I'm just so impressed with Texas. Texans are known for their big hearts, big ideas, and being a bit rebellious, so maybe it's no accident that some of the best professional service firm blogs come from the Lone Star State whose motto is "friendship."
Lawyers are still far ahead of accountants in using social media to promote themselves. Somewhere between 2000-3000 attorneys blog and, by contrast, fewer than 100 licensed accountants blog; only 51 seem to be practicing accountants sharing the type of content that would be of interest to clients.
All these blogs cover the gamut in their quality. Who's doing it really well?
DEFINING "GREAT BLOG"
Ultimately, a successful blog attracts attention that escalates the firm's value.
When content is worthy of notice by others, lots of things can happen; any or all of these things are measures of success.
The blog makes people want to hire the author.
Content displays character, philosophy, integrity, values, humor, and/or personality, or just plain old wisdom.
Bottom line: the blog differentiates the PEOPLE at the firm.
The blog provides thoughts, ideas and tools.
Content shows that author(s) are, without a doubt, true experts, thought leaders, or simply well-informed and current in their topic areas.
Bottom line: the blog differentiates the level of SPECIALIZATION of the people at the firm.
The blog attracts media or trade-related attention.
Content that is insightful, creative, controversial, or just exceptional quality, positions the authors as experts.
Bottom line: the blog is quote-worthy and authors are SOUGHT OUT to contribute their thought leadership in other ways such as speaking, articles, etc.
Instead of trying to describe the different ways to achieve these things with a blog, I'd rather just show you two fabulous examples of credibility-building, information-providing, darn good blogs, both of which happen to be authored by Texans!
Divorce and Family Law in Tarrant County, Texas
Dick Price's blog reflects personality and conveys his expertise. Just reading three or four posts and I'm sold. For instance, his content in "Divorce 'No-No's': Don't Drag Kids Into the Divorce" helps anyone be a better parent though it is geared to assist parents in going through divorce with greater integrity and focus (no small thing).
His tone and selection of his content, even when originally from other sources, helps me understand his approach in his legal practice. Dick's blog suggests what kind of a lawyer he is in a way that a brochure just can't do.
His peers appreciate his blog (lawyers are great referral sources to each other) and reference it liberally. And internet users in marital crisis can easily find him, begin benefiting from his advice right off, and can actually see his practice philosophy in action. Those in Texas are more inclined to call him than a random name in the phone book.
Healthcare blog by Reed Tinsley (CPA) of Houston, Texas
Still a top example of an effective CPA niche blog is Reed Tinsley's. His blog aggregates HC news and resources in the categories of Human Resources, Managed Care, Medicare, Personal Finance, Practice Management, Practice Mergers, Regulatory, Taxes and Misc.
His choice of content, much of it from outside sources, reflects that he's in touch with his reader's needs, really wants to help them, and is qualified to! It generates a good flow of business for him.
I don't think Reed misses a day (though posting daily is not requisite!). His blog has tremendous readership by a broad spectrum of people associated with the HC profession (referral sources!!). For good reason: it makes their lives easier by filtering and posting the most relevant stuff.
Reed is doing a great service to others by sharing through his blog. If you're a practitioner (law or accounting) serving the HC profession, you, too, would benefit from following Reed's blog! That says something, doesn't it?
Both of these Texans benefit from 24/7/365 marketing of the very best kind. It's as personal as you can get without actually meeting.
I hope these two examples inspire you (if you're a non-blogger) to consider how having a blog could help your convey who you are and how much you care about what you do.
THE HIGHEST COMPLIMENT
When you are a professional who is blogging, you KNOW you're doing it right when your peers (even competitors) read and link to your blog! That is the ultimate praise.