Thought Leadership Blitzes are how lateral partners get off to running starts at their new firms

A sustained increase in published thought leadership can help lateral partners and practice groups avoid the unmet business generation expectations that plague so many lateral moves.

There’s a lot of commentary out there regarding the problems that lateral partners and lateral practice groups have generating business at their new firms at the level they did at their old firms, or at the level their new firms expect them to.

A rarely mentioned but often clear-as-day reason for this problem is one that is easily fixable: The lateral partner or practice group isn’t producing enough thought leadership at a fast enough clip to move the needle.

By employing a Thought Leadership Blitz when they join a new firm, lateral partners and practice groups can use thought leadership to hit the ground running from a marketing and business development perspective, and hopefully generate the amount of business that they—and their new firms—expect them to generate.

There are three main marketing and business development benefits that come from a Thought Leadership Blitz employed by a lateral partner or practice group. But before I get into that, let me explain what I mean by a Thought Leadership Blitz.

What is a Thought Leadership Blitz?

A Thought Leadership Blitz is the production of thought leadership marketing and business development content at a faster clip each month than an attorney or a practice group has produced previously.

To execute a Thought Leadership Blitz, attorneys and practice groups should at least double the amount of thought leadership they publish each month for at least their first three months at their new firms. For attorneys and practice groups that regularly produce zero pieces of thought leadership content each month, they should aim for at least two.

Lateral partners and practice groups, and their new law firms, will enjoy three key benefits when they engage in a Thought Leadership Blitz.

Benefit #1: More substantive conversations about a lateral move

First, lateral partners and practice groups will bring value to the conversations they have with clients and referral sources about their lateral move.

Having a newly published piece of thought leadership in hand is an excuse for a lateral partner to reach out to their clients and referral sources about their move while also reminding them about the knowledge and wisdom they have regarding the areas of law they practice or the industries they serve.

This interaction will be more beneficial to the client or referral source than a boilerplate email in which the lateral says they’re “pleased to announce” they joined a new firm and then they recite their new contact information. Those communications have a place, but they’re not as impactful as being able to offer relevant, valuable, and compelling thought leadership that could be useful to the client’s or referral source’s everyday responsibilities.

Benefit #2: Greasing the cross-selling skids

Second, a Thought Leadership Blitz gives lateral partners’ and practice groups’ new colleagues an easy way to cross-sell them immediately after they join their firm that provides value to a client or referral source.

Their new colleagues can go to their clients and referral sources, send them a new piece of thought leadership content, and say, “We have this new [partner or practice group]. They specialize in [insert practice or industry]. Here’s a recent thought leadership article they wrote regarding [topic]. I thought it might give you some food for thought. I’d be happy to introduce you to them because I think they can help with the issue we discussed last week, and probably more you’ll encounter in the future.”

This is a more value-filled interaction for a client or referral source than a lateral’s new colleague simply saying, “We have a new practice group at our firm. Here’s a link to our press release about them”—if the colleague says anything at all.

Benefit #3: Quickly build a library of marketing and business development content

Finally, a Thought Leadership Blitz provides a lateral partner’s or practice group’s new law firm with a library of content, relatively quickly, that can help it cross-sell the new partner or practice group on an ongoing basis, respond to requests for proposal, or that the firm can otherwise use for marketing and business development efforts.

Instead of a glossy brochure no one will ask for, or attorney bios or practice group descriptions that read like every other one out there, a Thought Leadership Blitz provides a firm with substantive content that is valuable and will be viewed as such by past, current, and future clients and referral sources. That content can be deployed in any number of ways, and linked to by those aforementioned attorney bios and practice group descriptions.

It can also be discovered by people searching for those topics on the web or on social media platforms where it was posted.

In other words, a Thought Leadership Blitz creates a substantive body of work that demonstrates a new lateral partner’s or practice group’s knowledge and wisdom that immediately plugs into a firm’s overall marketing and business development efforts and can be used by a firm’s attorneys and marketing/business development staff to land more business related to the areas of law or industries the lateral partner or group practices or serves.

An easy way to help cure a complex problem

There are often many reasons why lateral partners and practice groups don’t generate the amount of business they and their new firms expect them to. Some are easier to remedy than others.

A Thought Leadership Blitz can go a long way toward helping lateral partners and practice groups hit the marketing and business development ground running at their new firms so they can build books of business that don’t merely meet their and their new firms’ expectations, but exceed them.

Thinking about bringing on an outside writer to help your law firm strategize and create compelling thought-leadership marketing and business development content? 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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