How To Support & Inspire Writers In Your Firm (Based On Their Behavior & Comfort Level With Writing...)

In my capacity as VP of Client Service at JD Supra, I am often asked by marketers and business development managers for ideas on how they can better support their writers.

My answer depends on the writer! Here are three author types with whom you might collaborate (aka: your internal clients), and my suggestions on how to support them. I include links to the JD Supra tools mentioned in these suggestions - click to learn more.

1. Writes a lot

Publishes something new a few times a month. Comfortable with social media and content marketing; understands the value of thought leadership for professional and business development.

Your ideal 'internal client,' right? Here are a few key ways of incorporating JD Supra tools to support their efforts, ongoing:

  • Encourage them to log in to review their JD Supra dashboard, which includes many benefits, including access to their own analytics reports whenever they want. By logging in, they're able to measure the impact of their writing efforts, see who is reading their work, and identify opportunities in the engagement. (The first time they log in, they'll need to set up credentials using their firm-based email address.)
  • Sign them up for the Reader Highlights email (a weekday alert, reporting on notable engagement with their writing as it happens) as well as the monthly analytics recap, also delivered directly to their inbox. Another benefit of active authors logging into JD Supra: they can manage subscriptions to these emails and others themselves, as they want. (Admins can also sign up authors for analytics emails, should that be necessary.)

2. Occasionally co-authors a piece or participates in a newsletter

Understands that writing "matters" but has not fully bought in to regular thought leadership as an active strategy. On LinkedIn, but doesn't see much value beyond it being "the most professional" social network.

Ultimately, your goal is to work with such a writer - willing, with some activity - to enable them to see the impact of their shared inights. One measure of success will be when such a writer is eager to write more, and (as above) 1) willingly logs into their JD Supra dashboard to see how they're doing, and 2) signs up for analytics emails to keep apprised of their performance.

To get there:

  • Sign them up for regular Emerging Trend alerts in their subject matter/practice area. These editorial emails help writers not only overcome the issue of "what to write about," they also uncover topics with proven reader interest. Good use of time. (Again, authors can log in and sign up for their own Trend Alerts; or contact me for assistance with this for any less active members of your team.)
  • Inspire this occasional writer: share the list of JD Supra's Readers Choice award winners, especially those in a related industry or practice area. Encourage them to look at the portfolios of written work for Readers Choice recipients (most highly engaged thought leaders on JD Supra over the course of a year, based on reader data), looking at how often such writers publish new work, and how they frame their well-received insights.
  • Encourage this author (and the more active writer, above) to sync their LinkedIn and JD Supra profiles, which enables them to automatically announce/share each new piece of writing directly with their LinkedIn network as it is published. Any subsequent network engagement will certainly help this author see the direct benefit of writing regularly. 

3. Doesn't "have time" to write

Believes that a game of golf or local association sponsorship is the only way to go, a better investment of time and money.

Indeed, local events and sponsorships can be key elements of your marketing and BD toolbox. And as it happens, writing/thought leadership can move the dial on visibility with associations and member organizations. To inspire your non-writers, start with this:

  • Share any content or social successes by other authors in the firm. Either sent directly, to make your case, and/or by featuring your successful writers in a monthly or quarterly internal newsletter. (I am reminded of one firm's regular internal comms, titled 'Look Who's Famous Now' in which successful attorneys where feted for their efforts, and others were inspired to do the same via healthy competition.)

For all authors (or prospective authors)

No matter their level of engagement, I also recommend:

  • sending to all authors JD Supra's monthly round up of Popular Reads. This can allow them to see at a glance the type of thought leadership that clearly resonates with a large readership (and from which they can learn about crafting titles, and such matters, as they write to engage their own target readers);
  • encouraging every author to customize their daily digest of news on JD Supra. This is a terrific way to stay on top of updates and insights in their field of practice, and to see how others (colleagues and competition) are framing the issues of the day. Anyone who logs into their own dashboard can customize their daily digest on the Subscriptions page (along with their other emails mentioned above).
  • Authors should also follow the popular content in their particular field (simply visit this page and narrow by any relevant topic). A great place to start as you're building a new, daily digest.

How do you support your authors with JD Supra's tools and services? Let me know! I'd love to share your wisdom here. 


[Paul Ryplewski is VP of Client Service at JD Supra.]