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Blogging: How One Lawyer is Blogging to Build His Labor and Employment Practice

Posted in Blogging, Client Development

Mike Schmidt is a Labor and Employment  lawyer with Cozen O’ Connor in their New York office. I worked with Mike in 2009-2010 and one of the ideas we discussed was starting a blog. I told Mike there were many labor and employment blogs and he should strive to find ways to make his remarkable.

I think Mike has developed a great blog: Social Media Employment Law Blog. I asked Mike to share with you his experiences blogging.

During several of my one-on-one coaching calls a few years ago, Cordell would tell me to focus client development efforts on bringing something of value to my audience. As a result, in 2010, I decided to increase my marketing efforts online in the form of a new blog.

There are a lot of great general employment law blogs out there, but I wanted to start one that (i) focused on a particular niche in employment law, and (ii) would keep me interested enough to post regularly and keep readers interested enough to keep reading.

For the former goal, I jumped on the fact that social media and technology had quickly become all the rage, and so, on August 30, 2010, I posted my first blog entry. For the latter goal, I planned to rely as much as I could on real world and pop culture references to make the legal points (minus the annoying legalese).

Sometimes, inspiration for a post comes from a decision issued by a court or government body. And, sometimes it is Lady Gaga, an NFL football team, or a Billy Joel song that provides the perfect backdrop for a valuable takeaway on social media and employment law. My first post on August 30, 2010 used the ubiquitous press clippings of the JetBlue employee (Steven Slater) to talk about how social media makes it much easier for employees to express conditions that may require reasonable accommodation in the area of disabilities law.

In all cases, I wanted to end each post with a question: “What should you as an employer take away from this development?” That forces me to always remember that I’m not just spewing out random legal developments, but trying to say something that – to Cordell’s point – will hopefully provide something of value to my intended audience: employers.

Over the past three years, blogging as a means for client development has been fun (yes, fun), and the feedback has been great and humbling. I continue to be amazed when I get a comment on a post from a reader in another jurisdiction and industry whom I never would have been able to touch in a traditional forum.

The blog has brought me additional marketing opportunities, including requests for interviews and webinars by people who stumble across my artfully-placed tags. The blog also allows me to sell myself to audiences at my presentations as some “expert” in the area of social media and employment law because I have a blog on those very issues that I can reference.

And, lastly, it has allowed me to reformulate my content into other marketing initiatives and forms, such as the one-page “sell sheet” I recently created as a give-away to current and potential clients, entitled: “Social Media and Employment Law: Top Five Issues for Employers to Consider in 2013.”

In the end, it’s about trying to develop business and client relationships in this new era of technology and social communications. It doesn’t hurt that I also happen to love talking about the issues discussed.

One reason I believe Mike’s blog is valuable is he ends each post with “Employer Takeways.” As I have shared with you, clients and potential clients not only want the news. More importantly they want to know what the news means to them.