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Will blogging become essential for lawyers to establish trust?

October 18, 2010

In order to establish trust these days, producing helpful content for your target audience is essential. This per John Jantsch, publisher of Duct Tape Marketing, a leading resource on small business marketing.

…[P]eople today have come to expect to find information about any product, service, company, individual, cause or challenge they face by simply turning to the search engine of their choice. So, if they’re not finding content that you’ve produced that provides them that information, even if someone referred them directly to you, there’s a pretty good chance you won’t be worthy of their trust.

I guess I am going to tell you that you’ve got to commit to content production, but you’ve got to make it a part of your overall strategy and you’ve got to produce content with an eye on doing two things – educating and building trust.

What’s the leading way to produce content to build trust? Blogging says Jantsch.

I think a blog is the absolute starting point for your content strategy because it makes content production, syndication and sharing so easy. The search engines love blog content as well and this is the place where you can organize a great deal of your editorial thinking. Content produced on a blog can easily be expanded and adapted to become content for articles, workshops and ebooks.

Other content that can establish trust, per Jantsch, includes social media, reviews, testimonials, white papers, and FAQ’s. But with so many people reading blogs these days, including in-house counsel, and with blog content being regularly shared on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, it’s difficult to see other content having the impact of a blog.

People looking for a lawyer are as apt to be doing research on the underlying legal issue they face as they are to be looking for a lawyer. For example, someone looking for an estate planning lawyer is also going to be looking for information on the estate planning issue they face, whether it a type of trust, a tax issue or something else. They’ll still hire a lawyer. They’re just doing research so they are informed.

Lawyers producing relevant content on the estate planning issue being researched are going to be looked at as trusted advisors. Lawyers not producing such content are less likely to be viewed as a reliable and trusted authority.

No question that people expect to find good information on any subject they research online. With the advent of law blogs published by good lawyers, people are finding more and more sound, practical legal information. The quality of information is only going to improve with the huge growth in legal blogging we’re seeing.

This presents a golden opportunity to establish trust for lawyers willing to give of themselves through blogging. For those unwilling to blog, they are less likely to be trusted when their competition is blogging.

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