One of the big challenges which nearly all professional service firms face is how to get the fee earners to contribute to producing content. That content helps market the firm and demonstrates the expertise of the firm. The content might be blog, articles, white papers, items of thought leadership, reports etc. Here are 15 tried and tested ways in which you can get your fee earners to willing write blog articles.
Before you start getting your fee earners to write a blog post, do remember that it is far easier to come up with ideas for blog posts and meaningful articles if you are working to a content plan, which is aligned to your business development strategy. Download our guide to content planning, it's free and waiting for you right now in our JoinedUp Networking toolkit. This toolkit is a resource library stuffed with goodies to help you get better results from your networking (email address required). Click here to download it.
1. Ask for comment on a trending article
Most fee earners, especially lawyers, love to show off their technical abilities. So, keep a store of reputable sites which regularly publish articles. If you see a topic which matches something on your content plan, send out a link to the article with a provocative question. You can then use the answers you get from your email to fill out a blog post on the subject.
2. Make it part of their role
Whilst this may not be a particularly popular move, as in ‘no blog, no bonus’, but if you write into your fee earner’s responsibilities and objectives to contribute to producing content, it can help raise the importance of writing blogs.
3. Train your fee earners to write blogs
Highly technical people, particularly lawyers, hate to look stupid or own up to being uninformed. There is a skill to writing short, pithy and interesting blog articles – and it’s not a skill many of us have been born with. Which means you may have a reluctance from your fee earners to commit to writing blog posts, because they don’t know what to write, the style to write in, or the best structure to use for a blog article. Providing training and education can help to remove the fear, and any unvoiced objections to writing blog articles.
4. Interview your fee earners
Most accountants, lawyers and consultants I know are really passionate about their technical area of expertise, and can talk intelligently and more importantly interestingly about their subject. This passion may not as readily translate to the written word. A good technique is to video your fee earners to provide short video blogs of them talking about a subject or recent case they have worked on. You can then transcribe these video clips and create written blog posts from them.
5. Use a professional copy writer to help
Taking the interview technique one step further, you can employ a professional writer to help your fee earners write the articles. It may be that the professional writer starts the article, and the fee earner finishes it to make sure it is accurate. Or the fee earner starts the article and the professional writer polishes the article. (We’ve used this technique a few times for our articles which are placed in the trade press)
6. Have a publication schedule
If you work to a publication schedule you can ask for fee earners to provide you an article by a certain date. It’s often a lot easier to get a blog post written by ‘x’, rather than asking a fee earner to write a blog post in the next month or so.
In next week’s post we examine ways 7-15.