information and telling stories also allows you to demonstrate your experience without making it about you and your firm. It contextualizes the information to focus more on how you can help so your client or prospect will see that you care about their needs. Cultivating this sense of trust and care between the firm and its audience is critical not only in business development and client retention, but also in branding.
What are some ways a law firm can create a culture of sharing?
To create a culture of sharing, you have to first understand your audience and their needs. (Note there might be multiple audiences.) After all, sharing isn’t a shotgun blast. It’s targeted and should be tailored to each audience based on their interests.
Second, know your brand promise, core values and culture. Make sure your sharing articulates, promotes and reinforces these essential elements of your brand.
Third, create information worth sharing. Be strategic in developing relevant content. Remember when composing your content that the intent is to focus on the audience and its needs, not the attorney or the law firm.
How can sharing content forge trust between the firm and clients/prospects?
Listen to your clients to find out what they want, what they question and what keeps them up at night. Then, give it to them in the information you choose to share. This, over time, will lead to trust and loyalty. When this loyalty is in place, clients become an important part of brand awareness and business development through word-of-mouth opportunities. The relationship between you and the client will improve as well because they trust that you have their best interests in mind.
How does a culture of sharing enhance client retention?
Giving someone something they didn’t ask for that they truly needed is the idea behind a sharing culture. An attorney who freely shares relevant content with a client or prospect is saying, “I want to educate you and help eliminate barriers so you can be more innovative and focused on the success of your business.” Once again, this speaks to building a relationship of trust and loyalty through sharing information.
How do I start sharing?
Before starting a culture of sharing, you need to first know or identify the firm’s culture, brand promise and core values. Always incorporate these elements into your resources and thought leadership. Equally know your clients and the industry; have an ear to the ground at all times. Share your information through different channels, such as the firm website, blogs, earned media and social media, and find ways to repurpose your content. When relevant, crosslink content to the author’s bio and associated practice pages where appropriate. And encourage your partners to share their colleagues’ content.