Why you should write your own reviews


Most clients don’t leave reviews, even when they love you. That’s why you should write your own. 

Hold on, I’m not suggesting anything unethical. Here’s what I mean. 

The issue isn’t that clients don’t appreciate your work or the way you take care of them. They do. They tell you that all the time. 

They say thank you. And mean it. They tell you how relieved they are that you got them out of a jam. They say you did a great job, you’re a great lawyer, and they are glad they found you. 

Nice things. The kinds of things you would love for them to say in a review. 

They usually don’t post a review, however, because they’re busy. Or don’t think about it. Or don’t know know how important it is.   

But if you make it easy for them, they will.  

Which is why you should take the words they say to you, or send you in an email, and write the review for them. 

Send them an email, thank them for their kind words, and quote back to them what you heard. And then ask if they would post those words in a review and give them the link to the review site you prefer.

Tell them they can add to or edit what you wrote any way they want to, and can submit it without showing their full name. You can also offer some additional language they could use if they agree with it. Things you know they think or feel but didn’t actually say. 

Make sure they know how important reviews are to a lawyer, and to the people who are looking for a lawyer. And thank them again. 

Not everyone will say yes, but you will get more reviews. And every single one will be good.


Tell me about yourself


Everyone’s favorite radio station, we’re told, is WIIFM—“What’s in it for me?” They tell us that prospective clients don’t care about you or what you want; it’s all about them.

So make it about them.

Make your content, offers, stories, and examples about your reader or prospect. Because that’s why they’re reading your article or copy and that’s why they will hire you (or won’t).

Just tell them about your services and benefits. Leave yourself out of the picture.

No, don’t do that. You will always be in the picture because you’re the one who will help them get what they want.

If you don’t tell them about yourself, if your articles and sales pages are only about your services and offers, that’s boring. And generic. And unlikely to persuade anyone to choose you.

(NB: don’t write articles or sales copy that any other attorney could grab and slap their name on.)

If you want clients to hire you instead of any other attorney, tell them about yourself.

Anyway, aside from that, the reality is, people do care about other people and that includes little ‘ol you.

Sure, they care about themselves a lot more, but don’t for a minute think nobody wants to know anything about you.

They do. They want to hear your story. Especially if they’re thinking about hiring you.

They want to hear about your experiences working with other clients. They want to know what you think about things. They want to know where you’ve been and where you are going.

Because they want to see what it would be like having you as their attorney. But they’re interested in you even if they’re not shopping for a lawyer.

Because people are interested in and care about people.

Something else.

If your reader finds your story interesting, if they relate to you, if they feel that in some way they know you, they will be more likely to hire you.

Knowing is the first step. Liking is second. Trusting may take more time, but the more you tell them about yourself, the more likely this is on the way.

Don’t overdo it. Don’t be one of those people who talks incessantly about themselves.

Me, me, me, doesn’t win friends or influence people.

But don’t hide yourself and talk only about your services. Make your articles and copy mostly about them but also about you.

Because if they hire you, it’s going to be about both of you.


What do you do for fun?


We’ve all been asked this, haven’t we? What are our hobbies, outside interests, things we do when we’re not working?

We often minimize these while we’re building our practice because they take time away from our demanding career.

What if you didn’t have to do that? What if you could do both?

Even better, what if you could use your outside interests to help you build your practice?

You can. And you should.

Pick something that interests you. Something you would like to do more of.

Let’s say you like horses. Riding, showing, watching them race, reading Dick Francis novels, painting them, or anything else.

How on earth could any of that help you build your practice?

That’s simple.

A lot of other people like what you like and some of them need your services or know someone who do.

They might share your interest or they might be in a business or profession that works with, sells to, or advises people in that niche.

If you handle personal injury cases, wouldn’t it be great to represent horse lovers? You have something in common, and that commonality gives you a way to connect and possibly dominate that market.

If you handle business transactions, wouldn’t it be great to represent businesses related to the horse world? Trainers, breeders, feed companies, track owners, and so on?

And, don’t forget the professionals and influencers—the lawyers and accountants and brokers and bankers, the bloggers and authors, podcasters, and event organizers who target the horse world.

No matter what the niche, there are people in it who might hire you, refer you, or promote you. People who might interview on their podcast or book you as a speaker at their event. People who want to hear your story and introduce you to people they work with.

You speak their language. Understand them. And can (eventually) cite examples of things you’ve done and clients you’ve helped in that niche, giving you an advantage over lawyers who can’t.

Point taken?

Choose a niche that interests you. Get to know the people in it. And have fun while you build your practice.

This will help you choose your niche


3 things you should do every day


Every day, there are 3 things you should do.

The first is client work, obviously. Get the work done, the bills billed, the clients happy, and the bills paid.

The second thing is running the joint. Yes, marketing and management of your practice.

That’s true even if you work for a firm. You still want to bring in new business, build your brand or reputation, and do things that help you grow your practice and career.

It includes things like creating content, building relationships with influential people in your niche, strengthening relationships with your clients to foster repeat business and referrals, supervising and training your team, and improving your systems and workflows.

Third on the list, but no less important, is to work on yourself. We’re talking about personal and professional development. The stuff that makes everything else work.

It means improving your legal knowledge and your writing, speaking, and interpersonal skills. It means getting better at communicating, negotiating, and leading and managing people. And keeping up with technology.

So, 3 things every day.

Think of these 3 areas as legs on a stool. You need all 3 or the stool won’t stand.

How should you allocate your time? One third each? Not practical. Some days, you have nothing but client work and no time to do anything else. Some days you have other priorities.

But if you’re a rule-of-thumb type of person, that rule should be to do something in each area every day.

Even if that means making one call on your lunch hour or reading a couple of pages before you go to sleep.

Keep your hand in all 3 areas and do your best to not let a day go by without all 3.

Create recurring tasks in your task manager or calendar or habit tracker. Make this a habit.

Don’t let your stool get out of balance.

How to get more referrals from your clients


Put this in your phone


A Connecticut attorney and long time subscriber recently wrote a newsletter article with some common sense advice for her readers about what to do if they get served.

Essentially, “It’s scary. Don’t panic. Call or text me (and her phone number).“

Good advice for any lawyer to offer his or her clients, because anyone can be sued or subpoenaed, most don’t know what to do and may indeed panic, and we want them to know they can and should turn to us for help.

Which is why this attorney also recommended her readers program her phone number into their phone, “because you never know when you might need it”.

This is also smart because while most clients won’t get served, they might think of other legal issues they need to ask about and having the phone number programmed in their phone makes it more likely they will call.

It might also prompt them to think of their attorney when someone they talk to has a legal matter. “Let me give you my lawyer’s phone number. . .” means more calls for the lawyer.

I really like her final suggestion, that readers program her phone number not under her name but under the word “Lawyer,“ because, ‘“when you need a lawyer, you might not remember my name but you will certainly know you need a lawyer.“

Small thing, but a big thing. Maybe a very big thing. Which is why I’m stealing this idea and passing it along to you to use in your newsletter.


Can attorneys outsource all of their marketing?


Can you outsource all of your marketing? Yes, you can.

But that doesn’t mean you should.

Because there will always be things you can do others can’t do for you, or do as well.

They can’t build relationships with your clients and business contacts like you can. They can’t network for you. They can’t serve as your proxy in interviews or presentations and get the same results you can.

And they will never be able to get the quantity and quality of referrals you can.

When it comes to traditional “warm market” marketing, they can’t do what you can do.

They can advise you. Help you create marketing collateral. Give you ideas and strategies you can use. Hear them out. Read their books. Sign up for their courses. Consult with them on strategy and execution.

Just don’t turn it all over to them to do for you.


It’s a different story with “cold market” marketing.

There are firms that have expertise and resources you (probably) don’t have. Go ahead, hire them to do your advertising, build your websites, and develop and implement other “outside” marketing campaigns.

But don’t turn everything over to them, either.

You need to stay involved, make the big decisions, and approve everything before you write the checks.

Which means you need to educate yourself, so you know the questions to ask, the metrics you need to hit, and how everything is supposed to work.

(And to make sure they’re not screwing up or taking advantage of you.)

Outsourcing some of your marketing might be a great investment. Just make sure you (and your accountants) stay on top of everything.


Your practice-building prime directive


We usually do it when we’re speaking to a prospective client or interviewing a new one. We rarely do it at any other time.

But we should. Because it’s the simplest and most effective way to develop new business and build stronger relationships, which are the essence of building a successful law practice.

Which leads to the prime directive:

Find out what people want, so you can help them get it.

I’m not just talking about their legal needs. I’m talking about everything they might want or need in other areas of their life, because there’s a lot you can do to help people beyond performing your services.

The most obvious is to refer them to other attorneys who handle things you don’t. But you can also:

  • Refer clients or customers to them or promote their business, practice, or cause
  • Provide information—legal, business, consumer, and about their niche or local market
  • Introduce them to people who have information or can help them understand something or do something
  • Recommend tools, books, websites, or ideas
  • Encourage them and give them a shoulder to cry on when things go wrong

Be there for them, for whatever they might need.

If you have a client who needs a recommendation for a job or a loan, help them. If you have a client who is interviewing job candidates, tell them about the book you just read that made this easier for you.

But don’t just wait until they ask for your help. Take the lead and find out.

You do that by observing, listening, and asking questions. What are their goals? What (or who) is stopping them? What do they want to get fixed, avoid, or do better?

You may not be able to help them directly, but you might know someone who can, or. . . know someone who knows someone who can.

Be a matchmaker. When you do that, you help 2 people and get credit for making the match.

You won’t always be able to help people, but you will always get points for trying. When folks hear you ask questions about their situation and what they want or need, when they see you pay attention to what they say, ask follow-up questions, and take notes, they’ll know you really want to help them.

Most lawyers don’t do that. You’ll be “the one” when you do.

Yes, you have time to do it. Because this is the stuff of relationship building and the benefits always exceed the cost.

The Attorney Marketing Formula


Thinking out of the (gift) box


You want to show your clients some love. Give them something extra, to reward them for being loyal to your firm and motivate them to stick around. You want them to see that you’re not like other lawyers who quid pro quo everything, you’re generous and looking out for them.

At least you should. Because it’s good for business.

Does that mean sending them gifts? Giving them free services? Discounts?

Not something you want to do?

No problem. You don’t have to give away the store to show clients your amazingness. You can give away someone else’s store.

Crazy? Not crazy.

Talk to a business owner or (non-competitive) professional you know who has products or services your clients might want or need (and that you recommend). Ask said business owner or professional if they will provide a special offer of some kind to your clients.

Could be a discount. A free service. A free consultation. Even information that solves a problem or helps your clients make better decisions.

You tell your clients you negotiated this deal for them.

Your clients get a nice deal.

The business or professional gets their wares in front of your clients, along with your recommendation. They may buy something or refer someone, or sign up for the business owner’s list and buy something down the road.

Your clients love you and think you’re handsome and want to tell everyone about you.

Not too shabby.

Oh, one more thing. The business owner or professional may see the wisdom of this arrangement and ask if you have something they can offer to their clients or customers.

Which means some of their clients or customers get to find out all about your greatness and become one of your happy clients.

Working with other lawyers can be very profitable


What’s your thing?


What’s your thing? Figure that out and build your marketing (and practice) around it.

Are you a decent writer? Blog posts, articles and newsletters might be your jam. Do you have a book in you? Write it (or hire a ghostwriter) and get it done. It could become the centerpiece of your marketing, firmly entrenching you as an authority in your field.

Are you active in social media? Would you like to be? Millions of people are available to “talk to” and some of them need your help or know people who do.

Networking might be your thing, but which type? Some lawyers network at business and professional functions. Some do charitable work and meet people who know people. Some do business on the golf course. Some ask people they know to introduce them to people in their niche. What sounds right to you?

How about speaking? Many a lawyer has built their career standing on a stage. Many others do well sitting behind a microphone and teaching something or answering interviewers’ questions.

Advertising works. Can you do that in your state or country? Is it appropriate for your practice area? Do you have deep enough pockets to hold your own against better financed competition?

Let’s not forget referrals. Do you get a steady stream of referrals from your clients? From other professionals? Would you be happy getting more?

What do you do? What would you like to do?

If one of these strategies is your thing, keep doing it, get better at it, and leverage it for all it’s worth. You can also do other things, but consider making one thing your main thing.

It might be the only thing you need to build a massively successful practice.

If you want to get more referrals from your clients, this shows you what to do


Marketing without social media


Let’s say you’re like me and you don’t like social media, or you don’t like it enough to make it a mainstay of your marketing.

If you do like it, or don’t want to ignore it completely, there are a lot of benefits, but it’s not the only game in town.

You can get traffic to your website or blog without selling your soul to the master of the universe, through:

(1) Search.

People looking for information (about legal issues and/or lawyers who can help them) will find your content if the search engines deem it worthy of the same. So, make it worthy.

No clickbait. Good information. Published more often than “once in a while.”

(2) Sharing.

If your content is good, visitors to your blog or website will share it. Make it easy for them to do that by providing share buttons that allow them to link to or post your content on their social media platforms.

(3) Posting.

Sign up for accounts on the major social media platforms and, when you write new content, post a link to it on those platforms. You can also post in groups that cater to your niche market, besides posting in your timeline.

(4) Advertising.

You can do pay-per-click advertising, ironically through social media companies, or display advertising, or even offline advertising. Advertise your content, your services, or both.

(5) Everything else.

When you speak or write articles or give interviews, promote your blog or other content properties. When you meet people, via networking, or socially, and you think they might benefit from your recent article or video, tell them about it.

And don’t forget to share your content via your newsletter and invite (ask) your readers to share it.

Tell folks what they’ll find and how to get there, and they will come.

Social media is free marketing, but it can take up a lot of time. Optimizing posts for SEO, guest blogging, commenting, and especially, consuming other people’s and content and engaging with them. You could easily spend an hour or more per day.

For some, that is time well spent. For others, like me and perhaps you, the time factor is a big reason for not making social media a big part of your marketing.

If you want to do something, choose one social media platform used by the people in your target market, and spend your time there instead of everywhere. And limit yourself to ten minutes a day.

But you don’t have to do that, either.

If social media just isn’t your thing, you can still benefit from its power and reach without a formal social media marketing plan or hiring people to run it for you.

Make it “something else” you do, in support of your primary marketing activities, and spend your time on those.

My primary marketing activity is email