Digital is not a thing. It’s a way of doing things. Websites are not goods. It’s not like a ping-pong table🏓, you pay, you put it on your office and the project is done. When you decide to get a website going you are starting a system in which you put a set of actors and tools in continuous motion. This means, there is a beginning but there is not an end to the project.
I see a lot of law firms creating beautiful websites, but poor on content . It looks like they want a vitrine, a showcase🗿 but they don’t want to embrace web technology as a storage of value and as an enabler of a good legal service. They buy websites like they buy ping-pong tables, they don’t want to get their best actors involved in content creation.
As a lawyer you need to understand that if you are not currently creating content you are missing an opportunity to get closer to your ideal clients and ensure your law firm will be relevant in the next 10 years.
What is law firm website content ?
Law firm website content is about giving your legal knowledge a new home🏠. A new place where to live, travel and connect with the outside world.
Your lawyers know about many aspects of the law, it’s application in courts and tribunals, and tips on how to apply it in real life. This knowledge should not be kept for the coffee conversations with your other lawyer colleagues.
When you write it or draw it, when you record it in audiovisual format and you upload it on the web it’s called content. And content flies.
Since this is valuable, you want to store that knowledge in a house you own, organize it under your own rules, not only in third party silos you can’t control (LinkedIn, Facebook,etc).
The web is a place you can use to, safely and securely, store this valuable knowledge. The content is a storage of your value as a lawyer.
Why is it a good moment for law firms to start creating content?
There are many reasons in August 2021 for law firms to start taking seriously content creation
Content creation strengthens your user centric muscles 🧠
At the top of the agenda of law firms today is improving their legal service. This could be done by applying legal design which is the application of service design to the legal field.
But lawyers are not designers. They have never been trained so that they have to learn it in the flow of work. Content creation can be a good start to be thinking like a designer by writing as a designer.
When you think like a designer one of your top priorities is to ensure that what you do serves a function, it solves a problem of someone out there. Good content solves a problem and fulfil the intent of what your users are seeking is the only way to go.
Google is promoting more than ever good content
Google also wants you to think like a designer. With machine learning and neuro linguistic programming (NLP), Google computers are getting really good at understanding what is the intent behind people’s searches. What is the problem they have? Finding the solution is Google’s job, and for you as content creator there is no shortcut but to deliver solutions to your clients.
Legal systems are under stronger pressure to deliver accessible text in a simple language
States are far from being able to deliver that promise of legal text that is more accessible. It’s going to be the job of the lawyer to actually make that transition from complex to simple (accessible) so that their citizens can “consume” the law. Web content is not the only, one but a good place to start that transition.
Rise of self-service models for law
By 2030 ‘everyone has a “free” lawyer at their disposal, similar to Siri’. Selfservice models will have a huge impact on the market. This is already visible today, look at the LegalZoom IPO and recent funding for RocketLawyer. By creating “structured” content placing your knowledge in accessible web format you are starting to create future proof content that can be flexible and adapted to any future apps and tools.
Good content accelerates your digital transformation
When you decide to get a website you are starting a system in which you put a set of actors and tools in continuous motion. Content needs a production rhythm. A good flow.
When you start to regularly create content for the web you need to put in place team processes: an editorial production workflow that is going to , hopefully, make your team question, in a positive way, how you are all working together. You are going to need to adopt new digital tools and practices and this challenge is going to accelerate your team digital transformation maturity.
And remember this
Awareness: more eyeballs on your law firm
Finally, it is a good moment to create content if you want your brand to be more visible. You can read this amazing story of a Scandinavian law firm that started to create content and increased the visitor of their website by 600%.
How to create content ?
Content is hard work. It’s political. It requires vision alignment with your partners. It involves decision making at different levels inside the organization. It requires an orchestration of tools, people and processes working in line as an editorial factory🏭. This is the discipline called content operations.
We suggest involving every department in the content creation process: since the best content is the one who solves a need from your client, you need to hear specially from the departments that are closer to the client what are the clients expectations and problems. But this is not something they are used to do : your lawyers don’t think in terms of content opportunities. You are going to need to change some habits.
Include different profiles, involve a coach: it often takes two people to write a good piece of content. Why is that? Because your lawyers they need practice to get to write an article that is free from jargon and written for online readers 👀💻.
Improve your human listening capabilities💙. Pains and problems are not always rational. Sometimes you need to train your lawyers to listen with the heart not only with the mind.
To summarize I repeat again the same key message:
It is surprising to see how many law firms are neglecting the opportunity to grow by creating content. Don’t miss this train! content will get closer to your ideal clients and move your law firm towards modernity.