I don’t have time for marketing

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A lot of lawyers say that. How about you? 

If you do, does this mean you have more work than you can handle and don’t want any more? You’re good.

Great. Live long and prosper. 

But before you declare yourself “done” with marketing, I want to point out a few ways you can “do” marketing without spending any more time. 

It comes down to things like

  • The words you use to describe your services 
  • How you answer questions asked by clients and prospects
  • The way you dress and the car you drive
  • What you say to a client at his or her first appointment 
  • Your fees and billing practices and how you describe them
  • What you send new clients to describe what happens next and how they can help you get the best results for them 
  • What you send clients at the end of a case or engagement, to make them glad they chose you and more likely to return 
  • What you say (and don’t say) that makes it more likely you will get referrals
  • How you handle a client who is unhappy
  • How you speak to other professionals and centers of influence in your market about your practice, your services, and about yourself. And about their business or practice.
  • What you say and do to differentiate your firm from the competition
  • How often you stay in touch with clients and what you tell them or send them when you do
  • The professionalism of your marketing copy
  • The range of services you provide, and how this compares to what your competition offers 
  • How you accommodate clients who have a special request or need
  • How you turn down a case or client
  • How you handle phone calls and interruptions when a client or prospect is in your office
  • The causes, charities and groups you support 
  • How quickly you respond to inquires and the tone of your response
  • What you do and don’t do on social media
  • Your advertising messages—content, tone, frequency, and offers
  • The energy and enthusiasm you show in person, on stage, and in interviews
  • The quality and content of photos and graphics used in your website and marketing documents
  • The stories you share about your cases and clients
  • How you treat your staff

It’s all marketing. Everything you do is marketing. 

It’s all part of how you inspire confidence in you and your ability to get excellent results for your clients, and it doesn’t take any more time to get it right. 

You may not have time for other kinds of marketing, but surely you have time for these. 

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Think big. Really big.

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Are you growing as fast as you’d like? Or do you want to get bigger results? Much bigger. So big, every day is exciting?

It’s up to you. 

If you want to earn a lot more this year than last year, you can but you have to change how you think and what you do. 

Because nothing will change unless you change. 

The first thing you need to change is your goal. It has to be bigger. So big, it sounds impossible. So big, it scares you. 

Because that’s the kind of goal that will excite you enough to get you to do the things you need to do to reach it. 

A goal to grow 20% this year might sound good, but you can do better. Change it to 200%. 

Impossible? How would you ever achieve that? You’re right. Forget it. You’ve got too much work to do to waste time daydreaming.

Or…. maybe…

If a goal makes your heart beat faster just thinking about it, it might be exactly what you need to do.

Because a goal like that forces you to make different decisions. Do things you haven’t been doing. In ways you might never have considered. 

You’ll make different plans. Instead of thinking about creating a new presentation, you might think about buying another lawyer’s practice, tripling your ad spend, or hiring a marketing firm. 

You might not do those things, but at least you’ll think about them, and that’s precisely the kind of thinking you need to get where you want to go.

Or, you can stick with your 20% goal, focus on getting your work done, putting our fires, and using the same marketing and business strategies you’ve been using.

It’s up to you.

It’s true, thinking bigger might lead to bigger mistakes. You might not come close to achieving your bigger goal. 

So? 

Set a goal to grow 200% and miss it by 50% and you will still double your income. Miss it by 75% and you’ll still be ahead of the original goal. 

Think big. Really big. So big that when you tell someone about what you’re doing this year, THEY get excited. 

The Attorney Marketing Formula will help you

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Why you need a story diary

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You are a storyteller. You tell them to friends, colleagues, clients, and juries. You put them in blog posts, articles, and presentations. You use them to make a point or share a light moment. 

Stories are how humans connect with each other. They help us win friends and influence people. 

And you need a steady supply of them. 

Where do you get them? By keeping your eyes and ears open and noting what other people talk about, write about, and do. You get them by observing your world. 

The best stories are usually about things you did or that happen to you because you have an emotional connection with those stories (and the people in them).

You solved a problem, did something new and interesting, or met someone who made an impression. When you share these stories, you help people understand, appreciate, and remember your message. 

And you.

When you talk about a troublesome case, for example, you help the reader or listener step into your shoes, see what you saw, and feel what you felt. It’s an effective way of illustrating something important or something you care about and think your audience will, too. 

Now, since stories are so valuable, you should create (or expand) the habit of collecting them. 

Set up a “story” file and add notes and articles and quotes you might use someday. In addition, take two-minutes at the end of each day and make a note of what you did (or saw or heard) that day. 

Who did you speak with? What problems did you solve or work on? What did you see or hear?

Did you sign up a new client? Settle a case? Improve a skill or start learning a new one?

Record your day in a diary or journal. You don’t need to write out the entire story. Just jot down enough details to help you remember it when you want to use it.

Your journal will make you a more effective writer, speaker, and communicator. It will help you win more friends and influence more people.

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Make it easier for clients to say ‘yes’

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According to a number of studies, giving customers too many options makes it less likely they will buy anything. In one oft-cited experiment, grocery shoppers were given the choice of a dozen flavors of jam to choose during a promotion. They sold more jam overall, however, when they gave shoppers fewer choices.

Too many options tend to lower response, ostensibly because shoppers get overwhelmed and can’t decide which to choose. Too many choices, apparently, means too many chances to make a poor choice.

But if too many options lower response (and profits), can the same be said about giving customers too few options? 

Most lawyers give prospective clients only two choices—hire me or don’t. What would happen if they offered more options? 

If you handle estate planning, for example, you might offer a basic estate planning package and a more comprehensive package. Does this make it more likely clients will hire you? Will you generate more revenue if you give clients two choices instead of one?

When I sold my referral marketing course, I started by offering one option. You could buy the course or not. When I added a Deluxe version, I got more sales and more revenue. (60% bought the higher-priced Deluxe package).

Two options were much more lucrative than one. 

But selling courses and selling legal services aren’t the same thing. The only way to know what is best for you is to test different offers and see what happens. 

Try one option, e.g., buy or don’t, vs. two options, e.g., Basic or Comprehensive, and three options, e.g., Basic, Comprehensive, and something in between. 

Crunch the numbers. 

But keep in mind that getting more new clients might not be as profitable as getting fewer new clients who pay a higher fee. And don’t forget the “back end”–the lifetime value of a client via repeat business and referrals. 

So, it’s complicated. But worth testing different options. Just not too many. 

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Look for the pony

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There’s an old joke about a boy who fell into a big stinky pile of dung. Instead of trying to escape, he dives headfirst into it and stays there, splashing around. When he finally extricates himself, he’s asked why he did that.

“With all that horse poop, I figured there had to be a pony.”

Dumb joke, but it illustrates an important point about maintaining a positive attitude in the face of a mess. 

When you have a problem or crisis, you might want to ignore it, curl up in a ball, or run away, but no matter how bad the problem is, there’s always something you can do.  

At least that’s how you should think about it. 

You can’t control what happened. You can control your response. 

Stay calm. You can’t panic yourself out of a crisis. Take 5 minutes for a pity party if you must and then take a deep breath and focus on what you can do.

Problems have solutions. Ask yourself “What happened?” “Why?” and “What can I do about it?” You might not enjoy revisiting the problem, but asking questions like these, and answering them, allows you to get clear about your situation and find a solution.

No matter what the solution, it will require action. You have to do something and it will almost always be something you haven’t been doing. That might mean getting out of your comfort zone and if that’s something you resist, consider that the discomfort it causes might be a lot less than what you will feel if you don’t fix the problem.

Take action, continue to do that, and fully expect that you “can fix this”. Because you are unlikely to fix it if you don’t believe you can.

While you’re at it, look for something good about what happened. Maybe you learned an important lesson. Maybe you explored some new ideas you can use in good times and bad. Maybe you lost something but gained something even better. 

When you fall into a pile of dung, look for the pony.

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A proven way to get more newsletter subscribers and seminar attendees

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The theory is that people sign up for your newsletter or attend your seminar or other event because they want to learn your wisdom, ideas, and advice. Or they want to know more about what you do and how you can help them. 

That’s the theory but, unfortunately, they don’t always take the time to do that. That’s why most professionals who write a newsletter or conduct seminars, etc., offer an incentive or bonus, aka “lead magnet” to entice more people to sign-up. 

And it works. In fact, more often than you might think, people sign up primarily (or solely) to get the bonus.  

But only if they believe that said bonus offers sufficient value in return for giving you their email. 

And so, if you want more sign-ups, make sure you create an effective lead magnet. 

How do you do that? You work just as hard (or harder) on the report or other bonus as you do on your newsletter or event. 

Because if they don’t sign up, it won’t matter how good your newsletter or seminar might be, prospects won’t see or hear it. 

The key to an effective lead magnet is the headline or title. It must instantly get the reader’s attention and persuade them to read or listen. Tell them what they will learn or get or be able to do as a result of reading or consuming the report.

Your report should help them solve a (painful) problem, one they know they have and want to get rid of. Or it should help them achieve a meaningful objective they ardently desire. 

Something they want or something they need. 

Ideally, your description of the report should say or imply that they can’t (easily) get this information anywhere else. One way to do that is to point out that your report is based on your years of experience working with clients with the same problems or desires as your reader, or it is a form or checklist you use regularly in your practice. 

The length of the report isn’t important. As long as it does what it says it does, and is something the reader wants or needs, you’ll get more sign ups. But since the ultimate goal is to get more clients, consider giving them a lot of high quality information. 

The more value, the better. 

You want them to think, “If she provides this much value in a free report, she must truly know what she’s doing and can afford to be this generous. I can’t wait to see how much value she gives paying clients.”

This gives you great posture—and a lot more sign-ups. 

How to create an effective newsletter, get more subscribers and more clients

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Writing prompts for a lawyer bio

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At some point, you may want to update the About page on your website or write a bio you can use in your other areas of your marketing. One place to start is to ask ai to provide you with questions or writing prompts you can ask yourself. I asked Copilot for questions a lawyer could use as prompts for writing their bio. Here’s what it gave me:

  • What inspired you to become a lawyer? 
  • What are your areas of expertise and specialization?
  • How long have you been practicing law and where did you get your education and training?
  • What are some of the most challenging or rewarding cases you have handled or been involved in? 
  • How do you approach each case and what are your goals and strategies for achieving the best outcome for your clients?
  • What are some of the values or principles that guide your work as a lawyer?
  • How do you keep up with the latest developments and trends in the legal field?
  • What are some of the skills or qualities that make you a good lawyer?
  • How do you balance your work and personal life and what are some of the hobbies or interests that you enjoy outside of work?
  • How do you cope with the stress or frustration that may arise from your work?
  • How do you communicate with your clients and what are some of the ways that you build trust and rapport with them?
  • How do you handle feedback or criticism from your clients, colleagues, or judges?
  • How do you collaborate with other lawyers or legal professionals in your field or network?
  • How do you deal with ethical dilemmas or conflicts of interest that may arise in your work?
  • How do you measure your success or satisfaction as a lawyer?
  • What are some opportunities or trends that you see or expect in the legal field or your area of specialization?
  • What are some of the goals or aspirations that you have for your career or professional development as a lawyer? 
  • What are some of the things that you would like your potential clients or website visitors to know about you or your law practice? 

Some of these are pretty good. You can use them as is, ask the ai to give you more specific questions relating to your practice areas, or re-write them yourself. You can also ask a friend to “interview” you using these questions as a starting point. Each time you answer a question, or even think about what you might say, it can help you think of additional questions or topics, as well as examples and stories you can use to flesh out your bio. 

This is a quick way to get material and inspiration for writing a bio but it isn’t the only way. You might get better results by simply searching for other attorney’s About pages, seeing what they say and how they say it, and using these as a template for your own. 

If you already have a bio, or About page, you might want to update or rewrite it. Take out the boring or long-winded parts, add fresh stories or examples, add links to sub-pages on your site with articles or case summaries you mention or want to readers to read after they read your bio.

Also consider re-writing in the first person, making your bio more informal and relatable (but still professional), or third person if that works better.

Once you’re done writing or updating your website bio, consider also writing a version that can be used as your introduction in interviews, when you speak publicly, on social profiles, and in your articles and reports. It might also be helpful to create both short and longer versions. 

Statistically, your About page is the most visited page on your website, often the first one visited. It’s worth doing the best job you can do, with or without ai assistance. 

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Why did your new client choose you? 

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Wouldn’t it be good to know the reason(s) your clients chose you instead of another lawyer or firm? 

I’ll answer for you: you bet. 

In fact, wouldn’t it be helpful to know why they hired an attorney at all, instead of self-help or doing nothing? And why now, instead of waiting? 

It’s valuable to know this because these are likely the same reasons other clients will hire you. If you know this, you can improve your marketing and get better results.

So, why did they do it? 

Is it how you describe your services? The social proof you provide? Your website and other content that showed them how you think and how you do what you do? 

Maybe it was something you offer that other lawyers don’t, like a “satisfaction guarantee”. Or something every lawyer does but usually doesn’t mention, such as the steps you take to investigate the case, research liability, or construct a demand letter. 

Maybe it’s your reputation in the courtroom. Maybe they like your ads. Maybe they thought you look friendly, or you look tough and they want you on their side.

Or maybe they saw you as a more affordable choice (although that’s not necessarily a good thing). 

It’s also possible they chose you because you don’t do or say things other lawyers do or say.

Happy day, you can find out these things by simply asking.

Talk to your new clients or ask them to fill out a questionnaire. Ask what attracted them, convinced them, or otherwise caused them to make an appointment or fill out a form. 

You can also “ask” what they liked best by examining the number of click-throughs and percentage of forms filled out among the different pages on your website. If you get a high percentage of clicks and opt-ins on a page that describes one aspect of what you do and how you work with your clients, for example, you’ll know to create more content like that. 

Another thing you can do is sit down with folks who resemble your ideal client and ask them to go through your website while you observe them. What page do they go to first? Next? What do they ignore or skim, what do they read completely? 

Do they ask any questions or offer any observations about certain pages or content? Do they make suggestions about what they would like to see or know?

Yes, you can hire experts to do this for you, but you can learn a lot by simply observing. Just as you can learn a lot by talking to or surveying new clients and asking them why they chose you. 

Your clients will tell you. Go ahead and ask.

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Use leverage to get bigger, faster 

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There are a lot of ways to grow your practice. Most involve improving and expanding what you’re already doing. 

Things like: 

  • Improving your SEO
  • Getting more sign-ups for your seminars
  • Getting more subscribers for your newsletter
  • Creating better content or ads
  • Learning how to better use LinkedIn (etc.) 
  • Converting more leads and prospects to clients
  • Getting more repeat business and referrals
  • Promoting your podcast, blog, newsletter, or channel
  • Getting more social media followers
  • Improving your networking or speaking skills
  • And so on

These are all worth considering. Each can help you grow your practice. But that growth is unlikely to be more than “incremental,” meaning single digit. 

That’s not bad, especially if you continue to do them and allow your results to compound. But if you’re looking to do something bigger or quicker, such as doubling or tripling your revenue this year, you should focus on strategies that can create that kind of result. 

One of the best, most leveraged methods for doing that is setting up strategic alliances with other professionals and businesses that sell to or serve your target markets. 

In short, you form a relationship with another lawyer or business professional, they endorse or recommend you and your services to their customers or clients, subscribers or followers, and you do the same for them. 

Because their clients trust them, their recommendations can quickly result in a large number of new clients for you. You don’t have to invest a lot of time or create new infrastructure. Your job is to identify suitable candidates, connect with them and propose an alliance. 

To start, that alliance can be as simple as mentioning each other’s upcoming event or recommending each other’s blog or podcast. As you get to know each other better, this might evolve into full-throated endorsements and referrals. 

You don’t need dozens of strategic alliances partners to make this a very profitable undertaking for you; you only need a few.

To learn how to do this, see my course on Lawyer-to-Lawyer Referrals

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The simplest way to improve the results of your advertising

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There are many things you can do to improve your advertising. You can use more effective sales copy, advertise in different publications or media, use different keywords, run different size ads, increase the frequency of your ads, and more. And you should regularly try (test) these to find the most effective and profitable combination. 

It can bring in more leads, bigger cases or better clients, and reduce your costs. 

But there’s something else you can do to immediately make your ads more effective and profitable. Make sure your ads contain a call-to-action. 

Most lawyers run “branding” ads, designed to get their name or firm name in front of their target market. They might include a list of practice areas or services or tout their capabilities, but the primary purpose is to promote the firm’s name instead of getting the reader or listener to respond to that ad. 

You want a response, don’t you?

You want the reader to call you, fill out a form, sign up for your list or event, or download your report. Don’t leave it up to them to figure out what you want them to do. Tell them. Every ad you run should have a “call to action”.

Tell them exactly what to do, make it easy to do, and tell them why they should.  

Why should they call? To make an appointment? Ask questions? Is there a cost? What will they learn? How will they be better off? 

Why should they sign up for your newsletter or seminar or report? What’s in it for them? 

Provide a call-to-action and you will get more calls, sign-ups, downloads, and clients. 

Simple as that. 

Look at ads placed by your competition. If their ad doesn’t have a call to action (what to do and why), and yours does, which ad do you think will do better? 

Ironically, your direct response ad will also brand you. 

Okay, point taken. But what if your ads already contain a call to action—What can you do to improve response? 

You can make the call to action more prominent. You can repeat it. You can add a deadline. You can improve the perceived value of the incentive you offer. You can provide testimonials or success stories from happy clients who called or signed up.

Also simple. And effective. 

One more thing. You should also include a call-to-action in all of your content. In your articles, podcasts, on your blog, in your newsletter, and in your presentations. 

Tell people what to do, and why, and make it easy to do, and more people will do it.  

How to use a newsletter to get more clients and increase your income

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