It’s not who you know


It’s who they know. Which means you don’t need a large network to build a successful practice. Just a well-connected one.

If you know just 10 people who are influential in your target market, they can lead you to a multitude of new clients and referral sources. 


  1. Stop wasting time networking with the masses of people who aren’t influential in your market. Focus on the “precious few” who can send you a lot of business or introduce you to other influential people in your market. 
  2. Identify people you want to know by name, and work out a plan to meet them. 
  3. Start with people you already know. Go through your list(s) and identify 5 contacts who are influential in your target market and like and trust you. Spend more time with them. Find out who they know and ask them to introduce you. 
  4. Next, draw up a list of 25 or 30 people you don’t know but would like to. They might be high quality prospective clients or other centers of influence who appear to know the kinds of people you would like to meet. Ask the people you know if they know any of these people and, if so, ask them to introduce you. 
  5. Study the people you identify. What do they want or need? Who do they know? How can you get their attention? What can you do to help them and/or their clients or customers? 

And then get to work meeting these new people. 

You might have to go through quite a few people before you find the ones who are receptive to meeting you and eventually working with you. 

But you only need a few. 

This will help you do all of the above


A simple tool for getting more referrals


It’s extremely effective, costs little or nothing to use, and doesn’t take a lot of time. You can start using it today and start getting referrals almost immediately. 

Without talking to anyone. 

Yes, I’m talking about email marketing. Which means using email to stay in touch with people you know—clients, prospects, business contacts, even other attorneys. 

When you do, you’ll get more referrals. 

In this context, a referral can occur when someone forwards your email to someone they know who might need your help. Or know someone who does.

To start, ask people if you can contact them from time to time via email, with a newsletter, announcements, or special offers. That’s your initial list. (Don’t assume you can do this; ask).

Then, send them valuable or interesting information once a week (or at least once a month) and include a link to a page on your website about what you do and how you help your clients.  

When you email your list, ask your readers to forward your emails to their contacts. If the content is good, they will. And their contacts will find out what you do and how you can help them. 

Your list will grow and so will your referrals. 

If you want to grow faster, add a sign-up form on your website or blog for visitors to subscribe to your newsletter. Offer an incentive such as a report, ebook, checklist, or form for signing up. 

Your list will grow and so will your referrals. Which is why email marketing is one of your best tools for getting more referrals. 

Not everyone can hire you. But EVERYONE can send you referrals. 

Email Marketing for Attorneys


Less isn’t always more


Some clients and prospects don’t want to know how you make your sausages. They just want you to deliver the meal. 

Some clients and prospects want to know everything. 

They want the details. What you do, how you do it, why you do it this way instead of that.

Many lawyers don’t provide a lot of details. Probably because they think their clients aren’t interested. But maybe they don’t want to go to the bother of explaining.

But they should explain.

Providing details, the step-by-step procedure, the method behind the madness, gives a client confidence in a lawyer and the legal system. And shows them why that lawyer earns more in an hour than they earn all week. 

Give people the details about what you do and how things work. If a client doesn’t want to know everything, they don’t have to read everything. But I guarantee they will like knowing that you know all the details. 

This goes for your services, your operations (how you run your office), and your content. Err on the side of telling them too much rather than too little. 

When you describe your services, for example, explain the steps you take and the reasons you take them. Don’t just tell them the what and when, tell them the how and why. 

You’re good at explaining things. Explain things. And show your readers where they can learn more. 

Because people want to know.


Content marketing. Are you doing it wrong? 


Content marketing is perfect for attorneys because it allows them to showcase their knowledge and experience and give prospective clients (and the people who refer them) a taste of what it would be like to work with them. 

It’s an extremely effective, low-cost way to attract a steady stream of leads, prospects, subscribers, fans and followers, and new clients. 

No advertising or promotion required. 

There are two steps:

  1. Create content (or hire people to create it for you), and
  2. Post it on a website, blog, newsletter, podcast, or on social. You can also share it with other professionals and content creators who can share it with their clients and prospects. 

It doesn’t have to be brilliant. Or comprehensive. But it does have to provide helpful information.

Something attorneys can deliver in spades.

You educate prospective clients about the law and procedure, their risks, responsibilities, and options, and thus show them what you do and how you can help them (and their clients and prospects). 

Some attorneys tell me they don’t want to do this because it means giving away their knowledge and advice, the very things they charge for. “If I show people what to do, they won’t need to hire me,” they say, “they’ll just do it themself”. 

Au contraire. 

You don’t have to tell them everything. Just enough to get them to realize they need to talk to you about the specifics of their case. When they do, you get more clients, not fewer.

Or, go ahead and tell them everything. Tell them how to prepare and file the document or solve the problem. Some will. But these “freebie seekers” were never really prospective clients, so you lose nothing. 

A small percentage will do it themself and won’t need you. A much bigger percentage will try, mess up, and need you even more. 

Yes, some people will consume your content and successfully do everything themself. That’s okay. Because they will then hire you for something they can’t do themself. Or refer you to others who can’t or don’t want to do it themself. 

Bottom line, the more content you produce, the more you prosper. 

So, what do I mean by doing content marketing wrong? I mean not doing it all. 

There are a lot of things you can do to bring in more clients and increase your income but nothing is as simple and cost-effective as telling people what they need and want to know (and search for) and letting it do most of your marketing for you. 

How to create better content (and more of it)


A simple formula 


According to Wikipedia, “Copywriting is the process of creating persuasive marketing and promotional materials that motivate people to take some form of action, such as making a purchase, clicking on a link, donating to a cause, or scheduling a consultation.” 

There are several copywriting formulas, starting with the most well known AIDA, which stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. 

You can’t convince anyone to do something unless you first have their attention. That’s your headline or lead. 

Once you have their attention, you present information that builds interest for your product or service or solution. 

You then build desire for your product or solution by showing them how they will be better off when they buy it. 

Finally, you prompt them to take action to get what you offer. 

It works for most products or services, including legal services, but I use a somewhat different formula: PASBA. 

PASBA stands for Problem, Agitation, Solution, Benefits, and (call to) Action. 

  1. Problem. What does your reader want and what’s stopping him from getting it? Sometimes, especially with an abstract like legal services, they don’t even realize they have a problem until you point it out. 
  2. Agitate. What can happen if they don’t fix the problem or get what they want? What can they lose? How bad can it get? What pain and secondary problems might occur? Show them examples, stories, statistics, or other factors to illustrate and build desire for a solution.  
  3. Solution. What you can do to solve, mitigate, or prevent the problem, or help them achieve their goal? Tell them about your services and options. 
  4. Benefits. What do they get when they hire you? Will they feel relief? Be safer, happier, or otherwise better off? 
  5. Call to action. Tell them what to do to get your solution and benefits. Tell them how to get started, encourage them to take the first step, and create urgency for doing that with a deadline or by reminding them about the risks of delay or inaction.   

You can use variations of this formula in sales copy, emails, web pages, from the stage, in person, or any time you want to convince people to do something you want them to do. 

Make sure they know the nature and extent of their problem, what you can do to help them, how they will be better off, and what to do to get started. 

If you do, you’ll get more clients and help more people. If you don’t. . . 


Do this and you’ll get more leads, subscribers, and clients


Notice I didn’t tell you what “this” is. You want to know what it is, don’t you? So you started reading. And thus, illustrate the power of this principle—curiosity.

Humans are curious creatures. And you can use their curiosity to get them to do what you want them to do.

Prospective clients want information. They want answers. They want to know what can be done to solve their problem and achieve their goal. Which is why they visit your website, read your posts, sign up for your newsletter, watch your videos, and sign up for your seminar. 

It’s also why they contact you, make an appointment, and keep it.   

But hold on. You can’t rely on their innate “desire to know” to get them to do what you want them to do. You have to build on their curiosity. Make them hungry enough to take action. 

How? By not telling them everything they want to know. 

Hold back. Tell them some of the basics, but don’t tell them everything. 

Most lawyers know that but don’t always do it. They want to impress the prospective client with their knowledge and experience and wind up telling them too much. Too much information, too many answers to frequently asked questions, too much detail.

They don’t have to take the next step if you’ve already told them everything.

Many lawyers do the opposite. They don’t tell them enough. They tell them their practice areas and accomplishments (in an ad or directory listing or website) and nothing else. They assume this is enough to compel prospective clients to call or write or fill out a form. 

But it’s not. They want more. 

Your challenge is to tell them enough so they see you have the information and solutions they need and want, but not so much that they don’t need to take the next step.

Make them curious. Don’t satisfy their curiosity. 


Are you better than your competition?


Maybe. But the average lawyer is, by definition, average and unless you can delineate what you do better than other lawyers, you can’t call yourself better. Just average. 

Do you get better outcomes for your clients? Give them more value? Help them in ways that go beyond your core legal services? 

What. Exactly. Do. You. Do. Better? 

I know that’s a tough call. Start by noting what you do differently, meaning that your competition doesn’t regularly do. 

I know, that’s also tough, because many attorneys do what you do and you do what they do. Same laws, same procedures, same basic process, and very much the same outcomes and deliverables. 

It’s true. 

Still, if you want to stand out and show prospective clients an advantage to hiring you (instead of them), you need to give them reasons. 

Why should they hire you “instead”?

You need to figure that out. Don’t worry. It’s not as difficult as you think. Because in marketing, “different” is often seen as “better”. 

So, what do you do that’s different? 

It doesn’t have to be big and amazing. It could be as simple as your process for investigating a new case and setting up a new file (for example). 

What’s so special about that? Maybe nothing. Probably nothing. Your competition probably does the same things you do (questions, research, investigation, forms, first steps, etc.)

But while you (and your competition) see how you open a new file as small and commonplace and not worth mentioning, it can be a big deal to your clients who don’t know what you do and why it’s important.

By providing a few details about what you do, and why, something small and commonplace can be a big deal.  

Clients don’t know all the steps you take, the forms you use, the procedures you follow, and the benefits these confer. 

So, tell them. When you do, what’s commonplace and boring to you (and your competition) becomes important. 

And gives you an advantage. 

And, if you describe what you do when you open a new file and your competition doesn’t (because they assume everyone does it and it’s not worth mentioning), in the eyes of your prospective clients, you “own” that advantage. 

Which is why you start by researching your competition, to see what they do (and don’t do), and what they say (and don’t say) about it.



110% effort? 


You can accomplish most things worth accomplishing without extreme effort. In fact, giving things your all might be counterproductive. 

You get tired and make mistakes. You have unreasonable expectations and feel bad for falling short. You spend most of your time on one project and your other responsibilities and goals suffer. 

Of course 110% effort isn’t possible. Neither is 100%. Even 90% is too much. Instead, some experts suggest you dial down your effort to 85%.

Supposedly, that’s the sweet spot. Enough effort (time, energy, commitment) to be manageable and avoid burnout. Enough to allow you to do your best work and accomplish your most important goals.  

You’ve only got so much juice to give. Scale back. You’ll be more productive. 


I like pain. It feels so good when it stops. 


Why do people hire you? Because you help them solve their problems and alleviate their pain. Or protect them from problems that could cause them pain.

Sometimes, they think they can do this themself. Or they don’t realize how bad things could get and they wait.  

You need to splash cold water on them and wake them up. 

Tell them why they shouldn’t try to fix things themself and why they shouldn’t wait. 

Tell them why they need to call you now.

Tell them they should at least find out their options (and risks), and give them examples of clients who didn’t do that and suffered. The clients who didn’t listen when you told them to have you review that contract before they sign it or ask you about their problem when it was small and relatively easy to fix. 

Talk about the pain this cost them. And then talk about the clients who took action, and how everything turned out okay. 

You know the drill. 

Of course “prevention” is a harder sell then “cure” so when you’re talking about what could happen if they don’t talk to you or follow your advice, be a little dramatic about what can happen—you’re doing them a favor.

Use their fear to motivate them to act.

One way to do that, especially right now, is to talk about the economy. Inflation, foreclosures, losing their job, credit card debt, the rising cost of feeding their family—it’s on everyone’s mind, especially the people who need to talk to you the most.

They’re in pain and afraid things will get worse. Agree with them, and then tell them how they can get relief. 

People do things (and hire lawyers) for two reasons: pain and pleasure.

Make sure you talk about both. 


It’s like dating


You meet a lot of people and eventually zero in on someone you’d like to know better. You go out on a date, things get serious, and if all goes well, you get married and live happily ever after.

The same way you get your next (good) client. 

No, it’s not the only way. In fact, most lawyers don’t do this. They don’t single out someone they’d like to “date,” but they could. 

Should they? Should you? 

Find a few prospective clients, people who have the things you want in a client, figure out a way to meet them, and eventually date them and sweep them off their feet. 

Sound like a plan?

You’d have no competition to speak of, other than the lawyer or firm they’re currently “married” to. If they “split up,” or decide they like you better, they may become your next client.

Or introduce you to their unmarried friend from work who needs your help.