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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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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The shortest distance between you and new clients

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How many people in the world know what you do? How many clients, prospects, friends, and colleagues know the kinds of problems you solve and the services you offer?

Whatever the number, whether it’s in the hundreds or the tens of thousands, all of these people can help you build your practice.

If they can’t send you a referral right now, they can send traffic to your website, share your content, and say nice things about you on social media.

The people who know your name are the shortest distance between you and new clients.

Unlike other methods of marketing, you don’t have to do much more than keep your name in front of them.

Yes, you can teach them how to recognize your ideal client. You can provide them with content they can share. You can tell them what to say and what to do to make a referral. But most of the heavy lifting is done by simply being there, in their minds and their mailboxes, when they need your services again (a self-referral) or know someone who needs your help.

It’s so simple, and yet most attorneys don’t do it.

Most attorneys don’t stay in touch with former clients and other people they know. Or they don’t do it enough. They look for new people, in a costly and time-consuming effort to win their business.

It’s so much easier to leverage the networks of the people who already know, like, and trust you.

Build a list. Email is easy. Add a form to your website, connect an autoresponder, and offer visitors an incentive to sign up.

Tell your clients to join the list, or email them manually.

What do you send them? Honestly, it almost doesn’t matter. Send them anything that might interest them or help them in their role as a consumer or business person.

Ideas, tips, opinions. Articles, blog posts, videos. Something you create or something you find online. Send them information, links to resources, photos, and stories. Send them your favorite cookie recipe, a holiday greeting, or a review of the last movie you saw.

Let them see that you’re not just a legal technician, you are a person they might want to know better.

Stay in touch with the people who know you. It’s the shortest distance between you and new clients.

Learn how to build a list and what to send them. Get this

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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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Email marketing done wrong

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I got an email this morning, from a guy in Russia. The subject, “Let’s do business”. The message:

I’m running a digital marketing agency focusing on local businesses that need help getting leads using PPC and Facebook ads.

One of the niches we’re definitely interested in are attorneys and you seem like an expert on this topic.

I’m not sure what kind of marketing services you provide to your clients but it would be good to have a quick talk and and see if we can bring more value to your customers by working together on some projects.

I won’t want to bore you with excessive details. . . get back to me if you’re interested in general. . .

You don’t know what kind of services I offer? Why not? You want to work with me on some projects? Yeah, I think I’ll pass. But I’ll use your email as an example of email marketing done wrong, thank you.

I don’t want to talk to this guy. I don’t know him and he obviously doesn’t know me. But even if he said something brilliant and I wanted to learn more, it’s waay too soon to talk.

So no thanks. Delete. Bye.

What could he have done differently?

For starters, how about personalizing the email? Show me you’ve actually read something I wrote or at least know what kinds of services I offer.

Then. . . let’s see. . .

How about mentioning the name of someone I know who referred you to me? That would get my attention.

Or how about mentioning the name of someone in my field you’re working with whose name would impress me and show me you’ve got some credentials?

How about friending me on social media, first? Like and share my posts, engage me, talk to me about something we have in common. When you email me, then, you can mention that we’re connected and remind me that we already have a “relationship” before you take the next step.

How about offering me something I might be interested in? A free report, a tip sheet, a checklist, a video, for example, that shows me how to make more money, save time, get more leads, or something else that interests me, related to what you do?

How about offering me a free trial of your product or service, so I can see if it’s something I want to use or recommend to my clients?

How about at least giving me your website, so I can learn something about you and how you can help me?

Get my attention, first. Show me you have something beneficial to offer to me or my clients. Earn my trust, before asking me to talk.

Attorneys can use cold emails in their marketing. But don’t just blast them out and hope for the best. Don’t “spray and pray”. Learn something about the prospective client or referral source, meet them where they are, take them by the hand and walk them towards where you want them to go.

They’ll come, but at their pace, not yours.

Marketing online? Here’s what you need

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Marketing metrics for attorneys

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When it comes to marketing, I don’t obsess over the numbers. But I don’t ignore them, either. Neither should you.

Tracking numbers allows you to see trends in the growth of your practice. If you’re not growing, you’re dying.

Tracking also allows you to test new ideas and make better decisions about where to spend your time and money. If something isn’t working, you can take steps to fix it. Or abandon it in favor of something else. If something is working, you can look for ways to make it work better.

Every practice is different, of course, but here are the types of marketing metrics you should consider tracking:

  • Traffic to your website(s)–unique visitors, page views, bounce rate,
  • Traffic sources (social, search, keywords, page referrers)
  • Email subscribers-new, total
  • Leads–inquiries, requests for consultation, questions
  • New clients (quantity, fees, source)
  • Source of new clients (ads, referrals, website, individuals)
  • Revenue–first time clients, repeat clients, total
  • Revenue–compared to previous month/quarter/year
  • Revenue per practice area, service
  • Expenses–overhead, variable (e.g., advertising, etc.)
  • Net profit (after draw)
  • Retention–how many clients return/hire you for something else
  • Referrals–quantity, source (from clients, from lawyers, from others)

Some things you track daily. Some weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Some you look at once in awhile.

You probably don’t need to track all of these. You also don’t need to get into the minutia of things like open rates and click through rates. I know I don’t.

I mostly pay attention to two things: the number of new subscribers to my email list and monthly revenue. As long as both are growing, I know I’m doing okay.

How about you? Which of these metrics do you track? What else do you track and why?

Marketing online for attorneys: go here

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3 Keys to promoting your event or offer

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So you want to get people to register for your seminar, hire you for your service, or buy your new book. What should you do?

Promote it.

Promoting isn’t announcing. Announcing is merely stating the facts. Promoting has an emotional element to it. Here are 3 keys to promoting your event or offer.

(1) Get excited

If you’re not excited about what you are promoting, you can’t expect anyone else to get excited. If they’re not excited, they’re probably not going to look at what you’re offering, let alone sign up.

Start by asking yourself why you are excited about your offer. What’s new about it? What’s different? What will it allow people to do that they can’t do now?

Put your thoughts on paper or record them. Tell people why you are excited and, more importantly, make sure you sound excited.

Don’t go over the top, and don’t make up things. Just share how you feel about it.

Instead of just saying that you are excited, illustrate it. For example, you might say that as soon as you heard about this, you ran to your laptop and started writing. Or at breakfast, you couldn’t stop talking about the upcoming seminar, “just ask my wife!”

(2) Urgency

Tell people why they need to act immediately. Tell them why they should not delay.

What will they gain by taking action now? What will they lose if they don’t?

If there is limited seating or phone lines or quantities, tell them, and be specific. If you’re offering an added benefit for the first ones who respond such as preferred seating, additional bonuses, or lower pricing, tell them.

Make sure they know why they shouldn’t wait, and then tell them what to do: go here, do this, do it now.

(3) Repetition

Don’t tell them once, tell them several times.

They may not have received your email, or read it. They may have been busy with other things and forgot. They may not realize that what you are promoting is as good as you say it is, or believe you when you say you’re not sure it will be repeated.

So tell them again, and tell them in different ways.

In one version of your message, appeal to their desire for gain by emphasizing the benefits. In another message, appeal to their fear of loss by telling how many others have signed up or how many seats are left.

Get excited, use urgency and repetition to promote your event or offer and you’ll get more people signing up.

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I’d love to interview you

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You get an email from an admirer. Someone who reads your blog, gets your newsletter, or sees your social media posts. Or someone who heard you speak and thought you were the bees knees.

They have their own blog or newsletter, and they want to interview you and share your wisdom with hundreds (or thousands) of readers who happen to be in your target market. The interview will be 20-30 minutes over the phone, or they can send you five or ten questions you can answer via email.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Some great exposure for you. Could bring in a lot of new clients. The answer is “yes”.

Of course it is. And that’s exactly what the person you ask to interview for your blog or newsletter will say when you reach out to them.

That’s right, while you’re waiting for someone to ask you for an interview, you find people with a following in your target market and interview them.

You’ll get interesting content for your blog or website or newsletter. Your readers will like it, and like you for sharing it, and you don’t have to do any writing.

You’ll get traffic to your site, via search engines and social sharing. More prospective clients, more subscribers for your list.

You’ll get traffic and subscribers from the friends and followers of your interview subject who will undoubtedly promote the interview to his lists.

And you’ll get a new contact who appreciates the opportunity to be interviewed and who will at some point realize that they should interview you.

So, what are you waiting for? Go interview someone.

Marketing online for attorneys: Click here

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Why didn’t you write this?

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I saw a post on Mashable this morning and thought of you. The title is How to decide whether to elect an S-corp for your business. I’m mentioning it to you because I wanted to ask, “Why didn’t you write this?”

In the five hours since it was published (as of this writing), it has 1300 shares. If you had written this, a lot of people would have seen your name, your bio, and a link to your website.

The post is around 900 words. You could have written this in less than an hour. You might not have had it published on Mashable, but maybe you would. The author isn’t an attorney. She got it published. Why not you?

You could write a basic article like this about any practice area. And there are hundreds of places to have your article published. Blogs, magazines, and newsletters galore that need content, written by authorities like you.

Maybe you haven’t written an article like this before and don’t know where to start. No problem. Start with this article (or find one in your practice area) and reverse engineer it.

Make an outline from the article, then write your article from that outline. Add different information, add stories from your clients files, write in your own voice and style, and change the title. Done.

Here’s your homework:

  1. Set up a file for this project and start adding ideas for articles you could write.
  2. Do a search with keywords appropriate for your practice area and find articles you could have written. Add the links or actual articles to your file. Use these articles to write your own version of these articles, or to get more ideas.
  3. Search for websites and blogs in your target market. Find their “editorial guidelines” (article length, topics, focus, etc.) and their submission or query process. If all of the articles appear to be staff written, you can still query the editor. You never know. Yours might be the first outside post they accept.
  4. Write your first article this week. If you’re not ready to submit it to a blog or magazine, publish it on your website.

Publishing articles brings website traffic, enhances your bio, and gives you material your can re-purpose for reports, ebooks, and presentations. It can get you invitations to speaking engagements and interviews, and opens doors to getting more articles published.

Still not sure? Write a “practice” article that you won’t show anyone. Give yourself permission to write something awful.

When I was getting started writing, that’s what I did. I told myself to just get a first draft written, no matter how bad, and I could fix it later. When that draft was done, I found it really wasn’t that bad. It was actually quite good. A little editing and I had something publishable.

I’m betting it will work out that way for you.

Need ideas for writing? Get this

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The biggest mistake lawyers make with online marketing

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Last week I referenced an article about “lethal mistakes” lawyers make with their online marketing. I agreed with some of the mistakes, disagreed with some, and was mystified by the absence of others.

I asked what you thought was missing, and by your responses, you showed me that you are paying attention.

Your list of mistakes included things like

  • The absence of fresh content
  • Too much about “the firm” and not enough about the client/visitor and his problems
  •  No call to action (telling visitors what to do)
  • Too impersonal, formal, unapproachable

Correctamundo.

You get it.

Why weren’t these in the article?

I don’t know.

Anyway, before I reveal to you the number one lethal mistake lawyers make with their website, I want to mention another article about lawyers’ websites that provided some alarming, but not surprising, statistics:

According to this article

  • Nearly 40% of small law firms don’t have websites
  • 70% don’t have a call to action on their home page
  • 97% of law firm websites fail to deliver any kind of personalized content
  • Only 35% have been updated in the last three years
  • 68% don’t have an email address on their home page [see my comments below]
  • 27% don’t have a phone number on their home page
  • Only one-third are optimized for mobile devices

The last issue is especially noteworthy in view of Google’s recent announcement about penalizing sites that aren’t mobile friendly.

The article also said that “only 14% of law firms send a triggered email to a visitor who submits a form online”. That number is skewed, I am sure, because most law firm sites don’t even have a form that allows visitors to email them.

Your site needs a contact form, so visitors who aren’t ready to call you can communicate with you by email. Posting your email is good, but using a form is better. It makes it easier for visitors to contact you, and that means more will (and that’s a good thing, yo.). A form can also reduce spam and allow you to direct visitors to supply information you will need when you reply.

That form should send an automated reply so people will immediately know “message received” and what will happen next. Without this, visitors are likely to keep looking.

Okay, now for the biggest mistake.

Your emails to me mentioned it. So you know it’s important. I’m not sure if you realize how important, however.

The biggest mistake is not having a form for visitors to subscribe to your email list or newsletter.

You need a form and you need to tell people to subscribe. Tell them on every page. And give them reasons why they should. Tell them how they will benefit by filling out your form. What will they get, learn, or avoid?

Why is it so important to get people to subscribe? Because most people who visit your website for the first time

(a) aren’t ready to hire you,
(b) aren’t ready to contact you to ask questions or schedule an appointment, and
(c) aren’t likely to return to your website.

First time visitors are gathering information, about the law and procedure and their options, and about lawyers who can help them.

News flash: yours isn’t the only website they visit.

If you don’t capture their name and email on the first visit, and use that to stay in touch with them, the odds are you will never hear from them again.

Which means you’re losing business. A lot more than you may realize.

When visitors subscribe to your email list, you can continue to send them information, remind them about the solutions you offer, and show them why they should choose you instead of any other lawyer. You can continue to sell yourself and your services.

Six days, six weeks, or six months from now, you can continue having that conversation and convert more people into paying clients.

Even if they’re not ready to hire you, even if they never hire you, they can send you referrals and traffic and promote your events and share your content and help you build your email list further.

But none of that will occur if you don’t know who they are.

Without a list, you can’t stay in touch with visitors, earn their trust, seek their feedback, ask for their testimonials, invite them to your seminars, tell them about updates to your site, or do anything else to build a relationship with them.

And that’s why building a list is numero uno.

Your website’s content is critically important. But if that’s all you focus on, you’re asking your site to do too much.

You could take away my blog, my social media accounts, remove any mention of me from search engines, and cancel anything else I do to promote my products and services, and I would survive because I would still have my list.

Building a list is the most important thing a lawyer can do to market their practice, and most lawyers don’t do it.

Learn how to build your list and market your practice online.

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