Do two things every day

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The practice of law is complex. Lots of people to please, things to do, rules to follow. If you want to succeed, you have to get a lot of things right.

But clearly, some things are more important than others.

Some cases are bigger. Some clients are more valuable.

Make sure that every day, you work on your biggest case or you do something for your most valuable client.

Make this your priority. Do it first, if possible, and no matter what else occurs the rest of the day, your day will be a success.

Your practice is also a business, however, and you need to work on that, too.

Your business continually needs new clients. New people learning what you do and how you can help them or their friends or readers or clients.

So, every day, you should do your most important business-building activity.

That’s the plan. Do two things every day, one for your clients, one for your practice.

And yes, you need both. Because a professional practice doesn’t build itself.

In his Masterclass, David Mamet tells aspiring screenwriters, “You’ve got to do one thing for your art every day, and you’ve got to do one thing for your business every day.”

What “one thing” will you do today to build your business?

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Piggybacking on the news

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Wisconsin now allows “service of discovery notices, motions, judgment offers, and documents by email,” according to a report from the Wisconsin Bar, “if the recipient consents [thereto] in writing.”

If you like this idea and want to see something similar implemented in your state, why not take the lead on it?

No, not because you would like to see this implemented in your state–that would be a bonus. Take the lead because it gives you another way to build your practice.

How’s that?

It gives you an “excuse” to reach out to connected people in your state–legislators, big-firm law partners, well-regarded writers and editors, and so on. People who might otherwise not give you the time of day.

Pick up the phone and call someone. Write some letters. Join a Bar committee. And start talking about the issue.

Some people will share your interest. They may introduce you to others who are already talking about it.

You’ll make some new contacts. You might get invited to submit an editorial or asked to speak at an event.

You could start by contacting the folks in Wisconsin who took the lead in getting this passed. Ask for information and advice about doing something similar in your state.

Taking the lead on this, or any issue, gives you a way to stand out from the crowd and create something out of nothing.

Want some new clients? New referral sources? New places to write or speak or network? Want to get your name in the news?

Find something already in the news and start talking about it.

More ways to connect with other professionals

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The one hour workday

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Many years ago, when I was making appearances for other attorneys, I was hired by the wife of an attorney who had become ill and couldn’t work for the better part of a year.

He could talk to clients on the phone but couldn’t leave home. During his convalescence, I handled his court appearances, depos and arbitrations.

I thought about that recently when I read a question posed by James Clear in his newsletter:

“If you were forced to work for just one hour per day, what would you work on during that hour to be most effective?”

It’s a good question, no matter our state of health.

What if you could only work one hour a day? What would you do?

You can probably guess my answer. Assuming I had competent help, I’d spend that hour on marketing.

I wouldn’t do the legal work. Why do something that’s worth hundreds of dollars when you could do something that could be worth many thousands?

One hour of focused marketing activity each day could bring in enough new business (and repeat business) to earn you a fortune.

My point? Why not do that now?

Take an hour a day and make some rain. You can spend the rest of the day doing legal work or supervising others who do the legal work, or a combination of both.

Or, you could take the rest of the day and do anything else that floats your boat.

If an hour of marketing is too much to comprehend, start with 15 minutes. You can make a lot of calls in 15 minutes.

Just something to think about as you get ready to plan the upcoming year.

Want help? Get The Formula

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Last day!

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The deluge (of emails and ads) is almost over. At least until later this month when they pick up again.

‘Tis the season.

And there’s something to be learned from watching it all.

In particular, the power of deadlines.

When you know there are only a few hours left before you “lose” a discount, or there are only a few widgets left before they are all gone, it plays to our innate “fear of loss”.

Psychologically, we already “own” the discount or the widget, and it’s about to be taken away from us.

So we click the button, make the call, or get in our car and face the long lines, to get what’s ours.

Fear of loss is much more powerful than desire for gain.

And it’s something I suggest you use in your marketing.

You have to be creative to do that since (I presume) you don’t usually offer discounts or have a sale. But there are ways to do it.

So, look for them. They are powerful. Just don’t overuse them.

Which is why I don’t offer discounts often. And when I do, I put strict limits on them.

And. . . today really is the last day you can get my courses at a discount.

Specifically, these two:

Email Marketing for Attorneys and The Quantum Leap Marketing System.

If you subscribe to my newsletter, check your email for the discount codes.

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The easiest way to grow your practice

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There are many elements that go into an effective marketing campaign. And by campaign, I mean all of things you do to bring in new clients and repeat business and otherwise build your practice.

All of it.

Headlines and email subject lines, offers, building trust, building relationships, stimulating referrals, client relations, SEO, effective website navigation, content marketing, engagement, copywriting, and the list goes on.

Some factors are much more important than others. But there is one factor that is MOST important.

What is it? Frequency of communication.

How often your prospective clients, current clients, former clients, referral sources, and everyone else who can hire you or refer you or promote you hears from you.

If they rarely hear from you, you can’t expect much from them. If they hear from you often, all things being equal, you can expect to see more new business, repeat business, referrals and other goodness.

So, if you do anything different in the new year, let it be to connect with people more often.

The simplest way to do that is by email.

Which just happens to be the subject of my Email Marketing for Attorneys course.

It shows you what to say and how to say it for maximum effect. And it shows you how to do everything you need to do in one hour per week or less.

Go here for all the details.

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Multi-tasking for the win

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“What’s your best productivity hack?” That’s the question posed to a group of busy executives whose answers were reported in an article I just scanned. (That’s one of my hacks: scan more, read less).

Anyway, a surprising number mentioned a specific type of multi-tasking they do. Several of the respondents use their driving time to make calls.

It lets them use what would otherwise be downtime to get some (billable) work done.

That surprised me because everyone “knows” multi-tasking doesn’t work. You can’t effectively do two things at once.

Yes, but there are exceptions and for some people, talking and driving is one of them.

But not for me.

When I’m driving, I find it difficult to give someone on the phone my full attention. I’m sure I sound distracted because, frankly, I am.

Probably why some states want to outlaw it.

There are other ways to use drive time (or commute time). You can do some dictation, listen to podcasts, rehearse a presentation, or record notes about your current case or project.

I’ve done all of the above, in the car and on my walks. Much easier when it’s just you.

Generally, though, I get my best work done when I concentrate on one thing at a time.

But, there is an exception here, too.

I often do some of my best thinking in the car. I reason my way through problems, brainstorm ideas, and flesh out “the next step” in whatever I’m working on.

But I won’t call anyone to discuss it until I get home.

When you’re ready to take a quantum leap in your practice, click here

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Oops

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Got an email recently from a business consultant who contacts me a few times a year.

That’s her first mistake. A few times a year and people forget who you are or why they signed up on your list. Or IF you signed up on your list.

But I remembered her and didn’t send her email to spam.

Unfortunately, even though we’ve spoken, she didn’t remember me.

Her email started like this: “Hi David”.

So far, so good.

Then it said, “As a female entrepreneur or professional who provides a service paid by the hour, or by the session, I would love your thoughts.

I am doing important research about business women like you and would much appreciate 15 minutes of your time.”

Yeah, not female, don’t charge by the hour, don’t have sessions.

And that’s why I usually don’t segment my lists and when I do, I keep it simple.

Because if you make a mistake, you lose credibility and subscribers.

Put me on a list of professionals or consultants or brilliant minds, we’re good. Put me on a list of people who haven’t bought, ditto.

Or, put me on one list, along with all of your subscribers, and don’t sweat the details.

Then you can write, “If you’re a female entrepreneur. . .”

And not worry about making a mistake (or trying to clean up your lists after you hear from a bunch of subscribers who are on the wrong list.)

Now. . . don’t misunderstand.

When you do segment your lists and you know precisely to whom you’re speaking, it’s good to be able to show them you know who they are and what they do.

When you write to a niche market, for example, you want to talk about issues that pertain to that market. You want to use industry-specific terms and tell stories about people in that niche.

When you do that, your readers see that you “get” them and you often get a higher response.

Just be careful. Make sure you haven’t messed up your lists.

And if you’re not sure, make sure you say, “If. . .”.

Email marketing for attorneys

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What’s the secret?

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In interviews, Jerry Lewis was routinely asked for the secret to comedy. He would often ask the interviewer to repeat the question.

Before they could finish asking, Lewis would interrupt with the answer: “Timing”.

Which usually got a laugh. Because it was a display of spectacularly bad timing.

Sometimes, he’d go in for seconds. “Okay, ask me again.”

After they repeated the question, Lewis would say nothing. Dead air. Then, after a few beats, he would repeat the answer.

Yes, timing is the key to comedy, and displaying bad timing is not only a great way to make the point, it’s funny.

Sometimes, Lewis would explain the key to developing your timing: lots of practice.

You do your jokes and shtick often enough and your timing improves.

Isn’t that what Jerry Seinfeld said about his process? When he was starting out, he wrote at least one new joke every day. He’d mark an X on a wall calendar each day he did this. Eventually, he had a chain of X’s, leading to his oft-quoted advice, “Don’t break the chain.”

Because that’s how you improve any skill.

The point is that if there’s something you want to improve, a skill or a habit, you practice it. Do it often enough and you get better.

If you write every day, you become a better writer. Faster, too.

If you regularly practice your presentation, your delivery improves.

Practice is the key to improvement in sports, playing an instrument, our work.

And marketing.

If you want to get better at networking, for example, you practice networking skills.

Introducing yourself to a stranger. Building rapport. Finding out what the other person needs or wants so you can find a way to help them.

Telling someone about yourself is another networking skill. It’s also the subject of my latest book, “How to Sell Your Legal Services in 15 Seconds or Less”.

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4 out 5 people don’t open your emails (and that’s okay)

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The “open rate” for emails in the legal “industry” is 22%, according to this article. About average, it turns out, across all industries. 

So, why do I rap incessantly about how effective email is for marketing a law practice?

Because a low open rate doesn’t matter. Just seeing your name show up in their email inbox makes a difference. 

Not everyone who gets your email needs your services when your email arrives. Nor do they have time to read every message. But, every time they get an email from you, they see that you’re still helping people solve legal problems and still sending out your newsletter as promised. 

You make an impression every time you send. 

And, when they do need you, or talk to someone who needs your help, they remember you are in their life (and inbox) and read your latest. 

You may be curious about my “open rate”. It must be through the roof, right?

I don’t know. I don’t track my open rate or click rate or any other rate. It’s not important to me. As long as I’m getting sales, that’s all that counts. 

I write something I think you’ll find interesting or useful, makes you think or makes you laugh. I tell you about my products and services, books and course, and tell you what they can do for you. 

As long as people buy or hire me, I’m good.

I don’t get bogged down in the minutia. I don’t sweat the small stuff or spend a lot of time trying to write the perfect missive.

I put some words on “paper” and send it out.

Which is precisely what you should do with your newsletter.  

You can learn everything you need to know right here.

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It takes two to tango

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Marketing isn’t about you. Oh, you’re an important part of it, just not the only part. You have a partner, a prospective client, the person you’re courting, and you can’t ignore them.

Just like you can’t ignore your partner on the dance floor.

You lead, of course, because it’s your dance. But you can’t make your partner do anything they don’t want to do.

Dancing has rules.

You don’t walk up to someone and start dancing, you ask them if they’d like to dance and give them your best smile. If they agree, you take their hand and lead them to the dance floor.

You start by getting to know them and letting them get to know you. You hold them and make them feel safe with you, and let them get into the rhythm of the dance.

You take a step, they move with you. You take another step, they do too.

On and on you go, guiding your partner, until the song ends and another begins. If they enjoyed dancing with you, they’ll let you know they want to continue. If not, they may go powder their nose and never return.

Marketing is like dancing. You lead, they follow, and, if all goes well, both of you have a good time.

When the dance is over, you have a new client.

And then you begin a different dance.

Marketing isn’t something you do on your own. You do things to attract people who might need what you offer, you show them what you can do, and you pay attention to how they respond.

You lead, they follow. You take them from where they are to where they want to go.

If you do well, if they like your moves (and you), they might want to come home with you.

Marketing is easier when you know The Formula

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