Another easy way to write a book

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

How to get paid more for your services

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

Maybe you need a new box

“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.

Gene Gene The Dancing Machine

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.

Where does it hurt?

If you want to communicate more effectively with clients and prospects (or anyone) and motivate them to act, you need to understand what makes them tick.

You need to know what they want and what they want to avoid or stop.

We’re talking about pain (what they want to stop) and it’s ugly cousin fear (what they want to prevent or avoid). Nothing motivates people to act more than these two felons.

When you understand someone’s pain, you can offer them relief. Someone is in trouble, they want to be rescued. Someone is threatened, they want protection.

When you know where they hurt or what they fear, you know what you need to say to get their attention.

You can also persuade them that you can deliver the outcomes they seek by referring to ideas and examples from their industry or market and by telling stories about clients you’ve helped overcome similar problems.

Before you talk to another prospective client, write your next article or email, or create your next presentation, take some time to discover your target market’s pain or fear, and the words they use to describe this.

One easy way to find their pain points is to find groups where your target market hangs out (Facebook, LinkedIn, et. al.) and search for words that indicate pain or problems.

General words like “help” or “trouble” or “discouraged” can point you in the right direction. More specific keywords related to what you do will give you additional fodder.

Note how people describe their problems and their pain, their frustrations, and their failed attempts to fix what ails them.

You don’t need that much. A few details, a story or two, can go a long way.

When you better understand your target market and what you need to say to the people in it, you’ll get more prospective clients to see you as the right attorney for them.

For more places to find your target market’s pain points, check out my video course on using email for marketing your services.

All that and a bag of chips

My wife and I went to a specialty market the other day to pick up something she needed for dinner. We passed a table with a bowl of tortilla chips and samples of six or seven different types of dips.

I tasted several dips and they were amazing. We bought two, along with a big bag of chips.

Which prompts me to prompt you to give your prospective clients more than one choice. Because if the only choice you give them is to hire you or not, sometimes you won’t like what they choose.

Give them different options, at different price points, and you’ll get more people saying yes. Once they are a client, you can talk to them about your other services.

Because it’s easier to get an existing client to hire you again than to get a prospect to hire you the first time.

If you don’t have this ability now, consider breaking up a bigger service into smaller services. Offer an entry-level service or package, or a menu of smaller services they can buy.

If that’s not possible, give prospective clients other ways to “sample” your deliciousness.

A free consultation. Free information. A presentation with questions and answers.

Meet them for coffee. Invite them for golf. Introduce yourself to them at a party or networking event.

Give more people a taste of what you offer and more people will walk out of your office with a big bag of chips.

A newsletter is a great way to give people a sample of what you do

Lead, follow or hold my beer

Most attorneys copy what their competitors are doing to get more clients or otherwise build their practice. The problem is, most of those attorneys are also doing this.

Most play “follow the follower” instead of “follow the leader”. But following the leader isn’t necessarily the way to go, either.

When you copy anyone, you risk copying something that doesn’t work. You don’t know if what you’re copying is generating results or the results (you think) they’re getting are from other factors.

They might have skills or resources that allow them to get results you won’t get.

Their “successful” ad, for example, might be successful because they have a better system for closing leads. Or, they might break even or lose money on every ad but profit on up-sells, back-end business, repeat business, and referrals.

The other problem with copying others, even if you copy things that work, is that you are merely a copycat. You fade into the background, just another lawyer with nothing special to offer.

So, what’s the answer?

Don’t ignore your competition. You might get ideas from them. But don’t copy them. In fact, a good rule of thumb is to look at what the majority do and do the opposite.

Then, decide that you will be the leader others want to copy. Go your own way, even though it means doing things that might frighten you.

In fact, if it doesn’t frighten you, if it doesn’t take you out of your comfort zone, you’re probably playing safe, which is not what leaders do.

You don’t have to throw yourself into an abyss or run naked in the streets. You don’t have to risk everything.

Follow the path of least resistance. Find something small and easy to do and start there. From that perspective, you’ll be a different person, ready to take the next step.

Ready to take a quantum leap in your practice? Here’s the first step

Marketing is like riding the bus

Marketing is very forgiving. If you miss something or mess up something, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make it right.

If you miss your bus, another one will be along soon.

You wrote an article or post that didn’t bring good results? Write another.

You went to a networking event and didn’t connect with anyone? Go again or try a different event.

Your ad didn’t pull? Your presentation didn’t score any appointments? You met with a prospective client and they didn’t sign up?

Don’t worry. Keep going. And don’t dwell on things that go wrong.

When I was starting my practice I tried something and lost a bunch of money I couldn’t afford to lose. A friend reminded me that I was doing well overall, losses are part of business and I shouldn’t focus on them.

He was right.

Think about the long term and the big picture, not the bumps in the road.

Keep publishing, keep mailing, keep trying new ideas, and you’ll get where you want to go. Because there’s always another bus coming.

Want a simple marketing plan? This will help

Real ID is a real pain

October 1, 2020, the new “Real ID” law goes into effect. After that date, you’ll need a Real ID card or other federally approved documents such as a passport or military ID to get on an airplane or enter a secure federal facility.

Did you know?

I didn’t until my wife renewed her driver’s license recently and found out about it. Later today, we’re headed to the DMV to submit our applications and supporting documents.

We hope we have everything we need. I say that because there are a lot of rules about which documents to bring, and if you get it wrong, “No soup for you!”

Do yourself a favor and find out what you need to do–and do it. As we get closer to the deadline and more people find out about this, you can be sure the lines are going to get longer.

Once you have a handle on what to do, give a heads up to your clients and prospects. Give them the link to get the details, apply online (if available in your state), and gather the required documents.

They’ll need a certified copy of their birth certificate, for example, and may need time to send for it.

Your clients will be glad you told them, glad they have you as their attorney.

Post a summary on your website. You might invite your clients to call your office if they have any questions.

Consider blogging about it, making a video or two, and posting on social.

You’ll generate some goodwill and get more people coming to your website where they will learn about the (paid) services you offer.

Your website can help you make the phone ring

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