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Heather Townsend

The Excedia Group

Director

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15 tried and tested ways to get your consultants and associates to willingly write blogs for you

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One of the big challenges which any training company (or professional services firm) faces is how to get the fee earners and associates to contribute to producing content to help market the firm. In this blog post, we share with you 15 tried and tested ways in which you can get your fee earners and associates to willing write blog articles.

Before you start getting your fee earners to write a blog post, do remember that it is far easier to come up with ideas for blog posts and meaningful articles if you are working to a content plan, which is aligned to your business development strategy.(Click here for a FREE guide to content planning, email required)

1. Ask for comment on a trending article

Most trainers love to show off their expertise. So, keep a store of reputable sites which regularly publish articles. If you see a topic which matches something on your content plan, send out a link to the article with a provocative question. You can then use the answers you get from your email to fill out a blog post on the subject.

2. Make it part of their role

Whilst this may not be a particularly popular move, as in 'no blog, no gigs', but if you write into your fee earner's responsibilities and objectives to contribute to producing content, it can help raise the importance of writing blogs. You may find it easier to get associates to contribute articles if you explain that the more content written by them the more times you can share it with clients. It's all good exposure for them and helps them get specifically asked for by the client.

3. Train your fee earners and associates to write blogs

There is a skill to writing short, pithy and interesting blog articles - and that's not the same skill which trainers use to write workbooks. Which means you may have a reluctance from your fee earners and associates to commit to writing blog posts, because they don't know what to write, the style to write in, or the best structure to use for a blog article. Providing training and education can help to remove the fear, and any unvoiced objections to writing blog articles.

4. Interview your fee earners and associates

Most trainers and coaches I know are really passionate about their technical area of expertise, and can talk intelligently and more importantly interestingly about their subject. This passion may not as readily translate to the written word. A good technique is to video your fee earners and associates to provide short video blogs of them talking about a recent workshop or coaching assignment they have completed. You can then transcribe these video clips and create written blog posts from them.

5. Use a professional copy writer to help

Taking the interview technique one step further, you can employ a professional writer to help your fee earners and associates write the articles. It may be that the professional writer starts the article, and the fee earner/associate finishes it to make sure it is accurate. Or the fee earner starts the article and the professional writer polishes the article. 

6. Have a publication schedule

If you work to a publication schedule you can ask for fee earners and associates to provide you an article by a certain date. It's often a lot easier to get a blog post written by 'x', rather than asking a fee earner or associate to write a blog post in the next month or so.

7. Provide a 'time' budget for fee earners to write or contribute to blog articles

Very often blog articles don't get written because this has to be done in your own time. If you give each fee earner an couple of hours a month to help contribute to the firm's blog, you may find more willing writers appearing from within the ranks.

8. Use a Q&A format

We use this technique quite a bit when we are 'interviewing' or profiling someone for one of our blogs. This is where you send out a set of questions for the fee earner or associate to answer. This is then published as a written interview or Q&A style blog post.

9. Get senior management talking about the blog posts they have 'written'

If you can get your senior consultants to talk about the importance of having fresh engaging content, plus them circulating the blog posts they are writing, it can be much easier to get your fee earners to start contributing to the blog. If your associates know they are more likely to get in front of clients and engaged by your consultants if they contribute to the firm blog, they will be more likely to start blogging on your behalf.

10. Start with the advocates

There will always be a few informal influencers who, if they themselves are engaged with the blog, will convince others to write and contribute.

11. Publicise the results

Very often your consultants need to truly understand the 'why' before they will add in blog writing to their list of business development responsibilities. Track the success and impact of the firm's blogs, and whenever you can, showcase the results (and business won) as a result of the firm's blogging efforts

12. Engage a department team to brainstorm ideas

Take a department team and do a brainstorm for ideas for blogs on the themes which the department regularly talks about with clients. With the right energy in the room, you should be able to get many ideas out, which will then make it easier to find writers from the team to write them. You know how much trainers typically like a brainstorm!

13. Be organised

You will want to educate all your writers on the timelines for blog posts. To get the momentum up and running, stick to your timetable. If you want a blog article a week, then stick to this. Ask for blog posts to be sent to you at least 2 weeks before they are needed. You may like to request an outline and key points 4 weeks before the post is needed. That way both parties can check that the article fits the need.

14. Share your content plan (and progress) with key consultants in the team

Having a regular conversation with key consultants and associates from a department on how the content plan and blog is going, can really help blog articles get written by people in the department.

15. Give a prize for the blog post in the month/quarter with the most traffic to it

There is nothing like a bit of incentivisation to help you fee earners get writing.

What have you used in your firm to encourage consultants and associates to write blog posts?

Author Credit

Heather Townsend helps professionals become the Go-To-Expert. She is the author of the  award winning and best-selling book on business networking, the ‘FT Guide To Business Networking’ and the co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’. Over the last decade she has worked with over 300 partners; coached, trained and mentored over 1000 professionals at every level of the UK's most ambitious professional practices.

Heather blogs regularly at Partnership Potential, How to make partner and Joined Up Networking

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Heather Townsend

Director

Read more from Heather Townsend
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