Marketing deliverables

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Marketing deliverables are printed and/or digital materials you give to prospective clients, to educate them about their problems and available solutions, and/or to provide an incentive to or reward for doing something, e.g., making an appointment, subscribing to your list, following you on social, sharing your link, etc.

Things you can hand out, mail, or make available for download.

They are used to build your list, get more appointments, get more sign-ups for your event, and stimulate referrals as people share them with friends, clients, or colleagues.

You can also use them as an “excuse” to re-connect with prospects, former clients and professional contacts, e.g., “Just checking to see if you need more. . .”

I’m not talking about brochures or business cards. They’re certainly useful, but they don’t have any inherent value.

I’m talking about things like

  • Reports
  • Tip sheets
  • Checklists
  • Planning guides
  • Resource lists
  • Referral cards
  • Coupons
  • Free consultation certificates
  • Case studies
  • Ebooks
  • Print books
  • Courses/videos/audios
  • Invitations to “limited seating” events
  • Private website/page or channel
  • And so on

Some are used to educate prospective clients, some are pure incentives, and some have elements of both.

You don’t need to use all of these; one or two may be enough.

But they need to be good.

They should have high perceived value, something a prospective client might be willing to pay for. You want them to be so good, when a prospect for your services sees what it is and what it can do for them, they immediately say, “I want one” or “I know someone who needs that”.

You can use these for a multitude of marketing purposes, so make sure you keep them in inventory, and get them into the hands of people who might need your help or know someone who does.

Marketing legal services made simple

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Marketing advice for new lawyers

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It’s been a minute since I was a new lawyer but I remember that time like it was yesterday.

I rented an office, bought some furniture, printed some stationery and cards, and I was ready. Unfortunately, I had no clients and know idea how to get any.

The struggle was real.

If I was starting out today, I would start marketing before I opened my doors.

For starters:

I’d set up social media profiles, and find online groups where I could “network”.

I’d set up a simple website or landing page with basic information about me and my background, and feature an email list. I’d offer a report or checklist or other lead magnet as an incentive to sign up, and ask everyone I knew to share the link to my report with people they know.

I contact other lawyers who do what I planned to do, introduce myself, tell them when I would be open, and ask if I could call on them if I had a question, or I had a case that was too big for me to handle.

I’d choose a niche market and study it. I’d identify businesses and professionals who serve that niche market, learn what they do, identify what they want, and look for ways I could help them.

I would build momentum before I opened my doors so that when I opened my doors, I could hit the ground running. If you’re planning to launch a new practice, that’s my advice to you.

On the other hand, don’t do what a lot of new lawyers do–spend a year or more “preparing” to open.

At some point, probably sooner than you might like, you’ve got to go for it.

Open your doors before your ready.

Because there’s nothing better than the need to buy groceries for getting your rear in gear and bringing in some paying clients.

Marketing a law practice is easier when you know this

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Just the facts, ma’am

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In the pantheon of bad marketing advice, is the notion that telling prospective clients about your experience and your services is enough to persuade people to choose you.

Because it’s not.

They’re important. A client wants to know what you offer and what you can do for them, and you need to tell them, but if that’s all you tell them, if you give them just the facts, you’re not giving them enough to make a buying decision, that is, to hire you.

Because people “buy” for emotional reasons and then justify their “purchase” with the facts.

Your job is to trigger an emotional response to your words, to make them feel something that compels them to act.

The simplest and most effective way to do that is by telling stories.

Stories are the juice of marketing. They lubricate your message, give it context, and show the need for and benefits of what you offer. Stories convey importance and urgency and persuade people to act.

Seth Godin said, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”

Stories are especially important when you sell something abstract like legal services.

Stories work because they’re about people. Prospects pay attention to your stories to find out what happened to them.

Oh boy, look at that. Here I am trying to convince you to use stories in your marketing and I haven’t used any. I made an important point, but that point would be more effective and memorable had I told you about these two lawyers in the same market who offer the same services, but who use a slightly different marketing strategy.

Lawyer Moe’s marketing primarily consists of brochures, and a website filled with facts. He describes his practice areas, his experience, and his services, and it’s impressive.

Lawyer Larry also tells the facts, but includes stories from his practice to illustrate what he does for his clients. His stories are usually no more than a few paragraphs, but like any story, they have a beginning (a problem), a middle (complications), and a resolution (problem solved by Larry, our hero).

Moe has more experience than Larry, but Larry earns three times what Moe earns, primarily because his stories “show” instead of “tell”.

Facts tell, but stories sell. Use stories in your marketing.

Put stories in your newsletter

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How much time do you spend on marketing?

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I’m talking about time you designate exclusively for marketing and nothing else.

The time you spend calling or emailing former clients, to say hello or share information you think might interest them.

The time you spend reading about marketing, sales, advertising, psychology, or personal development.

The time you spend connecting with professional contacts, to discuss helping each other with referrals, list building, or to share ideas.

The time you spend writing articles, blog posts, or presentations, or creating videos, or reviewing content created for you by others.

The time you spend reading other lawyer’s blogs or newsletters, to find ideas you can use in yours.

The time you spend researching your niche market and the centers of influence in it.

That kind of time.

Look at your calendar for the last 30 days. How much time did you schedule to do things like these?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

I know, “busy” is your middle name, but you don’t need a lot of time for marketing. Consistency is key.

Start by scheduling 15 minutes on your calendar each weekday, exclusively for marketing. If that seems difficult, start with ten minutes. Or 5.\

When that time arrives, do something, anything, that could be considered marketing, even if it’s scribbling down ideas or questions, reading a few pages in a book, outlining a new blog post, or re-organizing your notes.

If you’re stumped, sit quietly for ten or 15 minutes and do nothing. Eventually, you’ll get bored and do something.

And from there, great firms have been built.

Start today to build yours.

This will help

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The attorney marketing triad

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There are lots of ways to build a law practice, but if I had to name just three, here’s what I’d choose:

(1) A content-rich website that attracts traffic and persuades visitors to contact me to make an appointment or ask questions and subscribe to my list so I can stay in touch with them.

That website would educate prospective clients about legal problems and solutions, tell them what I do and how I can help them, and prove to them I can deliver what they need and want.

The website would be a digital hub for my practice and my primary presence on the Internet. It would attract prospective clients via search and referral, and it would do most of the “convincing” for me.

(2) Build a list and stay in touch. Most people don’t hire an attorney the first time they visit their website or otherwise encounter them. It may be weeks or months or years before they’re ready to take the next step.

When you have a list, you can stay in touch with prospective clients, remind them of the solutions and benefits you offer, provide additional proof and encouragement, and be in their minds and mailboxes when they’re ready to take the next step.

Your list can also stimulate them to provide referrals (actual clients, traffic to your site, followers on social), and provide reviews and testimonials.

Your list will also generate more repeat business and referrals.

(3) Build relationships. I’d serve my clients’ legal needs and help them with other aspects of their business or personal life. I’d also do that with professional contacts and other centers of influence in my niche or local market.

I’d provide information, introductions, and referrals. I’d promote their business, practice or cause. I’d get to know them on a personal level and help them get to know me.

Because we’re in the people business and the quality of our relationships is a major factor in our success.

If you get these three things right, you may not have to do anything else.

How to build a website that makes your phone ring

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“The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous”

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Marketing legal services is often defined as “everything you do to get and keep good clients”.

That covers a lot of ground.

Everything from lead generation to getting prospects to sign up to getting repeat business and referrals, and a lot more.

It includes prospecting, qualifying, presenting, overcoming objections, and closing. Yes, pure salesmanship, for many attorneys, the bugaboo of legal marketing.

But selling your services doesn’t mean becoming a salesperson. You don’t have to use unseemly tactics to get people to do things they don’t want to do.

If your marketing is effective, you don’t have to do much selling at all.

Peter Drucker said, “The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.”

When you do a good job of marketing your services, clients sell themselves.

Prospective clients learn what you do and how you can help them, and see proof of what you’ve done for others. They learn about your experience and abilities and get a sense of what would be like to work with you. And then, on their own, they decide whether to take the next step.

They make an appointment or contact you to ask questions or request more information. Eventually, they either sign up or they don’t.

Without you having to sell them.

Don’t misunderstand, it’s useful to know what to say when a prospective client hesitates. Knowing how to overcome objections and close can help them decide to hire you and thus get the benefits they want or need.

But it is your marketing that does the heavy lifting.

Marketing is easier when you know The Formula

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Who’s on your ‘top 30’ list?

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Some clients are better than others. They give you more business, send more referrals, and otherwise contribute more than other clients to your bottom line and your success.

The same goes for professional contacts. Some send more referrals, promote your offers, and help you build your list of contacts and subscribers.

I encourage you to go through your list(s) and write down the names of your best clients and professional contacts.

Then, cut this down to 30 names. Your top 30.

Call it ‘My Top 30’ list or ‘My inner circle’. And keep that list in front of you.

These are the people in your professional life with whom you should connect most often and most deeply. Call them, write to them, talk to them, spend time with them, because they contribute the most to your success.

And what we focus on, grows.

Your ‘top 30’ should get more access to you, extra favors from you, more of your time and attention.

Do something special for them. Schedule “call-in days” where they can ask you anything. Give them extra content and/or early access to content. Give them special offers, introduce them to your other contacts, and otherwise make them feel valued and appreciated.

Because, I’m sure, they are.

What if someone “drops out”? They close their business, retire, stop hiring you or sending you referrals? Put them on another list and give their “spot” to someone else.

Your “inner circle” should max out at 30 people because, if you’re doing it right, that’s about all you’ll have time for.

Nurture your inner circle. Take care of them. Because they take care of you.

Do you use Evernote? Get my ebook, “Evernote for Lawyers”

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I’d like to interview you

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Getting interviews is easy. Tell people you’d like to interview them for a book, an article or blog post, or as a guest on your podcast or channel. Most people will say yes.

Most people are flattered to be asked and excited to get exposure for their work or their cause.

What’s in it for you?

  • More content for your blog or newsletter or channel. Or a book–I turned an interview with successful appellate lawyer, Steven Emmert into a book, How to Build a Successful Appellate Practice
  • More traffic to your blog or web site or book sales page from followers of the interviewee or people searching for them
  • You get to connect with influential people you might otherwise never meet, which could lead to other marketing opportunities or referrals
  • You get to learn something you can use in your practice or personal life
  • They may ask to interview you for their blog, podcast or book

You can interview one expert or several (and aggregate them for your article or book).

You can record and transcribe the interview, as I did for my book, or email questions they can answer at their leisure.

Interviews are easy. Here are 3 tips for making them even easier (and better):

  • Before the interview, ask them to send you their profile or “introduction” and what they want to promote (their book, their website, their offer, etc., and links thereto).
  • Ask them to send you five or ten questions they’d like you to ask them. Add these to your own. Your readers or listeners will get better information and you’ll get a better (and easier) interview.
  • Ask open ended questions. Get them to open up, share examples and stories, and reveal something interesting about themselves.

Interviewing fellow professionals and other experts is an easy and effective way to market your practice. I should write a book about it. Wait, I already did: The Easy Way to Write a Book

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Why will this year be different?

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When you’re making plans for the coming year, the first you should do is review the previous year.

Take 30 minutes and think about what happened last year and what you can do to make this year better.

Tim Ferriss does an annual review by going through his calendar, week by week, and noting everything that was positive and everything that was negative. He uses this information to create a list of what to do more of in the new year, and a list of what NOT to do.

Another method is to go through your calendar, your project and tasks lists, your journal, and anything else you use to manage or document your life, and ask yourself 3 questions:

  1. What worked? What did you do that resulted in progress towards your goals? Which strategies were effective? What did you do well? What are you happy about?
  2. What didn’t work (and why)? What didn’t go well for you? What strategies didn’t bring good results? What disappointed you? And why?
  3. What can you do differently? What did you learn about your situation or yourself that can help you this year? Where can you improve? What do you need to stop doing? What new or better skills can help you?

If you need more prompts, here are some additional questions to ask yourself:

  • What did I discover about myself–my strengths, my challenges, my beliefs, my methods?
  • What did I discover that will help me this year: websites, podcasts, ideas, books, channels, people, methods?
  • What new habits helped me improve? What new habits can benefit me this year? What habits do I want to eliminate?
  • What did I appreciate about last year? (Experiences, opportunities, relationships, etc.) What made me happy? What was I proud of?
  • What kept me up at night? What have I/will I change this year?
  • What goals did I fail to achieve? What will I do differently this year?
  • What will I focus on this year? What are my “activity” goals? What are my “results” goals?
  • What else can I do to make this year better than last year?

To make this a better year, let go of the things you can’t change, your regrets, negative thoughts, and find a few positive things to focus on this year.

You might ask yourself the “focusing question” posed by the authors of The One Thing–“What is the ONE thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

If that “one thing” is “improve my marketing,” let me know what I can do to help.

The Attorney Marketing Formula is a good place to start

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Building your law practice 90 days at a time

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Art Williams was a high school football coach who became a billionaire building an insurance company from scratch. One of the things he taught his organization was the power of short-term bursts of effort. It can be difficult to maintain enthusiasm and stamina for a year, Williams said, “but you can do anything for 90 days.”

Williams built his business with a series of 90-day sprints. He put in all out effort for 90 days, never stopping or slowing down. At the end of 90 days, he was so confident and excited about what he had accomplished, after a short break, he was ready to do it again.

I’ve gone on many 90-day runs in my law practice and businesses. When you get laser-focused and work hard at something every day, momentum builds, your results compound, and you can accomplish amazing results.

Right now, you may spend 15 or 30 minutes a day on marketing. You can accomplish big things that way, if you do it consistently. But imagine what you could accomplish if, for the next 90 days, you went crazy and worked on marketing two solid hours every day. Total immersion, total focus, total effort.

90 days from now will be the beginning of April. It will be here in no time. You have a choice. You can go about your business the way you usually do usual or you can go on a 90-day run.

Where would you like to be 90 days from today?

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