Make this your next project

Share

Before you do anything to bring in new clients, your next marketing project should be to win back former clients and engage or re-engage prospective clients with whom you’ve lost touch.

Former clients know, like, and trust you. Prospective clients may not trust you yet, but they know who you are and have given you permission to contact them.

Send them one or more emails. Reintroduce yourself and your services to people who can hire you or refer you, immediately or down the road.

It’s one of the most effective marketing strategies you can use.

What do you say to them?

Some clients left because they were unhappy about something. They should probably be called and you should be prepared to apologize and make amends. A surprising number will come back and forget all about their differences.

Most clients don’t have an issue, they simply drifted away. So, hearing from you again, even if you don’t say anything special, may be enough to get them re-engaged.

And, you can write about almost anything. Here are some ideas to grease your wheels:

  • Just checking in/How are you?/Thinking about you (It’s amazing how well this works)
  • It’s time. . . (to update something)
  • Have you moved? (Verify their contact info)
  • Check out this (article, video, post)
  • Happy birthday (or holiday)
  • It’s our anniversary (of working with you)
  • I’d like your opinion about (something)
  • I have a question for you
  • A client success story
  • A client who didn’t (do something and got hurt) story
  • A gift to you (free ebook, training, form, checklist)
  • Let’s connect (your social media channels)
  • I’m sorry (for not staying in touch)
  • News (about you, your services, a legal issue) that can affect them
  • An invitation to an event
  • Yeah, just about anything

A few guidelines:

  • Write from “you,” not “the firm”
  • Be yourself; speak plainly
  • Build on what they already know and value
  • Consider including a special offer
  • Tell them what to do (call to action)
  • Invite them to join or re-join your newsletter (so you can continue to stay in touch)

You invested time and money to bring in these clients and connect with these prospects. What might happen when you connect with them again?

You might find one or two former clients who hire you again or send you a referral.

You might find a handful of prospective clients who decide they’re ready to get started.

And you might find yourself smiling all the way to the bank because you’re bringing in an additional ten or twenty or fifty thousand per month that would have otherwise passed you by.

Why not write a few emails and find out?

Email marketing for attorneys

Share

6 things I learned from writing 2,853 blog posts

Share

I’ve written a lot of blog posts and thought I’d share some things I’ve learned along the way, to encourage you to either start or re-start your blog:

  1. It gets easier. The more you write, the easier it becomes to write—to find ideas, get the words down, edit, and publish. And the more you write, the better you get at writing, which helps with your other writing and speaking.
  2. It gets faster. The more you write, the faster you get at writing. You can write and post something in less than 30 minutes and get on with your day.
  3. Ideas are everywhere. Everything I read, everywhere I go, everyone I talk to provides me with ideas to write about. The idea for this post came from reading a similar post by a guy who started a blog to build his business.
  4. You can write whatever you want and have fun with it. You don’t have to use your formal lawyer voice if you don’t want to, or spend time finding images, formatting, responding to comments, adding citations or links. Your blog, your rules.
  5. Marketing gets easier. People find you—not just clients and customers, but people who want to interview you for their blog or podcast or present other opportunities (to speak, network, etc.).
  6. It works. My blog brings me a steady stream of (free) traffic, subscribers, clients, and customers. Each post gets indexed and brings more of the same.

And, having a blog means you can also have a newsletter—just copy and paste your blog posts and email them to your list.

You can add a blog to your website or on a separate domain. You can start by posting a handful of articles or anything you’ve written in the past, or answer 5 or 10 frequently asked questions you get from prospective clients (or new clients).

The technology is easy. You can set up a blog in a matter of minutes. And your blog can help you Make the Phone Ring

Share

No time for marketing

Share

Lawyers often ask, “How do I find time to build my practice?“

Sorry, there’s no such thing as ‘finding time’. Time isn’t found or made, it just is. The question is, how will you use the time you have?

And the answer to that depends on what’s important to you.

If building your practice is important, you’ll do it. If it’s not, you won’t.

It comes down to self-respect. Believing you deserve to be successful and that you have what it takes to do that.

But I’m not telling you to do anything you don’t want to do. That’s no way to live. You can’t do things you hate and expect to succeed (or be happy). Not long term, anyway.

If you don’t like marketing and aren’t allocating time to do it (but still want to build your practice), you have two choices:

You can find one marketing strategy you enjoy and do that. Do it enough, and that may be all you need.

Or you can find a marketing strategy you don’t hate and look for ways to make it more enjoyable.

Example? Suppose you are a decent speaker or presenter. You don’t love it or hate it, but you know you don’t want to set up a YouTube channel and record videos because you don’t want to appear on camera.

You can record “voice only” videos and post those. Or do a podcast. Or have your presentations transcribed and post the text on a blog. Or do webinars. Or do in-person seminars. Or speak at business luncheons. Or do CLE.

And. . .

Since time is money, money is also time. Which means there’s another question you might ask: “Where do I find the money for marketing?”

Of course you don’t “find” money any more than you find time. You have money. Decide to invest some of it to build your practice.

If that’s important to you.

Finally, if you can’t find anything you enjoy and don’t want to write checks, you have two more options:

You can get a partner who’s good at marketing. You do what you’re good at; they bring in the clients. (I have a friend who did this and their practice is thriving).

Or you can get a job that doesn’t require any marketing. But then you’d need to market yourself to get it.

Share

How to avoid feeling unprofessional

Share

Does marketing ever make you feel less than professional? Do you ever tone down your message or convey it less often because you don’t want to appear pushy or needy?

Why don’t you stop?

Stop writing articles and doing presentations. Stop blogging, networking, and advertising. Stop sending your clients anything other than what’s related to their case.

Stop marketing. And see where that gets you.

Or. . .

Continue doing what you’re doing, but change your approach.

And by approach, I mean your attitude. How you feel about what you’re doing.

Because if you feel better about it, you’ll do it more easily and more often and reap the benefits thereof.

How do you do this?

You reframe your marketing to see it for what it really is: another way to help people.

Do you truly believe you can help people? Not just with your services, but with what you show them and tell them even before they hire you?

Do you believe that providing them with information about their situation and the solutions and options that are available to them can comfort them and give them direction? Help them make better decisions, minimize their damages and pain, avoid additional problems, and otherwise make their life better?

Good. Now think about what prospective clients are going through just before they contact you and hire you.

Have you ever had a problem and gone online to see what you can do to fix it, or to find someone who can help you?

When you found the information or the person, did you feel better about your problem?

Ah, so you do understand how your prospective clients feel. You know what they’ve been going through.

Okay, then. Instead of framing marketing as self-promotion and distasteful to the extreme, think about it from the prospective client’s point of view.

Think:

People want to hear from me about this; they’re hurting and looking for answers. They don’t know what to do or where to turn and I’m doing them a lot of good by sharing some of my knowledge and wisdom and helping to guide them from where they are to where they want (and need) to be.

And I feel good about that.

You’re not a burden, you’re a welcome guest in their inbox. Instead of holding back on what you might give them, give them more.

That’s reframing. That’s how you see your marketing as a way to help people.

Is it okay if that leads to more business for you?

Email Marketing for Attorneys

Share

I don’t know if my marketing is working

Share

You’re spending money and time engaging in marketing activities, but you don’t know which of those activities are working or to what extent. You’re thinking you’re spending too much on advertising or wasting time on ineffective strategies and you’re thinking about cashing in your chips and looking for a Plan B.

Before you do that, here are some things to think about.

If you’re spending serious money on advertising, you need to track keywords, clicks, leads, clients, and revenue. Software can do most of that for you and you shouldn’t advertise without it. If you don’t know how to interpret the tea leaves, hire someone who does.

You should also ask everyone who calls or comes to see you where they heard about you, which keywords they used to search, and/or who referred them, or you won’t know if what you’re doing is working, or how well.

You need to know if that $1000 ad is showing a profit. If it isn’t, change it or pull it. But before you decide, you need to consider your back end—the lifetime value of a new client.

If you’re good at getting repeat business and referrals, you can actually come out ahead on ads that break even or lose money.

If you’re not doing a lot of advertising, or decide to cut down or move away from that, focus on other marketing strategies that don’t require a lot of money: referrals, networking, blogging, interviews, presentations, and other forms of content marketing.

You have to include the cost of your time, and/or the time of the people you hire to do that or help you do that, but if you do it right, you should see a significant return on that investment.

If you’re still not clear on what’s working and what isn’t, you might stop relying exclusively on bottom line numbers like the number of new clients and the amount of revenue, and consider “leading edge” metrics like email and/or channel subscribers, video views, leads, and appointments.

Because if those numbers are growing, your practice is probably growing—or soon will be.

Yes, who is on your list is important. But all things being equal, if you’re seeing more people watching your videos or listening to your podcast, if your email list is bigger today than it was six months ago, if you’re taking more calls and talking to more prospective clients, you’re doing something right—and you should continue doing it.

But don’t stop looking for ways to do it better.

Quantum Leap Marketing System—when you’re ready to get big, fast

Share

Why attorneys fail at marketing

Share

Compared to everything else attorneys do, marketing is easy.

So why do so many attorneys mess it up?

It’s not because they lack smarts, charisma, or resources. It’s because they don’t do enough of it.

They write an article or two and then nothing for months. They meet a few people but never follow up. They get invited to do a presentation or interview, but don’t seek feedback (or listen to it) and don’t get invited back.

So they get disappointing results and conclude that “it” doesn’t work.

End of story.

The secret to success in marketing legal services is that there is no secret. As with any skill, you have to keep at it. Do it over and over again until you get good enough to see some meaningful results.

Your first effort might be crap. Do it again and you’ll get better. Keep doing it and eventually, you’ll get pretty good.

Simple. So why don’t they do it?

They might tell you it’s because they don’t have the time, but we all know that’s not true. I ask them, “If you knew for certain that you could triple your income in the next 12 months, would you find the time?“

They might tell you “it” won’t work for their practice area or market, or it might have worked in the past, but it doesn’t work anymore—but that’s not true, either.

If they’re honest, they’ll admit that they don’t keep at it because they don’t want to. They don’t like it, shouldn’t have to do it, feel it is beneath them.

But that’s their ego talking. They should tell their ego to shut up.

The attorneys who get good results from marketing don’t let their ego get in their way. They aren’t smarter, more skillful, or harder working than other attorneys.

They just kept at it.

End of story.

Marketing legal services made simple

Share

A little pain goes a long way

Share

People buy legal services to solve a problem. The bigger the problem (or potential problem they’re trying to prevent), the more motivated they are to do something about it.

They’re in pain and want relief. It’s your job to remind them about that.

In your presentations, articles, posts, videos, reports, and other marketing documents, the best thing you can do for your reader and prospective client is to remind them that they are in pain, or will be if they don’t take action, and tell them why their pain is unlikely to go away by itself.

Tell them what their problem is costing them—or will cost if they do nothing.

Tell them about ancillary problems this might cause and what those might cost.

Tell them about how bad things can get if they ignore the problem or wait too long to do anything about it.

And then present the solution you offer and tell them how to get it.

But don’t just “mention” their pain, dramatize it. Make sure they feel it in their gut. Get them to imagine the worst-case scenario and feel the urgency of their situation.

But (and this is important) don’t overdo it.

You don’t want to come off as an alarmist or make them think you’re trying too hard to get their business.

Easy on the drama queenery.

The other reason for not overdoing it is that you don’t want to scare them off.

If you frighten them too much, pile on the urgent talk, rail at them to do something immediately, they might put their head under the covers and do nothing.

Or run into the welcoming arms of another lawyer who sounds more sympathetic and hopeful.

State the problem. Agitate the problem and the pain it is causing or could cause. Present the solution. And close by talking about the benefits of that solution.

Always offer hope.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to do all of the above is to tell them about one or more of your other clients who were in the same situation before they came to you—and how they’re doing now.

A little pain goes a long way, but only if you also offer hope.

The Attorney Marketing Formula

Share

Tell less to sell more

Share

When a prospective client goes online to look for a lawyer, they’re usually looking for help with a single legal matter. One case, one problem, one issue.

Even if they have several issues, one issue is usually the most pressing and they search for a lawyer or firm who can help them with that problem.

They might be interested in hearing about your other services and solutions at some point, but right now, they want to know how you can help get out of jail, get a divorce, incorporate their business, collect a debt, plan their estate, or protect their intellectual property.

So, tell them about that.

Too often, lawyers don’t. They want prospective clients to know about everything they do, no doubt thinking this will impress them, or that the more services and solutions they show people, the more likely it is they will get hired (for something).

But that’s not the way clients search. Or ask for a referral.

Am I saying you should market each service separately? I am.

Because when you don’t, your message gets muddled, prospects get confused, and often continue their search for someone who is talking about solutions to their specific problem.

Marketing each of your services separately fosters clarity, builds trust, and allows you to appeal to the prospect’s emotions. You can talk about things your prospective clients are thinking about and experiencing, and use examples and success stories that show them how you have helped others with the same problem.

It also helps you appear to specialize, even if you don’t, and clients prefer lawyers who specialize.

You can also market all of your firm’s capabilities and offerings with another website and other marketing materials. But don’t make that your first or primary showing.

Show them what you can do to help them solve their problem, alleviate their pain, or get what they want and need right now.

Show them “what else” you do after they’ve hired you or are close to doing that.

More: The Attorney Marketing Formula

Share

Give them options (but not too many)

Share

If you tell prospective clients to “take it or leave it,” you shouldn’t be surprised if they leave it. They may not be ready or able to hire you or talk to you about their case. That’s why it makes sense to give them other options:

  • Get more information (about your services/offers)
  • Subscribe to your newsletter, podcast, or channel
  • Download your free report
  • Follow you on social, like your page, share your post
  • Sign up for your next webinar or in-person event, or watch a replay
  • Send questions to be answered (during your next event, in your newsletter, etc.)

Because anything they do is better than doing nothing.

For them and for you.

It’s better for them because they learn more about their problem and how you can help them. It’s better for you because they take a step closer to knowing, liking, and trusting you—and hiring or referring you.

And, when they do something, they are more likely to do something else.

The problem is, when you give them too many options, they may get confused and do nothing.

The same is true when you talk to them and give them too many options for hiring you.

Give them the option to choose service A or service B and they might choose one or the other. Give them too many choices and they often tell you they have to think about it, which means they probably won’t.

So, give people options, but not too many.

How many is best? The answer is as much art as science. Test different numbers (science) and see what works best, but also make sure you know your prospects (art)—what they might need, what they might want, the likely urgency of their problem, and other factors.

Which means you have to know your ideal client, since that’s who you want to attract.

You also need to consider context.

If you’re speaking to them personally, you can ask questions and assess how ready they are to take the next step. If you’re “speaking” to them from the stage at the end of an in-person presentation, the context is different.

It’s also different online. If they’re on your website, the page they are viewing makes a difference. Are they reading a page that describes one of your services or offers? Are they reading your blog? Have they come to a landing page from an ad? Have they followed a link you included in your newsletter?

Give them options. But not too many. And consider the context.

The elements of an effective website

Share

So what?

Share

How much do your readers, followers, or audience already know about the law and other things you write or speak about?

That’s not the right question.

The question isn’t, do they know? It’s, “are they doing anything with that information?”

Information abounds. Your audience can find it in a book or video or on hundreds of websites. Countless other lawyers, writers, and other experts provide that information. You’ve probably provided that same information to them many times before.

So what? You’re not in the information delivery business. You’re in the “solving problems” and “delivering solutions” business. It’s up to you to show people the significance of the information and persuade them and guide them to do something with it.

Help them understand what the information means in their world. Tell them what could happen next, tell them the options they have available, and convince them to take action.

Use the information to scare them or inspire them and get them to make the right decision.

You’re an advocate, so advocate. Use the information as your evidence, your witnesses, and your arguments. Present the evidence, tell them what to do, and why.

Because if they do nothing with the information, and they need to, you’re not going to get the verdict you seek.

If you’re ready to take your practice to the next level, this is what you need

Share