Susan Kostal's Legal Marketing Bits & Bites Newsletter
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Legal Marketing 

Bits Bites

In Praise of Brevity

The fact that I am having rotator cuff issues has me thinking about writing shorter posts. Or, to mash up a quote often misattributed to Mark Twain, “I would have written a shorter piece but I didn’t have that much Aleve.” 

There is a young legal tech influencer who is thinking big thoughts and taking #lawtwitter by storm and I want to get inside her head and mine her wisdom so I can be half as smart as she is but her posts are Too. Damn. Long.

I start in on one of her pieces, and my eye keeps drifting to the right side of the screen to that little bubble that indicates how much more copy I need to wade through. Not good. I have yet to finish one of her think pieces, and I’m getting tired of feeling guilty about it.

There’s constant conversation among SEO engineers and marketers on the ideal length for posts. This stat-heavy piece on analyzing post lengths on Medium is an 8-minute read, if you really want to dive in that far. If not, scroll to the end for a simple go/no-go call on post length. You’re welcome.

Some law firm marketers erroneously assume that if a 6-minute post was a breakout hit, all their posts should be 6 minutes. (The average adult reads 265 words per minute. Using those metrics, a 6-minute post is 1,590 words.)

That’s flawed logic, of course. There are numerous reasons why a post becomes an outlier, and not all of them are obvious. Don’t assume that because one deep dive succeeds, your readers want a constant stream of them.

Pick up your topic without preamble, say what you need to say succinctly, and then Get. Out. Rest a bit, then edit ruthlessly. 

None of us are Victor Hugo. Busy readers will not survive a lengthy trip through the Parisian sewers to return to our narrative, no matter how gripping. 


Susan Kostal is a legal marketing consultant and content strategist located in San Francisco Bay Area. Find her monthly column on Attorney at Work & check out more great content here
Have You Heard?


ALM has published its annual Diversity Scorecard (though I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the gamification of inclusion), and once again White & Case is on top. Scorecard, ALM? I mean, why not just say "Promote an attorney of color and feel good about checking off that box?"

That time I used sex to advance my career. #WritersAtWork

So yes, the lesson of the above squib is that good titles get noticed. Here's more on this from Adrian Lurssen, with plenty of examples from JD Supra

Marketing advice from Sarah Glassmeyer, the ABA's legal tech guru: "Everyone is smart; distinguish yourself by being kind."

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