Webinar Recap: BizDev Through Blogging—What Real Success Looks Like

WEBINAR

The Publishing Team here at LexBlog kicked off our new series of webinars this week. We will be putting on a webinar each month where we’ll focus on different topics relevant to legal bloggers and answer any questions you may have.

Weren’t able to attend this time? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Below you will find a full recording of the webinar and some of the key takeaways from the presentation. We also have more information about our upcoming webinars so be sure to read on for a preview of what’s to come.

In our first webinar we wanted to get back to basics, so we decided to key in on what successful legal bloggers have done that has led them to real business development gains.

LexBlog Director of Publishing Colin O’Keefe pointed out that people can lose focus of what this actually looks like. It all starts with asking the right questions—even when it’s all too easy to get stuck on the wrong ones, such as:

  • How do we get more traffic?
  • How do we rank higher for our general blog subject?
  • How do we add email subscribers?

It’s not to say these things don’t matter—these kinds of metrics usually reflect the goals you are trying to achieve, but they are not the goal unto themselves. Why? Because these are things we just don’t hear from our successful clients:

  • We get SO much web traffic and our billable work translates directly from an increase in pageviews!
  • We ranked really high for _____ so we get hired for _____ all the time!
  • We get so much work from email opens!

Seeing success in generating traffic, moving up in search rankings and increasing subscriber engagement are all indicators you are doing things right—they just aren’t the proven ways that lawyers bring in business through blogging. Colin explains why this is the case very well:

“Keep in mind how people traditionally hire lawyers. It’s on their reputation, it’s on asking other people who they trust, it’s on who they individually trust as they go on. It’s not ‘wow, I have an insanely complex business dispute. I’m going to Google Business Dispute Lawyer and then call the first person.’ That’s not really how it works.”

Ultimately you should aim high with your goal, but don’t overthink it. This may seem like common sense, but you should be striving to become the go-to-resource on your niche area of law that your blog covers. That is the goal that time and time again we have seen our clients strive for, achieve and prosper for doing it.

This isn’t just lip service, it’s what we’ve learned from almost 20 years of working with attorneys on their blogs. Here are a few success stories that show exactly how having the right mindset from the jump is what truly leads to business success.

Success Stories

Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Finance Monitor

Alan Kaplinsky founded Ballard Spahr’s consumer financial services practice group and led this group to unseen heights due to the success of their blog. The blog was initially called the “CFPB Monitor” and launched back in 2011 on the very same day as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—the agency they set out to cover. Focusing on the actions of a single government agency is about as niche as you can get, but Kaplinsky and his team knew there was opportunity there and jumped on it. 

They set out to be the go-to resource on this brand new government agency and did just that. They became the foremost leaders on the CFPB which is perhaps best demonstrated through the fact that former CFPB Director Richard Cordray told Kaplinsky that he and his staff at the CFPB were all avid readers of the blog. The reputation they built for themselves through their blog, in Kaplinsky’s eyes, was instrumental in growing their practice group into what it is today.

Harris Bricken’s Canna Law Blog

Hilary Bricken did not join her firm in 2010 thinking she would be practicing cannabis law, nor that her blogging on that subject would eventually propel her to be named a partner at that firm. As a young associate, she was encouraged to get into this up-and-coming legal space and after some early success in the area, the firm launched the Canna Law Blog, which she led. 

Similar to the way Ballard Spahr was recognized by a CFPB director for their blogging, Bricken was at a speaking engagement with one of the top state cannabis regulators back in 2014. Unprompted, he told the crowd to check out one of her blog posts. Bricken said this was when she realized that she and her blog were seen as real authorities in the cannabis space. This is what it looks like when you aim high with your goal and achieve it. Do this, and the work and clients will follow.

Jeff Nowak’s FMLA Insights

Way back in 2009 Jeff Nowak started his blog that focused on the Family and Medical Leave Act. Much like our other examples, Jeff found a niche topic he could blog about and got to work. Becoming a thought leader in your field does not happen overnight, but if you put the work in you will see returns on investment. 

For Jeff, one of his first instances of this was three years into blogging when he was retained by a national airline. The folks at the airline had followed his blog for some time and knew that Nowak was someone they could trust and that he had specialized knowledge in an area they needed help with. That is about as clear of an example as you can get on how blogs actually drive clients to you. It’s about building relationships with your readers over time and demonstrating why you are the lawyer or firm they should turn to with questions and concerns.

Our webinars are completely free and open to LexBlog clients and non-clients alike—all you have to do is head over to our webinars page and register via Zoom. We also stream all of these webinars in real-time on our social media, but if you want to be able to directly participate and ask questions, you’ll need to register in advance.

We’ll be announcing the next one soon which will take place in December. Stay tuned and we hope to see you there.

We want to make sure these webinars are useful to you. Have questions or feedback on this or future webinars? We want to hear from you. Shoot us an email at: publishing@lexblog.com.

Alec Downing
About the Author

Alec is an intern on LexBlog’s publishing team where he creates content for the company’s various digital platforms. A former radio news anchor, Alec brings both a background in journalism and a passion for law. Alec has the eventual goal of attending law school—and of course—starting his own law blog. His writing has been published in The Seattle Times and Crosscut.

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