Stalking lawyers for fun and profit

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When it comes to marketing and practice building, most lawyers get a lot of things wrong. But they get some things right and if you want to compete with them, and beat them, you need to know what they’re doing.

The simplest way to do that is to study them. Make a list of successful lawyers in your practice area (they don’t have to be in your local market) and go to school on them.

Visit their website and blog, read their posts and articles, note what they say and how they say it, see what widgets and other elements they include on their site and which ones they don’t.

Sign up for their newsletter and study that, too. What are they writing about? How often do they publish? How long are their emails?

Study their social media footprint. Which platforms do they use most, how often do they post, who do they follow and who follows them, what do they post about, and what do they do to stimulate engagement or encourage followers to take the next step?

Study their posts and articles that have the most engagement (shares, comments, re-Tweets and Likes). You’ll get a boatload of ideas you can write about and if those subjects resonated with their readers and followers, there’s a good chance they will resonate with yours.

Listen to their podcasts. Look for interviews they’ve given to the press or to bloggers or vloggers. Look for clues about other marketing they do–speaking, networking, advertising, referrals, public relations, and anything else.

One thing you’ll undoubtedly notice is that most attorneys do what others lawyers do, and when it comes to marketing, that means “not much”.

Study what they’re doing, so you can emulate what’s working (not copy it) and see what you can deduce isn’t working so you can avoid it.

You won’t learn everything you need to know by studying other lawyers but you’ll learn more than you know now. And you might find a kindred spirit (who doesn’t compete directly with you) to whom you can reach out to share ideas and referrals.

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