52 posts = blog critical mass

“Lawyers don’t want leads, they want clients” -Anonymous

Lawyers sometimes act as if the rules of business don’t apply to them. They don’t need to market, they don’t need to calculate the cost of goods sold, they don’t need to project manage and they certainly don’t need leads that may or may not convert into any real business. It is time that lawyers start to pay attention to insights from the rest of the business world. Last week Andrea Stimmel, Marketer of the Year, shared with me her opinion that for lawyers to stay on top of the latest trends they need to watch what other industries are doing with social media. Hubspot’s inbound marketing survey of 1,400 small-to-medium sized businesses allows you to do just that. You can see the entire report here.

Before I share with you what I found to be the most relevant statistics to lawyers, I just need to clarify one thing. This report speaks a lot about “leads” – not necessarily about new clients. Leads take two forms- (1) potential clients that come to your blog or website and call you to ask you questions, or (2) potential clients that “opt-in” by submitting their name and email address on your site.  If your site isn’t set up for that, fix it. Leads drive appointments and appointments drive new engagements.

Now for the good stuff.

1.  Businesses that used blogs brought in more business, but only after reaching a critical mass of posts.  The magic number when it comes to blog posts is 52.  Businesses that reach 52 posts double the number of leads they bring in each month according to the report.

So why 52 posts?  The report provides a number of different reasons.  Companies that hit the big 52 have a commitment to posting regularly and they also have a critical mass of pages indexed by Google- this helps boost their search engine results substantially because it helps them rank for dozens if not more than a hundred different key works.

2.  Twitter matters.  Businesses that used Twitter on average doubled the number of leads in comparison to those that didn’t use Twitter.  Another interesting fact, you don’t need a huge following on Twitter.  In fact those businesses with 100-500 followers on Twitter fared extremely well – better than those with more than 501 followers.  This shows that quality not quantity matters on Twitter.  A few hundred targeted followers is all your business needs.  ”Customers with large numbers of followers are probably attracting viewers who are exclusively interested in the content,” the report explains.  A gigantic Twitter following is great for sites that are trying to generate traffic, but not so much those trying to bring in leads.

Twitter takeaway: “Follow to get followers.  Build your Twitter reach by following companies and individuals related to your industry.  They will likely follow you [back].” It is worth it, at least until you reach a few hundred followers.

3.  Increase the number of indexed pages on your site.  Simply put, you need a critical mass of content on your site and that content needs to be tagged appropriately.

Conclusions:

-There is a clearly defined business case for blogs and social media- but you need the appropriate strategy behind it.  Use your blog to generate leads, and then create a process for follow-up so that your leads are converted into new clients.

-Use Twitter.  It helps people find your site and has been shown to substantially increase the number of leads generated.

-The rule of 52.  You need your blog to reach 52 posts as quickly as possible.  If you are blogging once per week, this will take a year- twice a week, 6 months.  You get the idea.  If you can find ways to bring in guest bloggers, task associates with creating the content, or even brining on an intern to research blog topics for you, it makes sense.

Do these statistics apply to lawyers and law firms?  The practice of law is different, right?  Just keep telling yourself that, and wait for the phone to ring.  In the meantime for those that are looking to actively market and build your business, learn from these statistics.  Hat tip to Stephen Fairley from the Rainmaker Institute for pointing out the Hubspot report to me.

If you don’t think these statistics apply to the legal market, tell us why.  Share your experience.  I’ve spoken to a number of lawyers that have never found a single client through blogging or Twitter.  Most of them gave up too early.  Did they reach 52 posts?  Was their site designed to generate leads?  Please share your experiences and insights here.

To help you remember the number 52, I’ve also included a little music video to help you get ready for the weekend.

Comments

8 Responses to “52 posts = blog critical mass”

  1. George says:

    Thanks for a great article. I was beginning to wonder as to when does blogging and tweeting work. I am now following your blog

  2. Adrian,
    Great advice, once again. Hubspot is an excellent resource. As you pointed out, lawyers need to market themselves as businesses. Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah (of Hubspot) wrote a great book titled “Inbound Marketing” that is very helpful. It is not specific to law firms, but it is great for every business.

  3. Bryan says:

    Hadn’t heard the rule of 52. I will be following you blog. Good stuff.

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