The ten-second newsletter


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.


Why newsletters don’t work


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


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


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.


Getting referrals from people you don’t know well


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


How to approach a stranger


I got an email today from someone I don’t know, offering me his services. It said:

“I am reaching out to make you aware of my availability as an [type of] expert witness for case review, consulting and testimony. I also will spend an hour of time at my cost to assist you in evaluating a potential case if you are looking for feedback.”

He then offers to send his CV or I can see it online.

If you’re in southern California, maybe you got the same email. Check your spam folder. That’s where I found it.

Okay, what do you think? Is this a viable approach? What might improve it? Or this is terrible posture and something you would never consider?

I’ll tell you what I think.

There’s nothing wrong with contacting strangers by email. And, if you do it right (and follow your Bar rules) it can lead to work. But. . .

Don’t send a “form letter” to a large list. That’s how it winds up in spam.

Do your homework. Find a few prospective clients or referral sources who are likely to need or want something you provide or know someone who might.

Personalize your message. Tell them where you got their name, show them you know what they do, that you’ve looked at their website (and liked something) or you know someone they might know.

Then, don’t be so quick to ask for a date.

Don’t offer your services, even a free consultation or one-hour free review as this fellow did. You’re asking for too much too soon.

They don’t know you or trust you. You have a ways to go to earn that.

Instead, offer them information. Not about you, about something that might be useful or interesting to someone who does what they do.

Information that will help them do a better job for their clients or customers, for example, or help them save time or money or get better results.

Follow-up in a few days, see if they got your first email and offer the information again.

There are other ways to approach a stranger but this is about as simple as it gets. If you use some common sense and provide decent information, it can bring you some business.

Some recipients will read your report or article, see that you know your stuff and be open to learning more about you. Make sure your report tells them how to do that.

And, once you have a few candidates who have expressed interest in learning more, stay in touch with them, get to know them and help them get to know you.

Networking 101, with email.

How to use email to build your practice


Facebook vs. email: the verdict


Many studies confirm the supremacy of email over social media for marketing, including one I saw the other day.

Sumo sent a Facebook post to 74,000 fans and, they said, they got 10 clicks. They sent the same message to 81,000 email subscribers and got 4,203 clicks.

“In 10 hours, the email had 420x more clicks. Plus, with email you OWN the list. Not Facebook,” they said.

One reason for this disparity: many people simply don’t see your social media posts, due to filtering (censoring), and because many people don’t check social media as often as they check email.

But that’s not the entire story.

Even if you got the same number of clicks from social, email will almost always outperform social where it counts–new clients, repeat business, referrals, engagement, and relationship building.

Because email is more intimate than social media.

With social, unless you PM someone, everyone sees the same message. Most people, therefore, liken social media posts to ads or commercial messages.

But email is perceived as a personal message.

Even though you might send your message to hundreds or thousands of people, if you do it right, each recipient reads it as though it was sent just to them.

Doing it right starts with sending an email, not an ad or commercial message, or an article they can find anywhere online.

Email is the killer app.

This is why I (and others) tell you to build an email list. It’s why we say you can get big results with a small list. It’s why many of us build successful practices and businesses without spending a lot of time (or money) on other forms of marketing.

Build a list and stay in touch with it. By email.

If you want to learn how to do it right, go here


Sixty-second marketing


What are you doing for the next sixty seconds? Okay, after you finish reading this?

You could be using that minute to market your practice.

I just watched a one-minute video by a guy walking and talking into his phone. No intro, he just started talking. He shared his thoughts on a subject and the video ended.

No promotion, no request to Like or subscribe or hit the bell. Sixty seconds and he could get on with his day.

It wasn’t scripted, and it wasn’t brilliant, but it wasn’t boring, either. He gave me something to think about.

The next time one of his videos comes up in my feed, I’ll probably watch it. If he continues to share something interesting, I may subscribe.

That’s how you build a following.

You could do the same thing. Just you and your phone, or you and your computer screen. Press record and talk for one minute.

You could record audio only, convert it to text and post that on social.

Or use that text in your email newsletter.

In sixty seconds, you would probably push out 150-180 words, and yes, that’s enough for a short email newsletter. If you have more to say, speak for two minutes instead of one.

What do you think? Do you have a minute to talk about something your audience or subscribers would find interesting or valuable?

If so, go record something. Like I did. Right here.

How to build your law practice with email


Solved: The chicken came first


If you spend enough time online, you wind up seeing things like this:

“Scientists finally concluded that the chicken came first, not the egg because the protein which makes eggshells is only produced by hens.”

I always wanted to know that, didn’t you?

Full disclosure (because this is dangerous information): I didn’t do any research to see if this is true so if you share this at a networking event or in a blog post and it turns out to be fake news, you could wind up with egg on your face (ahem).

But that’s a risk I’m willing to take, as evidenced by the fact that I’m using this nugget (ahem) in the title of this post.

Which leads me to something else I saw online–a question about blogging: “Do you write the headline first, as you go, or after you’ve finished writing the blog? Does it matter?”

Having written more than a few blog posts and articles and emails and books and ads and other things requiring a title or headline, including the all-important “Re:” in letters, I think I’m qualified to weigh in on this.

But it will be a lawyer-like answer: sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. And no, it doesn’t matter.

Sometimes I start with an idea, sometimes I start with a headline/title. Sometimes I keep the original headline/title, sometimes I change it.

So there.

It doesn’t matter because what’s important isn’t where you start, it’s where you finish. Use whatever you have to get the idea out of your head and onto “paper” and then fix it.

Unless it doesn’t need fixing.

Sometimes, the headline you start with is just right. Like the one I used here. I could have made it a question and not answered it until the body of the message but I thought this was just click-baity enough to make you want to read it.

If you’ve read this far, I guessed right.

Yes, I guessed. Writing isn’t like chicken eggshell protein analysis. It’s art, not science.

I’m off to ponder that while I eat some hard-boiled eggs and toast. (In case you’re wondering, the bread came before the toast.)

More of my writing brilliance (and snarkiness) right here


What’s the wrong way to write an email?


I found this question posted on a forum: “What’s the wrong way to write an email?”

The answer, according to someone with a sense of humor as warped as my own: “With paper and a pen.”

Actually, writing an email with paper and a pen isn’t a bad idea. It might result in a more authentic, thoughtful message since writing by hand accesses a different part of the brain.

Recent research concludes that taking notes by hand increases comprehension and memory, so there’s probably something to it.

Years ago, I wrote in a spiral notebook every morning for 15 or 20 minutes. I wrote non-stop, to suppress my “inner editor”. I became a better writer as a result.

Anyway, I thought I’d take a crack at a serious answer to the question, “What’s the wrong way to write an email?”

My first thought is that there isn’t a wrong way, there are 100 ways.

Too much information, lack of clarity or specificity, talking endlessly about yourself instead of writing about the person you’re writing to, not telling the reader what you want them to know or do, poor grammar and spelling, and the list goes on.

The answer would fill a book (or a course).

For now, I’ll limit my answer to two of the biggest mistakes I see with respect to email.

First up:

(1) Not writing one.

Whether we’re talking about a personal email or a newsletter, email is the easiest way to keep people informed, connect with them, and remind them that you’re (still) available to help them and the people they know.

If you’re not regularly using email to stay in touch with clients and prospects, you’re missing out on a simple and effective way to build relationships, provide value to clients and prospects, and grow your practice.

(2) Writing instead of calling.

Yes, email is quick and easy but there are times when it’s better to call.

When you have bad news to deliver, it’s usually better to speak to the client. The same goes for delivering good news.

And, email (or a printed letter) can never take the place of a conversation for building a relationship.

Call your best clients and professional contacts from time to time, to say hello, ask how they’re doing, and find out how you can help them.

Call and connect with on a personal level with the most important people in your life.

What’s the wrong way to make a phone call? Yep, not making it.

If you want to know the right way to write an email, go here


Reading this could be a waste of time


Most people aren’t that interested in learning the bulk of what you could teach them about the law. If you’re trying to build a following by pushing out as much information as possible, no matter how good that information might be, you’re probably wasting your time.

In the beginning, prospective clients read what you write in a blog or newsletter because they’re looking for information–about their problems or interests and about your ability to help them.

Once they’ve satisfied themselves that you can help them, they won’t continue to read what you write or watch your videos or listen to your podcast unless you give them a reason to do that.

And you want them to do that.

You want them to continue to read or listen to you until they’re ready to take the next step. You want to build a relationship with them because that relationship will mean that if they hire any attorney, they will be more likely to choose you.

That relationship can also help bring more traffic to your website, build your following on social media, and generate more referrals.

That’s one reason why I put a lot of “me” into my content, and why you should do the same. We are a lot more interesting to our readers and followers than the information we provide them.

Building a following isn’t just about showing people what you know. It’s as much about showing people who you are.

Let people get to know you; liking and trusting and hiring won’t be far behind.

To learn how to build a following with email, go here