Last week, I trained lawyers and accountants in five different cities on LinkedIn and blogging, and everywhere across the United States there was one opportunity on everybody's chapped lips: tax reform. Everybody is talking about tax reform because the updates are (1) time-sensitive, (2) have the potential to save companies money, and (3) provide an opportunity for service providers to add real value. So how do you stand out? In the past 15 days, I counted over 140 articles published on JD Supra (a site that distributes professional content) discussing tax reform, but there are probably hundreds of email alerts, articles, and presentations elsewhere on this same topic. This is a real opportunity, so how does your firm stand out above the noise?
(1) Personalize. The vast majority of articles on tax reform are highly generic, to appeal to a broad audience. You have the potential to personalize both in scope and audience. Work with international businesses? Take the international angle. Have a major client who will be distinctly impacted? Send them a personalized email with the article, specifically highlighting the issues that may require further concern and discussion.
(2) Write the best headline. Don't make your clients search through a sea of articles on tax reform to find the one that has the actionable information they need. Tell them in the headline. For example, "Five Ways Your Business Profits From Tax Reform Today."
(3) Don't bury the lede. In the first paragraph of the article, simply describe the punchline or the point of the article. Don't make them search for it as if they were back in law school, scanning the case to identify the issue. Every tax reform article should start with either an executive summary for larger articles or an introductory paragraph for shorter articles that lays out the key points and purpose for reading further. Think about this like the sidebar on ESPN. It tells you what's coming, so your audience doesn't change the proverbial channel.
(4) Use a compelling image, including, if possible, a quote or statistic about the article. They say a picture says a thousand words, but more specifically, a picture on your article will increase views by 94%, so really, there is no excuse to leave out an image when writing your article on tax reform.
(5) Use a Strategic Call to Action. At the end of your post, include a byline discussing the author or authors, with an invitation to further engage. The ideal call to action would be an upcoming webinar that readers could sign up for, but other ideas include having a white paper with more information that they could download in exchange for their email address or even an invitation to have a free "5 Point Tax Reform Consultation" by reaching out to the author. The purpose of this content is not just to build thought leadership, but also to bring new leads into your marketing funnel so that you can continue sharing targeted content with them.
A single piece of content written about tax reform isn't enough. You need an overarching strategy the involves multiple touches, and your tax reform article or alert can be the first one of these. Take the time to build out these additional steps. With hundreds of firms writing articles on tax reform, you want to stand out, but you won't unless you have a clear strategy that differentiates you from the competition.
Adrian Dayton is the author of two books on blogging and social media for lawyers. He is also the founder of ClearView Social, used by over 20,000 professionals and 133 professionals services firms to help distribute firm content via the social networks of their professionals. You can receive more great insights just like this every week at https://clearviewsocial.com/blog/