Occasionally I brainstorm niches for my practice areas and buy appropriate domain names, intending to create informative websites for those topics. During one such brainstorming session about nine months ago, I decided to emphasize invasion of privacy, because false light invasion of privacy is a sub-niche of my defamation practice. The tort of false light invasion of privacy presents some very interesting issues, because in some instances a Plaintiff can sue for completely true statements made about him. I was looking forward to really going deep into this subject and writing about the law. The broad category of “invasion of privacy” has at least four variants under case law, and “false light invasion of privacy” is one of those. My “back-burner” plan was to begin with the broader topic of invasion of privacy and then perhaps break that topic down into even narrower niches.
I bought a really good domain name for that practice area, but it sat unused for many months. Due in part because I want to try other marketing techniques so I can report the successes and failures here (I promised to be your human guinea pig), I was distracted with such things as podcasting and social media.
Recently, when checking my domain names, I saw the domain just sitting there, got enthused again, and took an hour to create a site on this topic. I did not have the time right then to create much in the way of content for the website, so I created what I call a “placeholder site” – containing some good information so that I won’t be embarrassed if someone actually finds it, but still needing to be beefed up with more content so that it will rank well. The home page had some good information, and I added a blog page where I posted a couple of important decisions in this area of the law, but that was it.
I gave it no further thought until about three weeks later when my partner said, “what’s the deal with all the invasion of privacy calls you’re getting all of a sudden?” I did a search for that practice area and my new website came up in the number one position on Yahoo and Bing, and number 10 on Google (that will improve greatly when I add more content). The (basically) free website I spent an hour on is already generating calls, although thus far none of them have turned into cases. I anticipate we’ll have to field a number of calls in this area before finding some cases that interest us. In that regard, greater content on the website is also helpful to screen calls, because you educate the potential client on what constitutes a case (i.e., “No, dear potential client, you can’t sue for invasion of privacy because the media accurately reported that you were arrested.”).
The moral of this story is that there are a lot of shiny new ways to distract yourself trying to drive more traffic to your sites, but you should not lose site of the fundamental component of content-based marketing, which is to provide quality information to potential clients so that they will want to hire you.
That is not to say other marketing methods should not be a part of your mix. Podcasting, for example, is an OUTSTANDING way to generate business. My point is only that you should not ignore the foundation of your marketing plan.