You’re not in the information delivery business

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Prospective clients visit your website and dig through your articles or posts. They watch your videos or listen to your podcasts. They consume your FAQs.

They have questions. You have answers. And I’m sure you do a good job of providing valuable information.

There’s just one thing.

If all you do is give people information and answer their questions, you’re dropping the marketing ball.

Prospective clients want information, it’s true. They visit your site, read your article, or watch your presentation because they’re curious about the law, their rights, their risks, and the solutions that are available to them.

If you satisfy their curiosity, however, by explaining the law and telling them everything they need to know, you’re not giving them a reason to hire you or take the next step in that direction.

Basic information? Sure. General guidelines? Of course. But anything you do beyond that is antithetical to the purpose of your marketing.

Which is to convert prospects into clients.

Look at your website. Look at your email sequences, brochures, ads, and other marketing communications. Are you satisfying curiosity by telling people everything, or building curiosity and inspiring them to call or write?

You’re not in the information delivery business. You use information to attract people who are looking for solutions, tell them enough to show them they’ve come to the right place, and persuade them to contact you.

Because if they don’t do that, they don’t get the help they need, and you don’t get the clients you want.

Marketing is easier when you know The Formula

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Timeless or Timely?

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If you produce content for a blog, a newsletter, a podcast, or anywhere else, one question you need to answer is how much of that content should be evergreen.

Evergreen content is important because that’s what first-time visitors to your blog and new subscribers to your newsletter are looking for. They have questions or a problem and they’re looking for answers.

If you’re starting a new blog, make sure you have at least 10 or 15 evergreen posts to start out.

Talk about the kinds of things clients typically ask you about. Talk about problems and solutions, risks and benefits, frequently asked questions about your services, and the like.

These serve as the foundation of your blog, attracting visitors though search and sharing, and helping them to understand their situation and learn what you do and how you can help them.

Once you have some evergreen content posted, you can write about anything else, whether timeless or timely.

Write about your interesting cases or clients, news in your target market’s industry or niche, trends, ideas, and more.

Yes?

One more thing.

On a blog, you have the option to indicate the date each post was published, something I’ve done since I started and still do today. Some visitors, however, see an older date and conclude that the information is out of date, even if it’s not.

Omitting the date, on the other hand, as many bloggers do, may cause visitors to wonder how current the information is, and reject it if no date can be found.

If you’re wondering what you should do, take a gander at what Darren Rowse of Problogger.com says about the pros and cons of timestamping blog posts.

And, for more about the kinds of content to include on your blog or website–what to write about, where to get ideas–check out my course on online marketing.

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Do you have a Zoom headache?

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I heard from a friend who has been on one too many Zoom “conference calls” lately and is feeling overwhelmed.

These calls or chats take up a lot of time, time she could use to build her business.

And, she didn’t mention this, but I suspect there are times when she would rather not have to dress up or “put on her face” to get on a call.

I’m sure she’s not alone.

The worst part, however, is that these calls are so impersonal.

Many people thrive on meeting people in person, one-on-one and in groups. This was the norm for my friend before and I know that not being able to do this now makes here a bit. . . sad.

For a lot of people, this new way of doing business has become tiresome and they would like things to go back to “normal”.

What can we do?

For now, if you’ve taken to conducting video conferences to communicate with your team or your clients or colleagues, consider standing down a bit and communicating the old-fashioned way: email, text, or regular mail.

Let folks see the information on their own schedule.

If you don’t have to see each other or talk to each other, let it go.

And, if you do need to talk to each other, consider using the phone.

You can do group calls on the phone and nobody has to dress up. And you can do one-on-one calls, talk to each other and have a real conversation, without anybody focusing on how anyone else looks.

If you’re being asked to get on one too many video conferences and you’re finding it a bit much, talk to the organizer and let them know.

This new age of video conferencing is amazing and tremendously useful. But like any “shiny new object,” perhaps we’ve all taken things too far.

Hey, want to know a secret? I wrote this without combing my increasingly unruly hair. How about them apples?

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If your net isn’t working

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Many lawyers find networking to be a waste of time. Ditto for networking online, aka Social Media. 

Some have been at it for a long time with little to show for it. They may have collected 1000 business cards from events they’ve attended, or have thousands of connections on LinkedIn (et. al.), but, their phone isn’t ringing. 

That’s because it’s not quantity that’s paramount, it’s quality. 

A handful of high-quality connections can eventually lead to a steady stream of new business for you. 

What is a high-quality connection? 

Someone who has influence in your target market. They know people who might need your services (or have clients or customers who do) and will listen to them when they recommend you.  

In other words, they have the ability to send you referrals or introduce you to business and professional contacts who can do that.  

That’s the easy part. There are plenty of people who meet that definition. 

The hard part is finding people who are willing to send you those referrals or make those introductions.

That’s a daunting task when you’re trying to sort through a thousand contacts. 

That’s why the best networkers don’t show up at events seeking to meet everyone they can. They don’t follow anyone they find on socials, hoping they will follow them back. 

Instead, they have found that the best way to meet and connect with the right people is to deliberately target them. 

Make a list of 25-50 of the most influential people in your target market. Contact them, introduce yourself, and find out what you can do to help them. 

Because helping them is the best way to get them to help you. 

Here’s how to find and approach influential people in your target market

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How to choose your priorities

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Someone once said, “You can be, do, or have anything, just not everything, because there isn’t enough time.”

So, what will it be?

What’s most important to you? What are your highest values? Your biggest goals?

Yes, we’re talking about your priorities.

With so many options available, how do you choose?

The best way to do that is to look at all of your options and compare them to each other.

We don’t make decisions in a vacuum. We look at everything in the context of everything else.

At one point in your life, you could have chosen medical school or law school or some other career path. In making your choice, no doubt you looked at your other options and compared them.

You may have fallen into your practice area or areas, but at some point, you examined your other options and compared them to what you were already doing.

You have followed a similar process with other aspects of your work and personal life.

You didn’t choose your spouse randomly, did you? When you met them, you compared them to other people you had met or dated. You may have loved other people, but the odds are you loved the one you chose even more.

Prioritizing is about making choices. This instead of that, these things more than those things.

Sometimes, your priority is clear. Sometimes, you like a lot of things and have difficulty choosing.

This article suggests a way to make choosing easier. It describes an exercise for groups or teams but there’s no reason you can’t do it yourself.

The basic idea is to examine each option and compare it to another option. You may like both options but decide you prefer one “even over” the other.

For example, you might like getting clients via referrals and via search, but decide you like referred clients “even over” clients who find you via search.

Knowing your priority will inform your marketing decisions–what you do, what you don’t do, how you allocate your time and resources.

Sure, you can use both marketing methods, and others. But knowing your priorities gives your clarity and allows you to focus on doing things that matter most.

Ready to take a quantum leap in your marketing?

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The future of your law practice

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It should be obvious that some practice areas will soon be “hotter” than others, if they’re not already. Divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure, loan workouts, evictions, and other areas are likely to be in high demand.

What can you do with this information?

If you’re starting (or re-starting) a practice, it makes sense to practice in one of these areas. Get ready for the coming wave.

If you have a general practice right now, get prepared to emphasize these those practice areas. Work on your skills, create more content, and explore ways to market your services to clients who need those services.

If you don’t practice in any of these high-demand areas, consider adding them to your repertoire.

Finally, if you don’t practice in any of these areas and you’re not inclined to start, align yourself with lawyers and firms that do.

When the wave hits and your clients and prospects ask you for help with something you don’t handle, you want to be able to refer them to someone.

Helping the client, and scoring points with attorneys to whom you’re referring business, can only lead to more business and good will for you.

Of course, this is something you should be doing anyway. It’s a smart way to build your practice.

Start by making a list of practice areas you predict will be in high demand. Then, make a list of attorneys you know who practice in those areas.

After that, begin looking for attorneys you don’t know. Start by asking your current contacts who they know who specialize in those areas.

Contact them, introduce yourself, and tell them you’d like to know more about what they do. As you get to know them, they will get to know what you do.

Which should lead to some referrals for you.

Start now. Get ready for your clients and prospects to ask you for a referral.

Because they will.

You can learn more about how to do this in my Lawyer-to-Lawyer Referrals Course.

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How to get great testimonials from your clients

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There’s nothing better than getting a letter or email from a satisfied client, telling you how happy they are with what you’ve done for them, praising you and thanking you for your help.

It really makes your day, doesn’t it?

Testimonials also make your marketing much more effective.

The trouble is, you don’t get them very often.

Your clients may be happy, and willing to provide a testimonial or a positive review. They just don’t take the time to do it.

One solution is to send all of your clients a survey at the end of each case. The feedback you get can be turned into testimonials.

How? Provide a check box at the end of the survey where the client authorizes you to use their words (with or without their full name) on your website or elsewhere in your marketing.

When you receive the completed survey, contact the client, thank them, and send them an edited version you’d like to use. Don’t change their thoughts, just the presentation, and tell them to feel free to add or change anything.

Another option, when you speak to a client at the end of the matter, ask them if they’re happy with the way things worked out. If they are, write down what they tell you and ask them if you can use what they’ve said in your marketing.

Simple, huh?

The best testimonials address 3 subjects:

1) Before they hired you.

What was going on in their life that prompted them to seek you out. Problems, frustrations, results they wanted but weren’t getting.

2) During the case.

What was it like working with you? Did you explain everything? Keep them informed? Make them feel appreciated? Protected? Did you bill fairly and promptly?

3) After the case.

What changed about their situation? Was the problem resolved? Did they get the results they sought? Would they hire you again and/or refer others to you?

Your survey should prompt them to talk about these things, and ask them to be as specific as possible. You can also delve deeper when you speak to them.

But, if they only address one of these areas–if they’re thrilled with the way you kept them informed, for example–take the win. And then go get some more.

When a client is happy, they want you (and others) to know it. They’re willing to provide you with a testimonial. They just need a little nudge.

Ready to take a Quantum Leap in your marketing?

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3 ways to position yourself as an expert

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If you want to stand out in your field and attract more and better clients, being an attorney isn’t enough.

There are too many of us and we all look alike.

The good news is that it isn’t especially difficult to help the world see you as an expert in your field or niche.

Here are 3 ways to do that:

  1. Specialize.

Prospective clients and the people who refer them prefer lawyers who specialize. They see specialists as having more knowledge and experience, greater capabilities. They see less risk in hiring you or referring clients to you versus other attorneys. And, specialists can charge more than attorneys who don’t specialize.

You can specialize in your practice area and in the types of clients or cases you represent.

  1. Educate the market.

Make sure your website provides lots of information about your field–issues, problems, risks, time lines, and available solutions, especially the ones you provide.

Write about your target market’s world–news about their industry or local market, prominent people in that market, and other matters that would interest the people in your niche.

Tell people why you’re different or better than other attorneys in your field.

Continue to educate the market via articles you publish on authority sites, in your presentations, in interviews, and in your newsletter.

  1. Social proof.

Your bio should confirm your authority status. It should cite articles by or about you, note your speaking engagements, describe awards you’ve received, and detail other distinctions–e.g., Judge Pro Tem, Arbitrator, clerkships, CLE classes, former industry jobs, etc.

Other forms of social proof include testimonials, client reviews, and endorsements by influential people.

It also helps to network with other authorities.

Finally, if you wrote a book, mention this–everywhere. Authors are, by definition, authorities. And if you haven’t written a book, start. Not only can it build your authority, it can also attract a lot of prospective clients to your door.

For more ways to assert your authority and build your reputation, see The Attorney Marketing Formula.

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The easiest way to build your list

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You’ve got a list of prospective clients, right? Email addresses, newsletter subscribers, social media followers, maybe even a snail mail list.

You want to grow your list, right? Get more people reading your words, seeing your offers, responding to your calls to action.

Because the bigger the list, the bigger your client list will eventually become.

Yes or yes?

But the size of your list is only one factor. You can do more with a small list of the right people, who come to you the right way, than you could with a massive list of the wrong people.

Size matters, but not as much as you think.

Anyway, there are many ways to build your list and while some are better than others, there is one method you should always use.

Because it is not only the easiest way to build your list, it is more likely to bring you more new clients than many other methods.

It’s also free and you can start doing it immediately.

What is this magic elixir of which I speak?

It is to use your existing list to tell people about how you can help them.

Tell people they know about your services, your website, your free report, your offer, your event, your course, your newsletter, or anything else of value that might interest the people they know.

How do you get people to do that?

Ask them: “Please share that link with people who might like/want/need. . .”

Yes, there are other ways to get people to share, but asking them to do it is easy and works well.

If you’re not ready to do that, do this:

Continue to produce good content and trust your list to share it organically–because it is good content and they want people to see it.

“That’s a good idea, David. I know a few lawyers who need to see this. . .”

Yeah, like that.

People will forward your email or share your link, because they know people who would benefit from seeing it.

Anyway, enough said. Go forth and multiply your list.

If you want more ways to do that, check out my email marketing course.

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How to handle objections

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What’s the best way to handle objections? The best way is to eliminate them before they occur.

That means providing enough information to prospective clients, on your website, in your presentations, and in your client meetings, so that all of their issues and concerns are addressed and there is nothing left to object to.

Give them the facts. Share the stories. Provide FAQ’s that deal with all the objections you commonly hear.

If money is a common objection, make sure you build the value of what they get. Show them how not hiring you would be more costly and explain the payment options you have available.

Deal with this issue in advance and you will get far fewer objections.

You won’t completely eliminate objections, however. What then?

It depends.

Sometimes, the best way to handle an objection is to repeat it back to the prospective client.

People often say things they don’t really mean or haven’t thought through. When they hear their own words repeated back to them, it causes them to re-evaluate their position. As they respond, they often answer their own objection.

Your conversation might go like this:

CLIENT: “I want to think about it”
YOU: “You want to think about it?”
CLIENT: “Yeah, I need a day or two”
YOU: “A day or two?”
CLIENT: “Well, maybe not that long. I need to see if this is something I want to do.”
YOU: “Something you want to do?”
CLIENT: “Well, I know I need to do this but it’s kinda expensive [the true objection reveals itself]. . .”
YOU: “Expensive?”
CLIENT: “Yeah, it’s a lot of money to me. But like I say, I know I need to do this and I guess I can put it on a credit card, so let’s get this going. . .”.

Sometimes, the best way to an handle an objection is to respond to it directly.

When the client tells you they want to think about it and you know the real objection is probably something else, like money, you might say, “I understand completely. It is a big decision and it is a lot of money. But you have to consider what might happen if you ignore this problem. As we discussed. . .” and go over the issues and possible outcomes again.

If you’re not sure what the real objection is, ask them. “What exactly do you want to think about? Is it the need? Is it the fee?”

Handling objections this way is sometimes referred to as “Feel, Felt, Found.” It is a way to validate the client’s position before you respond to and overcome their objection.

So, if they object to the fee, you might say, “I understand how you FEEL. A lot of my clients tell me they FELT the same way when they were in your position. But once we got started, they told me they FOUND that it was money well spent and they were glad they got this taken care of.”

Sometimes, the best way to handle objections is to ignore them.

You’ve handed the client a retainer agreement and pen and he tells says he wants to think about it.

Instead of saying, “Sure, just let me know,” and having him walk out, you say, “I can get started this afternoon and have everything done for you by next Tuesday. You will finally be able to move forward with your life. Today is the 15th; make sure you write the date here” and point to the blank for the date.

You’ll find that clients typically have the same four or five objections, not hundreds. Think about the last few prospective clients who didn’t retain you. What did they say? How did you respond? How might you have handled it differently?

Come up with two or three ways to handle each common objection and the next time they arise, you’ll be ready.

Want to make the phone ring? Here’s my step-by-step system.

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