Your services, your firm, or you?


When you are marketing in the “cold market”–to people who don’t know you–should you market a specific legal service, your capabilities and practice areas, or yourself?

The answer is, you should market what clients want to buy.

When a prospective client has a legal problem or objective, they want (to buy) a solution to that problem or a way to achieve that objective. That’s what you should lead with and feature in your marketing.

Once you have their attention, tell them about your services, experience and capabilities, because these are the resources you use to solve their problem or deliver their objective.

But lead with benefits.

Show them you can solve, prevent, or minimize their problem. Show them they can have the “better future” they desire.

Start with why. Only then should you talk about how.

When you market to your warm market–people who already know you, clients and former clients and business contacts–things are a bit different.

You already have their attention and permission to stay in touch with them. Continue to remind them about the benefits and solutions you offer, different use cases and examples, success stories and testimonials, because they might need your help again or know someone they can refer; and also also tell them about your other services and solutions.

As you continue to stay in touch with clients and prospects and build or strengthen your relationship with them, tell them a bit less about your services and a bit more about you.

Start here: The Attorney Marketing Formula


Nobody wants to join your email list


You write an email newsletter and you want more subscribers. More subscribers leads to more clients, more repeat business, more referrals, and other benefits you don’t get if you don’t have a way to stay in touch with people.

When I started my newsletter 20 years ago, I said something like, “If you like the information on this site [my blog], subscribe to my newsletter to get more tips, ideas, and resources. . .”

And I got a lot of subscribers.

Today, that wouldn’t be good enough.

Everyone is overwhelmed with email and nobody wants to join your list. They have enough to read, they don’t care about you staying in touch, they don’t want to hear you pitch your services.

So, if you want more subscribers, don’t make it about your list or newsletter.

Offer them an incentive.

Something of value. Something that allows them to obtain a benefit or avoid a loss:

  • Information that helps them solve a specific problem.
  • A form or checklist that makes something easier, better or faster.
  • A video that explains how to do something they want to do.

It doesn’t have to be fancy. You don’t have to give away the store. A report or short ebook is fine.

Tell them what to do to get it, ie., fill out the form, and how they will benefit once they do.

Subscribers are precious. You have to earn their subscription.

If you’re building a law practice, it’s one of the smartest things you can do.

My email marketing course shows you what to do and how to do it


Thank you (and a challenge)


Thank you for being a loyal reader of my blog and newsletter and for everything else you do.

Thank for your comments and questions. They help make me better at what I do.

Thank you for your reviews and testimonials. They show other lawyers that “this stuff really works” and encourage them to take a chance on me.

Thank you for sharing my content with colleagues. It helps me build my list and my business.

Thank you for buying my books and courses and hiring me to coach or consult you. Your support helps me continue to do what I do.

So, thank you. I appreciate you and want you to know that.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I’m sure you’re telling your clients and others that you appreciate them. Most people don’t say thank you, and when you do, don’t for a minute think it goes unnoticed.

Which leads to my challenge:

Send a “thank you” email to someone every day.

Send a thank you to a new client. You probably already did that; do it again.

Send a thank you to a fellow professional for sending you an article or for sharing your article with their clients.

Send a thank you to a prospective client for considering you as their attorney.

Send a thank you to someone who referred someone to you, even if they didn’t hire you.

Send an email to opposing counsel, thanking them for making your job a little less miserable.

Send a thank you to a personal friend, for being your friend.

Put “thank you” on your daily calendar, to remind yourself to thank someone for something. Train yourself to look for reasons to tell someone you appreciate them.

What will happen when you do?

You’ll make someone feel good about what they’ve done, and about themselves, making it more likely they’ll do it again.

You’ll feel good about yourself for remembering to shine a light on someone’s good deed or ongoing support.

You’ll stand out in a world where most people don’t say thank you, or don’t say it enough.

Imagine waking up, opening your email and waiting inside was a message from someone telling you how much they appreciate you. Imagine what you’ll think about that person.

Make a daily “thank you” email your new habit. You may be surprised by how much it improves your career and your relationships.

Happy Thanksgiving!


You already said that


In one of his newsletters, legendary copywriter Gary Halbert tells a story about a reader who urged him to re-read a newsletter he’d written nearly a decade earlier. When he did, he found that the earlier newsletter was “almost word-for-word the same” as his latest.

Oops? Not at all. Halbert said, “. . .what I wrote almost ten years ago is as accurate and important today… as… it was back then.”

He added:

“It Is More Important To Be Reminded Of “Core Fundamentals” Than To Be Dazzled With Some New Piece Of Contemporary Creativity!”

For those of us who write newsletters and blogs and other content, the takeaway is clear. It’s okay to say things you’ve said before.

In fact, it’s a good thing. Here’s why:

  • You continually have new subscribers and followers, reading you for the first time.
  • Most people don’t read everything you write.
  • Most people don’t remember what you said before.
  • Some people may not have needed to hear your message before but very much need to hear it now.
  • You may repeat the basic points but use a different headline, lead, examples, stories, or quotes. You may say it more persuasively or make it more memorable.
  • Some people need to hear it again (and again) before they’re willing to do something about it.

If what you say is important, if you’re writing about “core fundamentals,” the best thing you can do for your readers is to write about it often.

So don’t worry about repeating yourself. Say what you want to say, as often as you want to say it. (Just don’t make it boring.)

And, on those days when you can’t think of anything to write about, find something you wrote about before and write about it again.

The core fundamentals of a lawyer’s newsletter


The biggest sin in marketing legal services


There are a lot of ways to go wrong in your marketing. Here are just a few:

  • Wasting time or money on strategies that aren’t working
  • Shotgun marketing: trying to sell everything, e.g., all of your services, to everyone at the same time
  • Not pre-qualifying prospective clients
  • Chasing instead of attracting
  • Not using a “call-to-action” (telling prospects what to do)
  • Not differentiating yourself from other lawyers
  • Not following up with prospects
  • Not building a list
  • Not staying in touch with former clients

These can all cost you clients and hurt your bottom line.

The biggest sin in marketing, however, is being boring.

People won’t read boring articles. They won’t watch boring videos or listen to boring podcasts. They won’t follow boring people on social media.

You might get your marketing message in front of a lot of people who need your help or who can refer people who do, and get nowhere because they never read or relate to your message.

If you want people to hire you or build a relationship with you, you’ve got to get and keep their interest.

Fortunately, this isn’t difficult to do.

It starts with researching the people you want to attract.

Study their market or industry, their problems and desires, so you can show them you understand them and what they want or need, and are uniquely qualified to help them get it.

How to research your target market and ideal client


Targeting newbies


As you refine the definition of your target market and ideal client, consider giving some attention to newbies:

  • Startups
  • Recently married
  • Recently graduated
  • New parents
  • New drivers
  • New in town
  • New empty nesters
  • First time home buyers

And so on.

3 reasons:

(1) Less competition

Many lawyers tend to seek out established businesses and people with lots of money. Newbies may not be able to pay top dollar but they are likely be an easier sale.

(2) Long-term allegiance

If you brush your teeth with a certain brand of toothpaste early in life, the odds are you’ll still buy that brand many years later. Similarly, when a client hires a lawyer, they tend to stick with that lawyer.

As their business grows or they upgrade their lifestyle, your practice can grow with them.

(3) Referrals

Newbies tend to associate with other newbies and can introduce them to you.

In the right hands, the newbie market can be extremely lucrative. Many businesses and professionals target newbies for the same reasons.

A furniture retailer may buy lists of new home buyers, for example. A Realtor may buy lists of newly married or newly divorced.

You can buy (rent) those kinds of lists, too, or run ads targeting the same markets.

You can also network with business owners and professionals who buy lists or advertise and get their referrals and/or promote each other’s business.

For more on choosing your target market, get The Formula


Important questions to ask every new client


You’re hired. A new client has signed up and paid you and you’re ready to get to work. Before you do, you should ask them a few questions.

You probably ask, “How did you find me?” as a matter of routine. Make sure you also ask follow-up questions to get the details.

If they were referred, ask what they said to or asked the referring party, and what the referring party told them about you.

If they saw an ad, ask where they saw it, how many times they saw it before they responded, and what persuaded them to (finally) respond.

If they found your site via search, what keywords or questions did they use? What article or post on your site convinced them to call or fill out the contact form?

If they’re on your email list or follow you on social media, was there something you said that prompted them to take the next step?

If they heard you speak, read an article you wrote, or read an article about you, ask where they saw this and what impressed them the most.

Get the details. You can use this information to improve your marketing.


But you’re not done. There’s one more question to ask the new client and it might be the most important of all.

Ask, “Why did you choose me?”

Many clients considered other lawyers before they chose you. Find out what it was about you that tipped the scale in your favor.

Was it something about your background or experience? Something on your website? A review on a third-party site?

Was it how you treated them when they called? Something you or staff said that gave them hope?

Was it how you explained their risks and options? A story you told? Was it that you weren’t pushy?

Have them fill out a questionnaire and/or ask about these things when you talk. This kind of feedback is marketing gold.

Get more referrals by telling your clients what to tell others about you. Here’s how


Minimalist Marketing


You don’t like marketing. You don’t want to network, build a list, write or speak or do anything on social media.

You’re willing to do something, as long as it doesn’t take a lot of time or money or require you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable.

What can you do?

Go old school, 21st century style:

(1) Set up a one-page website that identifies what you do and how to contact you.

If you want, you can add something about your experience and accomplishments (why you’re better or different), and a few FAQs.

Set this up with your name in the domain name to make it easier to remember.

The primary purpose is to give your clients and contacts a place to send people who are looking for legal help, so they know how to contact you.

(2) Stay in touch with your clients and contacts.

Periodically send letters or emails to let them know you’re still in business, when you have news (eg., you’ve moved, added a practice area, etc.), and to wish them a happy birthday or new year.

Contact them if/when it’s time for their annual review or when you want them to know about a change in the law that affects them.

Consider calling your best clients and professional contacts once in awhile, to say hello and see how they’re doing.

(3) Ask yourself, “What would Dale Carnegie do?”

Read (or re-read) How to Win Friends and Influence People and do what it says.

Say please and thank you. Use their name. Make eye contact. Listen more than you talk. Treat them like you would like to be treated.

This is how you get repeat business and referrals.

This is “old school” marketing and it still works.

If you want to grow bigger, faster, this is what you should do


Unsuck your marketing


When I started practicing I hated marketing. Primarily because it didn’t work.

It didn’t work because I didn’t know what I was doing, I spent money I didn’t have, and everything I did seemed like a colossal waste of time.

It wasn’t fun.

I kept plugging away and eventually found a few things I was good at, notably, getting referrals.

I was able to build a big practice, primarily through referrals from my clients and (eventually) professional contacts.

That’s when I came to love marketing.

Marketing that worked, that is.

If your marketing isn’t working, don’t give up. There are things you can do.

First, consider fewer practice areas. Focus on one or two and let of everything else. Marketing is easier and more effective when you don’t have to compete with lawyers who specialize. (NB: you’ll get more referrals from lawyers when you don’t do what they do.)

Second, stop doing things that aren’t bringing in the kinds of cases or clients you want. Get rid of unprofitable strategies. Get rid of (or outsource) things you hate.

Try new ideas, or old ideas you did (poorly) a long time ago.

Maybe you wrote off networking but maybe you can reinvent yourself by marketing online. Maybe you’re a better writer than you think you are. Write something and find out.

Third, niche your marketing. If you’ve been trying to appeal to “anyone who needs my services,” try focusing on smaller segments of the market.

I did these things in my practice and it made all the difference.

The Attorney Marketing Formula can help


Managing your marketing assets


What you focus on grows (and improves). So it makes sense to pay attention to the tools and resources that help you build and manage your practice.

Make a list of your marketing assets. Start with your clients. Yes, all of them, past and present.

Each client can bring you repeat business and referrals. They can promote your content and events, send traffic to your website, provide testimonials and reviews, introduce you to other professionals they work with, give you ideas for blog posts, support the businesses and causes of your other clients and contacts, and the list goes on.

If they’re not on a list, it’s too easy to forget them.

Next on your list: anyone who has ever provided you with referrals and/or anyone who is influential in your target market and, therefore, could send you referrals.

Your employees are an asset. They can help (or hurt) you in keeping clients and others happy. Add them to the list.

You know a lot of other people who should also be on your list–prospective clients, potential referral sources, people who provide services to you (copywriters, consultants, artists, other experts), bloggers, editors, centers of influence in your niche market, colleagues and friends who inspire or encourage you, etc.

They should be on your list, too.

Your marketing assets also include:

  • Your website(s)
  • Your email subscriber list
  • Your social media profiles
  • Your marketing documents and other collateral (reports, ads, sales copy, emails, templates, keywords, etc.)
  • Ideas for posts, articles, promotions
  • Notes about your niche market and the key people in it
  • Stories, jokes, examples for presentations, etc.
  • Blogs and authors you follow

And we could go on.

They all have value to you. Add them to your list so you don’t forget them.

Once you have a list, pay attention to it. Schedule days to review your list and associated notes so you can nurture your relationships, update and improve your content, and get ideas for what to do next.

Quantum Leap Marketing System for Lawyers