LNCtips.com: Why I Started LNCtips.com
I inaugurated the LNCtips.com website in mid-November 2009. In the two years since, people in 114 countries have viewed the website nearly 50,000 times. In addition, the LNCtips.com newsletter has been awarded an All Star designation by Constant Contact (an email marketing service) to distinguish email marketing excellence among its 400,000 users.
Why did I start LNCtips.com? Here's a hint: My reason wasn't altruistic.
I started the website because I was looking for a new hobby. I love computers so I was either going to build a new computer from parts or teach myself how to design a website. I didn't really need a new computer so website design won out.
Why did I decide to create the website for new legal nurse consultants? Mark Twain said that we should write what we know. After being an independent legal nurse consultant, working in law firms, interacting with experts, teaching two LNC courses and supervising new legal nurse consultants, I felt that I knew enough about the field of legal nurse consulting to create a website.
I wanted to create a website that was unique. As I looked at other websites that catered to LNCs, I realized that some websites functioned as support groups. Some sold work product samples. Some offered classes and mentoring. But none of them were skill-based and none of them offered information for free. So I decided that I would focus on an informational website where everything would be free to users. (I make a little money on the website through sponsors, advertising, and affiliate marketing.)
We all know some attorneys who need LNC services but don't seem to want them. I saw something similar with new legal nurse consultants. They really needed some background skills but didn't seem to know it. I based my website heavily on my experiences reviewing resumes and CVs, interviewing, and training new legal nurse consultants at a high-tech law firm. Many of the RNs who wanted to become legal nurse consultants were enthusiastic but not particularly skilled. They submitted resumes with typos and errors. They interviewed poorly and in weird attire. They couldn't type. They were unfamiliar with common software. That didn't make them bad legal nurse consultants, but the lack of skills made them LOOK bad to potential clients and employers.
In addition to basing the website on my experiences, I also focused the website on adult learning principles. For example, adults want practical information that is relevant to their experiences. That's why I try to relate many of my newsletters to events or experiences that most LNCs will likely know about. I make such comparisons even when they seem silly, as in Marketing is Like Dating. Adult learners are also self-directed and autonomous. They want information when they need it. As much as I like groups such as listserves, LinkedIn discussions, and chats, there will always be new people to the group who want information that has been discussed repeatedly. An informational website solves that problem by being available whenever learners need the information.
Websites are great, but they aren't any good if no one knows they're there. I sent out my first newsletter a few weeks after the launch of the website with the intention of driving traffic to it. I emailed LNCs who were members of my local AALNC chapter and invited them to subscribe to the newsletter. Several people signed up. A few months after the website and newsletter launched, I held a contest with the prize being a copy of the newly revised edition of Legal Nurse Consulting: Principles and Practices. Everyone who signed up for the newsletter had a chance to win the book. I posted an announcement about the contest on the LNCExchange listserve and about 50 people signed up for the newsletter. About a month after that, I spoke at the 2010 AALNC leadership conference about the website and web design for chapters. I'm grateful that several chapter presidents started referring new LNCs to the website after that. I'm also grateful that several LNC schools started referring students to the site and/or posting the newsletters on their Blackboards. The number of subscribers to the newsletter ballooned.
I received a lot of positive feedback about the website and newsletter, which spurred me to continue. I joined LinkedIn and Twitter. I used search engine optimization so that when people typed certain terms in search engines, LNCtips.com would be the first website listed on the page. I've learned a lot about web design and web marketing in the process. And for that, I thank all of you who have helped me transform LNCtips.com from a hobby to a success.
Want to learn more about LNC skills for legal nurse consultants? Check out the Archives....Katy Jones