SpaceX – the first private space transport company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft – is changing space travel, commercialising and revolutionising the industry; it's innovations challenging the old school and injecting some healthy competition. But this isn't all down to good old capitalism or free economics; it's also an example of how a company's underlying ethics, vision and culture, and its founder’s personality, can stamp itself on public consciousness – something lawyers and law firms can take inspiration from when thinking about how to market themselves in the modern world and improve their brand’s equity.
Similar to space/air travel, the legal sector suffers from an elitist reputation, viewed as a profession removed from the general public’s daily lives. But what do the public want from the legal profession? They don't want to match the skills and knowledge of lawyers - they want to know they can trust them to use that knowledge to solve their legal problem.
Law firms do this every day but they don't shout about it. They offer their clients staid briefing notes or prosaic legal memos. All good, solid and necessary pieces of useful content at certain times, but not necessarily the inspirational human element that people can identify with and are attracted to. This is where content marketing comes in – it’s about taking a strategic, thoughtful approach to demonstrating a law firm’s worth, knowledge and personality to inspire its target audience, spotlighting both the value of the firm and their legal services. So how can law firms and lawyers go about doing this?
This blog should really be entitled ‘What Can Law Firms Learn from Elon Musk’, founder of SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla Motors and PayPal. Musk has done a very good job of demonstrating his, and therefore his companies’, worth, knowledge and personality, to such an extent that his brand alone must be worth hundreds of millions. Below are three examples of how he has done this, perhaps offering inspiration for lawyers and law firms looking to take cues from the innovator and visionary.
Musk frequently communicates to the world via Twitter, from updates of a recent SpaceX landing…
Rocket landed hard on the droneship. Didn't expect this one to work (v hot reentry), but next flight has a good chance.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 5 March 2016
…to responding to his decision to cancel a ‘super rude’ customer’s preorder for a Tesla Model X…
Must be a slow news day if denying service to a super rude customer gets this much attention— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 3 February 2016
Close-knit communities sprout up all over the place because of content that rouses their interests. Musk’s team reached out to Tim Urban of the excellent blog/site Wait But Why, who depicted his reaction like this...
and resulted in an entertaining (and very detailed) four-part series on Elon Musk’s companies, check out part one here.
Perhaps most important, Musk comes across as credible, has a distinct worldview and is continually demonstrating his commitment to changing the course of humanity for the better. His message is clear and he consistently reinforces it whenever he communicates with the public.