Creating valuable and interesting content is the No.1 activity all businesses need to do if they want to attract customers and clients online. Not even the legal industry is an exception to this rule. The big problem is, though, everyone in a law firm has different ideas as to who should be the one to do all the writing.
Should it be the senior partners, solicitors, paralegals and assistants or should writing blogs be left entirely to the firm’s marketing team?
As you’d probably expect, Strawberry Forge has an opinion or two on this.
Put simply, we don’t think the current way law firms dish out their content writing duties is very effective.
Now, it may seem obvious we’d say something like that, but we’re not ones to make comments like that if we can’t prove we’re right. We like to back our words up with logic, so Nick and I took a closer look at the content bottleneck in legal marketing.
Take a read through this blog of ours; we’re sure once it’s all laid out, you’ll be able to see the mistakes law firms are making a lot more clearly.
At the Very Top
Senior partners want their content to be written by the very best members of their team. In this instance, that’s the solicitors who are in charge of their own departments.
There’s a lot to be said about this. Sure, it makes sense that the ones who should be writing the legal content are the ones who have the most knowledge on the subject. But as Nick pointed out to me, having Heads of Departments writing blogs and articles isn’t the best use of their time.
Think of it this way; solicitors who head their own sections in a law firm are also some of the highest paid members of staff on the payroll. It can take a good two to three hours to write a blog, and that’s not even mentioning all the time spent planning, editing, image sourcing and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
By the time one blog is completely finished, the law firm will have used up between £800 to £1000’s worth of their solicitor’s time.
Then there’s the matter of who proofreads these blogs. In most cases, it ends up being the senior partners who set the writing tasks in the first place. Conservatively speaking, that’s got to cost firms another £200-£300 just in proofing each round of edits.
Looking at everything there, that’s a huge overall spend just for one blog. This is why some firms take a different approach.
Delegating the Writing Tasks
This might come as a surprise, but not every blog on a firm’s website is written by an actual solicitor. In many cases, a Head of Department will pass on the writing tasks they’ve been set to one of their paralegals.
Within the actual firm, this is perhaps the best way of getting the most out of everyone’s abilities. By passing the blogs on to someone else, solicitors can spend more time looking over cases for clients, and paralegals are doing what they’re paid to do: help solicitors with their work.
But with this, the content bottleneck actually gets worse.
Paralegals are tied up with writing blogs, which then have to be proofed by solicitors, which in turn are then passed onto the senior partners. While the higher paid members of the team aren’t spending as much time writing, everyone still ends up getting involved. This costs firms money and also time that should really be used for helping clients with their cases.
Some solicitors’ offices are fully aware that their legal staff have more pressing issues to deal with. The ones that have clocked onto this have come up with another solution.
The Marketing “Team”
For those wondering, the quotation marks in the header above aren’t a typing error. You’ll see why I’ve put them there as we go on.
I want to start this section by saying something positive; law firms who hire marketing staff to free up their solicitors are the type of forward-thinkers the industry needs. It just makes sense to let your legal experts get on with fighting cases, after all.
The only problem that comes from this is how much pressure falls on to the shoulders of the person in the marketing department.
Generally speaking, there isn’t much to a firm’s marketing department. For the most part, there’s usually just one person in charge of marketing, and if they’re lucky, they’ll have an assistant.
A lot of work goes into writing blog posts, and that would be only one aspect of a marketing manager’s job. There’s also managing the firm’s website and social media pages, plus PR & communications work alongside reviewing data analytics.
If you ever find a marketing manager who can do all that while writing up blogs on several different branches in law, then hire them. It’s a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack, though.
What’s the Best Solution, then?
The best thing any law firm can do is pass their writing jobs onto a digital marketing agency that has the skill, knowledge and experience to handle legal content.
This ensures everyone who works for the firm is doing the exact job they’re being paid to do without having to struggle with the burden of putting out a perfectly written blog post every week.
Strawberry Forge has been helping solicitors with this dilemma for a while now, and it’s fair to say we’re achieving great results for our current clients.
By working with us, our clients have managed to free up their time massively, as all they have to do is check the final draft of blogs before they go live.
So, if you’d like to take the pressure of writing blogs off the shoulders of your solicitors, paralegals and marketing team, get in touch with a member of the Strawberry Forge team for a free digital workshop to see what we can do for your firm.