I like to periodically surf the content found in the "Legal" and "Law" tags to find more interesting things to read when I'm on various sites.
I keep finding more and more outsourced content.
It's painfully obvious and my eyes are starting to bleed.
If your content is the first thing a potential client sees, it's the first impression they have of you or your firm.
I'm glad you're using various sites to find like minded others or looking for those who might need your help. This is great!
The way you're doing it though, is like from a throwback to the mid-nineties, when you had to game the search engines with keyword focused (stuffed) articles.
You can't just throw something up anymore and see what sticks.
People want to meet other people, not see who has the most articles on the most channels, obviously not originally authored by yourself.
We're inundated with content 24/7. Those of us who read this content on a regular basis can tell when you're faking it.
No bueno, my friend.
People want to hear your stories. They need real content, through your lens of perspective.
People are looking for helpful information– not just stuff the can find if they google hard enough, regurgitated into a 300-700 word "thing" that makes them feel like they're reading a book report.
Please NOTE: I'm NOT speaking to those who are currently authoring your own articles in these tags. Your content stands out the brightest because you can tell it's original.
I'm speaking to those who are outsourcing.
You're Allowing these Authors to get Away with Less than Stellar Content
If you're an attorney with a BAR card, you both graduated from college at some point and survived the BAR exam.
Your professors would have never let you skate by handing in the type of work that is now (on a regular basis I might add) appearing for your brand on these various content channels.
The style and tone of the content is cookie-cutter in form.
You can tell because these articles usually start out by stating the obvious for an opening sentence or paragraph usually in the flavor of: "In this article/post, I want do the following..."
It's then followed by the regurgitated information you can find if you google hard enough. The content both explains a concept in general terms and follows up with "If you need help with <fill in the blank> issue, please contact us today!" type of mantra.
It's all very predictable.
Remember your potential client is going through something potentially extremely stressful. The body will naturally shut down certain things during this time to protect the energy it's already expending.
If they've seen enough cookie-cutter content before they got to yours, they're eyes may already be glazed over and there's nothing that either of you can do about it at that point.
Original content with your own perspective could be the rescue ship they've been waiting for.
The grammatical errors are abundant within the first 50 words.
I don't bother even opening your post at that point to keep reading.
I read one this morning and I had to re-read it three times just to make sure it wasn't my own brain fog. The first sentence was grammatically butchered to the point, I had wondered if a fourth grader had authored it.
It was that bad. I'm sitting here baffled at how anyone with a college degree would allow that to pass muster. Your first impression was butchered and it was completely preventable.
The content reads like it comes from either a manual, an encyclopedia, recycled law-school lectures, or all three.
Potential clients know that your article is not going to give them the whole story or the whole fix.
You want their retainer fees. They know this.
What they need, however, is to have the impression that you've put some original thought into what you're writing about. It shows some of your experience without you having to wave your case history or fee structure in front them. They can see how you think, a teeny-tiny bit.
If they feel safe, intrigued, or hopeful enough, that one article may have just been the thing that made them call you up for a free consultation. Why? They could tell by the way you communicated, they might actually be able to trust you.
You can't do this, with regurgitated, generalized, book-report style information.
No. No, you can't.
Clients need to know you genuinely want to help because it's the right thing to do.
They aren't impressed by how many channels your content is on. They don't care how much content you have. Sometimes they don't even care if you show up on page three of the Google search results.
When they choose to hire you to help them, they are hiring your mannerisms, the way you communicate, the way you think, and or the way you can handle a team. They're trusting you to help them through their problems.
They can't make that connection with you through obviously outsourced content.
I know you're probably super busy, which is why you're outsourcing to begin with.
I get it. I do.
But there's a fine line between outsourcing and keeping it obvious that you're doing it.
- Can you proofread the content before you allow it to be published?
- Can you have someone else on your staff or maybe an older student you know help change the wording and the voice so it sounds like it's original?
Just doing those two things alone will go along way to mitigating some of the loss of potential clientele your outsourced content is causing.
I see it. As a writer who works day in and day out with documentation – and who wants to see good and honorable attorneys highlighted and succeed – I had to say something.
It was the only way to stop my eyes from bleeding.