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Blogging for Professional Services: Make a Plan and Make it Easy

Life Before Blogging

Before blogging, lawyers, accountants and consultants left the marketing work to the marketers. Yes, the management team would work with the marketing team to determine what the firm should stand for and be best at, but beyond that, there was little to do but wait for the marketing campaign to start.

Life After Blogging

Based on the need for “top 5” placement for search, suddenly, every website needs a blog to protect its rankings. And who would be better equipped to do a blog than a professional services firm? Professional services firms are full of subject matter experts that can gain interest and help clients and prospects by blogging about the things that their clients care about.

Except those same experts are often getting paid $500- $1,000 an hour (or more) to do client work. And if the marketing budget includes internal time…things can get really expensive, quickly. Or if the professionals in the firm don’t think blogging helps build business, the challenges can be even greater.

To significantly increase your chances of getting great blog content from your internal experts make it as easy as possible by using the following techniques.

Top 5 Techniques to Get Your Best Bloggers Blogging

  1. Get buy-in. There is no use even starting a blog unless your subject matter experts agree that a blog can and will help build business. A blog is one of the most easily accessible lines of communication a company has, providing exposure to people that actually care about what your experts have to say. People that could easily become future clients.
  2. Solicit help from subject matter experts that are good at writing and communication. Willingness and talent are two different things. If your experts are keen, but not very good at articulating their views, the time spent getting a decent blog post can increase exponentially. If your most expensive talent can create a blog post in 15 minutes, versus someone less adept taking several hours, go for the quick hit.
  3. Create a master plan for the year. How many blog posts should there be? How many contributors? Is there anything happening in your industry that will be big news during the course of the year? What other topics will gain interest, provide value, and help build awareness of your firm’s expertise?
  4. Make the “technical” side of blogging easy. Assign an internal proof reader (or hire an external). Provide coaching on how to do blog entries, or, if your experts are not at all technical, have someone technically oriented post the blog (or outsource). Get your support team to find appropriate pictures. If all else fails, have your expert verbalize their opinions and have someone else write them down. Don’t forget to enhance the blog for search. That too can be outsourced.
  5. Be clear about your objectives and celebrate your successes when those objectives are met. Are you trying to be one of the top 5 firms on a Google search for corporate lawyers in your market? Are you trying to gain clients through your website? Do you want your experts to be quoted in the press to build credibility? Whatever your objectives are, it is critical to keep people engaged and committed to making your corporate blog into a key source of information. That will only happen if there are goals, and you are achieving them.
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