Your content creation journey has to start somewhere. It will inevitably begin with mediocre content that will improve with time as you get more practice creating it.
I constantly bang the drum on my videos, in my blogs, and on my podcast about attorneys needing to embrace content marketing and thought leadership marketing to build their practices and their books of business, and to ultimately gain autonomy in their lives.
But to do that and to fully embrace content marketing and thought leadership marketing, attorneys need to actually create content.
Many attorneys, however, are sitting on the sidelines terrified that whatever content they want to create on a consistent basis—blog posts, videos, podcasts, whatever—will not be very good at first.
That’s understandable. But no one’s content is very good at first.
What’s important, and what makes the quality of a person’s content grow over time, is the consistency with which the person creates that content.
Your content will get better with time
If you look at anyone’s early videos—from prominent YouTube creators’ videos to mine (go to the “Video” tab and sort by date uploaded)—you will see a common trait: they’re not great.
Listen to the first few episodes of your favorite podcasts. There’s a good chance their hosts weren’t as good as they are now.
Take a look at your favorite bloggers. Their early content probably won’t be nearly as compelling as their more recent content is.
No one—not even your favorite YouTube creator, podcaster, or blogger—is particularly good when they first create content. They couldn’t have been. They didn’t have the experience underneath their belts at that time.
They didn’t have the opportunities to keep on recording videos, to keep on recording podcasts, to keep on writing, and to improve their content creation and production each time.
You should not be concerned that just because your content might not be great at first that it cannot improve. Think about it: Anything you’ve done in life, whether it’s personal or professional, you probably weren’t very good at when you first began.
But through consistent effort and a desire to get better, you got better.
Because there are relatively few attorneys creating content today compared to the number of attorneys that are practicing, with only a little bit of effort, there’s a good chance your content will help you stand out from the crowd.
Look, I know as an attorney and as a human being that we tend to not want to put ourselves out there for fear of not looking our best and of not coming across professional or polished.
But that is not something you have to worry about when it comes to creating content. You are going to come across as professional. You are going to come across as knowledgeable. You will do so because you are both of those things.
No, you will not deliver your content on day one as smoothly as you will deliver it down the road with practice. But over time, that refinement will come. That consistency of creation will serve as practice and will bring with it better execution and better strategy. Your content will then get better as time goes on and as you consistently create it.
There’s too much opportunity out there to not throw your content-creation hat in the ring
It’s not fun to put yourself out there when you’re not sure of how people are going to perceive you. But based on the fact that so few attorneys are actively creating content (there’s a statistic that suggests that only one percent of LinkedIn users, for example, are actually sharing content on LinkedIn), there’s so much opportunity for lawyers in any niche, in any field, to create content, and to stand out in the eyes of current and prospective clients and referral sources.
The funny thing about worrying about what people will think of your content is that the people who are most likely to be judging you — if they even are judging you—are likely to be the people who are too terrified themselves to get behind their keyboard, in front of their camera, or behind their microphone to start pumping out blogs, videos and podcasts.
Yes, your early pieces of content are not going to be great. But that’s okay — they’re not supposed to be great.
You have so much to gain professionally and personally by consistently creating compelling content that is relevant to your current and prospective clients and referral sources.
Don’t let the fact that your early content probably won’t be great stop you from creating that content. It is the key way for you to build your practice and your book of business, and to get all that you want out of the legal profession.
Wayne Pollock, a former Am Law 50 senior litigation associate, is the founder of Copo Strategies, a legal services and communications firm, and the Law Firm Editorial Service, a content strategy and ghostwriting service for lawyers and their law firms. The Law Firm Editorial Service helps Big Law and boutique law firm partners, and their firms, grow their practices by collaborating with them to strategize and ethically ghostwrite book-of-business-building marketing and business development content.
Interested in getting outside help creating thought leadership content? Click here to schedule a 30-minute Content Strategy Audit to learn if collaborating with an outside strategist and writer is the right move for those executives and your firm.