Newsletters offer a way to stay in contact with a large number of contacts easily, consistently, and productively. Newsletters focus on substantive information, and assuming you’ve defined your areas of practice carefully enough, your content will be valuable to recipients and therefore welcome. Better yet, if your topics are timely and if you include an appropriate call to action, you may even receive requests for assistance on matters related to your writing.
Most firms have multiple newsletters tailored to their various areas of practice, often with multiple contributors. Whether you’re responsible for coordinating the content for your firm’s (or team’s) newsletter or you’re a sole practitioner with soup-to-nuts responsibility for the newsletter, you’ve probably had more than a few hair-raising moments wondering how you can possibly get it all done. (And if your firm doesn’t have a newsletter, I can virtually guarantee that fear is the top reason why not.)
So, let’s make newsletters simple. These five tips and resources will reduce the time and angst required to produce a newsletter that delivers results.
Repurpose presentations and articles you have written for publication elsewhere into newsletter content. Shorter articles tend to be more useful, especially in electronic newsletters, so you can often get several issues of content from a single article.
- Keep a list of generic questions your clients ask and turn the responses into newsletter articles. You must make certain that no one interprets your article as legal advice for them (check your local ethics rules to be sure you’re in compliance) but with appropriate language, you can easily create useful information based on frequently asked questions.
- Use social media to “listen” for topics you should cover. You may find news or op-ed pieces you’d like to address, and by catching hot topics, you’re increasing the chance that your readers will be interested.
- Include the “so what” for news. It’s hard to offer unique breaking news that isn’t being covered by journalists, bloggers, and other newsletters, but you can one-up many other reports by including some analysis and commentary of the news. In other words, let others handle the details of who, what, when, where, and how. You focus on the why and so what.
- Source your content from a good outside vendor. In the past, I would not have recommended using pre-written articles because they’re generally easy to identify a mile away. Generic and often not written for the audience to whom they’re sent, bad pre-written articles that are simply dropped into a template will not help your marketing efforts and may indeed inflict terminal damage.
But I recently learned about a content provider that offers well-written articles that can (and really should) be edited so that they offer good information with your unique voice and perspective.
Insight in Motion, an offering from Amicus Media, offers articles written by lawyers on topics currently including estate planning, family law, bankruptcy, immigration, and personal injury. (I’ve urged them to include intellectual property soon–we’ll see!) I’ve reviewed the articles and I’m impressed with the information presented and the way the content is presented.
Offering two levels of subscriptions based on the number of legal articles you need each month and number of practice areas, Insight in Motion provides a “keep it simple” approach at a reasonable price. Even better, the company will create a customized newsletter template and send your newsletters if you’d like. The content can even be published on your firm’s website or blog.
I took a thorough tour of the system and asked the same questions you likely would, and I’m impressed. If your practice falls within the areas that Insight in Motion covers and you’ve been holding off on creating a newsletter, this may be your golden opportunity.
For more information on Insight in Motion, visit this page.
And in case you’re wondering: no, I will not receive any affiliate fees or other incentive if you enroll in Insight in Motion.
Which of these tips can you use to make your newsletter strategy simpler?