“I looked at several companies and picked JD Supra because of their audience… I have brought in clients who connected with me because of articles they’ve read.”
Elizabeth Whitman, Whitman Legal Solutions, LLC
After practicing for more than 30 years — in big and small firms, in-house, and as an administrative law judge — business and real estate lawyer Elizabeth Whitman wanted to start her own practice. Over the course of her career, she had earned an impressive reputation and developed extensive relationships, but how to convert those strengths into paying clients?
“For me, the answer was obvious: blogging on business and real estate law. Besides forcing me to stay up-to-date on the issues facing the people I wanted to work for, a blog would also allow me to regularly share my insight with clients and potential clients on the topics that matter most to them.”
Elizabeth started writing as soon as she started her own firm. But she understood that publishing her blog and sending posts to the people she knew would not be enough, even if she did it every day. She needed readers. For that, Elizabeth turned to JD Supra: "I looked at several companies and picked JD Supra because of their audience. I felt they had an audience that was closer to what I was looking for, to the people I was trying to reach.”
That decision paid off nicely for Elizabeth in two important ways. First and foremost, her thought leadership regularly leads to new work and new opportunities: “I have brought in clients who connected with me because of articles they’ve read. What’s more, because I consistently forward posts to clients — I have a monthly newsletter that goes to my audience, plus I send links for articles on JD Supra at least once a week to people who ask me about a topic — I am able to position myself as a top-of-mind resource for current clients.”
In addition, writing and publishing on JD Supra has significantly increased her exposure — she’s ranked consistently as a top author on the site — and generated valuable business development opportunities. Elizabeth is frequently asked to present and write on subjects she’s covered in her blog: “I'm speaking later this year at an advanced real estate seminar put on by the Virginia Bar. Someone at the Bar read one of my posts and said, ‘wow, this is a great topic,’ so they asked me to present on it. That happens with other continuing education providers as well.”
More broadly, Elizabeth's blog — and the distribution JD Supra provides — helps her maintain visibility amongst her connections across her network.
“Connecting my LinkedIn account to JD Supra keeps me in front of my contacts in ways that I could never do on my own. For example, I had a couple of clients who were once close connections, but we fell out of touch over the years. When I went off on my own, they reconnected with me. I don’t think they would have been as quick to remember me and reach out if they didn’t see frequent hits to their LinkedIn feed from my JD Supra posts. If at some point they need a lawyer or read something I wrote and think they need help with it, they’re more likely to call me. That’s happened a few times, enough times to make a difference.”
“JD Supra puts me in front of the people who know me on a regular basis. That keeps my name active so that people remember who I am. I don't know how many connections I have, but when I put something out, my name gets in front of all of them. And to be honest, there’s a credibility boost with JD Supra: my posts published on JD Supra look more credible than those coming from my blog."
“I look at readership data all the time. I want to see what's trending and what people want to see so I can try to ride the trend.”
The data JD Supra provides Elizabeth — both her readership analytics and the Beacon report on Real Estate law — help her refine her understanding of the topics that matter to her audience.
“I look at my data every week because I'm trying to understand what readers are particularly interested in. Right now, COVID is the hot topic. But underneath COVID, there are other topics that people are reading. For example, I'm writing more on landlord-tenant issues than I would ever think to do. Beacon shows that it is a hot topic, which causes me to look at it and say, okay, how can I describe what's going on? Within those topics identified by Beacon, the things I’m writing are getting a lot of attention on JD Supra.”
“That’s critical to me because not only am I writing to attract new clients, I’m also trying to maintain my existing ones. I need to know what they’re reading so I can cover it. If my commercial real estate clients care about how COVID is affecting leasing, then I’d better start writing about that.”
“I need to know what people are reading, and JD Supra’s Beacon report tells me.”