You’re not that important

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You’re not that important and neither am I. Most people don’t think about us or care about how we feel.

Most of our blog posts and articles won’t get any comments, shares, or likes.

Most of the work we do will be forgotten soon after we complete it.

Most of our clients won’t send us referrals, testimonials, or thank you’s.

And that’s okay. It’s okay because that’s the way it is and it has to be okay.

Stop worrying about what people think. If someone says something positive about you, don’t let it go to your head. If someone says horrible things about you, don’t let it ruin your day.

Do the best you can do and let it go. Move on to the next case, the next post, or the next presentation.

You’re not that important and that’s okay. Because some people love you and that’s all that matters.

Email marketing for attorneys

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Oh the pain, the pain

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If you ever watched the campy 1960’s TV series Lost in Space, you may recall one of Dr. Smith’s signature expressions.

If not, perhaps you recall the old Verizon TV commercials where the spokesman walked around town, speaking on the phone, repeatedly asking the other party, “Can you hear me now?”

What do these two have in common? Right, the pain.

The Verizon spots dramatized the biggest pain point for customers of other carriers, poor signal quality and dropped calls.

We all literally said, “Can you hear me now?” as we moved to find a better spot.

This demonstration set the stage for Verizon’s promise of better coverage and clearer signals, which landed them a lot of new customers.

In your marketing, you should do what Verizon did: market to the biggest frustration felt by your prospective clients.

Find your prospective client’s pain point, about their legal situation or their current attorney, and build your marketing message around this.

What makes them angry or keeps them up at night? What troubles them most about their legal issue? What is their biggest complaint about their current attorney?

Talk about that, and promise they won’t have that problem when they hire you.

Make the pain, and the relief you promise to deliver, specific to your practice area and market, because not everyone is frustrated by the same things. But if you need an idea, consider the nearly universal pain point for clients, “My lawyer never calls me back”.

Build your marketing around your prospective clients’ pain and promise to take away that pain. You can’t go wrong with that formula.

By the way, you may have noticed that the actor who portrayed the spokesman in the Verizon ads is now the spokesman for Sprint.

Oh the pain, the pain.

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Starting or restarting your law practice

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When you first opened your practice, no doubt you notified everyone you knew. You told them what kinds of cases and clients you would be handling, gave them your contact information, invited them to visit your website, encouraged them to follow you on social media, and asked them to keep you in mind if they need your help or know someone who does.

And maybe you got some business that way. But for most new attorneys, merely telling people your “store” is open for business isn’t enough.

That’s because most of the people you know don’t need your services right now. It is statistically improbable. They are also unlikely to know anyone who might need your services.

Some day, that will change. Some of your contacts will need your help. Others will talk to people they could refer.

Will they favor you with their business or referrals?

Maybe. If they remember you and what you do, and understand why they should choose you instead of any other attorney.

That’s why you hear me haranguing about the importance of staying in touch, so that you can be “in their minds and their mailboxes” when that day arrives.

And why the best way to do that is to build an email list.

Social media is fine but it doesn’t hold a candle to email. Never has, never will.

(I should do a video, “Email is king; change my mind”.)

Anyway, when you announce your new practice, offer everyone an incentive to sign up for your newsletter.

Create a report, a checklist, a video, or other freebie that would be of value to your contacts and the people they know, and tell everyone it’s available.

When they sign up, they get your report, learn more about solutions to their problem or the path to their objective, and get to see the kinds of benefits you deliver.

You get to stay in touch with them, tell them more, and remind them that you’re still available to help.

The good news is that you can do this even if you’re not a new attorney or opening a new office.

If you want to know how to write a report that brings in business, this will help.

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You’ve got to know when to fold ’em

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If you believe that success depends on working harder than everyone else, pushing through every problem, and never giving up, you’ve got a rough road ahead of you.

And I’m not sure that road has the destination you’re looking for.

The existential “do or die” attitude may work for some people some of the time, but as a way of life, “die” is probably the more likely outcome than “do”.

Because the stress can kill you. So can the overhead.

Sure, everyone likes a good fight now and then. We thrive on winning and love the thrill of going “all in”.

But not all day, every day.

When you have a losing case, you need to admit it and cut your losses.

If you’re working “eight to faint,” you need to give yourself a break, to let your body and mind recharge.

If you dread going to work every day, you need to reassess your career options and consider doing something else.

You’re not at war. The fate of nations isn’t at stake. It’s okay to surrender.

Because the game of life is a lot like poker. If you want to win long-term, you’ve got to know when to fold a bad hand.

Are you ready to take a quantum leap in the growth of your practice?

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Networking from home

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Meeting new people is easy, even from home. With a simple email, you can approach people you don’t know and begin a relationship that can lead to referrals, marketing alliances, traffic to your site, sign-ups for your list, and more.

What do you write in this email?

Tell them how you found them. Say something nice about their website or blog, article, or video, or about their story. Tell them something you have in common.

Then, ask to interview them for your podcast or video channel.

Or, invite them to write a guest post for your blog or newsletter.

Or, ask them if you can reprint their article or post, with attribution.

Or, go “old school” and ask them to tell you more about what they do. You can add that you want to see if there’s a way the two of you can work together for your mutual benefit.

Don’t say that much about your practice. Focus on them and what they do.

The goal of this email is to get a response, not to make an impression. If you don’t get a response, or they don’t seem terribly interested, move on. There are plenty of fish (lawyers, business owners, other professionals, etc.) in the sea.

When you do get a response, continue to exchange emails, invite them to a phone call or video call, and get to know more about them. Look for ways you can help them and ways they can help you or your clients.

Stay in touch and get to know them better. Just like you would if you met them in person.

If you want to learn more about how to find, approach, and network with other professionals, without leaving your home or office, my course shows you everything you need to know.

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If they don’t understand, they won’t click

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William Howard Taft said, “Don’t write so that you can be understood, write so that you can’t be misunderstood.”

Clarity is key to effective writing. That’s true for legal documents, demand letters, presentations, articles, and just about everything else we write.

When you write a blog post, email, or ad, the headline or subject line must instantly communicate what your article or ad is all about. If you want them to open your email or read your blog post, you have to give them a reason why.

How do you know you’ve done it right?

One idea is to use “The Blank Sheet of Paper Test”. Ask yourself, “If you wrote this text on a piece of paper and showed it to a stranger, would they understand the meaning?”

You need a bit of room for creative license, however, or you might turn out clear and accurate but utterly boring prose. So use this idea as a place to start, not the be-all-and-end-all.

Note that the rule applies to strangers–visitors to your blog, readers of your articles, networking emails–where people don’t know you from Adam (or Eve). You don’t need to use it when writing to clients or subscribers to your newsletter. They’ll open and read your message because they recognize your name.

So, have I made myself clear? If not, that’s okay. No doubt you’ll open my next email or read my next post anyway, to see what stuff and nonsense I have for you.

How to write email subject lines that get clicks

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Why subscribers leave, and how to get them back

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If you want to drive yourself crazy, look at the number of email “unsubscribes” you get each week.

Yeah, don’t do that. People come and people go. Don’t obsess over your numbers.

People leave for all kinds of reasons:

  • They satisfied their legal need or their problem went away
  • They thought you did X and didn’t know you really did Y
  • They forgot who you were or that they signed up, (probably because you mail too infrequently)
  • They think you email too often (NB: you probably don’t)
  • They only signed up to get your “freebie”
  • They don’t see the value in your newsletter or posts
  • You said something they didn’t like

Who knows?

Sure, you’d prefer them to stay. They may hire you someday or refer someone. They may share your content or promote your events. They may provide you with useful questions, feedback, and ideas for content.

The best way to keep people from leaving is to write things people want to read. Something valuable and interesting.

But people will still leave.

Can you get them back? Maybe.

Continue writing valuable content and encouraging your subscribers to share it. They may share it with someone who used to be on your list.

Keep promoting your sign-up page. Some lapsed subscribers may see it.

Keep doing what you’ve been doing and some of your subscribers will come back.

They may have a new legal problem. they see your name somewhere and realize they miss your pithy missives.

But let’s face it. It’s much easier to get new subscribers than to figure out how to get lapsed subscribers to return.

Here’s how to do that

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Focusing is easier when you do this

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Focus is the operative word. Stick with what you know and are good at, and keep doing it. That’s the key to success, isn’t it?

P.T. Barnum thought so:

“Do not scatter your powers. Engage in one kind of business only, and stick to it faithfully until you succeed, or until your experience shows that you should abandon it. A constant hammering on one nail will generally drive it home at last, so that it can be clinched. When a man’s undivided attention is centered on one object, his mind will constantly be suggesting improvements of value, which would escape him if his brain was occupied by a dozen different subjects at once.”

And yet, I encourage you to try lots of marketing ideas. I often talk about other things I’ve done, when I was practicing, and today.

You can do other things, just make sure you don’t do them all at once.

Do one thing at a time and do it as completely as possible before you start something else. Do it until you know it’s a go or a no, then move onto the next idea.

That doesn’t mean you can’t start doing something new while you’re also doing other things.

You can expand your network while you’re creating more content. You can build an email list while you’re working on a new presentation. You can build a side business, write books, or start other business projects while you’re growing your practice.

But don’t start something new until what you’re doing is on solid ground.

How do you’re there? When what you’re doing doesn’t depend completely on you.

You’ve got people working for you. You’ve got systems in place that allow you to get things done quickly and efficiently. You’ve got free time in your day to explore other ideas.

I’ve heard the word focus defined as, “Follow One Course Until Successful”. When what you’re doing is successful, then you can move on to something else.

How to build your practice with email

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A better way to take notes

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In a recent webinar, author and memory expert Jim Kwik taught his audience a better way to take notes.

First, he recommends hand writing instead of typing. Why? “It’s because you can’t write everything down,” he said. Hand writing, “forces you to add a filter and ask yourself questions about how important something is and how you’ll use it,” he said. This aids understanding and retention.

I don’t know that I’m ready to hand write all my notes, but he makes a good point. In a live presentation or meeting, I do use paper. With recorded lectures, I pause a lot to write down my thoughts.

Kwik also recommends adding “notes to your notes” (my term). Adding your own examples and anecdotes, for example, helps you see the information in context and further improves understanding and retention.

I did that when I was studying for the bar exam and found it immensely helpful.

As you write your notes, Kwik also suggest asking yourself 3 questions about the material: “How will I use this? Why must I use this? When will I use this?” Answering these questions will make it more likely that you’ll actually use and benefit from the information.

What if you don’t know the answers to those questions? I guess that’s when you listen to the presentation again.

You’ll want to take lots of notes when you listen to my email marketing course

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How to be successful when you’re not that good

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Look around you. Everywhere you look you see people earning a living, raising a family, and enjoying life. They have a job or own a business or practice, they buy cars and homes, they eat well, they travel, they have fun, and generally speaking, they’re happy.

They’re successful. And yet, most of these people aren’t doing anything spectacular. They’re average people doing average things.

How do average people become successful?

The answer is simple. They put one foot in front of the other and kept moving forward.

Consistency beats talent, luck, charisma, and hard work.

Most successful people became successful because they put in enough time.

They chose a career they liked and stuck with it. Their small, “average” efforts compounded over time.

How about you? You may not be exceptionally talented or hard working, but you can still build a successful practice and the life that goes with it.

Do the work. Stay the course. Eventually, people will notice. They’ll seek you out and tell others about you.

Now, if you ALSO have talent, or you’re willing to work hard (or smart), your odds are even better. You might get rich. You might be one of those overnight successes everyone talks about.

Keep moving. Your success is inevitable. Even if you’re not particularly good.

Marketing helps you get bigger, faster

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