Want a better content marketing strategy? Think like a lawyer.

On my own path to becoming a content marketer I have made a pit stop at a financial consultant Portuguese company that was integrated in the same working space of a law firm. I wasn´t a lawyer, its important to clarify. I was working with and for lawyers, and for a law firm that was helping me facing the legal challenges of building a new company. I was developing a new and disruptive project as Sales, Marketing and Business Development Manager.

Despite not being a lawyer, that experience has been an unfair competitive advantage for me for going up against my fellow content marketers.

Because of this “legal” experience, now I approach content strategy differently.

The lawyers I have worked with, that still work with me and with whom I relate as friends, taught me how to conduct extensive research, manage daunting tasks and develop multiple arguments… all useful tools for content marketing.

Want to upgrade your content creation strategy? Here are five ways how a lawyer would do it:

1. Create compelling stories

The legal profession is grounded in communication. Lawyers consume complex issues, then deliver compelling stories to judges and juries. What some people fail to realize is that great storytelling doesn’t start with the story. It’s about asking the right questions. It’s about understanding your target audience.

Great stories focus on WHY the topic will matter to others. Storytellers/lawyers explore the five human senses, while considering a person’s state of mind. That’s also the core of a content marketing strategy: Why should your customer care? And how will your marketing efforts maintain their attention?

So, build your next campaign by answering customers’ questions. Give each story a colourful backdrop with a setting, climax and resolution.

Whether this means convincing a prospect to fill a form, answer a survey, try a demo or join a webinar, or anything else…, the task comes down to giving people the ability to trust your brand. And that’s why compelling stories work well.

2. Solve real issues

The legal profession is not about memorizing the law, but actually applying it.

Attorneys are trained to issue-spot. This means we look to find the real issue amid a stack of convoluted information.

So, rather than focusing on your customers’ symptoms, dive deeper to find the root cause of their problems. What makes them tick? What are their unrelenting desires?

While attorneys rely on facts, content marketers differ somewhat in that they need to examine both qualitative and quantitative data. From product reviews to session replays, learn your customers’ problems. Then, use that knowledge to produce invaluable content. Create eBooks, infographics, videos and blog posts that will provide genuine solutions.

Develop a keen eye for details and avoid red herrings. Then, use that skill to transform how your team produces content.

3. Adhere to schedules.

Successful lawyers possess faultless organizational skills. They handle too many cases not to know what’s happening around them.

Missing deadlines in the legal profession is serious business. If a client’s brief isn’t filed with the court on time, that tardiness may lead to a malpractice lawsuit.

As a content marketer, the consequences may not be as serious. But you should still hold your team to a high standard.

Manage your content schedule daily. Create a Trello board with assigned tasks for example. Use CoSchedule or Buffer to help you publish consistent content. And establish soft and hard deadlines for big projects.

If project management isn’t your strength, enrol in online courses or hire a coach to train you. Learning the basics will help you streamline your content marketing processes. And, remember, deadlines are important. So, stick to your schedule.

4. Offer multiple solutions.

An attorney’s work product is crucial. It can give a person his property rights back or even save a life. That’s why lawyers don’t just develop one solution to a problem.

Attorneys approach issues from different angles. They know what the opposing counsel will say before he or she says it. It’s all about anticipating someone’s response and preparing a rebuttal beforehand.

Content marketers can greatly benefit from this skill, too. That’s why you should promote your content in creative ways.

Try experimenting with influencer marketing or creating Snapchat stories. Ask for user-generated content around a live event.

Problem solving shouldn’t be constrained by strict rules. Host brainstorming sessions with your team. Organize a friendly contest among your co-workers.

The goal is to get people thinking differently… to get them inspired.

The point is, there are multiple paths to success. There’s always another solution to your problem.

5. Follow a code of ethics.

Attorneys must heed to a code of professional standards. Ethics are so important, in fact, that lawyers are required to pass a professional responsibility examination.

When ethical issues arise, lawyers can’t plead ignorance. Instead, they/we must comply with the standards. If not, they risk losing their licenses.

Content marketers also should follow ethics. However, all ethical practices aren’t readily apparent. So, talk with your team about developing internal guidelines. Those may concern such concerns as how to avoid plagiarism or to create transparent branded content.

A code of ethics will give your team a base line to follow. It will ensure that everyone is held accountable for his or her actions. Sound ethical behaviour amplifies professionalism in content marketing. It adds another layer of trust between the customer and the brand.

Think like a lawyer.

Understanding the legal skills made me a better content marketer. These same qualities separate me from others in the marketing industry.

So, do as I do. Approach future marketing campaigns from an attorney’s point of view. Create worthwhile stories. Adhere to a set schedule. And follow a code of ethics. Improve your content marketing strategy. Think like a lawyer.

Gonçalo Teixeira Barata – Instivity Founder – goncalo.teixeira@instivity.com

Read also: How Lawyers Are Using Social Media For Attracting Clients

Social media has been part of our daily lives for nearly a decade. At first, many lawyers were sceptical, believing that social media offered little value to their practices. But over the years, as social media has enmeshed itself into our culture, the effects of it upon our day-to-day lives is indisputable. Read Now

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