Sunday, November 13, 2005

Don't Blog Just to Blog

My wife is a lawyer and part of a newsgroup that includes a number of other solo practitioners. Many have discussed whether blogging would be a good idea for their marketing.

One lawyer, a blogger herself, piped up and asked the others if she could convince them that blogging has financial benefits, would they do it? Conversely, if she couldn't convince them of it, would they avoid it? She has actually seen some financial benefit from blogging.

Lawyers aren't very good marketers and, in my experience, often aren't interested in outsourcing marketing to someone who actually knows what they're doing. They also, in general, don't like to accept advice, at least not those who run their own firms. Larger firms are a whole different story.

That said, these are the wrong questions. Blogging is a tool, one of many. Take a walk into the tool section of Home Depot and you'll find different hammers, saws, levels and a host of other tools for different jobs. Each has a purpose, some specific some general. But if you want to build a house, you're going to need a combination of them.

The same rule applies to marketing. The right tools for the right job will go a long way.

To make this very simple, a lawyer, or any company, needs to ask two questions: "who is my audience?" and "how do I reach that audience?" Now that you have asked those questions, look for the right tools.

Blogging may be one way to do it, but it's certainly not the only way, nor is it for every lawyer. If you are focused on criminal defense in a tight geographic area, a much better marketing move is to have an office across from an active courthouse. Many lawyers have already done this, but it's effective. A sign in the window is often enough to grab a few clients.

If you want to focus on a niche like women's divorce issues in Massachusetts with a focus on an upscale audience, then perhaps a blog would work since part of your marketing should be a thought-leadership message.

If it's the right tool and the right message, the financial benefits will follow. But don't rely on blogging alone.

1 comment:

John Cass said...

Chuck,

You are right, reliance on one method to communicate with your auidence is not really the best practice. Success in blogging comes from making sure your blogging strategy meets your business goals.

I also think you have to tie your blogging strategy to your PR strategy, except the way that you implement the strategy is more like journalist who actually writes articles for the mass media, than a PR campaign

John