“New arrivals” might be great prospects for your services

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For obvious reasons, many real estate agents target new arrivals in town, both homeowners and businesses. You might want to do the same.

When someone moves to your city, there’s a good chance they don’t yet have an attorney. If you are first attorney to “greet” them, when they are ready to hire an attorney, you’ll be first in line.

If you handle real estate, family law, estate planning, or immigration, or you represent small businesses, new arrivals are a natural target market.

One way to get your name in front of them to is to create a booklet, guide, or checklist specifically for them. Your guide might provide a list of names and contact information for vendors and government agencies they need to notify of their new address:

  • Banks, PayPal, credit card companies
  • DMV, registrar of voters, TSA Pre
  • Federal, state, local taxing authorities
  • Insurance: health, renters/homeowners, auto, etc.
  • Online retailers, subscriptions, home deliveries, shippers
  • WHOIS (domain names), hosting, email providers

A checklist like this, provided “compliments of” your firm, will make a favorable first impression and provide prospects with an easy way to contact you to get more information.

Make sure you include another offer in your guide, for a report related to your practice area, available for download at your website. This will help you build an email list so you can stay in touch with the new arrivals.

You can advertise your guide or mail it. You can also provide free copies to local merchants, especially real estate agents, moving companies, builders, decorators, and so on, who can provide them to their customers and clients.

New arrivals also need other services–insurance agents, an accountant, landscapers, painters, and so on. You can offset some (or all) of your printing costs by including small ads in your booklet from these local merchants and service providers. Your advertisers may pass out copies of your booklet to their customers and clients.

This is a simple idea that you could put together in a couple of hours. It could bring you a lot of new business. It will also allow you to meet other professionals and business owners in town, giving you an opportunity to show them how you can help them and their clients or customers.

Marketing is simple when you know the formula

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How to build your law practice with a drawing or contest

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A great way to build your email list, and thereby your client list, is to conduct a contest or drawing. Basically, you announce the contest to your existing list (and/or on social media, etc.), and offer one or more prizes as an incentive.

If you have a way to track “referrers” to your list, you can reward people who send you the most traffic or sign-ups. If not, you can conduct a random drawing (eenie, meanie, minie, moe) and bestow your prize or prizes on whomever your index finger lands on.

You can contact influencers (bloggers, professionals with a list, etc.) and allow them to invite their subscribers or clients to participate. You’ll get exposure to their list, including the ones who don’t sign up for your list.

But what should you offer as a prize?

The best option is a package of your legal services.

The winner gets a service you offer (or a portion thereof), or a package of services, at no cost and with no obligation. If they already have had that service or otherwise don’t need it, they can give their prize to someone else.

Why is this the best option? Because it will attract people who are interested in your services rather than random people who sign up to win an iPad. The biggest reason for making your services the prizes, in case you haven’t figured it out, is that every prize winner becomes a client.

Choose an entry-level service or a segment of a larger service you can give away. If you charge hourly, give away two hours (or whatever) towards any of your services. Or, do something bigger with a grand prize and several smaller prizes.

Oh yeah, once you’ve conducted your first drawing (and seen the results), you can then (a) extend the deadline (and get even more subscribers) and/or (b) do it again in 90 days.

Try it, you’ll like it. So will everyone who signs up.

Marketing online for attorneys: here

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Live, from your office. . .

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The other day I recommended not relying solely on live presentations but to record them so they can go to work for you 24/7.

It’s leverage. Do it once, use it over and over again.

But don’t stop doing live presentations.

I don’t just mean “live and in person”. I mean live online. Podcasts, hangouts, chats, webinars, and so on, that are presented in real time. There’s magic in something done live.

When you promote a recorded video, it’s harder to create a sense of urgency. You can say, “This will only be available until. . .” but you then lose the ability to get eyeballs on an ongoing basis. If you leave it up all the time, many people say, “I’ll catch it later,” but we all know that later often never comes.

When you do it live, however, you can promote it as a special event because it is special. You can say, or more likely imply “Never before and never again,” has this been done, creating an even bigger sense of urgency.

When it’s live, you can say, “Join me” or “Ask me anything” and thus provide more value and build a closer relationship with your followers. Or you can promote it by saying you’re presenting some new or timely information that shouldn’t be missed.

One of the biggest draws of a live event is that nobody knows what will happen. What will be said, what will be asked, what information will be shared for the first time? And let’s face it, one reason people watch live events is that they know it could be a train wreck and they want to see that.

One way to make your live events have more train-wreck potential is to have someone else speak with you. If you have a co-presenter, a panel discussion, you interview someone or have someone interview you, the likelihood of something noteworthy or cringeworthy happening is even greater. (You’ll also get the other speakers’ followers to tune in.)

Do some live events and watch your subscriber numbers and engagement soar. Of course, you should also record these events so you can use them again or make them available 24/7. But you might not want to mention that you’re recording it when you promote it for the first time.

Let your website do the heavy lifting: Marketing online for attorneys

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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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The best law firm marketing list money can buy

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Have you ever rented a mailing list?

If you handle estate planning, for example, you can rent a list of AARP members in your area and mail a letter inviting them to your seminar, offering them your ebook on estate planning essentials, or simply offering your services.

If you handle small business matters, you could rent lists of subscribers to publications that cater to start-ups or inventors or small business management issues.

You can rent lists based on public records, buyers of certain products or services, members of designated organizations, or people who have asked for information about just about any subject under the sun.

There are email lists available, too.

Ask Uncle Google or Aunt Bing to show you what’s available for “mailing lists” or “mailing list brokers” and see for yourself.

Not all lists are created equal, of course. Some are great and will produce many clients for you. Some won’t produce any. But you can test any list by mailing (or emailing) to a small portion of the list to find out. If you get a good return, you can roll out to the rest of the list. If you don’t, you can try something else.

Of course, the best lists are the ones you create yourself. They are usually much more responsive and profitable than any list you rent.

Here’s why.

Everyone on that list knows who you are and what you do. They came to your site and asked you to send them information. That means they’re either interested in hiring a lawyer who does what you do, right now, or they’re interested in the subject of your information and might hire you at some point down the line.

Some of the people on your list are ready to make an appointment. Others have questions and want to talk to you on the phone. Some aren’t ready to do anything but will be in six months. Some may never hire you but will send you referrals.

The people on your list can also help you build your list even bigger. They will share your website content, for example, with their social media friends and followers or their customers or clients.

Your list could bring you several new clients each month. Or more. All you have to do is send them the information they asked for and stay in touch with them.

Now, if a list like this were available from a list broker, how much would it be worth to you?

A pretty penny, me thinks.

If you think so, too, start building your list. You can use ads or social media, blogging or SEO, speaking, writing, networking, and many other methods of driving traffic to your law firm site or a separate one-page site specifically for that purpose. Visitors fill out a form, providing their email address, and you send them the information.

You can learn how to do that here and here

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Stop it, you’re putting me to sleep

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It’s nice hearing from readers who say nice things about my emails. It’s even nicer when they tell me I’m full of it.

If your readers don’t at least occasionally tell you that you missed something or you said something they strongly disagree with, you’re missing the boat.

You’ve want to be edgy. Controversial. Provocative. You want your readers to feel something, even if that something makes them want to take a swing at you. If you never lose subscribers over something you said that offended them, you may be guilty of the cardinal sin of being boring.

If you’re boring, readers won’t read you. If they don’t read you, they may forget you. If they forget you, they’re not going to hire or recommend you.

Now, someone is reading this and thinking they would never go that far. They cherish their subscribers and would never do anything that might get a complaint or, hell-to-the-no, cause someone to unsubscribe.

Too bad. So sad.

If you never take risks with your writing or marketing, if you don’t do anything to stand out and be remembered, you run the even greater risk of living a life of mediocrity.

Because boring is one step away from irrelevance.

Besides, do you really want subscribers who can’t stand a little heat and never get the joke? Who are easily triggered and need to hide in their safe space?

I don’t. I want them to go away and make room for people who get me and support me and buy from me.

You should, too.

You want fans. You want champions. You want people who look forward to reading you, and who might sometimes disagree with you, or get perturbed with you, stick with you, no matter what. Because they love you and know you love them.

<Group hug>

One of the best tools for building your practice: email

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Marketing legal services without a list

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For most attorneys, especially solos and small firm practitioners, one of the best ways to build their practice is with an email list. If you don’t have one, you should start building one immediately.

Having a list allows you to stay in touch with prospective clients and people who can refer them. When they’re ready to hire you, or they know someone who is, you won’t have to wait for them to find you and then convince them that you know what you’re doing. They’ll already know you via your newsletter.

Marketing legal services is so much easier and profitable when you have a list.

Start by setting up an email capture form on your website. Write a report that would interest website visitors and offer it as an incentive to sign up for your list. Tell everyone you know about your newsletter and invite them to sign up.

There are lots of other ways to build your list. One of quickest is to seek out people in your niche who already have a list. Find other professionals who write an email newsletter, for example, and offer to write an article for their newsletter or blog. You can also offer to do a webinar or a Q and A hangout.

Business owners, professionals, bloggers, and consultants, need high-quality content and many will jump at the chance to have you supply it. Some of the people on their list will then sign up for your list.

Yes, you can benefit from this approach without having your own list. Instead of promoting your newsletter or report to their clients and contacts, these professionals, et. al., will promote you and your website. Some of the people who learn about you will need your services immediately.

But many won’t. And that’s why having a list is better.

Here’s how to write a report that will help you build your list

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How long does it take to build a successful law practice?

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How long does it take to build a successful law practice? It takes as long as it takes. That’s my smug, lawyer-like answer, a variant on “it depends”.

In lay terms, I would say, “I don’t have a clue”. Because everyone is different.

What is your practice area? What’s your target market? How much experience do you have with marketing? And a slew of other questions that are a part of the equation.

Actually, there is one question that should be at the top of the list. In 80/20 parlance, it’s one of the “precious few,” a 20% factor that can determine 80% of your results.

How big is your list?

How many prospective clients do you know? How many prospective referral sources do you know? And, if you’re not starting from scratch, how many former clients and existing referral sources do you know?

Why is this more important than things like skills, experience, reputation, or work ethic? Because the shortest path to success is through other people. That’s true for any business, and even more so for a professional practice.

If you know lots of people who can hire you, for example, it only makes sense that the odds of your getting hired are better than the lawyer who knows very few. The same is true of referral sources.

You may not (yet) be very good at inspiring them to hire you or refer, but knowing more people (and staying in touch with them) can give you a big edge.

So, how big is your list?

Now, by list, I mean any kind of list–paper, digital, or even the list in your brain (note to self: write down the list in my brain so I don’t forget it).

In years gone by, we would talk about the size of your Rolodex. (Please, no selfies of your massive Rolodex.) Quality was important, but all things being equal, the bigger your Rolodex, the better.

Today, your list is predominantly digital. Quality is still important. And size still matters.

But today, there is another factor that can make a big difference.

If you’re doing it right, you have everyone’s email address and permission to use it. Which means you can increase the speed and frequency of communication. Which means you can achieve more results (i.e., bring in more clients) faster than you could if you only had their phone number and address.

No, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t call and talk to people. Talking (and meeting in person) allows you to build deeper relationships. Email will never supplant that. But with a couple of clicks, email allows you to tell hundreds of people or thousands of people about your upcoming seminar, updated web page, or special offer.

Can’t you do that on social media? Maybe. You don’t have any control over who sees what. It’s also less personal and thus, less effective.

Okay, you have a big list. I still can’t tell you how long it will take to build a big practice. But I can tell you that it will be quicker for you than for most other lawyers.

How to build an email list, and how to use it: go here

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A simple plan for quickly bringing in new clients

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There are lots of ways to bring in new clients. Referrals, writing, speaking, networking, and other “reaching out” methods all work. But nothing is quicker than advertising.

Done right, an ad can pull in new clients within minutes after it appears.

Not only that, in the online world especially, advertising gives you unprecedented control over your message–where it appears, how often it runs, and who sees it.

You can test different headlines, copy, and offers, to find out what works best. You can start out with inexpensive PPC and classified ads, and when your ads are working, increase your budget to maximize your return.

Maybe you don’t like the idea of advertising. I understand. But don’t hang up the phone until you hear what I propose., because what I propose could be your ticket to quickly growing your practice.

Many lawyers who reject the idea of advertising do so because they think it’s unprofessional or inconsistent with the image they want to portray. Or they believe it “won’t work” for their type of practice or their target market.

I’m not going to debate any of that right now. Instead, I’m going to propose a different idea.

Instead of advertising your firm or your services, what if you advertised a book or a report?

The spotlight wouldn’t be on you, it would be on the report.

Many attorneys write books and other information-based “products”. What’s wrong with advertising them, either for sale or as a free giveaway?

Nothing. Nothing is wrong with that.

Okay, so you have to write a book or report. But you could do that in a weekend.

“The 30 Day Referral Blitz” shows you everything you need to know to quickly write a “Special Report” you can advertise, and use for other marketing purposes.

You could also hire someone to write the report, or help you write it, but don’t overthink this. If you can pass the bar exam, you can write a report that prospective clients will want to read.

Once your report is written, you advertise it and give it to prospects who visit your website (or a separate website dedicated to the report, if you want) in return for signing up on your email list. Your website can handle the sign-ups and delivering your report, automatically.

Then what?

Your report provides your prospective clients with valuable information on a subject that interests them. It also shows them how you can help them. If they like what they see, and they’re ready to hire an attorney, you’ll probably get the call.

And this can happen immediately. Some prospects will request your report, see what you do, and call you even before they read the report.

Others will read the report, follow links to your (other) website where they can learn more, and then hire you.

Some won’t be ready to hire you, but they’ll be on your email list and you can send them additional information about what you do and how you can help them. When they’re ready to hire an attorney, there you will be–in their minds and their (e)mail boxes.

It doesn’t get simpler–or quicker–than that.

The 30 Day Referral Blitz shows you how to write and deliver your report

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How much would you pay for a list of 10,000 prospective clients?

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How much would you pay for a list of 10,000 prospective clients for your services? You get their name and email address and permission to contact them as often as you want.

You can send them information about your services and share success stories about how you have helped other people with similar issues. You can invite them to your webinar or seminar, offer them a free consultation, or make them a special offer on one of your services.

Of course not everyone on the list will hire you. But those who don’t may know people who need your help and you will probably get a fair number of referrals.

I promise you, this isn’t a spam list. Every single person on the list has given permission to be on that list and to have you contact them. They’re also not just a bunch of random names; these people are interested in some aspect of what you do.

Therefore, when you email the people on this list, the odds are they will know who you are and read what you write.

So, how much would you pay for this list?

Would you pay $10,000? That would actually be a pretty good deal. Some experts say that a list like this is worth $1 per name per month. So if your average client pays you an average fee of $10,000, to cover your costs, all you need is one client from this list in an entire year.

But. . . if this list pays you $1 per name per month, that would be $120,000 in fees over the course of a year.

You might do less. You might do more. It will depend on your average fee, how you go about “closing” clients when they contact you, how often you email them, what you say when you do, and lot of other factors.

Anyway, I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is that this list I’ve spoken of doesn’t exist. You can’t buy it or rent it anywhere, for any price. The good news, however, is that you can create a list like this yourself.

You can advertise, drive traffic to a landing page, and get people to opt into your list. You can create content on your web site that attracts search traffic and social sharing and accomplish the same thing. You can promote your website when you speak, when you network, when you write and publish articles and guest posts and whatever else you do to promote your practice.

And, you’re not limited to just 10,000 names. You can build a list as big as you want.

How about some more good news? You might find yourself earning $120,000 per year with a much smaller list. One thousand names might do it, if it’s the right one thousand names and you know how to market to them.

Do you want to know how to build a list of prospective clients? It’s easier than you think and I’ll show you what to do. Start with this.

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