At Clio Con (Clio’s Cloud Nine annual conference) a couple weeks ago, Seth Godin advised lawyers that they should be seeking the minimum viable audience in their business development efforts.
Godin has made blogging a lynchpin in growing his name and reputation as a speaker and author. His almost twenty years of blogging on Seth’s Blog, a blog publication, separate and apart from his website, has made him a household name in the marketing field.
Godin’s Clio discussion may as well have been directed to blogging lawyers. After all, it’s the blogging lawyers who get the opportunity to build a strong name and develop business in a niche more than other lawyers — and to do so much faster.
Why a minimal viable audience? Read what Godin shared on his blog a couple years ago:
“Of course everyone wants to reach the maximum audience. To be seen by millions, to maximize return on investment, to have a huge impact.
And so we fall all over ourselves to dumb it down, average it out, pleasing everyone and anyone.
You can see the problem.
When you seek to engage with everyone, you rarely delight anyone. And if you’re not the irreplaceable, essential, one-of-a-kind changemaker, you never get a chance to engage with the market.
The solution is simple but counterintuitive: Stake out the smallest market you can imagine. The smallest market that can sustain you, the smallest market you can adequately serve. This goes against everything you learned in capitalism school, but in fact, it’s the simplest way to matter.
When you have your eyes firmly focused on the minimum viable audience, you will double down on all the changes you seek to make. Your quality, your story and your impact will all get better.
And then, ironically enough, the word will spread.”
Legal blogging to the minimum viable audience works.
Look at the FMLA, equine law, fashion law, cannabis law, China Law, E. coli, cruise law, foreign service of process, NY business divorce, Texas Appellate law and countless other niche blogs.
The lawyers behind these blogs are known nationally and, in many cases, internationally.
The blogging lawyers have honed their legal skills in their niches like other lawyers. They’ll appear in the top few items on Google on a relevant search. And they’re household names when it comes to referrals.
Life’s too short to be a wandering generality.
Take Godin’s counsel, look for the minimum viable audience when legal blogging.