Tell clients why you’re worth more than other lawyers


You’re not the cheapest lawyer in town. That’s good. You don’t want clients who want the cheapest lawyer in town, you want clients who understand that they get what they pay for and who are willing to pay more to get more.

Have you explained this to your clients and prospects? If not, you should.

On your website, in your marketing materials, when you are speaking to a prospective client, tell them that you’re not lowest guy or gal in town. Tell them you cost more than other lawyers and then tell them why you are worth it.

First, tell them why low-cost legal fees aren’t always what they seem. Tell them that some lawyers hold down costs by

  • Using lower paid staff to do much of the work, increasing the chances of errors or poor results
  • Advertising only part of the work the client will need, when they often need more
  • Billing separately for costs and other things that drive up the overall cost
  • Cutting corners in terms of customer service

Of course you’ll also mention that most lawyer who charge lower fees do so because they have less experience.

Then tell them why you are the better choice:

  • You have more experience (years practicing, number of clients, prestige clients)
  • Your staff has been with you for X years and are smart, efficient, and your clients love them
  • You get better results (verdicts, settlements, notable wins, endorsements, testimonials, awards)
  • You are top dog (you teach CLE, Judge Pro Tem, arbitrator, mediator, articles by you, articles about you, books you’ve written, speaking)
  • You specialize (so you are better at what you do, and more efficient)
  • You specialize in your client types (so you know their business, their issues, their problems, etc.)
  • You offer something others don’t (your unique selling proposition)
  • You offer flat fees or other alternatives to hourly billing, so your clients know in advance what they will pay

Also tell them what you do to keep your expenses down: you aren’t on Rodeo Drive, you don’t advertise, you have systems in place that allow you to do your work more quickly and efficiently, and so on.

If you want clients who willingly pay higher fees, tell clients why you’re worth more than other lawyers.

How to write a bill clients WANT to pay


The starving artist’s guide to marketing legal services


Suppose that instead of you being a talented legal professional you were a talented singer. How would you go about marketing that talent?

Traditionally, you would try to get an agent or manager in the hopes that they could get you some gigs and eventually a record deal. Today, most singers market themselves. Much of this is done online, by posting videos, showing off their chops and hoping to get discovered, or simply selling their work directly.

But they also audition at clubs and restaurants and network with people in the industry. They build relationships with people who can hire them, advise them, and introduce them to people who can help their career.

The Internet makes marketing easier and less expensive, but it doesn’t change the fundamentals.

Use the Internet to meet more people. Use it build your list and get your name out to the world. But don’t stop there. Talk to the people. Meet them in person if you can. Find out what they want or need and then help them find solutions.

Like building a singing career, marketing legal services is very much about relationships. There’s a lot of “you” in it. You can hire people to help you with websites and advertising, but never forget that the client doesn’t sign up because you have a great ad campaign or website, they sign up because of you.

Marketing legal services online–go here


You are advertising, whether you know it or not


I was looking at an email from an attorney. At the bottom, after his signature, it said, “Attorney at Law”. He provided contact information but said nothing about his services.

He’s advertising, but doing it badly.

Why badly? Because an attorney is what he is, not what he does.

Telling people you’re an attorney tells them almost nothing. Do you handle car accidents and help people get compensation for their injuries? Do you help people get amicably divorced? Do you represent big businesses on environmental matters, or small start-ups take their first steps?

His email, and everything else he puts out into the world, should tell people what he does.

How about you? When someone asks, “What do you do?” what do you say? Do you tell them what you are or what you do? Do you tell them the services you offer? Do you at least tell them what kind of law you practice?

Because you’re advertising, whether you know it or not.

On your business cards, your stationery, your website, and the sign outside your office, don’t just say you are an attorney or that you offer legal services, tell people what you do.

What services do you offer? What benefits do they get when they hire you? What kinds of clients do you represent?

Don’t make people ask you what you do or how you can help them. Don’t make them visit your website to find out.

Tell them, right up front, “This is what I do and this is how I can help you”. You’ll get more people clicking, calling, visiting, and saying, “Tell me more”.

Want a website that gets clients? Here’s how


When is it okay to ask your client to wait?


I hate waiting. It’s an issue with me. When I have an appointment with a doctor at 1pm, I expect to be seen at 1pm.

That’s the time of my appointment. Don’t make me wait.

Show me some respect. I’m paying your rent and putting braces on your kid’s teeth. I have my own clients to see. I blocked out time to see you.

If my appointment is at 1:00, don’t see me at 1:30 or even 1:05.

Don’t make me wait.

When a doctor or other professional doesn’t see me on time, I’m up at the desk asking why. I let them know I’m busy and can’t wait. I’ve been known to threaten to send the doctor a bill for my waiting time. I’ve been know to leave and get another doctor.

As I said, I hate to wait.

I’ve been doing some conference calls this week. As usual, some of the participants get on the call after the scheduled time. I don’t wait for them. If we’re scheduled to start at 5pm, that’s when I start.

Why should I make the people who show up on time wait for the ones who don’t?

When you start on time, you show people that you are organized and disciplined and professional. It shows that you keep your promises and tells people that they can count on you.

Don’t be late. Don’t make people wait.

Some say being late makes you appear more important. Nah, it just makes you rude.

Something else. When a client is in the office with you and your get a call, I know you know better than to take that call. I know you instruct your staff that unless it is an emergency, when you have a client in the office you are not to be disturbed.

Please say you do that. Please say you know it’s rude to take calls when a client is in the office.

Okay, good.

But how about when you’re on the phone with a client? Have you ever said to a client, “Can you hold on for a minute?” so you can take another call? Even if it is to tell the new caller that you’ll call them back?

Maybe that doesn’t rise to the level of rudeness but if you think about it from the client’s perspective, it tells them that other people are more important than they are.

Even though it’s just for a minute. Even though they said it was okay.

Marketing legal services like a pro


You need to talk to your clients


You frequently hear me tell you to “think clients, not cases,” meaning you must consider the lifetime value of your clients and not just the fee from a single case or engagement. That $1500 fee for a first-time client could lead to $15,000 or $50,000 in fees over the lifetime of the client.

Even if a client never hires you again, cultivating a relationship with them can bring referrals, traffic to your website, sign-ups for your list, attendees at your seminars, and followers on social media, all of which will lead to new business.

Get it? Got it. Good.

So. . . stay in touch with your clients and former clients (an oxymoron).

How? Letters are great, but can get expensive. Email is great but may be overlooked. Send letters and emails but don’t ignore your number one tool for building and sustaining relationships: the phone.

You need to talk to your clients, bro. They need to hear your voice.

Yes, people still answer their phone. If they are away, leave a message. They’ll hear your voice and get an injection of your essence. Virtual you is almost as good as the real you.

Here’s my challenge to you: invest six minutes a day calling people. In six minutes, you could talk to one or two clients, or leave five or six messages.

Why 6 minutes? One hourly billing unit. If you bill $300/hr., you’re investing $50/day or $1100 per month (22 work days) to grow your practice. If that brings you one new client per month, will it be worth it? What if it brings two?

What do you say when you call? Did yo mama teach you nothing? Say hello. Ask them how they’re doing. Tell them you were going through your contact list, saw their name, and thought you’d give them a quick call.

Another? Okay, tell them you just posted a new article or blog post or video on your website and thought they might like to see it. Tell them where to find it and tell them to have a nice day.

Easy stuff. Even for a lawyer.

You want it even easier? You’re lazy? Okay, have someone who works for you make the call. Tell the client, “Mr. Jones [that’s you] asked me to give you a quick call to say hello and see how you’re doing.” It’s not your voice the client hears, but you by proxy will do.

Anyway, I can hear what you’re thinking. Yep. You’re thinking this won’t work. It’s ridiculous. Nobody will hire you again or send you referrals just because you called and said hello.

Fair enough. Try it for a week or two. It may not work for you. On the other hand, what if it does?

Marketing online for attorneys is a real thing


How to do a screencast video


After my last video about mindmaps, a subscriber asked for information on how to do a screencast. I’ve posted a new video that explains the tools I use and how easy it is to to create your own screencast video.

Here’s the link to the video on YouTube.

Let me know what you think.


Why you should teach prospective clients to do it themselves


Suppose you are a personal injury attorney. And suppose you write a report showing people how to handle their own property damage (no injury) insurance claim. You tell them what to do and how to do it.

You tell them not to admit fault, teach them how to measure and document their damages, give advice about what to do if it’s a total loss, and equip them to present and negotiate their claim.

You know, stuff you often do for clients and prospects without charge.

Show them how to do it themselves so they don’t ask you to do it for them. Of course you also tell them what to do if they do have injuries. You tell them what an attorney can do to help them maximize their claim and have peace of mind and how hiring an attorney usually pays for itself.

You distribute your report to your clients and prospects and to anyone else who wants a copy. You give it away on your website and hand it out when you’re networking. You contact other lawyers who don’t do personal injury and let them give the report to their clients and contacts.

What will happen? You’ll get a lot of people who are grateful to you for your sound advice. Some will be injured and call you. Some will hold onto your report and call you when they have an injury claim. And some will call you with questions about their property damage claim, even though you showed them what to do and assured them they could do it themselves.

That’s okay. Take their call. Encourage their call. Give them a few minutes of your time. Write a letter or make a call for them, without charge. It’s an investment in their future business.

Think “clients” not “cases”.

If you don’t handle personal injury, you can do something similar in your practice area. Teach people how to file their own simple divorce, quit claim their property to their spouse, or file a fictitious business statement.

Help people do things for themselves and when they have something they can’t do themselves, they’ll call you.

Want more referrals? Quickly? How about 30 Days?


My first YouTube video in over 3 years


Oops, I did it again. After a hiatus of more than 3 years, I uploaded a new YouTube video. It’s a quick overview of mind-mapping using Xmind software.

The video is unscripted and done without notes. I was trying out my screen-casting skills using screencast-o-matic software and wasn’t planning on uploading it, but when it was done, I thought it wasn’t terrible and you might like to see it.

While you’re on YouTube, you might want to watch a funny video I did 5 years ago, call The Convention. It’s about an attorney going to his first ABA convention and may be good for a few chuckles.

No matter how disinclined you are to doing a podcast or any other content creation requiring a regular commitment of time, even the busiest attorney can occasionally create simple videos and post them online. Even me.

Anyway, let me know what you think of my new creation, or if you have any questions. And if you have any requests for additional videos, as Ross Perot used to say, “I’m all ears”.


Marketing legal services: let other people do it for you


You don’t want to blog or do a podcast but other people in your niche do. They need people to interview and people to write guest posts.

You, for example.

Find blogs and podcasts and video channels in your niche and introduce yourself to the head guy or gal. Compliment their work. Promote their content to your lists. Comment on their posts. Get on their Hangouts and contribute to the conversation.

Stay on their radar and eventually they will ask if they can interview you. In fact, once they know who you are, let them know that you are available and you’ll probably move to the front of their list.

By helping them, you help yourself. Your interviews and posts will get your name and contact information in front of people who need your services or who know someone who does. You’ll get more traffic to your website, more followers on social media, and more subscribers for your list. New clients will be next.

Remember, they need content and they can only create so much themselves. They need people like you to help them. As you help them, you help yourself.

The more you get your name out there, the more other bloggers and podcasters will seek you out. Marketing will get easier for you. Instead of doing one interview this month you’ll have three interviews this week.

Soon, your target market will see you “everywhere” and they will know that when they need a lawyer who does what you do, you are the one they want. Other professionals will see that you are in demand and choose you for their referrals.

Help others with their marketing and they will help you with yours.

Learn more about marketing legal services online, here


Won’t you be my neighbor?


My wife and I have lived in their house for over 20 years. We don’t know most of our neighbors, however, and we like it that way. We like our privacy and, we think, most of our neighbors do, too.

But what’s true for a home isn’t true for a business. At least it shouldn’t be. One of the easiest ways to get more referrals is to get to know your neighbors.

Most of the professionals and businesses near your office have local clients or customers. If you handle consumer or small business matters, they are a natural source of referrals for you, if not potential clients themselves.

Okay, you get this. What can you do to start getting some of that business?

You could mail something to them, and that’s better than nothing, but why not simply knock on their door?

Introduce yourself and ask for their card and perhaps a brochure. What’s your “excuse” for doing that? You don’t need one, but if you think you do you could tell them you were “in the building” (that’s true; you don’t have to tell them why you were in the building), you saw their name on the door or on the building directory and wanted to find out (more about) what they do.

Which is also true.

Give them your card, tell them to have a nice day, and you’re done.

When you get back to your office, send them a one or two sentence email that says, “Great to meet you”. If you feel bold, you might also say you’ll keep them in mind if you have a client or meet someone who might need their products or services. Do not ask them to do the same.

That’s enough for now. Actually, that’s quite a bit. You have a new contact who has a favorable impression of you.  You did comb your hair and wear a clean shirt, right? Great. You’ve opened new doors to endless possibilities.

To get referrals from lawyers and other professionals, use this