This year, the top 200 law firms in the UK have produced roughly 188 content pieces each and have increased leadership their online content production by 93 per cent since 2014. Are you following (law)suit and remaining competitive? Or is your online anonymity destroying you?

In 2019, when looking for a lawyer, most people will start their search online through Google or social networking platforms, so without a vigorous digital footprint, you could end up invisible to prospective clients and miss key opportunities to generate new business, and awareness for  your expertise. By providing potential clients and readers with intellectual industry insights and ideas, you establish yourself as an expert in your field which can resonate with people emotionally, therefore, thought leadership needs to be considered and embraced in a competitive, tech-dominated world.

Here are 3 tips to keep in mind when creating content pieces for thought leadership:

1. Be wary of the unique point of view trap

It’s a common perception that in order to be successful and stand out in any market, content needs to be exciting, distinctive and unlike anything that’s ever been heard before. But while it’s nice to be unique sometimes, it’s important to understand that audiences often aren’t looking to read weird facts about what lawyers’ favourite foods are – they simply want the best answers to their questions.

Particularly in the legal sector, where people might try to brighten things up from the stereo typically dull, law-heavy elements (which isn’t necessarily bad), it’s just that there’s a fine line and the balance should always come back to the bigger picture. So, differentiate with your angle when it’s appropriate, but don’t go overboard – always aim to help your clients by realising what they want to know, and then delivering on that. By writing posts in accordance to what your target audience might want to know regarding law firms and practices, you will gain trust and credibility, and will have started to publicly establish yourself as an expert in the field.

2. Be prepared to play the long game

Becoming a good thought leader doesn’t happen overnight, and it certainly doesn’t happen after one blog post – thought leadership requires time and effort, with a focus on relationship building, rather than simply trying to sell yourself hard and fast. Most lawyers don’t reap the benefits from their content because they haven’t invested in it for long enough.

They might put a few articles out to the world and expect prospects to be lining up at their doors or their inboxes booming with opportunities, but that just won’t happen. In the case of thought leadership and content creation – consistency really is key, so have a plan, set dates for when your content will be published by each week, and ensure that all key messages align with what you’re wanting to achieve and what you believe in for the bigger picture – and for your clients.

3. Be authentic and don’t promote yourself

Ingenuine people can be picked up a mile away, and it’s made even worse if you throw in a not-so-sneaky, shameless promo in your blogs or posts. It’s also not the direct purpose of thought leadership, so it’s best to leave it out altogether. If you mention you or your company or attempt to implicitly promote your services, you risk losing people before they’re even yours, to begin with.

Thought leadership is about showcasing your knowledge and insights which will in turn help clients and prospective clients with their business decisions or with whatever they may be needing information for. What would ideally happen from good thought leadership is that readers remember you or what you said and come to you for business should they need it or refer their family and friends to you. Ultimately, showing up as completely you, and being able to share the full range of highs and lows, and different emotions will help audiences connect with you and see you as a trusted and down to earth lawyer.

Laura Evans