Would you like a copy?

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Would you rather send information to prospective clients or have them ask you to send them information?

The answer is obvious.

When people ask you to send them something, or tell them something, or do something, not only do they give you permission to send the information, they identify themselves as “interested”.

Which means they are a better prospect than someone those who don’t ask.

How do you get people to ask?

By asking them a question.

After you mention your offer or benefits, you could say:

  • Would you like to know more about this?
  • Would you like to see some examples of how people have stopped [this problem]?
  • Do you want me to send you the checklist/report/form I mentioned?

You can ask when you speak to a prospective client, in your newsletter, in a live presentation, and anywhere else you connect with people.

Yes, you could make it a statement–“Give me your email and I’ll send you the report”–and there is value in telling people what to do. But asking a question works a bit better because it calls for an affirmative response.

When they say “yes, send me the information,” they are more likely to review what you send them, because “they asked for it”.

How to use email to build your practice

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3 marketing fundamentals for every attorney

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Marketing can get complicated. Metrics, meta-data, KPIs, keyword strategies, and so much more.

If you’re just starting to market your practice, or you like keeping things simple, there are three essential concepts you need to know:

(1) Your ideal client

Who are your ideal clients? What do they look like, where do they live or work, what are their problems (legal and otherwise), and what solutions or benefits do they need or want?

Where do you find them? How will you communicate with them? How do they typically find an attorney who does what you do?

You need to know this and be able to articulate this, especially since one of the hallmarks of an ideal client is the tendency to refer business.

(2) Why you?

Why should a client choose you instead of any other attorney?

This is your “value proposition” or Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

What do you do or offer that’s different or better? How are clients better off when they choose you?

What’s the “one thing” you want people to know and remember about you?

(3) Professional relationships

One of the best ways to grow your practice is to develop new alliances with centers of influence in your niche.

What strategic relationships do you you need to develop–for referrals, joint ventures, endorsements, introductions and information?

Look at your existing contacts. What do they do, who do they know, how do they–or can they–help you and your clients, and how can you help them?

Knowing these 3 fundamentals, and focusing on them, can go a long way towards helping you grow your practice.

The Attorney Marketing Formula shows you what to do.

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Could you do this?

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I was at our local Staples store the other day and noticed that they had set up a sizable “meeting space” in the store, with tables and chairs, a white board and a screen for presentations.

There was a sign-up board that listed several local organizations, e.g., networking groups, toastmasters, etc., that had upcoming meetings.

Staples is obviously offering this free space to generate more foot traffic, something that has no doubt been waning in recent years.

People come to the meetings and some buy office supplies. And every time one of the groups advertises or promotes their next meeting, the name and address of the store gets free advertising.

Many restaurants do the same thing. I used to do breakfast and lunch presentations at restaurants with meeting rooms.

This makes sense for restaurants and office supply stores, but I also know some law firms that do it, offering their conference for meetings to business and networking groups.

If you like this idea but don’t have a conference room, you could offer free faxes or notary services.

This is a simple way to get other businesses and community leaders to mention your firm’s name, and bring more prospective clients and centers of influence to your door.

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Sorry, I’m not the right attorney for you

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One of the advantages of developing a profile of your ideal client is that it allows you to quickly see who is–and isn’t–a good fit for you.

Knowing who isn’t right for you allows you to spend more time and resources marketing to and attracting those who are.

Most lawyers promote their services to “everyone” with a certain problem or need and qualify the ones who respond when they speak to them.

What if you did some of the qualifying first?

What if you aim your marketing bullets primarily at people with a specific type of case, in a certain business or industry, or who represent a certain amount of annual billing?

What if you didn’t advertise to, network with, or invest time or money getting your message in front of people who are likely to be a poor fit?

What if you spelled out in your marketing documents the kinds of clients you prefer to work with or cases you prefer to handle?

Two things will happen. First, many prospective clients will disqualify themselves and you won’t waste time speaking with them.

Second, you will attract more of the type of clients you want.

They will be attracted to your clarity and confidence. Clients prefer lawyers who specialize and when you specialize in clients like them, that’s even better.

This will help you develop a profile of your ideal client

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Focus on the fundamentals

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You don’t need a fancy website or expensive office. You don’t need a big marketing budget or a long list of big-name clients. You don’t need to be the best lawyer in town.

What you need is relentless attention to the basics:

  • Clients expect you to competently deliver the solutions and benefits they want and need.
  • They want you to pick up the phone when they call, reply to their emails, and keep them informed so they don’t have to ask you for a report.
  • They want you to listen to them, answer their questions clearly and completely, and be attentive to their needs.
  • They want you to bill “as agreed” and not “nickel-and-dime” them.
  • They want you to solve problems for them, not create new ones.

Clients don’t care if you’re telegenic. They care about what you do for them and how you make them feel.

Getting the basics right isn’t sexy. But they are fundamental to the success of your practice.

Marketing is simple when you know The Formula

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A simple plan for getting more clients

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There are lots of ways to get more clients. Here is one of the simplest:

FIRST:

  1. Identify a problem you solve or benefit you deliver and the legal services you provide to do that.
  2. Describe your “ideal client” for that service. Who is likely to have that problem or want that benefit?
  3. Make a list of the types of people who might know people with the problem or desire you identified. Lawyers in other fields, other professionals, business owners, centers of influence, etc.
  4. Go through your contact list and find people you know who fit that description. If you need/want more names, go through directories, lists, and search engines to find additional names.

THEN:

  1. Email them or call them. If you know them, catch up, ask what they’re doing. If you don’t know them, introduce yourself, mention something you have in common and/or say something nice about their website or profile, and ask them to tell you more about what they do.
  2. Offer to send them a report or checklist or form that (a) can help them in their practice or business, or (b) they can send to their clients or customers.
  3. Send the report or checklist along with some information about you: the types of problems you solve, the types of clients you represent.
  4. Stay in touch with them.

You’ll renew old acquaintances and make new ones. Eventually, you’ll get more visits to your website, sign-ups for your newsletter, and followers on social media, all of which will result in new clients.

You’ll also get referrals.

To see how to do this in detail and step-by-step, go here

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How to upgrade your client list

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Go through your current client list. Look at the numbers: how much did each client pay you over the last year and over their lifetime?

How much are they likely to pay you in the next few years?

Some clients might not have a lot of work for you but may send you a lot of referrals.

Add this to your numbers.

You should see that some of your clients (and cases) are worth a lot more to you than others.

Let’s call those “high value” clients.

Everyone else is either “average” or “low value”.

Study your numbers. You should see some patterns.

You should see that a large percentage of your total revenue comes from a small percentage of your client list.

Maybe 80/20, maybe a different ratio, but you should find that “a precious few” of your clients and cases bring in a disproportionate amount of your income.

Obviously, you want more of this type of client or case.

One way to get them is to reduce the number of low value clients, and also perhaps many of the “average” clients, to free up your time and other resources so you can focus on attracting more high value clients.

How do you “reduce” the number of low value clients in order to do that?

You could increase your fees. That’s the easiest way to do it. If it doesn’t, keep raising them until it does.

You could ask for bigger retainers. Reject cases with smaller damages. “Fire” clients who slow pay or who are “more trouble than they’re worth”.

I know, the idea makes perfect sense to you but it also makes you nervous. So you’re unlikely to go “cold turkey”. You don’t want to let go of low value clients until you see more high value clients coming your way.

Okay. Go through your list and study the high value clients you identified.

Where did they come from? What marketing methods did you use to attract them? Did they find you through search? Referral? Ads? Did they hear your presentation or meet you at an event?

Who are their colleagues, clients, friends or neighbors? Who do they know who might have legal needs or know people who do?

Then, get busy.

You might not be ready to let go of (all) low value clients just yet but there’s something you can do. You can stop marketing to them.

From this day forward, focus exclusively on marketing to your high value clients.

This will help

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How to get people to listen to you

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You have a lot of experience. Many ways you can help people. You’re good at what you do.

You want people to know these things and you should tell them. But if that’s all you talk about, readers and listeners and prospective clients will eventually tune out.

Nobody wants to hear all about you. Not even your mother.

They want to hear about themselves.

If you want people to listen to you, talk about them.

When you speak to a prospective client, ask lots of questions–more questions than you may need to diagnose their situation–to get them to talk about their problems, their pain, their desire for relief.

And then talk to them about that.

Talk about yourself–your bona fides, your services, how you work with clients–to show them how they can get what they want.

You can do something similar in your marketing documents. Ask questions to get them to think about their situation, and then tell them about clients you have represented with the same or similar issues and how you helped them.

If you want people to listen to you, talk about them more than you talk about yourself.

Documents that can bring you more referrals

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Vaccinating clients and prospects

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I watched a CLE video on what to do when you have “bad facts”. The evidence is weak, the client is a bad mamma jamma, the witnesses have a history of making things up.

Your case or client has issues; what do you do?

The presenter talked about inoculating the jury by bringing out the negatives of your case yourself because they’ll be better received when they come from you instead of opposing counsel.

The presenter told a story about Domino’s Pizza that took this to an extreme.

They ran a series of ads in displaying negative comments they’d received about their pizza. “The crust is cardboard, the sauce is thin and tasteless, it’s not real cheese,” and so on.

Can you imagine running ads telling the world things like this?

Domino’s did it. And then they said that most companies would never admit things like this, they’d try to cover it up or excuse it, but Domino’s took this seriously and have made dramatic improvements.

They said that the crust, the sauce, the cheese, the whole product is better, and we think you’ll like it. Come try it and see.

Within six months, sales were up 17% company-wide, which is an extraordinary increase for a company of that size.

Domino’s admitted their flaws, fixed them, and won the day.

Which reminds me to remind you to do the same with your practice.

If you’ve been criticized for not doing something other lawyers do, for example, inoculate clients and prospects by admitting this “flaw”.

And then, turn it into a strength.

I don’t handle X, I only handle Y. By specializing (focusing), I’ve been able to develop expertise many other lawyers don’t have. . .

If your competition does a lot of advertising and some prospective clients wonder why they’ve “never heard of you,” explain that you get most of your business by referrals and don’t “need” to advertise.

If clients think your fees are high, make it a selling point: “You can find lawyers who charge less but you get what you pay for. . .”

Inoculate your clients and prospects (and juries) by admitting your flaws before someone else points them out.

Careful, though. If your crust tastes like cardboard, change your recipe before you tell anyone.

Marketing strategies that can help your practice take a quantum leap

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Need more ideas? Start with this one

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If you want (need) more ideas–for building your practice or anything else–including ideas for articles and blog posts and other content–you might want to follow author James Altucher’s recommendation.

And that is: Write down 10 ideas a day.

He says that if you do this for 30 days, you’ll not only have a heap of ideas to choose from, you will also train your brain to become an idea finding machine.

You’ll become more creative, seeing ideas everywhere. And you’ll become more prolific because when you have more ideas than you could possibly use, you’ll be able to easily push out new content.

Where do you find these ideas?

Everywhere.

Read blogs and articles for lawyers and by lawyers, in your field and allied fields.

Read things written by and for people in your client’s industry or market.

Read books and watch videos on any subject that interest you.

And write down everything that comes into your head.

Good ideas and bad ideas, and everything in between.

You won’t get usable ideas from everything your read. But you will stimulate your brain to make connections between seemingly disconnected ideas and formulate new ones.

Can you do this for 30 days? Altucher says he does it every day. It’s been a part of his routine for years and allowed him to turn out a plethora of articles and blog posts and best-selling books.

If you’re ready to try this for 30 days, you can start you list with the idea you just read.

One down, only nine to go.

More ways to get ideas for emails and blog posts

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