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Expert legal sources are those attorneys who often appear in media reports, clarifying legal matters for the public. An expert legal source confidently provides simple answers to complex legal questions, and these moments in the spotlight earn them free publicity and new clients. Being an expert legal source is an attractive and attainable goal, for any lawyer who is willing to work to build trust in the eyes of reporters and the public. If being an expert legal source is one of your professional goals, Law Quill can help you make it happen.
Steps to Becoming An Expert Legal Source
To become an expert legal source, It is not necessary to work for a big law firm or carry a heavy load of impressive credentials. Almost any lawyer can become an expert legal source, but it starts with gaining recognition as someone who is knowledgeable, reliable and resourceful. Let Law Quill help you toward your goal as you navigate the following steps.
Reach Out to the Media
Before you can become an expert legal source for the media, you will need to inform the media that you are available. The best way to start is with the local media, rather than a national or international media source. An expert legal source who gets quoted on the front page of The New York Times probably got started on a much smaller scale. When reaching out to a local media outlet, here are some tips to remember:
- It is highly recommended to hire a professional media consultant to handle the first contact. (Law Quill can help you make the best first impression.)
- Any initial communication should outline your willingness and expertise in a short and simple message.
- Make sure your introductory message is brief and to the point. Like most lawyers, editors and reporters are busy people who appreciate concise communication.
- When a major case is going to trial, contact a reporter to let him or her know that you are available for expert legal commentary. If the individual does not respond, do not hesitate to contact the newsroom and ask to speak with the person who will be responsible for covering the upcoming trial.
Develop Media Relationships
Cold calling or messaging a reporter can bring results. However, the best way to become a trusted expert legal source is by developing a relationship with reporters, editors and other news professionals. If you have media contacts, cultivate these by offering your expertise on cases that never make it to the front page. Touching base with a reporter who frequently covers law-related stories can go a long way. It shows that self-promotion and law firm recognition is not as important as helping out the reporter. Once a reporter trusts you and feels that he or she can rely on you, this results in the basis for a mutually beneficial relationship.
Technology has made it easier to keep in touch and be accessible, and these are a necessity for any expert legal source. When a reporter chooses an expert legal source, two of the biggest factors are availability and geography. When the reporter calls you, you answer. When the reporter is dealing with a weekend deadline, you are there to assist, even if you are on vacation. When reporters are asked about their go-to choice for an expert legal source, they say, “I call her because she knows the issues, or she knows how to find out. And she is always there when I need her help.”
When you do get called by a reporter, be sure that you speak in sound bites and in simple terms. Your goal is to provide a reporter with content they can use for a story. If your responses are helpful and concise, they will be more likely to contact you again.
Maximize Media Appearances
Being featured as an expert in a television news story or in print can bring instant results. It is common to be congratulated with messages and there are often new calls coming into the office. However, this fame is short lived, so you need a strategy in place. Law Quill can help advise you about how to optimize your media presence in as many ways as possible, which may include:
- Press releases
- Blog features
- Social media posts
- Emails to clients
- News features in local publications
Strengthen Your Reputation with Content Marketing
Finally, it is critical to establish a solid online reputation, because the media and the public will want to discover who you really are. Using content to establish yourself as a thought leader is a key way to enhance your reputation in the public arena. Law Quill can help you every step of the way, including the following key areas:
Enhance Your Profile
Anywhere that people look for you online, they should find a consistent, filled out profile and description of your law firm. It is essential to complete your profile on Google My Business, LinkedIn, your website, legal directories and every social media site. If you have not gone beyond the default settings on any one of these spaces, we can help make your profile shine and stand out from the competition.
Start or Add to Your Blog
A blog serves many purposes, and one of them is to give quick answers to the urgent legal questions people have. A blog can showcase your expertise and position you as an authority. Law Quill offers pre-written, meaningful content and blog packages that allow you to get your blog off the ground immediately.
Establish a Law Firm Newsletter
Email reaches its target audience 90% of the time, and an email newsletter is an ideal way to connect with your clients and colleagues. A well-written newsletter can spotlight the achievements of you and your law firm more efficiently than a dozen networking events or lunches. An email newsletter puts you in front of your contacts all at the same time and can provide solid results. Law Quill can help you kickstart an email newsletter that people will actually read.
Improve Your Law Firm Website
Your law firm website is often your first introduction to the public, so it has to be good. A quality website reaches its target audience with attractive design, meaningful content and helpful information. A top-notch website adds video, reader-friendly text and client testimonials. We are lawyers here at Law Quill, but when we start improving your website, we promise we will not weigh it down with worn out phrases and boring legal jargon.
How Long Does It Take To Become an Expert?
According to the Harvard Business Review, becoming an expert is a time-consuming process that takes normally at least 10 years. Despite this, there is no exact answer to this question. Some research suggests that 10,000 hours of study and practice is necessary to become an expert, whereas others think it can take twice as long to become an expert in a specific field. It is also important to remember that some subjects and skills take longer to master than others. For instance, it can take a lot longer to become an expert in a specific area of law than it can take to learn the ins and outs of a certain point-of-sale software package.
What Does It Mean To Become an Expert?
Becoming an expert is possible with hard work, determination, and commitment. Below are some tips to consider to become an expert.
While there is no exact time required for becoming an expert, it does take considerable effort. Any expert in their field became one by devoting significant time, hard work, and energy toward developing their skills and knowledge. With this in mind, to become an expert, it is first necessary to fully commit yourself to this endeavor.
Take on Challenges
To develop your skills, consistent practice is vital. Despite this, to become an expert, it is also necessary to consistently challenge yourself to improve and gain more skills and knowledge. Otherwise, your skills and knowledge reach a maximum level, which prevents you from becoming an expert. To ensure that you are constantly challenging yourself, try setting progression goals and working toward these.
Seek a Mentor
Alongside practicing often and challenging yourself, finding another expert to mentor you is a great way of becoming an expert yourself. When doing this, it is essential to select a mentor with significant expertise in the field you wish to become an expert in and to choose someone who genuinely wants you to become an expert. After selecting a mentor, make sure you constantly ask for specific feedback to improve your skills and knowledge.
Test Your Knowledge and Skills
While it is crucial to set aside time for challenging yourself, make sure you focus your time on testing your newly developed knowledge and skills. This helps you retain this information and makes sure you understand it. Generally, aim to devote a third of your free time to developing more knowledge and skills and the rest of your time to testing your knowledge and skills.
Think About Your Progression
If you realize that you are improving and working toward your goal of becoming an expert, think about the next steps required to continue your progression. Do this frequently and constantly update your short-term progression goals to help you realize your long-term vision of becoming an expert.
Consider Your Mistakes
It is important to remember that experts are human beings, and humans make mistakes. The final step to becoming an expert involves realizing your errors and being willing to learn from these mistakes. Doing this enables you to determine the things to avoid and realize other things to try instead.
How Law Quill Can Help
To be an expert legal source, you must be able to interact with the media and the public as you explain complex legal matters in simple terms. The payoffs for getting featured in the public arena can include more notoriety, leads and clients. Anyone who seeks a position like this needs to verify that their online reputation is firmly in place, in order to maintain trust and authority with the public. You can enhance your opportunities by reaching out to the media, providing meaningful content, and developing a consistent profile across the internet. As you make media connections and build your name, Law Quill can help you every step of the way.
Law Quill would welcome the opportunity to visit with you about how we can help you increase your law firm’s online visibility and gain more clients! Schedule a free visit with us by scheduling a quick phone or zoom call at your convenience on our calendar today. You can also email us at email@example.com