Who’s Your Audience? Legal Writing for Online Visibility

I recently read a HubSpot blog post relevant to any lawyer writing for online visibility today:

4 Content Creation Lessons Marketers Can Learn From Journalists … worth a share within your firm (especially to your lawyers writing for the web), because even though some of the pointers might appear obvious by now, time and again we see them overlooked:

– publish timely content
– publish content that teaches
– publish content that is relevant to professionals in a specific industry (the industry you serve)
– develop an outlet that communicates (your firm’s) niche specialties

Here’s one lesson from the piece that I believe simply cannot be overstated:

Understand your audience

“…stay committed to
creating the types of content your target audience wants. Focus your
content around what is important to the people who you want to be your
customers [clients for law firms]. Be an informative and credible voice based on your industry
expertise and write about topics that you are naturally an expert in…”

Naturally, content that your target audience wants to read (versus blatantly promotional content you want them to read) helps you to stand out in a noisy crowd. Want someone to listen to you? Be helpful to them.

But, today, there’s another, perhaps equally important reason first and foremost to address reader needs and interests in your online legal commentary:

When you bring your particular expertise to bear with a clear understanding of audience, the result tends to be more shareable content – and, frankly, shareable content is the name of the game these days.

We see this playing out daily on JD Supra. When it works, for example: an ERISA attorney writes a piece on retirement plan management that so clearly speaks to the needs of his target audience, the article becomes the most-viewed post for the month when benefits planning sites link to the piece and an ever-increasing pool of readers (financial advisors, plan sponsors, others) share it widely with their own networks on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. Your audience has an audience of its own, as they say, and – well … you stand to benefit. No pun intended.

Screen shot 2011-10-19 at 4.46.33 PM.png
@adrianlurssen