The Bandwagon Effect

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Psychologists tell us most people tend to think or act a certain way when they believe others are doing the same. They don’t want to make a mistake or miss out so they usually follow the crowd.

The “Bandwagon Effect” is a cognitive bias that causes people to buy a certain product or act a certain way because it is the more popular option.

Prospective clients often choose the attorney who appears busier for the same reason.

You can use this innate cognitive bias in your conversations and presentations with prospective clients.

When you present two or more options to a prospective client, e.g., Package A (your “starter” service) and Package B (your bigger service), for example, before you ask what they’d like to do or which option they prefer, tell them which option is more popular: “Most of my clients prefer Package B” (if that’s true) and tell them why.

You can do something similar in your articles and blog posts, and in your sales materials.

“Most of the people I talk to about [issue] tell me they don’t want to wait, they want to take care of this immediately because. . .”

Most people want to follow the ostensibly safer and better path chosen by others, so make sure you tell people what most people usually do.

Ready to make this year your best year ever? This will help

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Advertising for lawyers who don’t advertise

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My insurance company sent me a couple of face masks. The masks have a message on them, about staying safe, and the name of the company.

Just the latest in a long line of “advertising specialties” businesses and professionals send to their clients and customers. Things like pens, scratch pads, key chains, calendars, coffee mugs, and the like, containing the name and phone number or website of the business or professional.

Every lawyer should consider something like this, even the ones who don’t advertise, because the real purpose of that pen or calendar or key chain isn’t primarily to advertise your services to new prospects but to keep your name in front of the people you send them to–clients, prospects, and business contacts.

Each time they use that pen or notepad, they see your name. If and when they need legal help, or talk to someone who does, they are more likely to contact you or give your name to their friend.

Search “ad specs,” as they referred to in the trade, and you’ll see a long list of things you can send or hand out to people, everything from drink coasters to desk caddies to refrigerator magnets, and now face masks.

Along with your name and website, you can print a list of your practice areas, and any advertising jargon you deem appropriate.

If you have a slogan printed on it, here’s a tip: Don’t use ‘Lawyers do it Their Briefs’ or “My Lawyer is Better than Your Lawyer.”

Wait, that last one might actually be okay. Maybe I’ll have that printed on a baseball cap.

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A great way to get more clients you’re probably not using

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When you go to your mailbox to get the mail, what do you see?

Not much, right?

We get and pay most of our bills online and use email to correspond. If your mailbox is like mine, you get a few pieces of advertising and not much else.

You know what that means? Opportunity.

You can use direct mail to sell your services, invite prospective clients to your seminar or virtual event, or drive traffic to your website.

Because “nobody” is mailing any more, a letter or postcard from you will really stand out. Which means you should see a better response than you might have seen in days gone by.

You can acquire (rent) lists from a list broker and mail to “residents,” “homeowners,” “seniors,” “small business owners,” or to any of hundreds of thousands of segments of society.

A list broker will help you choose the best lists for your offer, and hook you up with services that can take care of everything else (copy, printing, mailing, etc.)

Decide what to offer: a service, information (for lead generation), an event, etc. Then, contact your Bar Association to find out if there any advertising rules you have to follow.

If you’re not allowed to advertise your legal services, advertise your book (report, seminar, etc.) and let your book sell your services.

Start with a small test mailing. Mail postcards to homeowners or businesses within a few miles from your office, for example. If you get a decent response, you can mail more.

Another option is to take out display ads (online or off) and mail letters to people who respond. That’s what I did when I began selling my first marketing course.

As someone probably once said, “Fill up people’s mailboxes and they’ll fill up your bank account”.

How to build an email list that does most of your marketing for you

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How to use clickbait to instantly get dozens of new clients

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If you’re reading this, my evil plan is working. I wrote something that made you curious and you wanted to know more.

Despite the obvious clickbait-y headline.

But my point isn’t to use trickery to fool people into reading your message. It is to illustrate the power of curiosity for getting attention.

When it comes to marketing, copywriting legend Gary Halbert said curiosity is even more powerful than self-interest.

Done right, your reader or audience “has to” know more.

How do you arouse curiosity? How do you compel the reader to open your email, play your video, or read your article?

You do it, ironically, by hinting at something that plays to their self-interest.

Mention something they care about, need or want. Give them a taste of something that will help them avoid pain or achieve gain. Add a touch of specificity that let’s them know “this is for them”.

For extra oomph, hint at something that sounds impossible or too good to be true. Make the reader “torture” themselves trying to figure out how this is done.

Example? Sure. Let’s say you’re a personal injury attorney writing a post or ad that offers a free report about increasing the settlement value of a case. You could make prospective clients curious with a headline like this:

“Injured? Free report reveals 5 easy ways to increase the value of your case (and ONE common mistake that can destroy it)”

What are those 5 easy ways? What is the one common mistake? Yep, they have to read the report to find out.

Of course, when they read the report, you make them curious to know if they have a good case (and how much it’s worth).

Yep, they have to hire you to find out.

Want to get more referrals without asking for referrals? Here’s how

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The headline goes here

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I got a postcard in the mail, with this headline:

“The highest compliment we can receive is the referral of friends and family.”

Me: “I don’t know who you are or what you do and you’re talking about referrals?”

Into the trash. . .

But wait, I could use this as an example of really bad advertising, so. . . I keep reading. . .

Under the “headline” is a series of bullet points. See if you can figure out what this outfit does:

  • 9 Years in Business
  • 6 Months Federal Relief Program
  • Up to 60% Lower Payments
  • 4.7% Rating on Social Media
  • “A” Rating on BBB
  • Seriously Delinquent O.K.

Sounds like they do some kind of re-financing or workouts, but what do I know?

Next line: Visit Now [a website url that says nothing about the company or what they do]

Then: “Thank You for Your Trust, [Company Name].

And, finally, “Call Now” followed by a phone number.

And. . . that’s it.

So, no headline, no information, no benefits, no offer, no testimonials, no examples of before and after (e.g., lower payments). . . and no reason to keep this out of the trash.

Hold on, it’s a postcard. There has to be something on the back.

Ah, there it is. It says, “ARE YOU DROWNING IN STUDENT LOAN DEBT?”

Finally, something specific. A “sorting” question and a hint at a benefit. If you see this side of the postcard first and you have a lot of student debt, you might be interested enough to turn the card over to find out what this is all about.

But, when you do, you’re scratching your head, wondering what they do and why you should bother to call or visit.

To think, this company paid to have this printed and mailed. (I’m going to assume they DIDN’T pay a copywriter to write it.)

Anyway, if you want to know how to write an ad or directory listing, keep this handy and do the opposite of what they did. Or show it to your copywriter or agency and say, “Don’t do this.”

If you want a second opinion on your ad or sales copy, let me know

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How to advertise without advertising

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You open your mail and see an envelope filled with coupons and ads for restaurants, dry cleaners, contractors, insurance agents, and other local businesses.

You think, “I’d love to get my name in front of hundreds or thousands of prospective clients like this but I can’t do it.”

Your bar rules (or firm) don’t allow advertising.

Or, maybe you’re allowed to advertise but you don’t want to do it (for whatever reason).

Are you out of luck?

Not at all.

All you need to do is find people who sell to or advise your target market and let them advertise for you.

What? How is that possible?

Not only is it possible, lawyers have been doing this since the first lawyer hung out the first shingle.

You can do it, too.

Find a publication (magazine, blog, newsletter, etc.) and write an article for them. They advertise or promote their publication, their readers see your article and find out what you do and how you can help them. They see your phone number or website and offer at the bottom of the article, just like they would if you ran your own ad.

Or, you find a group that has events with speakers and get yourself invited to speak. The organization promotes the event to their members and/or to the community. People come, hear your pearls of wisdom, ask for your card.

Okay, one more.

You ask a lawyer friend or other professional to tell their clients, subscribers and social media connections about you or your upcoming seminar or your free ebook offer. In return, you offer to tell your clients and subscribers about them.

Yes?

You’re not advertising but you get the benefits of advertising. You get people who don’t know you from Adam to find out what you do and how you can help them.

And someone else pays for it.

Wait. It gets better.

You also get the implied endorsement of the publication that runs your article, the group that promotes your talk, or the professional who tells his clients about your seminar.

Something you wouldn’t get if you ran your own paid ads.

Is this starting to make sense?

Good. Now go use it to make some dollars.

More ways to get more clients and increase your income: click here

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Pay-per-ouch!

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I read an article about the options available to lawyers for marketing their services. One of the options was pay-per-click ads.

But, it’s expensive, the article says. To wit: “The search term “Los Angeles personal injury lawyer” can cost as much as $140 per click.”

Not for a lead. Just for the click.

If ten people click on your ad, you’re in the hole for over $1,000 before you talk to anyone to find out if they have a case and can show them your dog and your pony.

That’s crazy, right?

Not necessarily.

There’s a reason PPC ads for PI lawyers in Los Angeles are expensive. They’re expensive because there are a lot of lawyers competing for those clicks, and they do that despite the high cost per click because they’re still able to make a profit.

If they weren’t, they wouldn’t bid so much for those clicks and the price would come down. Supply and demand.

The seemingly high price is proof that “Los Angeles personal injury lawyer” is a profitable keyword. At least for some lawyers.

If you’re a PI lawyer in LA, it is precisely the kind of keyword you should consider.

If you have the money. And you’ve got your act together and can convert enough of those clicks into clients, and those clients back into dollars.

Lawyer #1 thinks:

“If I spend $10,000 for 100 clicks and sign up just one case that earns me a $20,000 fee, I double my investment. Plus, I might get an a smaller case or two out of those clicks. Plus, I can build my list and generate some referrals. Sure, I might not bring in any business the first few months doing this, but eventually, I could bring in one or two massive cases.”

Lawyer #2 thinks:

“Yeah, but I might not get any cases. Or the cases I get might not be any good. I could lose my shirt.”

Both lawyers are right, of course.

There are other options. Other keywords to bid on, other forms of advertising, and other forms of marketing.

Be thankful you have options. And don’t rule out anything just because it’s expensive. It might be expensive for a reason.

If you’re ready to take a quantum leap in your practice

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Who knows what danger lurks in your legal marketing?

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In the 1960s, Los Angeles based Adee plumbing began running TV ads featuring an actor who asked, “Who knows what danger lurks in your plumbing?” It was a play on the 1930s radio show, The Shadow, that opened with an announcer asking, “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?”

In the TV commercial, the answer was “Adee do”. That ad, and others using the same concept and catch phrase, ran well into the 1980s.

Two things.

First, in your marketing, look for ways to piggyback on ideas and themes that are already in your market’s consciousness. It’s a simple and effective way to help your message be understood and remembered.

DUI defense lawyer Myles L. Berman does this in his long-running commercials that use the tag, “Because ‘Friends don’t let friends plead guilty(TM),” playing off the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) slogan, “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk”.

There’s an added bonus here because of the obvious tie-in with drinking and driving, but you could use this idea no matter what your practice area.

A family law attorney, for example, could use, “Because friends don’t let friends get married without a prenup.” Okay, maybe not the best, but you get the idea.

Second point: when you have something that’s working–a tag, a commercial, a presentation, or any kind of marketing message, resist the urge to change it.

Yes, even after thirty years.

You may be tired of hearing or seeing the same thing, but that doesn’t mean your market is tired of it. It makes no sense to throw away something that’s been working well for a long time.

Test other messages or ideas, headlines, and offers against it, to see if something else works better, but make sure it does before you change it.

Who knows what danger lurks in your legal marketing? That would be me.

The Attorney Marketing Formula

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A simple way to cut your marketing costs

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When you’ve heard advertising spots on the radio or TV and even online, you’ve probably noticed that after a new ad has run for awhile, you start hearing a shorter version of it. The original spot may have been 30 seconds or one minute; the shorter version might be ten seconds.

The shorter version has the same message and offer but leaves out a lot of details. Advertisers will often run the long version for several weeks, followed by the shorter version for a period of time. They might then run the long version again, or run a mix of short and long ads.

Obviously, advertisers do this to save money. But aren’t the shorter ads less effective?

To some extent, yes. People who haven’t heard the longer version won’t hear all the details and thus won’t be persuaded to take the next step. But regular viewers/listeners have heard the longer version, and for them, the shorter version serves as a reminder to do what they “almost” did when they heard the original ads.

The shorter ads also prompt listeners to pay attention to the longer ads the next time they run.

If you don’t advertise (and never plan to), note that this concept can be applied to other kinds of marketing.

All marketing comes at a cost: money, time, or both. If you create content, for example, you either take some of your time to do that or you pay others to do it for you. Creating (or ordering) a mix of long and short content can reduce your costs without a commensurate reduction in effectiveness.

If you invest a total of four hours a month at networking events or engaging on social media, you might be able to get the same results (or close to them) by cutting out an hour or two.

Instead of writing 750 words once a week for your newsletter, you might get just as much engagement and results by writing 750 words (or 500 words) once a month, and 250 words the rest of the time.

This idea can be applied to direct mail (e.g., letters vs. postcards), printing brochures (e.g., full color vs. two-color or black and white), and any other marketing where your target market will hear from you more than once. Take the savings and spend it, or re-invest it in more ads, content, and so on.

Need more traffic? Subscribers? New clients? This will help

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Are you making this expensive advertising mistake?

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The other day I heard a radio commercial for a real estate broker. The show’s host said he’s the only broker he recommends and provided examples of some of the great results the broker has obtained for his clients.

The commercial ended with the host telling the audience to call the broker, provided the phone number, and repeated it.

The broker sounds like a real player, someone you should talk to if you’re thinking of buying or selling. But there was something missing. Something that could help this broker massively increase his income.

It’s a common advertising mistake. Sad because it is so easy to fix.

Here’s what I’m talking about.

There are three categories of people who hear this ad. The first category is the smallest but provides the most immediate revenue: people who like what they hear, pick up the phone and call.

The second category is the largest: people who will never call. They don’t own property, aren’t planning to buy property, have a brother in the business, and so on.

They’re not prospects.

The third category isn’t as big as the first category (those who call) but offers the most long-term profit potential. It consists of all of the people who were interested but didn’t call.

They didn’t have time to call. They’re not yet ready to buy or sell. They want more information. They don’t want to talk to someone who will try to get them to make an appointment.

Lots of good meat left on dem bones.

At some point, many people in the third group will be ready to call. Unfortunately, they won’t remember the broker’s name and will call the next broker who comes along.

The solution is simple.

Tell listeners to call OR visit your website.

At the website, they get tips about buying and selling, information about the market, hear more success stories, learn more about your greatness, and generally sell themselves on making that call.

If they’re still not ready, perhaps they will download your special report or planning guide, giving you their email and allowing you to stay in touch with them until they are ready to call.

Some won’t ever call (for a variety of reasons) but will tell their son or daughter, friend or neighbor, about you, and they will call.

Mr. Broker, by not giving listeners another option besides “call now,” you’re leaving a boatload of money on the digital table. Yes, you can continue running ads and appeal to people who are ready to call, but why not also begin a conversation with the ones who aren’t yet ready?

If there’s enough of them on your list, you may never have to run ads again.

Let your website do most of the marketing for you. Here’s how

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