All the talk at conferences, in articles and on websites is on the legal professional getting something from their blogging.
Web stats, leads, search engine rankings, increased revenue and what have you. It’s the same old me/me/me approach to publishing.
Even when lawyers are told to keep the audience in mind, it’s for their personal gain.
A better approach may be to ask “Who am I to committed to making a positive impact on? Who am I committed to help? How am I helping? What more can I do to help?”
Molly McDonough, the former editor-in-chief and publisher of ABA Journal, shared on Facebook this morning an NPR story about Highlights for Children, the children’s magazine which has lasted for generations by sticking to the formula of mixing fun with learning.
McDonough loved, as do I, what Kent Johnson, the CEO of Highlights, told Andy Chow for NPR.
“I often say inside the company…’we’re not a magazine company,’ and in fact, we never were. If we keep in mind that we’re not committed to magazines, we’re not committed to a certain product type or technology, what we’re committed to is making a positive impact on children, that frees us up to think, ‘what has to stay the same?’ Certain values, certain beliefs about children stay the same. Everything else can change.”
”We’re committed to a positive impact on children.”
Not subscriptions. Not Revenue. Those will come if we focus on the first.
No matter how I tried, I couldn’t get Jeff Nowak, a leading employment lawyer with Littler, to tell me in an an interview last week how his blogging works for business development. He wouldn’t have any of it.
Nowak was committed to helping people from the get go ten years ago when he began publishing FMLA Insights. He did not start the blog publication to grow business, he started the blog to help people – and that remains his focus.
As a result of his commitment to helping people, Nowak says he has become a trusted advisor and a thought leader on FMLA. Achievements which of course lead to business from people and organizations which trust him – and feel they know him.
Law bloggers, myself included, may find greater a reward in blogging through a commitment to make a positive impact on people. Help others first.
In addition, as Highlight’s Johnson says, doing so may free us to know what has to the stay the same, and what may change in our personal and professional growth – especially as it relates to the quickly changing mediums and tools for business development, today.