Coinciding with Larry Bodine‘s presentation on “Starting a Blog for New Business and Revenue” at the Legal Marketing Association – New England Chapter‘s monthly meeting, were articles on blogging in both the Wall Street Journal and Business Week (see Blogs Will Change Your Business). Seems blogs are finally gaining the attention of business. Larry did a great job of demystifying blogs for the legal marketing set and has definitely raised awareness and buzz of blogs for those law firm marketers and lawyers in attendance.
Blogs aren’t new, but realizing that they are very effective in helping an individual or a business gain net presence and search engine strength is suddenly huge. I’d like to emphasize, however, that starting a web log will do nothing for you unless you have something to say. Web logs are just a platform — a virtual soapbox. You can use it to preach to the sky, or you can use it to start a relevant conversation with your clients and potential clients. The key to a good blog* is to create value by staying on niche and becoming a trusted provider of and pointer to the most relevant information. Firms that don’t undertand how to be relevant to their clients won’t “get” how to use a web log for business. Those that are relevant, will figure it out once they see it working for others (that’s just starting to happen now). In the end it’s not the web log that makes you rich, it’s the relationships with both man and machine you create when you publish useful information. Relevant content is the key to both top-of-mind awareness with clients as well as top-of-page results with search engines.
I use the information-of-value strategy with my professional services clients… you know, the give-before-you-get approach — give someone some free information or advice and they’ll better realize how you understand them and can help them. Publishing information of value has long been the best way for professional services folks to brand themselves as experts. This approach has worked well with client web sites and newsletters I manage… they create informational relationships that reinforce brand and lead to new and repeat business. It works. And blogs are just another (albeit highly effective) tool for creating those relationships.
See my Infoworks! web site for more about information of value
See also: Intro to Web Logs for Law Firm Marketing
* I’m not saying this is a good blog. It’s an experiment, from which I learn much.