- Do you take time to consider how you can multiply the value of the work you do and the knowledge you have gained without significantly multiplying your effort?
You spend a lot of time educating yourself about the law and the issues that affect your clients. You attend CLE programs and webinars, read legal and trade publications, follow new decisions on your area of practice, and stay abreast of new laws or regulations that might affect your clients. You also spend time researching your clients and their industries and learning about their businesses. You draft and review agreements, craft legal arguments, write motions and briefs, negotiate deals, and explain the law to your clients. But are you making the most of your knowledge and expertise?
Do you take time to consider how you can multiply the value of the work you do and the knowledge you have gained without significantly multiplying your effort? One of the best ways to do that is to repurpose. Find ways to take that work and use it more than once.
Do you do the same tasks over and over in your practice? Do you cite the same statutes, cases or regulations repeatedly? Do your clients all ask the same questions?
Even in the most varied law practices there are tasks or themes that repeat from client to client or matter to matter. Instead of completing a task or bringing a client’s matter to conclusion and instantly moving on to the next one, take advantage of the opportunity to maximize the value of the work you just completed by considering how that work can be repurposed.
Every time you complete a task or project for a client, ask yourself these questions:
If you learned something new during the course of handling a client’s case, it is very likely that what you learned would be helpful to other clients who might find themselves in a similar situation. It might be useful to contact those other clients to set up a meeting to discuss this new information. Or share it with all your clients by sending a client alert or adding it to your client newsletter. You could create a presentation around this material to offer to your existing clients, turn it into an article or add it to the Frequently Asked Questions on your firm’s website.
If the work you did for one client may be relevant to future cases, think about how you can store and easily retrieve that information. Start a clause or motion library for your firm that can be tagged or categorized for easy retrieval. Create a shortcut or Quick Part in Outlook or Word to easily insert paragraphs or explanations into other documents or email messages in the future. Develop a template from the contract you drafted for a client with updated terms based on a new law or regulation. Put together a checklist to guide other lawyers in your office on how to handle similar matters in the future.
Did you get a great result for a client? While that result and the experience of working with you are fresh in the client’s mind, ask the client if they would give you a testimonial or review. Or write up a case study explaining the client’s situation and what your firm did to help them reach their desired result. (Always make sure to follow all ethical rules when publishing case studies or client stories; get all necessary permissions, preferably in writing, if clients’ names or other identifying information will be used.)
Testimonials and case studies help potential clients see themselves as good candidates for your services and understand how you can help them. They demonstrate that you have experience and, in the case of testimonials, provide social proof of your capabilities.
You sink time, money and other resources into creating marketing materials. But do you take the time to brainstorm other ways to use those materials? Are there tried and true themes in the work that you do, popular articles or posts that are evergreen or that can be easily revised with a minimum of effort, or topics that can be revisited from year to year?
Instead of creating brand-new content for every firm newsletter or blog post, look at your existing library of content to see what you can reshare, repurpose or update to give it new life. Take a popular topic and add new examples, update the law or provide new insights and publish it again. Even people who saw it the first time around will probably not realize that your content is not entirely new.
Repurposing is even easier when you record what you do. While it may not be practical or feasible to record absolutely everything, it is good advice to keep in mind. For example, before a virtual meeting with a client, consider whether it would make sense to record the meeting so the client can review it later. You’ll help the client by providing information they need at their fingertips, and you can avoid answering the same questions multiple times. If the questions you responded to during the meeting or the legal issues you discussed are relevant to other clients, you could pull audio clips from the recording to post on your website (keeping ethics rules in mind). Or transcribe the meeting and use portions of it as the basis for an article.
Create a library of training materials. Putting on an educational program for the lawyers in your office? Record it for future hires. Use a screen capture tool to record the steps you take when performing an action using your firm’s practice management or billing software.
By thinking creatively about how to repurpose the content you create into different formats, you can take one piece of content and turn it into several more. Doing so not only saves you time but it ensures that your content can be consumed by people in the format they prefer or in the way that they learn the best. Some people will prefer to watch a video while others might prefer to read an article, and still others enjoy scrolling through a slide presentation.
For example, if you are giving a live webinar or CLE program:
Brainstorm with your colleagues about how you can get more out of the work you do every day. How many ways can you repurpose the work you do, whether for clients or to market your practice?