Why professionals don’t have a content culture
It is no easy task to convince professionals – especially smaller suburban firms that make up the vast majority of the totality of employment across all professions – to undertake a task that appears to be a waste of very precious time.
And there’s some truth to that view. The content on your website is not a core function of your firm, and the hucksters who try to tell you otherwise have clearly never run a professional practice, met a professional payroll or dealt with the myriad issues that arise every day. For smaller professionals it can be a daily slog through a minefield. Why the hell should they care about the content on their websites?
Stop raising the bar
There are in fact good reasons why professionals should create informative and productive website content, and I say this as someone who also works as a suburban professional. I won’t resort to the Google Blackmail (“you MUST be on page one of Google”) – it’s rubbish, and anyway, if the rules to potentially achieve this search engine Shangri-La were ever doable, they have changed over the last couple of years.
So it’s a fair question that I have addressed in another post. Do you need an online marketing strategy? If you want to research it in more depth, then take a look at our series of MatureMedia Guides. If you do intend to pursue a content marketing strategy – which need not be more than carefully targeted website content which includes an informative bio, a Q&A section about the firm and your services, a set of information guides about those services and (hopefully) a blog post every week or so – then how do you create the culture to support it?
A creative mindset
If there is one refrain from the principals of smaller professional firms – lawyers, accountants and all superannuation, insurance and finance professionals – to explain the reason they cannot write content, it’s that they believe they don’t have anything interesting to say. This appears to be a straightforward creative problem, but that’s only the case if you believe you must wear a creative hat to produce business content. It’s a golden oldie you probably learnt back in your schooldays, with the hackneyed refrain, “I’m just not creative”. You’re older now, and though it’s indeed hard to pick at the scab of wounds suffered at school, you need to remind yourself that content for your website is business all the way. It has very little to do with creativity.
There is a simple mechanism to overcome this negative mindset, that takes it out of the “creative” milieu and back into your comfort zone. You need to establish a system to get it done, in exactly the same way that you have a technology base for your firm, or a set of pro formas, or a well-defined path that takes a client from the first phone call to an initial interview and the opening of a file. You have these things because they make it possible to get on with the creation of work and not be overwhelmed by the minutiae of its implementation. You need the same type of mechanism for content production.
In the next post I’ll lay out some straightforward rules to establish a creative mindset at your firm.
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