Lawyers write all the time. There’s no way around it!
So it stands to reason that some attorneys might choose to write their own content. After all, nobody knows your brand (or your practice) better than you.
As experienced legal marketers, we’re here with an answer to the difficult questions of whether it makes sense for attorneys to outsource their marketing content or attempt to handle it in-house.
And while the question may be difficult, the answer is quite simple: do not be tempted to write your own legal content (for a whole host of reasons).
Allow us to explain.
1. You’re too expensive—really
An attorney’s time is worth a lot of money.
Here at FocusWorks, we’re all about creating top-notch content. Our goal is to produce the type of work that any law firm can be proud of—and that will impress even your most discerning clients.
That quality is reflected in our prices. It’s a bottom-line truth that hiring best-in-class writers and subjecting our pieces to our rigorous internal review process takes time and money.
But even the cost of extremely high-quality professional content doesn’t rival an attorney’s hourly! Think about it: if your hourly rate is $400 and an 1800-word service page takes you six hours to write and another hour to copyedit, that’s seven hours of potentially billable work. Your cost for the service page is $2800. Outsourcing is a fraction of the price.
If your hourly rate is $400, handling a service page internally could easily cost you $3,000.
What’s more, at the end of a seven-hour day of writing, you’re going to be pretty spent. (Trust us on that one!)
Writing takes a lot of creative energy. It requires you to use your brain’s language center, solve problems, think critically, and pay careful attention to detail.
In addition to allowing you to recoup hours for billable work, outsourcing your content can also let you save those problem-solving skills for setting long-term goals for your practice and making a plan to achieve them—because those are the tasks you can’t outsource to anybody else.
2. You know the law—we know marketing
There’s a big difference between good legal writing and good law firm copywriting—and it all has to do with audience and tone.
Briefs are written for judges and other lawyers, legal texts for students and practitioners of the law, and memoranda for the legal community. Legal marketing content, however, is written for, well, almost everyone.
That means violinists, hotdog-stand-owners, astronauts, and stay-at-home dads, aged 18-95, located somewhere on planet earth.
Of course, your ideal client demographic should be much more defined than that (Curious about how to narrow it? We can help!), but the fact remains that legal marketing content needs to appeal to a general readership.
So what should it sound like? That depends!
For one thing, there should be no “legalese.”
A good legal content marketing firm can translate technical legal content into something accessible and inviting to a general readership without sacrificing accuracy.
For example, instead of saying,
“Upon receipt of a written request from a law enforcement agency stating that the disclosure of call location information is needed in an emergency situation that involves the risk of death or serious physical harm to a person who possesses a telecommunications device, a wireless telecommunications service provider shall provide the requested call location information concerning that device to the requesting agency.”
We might write,
Although location data gathered from cell phones and other telecommunications devices is typically confidential (Note: check your cell phone contract to be sure!), there are some instances in which a service provider is required to disclose the location from which a call is made.
Specifically, Minnesota law requires telecommunications companies to disclose call location information in the case of an emergency in which the person who possesses the device is at risk of death or serious injury.
In order for disclosure to be required by law, the information request must be submitted in writing by a law enforcement agency.
That’s a lot more reader-friendly!
And it isn’t only about avoiding the dreaded legalese—your content should also modulate tone to fit your brand and appeal to your target audience.
Your writers should balance approachability, authority, humor, edge, and warmth in a way that exactly reflects your approach to client relationships and the practice of law.
3. Consistency is key
Have you ever visited what you thought was a reputable organization’s site only to notice that their most recent blog post is three years old?
What did that do to your impression of the business?
It’s easy to let content creation fall out of date, and it isn’t always an internal red flag. Heck, an out-of-date bog might mean that business is so good that there’s no time for internal content creation.
Your customers don’t know that, though. A languishing blog can look like a failure to follow through, and nobody wants to work with an attorney who they think doesn’t pay attention to detail (or who lets things fall by the wayside).
Hiring a legal marketing company to keep your content creation on schedule (no matter how busy you get) protects your public-facing brand and lightens your mental load—leaving you free to make it rain.
Wrapping it up
Time is money, as the old saying goes, but we’ll be honest—money is money too.
We understand why it can be tempting to field content in-house. The advice we give here comes from our experience helping attorneys makes the budgeting and marketing decisions that set them up for long-term growth.
If you have questions about outsourcing your legal content or copywriting, let us know! We’re here to help.
Yours in marketing,
The FocusWorks Team