The one hour workday

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Many years ago, when I was making appearances for other attorneys, I was hired by the wife of an attorney who had become ill and couldn’t work for the better part of a year.

He could talk to clients on the phone but couldn’t leave home. During his convalescence, I handled his court appearances, depos and arbitrations.

I thought about that recently when I read a question posed by James Clear in his newsletter:

“If you were forced to work for just one hour per day, what would you work on during that hour to be most effective?”

It’s a good question, no matter our state of health.

What if you could only work one hour a day? What would you do?

You can probably guess my answer. Assuming I had competent help, I’d spend that hour on marketing.

I wouldn’t do the legal work. Why do something that’s worth hundreds of dollars when you could do something that could be worth many thousands?

One hour of focused marketing activity each day could bring in enough new business (and repeat business) to earn you a fortune.

My point? Why not do that now?

Take an hour a day and make some rain. You can spend the rest of the day doing legal work or supervising others who do the legal work, or a combination of both.

Or, you could take the rest of the day and do anything else that floats your boat.

If an hour of marketing is too much to comprehend, start with 15 minutes. You can make a lot of calls in 15 minutes.

Just something to think about as you get ready to plan the upcoming year.

Want help? Get The Formula

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Last day!

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The deluge (of emails and ads) is almost over. At least until later this month when they pick up again.

‘Tis the season.

And there’s something to be learned from watching it all.

In particular, the power of deadlines.

When you know there are only a few hours left before you “lose” a discount, or there are only a few widgets left before they are all gone, it plays to our innate “fear of loss”.

Psychologically, we already “own” the discount or the widget, and it’s about to be taken away from us.

So we click the button, make the call, or get in our car and face the long lines, to get what’s ours.

Fear of loss is much more powerful than desire for gain.

And it’s something I suggest you use in your marketing.

You have to be creative to do that since (I presume) you don’t usually offer discounts or have a sale. But there are ways to do it.

So, look for them. They are powerful. Just don’t overuse them.

Which is why I don’t offer discounts often. And when I do, I put strict limits on them.

And. . . today really is the last day you can get my courses at a discount.

Specifically, these two:

Email Marketing for Attorneys and The Quantum Leap Marketing System.

If you subscribe to my newsletter, check your email for the discount codes.

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It takes two to tango

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Marketing isn’t about you. Oh, you’re an important part of it, just not the only part. You have a partner, a prospective client, the person you’re courting, and you can’t ignore them.

Just like you can’t ignore your partner on the dance floor.

You lead, of course, because it’s your dance. But you can’t make your partner do anything they don’t want to do.

Dancing has rules.

You don’t walk up to someone and start dancing, you ask them if they’d like to dance and give them your best smile. If they agree, you take their hand and lead them to the dance floor.

You start by getting to know them and letting them get to know you. You hold them and make them feel safe with you, and let them get into the rhythm of the dance.

You take a step, they move with you. You take another step, they do too.

On and on you go, guiding your partner, until the song ends and another begins. If they enjoyed dancing with you, they’ll let you know they want to continue. If not, they may go powder their nose and never return.

Marketing is like dancing. You lead, they follow, and, if all goes well, both of you have a good time.

When the dance is over, you have a new client.

And then you begin a different dance.

Marketing isn’t something you do on your own. You do things to attract people who might need what you offer, you show them what you can do, and you pay attention to how they respond.

You lead, they follow. You take them from where they are to where they want to go.

If you do well, if they like your moves (and you), they might want to come home with you.

Marketing is easier when you know The Formula

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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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Are you focusing on your market or your marketing?

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It all comes down this: generic marketing (which most lawyers do) vs. marketing that is customized to your target market.

Generic marketing is “one size fits all”. It focuses on the lawyer or firm, not the market or client. Because of that, their marketing tends to produce poorer results because one size does not fit all.

If you handle family law, for example, every service you offer could be (should be) packaged and presented differently for each of the different types of clients you target.

The prosperous professional fighting tooth and nail to modify a visitation order is very different from the millennial who just wants to get things over with.

Your marketing must reflect those differences.

That’s why you need to decide who you are marketing to (and who you are not) and understand what makes them tick.

What do they want? What will get their attention? What will persuade them? What type of lawyer will they relate to?

Study your target market. What are their highest values, most painful problems, and most fervent desires?

When you’ve figured that out, your marketing is much more effective.

You spend less time and less money marketing to them. Your words and examples resonate with them. You get more of them to make an appointment and more to sign up.

Because they see that you understand them.

Generic marketing is simple. But so much less effective. Everyone hears the same message, and most people tune you out.

You have to work harder and spend more time and more money getting your message out into the world. You have to make sure your fees are “competitive” because the clients you’re likely to attract are comparing your “offer” to everyone else’s.

If you want your marketing to be more effective, if you want to get a higher percentage of people saying yes and paying more, don’t focus on your marketing, focus on your market.

As a friend of mine puts it, “Go so deep into a single niche that you know your customers [he advises businesses] better than they know themselves.”

I show you how to do that in my email marketing course

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Another easy way to write a book

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You often hear me encourage you to write a book to promote your law practice. I’ve said it isn’t as difficult or time-consuming as you might think.

I’ve mentioned that one way to do it quickly is to have someone interview you and publish the transcript. I did this with an interview of a successful appellate attorney I did and another book based on an interview another attorney did of me.

If you’re interested in writing a book based on interviews, you can learn what to do in my book, The Easy Way to Write a Book.

Today, I want to show you another way to quickly publish a book.

I just uploaded a book to Kindle: How to Sell Your Legal Services in 15 Seconds or Less. It’s roughly 6000 words (so, short) and is essentially an updated version of a report I previously offered to new subscribers to my list.

You may have read a copy of the original report. If not, you can get the revised “book version” here.

So, there you go. Take something you’ve written before–a report, a presentation, or the transcript of an interview, and re-purpose it as an ebook.

If you don’t have anything suitable, you can write something in a day or two.

Take something you know well that your prospective clients might want to know, write it down or speak and record yourself. One hour of dictation (or an interview) should yield approximately 10,000 words.

And then, you’ll be able to add to your bio that you are a published author. You’ll also have a book published that can bring traffic to your website.

And that’s good traffic. Anyone who reads your book and comes to your website to learn more about you is “interested” in you.

You’ll also have something you can give away, to build your email or newsletter list.

Let me know if you have any questions about any of this, or you want some help getting your book written and published.

How to Sell Your Legal Services in 15 Seconds or Less

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How to get paid more for your services

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If you want to earn more than other lawyers in your field and do it more consistently and with less effort, I have some advice for you:

Target people with money.

Not the low end of the market. Not the price shoppers. Not merely people with problems you can fix but people with problems you can fix who have the money to pay for the solutions you offer.

Capice?

Hold on. In order to land this type of client, you need to persuade them that you can give them what they want.

What do they want?

They want an expert. A lawyer who specializes in problems like theirs and clients like them.

They’re willing to pay more for that lawyer because they believe a specialist has a higher degree of knowledge and experience and, more than anything else, they want a lawyer they can count on to get the job done.

They want to know that if they hire you, you will take care of the problem, without unnecessary delays or complications.

They’ve buying peace of mind, and they’re willing to pay top dollar for it.

There are many ways to convince these clients you can do the job, but the simplest way is to get referred to them.

The referring party, client or professional, essentially vouches for your expertise and reliability.

You don’t have to persuade the client you can do the job, the referring party does it for you, in great part simply because they are referring you.

So, if I were in your shoes, I’d do what I could to make referrals the core of my marketing.

And, in order to get referrals to clients with money, I’d make sure I got some clients with money and made friends with professionals who represent clients with money, so they can refer their friends and clients to me.

Because you get referrals to clients with money by targeting clients with money.

This will help you get more referrals

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Maybe you need a new box

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“Think different,” Apple used to say in their ads. Today, everybody tells you to “think outside the box”.

Maybe you’ve tried that. You’ve tried coming up with different ways to promote your services but you’ve run out of ideas.

Maybe you need a new box.

Instead of promoting yourself or your services, aka your box, how about promoting something else. Something you don’t promote now. Something that’s not you.

Like a book.

Write and promote a book and let the book promote your services.

With your book in hand, you can do things you may never have considered regarding your services.

Like cold calling someone to tell them about your new book and offering to send them a review copy.

Like advertising your book, maybe even at a discount (egads!)

Like setting up a table at a trade show and selling your book.

Like conducting a contest and giving away copies and cash prizes.

And other things you wouldn’t be caught dead doing as a lawyer.

As an author, you can do these things (or hire someone to do them), because these things are normal in the world of books.

It’s a different box.

So, when people hear about your book, they want to hear more about you.

Bloggers hear about your book and want to interview you.

Event planners hear that you’re an author and want you to speak at their event.

Your book gets reviewed or mentioned and people visit your website to learn more.

People read your book and want to talk to you about their case or issue.

So, there’s your new box. Write a book (it’s a lot easier than you think) and self-publish it (also easier than you think), and start promoting that sucker.

If you want some help, let me know.

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Gene Gene The Dancing Machine

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Bet you know some successful lawyers who aren’t especially talented. They’re like Gene Gene The Dancing Machine on the old Gong Show.

They can’t dance but hey, they’re on TV.

Sure, some of them get on TV by saying and doing outrageous things. But I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about ordinary lawyers who don’t be-clown themselves in public but are still able to get the clients and make the money.

How do they do it?

Connections? Hard work? Luck? Are they smooth talkers, good at getting people to buy their act?

It could be any of these.

Or it could be they’re good at marketing themselves.

One way they do that is to find a niche and focus on it. They learn everything they can about that market and dedicate themselves to it. They identify some of the centers of influence in that market and get to know them.

They get a few clients and then leverage their relationships with those clients to get more.

They stay in touch with their clients and prospects, and with professionals in their niche, keeping their name in front of them, building their reputation.

That leads to introductions, word-of-mouth referrals, and more clients and professional contacts in the niche.

If they network, they do it with primarily with prospective clients and centers of influence in their niche. By going “deep” instead of “wide,” they are able to get more results with less effort.

If they speak or write a blog or create videos or other content, they make sure they tailor their information to the issues and people in their niche.

If they advertise, they target the people and problems in their niche and ignore everyone else, thereby lowering their lead costs and increasing the effectiveness of their ads.

In other words, they don’t try to compete with everyone. They focus their marketing on a small niche market and eventually dominate it.

They become the big fish in their small pond. And then, if they want to, they find another pond.

Something even untalented lawyers and dancing machines can do.

If you want help choosing a good niche market for your practice, The Attorney Marketing Formula is required reading.

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