Shrek would have made a good lawyer


On the outside, Shrek was tough and scary. A monster who could slay dragons and vanquish villains. On the inside, he was gentle and kind. 

Your clients want you to be Shrek on the outside, fighting their enemies, protecting them, and being tough. On the inside, where they deal with you, they want you to be warm and caring and easy to talk to. 

How do you attract clients by showing them your strength without scaring them off with bluster?

By being open and friendly and warm in your writing and speaking, in your blog and newsletter, on social media, in the “About” page on your website, and in all of your marketing. 

That means not writing like a lawyer. It means being informal and open, speaking directly to your readers and listeners, and not putting distance between you by writing the 3rd person. 

It means being “normal” and friendly on social media. Some lawyers sound anything but. They come off as “too cool” to talk to people, sounding distant, or worse, sarcastic or confrontational. 

 It’s not complicated. If you want people to approach you, you need to appear approachable. 

That means making people feel comfortable about talking with you and working with you. 

You can do that. You can be warm and friendly and still be professional. 

You can show people you’re tough and also easy to talk to. 

Shrek did it and so can you. 


No, it’s not cheating


Yesterday, I was busy with (something) and didn’t have time to write a new blog post/newsletter article. So, I re-posted an article I originally wrote ten years ago. I changed the headline, did some minor editing, done. 

Did you notice?

No, you didn’t. Because you weren’t a subscriber ten years ago. Or didn’t see it. Or can’t remember. 

That’s good news for content creators like you and me. Re-posting gives us another way to create content, especially when we’re busy with other things.

Yes, you can re-publish old posts. No, they don’t have to be ten years old. And no, you don’t have to change the headline. It’s your blog, your newsletter, your content, and you can do what you want. 

I hope this encourages you to do that.

I wouldn’t do it too often. Uncle G might object. But it’s better to be spanked occasionally by The Masters of the Universe than to deny your new subscribers the opportunity to learn something valuable or interesting because they weren’t around a few months (or years) ago and never had the opportunity to see it.

Besides reposting, you can also update old posts with new information, statistics, cases, or trends. You can re-post and offer a different opinion, because your thinking has changed. You can add new resources, ideas, or quotes from other experts, or stories about cases you’ve had since you first wrote about the subject.

And thus, turn an old post into a new one, without spending a lot of time.  

Another way to save time is to do no writing. Invite another lawyer or professional to write a guest post for you. Or, interview them, which can be as simple as sending some questions via email and posting their answers. 

A “listicle” is another way to create a blog post or article without doing a lot of research or writing. A listicle is a list of resources, tips, ideas, or quotes,often just a few sentences on related topics. For example, you could write a listicle about important new laws in your field, or changes to old ones.

So, there you go. Alternate ways to get new content, without slaving away at the keyboard. 

For more ways to get more content, see my course, Email Marketing for Attorneys


Make it personal (even if it’s not)


Thousands of people are reading these words right now, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s just you. When I say something or ask a question, I’m not asking or speaking to everyone. 

Just you. 

If you want to get more people listening and reading, more people responding, sharing, and liking what you write (and ultimately hiring or referring you), you should do the same.

When you write, write to one person. Not “everyone”.

Even if you’re writing a blog post or newsletter article, or speaking from the stage—even on social media. Write or talk to one person. Don’t call for a show of hands, don’t address everyone in the aggregate, don’t say, “I’m wondering what y’all think about this?” And whatever you do, don’t say “Hey gang!” (my personal pet peeve). 

As far as your listener is concerned, there’s nobody else there. Don’t bust that bubble, however fictive it might be.

They’re sitting in their office chair or propped up in bed, reading your words or listening to your voice, and for a moment, hearing a personal message from a friend. When you speak in the collective, it puts distance between you and the reader. Communication is most effective when it is personal. 

So, make it personal. 

That also means writing from your perspective, not “for the firm”. Tell the reader what you think about the subject, what you did yesterday, what you plan to do later today. Tell them to call you, not “the office”. 

“Talk” to them as though you were sitting together, having a chat. Because, virtually speaking, you are. 

How to write an effective blog


Sorry, I don’t want to smack that bell


Everywhere we turn, somebody is telling us to do something. Fill out a form, download a pdf, watch a video, like, comment, share, subscribe. 

It’s annoying, but it works. We’re more likely to click something when we’re asked to do it.

Which is why everyone asks. And why you should too. 

If you want more subscribers, ask (tell) people to subscribe. You’ll get more subscribers. If you want more clients, tell people to call for an appointment. You’ll get more calls. And clients. 

You’re reminding them to do something that’s good for them. The more you ask or remind them, the better off they’ll be. So don’t feel guilty about asking. They’ll thank you later, after you’ve helped them solve their problem.

Ultimately, people do what they want to do. I do that; you do that. It doesn’t matter how many times I tell you to do something or buy something, you won’t do it—unless you want to. I can’t make you do it, just as you can’t make a prospective client write you a big check. 

But while we can’t compel people to do things, we can make it more likely that they will. 

The simplest way to do that is to tell them why. Give them one or more reasons or benefits for doing what you ask. Tell them what’s in it for them. Because they might not know. They might not remember. They might not have wanted or needed those benefits before, but now they do.

This doesn’t mean you have to pile on the benefits. You don’t have to smother them with extras and bonuses, or go to great lengths to persuade them to do what you ask. People like helping you. They like telling others about you and what you offer. It makes them feel good about themself to do that.  

Which is why many people will do what you ask simply because you ask.

But more will do it if you tell them why.

The Attorney Marketing Formula


Why you need a story diary


You are a storyteller. You tell them to friends, colleagues, clients, and juries. You put them in blog posts, articles, and presentations. You use them to make a point or share a light moment. 

Stories are how humans connect with each other. They help us win friends and influence people. 

And you need a steady supply of them. 

Where do you get them? By keeping your eyes and ears open and noting what other people talk about, write about, and do. You get them by observing your world. 

The best stories are usually about things you did or that happen to you because you have an emotional connection with those stories (and the people in them).

You solved a problem, did something new and interesting, or met someone who made an impression. When you share these stories, you help people understand, appreciate, and remember your message. 

And you.

When you talk about a troublesome case, for example, you help the reader or listener step into your shoes, see what you saw, and feel what you felt. It’s an effective way of illustrating something important or something you care about and think your audience will, too. 

Now, since stories are so valuable, you should create (or expand) the habit of collecting them. 

Set up a “story” file and add notes and articles and quotes you might use someday. In addition, take two-minutes at the end of each day and make a note of what you did (or saw or heard) that day. 

Who did you speak with? What problems did you solve or work on? What did you see or hear?

Did you sign up a new client? Settle a case? Improve a skill or start learning a new one?

Record your day in a diary or journal. You don’t need to write out the entire story. Just jot down enough details to help you remember it when you want to use it.

Your journal will make you a more effective writer, speaker, and communicator. It will help you win more friends and influence more people.


The simplest way to improve the results of your advertising


There are many things you can do to improve your advertising. You can use more effective sales copy, advertise in different publications or media, use different keywords, run different size ads, increase the frequency of your ads, and more. And you should regularly try (test) these to find the most effective and profitable combination. 

It can bring in more leads, bigger cases or better clients, and reduce your costs. 

But there’s something else you can do to immediately make your ads more effective and profitable. Make sure your ads contain a call-to-action. 

Most lawyers run “branding” ads, designed to get their name or firm name in front of their target market. They might include a list of practice areas or services or tout their capabilities, but the primary purpose is to promote the firm’s name instead of getting the reader or listener to respond to that ad. 

You want a response, don’t you?

You want the reader to call you, fill out a form, sign up for your list or event, or download your report. Don’t leave it up to them to figure out what you want them to do. Tell them. Every ad you run should have a “call to action”.

Tell them exactly what to do, make it easy to do, and tell them why they should.  

Why should they call? To make an appointment? Ask questions? Is there a cost? What will they learn? How will they be better off? 

Why should they sign up for your newsletter or seminar or report? What’s in it for them? 

Provide a call-to-action and you will get more calls, sign-ups, downloads, and clients. 

Simple as that. 

Look at ads placed by your competition. If their ad doesn’t have a call to action (what to do and why), and yours does, which ad do you think will do better? 

Ironically, your direct response ad will also brand you. 

Okay, point taken. But what if your ads already contain a call to action—What can you do to improve response? 

You can make the call to action more prominent. You can repeat it. You can add a deadline. You can improve the perceived value of the incentive you offer. You can provide testimonials or success stories from happy clients who called or signed up.

Also simple. And effective. 

One more thing. You should also include a call-to-action in all of your content. In your articles, podcasts, on your blog, in your newsletter, and in your presentations. 

Tell people what to do, and why, and make it easy to do, and more people will do it.  

How to use a newsletter to get more clients and increase your income


Create content about what you do


Your clients, prospective clients, subscribers, friends and followers, and even your business and professional contacts, want to know about you and your work. 

Even more than they want to know about the law. 

In fact, unless someone currently has a specific legal issue or question, or has a client or friend who does, they probably don’t want to hear you talking about the law.  

It’s boring. 

It’s people who are interesting. And you are one of those people. 

Tell them about your typical day, the kinds of clients and cases you handle, your staff, how you stay productive, and even the software you use. 

Tell them how you do research, the forms and docs you depend on, and how you get new business. (Perfect opportunity to talk about all the referrals you get—and plant a few seeds for your readers). 

They want to hear what you like about your work, and what you don’t. They want to know about your favorite case, and about your “client from hell”.  

You may think what you do is dry and uninteresting, but you’re too close to it. What you find humdrum is fascinating to others. 

However… don’t make your content all about you.

You also need to talk about the law. Because some people find you by searching for a legal topic, and when they do, they want to know everything you can tell them. 

But more than you or the law, your content should be about your reader. 

Their issues, their industry, their market, and the people in their industry or market.  

Yep, talk about clients and prospects and the people in their world. Because there is nothing more interesting to your readers than reading about themselves. 

Email marketing for attorneys


Be brief


At a time of diminished attention spans and lists of things to do as long as their arm, most people don’t have time to watch your lengthy presentation or read your lengthy article, blog post, or email. If you want more people reading more of your content (and you do), keep it brief. 

As short as necessary and no longer. 

In your core work as advocate, advisor, or draftsman, say as much as you need to say to do your job. For marketing and client relations, say less. 

This doesn’t mean writing less often. Actually, if you’re trying to build and strengthen relationships with clients and prospects and professional contacts, you should write more often. 

Once or twice a year or “once in a while” isn’t enough to keep your name in front of people. 

Good news. Shorter content is quicker to write so you can write more often. 

Yes, SEO favors longer articles and posts, and longer sales letters and pages tend to pull higher response, but for a busy lawyer, your top priority should be to get something out the door and into the hands of readers and followers. 

As often as possible. 

You can also write longer articles and reports, do longer videos and presentation, but make those extra. 

Shorter content, published more often, should be your thing.

If you’re using email (and you should), here’s everything you need to know


Are you a better writer or speaker? 


That’s one question you need to answer if you want to use content to market your practice, but just one. You also need to consider how long you take to produce a piece of content and how often you plan to publish. 

Creating videos and podcasts usually requires more time than writing a newsletter article or blog post. They also require a different set of skills. But you might have those skills and experience and be able to push out a new episode or video quickly.

Or outsource those skills and functions (research, editing, formatting) so you can focus on what you do best.

Also consider your market. Short videos work well in some markets; long articles and reports work better in others. 

How do you choose what to do? It’s different for all of us. Maybe “none of the above” is right for you. 

But don’t reject anything (or choose anything) too quickly. Try different things and give them a bit of time. Something that doesn’t work for you today may be massively successful for you tomorrow. 

But don’t decide solely based on results.

The best thing to do is to choose the method you like best. Because if there’s something you like, you’ll probably stick with it. If you stick with it and turn out a piece of content every week, you’ll bring in more business.

And that’s the point, isn’t it? 

You don’t need to do everything or be great at everything you do. You just need to do something and keep doing it.


Ideas? Where we’re going, we don’t need ideas


Many attorneys do no content marketing. No blog, no newsletter, no articles or videos or podcasts. The two primary reasons they give are (1) They don’t have enough time, and (2) They don’t have enough to write about.

As someone who initially resisted creating content for those same reasons, I do have something to say about this subject.

“No time” does not compute. If writing a blog or newsletter brought you twice as much new business as you get now, and it could, or brought you bigger cases or better clients, and it could, you’d find the time. Or hire someone. Or both.

Content marketing works—if you work at it.

Besides, if you follow my “system,” you can write something people want to read in under an hour. 

One hour a week to double your client intake? Even if it “only” brought you one additional client or case a month, would that be worth it? 

Now if you don’t want to do it, fine. But if you do want to, you do have enough time.  

What about not having enough to write about? 

That’s also a non-starter. As long as you’re practicing, you’ll never run out of things to write about. 

Write about your practice. Your cases, your clients, the laws you work with every day, problems, solutions, questions and answers. Write about what you say when you give a presentation, what you tell people who ask about what you do and how you can help them.  

You want ideas? Go through your email. Think about the last case you settled, the last brief you wrote, or something opposing counsel said or did that made you roll your eyes. It’s all fair game. It’s all something your clients and prospects, readers and followers, want to know.

Besides, there is a never-ending parade of new people finding and following you who haven’t seen anything you wrote before. That means you can write about something you wrote before.

You might have noticed that I do that, in spades. 

I use different words and different examples, at least I think I do—I can’t remember what I wrote months or years ago, can you? New subscribers don’t know, old subscribers don’t remember (because if I can’t, they can’t), but even if they can, good ideas are worth repeating. 

Good ideas are worth repeating. (See?)

So, re-read your old blog posts or articles and update them, re-write them, or say something different about the same subject. 

Now, if by some miracle you really are fresh out of ideas, the Internet is your friend. Go see what other attorneys have written about in their blog or newsletter and steal their idea. (The idea, not the words).

Yes, but what I run out of attorneys? Are you serious? Okay, you can do the same thing with business blogs or consumer blogs and anyone else who said something that might interest your readers. 

The world is awash with ideas you can write about. Too bad you don’t have enough time.