The problem with lists


Everyone uses lists to record information and convey that information to others in a way that’s easy to follow. We use lists in our work, for research, opening and closing files, and every step in between. 

We give our clients lists of things to do, and things to avoid, and lists of the steps we will take with their case, and they like knowing what to expect. 

We also use lists in our marketing, so we can do things quickly and efficiently, in the right order, without having to think about what to do each time. And because our readers like posts that contain lists, we use lists in our content marketing.

When a business lawyer publishes a post that promises, “21 ways to use the law to increase your bottom line,” for example, this usually attracts prospective clients in their market. “There’s got to be at least one or two of those ways I can use,” they think, and they read (scan) the post to find out.

List posts work, and you should use them liberally in your content marketing. 

Okay, so what’s the problem? 

The problem is that because list-posts work and are easy to write, everyone writes them. Lawyers, consumer and business writers, bloggers, consultants, et al., know that list posts are popular (by looking at their statistics), and so they write lots of them. 

Therefore, while you should use lists in your content, you shouldn’t rely on them exclusively. 

Use your knowledge and experience and credibility as a lawyer to write more thoughtful, in-depth content, the kind only a lawyer of your experience and standing can provide. 

Clients prefer to read and hire experts. A thoughtful piece by an attorney who practices in the area they need help with is more valuable to them than a simple list by a blogger. 

So, you need both. 

Write simple list-posts to get traffic and opens, and authoritative posts to “sell” readers on following and hiring you.