Rachel Guy, Winstead PC’s director of marketing, knows first-hand how important it is to showcase a lawyer’s expertise in order to build trust.
“When someone’s hiring an attorney, it’s like hiring a heart surgeon. You want to trust them.”
And if we’re talking about it here on 99 Park Row—it’s a safe bet to assume that trust is built through digital publishing. But this time, it’s a little different.
Winstead—a national corporate law firm with offices in Texas, New York and North Carolina, and more than 300 attorneys—has used the LexBlog Platform to spin up a network of microsites that demonstrate the expertise of a number of those attorneys.
A microsite is a website that allows a law firm or practice group within a firm to highlight themselves in a unique manner outside of solely writing blog content. The sites are typically centered around resources, FAQs and information about the services that the group provides. This allows attorneys to share their expertise in different formats, such as testimonials and success stories.
Microsites offer a great way to simultaneously focus on a practice group’s niche and demonstrate the breadth and depth of its knowledge. Winstead really illustrates this quality; each one of their four microsites focuses on a different niche:
- Securities Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement on securities defense
- The Employer Law Resource on employment law
- Winstead Business Divorce, offering insight to majority owners and minority investors in private Texas companies
- Winstead Special Districts, a site aimed at compliance with a key Texas law
Each site showcases a specific practice area, coupled with relevant resources all in one place. This sort of online presence simultaneously highlights Winstead’s versatility and specialty, and it brings to focus features of a practice group that may have otherwise been overlooked in their vast firm site.
Caters to a specific audience
Rachel explained that Winstead decided to pursue microsites to get away from what she called “selfish marketing.”
“Back in the day, law firms were all about me, me, me. Clients don’t want that, they want to know if you’re an expert who understands their business and industry,” she said. “We are those experts, so we take the expertise and put it on a microsite to address what’s really important to our audience.”
For Winstead, microsites were about revamping the culture around legal content and catering to the specific needs of their current and future clients.
“Our approach was to have a razor-sharp target approach for our current clients and our potential clients,” Guy said. “The people who hire us are really smart and really busy. When they are hiring us, they’re making a huge purchase decision. So, we wanted to move away from depending on our website because it’s like a big giant boat that stays still in the water.”
In today’s world, you have to meet users where they are—in a format that’s convenient and doesn’t depend on them navigating their way through a complex site.
“A microsite can be more targeted and more mobile,” Guy said. “Rather than depending on our clients and potential clients to come to our website with 300 bios, and navigate to what they need, they can be given this very targeted at a particular industry or sector.”
A shift in strategy
Guy explained that microsites have allowed Winstead to move away from paying for access to certain audiences. Twenty years ago, they would purchase ads to reach more people with their content, but those days are over.
“We’re really starting to view their content as a valuable asset. We want to take it and put it in front of people who really care about it,” she said.
“It’s worked—the microsites and blogs have built communities around those topics. What happens often is that the writers connect and build relationships within the content community. So it benefits the target audience as well as the attorneys, who build those trusted relationships.”
Guy detailed a new microsite that the firm is planning to launch in the coming months, which will be targeted at startup entrepreneurs with innovations in health tech and created in conjunction with a webinar series and sponsorship from Texas Health Catalyst (UTexas).
“The idea is to take these parts and push out a big splash—an integrated campaign centered around the whole microsite.”
A showcase for blogging
Some of Winstead’s microsites, such as Winstead Securities Defense, even feature their blog content, illustrating their ability to write and provide valuable insight on important legal topics. One of their upcoming microsites will be the first to hone in specifically on blog content, events, webinars and other insights as primary focuses.
Guy has been a long-time driver of blogging within the firm, which she joined in 2005. The firm launched its first blog in 2007.
“When I first started working with them, I said ‘we need to add a blog to our strategy.’ One day, I got a notice that Kevin O’Keefe was speaking at the Texas Bar annual meeting,” she said. “I had been following him because I wanted the firm to start the blog and so had another attorney, so we went to hear him speak. We talked to him after and he gave me all the information to convince the firm to start the blog.”
For blogging and microsites alike, Rachel reaches out to attorneys with a love for writing and a defined approach to business development, such as David Johnson of the Texas Fiduciary Litigator.
“We’ve really developed a strategy around our eight core industry groups and are reaping the benefits of having all that content online.”