I spoke recently at the London launch of the British Nigeria Law Forum’s Junior Lawyer division. The focus of the evening was on how those entering the profession could make an impact and establish their careers.
This blog, based on a part of my speech that night, looks at how you, as a junior lawyer, can raise your profile in the communities most important to you and your practice.
Most of my career has been in the media which means that, for me, content is the most important tool a lawyer has access to when building their professional profile.
Directory listings, firm website profiles or hard-law e-newsletter updates can be left to your firm’s overworked and under-appreciated PR and marketing departments...instead your ability to become a respected content curator and to take control of your professional brand is where your focus should fall.
The blog or ‘blawg’ (for those in the legal sector) has been on a reputational rollercoaster for the last 10 years. For me, however, its value, when properly managed and leveraged, has never waned. What I mean by ‘properly managed’ is complex but I will touch upon some key considerations here:
What to write....
If you already have an established practice or expertise in a niche area of law, embrace it. If you’re interested in developing a niche or specialised practice, equally - embrace this! Your readership may differ between the two in that the former is more likely to attract the attention of potential clients but the latter will still garner interest from individuals (both private practice and in-house) who are interested in a certain area or specialism. Blogs can be either a collaborative platform or a linear source of information – both building insight between content producer and consumer.
Regardless of approach, inject personality into the content you produce. Two of the most read blogs from lawyers look at:
The US Bribery Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The restaurant and food scene in whatever city the lawyer-writer happens to be in.
Now, I’m not encouraging you to embrace your inner Heston Blumenthal and focus on nothing but what you had for lunch, but, by incorporating your personality, experiences and unique voice into the content you produce can do wonders for readership levels, loyalty and positive feedback.
How to promote your content
Publishers have never been hungrier for content and, speaking as one, a considered outreach from a legal blogger offering access to quality content in exchange for promotion and profile on my platform will rarely be met with a negative response.
Do your research, identify specific media outlets or other blogs which could offer reciprocal benefits and start making connections. Do not just focus on legally specific media brands but connect with those who focus on topics, sectors or audiences where your content could resonate best.
Technology also comes into play when maximizing the reach of your content. There are many routes and solutions here but SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an accessible and cost-effective way for all bloggers to increase their reach and profile.
For the sake of brevity, I will not dive into the technical aspects of this approach but encourage you to take advantage of the plethora of freely available information hosted online to educate and upskill yourselves in this area.
In my next and final blog in the series I will be looking at how a knowledge of technology can help a junior lawyer launch their career and raise their profile.
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