The decision that led to the creation of my blog and the work behind it to acquire clients might be useful for young lawyers.
I cannot believe that my blog is now turning its tenth birthday. When I started it, there was no long term plan, but there was a desire to sort an issue (how to get clients), do something that I enjoy and make my offering different from the crowd.
Below is a snapshot of my career path and how the management of a blog helped me and might help other young lawyers. You can find it in English in the article below and in the video as part of my video blog Diritto al Digitale
Why I became a technology lawyer
I respect corporate and finance lawyers, but it never came to my mind to be one of them. When I graduated, I had no idea what to do, and as most of the law students from the south of Italy, I started studying to become a judge.
After a year, I realized that I needed a more entrepreneurial job. Thanks to the support of my parents, I left Naples, and I went to London to attend an LL.M in Computer and Communications Law studying Internet, data protection, and technology law. My goal was (and currently is) to contribute to the creation of rules applicable to something that previously did not exist.
It was the end of the Dot-Com bubble, online businesses had to become regulated, but we had to apply rules drafted for a traditional business. The timing was perfect to set the rules of the future.
At the end of my LL.M course, I was so lucky that I started working on what I was dreaming about at an international law firm. We worked on the launch in Italy of some of the current Internet giants. And this circumstance happened during an amazing period when both the implementation of the eCommerce Directive and of the Data Protection Directive 95/46 had recently occurred.
An exciting job, but no clients
I have always been a person passionate about what I do and full of ideas to create opportunities. This feature can cause troubles in some organizations where there are defined roles, and you are meant to do what you are requested to do.
I was working on interesting instructions, but I had no clients at all. And there was not even the possibility of getting new clients since I was attending very few conferences and participating in the organization of a limited number of events. Also, given my background, my target clients were international companies that I could not reach just around the streets of Rome.
I was 33 years old, and my life goal was not to become a partner with the clients of my boss when I would have been 40.
There was an opportunity, and I had to exploit it
It was the time of the entrance in the Italian online gambling market of the first international operators. We received an instruction from a gambling client. And I spent a full week studying every possible gambling regulation that was divided into a large number of rules and orders often inconsistent.
This investment paid off since we then acquired a significant gaming client, and I was the sole person in the firm having an in-depth knowledge of gambling regulations.
Also, Italian gambling regulations and the position of courts on Internet law issues were changing every other day. And there was no significant source of information in English on them.
A famous rule of the most successful team of all sports, the New Zeland rugby team, the All Blacks, is
Go for the gap
and this is what I did.
The launch of my GamingTechLAW blog
During a scorching day in August 2009, I got the idea of creating my legal blog. It would have allowed me to
- reach my target clients,
- keep continuous communications with them, also through social media, and
- have an excuse to go back to them so that they could always have my name on the top of their mind.
The easiest available platform at that time was Blogger. In a few hours, I purchased the domain name, created the header of the blog, drafted a few pages and a couple of articles, and I was online!
Nothing was done yet
The launch of GamingTechLAW was a significant milestone. But much of the work still had to be done. To create a brand around me, I started
- publishing an article a week on the blog regarding gambling, Internet, information technology and data protection law matters;
- building a presence on social media, and in particular, LinkedIn since my clients were there, and at that time I did not know most of them;
- periodically reaching out my target clients whenever something new was happening, just sending an email with the link to the article on my blog and
- participating in sector events when I was even recognized as the author of the blog.
My blog has considerably changed over the years. I changed the layout several times, added the videoblog Diritto al Digitale and my podcast, the visions from my team members with LawBytes, GamingLawPills and iConsumer, and articles from some thought leaders.
But most of my marketing activities above gravitate around my blog since it makes my offering and brand unique, and might be a good lesson for young lawyers.
My blog and my recommendations for young lawyers
Each person needs to find his/her own success story. But the three rules below work regardless of what your strategy is:
- Inject passion in whatever you do – in a highly competitive legal market, clients are going to come after those lawyers that care about them and how to find a solution for their business;
- Think out of the box – to differentiate your offering, you need to be creative. The rule applies to the way you communicate to clients, but also to your services, and this is why we launched Prisca;
- Be perseverant – a brilliant idea will never be successful without considerable time and efforts invested in that. The workload cannot be an excuse; I wake up very early to write my blog posts and articles since this activity is important for me.
I have two famous quotes on the door of my room that I often repeat in my mind
Stay hungry, stay foolish
I believe I watched at least thirty times the speech from Steve Jobs at the 2005 Stanford Commencement Address, and it is still very inspirational after many years.
The second quote is from Steve Martin and justifies my obsession for the quality of our services.
Be so good they can’t ignore you