female attorney preparing thought leadership content

How to Do Thought Leadership Content Correctly

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By Omnizant Team
Law Firm Marketing Agency

Inspiring people with your vision of the future is harder than it sounds. With legal thought leadership content, it’s all too easy to sound self-involved or head-in-the-clouds instead of grounded and inspiring.

We’re explaining the secret recipe for thought leadership content—and what not to do if you want to get results and grow your reputation as a leader in your field.

Here’s what you need to know about how to create powerful thought leadership content, including which platforms to post on and ideas for your next piece.

Thought leadership = your audience’s interests + your vision

Before you create any thought leadership (TL) content, the first step is to get clear on your audience. 

Are you producing TL content for your peers (aka other attorneys) or for potential clients? 

Content for other legal professionals: The interests of this audience include sharing knowledge, identifying best practices, looking for trends, and general intellectual discourse. 

Content for potential clients: This audience wants to see evidence of your expertise, including visibility, your ability to explain complex topics simply, and your position as a leading authority in your field.

It’s not about you—but it is about your unique perspective

Thought leadership is not about you. It’s about the readers and your area of practice. However, this content should draw on your personal experiences.

Originality, relevance, and personal experience are the three key elements of successful thought leadership content.   

It won’t work to simply regurgitate statistics, pitch a wild idea, or retell a personal story. You’ve got to weave together something relevant to your audience, say it in a unique way, and then back it up with personal experience.

Try one of these winning ideas for your next thought leadership piece:

  • Share your legal philosophy: Share your fundamental beliefs about the practice of law. This could include views on justice, ethics, and the role of lawyers in society. Explain how your legal philosophy guides your approach to cases and client relationships.
  • Make a prediction or identify a trend: Offer insights into the future of your legal niche. Share your vision for how the industry might evolve, and explain how you plan to adapt to these changes. Discuss emerging legal issues and their potential impact, with anecdotes from your own practice to back it up.
  • Solve a problem in an innovative way: Describe a novel approach to solving legal problems. It could be something you’ve tried or something you’d like to try. Share examples of innovative strategies you’ve employed to benefit your clients or challenge your peers to solve an industry issue. 
  • Highlight your vision of the future: If you’re committed to educating others about the law, articulate your vision for legal education. This could include writing about the importance of legal literacy, mentorship, or tech competency as a requirement of legal education. This works well for peers and potential clients.
  • Personal and professional development: Show that you are continuously learning and growing in your legal career. If you recently attended a workshop or read a book, explain what you learned or something you had to overcome. Make sure it’s not just about you but about the industry or what you can offer future clients.
  • Ethical challenges: It’s okay to talk about challenges you faced—vulnerability builds trust, especially when you can show that you’ve persevered and improved. While maintaining confidentiality, share a story of ethical dilemmas you’ve faced and the principles that guided your decisions.

Strapped for time? Find a current article from the ABA Journal or JURIST and then brainstorm a personal anecdote that relates to the story. Tell your story, cite the source, and pose a question.

Don’t justify—spark a conversation

Thought leadership is not about justifying your point of view. Do not try to persuade or criticize.

The measure of successful thought leadership content is engagement, not infallible expertise or prestige.

Focus on encouraging discourse. Take a position or frame the issue, and then engage people in conversation. Ask questions that will generate comments. Respond with interest and learn from your audience.

Stay open to feedback and keep an open mind. Crowdsource a list of additional resources like books or websites for further learning. 

As always, adjust your content strategy based on data. If some topics are generating a ton of engagement, dig deeper into that niche!

Platforms for thought leadership content

You can publish thought leadership content anywhere your audience spends time online. 

Each platform has advantages:

  • LinkedIn: Creates brand visibility and boosts your reputation 
  • Your blog: More website traffic, SEO benefits, owned content
  • Your newsletter: Audience segmentation and analytics 
  • Social media: Easy to re-share and get people into your funnel
  • Podcasts: Audio content builds a strong relationship between listener and speaker
  • Videos: It’s the modern language—and videos yield better retention

Ultimately, thought leadership works best as part of a comprehensive content strategy

Pair your thought leadership pieces with other informative, educational content to be useful to your audience over time. It requires careful research and thoughtful execution for a law firm to get the most value out of content production. 

Review and next steps

Great content does not come from throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel! 

Thought leadership content should be relevant, engaging, and rooted in personal experience.

Unsure where to start? Book a consultation with the trusted content strategists at Omnizant to start growing your firm with the support of expert legal writers and designers.

About the Author
Since 2006, Omnizant's team of digital marketing experts, designers, developers and writers has helped over 2,000 law firms develop powerful websites that drive business growth.