When the typo hits the fan

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I heard from an attorney who liked my new Kindle book but. . . found a typo. A big, hairy one I can’t believe I missed because it was in the introduction. In fact, it’s the word “introduction” which was missing the letter “r”.

Did you catch it? Neither did I.

Neither did my writing software. Or my editing/spell-check software. Or Amazon’s upload mechanism which gave me the “all clear” on spelling when I uploaded it.

I’ll take the blame but that software has some ‘splainin’ to do.

Anyway, Christine, the attorney who caught it, pointed out that the error could cost sales and she’s right. People judge you on things like this. So, as soon as I heard from her, I fixed it. It took a couple of minutes and the updated book was available within a few hours.

Which is one of the nice things about publishing ebooks. A few clicks and you can fix or update your book or the sales page and get back to work.

So, if you want to write a book but are concerned that it might not be your best work (or might have typos), go ahead and do it anyway.

But you might want to send a copy to Christine because she’s got a great eye for typos.

NB: “How to Sell Your Legal Services in 15 Seconds or Less” will be coming off the free promotion tomorrow so if you’d like a copy, grab it now.

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So simple, so easy to mess up

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Have you ever been interviewed and had the interviewer try to “share the stage” with you, talking too much instead of asking questions?

I have and it’s not good.

When you are invited to be the guest on a podcast or conference call, the host should edify you to their audience. They should present your background, say nice things about you, and make you look every bit like the expert you are.

They should make you look like you walk on water and glow in the dark so their audience will get excited about hearing you.

If they did that and then talk over you or share too much of their own knowledge and experience, they de-edify you.

Why did they invite you if they know what you know?

The host should introduce you, ask questions and let you do most of the talking. They shouldn’t interrupt you or contradict you or do anything that detracts from your image as an expert.

That doesn’t mean they can’t ask some sharp questions. It means they shouldn’t do anything to make you look bad.

Not in that kind of interview, anyway.

Edification is an important skill and it’s not that difficult. Take yourself out of the picture (mostly) and shine the spotlight on your guest.

Edification can also be used when you make a referral to another professional, introduce a guest at your event to another guest or to the speaker, or when you recommend a product or service or resource.

The only place you shouldn’t use it is when you’re talking about yourself.

Marketing is easier when you know The Formula

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Paid content vs. the other kind

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You’ve got content you give away to get leads and build your list. Because it’s free, it may or may not bring you high-quality leads.

But, you’ll take them.

If you get 100 sign-ups this month by giving away a report and only 5 “buy” your services, you could make out like a bandit.

The other option is to offer paid content.

Being a professional doesn’t mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) create seminars or books or other content that people pay for. You may earn some extra income that way (or turn it into a new business as I did), but there’s another reason to do it.

Better leads.

If your content provides value and is targeted to your ideal client, the leads and subscribers you get, while smaller in number, will usually be higher quality.

Which can bring you more clients. Probably better clients. With less effort because your content does most of the “selling” for you.

In my humble (but correct) opinion, you should consider creating both free and paid content. At the very least, publish a short book and use it to get traffic to your website.

On Amazon, you can run free promotions for your paid books, to get your book into more hands and improve the ranking.

Which is what I’m doing over the next few days for my latest book, “How to Sell Your Legal Services in 15 Seconds or Less.”

Starting tomorrow (Friday), for the next few days you can download the ebook at no cost.

You can get it here

It’s a quick read that spells out how to quickly get other people to understand what you do and how you can help them (or their clients). It also helps you find out if they are a candidate for your services and then transition to the next step such as an appointment or phone conversation.

So, check it out.

If you like the book, I’d appreciate your showing me some love and leaving a review. Even a few words help.

How to Sell Your Legal Services in 15 Seconds or Less.”

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Never forget rule #1

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Rule #1 of marketing: Nobody cares about you, they only care about themselves.

They don’t care about your office move–unless your new office is more convenient for them. They don’t care about your new website design–unless it makes it easier for them to find things they want. They don’t care about your vacation, what you ate for dinner, how you broke your leg or the birth of your latest grandchild.

Not really.

They may be mildly curious, they may congratulate you or wish you a speedy recovery, but they have their own lives to lead and they care about that far more than anything–or anyone–else.

I’m not saying you should never mention news about your work or anything about your personal life. You should. It allows people to get to know you better and that’s a good thing.

Just don’t talk about it too much or too often or think that anyone really cares.

Because they don’t.

Instead, talk about things they care about. Things that interest them or help improve their life or their business.

Talk about THEM. Name names if you’re able and talk about their business or industry something going on in their neighborhood.

If you target tech professionals, for example, talk about market trends (laws, changes, news, etc.) that affect them. Talk about people they know or might want to hear about. Talk about problems and solutions, predictions and stories related to their niche.

They’ll read every word you write.

They’ll also see you as someone who understands and supports them and they will share your content and recommend you to their colleagues and advisors.

You’ll build a reputation in their niche as THE attorney for that niche. Which means your marketing will be easier, less expensive, and more effective.

Where do you get all this information? From your clients and from other professionals who target that market, and from doing some research.

Inside Email Marketing for Attorneys, I’ve included guidelines to help you do that.

To see what it’s all about, go to Email Marketing for Attorneys.

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Should you hug your clients?

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A 2017 study underscores the importance of providing physical contact with infants, especially when they are distressed.

In fact, the study says that cuddling can “actually affect babies at the molecular level, and the effects can last for years.”

So, human touch is important to little humans. What about for grown-ups?

When a client is upset or needs reassurance that everything is going to be okay, I don’t need a scientific study to know that giving them a hug is just what the doctor ordered.

But I also know that in today’s PC climate, hugging a client can get you into a heap of trouble.

If your motherly or father instincts tell you the client needs comforting, I think it’s worth the risk. But I’d probably ask permission, make sure the door is left open, and not hug them too long.

If you’re not sure, there are other things you can do that might be “close enough”.

A pat on the shoulder might do the trick. Or a warm handshake and eye contact that sends them a virtual hug.

You could be a bit more solicitous–asking if they’d like some water, handing them a box of tissues, and offering additional words of comfort.

You could tell them a story about another client who had a similar situation or concern and that everything worked out okay.

Whether physical or verbal or a little bit of both, consider giving your clients a hug when they need it. It could be just what the doctor ordered.

Marketing is everything we do to get and keep good clients

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The four motorcycle riders of the apocalypse

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Early this morning I heard a very loud motorcycle gunning it down our otherwise quiet residential street.

Why so loud? Doesn’t he know people are still asleep?

I thought his indiscretion might be because

  1. He’s late for work.
  2. Force of habit. He’s always pushed the speed limit and continues to do that without thinking.
  3. He’s a jerk. He likes to ride fast, he wants to show off his expensive toy, and he doesn’t care if it bothers anyone.

Anyway, it made me think about the things lawyers sometimes do that might not serve us, doing things too quickly or habitually or just not thinking about others.

The times we rush through a presentation or a meeting because we’re late for something else. When we rush, we might miss something or leave a bad impression on our audience.

Lesson: slow down, leave enough time.

The way we do the same things we’ve always done the same way we’ve always done them. Conducting a deposition, for example, asking the same questions in the same order, without thinking or listening or paying attention to body language.

Lesson: mix things up, try a fresh approach from time to time.

The way we sometimes talk about ourselves too much instead of letting the other person do most of the talking. Not only do we risk coming off as uncaring, we may not get all the information we need to do a good job for our client.

Lesson: talk less, listen more.

So yeah, that’s what I thought.

But wait, there are four horsemen. That’s only three.

Okay, Sherlock.

I asked my wife if she heard the motorcycle this morning and told her what I was planning to write about. I told her the three reasons I thought the guy was gunning it through our street.

She said, “Or, he needed to give it more gas to get up that hill.”

Yeah, didn’t think about that.

Something else lawyers sometimes do, but shouldn’t: thinking we’ve got it all figured out.

If you know you don’t have it all figured out, here’s what you need

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Why clients choose you

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You ask your clients, “How did you hear about me?” Good. That’s important to know because it lets you do more of what’s working and less of what’s not.

Another helpful question to ask is, “Why did you choose me/our firm as your attorney?”

The odds are you were hired because of one or more of these reasons:

  1. They know you. They’ve hired you before or know you (or one of your employees) personally. Or, they follow you on social media, came to your seminar, or subscribe to your newsletter.
  2. They were referred to you. They know one of your clients, a professional or business contact, or someone else who recommended you.
  3. You offer something other lawyers don’t offer–better results, different services, house calls, etc.
  4. They chose you randomly. They saw your ad or found your website and saw that you do the kind of work they need, or your office is close to their house or on their way to work.

You can’t do much about the third and fourth reasons on this list. Where you can shine is with the first two. Which are about. . .

Your reputation.

You want clients and contacts to know, or be told by others who know you, that you are good at your job, but more importantly, that you are passionate about what you do.

You love your work, you love helping your clients, and it shows.

You give your clients extra time and attention. You make the evening call to see how they’re holding up after they get bad news. You go out of your way to help them with advice and recommendations and information that go beyond your legal services.

You show your clients you really do care about them.

Ultimately, most clients, certainly the best clients, choose you because of YOU.

Client relations is everything

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The ‘Trader Joe’s’ of law firms

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An article in Forbes is about what makes the ‘Trader Joe’s’ grocery chain so successful. It talks about how they provide good value, keep things simple, and give customers an enjoyable experience.

As a regular shopper myself, I have to agree.

But one point in the article, in particular, caught my eye. The way they value and support their employees.

TJ’s, as all the cool kids call it, understands that it is their employees that make everything work. Their employees are well-paid, respected, and empowered to provide customers with outstanding service.

Happy employees make happy customers.

And they do a good job of it. When I ask for something I can’t find, they don’t just tell me which aisle it’s on, they walk me to the item. They always smile and laugh at my jokes in the checkout line.

The people who work at TJ’s are friendly and happy and have a personality.

So, when I read this article, naturally I thought about you and your employees.

Okay, I thought about me and my (former) employees. Did I treat my staff as well as TJ’s treats theirs?

I think most of my employees liked working for me (most of the time). I paid them reasonably well, I didn’t micromanage them or chastise them when they messed up, and since the clients seemed to like them, I think I did okay.

Not up to TJ’s standards, I’m sure. But then TJ’s came in at number 23 on Glassdoor’s list of best places to work.

Truth be told, we could “get away” with a lot more back then. Many people were glad to have a job, even if it meant putting up with a boss who didn’t treat them well.

Today? Not so much.

Okay, over to you. How do you do with your employees?

Do you pay them well? Value their work and their contributions to your success?

Do you empower them to provide extraordinary service to your clients?

Do you go out of your way to keep them happy?

It used to be that the client was always right. If a client didn’t get along with one of your employees, for example, you usually took the side of the client.

Today, not so fast.

Employers have come to realize that the client isn’t always right and when they’re wrong, we need to stand up for our employees.

I’m pretty sure that’s how TJ’s does it.

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Never before, never again

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When you want people to do something–read your post, register for your event, take you up on your offer–it’s almost always a good idea to use an appeal to urgency.

You want to convey the feeling that what you’re offering or promoting has “never before been available, and it never will again.”

You probably won’t say those words (although you might) but that’s the feeling you want to convey.

Urgency is an important tool in your marketing toolbox because it’s tough enough to get people to do anything, even when it is in their best interests.

Urgency, special offers, scarcity, and other “devices” usually increase response. I use them. You should too.

Problem is, we know that most people are busy and don’t have time to watch every video or read every post.

I’m on a lot of lists and when I get an email telling me a certain video I wanted to watch will be taken down in 24 hours, more often than not, I delete the email and carry on with my day.

But here’s the thing.

When I get an email from certain people, I do everything in my power to watch the video or visit the page.

I trust and respect them and if they’re recommending it, I’m in.

I have a short (mental) list of people I follow that don’t have to try hard to “sell” me on anything. It doesn’t mean I’m going to buy everything they sell or recommend, just that they have earned the right to my attention.

I hope I have earned that right with you. That’s the goal. To be on your shortlist of “must-reads”–someone you respect and trust and listen to.

And that should be your goal with your list.

Most people won’t make the cut. But if you can earn the trust and loyalty of even a small percentage of the people on your list, you’ll be in good shape.

If you do it right, those people will keep your waiting room filled.

They’ll supply you with repeat business and referrals. They’ll send traffic to your website, promote your content and events, and otherwise help your list and your practice grow.

If you don’t have a list, it’s time to start one. If you do have a list, it’s time to send them something.

How to do email right

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Hard selling your list

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You have a list. You want your subscribers, friends, and followers to hire you, refer you, promote you, or otherwise do something that will (eventually) bring you more business.

That’s why you have a list, right?

You want people who have never hired you to pull the trigger. You want old clients to contact you about a new matter. You want referrals, reviews, sign-ups for your seminar, and you want people telling others about you or your content so you can build your list.

But you don’t want to overdo it. You don’t people on your list to leave or get pissed off and then leave. You don’t want people to think you’re too spammy or unprofessional.

So, how much is too much?

First, as long as you’re writing something your readers find interesting or valuable or that allows them to connect with you, you can’t write too often. Even every day is not too often.

So, not boring. Check.

But what about selling? How “pushy” or “salesy” can you be, should you be, and how much is too much?

In a nutshell: soft sell regularly and hard sell occasionally.

Yes, I said hard sell. You can (and should) do it because there are people on your list who need your help but need a little push. A hard sell from time to time may be just what they need to finally take action.

Good for them and obviously good for you.

Just don’t do it all the time because you’ll wear out your welcome.

We’ve all signed up on lists where everything we get is a hard sell. Pitch, pitch, pitch, urgency, scarcity, now or never, coming out of their pores.

Yeah, don’t be that guy.

Marketing is seduction. You can’t constantly ask your list to go to bed with you.

But this isn’t something most attorneys do. Most attorneys do the opposite.

They send lots of information but never sell anyone on anything.

News flash: you’re not in the information delivery business.

You’re in the helping business, so tell people what to do to get your help.

Tell your subscribers to make an appointment or call with questions or sign up for your next event.

Do that regularly because you never know when someone on your list is ready to take the next step.

While you’re at it, tell them to invite their friends to see your video, read your blog, or sign up for your newsletter. Their friends need your help, too.

Sometimes, you push a little. Sometimes, you push a lot. Sometimes, you add a link (and a few descriptive words) and let your readers decide if there’s something they should see.

In other words, mix it up.

In other words, be normal. Like you’re having an ongoing conversation with people you care about and want to have in your life for years to come.

Because you are.

My email course shows you how to do it right

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