As an expert witness, one of the best ways to get known to a large number of attorneys is to demonstrate your expertise through a well written article. This type of “educational marketing” is also one of the most cost efficient marketing avenues.
Why Writing Articles is Important
Attorneys are only paid when they are billing a client for legal work. Therefore, most attorneys do not take the time to learn what questions to ask before retaining an expert. Make it easy for attorneys. Inform them what they should be looking for. When you help attorneys understand your area of expertise, you are leading the attorney to contacting you when they receive a case in your field.
Articles have a desired “stickiness” to them – attorneys hang onto them. It is common for attorneys to save articles that are helpful to their practice, and to make copies for other associates. Partners often make copies of the articles, and pass them down to younger associates. Attorneys will often take their file of such articles when they change firms. Make sure the attorney takes your information with him or her by writing a valuable article.
Writing an article costs you very little more than your time, and, for most, writing an article related to your expertise should not take very long. Most legal publications request that articles be about 1,000 to 1,500 words (about two to three type-written pages). In contrast, a full page ad in the American Bar Association’s Journal magazine costs over $20,000. It is easy to see the value of having a two-to-three page article published in such a publication. Also, barring copyright restrictions, your one article can be submitted to more than one legal publication. It is not uncommon to have other publications request permission to use your article in their publication. The more, the better.
Perhaps most importantly, writing an article about your expertise helps to build your stature as the authority in your field. Although publications generally do not pay you for your article, most allow you to include a short biographical sketch and you contact information with your article. Ask yourself this: “If you needed an expert, and you just read an article by an authority on the matter, wouldn’t you contact that expert?” Attorneys do just that.