Never forget rule #1

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Rule #1 of marketing: Nobody cares about you, they only care about themselves.

They don’t care about your office move–unless your new office is more convenient for them. They don’t care about your new website design–unless it makes it easier for them to find things they want. They don’t care about your vacation, what you ate for dinner, how you broke your leg or the birth of your latest grandchild.

Not really.

They may be mildly curious, they may congratulate you or wish you a speedy recovery, but they have their own lives to lead and they care about that far more than anything–or anyone–else.

I’m not saying you should never mention news about your work or anything about your personal life. You should. It allows people to get to know you better and that’s a good thing.

Just don’t talk about it too much or too often or think that anyone really cares.

Because they don’t.

Instead, talk about things they care about. Things that interest them or help improve their life or their business.

Talk about THEM. Name names if you’re able and talk about their business or industry something going on in their neighborhood.

If you target tech professionals, for example, talk about market trends (laws, changes, news, etc.) that affect them. Talk about people they know or might want to hear about. Talk about problems and solutions, predictions and stories related to their niche.

They’ll read every word you write.

They’ll also see you as someone who understands and supports them and they will share your content and recommend you to their colleagues and advisors.

You’ll build a reputation in their niche as THE attorney for that niche. Which means your marketing will be easier, less expensive, and more effective.

Where do you get all this information? From your clients and from other professionals who target that market, and from doing some research.

Inside Email Marketing for Attorneys, I’ve included guidelines to help you do that.

To see what it’s all about, go to Email Marketing for Attorneys.

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Never before, never again

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When you want people to do something–read your post, register for your event, take you up on your offer–it’s almost always a good idea to use an appeal to urgency.

You want to convey the feeling that what you’re offering or promoting has “never before been available, and it never will again.”

You probably won’t say those words (although you might) but that’s the feeling you want to convey.

Urgency is an important tool in your marketing toolbox because it’s tough enough to get people to do anything, even when it is in their best interests.

Urgency, special offers, scarcity, and other “devices” usually increase response. I use them. You should too.

Problem is, we know that most people are busy and don’t have time to watch every video or read every post.

I’m on a lot of lists and when I get an email telling me a certain video I wanted to watch will be taken down in 24 hours, more often than not, I delete the email and carry on with my day.

But here’s the thing.

When I get an email from certain people, I do everything in my power to watch the video or visit the page.

I trust and respect them and if they’re recommending it, I’m in.

I have a short (mental) list of people I follow that don’t have to try hard to “sell” me on anything. It doesn’t mean I’m going to buy everything they sell or recommend, just that they have earned the right to my attention.

I hope I have earned that right with you. That’s the goal. To be on your shortlist of “must-reads”–someone you respect and trust and listen to.

And that should be your goal with your list.

Most people won’t make the cut. But if you can earn the trust and loyalty of even a small percentage of the people on your list, you’ll be in good shape.

If you do it right, those people will keep your waiting room filled.

They’ll supply you with repeat business and referrals. They’ll send traffic to your website, promote your content and events, and otherwise help your list and your practice grow.

If you don’t have a list, it’s time to start one. If you do have a list, it’s time to send them something.

How to do email right

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Hard selling your list

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You have a list. You want your subscribers, friends, and followers to hire you, refer you, promote you, or otherwise do something that will (eventually) bring you more business.

That’s why you have a list, right?

You want people who have never hired you to pull the trigger. You want old clients to contact you about a new matter. You want referrals, reviews, sign-ups for your seminar, and you want people telling others about you or your content so you can build your list.

But you don’t want to overdo it. You don’t people on your list to leave or get pissed off and then leave. You don’t want people to think you’re too spammy or unprofessional.

So, how much is too much?

First, as long as you’re writing something your readers find interesting or valuable or that allows them to connect with you, you can’t write too often. Even every day is not too often.

So, not boring. Check.

But what about selling? How “pushy” or “salesy” can you be, should you be, and how much is too much?

In a nutshell: soft sell regularly and hard sell occasionally.

Yes, I said hard sell. You can (and should) do it because there are people on your list who need your help but need a little push. A hard sell from time to time may be just what they need to finally take action.

Good for them and obviously good for you.

Just don’t do it all the time because you’ll wear out your welcome.

We’ve all signed up on lists where everything we get is a hard sell. Pitch, pitch, pitch, urgency, scarcity, now or never, coming out of their pores.

Yeah, don’t be that guy.

Marketing is seduction. You can’t constantly ask your list to go to bed with you.

But this isn’t something most attorneys do. Most attorneys do the opposite.

They send lots of information but never sell anyone on anything.

News flash: you’re not in the information delivery business.

You’re in the helping business, so tell people what to do to get your help.

Tell your subscribers to make an appointment or call with questions or sign up for your next event.

Do that regularly because you never know when someone on your list is ready to take the next step.

While you’re at it, tell them to invite their friends to see your video, read your blog, or sign up for your newsletter. Their friends need your help, too.

Sometimes, you push a little. Sometimes, you push a lot. Sometimes, you add a link (and a few descriptive words) and let your readers decide if there’s something they should see.

In other words, mix it up.

In other words, be normal. Like you’re having an ongoing conversation with people you care about and want to have in your life for years to come.

Because you are.

My email course shows you how to do it right

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Want people to read your emails?

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By far, the best way to get people to read your emails is to send those emails to people who know who you are.

A client or former client or a business contact will open your email because they recognize your name and want to hear what you say.

Your clients and business contacts–your warm market–read your emails because they know, like, and trust you. The same is true of your newsletter subscribers.

When you send email to people who don’t know you, it’s a different story.

If you write to strangers, or to people who relatively new on your list and may not yet recognize your name or recall that they signed up for your newsletter, you have to use the “subject line” in your email to get them to read your message.

The subject line is the headline for your message. Like any headline, it has to first get the reader’s attention and then give them a reason to read more.

Your subject line should make them curious or promise a benefit or otherwise inspire them to click to see what your message is all about.

Quick example.

Let’s say you don’t know me but I want you to read my email that tells you about my course on building your practice with email. In the subject, I might say, “Want people to read your emails?” because I know that when you read that, you’ll probably answer in the affirmative (and then open the email to see how to do that.)

Like the subject of the email you’re reading right now.

And yes, my email marketing course does show you how to write email subject lines that get people to open and read your emails. It also includes 203 ‘irresistible’ email subject lines you can use, to help you do just that.

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It’s not how big it is. . .

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I’m talking about your list, of course. Having a big one is important to many people but, like other things in life, it’s not how big it is, it’s what you do with it.

If you have a small email list but you get a lot of new clients each month from it, you’re a stud. If you’ve got a huge list but nobody signs up, well, don’t go bragging about the size of your list.

Okay, I’ve milked that analogy enough. Oops, maybe not.

Anyway, it’s a valid point. It’s not the size of your list that’s paramount, it’s how responsive it is.

You want your subscribers to read what you write, not ignore your emails because you give them too much to read or your message isn’t relevant to them.

You want a list that looks forward to hearing from you because your emails are interesting or fun to read and never boring.

You want a list that engages with you, by replying to your questions and responding to your offers.

You want a list of people who like and trust you so that when they need you (or know someone who does), they don’t hesitate to contact you or refer you.

So yeah, grow your list. But don’t obsess over size and don’t worry about having a small one.

If you want to know how to build a responsive list and get more clients with email without spending a lot of time or money, that’s what my email marketing course is all about.

Details here

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Inbox zero problem–solved

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I’ve been pretty good about maintaining inbox zero, that is, cleaning out my email inbox every day (or two).

Things I can do quickly, I do. Things that require more time or I want to save I forward to Evernote. Everything else gets trashed or archived.

Lately, I found myself getting behind. A lot. To the point that I didn’t want to look at my inbox anymore.

Last night, I took action. I added a label to 415 emails (from one guy) and archived them, leaving me with just 39 emails that I’ll handle today.

Yes, that’s a lot of emails from one guy. He writes seven days a week, more when he’s promoting something. I didn’t want to delete them because I get a lot of value from his emails and I want to be able to read them.

Never met the guy but I feel like I know him and I welcome his counsel.

Maybe you feel the same about my emails. You like them, you get information and ideas from them, but you can’t always keep up with me.

You might want to do what I did: label and archive (or put them in a folder) so you can read them later.

You won’t hurt my feelings.

And, if you write a newsletter, you might suggest this to your subscribers, in case they find themselves falling behind.

They can read you later, when they need your help, or when they see the boring dreck written by your competition and miss hearing your “voice”.

It’s not important that your subscribers read everything you write. What’s important is that they see you are still writing to them. See that you’re still helping clients, and still available to them when they need your help.

So, go ahead and write often. Just don’t write dreck.

My email marketing course shows you how to write emails your clients and prospects want to read.

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The ten-second newsletter

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How long does it take to write a newsletter? Not long. A few minutes or even a few seconds.

A few seconds? How is that possible?

It’s possible if you re-define the meaning and purpose of a newsletter.

Your newsletter doesn’t need to be all about news or about the law. It can be a few sentences you think might prove interesting or of value to your readers.

A thought, a tip, a link to a helpful resource, a quick story, or a few words about what’s going on in your life. That’s all you need because your newsletter is merely a mechanism for staying in touch, reminding people that you’re still around and still care about them.

If your readers need more information, direct them to your website or tell them to contact you. Like I do every time you hear from me.

If you want to see examples of ten-second newsletters, and a lot more, head on over to my email marketing course so you can start using email to build your practice.

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Why newsletters don’t work

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You say you’ve tried a newsletter but it didn’t work. It didn’t bring in business, it took too much time, or you ran out of things to write.

Or, you’ve thought about starting a newsletter but are worried about the aforesaid.

I see a lot of lawyer’s newsletters and there are three primary reasons why they don’t work:

(1) Too much information.

If your inbox is like my inbox, you have no shortage of things to read. Your clients and prospects are no different. So, if you send them a newsletter filled to the brim with information and articles, most people won’t read it.

And, let’s face it, you don’t the time to write a newsletter like that so you procrastinate and before long, your newsletter is “out of business”.

What if your newsletter consisted of just a few paragraphs? Something you could write in a few minutes and your clients could read in a few minutes?

Kinda like what you’re reading right now.

(2) Too infrequent/too irregular.

A monthly newsletter isn’t often enough to gain traction with your readers. By the time your next issue arrives, they’ve forgotten what you said last time. Or worse, they’ve forgotten who you are and send your message to spam.

This is a simple fix. Rather than sending a big newsletter infrequently, break it up into smaller messages and send more often. And on a regular schedule.

When you stick to a regular schedule and people only need a few minutes to read your latest message, you get more people reading your messages. Which means more people hire you (again) and send you referrals.

Which is the point.

(3) Uninteresting.

Most lawyers’ newsletters are boring. And I’m a lawyer. If I’m not interested in what you say, you can bet most of your clients and prospects aren’t either.

You have to give people something interesting to read. To do that, you have to understand your clients and prospects beyond their legal problems.

Who are they? What do they do? What are their problems? What do they want in their business or personal life?

When you understand them, you can write about them, and they’ll read every word.

When I write to you, I talk about issues that are familiar and interesting to you. I use examples from my life or practice or from other lawyers I work with or have known.

I write about things you care about and present them in an interesting way.

I can do that because I understand you. Hell, I am you. But if I wasn’t, I’d make sure I studied you.

Which is what you need to do if you want to make your newsletter interesting for your clients and prospects.

It’s not difficult. You can learn a lot about your clients by reading what they read.

When you do, you’ll never run out of things to write about.

My email marketing course shows you everything you need to know. For all the details, go to

Email Marketing for Attorneys

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Study: email 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined

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I’ve been yapping about how email is more effective than social media and this study proves it. If email isn’t at least a part of your marketing mix, you’re missing out.

I know, it seems too complicated. So much to learn, so much to do.

But it isn’t. Unless you make it that way.

In case you have your doubts, let me give you a very simple way to start.

You have a database of clients, right? You have their email addresses on file?

Okay, fire up whatever you use to send emails and send your clients an email that says something like this:

“I’m updating my records and I want to make sure I have your current (and best) email address. Please hit reply and let me know you got this. Thank you.”

Simple, right? What’s next?

Send them one of the following:

  • Information: a link to an article you found online (or wrote): “I thought you might find this interesting.”
  • News: something your firm has done recently or is about to do
  • A legal tip: how to do something or avoid something
  • A consumer tip: how to save money or time or get better results
  • A reminder: to contact you to update their [document], to file their [document], or to call you if they have a question about [whatever]
  • A story: tell them a success story about one of your clients
  • An invitation: to your event, to watch your new video or read your new blog post, or to contact you for a free consultation
  • A thank you: thanks for being my client, thank you for all the comments on my last post, thank you for all the kind words when I broke my leg. . .

Before you know it, the holidays will be here. Not too difficult to send an email wishing them well.

Want to know the one email that gets the highest open rate (according to other studies)? Happy birthday, emails, of course. So add this to your list.

Here’s the key: send anything. It doesn’t really matter what. What matters is that you’re staying in touch with the people who put food on your table.

When you’re ready to take things to the next level, get my Email Marketing for Attorneys course.

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Getting referrals from people you don’t know well

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Yesterday, we talked about using email to reach out to strangers, to see if there’s a basis for initiating a relationship.

But don’t forget the people you already know.

Friends, clients, colleagues, people you’ve worked with–your close contacts can and will send you business, so stay in touch with them, too. An email newsletter is a simple way to do that.

And. . . don’t ignore your casual contacts. Professionals you’ve met once or twice, vendors, consultants, bloggers, and others who sell to or advise people in your target market, can open a lot of doors for you.

These so-called “weak ties” may be a great source of referrals and other opportunities.

Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, said:

“In fact, in landing a job, Granovetter discovered, weak-tie acquaintances were often more important than strong-tie friends because weak ties give us access to social networks where we don’t otherwise belong. Many of the people Granovetter studied had learned about new job opportunities through weak ties, rather than from close friends, which makes sense because we talk to our closest friends all the time, or work alongside them or read the same blogs. By the time they have heard about a new opportunity, we probably know about it, as well. On the other hand, our weak-tie acquaintances— the people we bump into every six months— are the ones who tell us about jobs we would otherwise never hear about.”

Schedule time each week to check-in with a few casual contacts. Send an email, ask what they’re working on, give them some news, or share an article or video you found that might interest them.

Some of these casual contacts will bear fruit, merely because they heard from you and were reminded about what you do and how you can help them or their clients.

But don’t leave it at that.

When the time is right, tell them what you’re looking for. Ask for information or an introduction. Or ask for advice.

Because your casual contacts can open a lot of doors for you, some of which you didn’t know even existed.

Email marketing for attorneys

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