Content marketing is exactly what it sounds like–creating and then sharing information online. It’s important to provide useful content, but the end goal is to stimulate interest in a product or service.
I was able to achieve amazing exponential growth in my company by using content marketing. After one year of using this strategy, I grew my company by nearly 154%. After two years, it grew more than 500%.
This is the story of how I did it:
The company I’m talking about is my law firm, Tingen & Williams. Even before I was done with law school, I knew that I wanted to start my own firm. Through law school I got familiar with the way many law firms conduct business, and how they go about marketing.
Because I did freelance web design and online marketing to pay the bills through law school, I already had a pretty good idea of what I would do to market my future law firm.
You see, content marketing is alive and well in most industries online. But I didn’t know of a single law firm with a strong content-marketing strategy. That didn’t really make sense to me, because content marketing isn’t just for the web savvy or for silicon valley startups. Content marketing is for virtually every online business.
Because there was consumer demand for relevant and informative content in other industries, I assumed that demand was present for legal services. But no one was filling that need.
I registered my law firm business in 2012, but didn’t really get started until March of 2013. Between 2013 and 2014 I grew my business the old-fashioned way: hustle. It’s not that I didn’t want to do content marketing, but because I needed fast cash, immediately.
Someone leaving their law practice had given me an opportunity to reach out to their clients, and so I got to work. I made some efforts to do content marketing, but found myself struggling to learn how to be a lawyer that first year. By the end of 2014 I was tired of working as a sole practitioner, and I decided to bring on a partner.
Working with another attorney in the office helped me free up my court calendar. Additionally, I knew that if I was going to grow, I needed to market the business. I needed to do content marketing.
Starting in 2015, my partner and I would meet weekly. (We still do these weekly meetings to make sure the business is moving forward.)
During those meetings we would plan articles we would write. But the actual practice of law, with its frequent deadlines and demands, would prevent us from creating the content we knew we needed to market effectively.
That’s when we decided to hire law students, as independent contractors, to help us write legal content for our website.
The contractors worked hard — and so did I. Because I insisted on content with clarity and accuracy, I stayed up nights and worked weekends to review all the posts written by the contractors. I wanted to make sure we were publishing clearly written, reliable information.
Additionally, we dabbled in self-publishing and released an eBook on Amazon called The Quick and Easy Handbook for Marriage and Fiancé Visas.
During that first year, I personally reviewed and edited more than 300 articles for our law firm’s website. Even now, I review every single article that gets published on the Tingen & Williams website. Because we publish legal content, it’s only right that a lawyer reviews each article for accuracy.
It didn’t happen overnight. Content marketing takes time and effort, but it pays long-term dividends.
I had already operated a firm in 2013 and 2014, and while I operated a law firm I could be proud of I wouldn’t say that we grew a lot.
The biggest marketing change I made in 2015, was content marketing. In 2014, the firm had billed $115,000. By the end of 2015, we billed more than double: $294,000. And in 2016, we billed $734,000.
But our company’s growth didn’t stop there. Today, the Tingen & Williams website now receives more than 30,000 visitors per month. In 2017 we became a 5 attorney law firm with 7 staff, a team of content writers, and we billed more than a million dollars.
All of this due to content marketing.
So why should you implement content marketing?
Well, I think the results speak for themselves.
There are several reasons why I believe that content marketing worked for me and could work for virtually any company that is committed to doing it right.
It’s hard to gain a customer’s trust. People are inundated online by ads and sites trying to get their attention, and then their business. Because of this, most customers initially distrust any information online that seems like a sales pitch.
When you consistently provide reliable information on your website, you will build integrity with the customer.
If they trust your content, they’ll stay on your site and share it with others. The more your article is visited and shared, the more authority it has. This means it’s more likely to pop up first in web searches. You’ll create a dialogue and build a relationship with the customer, rather than just selling something. That fosters trust.
Not only are customers wary when searching online, they are also sensitive to time and effort spent. We’ve all gotten used to immediate answers to our questions when we search online. We don’t have the patience to go to several websites looking for the right answer.
So, sites that answer specific questions clearly and directly will get the most attention. More people will click on your site if they know they’ll get a plain answer that they can understand and repeat. In addition, content that is clearly stated gets cited in other articles more often than a page filled with vague writing.
When you provide helpful information to the public, you engage potential customers. You are giving them clear, relevant answers to their questions without putting obvious pressure on them to buy something. By publishing content for them to use, you are making your company more attractive, and therefore more likely to get that customer’s business.
In your well-researched content, you can show how the philosophy or character of your business is different than your competitors’. Your articles can cover details or specialties that make you stand out.
When someone clicks on content that you have provided, they are being introduced to you and your company. From here they see who you are and why they want to do business with you.
Content marketing works. Sharing information with the public without overtly selling anything builds trust for your business and increases traffic on your website.
But be sure to commit to creating quality content. I work hard to make sure all content on the Tingen & Williams website is clear and reliable. If potential customers have a positive experience on a company’s website, they are more likely to use that business and share the information with others.
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LAWYER & ONLINE ENTREPRENEUR
After graduating from law school and passing the bar, I struggled to find work, pay my bills, and make ends meet. That's when I decided to take control of my future and start working for myself. Now, several years and a handful of companies later, I'm sharing how I launched a successful business, and how you can do it too.