Why You Need A Legal Copywriter

Employing a legal copywriter is a sound investment for any law firm seeking to secure a strong profile in today’s increasingly competitive market for services. In fact, if you’re engaged in any form of online marketing, content is absolutely essential: for good search engine results, traffic to your site, conversions and customer retention. Having a legal copywriter that understands not only how to write for sales, search and social media but also how to communicate legal terminology in an accessible way will almost certainly get you better results.

Why do law firms need content?

Effective content is a key element in any successful law firm’s business strategy. Content underpins every aspect of web marketing – social, search and sales – and increasingly, as law firms invest more online, there is a need to allocate budget to content creation.

However, recognising the need to allocate financial resources to legal copywriting is one thing – trying to find people within your organisation who have the time or ability to produce good quality content is another. For practising lawyers mixing the roles of fee earner and marketer is a tricky balance to get right. Utilising the services of a professional legal copywriter means you get the content you need without taking the focus off your core legal activities.

The role of the law copywriter

Just like a good lawyer, a legal copywriter who provides a quality service will strive to understand the brief in all its intricacy. Working in close partnership with those supplying the instructions, a deep appreciation of the firm’s character, ethos and client base will be developed through detailed research and consultation.

Combining this with the ability of the law copywriter to bring solid experience of the unique environment of legal practice to the process will result in the placement of carefully crafted, optimised and targeted copy in outlets that are the most appropriate for a particular law firm, from press release syndication through to guest blogging/guest editorial strategies.

Good writing drives business

Legal copywriting is found in almost every aspect of marketing. Whether placed in social media, a firm’s web site, business-to-business networking, a blog, a tweet, an article in an august legal periodical or a traditional newspaper advertisement, the key to successful promotion is good writing.

Accurate spelling, grammar and syntax are not enough; writing in a way that enables a client to identify with a firm’s lawyers and its values, and understand its services and processes is the most effective use of the multitude of opportunities for promotion that are available.

Your website is a new client’s first experience of your firm

Let’s take your firm’s website as a starting point. Like every other legal website, it can tell the visitor the who, the what and the where: who we are, what we do and where we can be found. To stand out from the crowd this needs to be done in ways that are both fresh and compelling but also transmit the essential messages to the intended client base. For many potential clients, your website is the first point of contact with your firm. It’s crucial that you not only explain your services clearly but that you also convey your brand values strongly.

You can use your website content to celebrate your successes as a practitioner and talk about the areas you specialise in but, for effective marketing, this needs to be achieved with brevity and non-technical language that enables a potential client to think, ‘I understand what this firm can do for me.’

There is an old adage: “a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.” It might be a cliché but, nonetheless, it conveys a truth. The most effective representation of a law firm online can be achieved by employing the services of the professional best suited to the task – a legal copywriter.

Derryck Strachan is the owner of Big Star Copywriting, one of the UK’s leading copywriting agencies. Since 2005, they have worked as a legal copywriter for dozens of legal firms including 1st Claims, BCL Legal, Claims 4U, MASS Training, Riverview Law, Serious Injury Law, Work Accident Solicitors, Lawscape, James Burfield and several others. Our services include SEO copywriting, web copywriting and content marketing.

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Legal Copywriting – Tips For Writing Killer Legal Content

Have you ever tried to read legal documents while trying to understand what you’re reading? Unless you have some sort of legal background or have received a lot of legal background in your life, a lot of the legal verbiage is going to seem foreign to you. This is a reason why many legal firms hire a professional to do their legal copywriting. Almost everyone in business today has a website. While some websites are owned by individuals or small businesses capable of doing their own copywriting, seldom can the same be said for law firms.

While law firms usually consist of very intelligent attorneys knowledgeable of the law, they usually have little skill in content or legal copywriting so they hire a professional legal copywriter. While most copywriting requires typical writing skills, legal copywriting requires much more. Not only do you have to be able to write good content but you also must have some knowledge of the law as well as the law firm and what is necessary for their website.

· Must be able to cite relevant law
· Must effectively detail the credentials of the law firm
· Describe areas where the attorneys practice law
· Must possess good SEO copywriting skills
· Produce legal website content with relevant keywords and keyword phrases
· Make sure the language is clear and concise so it can be read and understood by all
· Must be able to turn complex subjects into a simple and easy-to-read form
· Must know the target market of the particular attorney or law firm
· Must be able to work independently with minimal supervision

To be effective and successful at legal copywriting, an individual must have an eye for detail and clarity as well as making the language as concise as possible. While the legal copywriter should have a grasp of legal terminology, as little legal jargon as possible should be used when transferring onto the site. The content that’s going onto the website will have legal jargon in it but will be worded as such so that the typical online visitor can easily read and understand what they’re reading.

Keywords and keyword phrases are an important part of any type of copywriting and are especially essential with legal copywriting. Proper use of SEO copywriting can make all the difference between good and great legal copywriting, as well as drawing the maximum amount of traffic to the site.

When doing legal copywriting, it’s also important that the website content matches the individual law firm as well as the type of attorneys they happen to be (plaintiff or defense attorney). In addition, the website for an individual attorney is going to differ from a large law firm. A lot of this type of knowledge will come from legal copywriting experience while a lot of it will come from having a basic knowledge of some aspects of the legal firm and law in general. Legal copywriting is not only an opportunity for a promising career but is also a very exciting one.

Steve Lazuka is a well-known expert in the field of natural seo content development. Mr Lazuka founded Interact Media, a legal copywriting service that leverages the power of high quality content to improve search engine visibility for its clients. To learn more about this and other seo topics, visit Steve’s blog at http://www.interactmedia.com/blog.html

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Why a Solicitor Might Not Be the Best Legal Writer

These days, legal copywriting for a law firm’s website, for keeping up with social media, and for articles and press releases is a vital part of the astute law company’s marketing mix. Posting regularly on the issues of the day through blogs, articles and Facebook statuses is demanded and expected by a legal firm’s many audiences.

Legal copywriting is also a key component of traditional print marketing. The law firm that finds itself without a corporate brochure, a recruitment pack, and leaflets and direct mail, could get left behind in the drive to attract top candidates and to market itself to the big corporations.

So, who’s going to do all this legal copywriting? Obviously, solicitors are intelligent people. They’ve been through law school. But that doesn’t necessarily make them great at legal writing. Chances are, they might not have the time to spare. Not to mention the inclination. Solicitors are also very well paid professionals. So it makes no sense to take them away from their core legal work to have a dabble at legal copywriting.

It’s also a surprising fact that former solicitors aren’t necessarily the best option for legal copywriters, either. A quick trawl through the websites of ex-lawyers who have set themselves up as legal writers reveals some unrefined writing, some of it complete with grammatical errors. It’s that old chestnut: not being able to see the wood for the trees – ally that with core skills and training that are based around the law rather than marketing and writing, and it’s a recipe for failure.

Legal writing is best left to professional copywriters. Lawyers looking for freelance legal writing should first check that the writer has had sufficient experience of dealing with major-name law firms and is familiar with the basics of legal jargon, the seat system and the different facets of law that they will encounter when working with a legal firm.

So what kind of legal copywriting should a copywriter expect to tackle as part of a law firm’s marketing? Obviously, all businesses need high-quality website content. Beyond that, these days, it’s vital that lawyers have regular promotional output through blogging and social media – 100 or so ‘tweets’ or Facebook ‘statuses’ a month can cost as little as £100, but be worth their weight in gold.

Also critical is high-class recruitment literature that picks out the firm’s unique selling points and attracts the cream of the graduate crop each year. Newsletters, plain English legal documents, biographies, journals and radio adverts are also all key elements of the marketing arsenal that can be tackled by the legal writer.

You wouldn’t send a copywriter into court to defend a client. So, why leave your legal copywriting to chance?

Nigel Graber is a respected freelance copywriter and legal copywriter. He has worked with many leading law firms, including Hammonds, Berwin Leighton Paisner and Lawrence Graham, on their law firm marketing.

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Legal Marketing – How To Work With A Copywriter

When it comes to legal marketing (and marketing in general) the power is in the message. Once you’ve established your personal or firm brand, and have a clear view on your points of differentiation and core audience, it’s time to start writing. Lawyers are great at legal writing-but to truly connect with readers is a different form of the art. And let’s be honest, not everyone has the time, the skill or the desire to delve into copywriting. Enter the copywriter. More and more, firms are choosing to employ the talents of professional copywriters to help them craft their message for brochures, websites and even presentations. But it’s not as easy as just handing off the assignment. Here are a few tips to working with your copywriter.

Be picky.
Not all copywriters work the same. Look closely at candidates to be sure their vision gels with yours. View examples of past work and see if it draws you in. Though they’ll be writing from your perspective, every writer has their own style.

Be open-minded.
Don’t get stuck looking exclusively at writers with law experience. Sometimes working with a copywriter who has experience in other industries can bring new ideas and a breath of fresh air to stale copy. By taking cues from previous work they can often tweak dull legal copy and incorporate new language and ideas. Added plus: If they’ve worked in industries that reflect your client roster chances are they’ll have a good insight into how those clients think, work and communicate.

Be consistent.
From the beginning figure out how much writing will need to be done (at least at first glance) and how it will flow together. For instance: it’s easier to write copy for a brochure and website at the same time, rather than go back a year later and try to adapt. All materials should reflect the same voice, so keeping the same writer on all projects only makes sense to attain the best results.

Be available.
You can’t hand over a copywriting project without input. From the beginning, understand what your copywriter will need from you-whether it be company information, access to employees for interviews and quotes, photos, history, bios… and then be sure to follow through. It only benefits you to give writers as much information as you can.

Be honest.
Don’t like a certain word? Tell them! Don’t love the way they phrased something? Tell them! You must be honest with your copywriter if you want the best results. Once they get to know your preferences they can better create content that makes both of you happy.

Be respectful.
Sometimes you just have to defer to an expert. Where lawyers tend to want to write like well…a lawyer, copywriters know what draws readers in and engages them in the copy. While they will most likely always be grateful for your input, there will be times when you will have to just trust their experience.

In the end, working with a copywriter can be a great benefit to your firm. They can bring a new perspective and new voice to firm materials and have the added advantage of being not only NOT a lawyer, but a potential client as well. They know what people want to read and can craft your message to resonate in the most powerful way.

Drawing on over twenty years’ experience in branding and positioning, Paula Black has advised law firms around the globe on everything from powerful and innovative design to marketing strategy and business growth. She is the award-winning author of “The Little Black Book on Law Firm Branding & Positioning,” “The Little Black Book on Law Firm Marketing and Business Development,” and “The Little Black Book: A Lawyer’s Guide To Creating A Marketing Habit in 21 Days,” as well as founder and President of Miami-based Paula Black & Associates. For more information visit http://www.paulablacklegalmarketing.com

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