Get Vertical! And Get Blogging.
Blawg Review # 142:

Word of Mouth Marketing

Kevin O’Keefe over at Real Lawyers Have Blogs picked up on our thread about blogging with a post called "Word of mouth gets lawyers their best work: Spend Internet marketing dollars there."

Kevin picked up on comment I made on a post called "Showing off Your Expertise." I had noted that there was more eyeballs surfing the web than there are mouths standing at the fence line. Kevin correctly notes that lawyers have always gotten their best work, best clients and most rewarding relationships from word of mouth. A lawyer’s reputation is everything. Reputation certainly has many components including character, accountability, temperament and other qualities. But the quality which most often drives word of mouth referrals is a lawyer’s expertise. Clients and referral counsel want the best lawyer available.

Kevin picks up on something I have not yet posted about, that is the community aspect of blogging. Kevin notes:

Blogging is about networking with thought leaders in your niche, being seen by your target audience as you both cite thought leaders in your blog and are cited in the blogs of others, and talking with your potential clients in a transparent way as I do here with you. That's word of mouth at its finest.

Kevin is absolutely correct. Blogging allows you to build relationships with the very people who are thought leaders in your niche. And don’t make the mistake of thinking of other experts in your field as competition. Think outside the box. Other lawyers who are also experts in your niche are the very people that you want to be blogging about, linking to and building relationships with. If you are truly an expert, you will achieve reciprocity. As importantly, you will create dialog on the most important issues facing your vertical market.

Kevin also makes a correct observation that lawyers who blog as a way to achieve cheap SEO are missing the main point. Yes, blogging about your expertise will likely bring you to page one of Google search returns within your niche. But it is the relationships you gain, the community you build and the reputation you achieve which will provide the real value. And trust me. When it comes to attorney blogging, no one in the world knows as much as Kevin O’Keefe at Lexblog.

Take a look at some of my favorite blogs created by Kevin and his team for lawyers who are establishing and showing off their expertise:

  • E-Discovery Bytes (run by a group of bloggers over at Quarles & Brady as noted here. This is a great example of "divide and conquer blogging" wherein several lawyers from one firm share off their cumulative expertise within a vertical niche. 
  • Securing Innovation Blog, managing intellectual property, patents, trademarks and trade secrets. A relatively new blog run by another group of bloggers sharing their cumulative expertise.
  • Brain and Spine Injury Law Blog published by Timothy Titolo of the Titolo Law Office. This is a great example of a niche blog. Mr. Titolo doesn’t try and blog about all aspects of personal injury. He focuses in on brain and spine injury providing a phenomenal resource on those issues and leaving little question as to his expertise.

Anyone reading any of the above blogs immediately knows that the people involved with these blogs are in fact experts. In fact, in three years time, I have never had a client ask me whether or not I really was an expert on, say, cybersquatting. Our firm’s cybersquatting blog leaves no doubt that we are a leading authority on cybersquatting issues. The blog allows any prospective client or referral counsel to do more due diligence on you than any other due diligence vehicle.

If you have expertise within a niche area of legal practice, why are you hiding it? Start blogging and you will establish yourself as an expert in the global marketplace.

Comments

Kevin OKeefe

Thanks for the kind words Enrico. And all that newtorking you're doing via blogging is in text and indexed by Google. As people do searches on the topic, you're name keeps coming up as part of the discussion between leading authorities. And when your name is Googled, not only your blog and website comes up, but also the many references to you by other thought leaders. Those references are very powerful.

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