Go deep

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In a recent newsletter, James Clear said, “Double down on your best relationship. It’s the investment with the highest return.”

What did he mean?

He meant make the most of your existing relationships, they might be all you need.

Your existing and former clients will lead you to new clients. Your current professional contacts (referral sources) will lead you to new contacts, new opportunities, and the clients that go with them.

Go deep, not wide. Focus most of your attention on what you already have.

How do you do that?

Make a list of your top ten clients and another list of your 5 best referral sources and get to know them better.

Learn about their world, their industries, niches, and communities. Get to know their family, their employees, and their professional contacts. Add value to their lives by providing information, introductions, leads and traffic, advice and counsel.

Get to know everyone they know and look for ways to help them, too.

They will lead you to all the business you can handle.

You may start out with 10 or 20 people on your short list, but if you do this right, they will lead you to thousands.

You can always go wide. Network, advertise, blog, dance your ass off on social media. But if you focus on going deep, you may never have to.

The Attorney Marketing Formula

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Why should anyone hire you?

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On your website, in your marketing materials, when you speak with a prospective client, your top priority is to tell people why they should hire you.

(1) Tell them why they need a lawyer.

If you haven’t spoken to them, use if/then language. Ask rhetorical questions, tell them their risks and their options, and make the case for hiring an attorney instead of doing nothing or trying to fix the problem themselves.

If you are speaking to them, find out what they want (don’t assume it), and explain how an attorney can help them get what they want.

(2) Tell them why that lawyer should be you.

Spell out your qualifications, explain why you are a better choice than other attorneys, tell them about your solutions/services and the pros and cons and costs of each.

Of course it’s not just what you say, it’s also how you say it and how you make them feel, so make sure you:

  • Build rapport, to help them relax, feel your strength and self-confidence, and build likeability and trust
  • Get the client to talk about themselves—what they think, how they feel, what they want to happen, and why. What’s at stake for them? The more they talk, the more they are likely to sell themselves on taking the next step
  • Ask appropriate questions, to show them you have experience with their problem, and show you care about helping them
  • Share stories of clients you’ve represented in the same or similar situation, to illustrate how an attorney can help them and show them how you have helped others
  • Confirm their understanding of each point before you go on to the next one, to eliminate potential misunderstandings and show them your thoroughness and patience
  • Answer their questions and handle their objections before they raise them, and invite them to ask you more

And then, when they have no more questions, ask them what they want to do.

Yes, you can assume the sale and hand them (or send them) the paperwork to sign, but it’s much better when they tell you they want to get started. They’ll be more likely to do that when you show them they need you rather than telling them.

New here? Start here

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Do you make this mistake in your newsletter?

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When you set up a new newsletter, one of the first things you’ll do is add one or more emails to the auto responder. These emails go out automatically as new subscribers sign up.

Typically, the first email will welcome them, tell them how often they can expect to receive your newsletter, provide a link to download the report or other incentive you promised, and a few other housekeeping matters.

But if that’s all it does, it’s missing the most important element.

Most people subscribe because they want the information you offer in your report. But they found your site or page because they were looking for an attorney to help them with a problem.

So, make sure your first email, and every email, tells them what to do to get your help.

Your contact information, sure, but more than that—tell them what to do and why.

Tell them to call or fill out a form. Tell them what happens when they do.

No, it’s not too soon to do that. No, you don’t need to send more information first, to warm them up and build value before you sell them on taking the next step.

They need help. They might be ready to talk to you and hire you today. So, tell them what to do.

If you don’t, their problem might get worse, or. . . they might call someone else.

You don’t have to hard sell. You don’t have to go into a lot of detail. But you should tell them what to do and why.

Show them the pathway to getting the help they need and want.

In every email.

Not everyone is ready to talk to you or hire immediately, of course, so deliver the information, too. Tell them about the law, their risks, their options.

But do that in addition to telling them to contact you, and why.

You might not need more than a sentence or two, with a phone number or a link. Sometimes, you’ll do more. But never do less.

How to build your practice with an email newsletter

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Better than free

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GetResponse, the company I use to manage my email marketing, recently announced a “forever free” plan.

Which is good news if you want to try email marketing or see if they’re better than what you currently use.

I’ve used them for many years and recommend them, and you can check them out here.

Yes, that’s an affiliate link.

Something else.

If you like what you see, you can continue to use the free plan “forever” and everything is included. But if you want to upgrade to a paid plan, which gives you more room to grow, they’re running a Black Friday promotion, which will save up up to 40% for life.

I signed up under one of their promotions years ago and still pay less than a lot of customers.

A limited quantity of discounted plans will be available, so if this sounds good, don’t dawdle.

Check it out, set up a free account, and take a look around. Let me know if you have any questions.

Here’s the link again

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Two goals for your website

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When someone arrives at your website, you want two things to happen.

First, you want them to give you their email address, so you can follow up with them since the odds are they won’t call you on their first visit.

In fact, if your website does nothing else but capture the identity of visitors, it will have served its purpose.

Many people build profitable businesses with a simple landing page and an enticing offer. No other information, no address, no list of products or services, not even their name. That all comes later, via email.

I’m not saying this is what you should do. But if you wanted to, you could.

Assuming you have a more traditional website, that leads to the second goal. Achieving this second goal will make achieving the first goal much more likely.

Your second goal is to convince the visitor that they’ve found the right lawyer.

Can you do that on their first visit? To a great extent, you can. You can show visitors that you have the knowledge and experience to help them with their specific problem or aim.

Key word here is “specific”.

You convince someone, first-time visitor or otherwise, that the work you do, the problems you solve, the benefits you deliver, are exactly what they want and need.

The simplest way to do that is to show them you specialize.

You don’t do “everything,” like many lawyers; you’re not a Jack or Jill of all trades. You focus on providing solutions to the very problem they’re having, the problem that prompted them to come looking for an attorney.

Choose one practice area exclusively, or lead with one practice area and “hide” the others, in the footer of your site or on other pages.

Or on other websites.

When someone finds your website, you want them to see they’ve come to the right place. Show them that and they’ll want to learn more. Show them everything you do and you dilute the effect and may drive them to keep looking.

Clients prefer lawyers who specialize. The same way patients prefer doctors who do. The way you prefer to hire a lawyer who consults with lawyers on marketing, rather than a marketing generalist.

More: The Attorney Marketing Formula

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You don’t need to be a great writer to write great emails

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You’ll never be able to write an email newsletter that brings in new clients because you aren’t a great writer.

Is that what you believe?

Sorry to bust your bubble, but it’s not true.

You don’t need to be a great writer. You also don’t need complex tools, fancy graphics, or anything else you don’t already know or do when you send an email.

You don’t need to be sales-y or push people to do things they don’t want to do.

And you don’t need a lot of time.

All you need is an hour a week and the willingness to share some information about your field of law or your services.

Not kidding.

Most of my emails are only a few hundred words of plan text. I copy and paste my words into a form supplied by my email service provider. I edit and proofread and click a button to send that email to my list.

Can you do that?

Just like that, your newsletter is out the door and in the mailboxes of people who can hire you and/or refer you, reminding them about what you do and how you can help them.

Send them a weekly tip. Tell them a story about an interesting client or case you had (or read about). Give them the link to a video or website you suggest they check out.

Can it really be that simple?

It can.

If you want your list to grow, you’ll also want to do things like adding a sign-up form to your website, creating a report or other incentive to encourage visitors to sign up, and promoting your offer anywhere prospective clients might see it.

And you should, because the bigger your list, the more opportunities you have to bring in more business.

Here’s the thing.

Even if you’re terrible at all of this, you’ll get more clients, simply because you stayed in touch with people who can hire you, send traffic to your website, and tell others about you.

They’ll do that even if you’re not a great writer.

Email Marketing for Attorneys

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How to get more clients when you don’t have a big list

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Email marketing is one of the best ways to drive the growth of a law practice. And I recommend building your list immediately, if not sooner (as my grandfather used to say).

Building a list organically can take time, so while you’re doing that, there’s another way to use email to bring in clients, promote your events, or get more readers or listeners for your blog or channel.

You can leverage other people’s lists.

Get influential people in your niche to tell their subscribers about you, your seminar, your website, your book, your newsletter, or your services.

Think about this.. . .

One of the biggest reasons people hire a lawyer is because someone they know recommended them.

If you can get influential folks with a large audience (or even a small but well-targeted audience) to recommend you or something you offer, they do the selling for you.

And they’ll usually do it better than you could. . . because they’re not you.

How do you get in on this? How do you get others to promote you?

Unless they’re a personal friend, it usually takes more than just emailing and asking pretty please. You have to offer something in return.

What do you have to offer?

Well, if (when) you did have an email list or newsletter, or a robust social media following, you could offer to promote their products or services or events in exchange for them promoting yours.

But I’m assuming you don’t (yet).

Do you have a blog? You could invite other professionals to publish a “guest post”. Or you could interview them and publish that on the blog, where your readers can learn all about them.

This sounds simple, because it is. It’s also do-able.

If I was a professional, business owner, or blogger in your niche, and you offered this to me, I’d jump at the chance.

These other professionals might also be open to interviewing you or inviting you to write a guest post for their blog or newsletter. They’ll do that if they believe you have something to say their readers would like to hear.

You do, don’t you?

Talk to other professionals in your niche and see what you can work out. Immediately, if not sooner.

Okay. One more thing. Maybe I should have started with this.

You say you don’t have a prospect list (yet), a blog, or a following worth mentioning. Something you can use to promote other professionals, in exchange for their promoting you.

Ah, but you do.

You have a client list.

People who know, like, and trust you and will listen to you when you recommend something.

It might not be a big list, but it is better list than a list of prospects. Everyone on your client list knows you personally, has given you permission to contact them, and will open and read your email.

Your client list is extremely valuable.

If you write and tell them about an accountant who is conducting a seminar or has some great videos, and you recommend they check it out, they probably will.

Which means this accountant should be willing to write to his list and recommend you.

Can I get an Amen?

Email Marketing for Attorneys


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Say it again

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One of the most important principles in marketing is repetition. If you want to put more butts in seats at your events, get more people reading and sharing your content, and more people hiring or recommending you, once is not enough.

Because the first time you say it, offer it, or ask for it, the odds are nothing will happen.

Why?

Maybe they didn’t get your message. Maybe they didn’t read it. Maybe they weren’t ready to take the next step.

For a lot of reasons:

  • They didn’t have the money
  • They didn’t want to spend the money
  • Their problem wasn’t yet painful enough
  • They didn’t understand you, believe you or trust you
  • They needed to get someone else’s buy-in
  • They have another attorney and feel bad about switching
  • They didn’t want what you offered
  • They had more pressing issues

So, you say it again.

You send the same message, or a different message. You repeat your arguments, examples, and stories, or you use different ones.

But they still may not be ready. So you follow-up with them again. And again. And again. And when they’re ready to take the next step, they will.

But that’s not the end of the story.

You continue to stay in touch with them, even after they hire you, because they may have other legal matters that need addressing (and may not realize they do), or they might not need your services right now but know someone that does.

Each time they hear from you, each time they find your message in their inbox, you remind them about what you do and how you can help them.

And people need to be reminded.

On the other hand, guess what happens if you only send one message, or even two or three?

A year, two years, three years later, when they need you and are ready to take the next step, you will be a long-forgotten memory and some other lawyer will get the call.

So, two rules for your rulebook:

  1. Don’t rely on one message to close the deal, and
  2. Stay in touch with people repeatedly, over time.

When they’re ready, willing, and able to hire you (or refer you), there you will be, in their minds and in their mailboxes.

The easiest way to do this? Yes, email.

Hey, have you noticed that I’ve said this before? Many times, in fact?

Just practicing what I’m preaching.

Email Marketing for Attorneys

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You’re so vain, you probably think this post is about you

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You want people to know you’re good at what you do. That you’ll work hard for them, advise them, protect them, and help them get what they want, and you know how to do this because you’ve done it for many others.

But it’s hard to talk about yourself without sounding self-centered.

So, what do you do?

For one thing, whenever possible, you let others do the talking.

You share client testimonials and reviews. You share letters of endorsement from other professionals. You share articles written about you, your awards and your victories.

You let others talk about why they hired (or referred) you or wrote about you, and why they would do it again.

Let them tell the world how good you are.

Yes?

What else can you do?

You also share your own writing and recordings, which demonstrate your knowledge and experience. To illustrate your points, you cite examples from your work, showing yourself “in action,” helping people, solving problems, delivering results.

And when you do that, you talk about the client or case or other person in the story, not about yourself.

You’re still in the story. But as the narrator, not the protagonist.

Your reader will understand that you were the driving force in solving the problem and delivering the results. But the story is about your client, so let them have center stage.

You don’t have to avoid using the word “I” or hide behind the stage curtain. Your readers want to know what you think and what you did. And you should tell them.

Just don’t make the story all about you.

The Attorney Marketing Formula

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Let’s talk

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Well, we’ve done “like” and “trust“. How about ‘know”? How do you get more people to know you, so you can get them to like and trust you (and eventually hire and refer you?)

The simplest way is to “talk” to more people. But I’m not just talking about actual conversations.

When I say “talk,” I mean getting your name in front of your target market by publishing content (and advertising, if that’s something you do), anywhere and everywhere they are likely to see it, and inviting them to contact you or visit your website or do something else to get more information.

You publish on your blog, newsletter, and social media. And you publish on other people’s blogs, magazines, newsletters, podcasts, and video channels, or you speak at local or online events.

Wherever your target market is, you get your name and ideas in front of them, and invite them to contact you. .

That’s marketing at its simplest. And it works. But there’s something that works better.

Since it often takes more than one “conversation” before someone knows you or trusts you enough to contact you, you also invite them to sign up for your newsletter or download your report or ebook, and provide their email address so you can deliver it.

When they do that, you can continue the conversation by sending them more information. They learn about the law, their options, and what you can do to help them, and hear stories about how you’ve helped others.

Eventually, they get to know, like, and trust you enough to hire you.

Which they may never have done if the conversation hadn’t continued.

Email marketing for attorneys

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