Let’s say you’re ready to hire an online marketing company. You tell the writer you want blogs about bankruptcy topics. A few days later, a handful of pages and a couple of blogs are in your inbox waiting for your review. You open them up, excited to see what your new site will sound like, and the only thing you can think is, This doesn’t sound like me at all.
This is one of the biggest problems content writers face, and it happens all the time. It’s not that you’re not clear. It’s not that we’re not listening. It’s no one’s fault – it’s just one of the hurdles we need to overcome when we’re writing for someone else, as someone else. Sometimes it can take a little while to clear that hurdle as we all become accustomed to one another.
Still, there are some things you can do to help your writers get to where you need them to be. It comes down to voice, and it’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make about the content on your site.
Creating the voice of your firm
The first decision you need to make deals with the “person” who is speaking. Do you want third person or first? Singular or plural? Take a look at these general examples:
- Third person: The John Doe & Associates law firm provides personal injury services throughout Wyoming.
- First person, plural: At the John Doe & Associates law firm, we provide personal injury services to clients throughout Wyoming.
- First person, singular: My law firm, John Doe & Associates, provides personal injury services throughout Wyoming.
Simple, no? Well, maybe not. In order to choose which “person” you want to use, you also need to decide what tone you want, too. Do you prefer…?
- Elevated: The John Doe & Associates law firm provides comprehensive strategies on behalf of professional clients throughout Wyoming. The Firm takes a proactive approach to the law, offering efficient services with your timelines in mind.
- Conversational: When you are running a business, time is money. John Doe & Associates understands that, so we work effectively and efficiently to resolve your problems.
- Empathetic: It’s easy to become overwhelmed when your business is facing trouble. We understand: after all, John Doe & Associates is a small business, too. We hear what you’re saying, and we promise to work as quickly and as effectively as possible to ensure that you can get back to business soon.
- Aggressive: Every moment your business is interrupted is a moment someone else might take your clients. John Doe & Associates offers aggressive, proactive strategies to get you up and running when your business’s future is on the line.
These are just a few examples of the tones you might choose, but you need to know what you want to sound like as soon as you can. If you know how you want to be perceived, we can write you better, stronger content that’s tailored to that need.
Can’t I have all of them?
Well, no. You can’t. Consistency is key. That’s not to say that we can’t combine some of them – we often do – but the identity of your firm should be set before we start to write.
But Partner A says this, and Partner B….
Ah, okay. Got it. You have a lot of different personalities in your firm, and everyone wants something different. There’s a pretty easy way to fix that, actually:
- Decide on one tone for the actual website
- Write your own bios in any style you choose
- Ask us to attribute different blogs to different writers
Look, you need one consistent voice for the site – but you can switch it up a bit when it comes to blog posts, Facebook shares and online bios. By attributing different blogs to different writers, every voice and style can be represented in a way that differentiates the members of your firm, but doesn’t detract from the overall sound and feel of the site.
Helping us help you
There are a few other things you can do right off the bat that will help us write better, stronger content for you.
- Tell us what to avoid. A long time (and a few companies) ago, I worked with a client who really hated the word “furthermore.” Never gave me a reason; just removed it from everything I wrote for him. I figured it out pretty quickly, but she never told me she hated that word, so I didn’t know to avoid it from the get-go. If there are phrases, words or topics you don’t like, let us know immediately. It’ll save you and us from frustration.
- Be specific when you can. Not all topics are created equally in the eyes of our clients, which makes sense. But letting us know which ones you really want is important. If you handle truck accidents in North Dakota, great – Do you focus on big-rig accidents? On multi-car pileups? On weather-related accidents? On out-of-state companies that hire local drivers? Tell us the types of situations you handle (or want to handle more of) and we’ll do our best to write about those.
- Don’t be afraid to critique us. If we wrote something you don’t want, tell us why. Was it the wrong tone? Did it convey the wrong message? Is there no call for that type of topic in what you do? If we’re doing something that you don’t like, or don’t think really reflects who you are, tell us. We can take it.
- Keep us up to date with what you’re doing. If you just won a big case, or are branching out into another area of practice, or want to build up your attorney referral network, let us know. We’ll cover your wins and your new plans, but we won’t always know about them unless you fill us in.
Our job is to build your identity online. That’s a pretty scary proposition, if you look at it alone. By determining who you are and who you want to be before we get started, you’re allowing us to get to work in a smarter, more efficient way. That’s time saved for you, too.
Tell the world who you are. Let us help.
You can build your brand and identity online; all it takes is the right company to help you. Digital Law Marketing, Inc. helps attorneys just like you get the word out about their strengths. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, please call 877-916-0644 or fill out our contact form.