With the flood of marketing messages, it’s difficult for people to tell who’s the best anymore.
We’ve got a never-ending stream of blog posts, Twitter updates, Facebook messages and more. Whereas five years ago the landscape was clear, now it’s the equivalent of a bustling city filled with information.
Go onto your platform of choice and ask a question. You’ll be presented with a nearly-limitless stream of responses.
In some fields of knowledge, the information is variable at best. Get a cold and some sites will tell you to take some Nyquil while others will advise you to speed to the emergency room.
When it comes to consumer-based areas of law such as bankruptcy, however, that’s not the case.
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Type in a simple search and you’re given thousands of answers about the basics of Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Some lawyers write better than others, a few hire professional writers, and others point you to to a website maintained by the US Department of Justice.
In all cases, however, the information is at least passable. Someone researching the subject will find what they need and, given enough time, will be in a position to make an educated decision about their needs.
This Is Good For The Public
The Internet provides a base of knowledge unlike any previously available to the general public. It leads to a better educated client, more productive consultations with lawyers, and a smoother process overall.
In some fact patterns, it leads to a greater level of self-representation. For the right client and the simple scenario, the lawyer becomes the purveyor of information rather than assistance.
We, As Lawyers, Hate This Outcome
Lawyers go to school, pass the bar exam, get admitted, and spend countless years honing our craft. Our knowledge comes in fits and starts, finally bringing us to a level of expertise that enables us to handle not the simple matters – I’ve often said that it doesn’t take a genius to get a below-median debtor with a single source of income and no non-exempt property to a Chapter 7 discharge – but the complex ones.
That takes the bread and butter cases out of our hands, which makes us confront our profitability for the first time. It used to be a given that the simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy case would provide the most profit for the lawyer, leaving him free to spend more time on the difficult Chapter 13 matter without blowing his margins. That’s no longer the case.
Talk with any lawyer and he will tell you of the frustration he has with price-cutting high-volume practitioners and newbies who come into the market charging ever-decreasing fees for those easy cases.
Your New Reality
It’s not enough to create content about the basics of bankruptcy or consumer law anymore.
No longer can you be content to write a blog post about how to find the location for the meeting of creditors.
That’s useful information, but it’s not unique. Your client can find this in any of a number of places, and chances are pretty good that your piddling blog post is going to get lost in the shuffle.
If you’re going to stand out, you’ve got to be the best. Not simply good, but the absolute best.
The most knowledgeable about your field of practice.
The best conveyor of information, be in in text, video or audio form.
The most active online.
Choose Your Weapon And Go To Battle
You can blog, podcast or do video. You can create your own platform or borrow someone else’s. But you’ve got to choose one, dive in and start hacking away.
The work you do may not always be perfect, but it’s got to be the best you can possibly do.
Because in the absence of a weapon, you’re going to lose the battle – and the war.
Image credit: y James Cridland