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Few lawyers inject personality into their thought-leadership marketing content. That’s why you should.

Lawyers can build rapport with consumers of their thought-leadership marketing content when they put their personality into it.

Most of the time when we talk about thought-leadership marketing content that lawyers and their law firms publish, we focus on the substantive analysis within that content.

After all, when lawyers want to demonstrate that they are thought leaders in a particular area of the law, they have to come with the goods.

Their analysis of legal issues and business issues within their thought-leadership marketing content must show that not only are those lawyers knowledgable about what they are talking about in that moment, but that they are also capable of guiding clients through both their current situations and what lies ahead in the future.

In addition, lawyers’ thought-leadership marketing content should show past, present, and future clients and referral sources that those lawyers are cognizant of the business, cultural, economic, political, and societal issues clients are wrestling with.

So there’s a given with lawyer and law firm thought-leadership marketing content that the substance of its analysis needs to be high-quality.

But I’m going to suggest to you that high-quality analysis alone will not turn you into the kind of thought leader that people want to follow. Analysis alone is not enough to build the kind of rapport with your audience that can turn them from consumers of your content into your clients and referral sources.

To make that jump, you’re going to need to inject some of your personality into your thought-leadership marketing content.

Let me illustrate this idea through an example.

Imagine two lawyers who have similar practices, years of experience, and levels of competence, each creating their own piece of thought-leadership marketing content regarding the same recent appellate court decision.

The first lawyer crafts a blog post analyzing the decision. You can tell by the analysis that the lawyer is clearly knowledgable about this area of the law. But the lawyer’s writing style is plain vanilla and straightforward, bordering on dry. It just isn’t interesting to read. In other words, it reads exactly how you would expect a lawyer’s blog post on the topic to read.

Compare that to the second lawyer’s blog post analyzing that same decision. Despite providing a perfectly good analysis of the decision, the second lawyer did not get into the weeds about certain issues like the first lawyer did. In fact, the second lawyer devoted three sentences to a key aspect of the decision for which the first lawyer spent six.

But the second lawyer did something the first lawyer did not. The second lawyer injected some personality into the post. They wrote the post in an engaging way, using fewer multisyllabic words, shorter sentences, and shorter paragraphs than the first lawyer’s post. (Yet, it was practically the same length as the first lawyer’s post.) The second lawyer weaved in two pop culture references and made a humorous comment about an anonymous family member. Again, this was within a professional and informative blog post about a recent appellate court decision.

Based on those descriptions, whose content are you more likely to be drawn to now and in the future? Which lawyer are you more likely to follow on social media or sign up to receive emails from featuring their content?

Yes, it is probably the second lawyer. But why do you think that’s the case?

Because the second lawyer showed us some personality. They gave us a glimpse of the real them. Relationships begin when one person gets to know another person, learns how they think, and gains an understanding of who they are on a personal level.

That’s why injecting a bit of your personality into your thought-leadership marketing content can separate you and it from the pack.

Now, to avoid any confusion, I want to be clear that my suggestion here that you inject some personality into your thought-leadership marketing content DOES NOT mean that your blog posts and client alerts should read like your nutty uncle’s Facebook page.

Injecting personality into your thought-leadership marketing content is not a license to vent about your spouse, or your kids, or how life is treating you poorly. I do not recommend you go that route.

However, I do recommend that you introduce some of your personal style and personality into that content. When you do, you’ll separate yourself from the pack of lawyers putting out similar content that shows that they, like you, are intelligent and knowledgable about various areas of the law.

When your personality shines through, you will begin connecting with your audience on a personal level and—depending on how good you are at doing so—an emotional level.

You will begin to build a rapport with your audience that you cannot build simply though a humdrum analysis of a recent court decision or administrative agency action.

That rapport, more so than your impressive analysis of legal developments, is how you begin building strong relationships with your audience. And when you start building strong relationships with your audience, you begin winning their business.

Thinking about bringing on an outside writer to help your law firm strategize and create thought-leadership marketing and business development content that shows off your lawyers’ personalities? Click here to schedule a 30-minute Content Strategy Audit to learn if collaborating with an outside writer is the right move for you and your firm.

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 and prominence by collaborating with them to strategize and ethically ghostwrite book-of-business-building marketing and business development content.

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