"Just Do It" - Why Doing Non-Billable Writing Can Help Your Business

by admin 16. April 2014 19:09

“Just Do It” - Why Doing Non-Billable Writing Can Help Your Business

BY MELANIE BERKOWITZ

If you are like many lawyers, you have a vague notion that writing or speaking on your area of expertise

could be a “good idea” for your career. But if, also like many of those lawyers, you have never taken

that thought any further, now is the time to change.

In today’s world of social media, sound bites, and 24-hour connectedness, non-billable writing is much

more than a way for a new lawyer to pad a sparse resume. Done thoughtfully , creating just one or two

pieces of non-billable work per month is enough to make a difference to your practice. If you don’t

inundate people with daily emails or the same content everyone else is doing then your message will

make more of an impact when it does come. The benefits are numerous.

Connect With Clients

Non-billable writing gives you the perfect way to connect with (read: market yourself to) clients and

potential clients without resorting to blatant self-publicity. Write an informative and useful article,

blurb, blog, speech, etc. and you have an excuse to make contact. Tweet the link to your piece’s home

on the web, email copies to clients, post it on your firm’s webpage or get it published in a local legal

publication. Just make sure that what you have to say is helpful, timely and interesting.

Position Yourself as an Expert

Do enough good non-billable writing and get it read by enough people and pretty soon you might start

to be considered an expert in your chosen subject. This is a very good thing. Instead of having to find

places to speak or publish, opportunities will come to you. Requests for quotes, invitations to be on

panels, reprints or retweets of your work all help grow your reputation as a lawyer who knows a lot

about “something” and who is worth working with, hiring, or recommending when the next big project

Gain Expertise

Here’s a secret: you don’t have to know everything about a topic before you write or speak about it –

you just need to know more than your audience. Even if you aren’t ready to give an advanced tutorial

on the intricacies of the tax code to the tax bar, you may be perfectly capable of writing an article for

the local business journal on the most common tax breaks for businesses. Chances are, you already

know more than you think you do and as you research and prepare your article or speech or blog, you

will learn more. One article may suggest another or bring up questions you want to answer. Keep at it

and your depth of knowledge will grow.

The benefits of non-billable writing are great, but only if you work for them. Fortunately, it is easy to

start small and still make a name for yourself. My next blog will give you tips and suggestions for getting

started as a non-billable writer and how to make the most of your limited time to get your message out

there to the right audience.

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Melanie Berkowitz | Write to the Point

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