Why content will be key to winning work and retaining talent in 2022
Leading law firms have performed well financially during the pandemic – often with double-digit top and bottom line growth. Home working has been good for productivity, while the pandemic has reduced competitive and pricing pressures. Clients have often stuck with the advisers they know and trust, with remote working leading to far fewer new contacts than normal.
But now this strange bubble is coming to an end. The animal instincts of market competition are returning along with travel, face-to-face meetings and in-person industry conferences. UK firms face even more intense competition from their US rivals on home turf. At the same time there are economic warning signs as inflation returns and the taps of government stimulus are turned off. In short, 2022 is going to see more competition for client attention and firms having to work harder to win mandates. There will be winners and losers.
The need to invest in strategic profile-raising now while the sun is still shining and budgets plentiful is pressing. This does not mean throwing out mountains of undifferentiated content as thought leadership. The pandemic has seen far too much of that, as American Lawyer’s ever-excellent Dan Packel recently pointed out.
Having a content strategy that actually works is going to be vital to profile-raising success in support of growth. But what does that mean in practice? Really it comes down to just five things:
- Your content strategy must closely map onto your firm strategy, otherwise it will fail. This sounds easy but can be very hard to do coherently with multiple stakeholders across practice areas, service lines and offices.
- You must have content platforms, channels and tools that your lawyers can easily use to their advantage in winning business from new and existing clients. This will help you retain good people and attract lateral talent while amplifying your content and ensuring it reaches clients. A virtuous circle.
- Your content must be interesting and helpful to your clients and the media. Telling them what they already know or reporting something they will have already seen without adding anything is neither interesting nor helpful to anyone. Contribute to the debate about an issue, offer genuine insights and tackle issues from the perspective of what it means for the client.
- Your content should be collaborative and interactive. Broadcast less, engage more. Making your clients part of your content development makes them feel valued in a way that just telling them “stuff” does not.
- Review the four things above between now and the end of the year to make your content plans for 2022.
Byfield is able to support you in reviewing your current content strategy and developing plans for 2022. If you would like to arrange a meeting to discuss this please get in touch with your usual contact or firstname.lastname@example.org