Why not you?

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Youtube thought I’d be interested in watching an attorney explain what to look for when choosing a family law attorney.

The video is made to look like an interview, with the attorney explaining what to look for and what to ask. It’s less than 2 minutes and looks like it was recorded in her office.

Nothing fancy. She probably had a member of her staff record it on a phone.

Under the video, she lists her website, phone number, and an offer for a free consultation. There’s also a transcript of the video.

I offer no comment on the content, although I would stay away from mentioning an hourly rate, even as an example as she does.

Some viewers will think it’s too high and won’t call. Others won’t call because they think it’s too cheap.

Anyway, this is the type of video any attorney could make and post in about ten minutes.

If you’re a novice at making videos, it doesn’t get any easier than this.

You could do it facing the camera, speaking to prospective clients, or like this one, as a simulated interview. The latter has the advantage of looking less like a commercial and suggests that the attorney is someone worth interviewing.

The video has very few views, but that’s another issue. I don’t know what the attorney has done to promote it, but there are many options.

I’d start by optimizing the video with keywords a prospective client is likely to use in searching for information or help.

A video like this one, explaining “How to find a (your practice area) attorney” is a good choice, but I’d add “in (your city or area)” because that’s what a prospective client would no doubt include in their search.

And then I’d create other videos, explaining the law, procedure, risks, options, and other questions frequently asked by prospective clients.

This weekend, set up your phone on a tripod and speak into it. Record some information about your field or about your practice, or both.

Upload your video or videos and if you’re self-conscious about them, put them on “private” for now.

You’ll be only a click away from having a new source of traffic, subscribers, and clients. You’ll also have some great outtakes to show at your next office party.

Ask your clients and contacts to share your video. It’s a simple way to get more referrals.

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A simple but powerful way to increase response

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You’ve got an event coming up—a seminar, webinar, chat, podcast, meet up, question-and-answer session—and you want more people to show up. Normally, you would send out an email or post on social and invite everyone.

And that’s fine.

But if you want to get more people to join you, more people watching or listening or participating, more people not only tuning in but paying attention, instead of sending a mass invite, send a PERSONALIZED message.

“Hey (name), I’m hosting a webinar on Friday at 2 and I’d love to have you join us…”

If you have a small list, or a handful of key people or VIPs you would especially like to have at your event, it might be worth making a video or voice message addressing each person by name.

Personalizing your message will make that message stand out in a crowded inbox and dramatically increase response.

You can also use personalized messages to get more testimonials or reviews for your services or your book. Or to get more people providing feedback about your recent event or responding to your survey.

Now, if your event is especially important, there’s something else you can do.

You can pick up the phone and call people. Or have your assistant do that.

If you get voicemail, leave a message. In fact, you might want to schedule your calls for “after work hours” so you are more likely to get voicemail and don’t have to spend time chatting.

I’ve done this, it works, and you can do it, too.

You can also use this to get your former clients or prospective clients you’ve spoken with to schedule an appointment.

How will use personalized messages to get more people to join your event or respond to your offer?

You can also use personalized messages to get more referrals

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The reluctant attorney marketer

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A marketing consultant recommends that solo business owners (or lawyers) allocate 4 hours per week to marketing.

You can get a lot done in 4 hours, she says.

I agree. But what if you don’t have 4 hours to spare?

And what if you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t like marketing, and don’t want the expense or bother of outsourcing it?

Are you screwed? Should you give up and get a job?

No, and no.

Marketing is a lot easier than you think and you don’t have to spend 4 hours a week doing it.

You can bring in more clients with just 15 minutes of effort per day—if you are consistent. 15 minutes a day will help you get started. Do it every day and you’ll get better, faster, and more confident, and you’ll get better results, too.

You don’t need complicated or expensive tools. Email, the phone, a website, and your ability to communicate clearly are the only tools you need.

You also don’t need to talk to strangers, in case that’s something you don’t want to do. You can build your practice with the clients and prospects and professional contacts you already have.

Later, once you’ve built some momentum, you may want to put in more time or try some additional strategies. But don’t even think about that now.

Get started. Keep it simple. Put one foot in front of the other and keep at it.

Before you know it, marketing might just become one of your favorite things.

And if it doesn’t, you’ll be earning enough to buy some of your favorite things.

Here’s a good place to start

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Tell me about yourself

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Prospective clients ask about the law, their case, their options. They ask about fees and deadlines and process. They ask about a lot of things but they rarely ask about you.

Why you became a lawyer, what you like most about what you do, what you do best and what isn’t your cup of tea.

They usually don’t ask but you should be prepared to answer questions like these in case they do.

It’s also good to have answers to these types of questions to share with prospective clients, seminar attendees, and interviewers, even if they don’t ask.

Give people a few nuggets about what makes you tick.

Tell them about a case you had that was especially difficult and what did you did to beat the odds. Reveal something about something you may be embarrassed to admit but that helped you become a better lawyer or human being. Talk about something you are proud of and want the world to know, even if it has nothing to do with practicing law.

People prefer to hire and refer and work with lawyers they know, like, and trust. A simple way to foster knowing and liking is to share some insights into who you are and why you do what you do.

Tell them about your values, your philosophies, your raison d’être.

Yes, people mostly want to know about what you can do to help them, their clients, friends, readers or listeners. But they also want to know something about the person who will do the helping.

If you’re in doubt about how to say it, tell a story. Tell them about something you did and what it meant to you or about a client you helped, how they were better off because of it, and how you feel about that.

What you do and how you do it are important. Just as important is why.

How to take a quantum leap in the growth of your practice

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Just because it’s free doesn’t mean anyone will buy

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You offer a free consultation. A free ebook, report or other download. A free seminar, or even a free introductory service.

But just because it’s free doesn’t mean you’ll get any takers. You have to sell your freebies as much as you do your paid services.

Prospective clients don’t want to load up their hard drives with useless reading material that’s little more than a sales pitch for an attorney’s paid services. Or consult with an attorney who won’t give them any meaningful advice and will only push them to sign up.

And that’s what most prospective clients think about your free offers.

It’s up to you to show them the benefits they get by downloading your report or booking an appointment.

What will they learn? What will they be better able to do? What do they get and why should they trust you?

Give them the details. And tell them how other clients have benefited by downloading your report or speaking to you. Better yet, show them testimonials from those other clients so they can hear it from them, not you.

In the eyes of a prospective client, nothing’s really “free”. You’re asking them to spend their time and/or risk making a mistake.

They’re afraid. They don’t know you. They don’t trust you. And other lawyers offer the same freebies you offer.

Ease their concerns. Show them it’s safe to give you their email address or some of their time and show them how they will better off if they do.

Because just because it’s free doesn’t mean anyone will buy.

Get more clients and increase your income: The Attorney Marketing Formula

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How to get more repeat business and referrals

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How much time do you spend marketing to your current and former clients? You know, the people who hired you and paid you and were happy with what you did for them?

If you’re like many attorneys, the answer is “not much”.

“If they need me, they know where to find me,” they say. And that’s a shame because while your clients may be willing to hire you again and send you referrals, with a little prompting, they’ll do that more often.

By prompting, I mean reminding them of the other services you offer, and showing them how they (and the people they know) can benefit from those services.

I mean keeping your name in front of them, so that when they need your services, or talk to someone who does, they immediately think of you.

I mean giving them opportunities to help you even if they never need your services again or talk to anyone who does.

What kind of help?

For starters, they can share your content (blog posts, articles, videos, social media posts, etc.), bringing you more traffic and helping you build your list.

They may already do that, but they’ll do it more often when you stay in touch with them.

Your clients and former clients (and prospective clients) may be willing to hire and refer you, they may know where to find you, but they’ll hire you and refer you more often when you remind them.

Marketing to your clients and former clients can be as simple as staying in touch with them.

Email is the best way to get more repeat business and referrals

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It’s all about you

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Your services aren’t unique.

You may put your own spin on them, offer lower fees or other benefits, package and present them differently, but in truth. . . .

You and your competition offer essentially the same services.

And clients are just a five-minute search away from choosing another lawyer.

Yes, the quality and scope of your marketing plays a role. But in the realm of professional services, that can only do so much for you because a professional services practice is built on relationships.

So how do you get clients to choose you instead of the guy next door? That’s simple.

Put more of YOU into every aspect of your practice.

Because YOU are original.

And because clients buy you before they buy your services. They choose you and stay with you because of you.

Simple as that.

How do you put more of yourself into your practice?

  • Show people how you think by writing and speaking more openly, and more often
  • Champion the causes that are important to your target market; let them see that you care about the things they care about
  • Share some details about your personal life—what you do outside of work, your family, what you do for fun. Let people get to know the “real” you, not just the “lawyer” you
  • Judiciously share some of your flaws and blemishes. Let people know you’re human (just like them)
  • Own up to errors and mistakes; give clients the benefit of the doubt on billing issues.
  • Build relationships with clients and prospects and the professionals in your network. Stay in touch, mostly via email, so they can learn more about who you are, what you do, and how you work with your clients.

New services? New solutions? Original ideas? They’re great, if you’ve got them. But you don’t need them.

Because there’s no one else like you and clients buy you before they buy your services.

Why email is still the best (and easiest) way to build your practice

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Meh

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I watched the Windows 11 “reveal” video and was underwhelmed.

Some nice updates, but nothing special. Nothing game changing.

I like the new aesthetics. I like that the OS runs faster. I like the new “snap” feature. But I didn’t see anything that had the wow factor.

I wanted a killer feature. Something so big and exciting it would persuade Mac folks to consider switching to Windows.

Mac folks, you can stop laughing now.

Alas, Windows 11 doesn’t do anything I can’t already do. It won’t bring me coffee in the morning or tuck me into bed at night.

No killer feature.

What’s your killer feature? In your law practice, I mean.

What’s one thing you do that makes you stand out from other lawyers? Something that differentiates you and helps people remember you?

I’ll give you a minute to think about it.

I don’t expect it to be amazing. Just different.

It could be as simple as always having a plate of fresh-baked cookies in your waiting room.

No, that probably won’t persuade anyone to choose you as their attorney. Then again, billions of people are going to upgrade to Windows 11, including me, and their cookies aren’t even fresh.

How to differentiate yourself from other lawyers

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Choose one thing as your main thing

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Legal marketing agency executive Jay Harrington recently said, “You don’t need to be on more than one social media platform, nor do you have to do all forms of marketing”. He says, “the more you diversify your approach to marketing, the less effective your marketing may be.”

I agree.

The reason? Focus. You can’t be good at everything and it’s better to be good at one thing than so-so at a lot of things.

The other reason? Time. Many attorneys spend no more a few minutes a day on marketing. Trying to conquer more than one platform or marketing strategy means spreading themselves too thin.

Think of it this way: it’s better to have a good conversation with one person you’d like to know than to broadcast a message to thousands, most of whom aren’t listening.

Even if you have a lot of help and/or a big marketing budget, you should should still concentrate on one or two things, not everything.

Choose one social media platform. Study it and the people who are good at it, learn all you can about it, and then work that platform.

Show up there every day. Add quality content. Engage with key people in your niche. Get your name known, build your list, and use that to build your practice.

It’s far more effective for you to invest a few minutes a day on one platform than to use staff or automation to post links and comments across many.

The same is true for any kind of marketing.

Don’t diversify. Focus. Get good at blogging or advertising, speaking or writing articles, referrals or SEO, social media or podcasting.

One thing, not everything.

You can diversify later, if you want to, but if you focus and get good enough at one thing, you might not have to.

Harrington says the starting point is to ask, “Where is my audience?” Where do they hang out, what do they read, how do they spend their time?

Go where they are, get to know them, and let them get to know you.

Effective marketing starts with a plan. Here’s how to create yours.

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The quickest way to build your authority

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Many people assume that because you are an attorney you know what you’re doing. You’ve got a license, you’ve been vetted, you don’t have anything to prove.

Clearly, not everyone feels that way.

Your colleagues, sophisticated clients who want to hire the best of the best, business leaders who can send you referrals, promote you, and open doors for you, usually want to see more.

If you want them to see you as an authority, you can’t rely solely on your license.

To build your authority and achieve “expert” status, you typically need to do the kinds of things experts do–write for authoritative publications, speak to important groups, get invited to corporate boards, and represent top-tier clients.

You start by writing and posting authoritative information on your blog or website, along with success stories of clients you’ve helped.

You write guest articles and posts for blogs and newsletter in your target market.

You get interviewed by smaller publications, podcasts and channels, building your speaking skills, making new connections, and driving additional traffic to your website.

You teach CLE courses, serve as an arbitrator or mediator, join authoritative organizations, do charitable work and volunteer for their committees, and build your contacts and your bio.

And you use your existing contacts to meet other professionals and centers of influence in your niche, building strong relationships with key people who can help you get to the next level.

You can do these things, and you should, but it can take years for these things to bear fruit and, well, you’re in a hurry.

There is something you can do, right now, to dramatically speed up the process.

You can write a book.

Experts write books. You can, too.

You don’t have to wait years to become qualified to do it, or to be asked to do it, You can write it and self-publish it in the next few weeks.

Your book will position you as an authority. (An “author” is, by definition, an “authority”.) People will hire you and refer you and invite you to speak and write and join their group or cause because you wrote a book and other attorneys didn’t.

Writing a book is the quickest way to build your authority, and a smart way to build your practice or career.

Once you’ve written your book, promote it. Give it away, send it to everyone you know and everyone you want to know. Make sure your clients have copies for themselves and to give to friends, offer it to prospective clients, bloggers, editors, meeting planners, and influential people in your niche.

When you talk to someone who wants to know what you do and how you can help them, their clients, or their readers or listeners, stop talking and send them a copy of your book. Your book will tell them everything they need to know.

What to say when someone asks, “What do you do?”

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