Marketing online by profiling your clients

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Dollar Shave Club has a unique approach to marketing. On their website, they feature the businesses of their customers and the stories behind them. They recently featured a coffee roaster, for example. According the folks at Small Business Trends:

“Each article comes complete with an interview that gives a glimpse into the personality of that person’s brand. Rather than sum it up, they go to the source, which gives a more truthful glimpse into the companies they are featuring. The people that run and care about the business are those who get to speak about it and that’s not so common anymore.”

Customers can fill out a form on the site describing themselves and their business. “If the submission catches the editor’s eyes, a rep may reach out with some more questions.”

If you represent businesses of any kind, you could do the same thing. Profiling and promoting your clients’ businesses will benefit you in several ways:

First, it makes you look good. Instead of saying nice things about yourself, you’re saying nice things about your clients.

Second, your client gets more exposure and more business, thanks to you. They might reciprocate and tell their customers all about you and your practice. Also, as their business grows, they will probably have more legal work for you. More referrals, too.

Third, no doubt your featured clients will tell everyone they know about their profile on your site. You’ll get more traffic, more subscribers and followers, and more clients.

Fourth, this is an easy way to create interesting content for your blog.

Finally, you might get other websites talking about your innovative approach to marketing. Like mine.

If you have a consumer practice, undoubtedly some of your clients own or run a business. Or they are connected to a charity or cause-oriented group. Find the ones who have an interesting story to tell and help them tell it.

You can also interview your professional contacts and feature their business or practice. You may not be able to send a lot of referrals to an accountant you know; promoting his practice this way might bring him lots of new clients.

Marketing online for attorneys made simple

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Marketing legal services: let other people do it for you

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You don’t want to blog or do a podcast but other people in your niche do. They need people to interview and people to write guest posts.

You, for example.

Find blogs and podcasts and video channels in your niche and introduce yourself to the head guy or gal. Compliment their work. Promote their content to your lists. Comment on their posts. Get on their Hangouts and contribute to the conversation.

Stay on their radar and eventually they will ask if they can interview you. In fact, once they know who you are, let them know that you are available and you’ll probably move to the front of their list.

By helping them, you help yourself. Your interviews and posts will get your name and contact information in front of people who need your services or who know someone who does. You’ll get more traffic to your website, more followers on social media, and more subscribers for your list. New clients will be next.

Remember, they need content and they can only create so much themselves. They need people like you to help them. As you help them, you help yourself.

The more you get your name out there, the more other bloggers and podcasters will seek you out. Marketing will get easier for you. Instead of doing one interview this month you’ll have three interviews this week.

Soon, your target market will see you “everywhere” and they will know that when they need a lawyer who does what you do, you are the one they want. Other professionals will see that you are in demand and choose you for their referrals.

Help others with their marketing and they will help you with yours.

Learn more about marketing legal services online, here

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My take on gun control

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I have a very strong opinion on the gun control issue. I’d like to share it with you but I would be a fool if I did. I write about marketing, not politics or policy. Telling you my opinion on an emotionally charged issue like gun control might satisfy my need to express myself, but from a marketing standpoint it would be a mistake.

I might lose half of my readers who disagree with me. If I represented a special interest group or had a talk show or forum of some sort where “taking sides” was part of the deal, fine. But I don’t, so why unnecessarily alienate people who might hire me?

As a friend of mine colorfully advises, “Don’t shit on your money”.

And that’s my advice to you.

There is a way to talk about issues like gun control, climate change, abortion, and the like without stabbing yourself in the back. You do that by writing about those issues as though you were writing a Bar exam essay.

Present both sides of the issue–the legal arguments and the body of law–in an unbiased manner. The facts and arguments on one side, and then the other. Leave out the conclusion altogether, or couch it in terms of “if/then”.

State the facts and keep your opinion to yourself.

Your clients and prospects, readers and listeners, will appreciate you for educating them about both sides of the issue and for giving them credit for making up their own mind. You have presented a valuable service to them, and haven’t pushed anyone away.

I know, it’s hard to keep mum about what we think, especially when we have strongly held opinions about important issues. But we just can’t go there.

When I see what some people post on Facebook, I have to bite my tongue and watch cat videos to calm down. But I don’t comment. I also don’t like political posts I agree with. I don’t let anyone know my opinion.

Lately, however, I’ve taken to un-following people who reveal their foolishness through their posts. I’m not their client or prospect, so it doesn’t matter, but if I were, their opinions might cost them a small fortune.

What to write on your website or blog

 

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Write for your clients, not your prospects

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A question posed on a marketing blog caught my attention: “How might your attitude to writing your newsletter or blog improve if you saw every reader as a client?”

It’s a great question.

You know your clients, and care about them, and so when you write to them or for them, you communicate at a deeper, more informed level than you do when you’re writing to strangers. You understand your client’s business. You know their family. You know what they like and how they think, what they need and what they want.

You have a relationship with them and when you write to them, you are more relaxed, more open, and more genuine.

Why not be that way with everyone?

When you write a blog post or article, when you speak before a group, when you meet people while networking, think about them as though they already are your clients. You may know nothing about them (yet) but by showing them that you care about them and want to help them, when you generously share your knowledge and advice, when you have a conversation with them instead of talking at them, they will come to know you and trust you.

Some of them will become actual clients. This is a great way to accelerate that process.

Website? Blog? Newsletter? Here’s what to do and how to do it

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Do you have five minutes? Great, then you can market your law practice

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Like a broken record, I promote the idea that you can market your law practice in only 15 minutes a day. You repeatedly hear me say, “Put 15 minutes on your calendar and make it an appointment with yourself.”

But I know that many lawyers don’t do it.

Is that you? If 15 minutes a day is too much, how about 5 minutes?

The beauty of five-minute marketing is that it can be done on the spur of the moment. You don’t have to schedule anything. When you’re waiting for your next client, when you’re eating lunch, when you’re driving, you can make calls, dictate emails, or brainstorm ideas.

You can even write the first draft of a blog post or article. Yes, in five minutes.

The trick to writing an article in five minutes is to separate the idea-getting from the writing. Set up a notebook dedicated to ideas for articles or posts. When you have five minutes, add a few bullet points, examples, or sub-topics to each idea.

When you have another five minutes, you’ll be ready to crank out the first draft of an article.

Assuming you’re writing about something you know, with notes in hand, in five minutes you should be able to write 200 to 400 words. More if you dictate them.

Whether you type or dictate, the trick is to write for five minutes without stopping to edit or even to think. Remember, you know this subject and you know what you want to say about it. That’s enough for a first draft.

That draft will be rough and better for it because it will sound conversational. At least it should.

Put the first draft aside and come back to it when you have another five minutes. Re-write, add links or cites or quotes, edit and polish.

As proof, I wrote the first draft of the foregoing in about five minutes. I’m taking another ten minutes or so to make it pretty for you.

Whether it’s writing articles or emails, calling former clients to say hello, or calling other lawyers to talk about how you might work together for your mutual marketing benefit, you can do a lot in five minutes.

If you’re not willing to commit 15 minutes a day to marketing, make a list of things you can do in five minutes and keep it handy. If you are willing to commit 15 minutes a day to marketing, during those 15 minutes you can do three of them.

How to talk to lawyers about referrals

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What you write isn’t as important as how you write it

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How do you write an original article or blog post? After all, hundreds or thousands of attorneys (and others) are writing about the same things. They talk about the same laws, the same legal system, the same problems and solutions.

The good news is that what you write isn’t nearly as important as how you write it.

Prospective clients don’t read your content because they want to learn the ins and outs of your practice area. They don’t really want to learn about the law, they want to learn about you.

Do they understand you? Do they relate to you? Do they like and trust you?

So, while content is important, style and personality are more so.

Don’t be concerned with delivering the definitive word on your subject. Write something that will make prospective clients see you as someone they would like to work with.

How?

By putting yourself in your writing.

Tell them about clients you’ve helped–what you did, why you did it that way, and what happened. Talk about how you feel about the issues and about your clients. Give them not just the facts, but your advice.

Don’t hold back, either. Give them the unvarnished truth. Write with passion. Open up your heart and your mind and share what’s inside, and let people see who you are.

And that’s the best news, because there’s only one you.

If you give the same raw material to 100 attorneys and ask them to write an article about that material, most of the articles will be very similar. A few will be unique and show readers why they should choose them as their lawyer.

Only a few because most lawyers don’t understand (or are unwilling to accept) the fundamental truth that clients don’t hire your knowledge or your experience, they hire you.

Marketing online for attorneys made simple

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Use your outside interests to build your law practice

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There’s a novelist who blogs about my favorite writing tool, Scrivener. I read one of his posts this morning and noticed one of his novels in his sidebar. I thought, “With all the novelists reading his posts, I’ll bet he’s selling more books.”

Because a lot of novelists use Scrivener, and because a lot of novelists like to discover new authors.

You can use your outside interests to do the same thing, that is, to get more people finding you and learning about your legal services.

Right now, I’m watching a lot of videos and reading blogs about the voice to text tool, Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I know that a lot of lawyers use DNS, or are interested in doing so. If I started a youtube channel on “Voice Dictation for Lawyers,” I’ll bet I could build a list of subscribers who would also be interested in my products and services.

You might be interested in classic films or travel or Apple products. Many of your prospective clients share your interest. They may not want to hear about legal matters right now, but they would love to read about your mutual interest.

If you write a blog, participate in online forums, start a group on social media, or post videos on a channel related to your interest, people will find you. Most won’t need your services right now, but some will. Over time, as you continue to post information or ideas or resources, more and more people will find you and tell their friends about your videos or posts.

As your blog or channel grows, you will also build your law practice.

Marketing is easier when you know The Formula

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Marketing online is easier than you think

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I have a blog but I am not a blogger.

There’s nothing wrong with blogging, it’s just not what I do.

Bloggers focus on engaging their visitors and social media connections. They encourage visitors to leave comments and to visit their social media pages, and they spend time reading those comments and responding to them.

I don’t. In fact, I don’t get many comments. Lawyers are busy. I am, too. If I got lots of comments, I’d probably turn off the comment function on my blog.

Yes, I have a blog. But that doesn’t make me a blogger. Bloggers have lots of guest posts, interviews, videos, graphics, and links to other sites. I don’t. These aren’t important to me.

I’m not a blogger. I write emails to my subscribers, share information, teach and train, and tell stories. I communicate with my subscribers, provide value, and sell my products and services.

I do post most of my emails on my blog, however. This brings search engine traffic. I have more than 1000 posts now, all serving to attract visitors who are looking for marketing and productivity ideas and solutions.

I also get traffic from social media, as visitors share my content with their connections. (I don’t do much with social media myself.)

The content on my blog does something else for me. It shows visitors that I know what I’m doing and how I can help them. I don’t have to work hard to convince them to buy my products or services. The content does most of the convincing for me.

Having an email list means that when I launch a new product, as I just did, I send an email to my list and get a crush of orders.

I don’t spend a lot of time on marketing, either. Once I have an idea for an email/post, I write the first draft (usually) in five minutes. In thirty minutes (usually), it’s done and sent and posted on the blog.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know that you can do what I do. You can build your practice by building an email list and posting content on your website (blog).

You can build a list of prospective clients and referrals sources and stay in touch with the people on that list, and use your emails as content for a blog.

If you’re still on the fence, take my “today” challenge. Write a short email today explaining what you do for your clients. A few paragraphs is all you need.

Here, I’ll help you: “I help people get/keep/avoid __________. I do that by ____________”.

Pretty easy, huh?

Now, email it to someone. And post it on your website.

Guess what? You’re not a blogger, either. But you’re doing what I do.

Marketing online is easier than you think. If you want to know where to start, or where to get ideas to write about, I’ve laid all that out for you in Make the Phone Ring.

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Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat

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I’m going to write a blog post today and show you my process. I want you to see how simple it is, and how quickly it can be done.

While I was out shopping with my wife yesterday, I thought about two of our neighbors who have just repainted their houses and wondered how they chose their painters. I remembered how we chose our painter, Mr. Kim, the last time we repainted, and wrote down the topic for today, in Evernote. This morning, on my walk, I came up with the Bullwinkle-inspired title for this post.

When I got to my desk, I wrote down the topic, and set a timer for five minutes. I started the timer and wrote, without stopping. When the timer sounded, I had written 253 words for the first draft.

I set aside the first draft for a few minutes, came back and wrote what you’re reading now. I spent a few more minutes editing the first draft. The final version of the post, not including what you’re reading now, is 340 words.

This post isn’t brilliant. I made a good point, and made it interesting, I think, by referencing a personal anecdote.

Total writing time today, approximately 15 minutes. And I’m done for the day.

So, here’s the post:

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WATCH ME PULL A RABBIT OUT OF MY HAT

Two of my neighbors just repainted their houses. As I watched the painters working, I thought about the last time we repainted and how Mr. Kim and his brother did such a good job for us. He put on two coats, and this has lasted a good ten years or more. I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that our neighbors had one coat done and will have to repaint again in a few years.

The Kim brothers were very thorough, clean as a whistle, and very low priced. When we paint again, we’ll use them again.

I found the Kim brothers through my former secretary. Her husband is a meticulous shopper, very detailed oriented, and drives a hard bargain. He was a banker for most of his career, so I guess this isn’t surprising. He did a lot of research before hiring the Kim brothers and told us how happy he was with them. Good enough for me.

Friends ask friends for referrals. Especially with expensive purchases. We depend on referrals because they save us time and money and help us avoid the risk of making a bad choice. This is true for finding a contractor, or a lawyer.

I thought, what if I had been referred to the Kim brothers not by my secretary’s husband but by a lawyer I had hired. I’d be grateful to that lawyer for his help and I would assume he could help me with other referrals, to other contractors, businesses, and professionals. I’d go back to him when I needed a referral, and when I needed a lawyer again, he’s the one I would call.  I’m sure I would refer clients to him, too.

The point is, every lawyer should make a point of being a resource for their clients and prospects. They should go out of their way to seek out high quality businesses and professionals and recommend them. Their clients will be happy, hire them again when they need them, and send them referrals. So will the businesses and professionals he or she recommends.

Want more referrals? Go find a good painter you can refer.

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What to write when you don’t know what to write

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“I don’t know what to write.” “I’ve said it all before.” “What I have to say is boring to most people.” “I’m not a good writer.”

This is what many lawyers tell themselves. These are the reasons they offer for not writing to their clients and prospects.

No articles, no blog, no emails. Or very few and far between.

Have you avoided setting up a newsletter or blog because you don’t think you have anything to say? I’m talking to you.

Yes, time is a factor. But you’re smart enough to know that it’s worth finding 30 minutes a week if it means bringing in several new clients per month.

No, if you’re not writing, it’s probably because you don’t think you have anything to say.

You know what? You might be right. You may not know what to say and you may not be a good writer. But it doesn’t matter. If you don’t know what to write, write anything.

You don’t have to be brilliant. You can write something that’s “just okay”.

Why? Because building a digital relationship with your clients and prospects isn’t about information or elegance, it’s about engagement.

It’s not what you say or how you say it that’s paramount. It’s that you said something.

You showed up in their life again, reminding them that you’re still practicing and still interested in knowing them. You shared an idea or observation, or shared something about your practice or your personal life. You asked for their feedback, and asked them to tell you how they are doing.

You don’t need to be brilliant, or even good. You just need to show up regularly and say hello.

Tell them something you did this week, or something you thought. Tell them about a website or book you recommend. Tell them about an interesting case or client you have, or one that another lawyer told you about.

A few paragraphs, once a week, is enough to maintain your relationship.

But here’s what happens.

You keep doing it and your writing gets better. And faster.

You find more interesting things to say, and better ways to say them. You start to enjoy writing, and you look forward to it, especially when you see how it is helping your practice grow.

You don’t have to be good to start, but you have to start to be good.

Here’s what you need to start your newsletter or blog

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