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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 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.