By Peter Boyd, a Florida attorney who founded PaperStreet. He has helped over 1,500 law firms with their websites, content and marketing.
Law firms face many challenges with their content marketing campaigns. Breaking through the clutter, measuring ROI and integrating with other marketing strategies can all be tough. But many insiders in marketing consider the toughest challenge to be consistently creating high-quality engaging content.
Whether you hire a staff member to take on the task or work with freelance writers, either on your own or through a marketing company, you want to find the best available content writers for your field. So how do you start? A quick search online will provide you with mountains of résumés from candidates proclaiming to be experienced content writers. Here are a few suggestions for finding the gems amid the rubble.
Start By Assessing Your Needs And Goals
The first step is to figure out what you are looking for and how often you need it. Do you want a writer to produce a steady stream of content or someone who can step in on an as-needed basis? Writers will often trade cash for security, so if you can offer your content writer a guaranteed number of regular assignments, you can probably secure a lower rate per assignment.
You also need to determine the level of expertise you need from a writer. If you practice personal injury law, you may be able to work with a writer with a general background who can research what they need to know from the internet. On the other hand, if work in an area of law with concepts that many people misunderstand, such as trusts, you may want a content writer with a background in law or finance who can produce accurate, informative content on the subject.
Create your ideal candidate. Think about experience, talent and availability. Then figure out how you could scale back your qualifications to fit your budget. You might start by wishing for a writer with a law degree who practiced in your area of law for 20 years before retiring and now sits by a laptop all day playing solitaire while waiting for freelance assignments to come in. You might realize you could settle for a paralegal or an experienced legal content writer who can turn around assignments within a week.
Balance Your Needs With Your Budget
Create a realistic budget. This is easier said than done because the information about the cost of content varies tremendously. You might start with a random trial budget and see what you get in that price range.
Remember that some attributes are objective, while others are subjective. Accuracy is essential. Writing style, on the other hand, is a personal preference. You may want your content to be down-to-earth to appeal to certain clients. Or you may want a more formal tone or even scholarly approach to give potential clients a sense of why they truly need a lawyer if they want to make any progress with their case.
Find out a writer’s policy on rewrites. Some will rewrite copy once at no extra charge while others will charge a fee for every change. Even the best writer may take time to adjust to your preferred style, so you need to plan accordingly.
Experiment With The Search Process
Create a description explaining what you’re looking for and the attributes you want from your writer. Then it’s time to search for candidates. You can post your description on general writer sites such as ProBlogger, Upwork and Fiverr, but be warned that these sites are popular and you could end up inundated with applications.
Many firms find that it works best to take a tip from headhunting firms and search online for legal content writers. Professional sites such as LinkedIn can be a great place to search. If you find writers who meet your criteria, try reaching out to them directly. After all, most of the best writers are already engaged in writing projects rather than looking for work. Those are the ones you want to find.
When you do connect with a writer who seems promising, try out an assignment or two before entering a longer commitment. The more guidance you can provide about what you want, the easier it will be for your writer to meet your expectations.
Consider Outsourcing Your Search
If this sounds like a lot of work, then you’ve got a basic understanding of how challenging it can be to find the best writers for your content marketing campaign. Many law firms work with legal marketers who already invest substantial resources in seeking out the best content writers. While working with a professional legal marketing firm can add somewhat to the cost, the savings in time and frustration can be well worth the investment.