The fortune is in the follow-up


In marketing, many lawyers prioritize getting new leads and attracting new prospects when they should prioritize following-up with the ones they already have.

Anyone who expressed interest is far more valuable to you than someone you’ve never spoken to, doesn’t recognize your name, and may or may not have any interest in hearing how you can help them.

And since you’ve already invested your time or money to acquire those leads or attract those inquires, why wouldn’t you follow up?  

Some attorneys never follow-up. They meet someone, give them their card, and leave it up to the would-be client to take the next step. Or someone visits their website and downloads their report or asks a question and once they deliver the report or answer the question, that’s it. No additional follow-up.  

They justify this by saying, “If they want to know more, they know where to find me.”

This may be true, but it is beside the point. They showed interest but may not be ready to take the next step or ask for more information. If you don’t follow up with them, by the time they are ready to hire you or talk to you, they may not recall your name or know where to find you.

Or they hire another lawyer who did follow-up.

How long should you follow up? Days? Weeks? Months? Years?

Forever. Until they “buy or die”. 

Actually, don’t stop after they buy. They might buy again. Or need an update. Or tell someone about you. Or provide a review or testimonial. Or share your content. Or ask a question that gives you a great idea for your newsletter.

Don’t stop when they die, either. Their surviving spouse or children or partner may need your services, or know someone who does. 

So never stop. Once someone is on your list, don’t stop emailing or remove them unless they tell you to. 

“But I don’t want to annoy them?” 

Annoy them. You might email them precisely when they need you and be very glad you did.

It’s better to contact someone too often than not often enough. They can delete or ignore your emails, click the link to remove themselves from your list, or tell you to do it for them. 

How often should you contact them? At the beginning, just after you’ve met them or spoken to them or they signed up for your report, more often. They are more likely to hire you or take the next step with they are “fresh”.

Make your initial follow-ups more personal and do them more often. Strike while the iron is hot. 

After a suitable period, stay in touch with them more generally and (perhaps) less often, via a newsletter. You might choose to supplement that with something more personal: a card, a call, a reminder of something they told you or asked you about, but you don’t have to. You can let your newsletter do the heavy lifting, and it will.

How to use an email newsletter to follow-up with prospects and clients


How much is that doggy in the window?


You know, the one with the waggly tail? 

How much does he cost? And how much is he worth? 

He’s more than a bag of bones and fur, you know. He’s warm and cuddly and will make you smile and laugh and love you to pieces. 

He’s worth far more than he costs. 

Just like the value of your services. 

Clients aren’t just buying the results you deliver. That’s a big part of it, but they’re also buying other benefits like the way you treat them and take care of them and make them feel safe. 

They’re buying a bundle of benefits and they are part of the value you deliver.  

Value includes everything you do to make your client’s life happier, easier, safer, or more profitable. At a price they’re willing to pay. 

How much is all that you do worth to them? I don’t know, but your clients will tell you. They’ll tell you by the way they say thank you, the ease with which they pay, their repeat business and referrals, their positive reviews, and how they sound when they hear your voice on the phone. 

I don’t know if you have a waggly tail, but you’re worth more than a bag of bones and fur. 


What do you block when you time block?


What do you put on your calendar? Sure, you schedule appointments, conference calls, and other activities that have a date and time component, but do you also block out time for things you might not do if you didn’t block out the time in advance? 

Like marketing, working on a business project, reading or personal development? 

The best way to “find” time to do those things is to schedule them in advance. 

Some people schedule most of their day. Every hour is dedicated to something they need to do or want to do. Some break down their day into 15-minute increments. Others schedule blocks of time for “focus” work, an hour or two or three for so-called deep work that requires a fair amount of energy and concentration.

Me? I schedule two hours in the morning for writing. I often do more but almost never less.  

How about you? 

Do you calendar blocks of time for returning calls or email? For research or studying? Reviewing case files or getting your client billing done? Writing your newsletter or blog. Posting on social? Exercise?  

Do you go to the office (or close your door) on Saturdays to catch up on “paper work” or organize and plan your tasks and projects for the week ahead? Is this time on your calendar?

Some people schedule “intake time” for reading articles and books, listening to podcasts and videos. Some schedule “output” time for writing, creating, or communicating. 

Some schedule one or two “A” tasks each day, or bundle several “B” and “C” tasks, and block out time to do them. Some schedule 15 minutes a day or 30 minutes twice a week for routine work and get a lot done that way.

What are you committed to doing on a regular basis? Do you block out time for it? Should you?   

We have lots of options with our days, including the option of doing things only when you think of them. But I recommend scheduling your most important work—the things that pay the bills, “move the needle,” or bring you closer to achieving your goals.

If you get your most important work done, the rest of the day is “bonus time” and you can do what you want with it.

Sound like a plan? Put it on your calendar.


How to get your big, fat foot in a lot of doors


A “legal audit” is a simple but effective way to get more prospects and new clients, and more legal work from your existing (and former) clients. All you do is create a series of questions that help identify actual or potential legal issues or opportunities and distribute it.

You can do the audit in person, but I suggest doing it by email, via a questionnaire.

You ask, they answer, and you review their responses. When you spot an issue or opportunity, you tell them their risks and options and invite them to talk to you about the specifics of their situation. The audit costs them nothing and might save them a lot of expense or headache, or open doors they might not realize are closed.

This may sound like a “free consultation” but you’re not going to spend a lot of time with them, nor will you share a lot of your expertise. Think of this more like a pre-consultation, to see if they need your help or advice.

Your audit will provide you with people who  

  • Hire you immediately, or
  • Sign up for a paid consultation (if you do these), or 
  • Learn what you do and how you can help them and hire you in the future.  

If you’re concerned about missing issues because you aren’t speaking with them, reduce the scope of the survey. Remember, this is just a pre-consultation.

You can do this with existing and former clients and your prospects. You can offer it as a service to people who work with, advise, or write for businesses and individuals and want to provide their clients or customers with added value (i.e., your survey). 

You can use it as an “excuse” to re-connect with leads or prospects you haven’t spoken to in a while. Rattle their cage, see if they want to speak with you. And you can advertise your survey or promote it on social. 

If you want to “go big,” team up with other lawyers in other practice areas and have each supply you with survey questions related to their field. Or, if you want to advertise, join forces and share the ad costs.

Can you see how this could generate a lot of new business for you?  

Try it with a small number of clients or prospects with a handful of basic questions. If you get some results, adjust and expand to taste. 


The best way to improve your content


Content means information, right? About the law, how to recognize a problem, what to do and not do, what an attorney can do to help them (and why it should be you).

All good, but not necessarily compelling. 

You want readers to take action: click and visit your pages, read your articles, download your reports, view your presentation, and especially to contact you and hire you (or refer you). 

There are several ways to use your content to accomplish that. 

You can overtly disagree with what other lawyers say, to show the reader you’re different, i.e., better. Don’t just tell them what’s available, give them the pros and cons of various solutions, provide more nuanced comments about the risks, and follow with a well-reasoned recommendation. 

Tell them what and why. 

If you’re hesitant to do that without first speaking to the reader about their specific situation, use “if/then” writing to cover yourself and provide additional context. 

Another way to stand out and get readers to see you as the better lawyer is to explain how things work in the “real world”. Take them “behind the curtain” and show them why things are done one way and not another.

Or, when other lawyers provide “just the facts” and are serious and boring, you might take a lighter approach (if appropriate) and make your content more interesting and maybe even fun. 

The best thing you can do? Provide client success stories, to illustrate your points and show readers there are solutions to their problems—here’s proof. 

Give them hope while you educate them. 

But many attorneys tell client success stories. If you want to be more effective, don’t just tell the stories, make them personal. Tell the reader what the client told you, what you thought, how you felt, and what you did (and why).

Personal stories, for the win. 

You want readers to see you in their mind’s eye, asking questions, feeling what the client felt, considering the facts, weighing the options, and then being an advocate for or advisor to your clients. 

Why get personal? Because prospective clients not only want to know about their risks and options, they want to know what it would be like having you as their attorney. 

If you want to demonstrate your knowledge and experience, write about the law. If you want to build a following and get people to choose you as their attorney, write about your personal experiences.

How to write a newsletter that brings in more clients


Content marketing for lawyers who target consumers


If you handle criminal defense, immigration, personal injury, estate planning, family law, or other practice areas in the consumer realm, you may have found (or believe) that prospective clients aren’t interested in your blog or newsletter or other content until they realize they need your services.  

So why bother with a newsletter or blog or other content? 

Because when they do need your services, they’ll read everything on your blog and consume all of your content, and you want to have content for them that isn’t just bullet points about your services but content that lets you connect with them that nothing short of actually speaking with you and getting to know you can do.

You want them to hear your stories and get a sense of what it would be like to know you and work with you, so they can get to know, like, and trust you.

Which they can do through your content. 

“Okay, got it. But how do I get them to visit my website or blog, watch my videos, read my articles and sign up for my newsletter so I can build a relationship with them before they need my legal services?”

Good question, Grasshopper.  

Since most people aren’t interested in your “legal” content until they need your services, and only then look for it and consume it, you need to give them something else they are interested in. Another subject you can write about or talk about. 

Like the kinds of subjects consumers are interested in—taxes, insurance, credit, consumer protection, social security, and so on.

When your would-be clients find and read your articles about retirement planning, for example, they learn what you do in your day job, sign up for your newsletter, and you stay in touch with them. When they need legal services, they contact you (instead of looking for someone from scratch) because they already know you. 

And guess what? You can accomplish the same thing without writing about insurance and credit if that’s not your thing. You can write about other subjects that interest you and are likely to interest a segment of the consumer population. 

Some lawyers write about technology. Some write about productivity. Some write about writing and other creative pursuits. They talk about apps or books or websites they recommend, and build up a following that way.  

They might do that on a separate blog or channel rather than the blog for their law practice, but they link to it and mention it. 

You know what that means, don’t you? It means you can write about a lot of things that interest you, your hobbies and outside interests, and have fun creating content about those subjects. 

You know what else that means? It means you can do the same thing if you handle business law instead of or in addition to consumer law, because your clients are consumers, too.

Write what you want to write to write about. People who share your interest will find you, follow you and eventually hire you. Or. . . tell someone they know about you.

How to build an effective newsletter for your practice


A powerful tool for your marketing toolkit


Have you ever been interviewed by a writer or blogger or podcaster? If so, are you using that interview as a marketing tool? 

You can post it on your website, use it as a handout or lead magnet, or turn it into a paid eBook that sends you leads. Interviews allow you to describe what you do and answer the types of questions people who are looking for a lawyer usually ask. 

And, in the minds of the people who read the interview, just the fact that you were interviewed says a lot about you. 

Interviews position you as successful and important—an expert in your field. And people want to read these, especially prospective clients. 

Interviews are a great sales tool, and you should use them in your marketing. 

If you don’t have an interview you can use, you can create one in an hour by asking another lawyer to interview you (and offering to interview them in exchange). 

You write the questions you want them to ask and an introduction. Get on the phone or chat, record everything, transcribe the recording, edit, and you’re done. 

I did this with a successful appellate lawyer and turned it into an eBook which is sold online.

Another way to use an interview is when you meet a new business contact or prospective client who asks what you do. Instead of flapping your gums, ask for their email and send them a copy.

You can also send copies to podcasters, bloggers, and meeting planners, to show them why they should book you on their program. 

So yeah, a simple and powerful tool that every lawyer should have in their marketing toolkit. 


“What should I write about?”


You want ideas for subjects to write about in your blog or newsletter. You want to show readers what you do, how you can help them, and why they should choose you as their lawyer. 

And you want it to be interesting.

Okay, here you go: 

  • FAQ’s: About the law, procedure, how long it takes to X, what should I expect when Y happens, what are my risks, what are my options, how much is my case worth?
  • News: Cases, legislation, trends, changes at your firm, news about your business clients’ industry
  • DIY: How to research, prepare (simple) documents, file, negotiate, go to small claims court, check my credit, refinance my loan, find a good deal on insurance 
  • Announcements: Seminars, upcoming events, new hires, new office, special offers from your business clients or professionals you work with
  • Interviews You, your clients, other professionals or centers of influence in your market 
  • Profiles and bios: Your employees, partners, vendors, business clients, and families
  • Client success stories
  • Downloadable content: Reports, forms, checklists, sample letters, glossaries, lists of recommended resources
  • Recommended: Books, videos, channels, podcasts, websites, blogs or individual posts
  • Why you? What do you (your firm) do differently or better than others? Features, benefits, notable testimonials, reviews, endorsements, awards.

Use this list to brainstorm ideas and keep them for a rainy day. Or, you can ask your favorite ai to come up with ideas for you.


Networking Up


You want to meet and network with the owner, the senior partner, the manager, or the top executive. You know, the decision maker. The one who can hire you or send you referrals. 

But that’s not always easy to do.  

One solution is to start at the “bottom” of the totem pole—junior staff or a lower-level employee—and work your way up. 

Ask them to introduce you to their boss or someone higher up the food chain and continue this process until you reach the head honcho. 

At least that’s what one networker says he does. He says it’s easier to learn about the company and the people who work there or own it, and easier to build trust with them.

Sounds like a plan. 

But there are other plans, like the one where you start with the person at the top. 

It will probably be more difficult to meet them, but if you do and you hit it off with them, welcome to shortcut city. 

On the other hand, the top people are constantly approached, assume you are a Klingon and have their shields up. Especially when they meet an attorney. 

If (when) that happens, don’t push it. Ask them who you should with at the company or in the group. If that person is at the same meeting, ask them to point them out to you. They will be probably introduce you.

If not, you’ve got the name of the person you should speak to and when you approach them and tell them, “Mr. Big suggested I speak with you” they’re going to pay attention because they don’t want to step on Mr. Big’s toes. 

Instead of “networking up,” you’re “networking down,” and they both work.

If you can meet the top dog at the company or group, go for it. If not, meet anyone and work your way up. Or sideways.

There’s more than one way to win friends and influence (the right) people. 


Better than other lawyers? Could you be more specific?


You want prospective clients and the people who can refer them to see you as the better choice. But saying you’re better, or your services are better, or your “service” is better, isn’t convincing. You need to tell them why. 

How are you better? What do you do other lawyers don’t do and why is that a benefit to your clients? 

You need some “better” adjectives. 

Here are a few to consider and the meaning behind them:

  • Faster (You get the work done more quickly; your clients can enjoy the benefits and peace of mind sooner)
  • Efficient (Modern methods, tech, allow you to deliver high-quality work product at lower expense)
  • Reliable (You don’t cut corners and put your clients at risk; highest standards, ethics, proven methods) 
  • Transparent (You explain everything and show your clients everything you’re doing, when and why, and invite them to ask you anything) 
  • Reasonable (Fairness: fees, costs, procedures)
  • Comprehensive (Your documents and processes are thorough and cover everything your clients need and want)
  • Simpler (Your documents, processes, fees, billing, are easier for your clients to understand; fewer questions, confusion)
  • Newer (New services, methods, content, partners, employees, offices, computers, and how your clients benefit. Careful, though; “new” implies risk, so make sure you address this.)
  • Guaranteed (No fee unless recovery, no fee unless satisfied; yep, money-back guarantee. If that makes you nervous, put a limit on it, e.g., first 30 days or “up to X dollars”) 

They all mean “better” but tell clients why you are better. Make sure you prove everything, however, by providing examples, specific numbers, and by answering FAQs and objections in advance. 

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