Marketing Briefs
Recommended Reads for Professional Service Firms

by S2 Marketing Strategies                               
                                                      June 30, 2015

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by Dona Stohler

Content that is of interest to your target audience positions you as a thought leader and a reliable resource when the need arises for your services. You want to remain top of mind with your clients and prospects.  


There are many ways to do this, but recently (see the article to the right) the whole idea of whitepapers seems to be one of the least preferred methods of getting information. 


EBooks on the other hand, seem to be on the rise.  My view is that the "old" whitepaper can easily be turned into an eBook once you understand the differences and similarities.


I asked a journalist recently what he thought about this idea of people not wanting whitepapers.  His answer was that no one ever wanted the ones that lawyers wrote and they still don't.  Now, you can chuckle at this or be offended, but it is probably true. 


So, let's have a look at what you can do to turn those whitepapers into eBooks, or produce some eBooks that will take you off the unsubscribe list with your potential readers.



  • Tend to be shorter and more interactive than whitepapers. 
  • They aren't Word documents or PDFs.  
  • They contain links to other content, videos, or multi-media information.  
  • They typically focus on the "how-to" aspect of a subject.

EBooks are good because:

  • They are simple, short and easy to produce. 
  • If done correctly, with the right graphics and interaction, they spread and are shared much more frequently than whitepapers.
  • Generally they are free and contact information is not collected.
  • You can promote them to drive traffic to your website.  Include in your advertising a call to action to go to your website to get the free eBook on whatever the subject might be.
  • They are easy to read online because of the formatting.




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Profile of the new rainmaker

Minding the gap


Within the next several years, the most experienced and likely most profitable attorneys will be working their way out of practice and into retirement. Their mantra for developing business typically goes something like this, "Do good work and people will send work your way." For the new generation, their mantra may be more like, "I have 300 followers on Twitter and I post something to my blog at least two times a week."   How do you bridge this gap to provide an easy transition for clients as well as firm leadership so that the firm continues to thrive?  Good communication, client transition plans and good mentoring of younger partners are just a few things that need to be put into place.

Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials all say NO

Is it better to blog, post whitepapers, author eBooks, or provide information via webinars or video?  Looks like one thing is clear:  Whitepapers are the least preferred by all groups and blogs and images rank right up there on the top.  A 300 word blog post complete with an image seems like the way to go.  This report by Social Times "tells it all" including what time of day information is most likely to be consumed and on what device by each generational category.  So, figure out your audience and put your content to use how they want it, where they want it, and when they want it.

Lateral partner integration
It takes a village
Finding attorneys who wants to join your firm is a difficult process and it doesn't start with the first interview.  It should start well before that by looking strategically at what you are hoping to accomplish with the lateral hire and how you plan to integrate the attorney into your firm.  It probably isn't going to work very well if you just rely on the lateral trying to bring over their clients or engaging with others in your firm to cross-sell his or her services. Develop your plan long before you have that first conversation with a prospective candidate.

Producing content takes time

Partnerships solve this problem

With good intentions in place, many firms start down the path of working to produce monthly newsletters, client alerts, blog posts, eBook, or other downloadable content.  Then the realization occurs that someone is going to have to write this stuff.....and me, well, I have client work to do.  An idea to consider is partnering to provide content.  Choose the right partner and bring the right goods to the table and you both can benefit.   

Compiled for you by S2 Marketing Strategies
Dona Stohler, Founder and Principal
Develop Your Business. Tell Your Story.
Strategies for Professional Service Firms