Launching from Zero: Blogging for Lawyers (and Those Other B2B People)
For B2B businesses, including professional service firms, a company blog can frequently serve as the home base of their social media or digital strategy. This of course makes perfect sense and is a reasonable approach. A blog provides corporations almost everything they could want – a platform to put out their content (from whitepapers to podcasts), control of the conversation (which should make compliance very happy), and access to all of the analytic juiciness to see what interests the audience most.
What a blog won’t provide on its own is an audience. The company, or thought leader within the company, that will lead the blog, and their secondary thought leaders should establish a digital presence before the blog is launched. Establishing a digital footprint in advance of the launch gives the organization an organic audience from which to draw blog readers as soon as possible.
Below is an infographic providing a few simple steps to launching a blog, with a bit more detail below with some specific legal examples.
- Locate related communities: Blogs, Twitter personas, Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, etc.By way of example, a law firm launching an IP Blog could start by reading up at IPKat, Phosita and IP Dragon. The attorneys should also begin participating in discussions on related LinkedIn Groups such as Intellectual Property Professionals, Licensing, Merchandising & Brand Management, and Patent and Intellectual Property Practitioners.Further, since the goal of a blog is to drive or support the bottom line, participation in industry groups where there may be legal questions or issues could be a treasure trove of client leads. If our hypothetical group has a strong open source contingent the leaders of this group should also monitor (and participate as applicable) on the Open Source, FOSS Professionals, Open Source Programmer LinkedIn Groups.
- Contribute to the appropriate groups and on suitable blog posts at the related communities discovered above. Through the content existing on the identified communities explore new ones.
- Share content and build bridges.This may be one of the biggest hurdles. We’ve all been trained (ironically through IP issues) to keep our ideas under wraps. However, in social media to get love you must give love first. Pointing to blog on a message board demonstrates that the user is seeking to interact and give, not just absorb and take.
- Continue care and feeding of your blog.Respond to comments, link to your own blog in responses to blog posts and message board queries of others, encourage participation and sharing but don’t be salesy.Through the interaction on the blog locate additional communities to engage with. Some other communities may fall off your radar as you hone what areas are worth exploring and which you find most fulfilling, both for yourself and your blog. Simultaneously, return to step 2 (don’t forget your roots) and contribute to the communities that you started on.