When writing thought-leadership content regarding developments in the law, attorneys should prioritize value and substance over speed.
When attorneys decide to write a blog post, bylined article, or client alert regarding a development in the law, they tend to rush through their writing and publication of that piece of content so that they can be among the first attorneys to have published something about the development.
But when they do, all too often they sacrifice substance and value for speed.
They don’t get into a deep analysis of the issues raised by the court decision, administrative agency action, or piece of legislation they’re addressing, or what those affected by it need to do now as a result of it.
That’s because they don’t give themselves enough time to think about those issues.
Instead, their content mostly just reports on what the court, administrative agency, or legislation said.
If I’m describing what you or your colleagues do, I’m here to tell you to slow down. Go FULL TORTOISE.
Slow and steady
It might seem like you have achieved something by being the first attorney (or among the first attorneys) to publish content regarding a recent legal development.
But you won’t get a medal for doing so. There will be no trophy in your future.
More problematic for you is that being able to yell “FIRST!” is not going to get you anywhere with the intended audiences of your content: past, present, and future clients and referral sources.
That’s because they want value from the thought-leadership content they read. They’re looking for substance in your analysis. They’re not going to get that from you if you’re only reporting on what a particular legal development was, and not providing additional commentary.
Sure, it’s nice to be prompt when publishing your thought-leadership content. But when you rush out that content, you haven’t taken the time to really think through how the legal development could affect the people you are writing to and what they need to do because of it.
(When you provide that kind of commentary, you begin to separate yourself from other attorneys who practice the same areas of law that you do.)
I’ve previously covered the three questions that every piece of thought-leadership content should answer: “What?,” “So what?,” and “Now what?” You really can’t get into the “So what?” and “Now what?” when discussing a development in the law if you’re focused on rushing out a piece of content within 24 hours of that development occurring.
No matter how intellectually gifted you are, you will need time to think about the impact of the development you’re covering and how it’s going to affect your referral sources and your clients. It’s not something that can be rushed.
Take your time (but not too much)
To be clear, I’m not suggesting that you take two weeks to create and publish content about a recent development in the law. But I do think it’s acceptable to publish content about a development as far out as five to seven days after the development occurs.
Taking that time to write and publish this content will give you (and maybe your colleagues, too) time to think through the development and provide more value and substance to the people who are consuming your content.
I can assure you that if you take five days to publish a piece of content about a recent legal development instead of one, no one-NO ONE-is going to think lesser of you or your content because of that additional time.
Becoming a trusted and knowledgable source of information regarding the area of law that you practice-becoming a “thought leader”-takes time. There is no overnight success. The process isn’t a sprint.
So, too, is the case with the substantive and valuable blog posts, bylined articles, and client alerts you will need to write and publish to establish yourself as a trusted and knowledgable source of information. They can’t be rushed.
Nor should they be.
That’s why when it comes to writing and publishing such thought-leadership content, when you go full tortoise and take things slow, you’ll win the race.
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