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Finding the right author

25 February 2016

Client newsletters: Finding the right author

“Content is King” (Bill Gates)

In our GhostMarketer series article “Client Newsletter - A practical guide”, we pointed out that client newsletters are at the core of every big firm’s marketing strategy for the best possible reason – they work!

And remember that GhostConvey clients have free access to GhostMarketer – as we said in “GhostMarketer - Getting started”, you have a wide range of powerful marketing tools there, not least among them the option to create and transmit your own monthly newsletters.

But who will write your newsletter articles for you?

Your ideal author – a checklist
What defines the ideal author for your client newsletter? “Horses for courses” as they say, but let’s look at the basics of an “ideal candidate” job description –

• A passion for writing; and a passion for law with all its twist and turns, its endless evolution, its triumphs and its failures.

• Training and qualifications. Look for a good mix of legal qualifications, training and experience. Technical inaccuracy will turn your best marketing tool – your client newsletter – into your firm’s worst advert.

• Practical experience. Pick someone with plenty of practical experience in the real worlds of business and daily life – someone who has been a consumer of legal services and can talk to your clients not from an academic ivory tower, but with personal understanding of what they want and need from you in practical terms.

• “Wafflers need not apply”. In our Information Overload Age, your watchwords should be “short and simple”, “useful and interesting”, “clear and accessible”, “everyday not academic”, “practical not technical”, “plain language not arcane”. (Footnote: Beware anyone who uses words like “arcane” except to warn you against them!)

Outsource or In-House?
“An author, an author, my kingdom for an author! ” (With apologies to both Shakespeare and to Richard III, whose need for a horse was, at the relevant time, somewhat greater than his need for an author)

First prize will always be to write your own unique newsletter content in-house, but ask yourself this question: “Does it make commercial sense for us to allocate the billable hours necessary to do this ourselves?” Calculate the cost – multiply your hourly rates by how many hours it will take to research, write, polish and double-check your newsletter. Is it worth sacrificing that much monthly income?

It may be, particularly if you are lucky enough to have in your firm someone (you yourself perhaps?) able and willing to sacrifice evenings and weekends to the task. But the fact is that for most small to medium sized firms, it is far more practical to outsource the task of content creation to specialists.

Your choices if you outsource
You have two broad concepts to choose from –

1. As with the “In-house” option we discussed above, buying unique content isn’t going to be cheap; you alone are paying for every minute of a professional author’s time and expertise.

2. For smaller practices, rather pay a fraction of what unique content will cost you by subscribing to a solution where you buy shared content. Look for a supplier with a choice of solutions ranging from entry level standard-content newsletters up to higher-cost options with a wide selection of formats and articles to choose from.

Related articles in the GhostMarketer series by LawDotNews -

Article 1:  Are you using GhostMarketer yet?
Article 2:  Six reasons to market your firm
Article 3:  Targeted Marketing: Choosing your tools
Article 4:  Shoestring Marketing
Article 5:  GhostMarketer - Getting started
Article 6:  Client Newsletter - A practical guide
Article 7:  Branding: The basics
Article 8:  Marketing Mistakes
Article 9:  The proof of the pudding

Contact us at LawDotNews on 086 110 5904 (or email info@dotnews.co.za) for more on our on our special offer giving you heavily-discounted access to all our current and archived LawDotNews articles for use on your GhostMarketer platform, our full range of newsletter solutions and our other LawDotNews services.

Jack Crook, Director at DotNews is well known to law firms as the author of LawDotNews since 2005. Jack’s legal qualifications (LLB Lond and LLB Rhod) are supplemented by many years of practical experience in law, in marketing his own firm, and in helping other small and medium sized professional firms to prosper by using simple, low-cost, effective marketing strategies.

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