The TRUTH about practicing law

Share

One of the simplest ways to get more people reading and sharing your posts, especially on social, is to make them controversial.

Challenge them, shock them, anger them–because everyone loves a good fight.

They most popular TV shows and online videos feature emotional content: anger and outrage, sex and love, pleasant surprises and massive disappointments.

People love conflict. And the algorithms promote posts and videos that feature it.

Platforms like Twitter have their entire business model built around people being angry at something. Or someone.

If you want to get more eyeballs and engagement and shares, write posts that “expose” the truth about something, including your practice area (especially your practice area).

Write about issues you know people disagree with, and tell them why YOU disagree with what other lawyers say or do: “Why I don’t agree with. . .” or “Why I don’t like/use/do. . .”

“Force” prospective clients who are searching for a lawyer to read your post with a title like, “Is [legal service] worth it?” or “What most [practice area] lawyers get wrong.”

Cruise through social media and record the titles of videos and posts that are being promoted or shared or that catch your eye, and adapt those titles and themes to your posts.

Throw some raw meat to the lions and watch them stick around for more.

There are more ways to attract and engage clients and prospects. In Email Marketing for Attorneys, I break these down and show you what to do.

Share

A simple way to grow your email list

Share

Everyone loves free stuff and that includes people you would like to have as subscribers to your newsletter.

Which is why one of the easiest ways to get more subscribers is to conduct a giveaway.

Here are the steps:

(1) Choose a prize.

Your prize could be one of your legal services, e.g., an hour of your time. That’s likely to lead to higher quality leads because few people will sign up for your list unless they’re interested in your services.

If you want more subscribers, you might offer a gift card or book, something that will appeal to people who don’t need your services immediately but might in the future.

Another idea is to offer a product or service from another professional or business. A financial planner’s start-up package, for example, or dinner for two at a local restaurant (coming soon).

Better yet, see if the professional or business will donate the product or service.

(2) Set up a landing page for your giveaway, on your website or free-standing.

Describe the prize details and the rules, (e.g., enter once, when the contest ends, how to enter).

You can identify new subscribers by tagging them on the landing page or having them added to second list.

(3) Promote your giveaway. Some options:

  • Email your existing list and ask them share.
  • Ask the prize creator or donor to share the contest. They get additional exposure that way.
  • Promote the giveaway on social media. You can do this with your personal connections and to groups you belong to.
  • Ask your personal and professional friends to promote the contest to their lists and on social media.
  • Mention the giveaway on your blog, podcast, interviews, videos, etc.
  • Add additional emails to your autoresponder asking new subscribers to share the contest on social media.
  • Advertise the giveaway.

(4) Pick a winner.

Export your list of new subscribers and choose the winner. You can do that manually or you can use a free randomizer tool.

All that’s left is to announce the winner, deliver the prize, and start planning your next promotion.

For more ways to build your list, see my Email Marketing for Attorneys course.

Share

How often should you blog?

Share


How often should you publish a new blog post? Often.

According to this infographic, “82% of marketers who blog daily acquired a customer using their blog as opposed to 57% of marketers who blog monthly”.

A few reasons:

  • The more you post, the more opportunities you have to get found by search engines or shared by visitors. 
  • Uncle Google tends to see frequent publishers as authorities. Prospective clients who visit your blog are likely to do the same.
  • More content gives you more chances to keep visitors reading your content. The more time they spend on your blog, the more likely they are to take the next step. 
  • More content and a more frequent publishing schedule helps others bloggers and influential sites see you as an authority, making them more likely to link to you
  • Once published, your content lives forever. Something you wrote two years ago can continue to create leads and produce clients for you. 
  • Inbound marketing is more personalized in the sense that you can tailor your content to the interests and needs of your target market. 

The infographic also shows that leads produced via inbound marketing have higher conversion rates. One reason is that prospective clients are more likely to trust you (because they found you). 

Inbound marketing also has a lower cost-per-lead.

You don’t have to publish daily to realize most of these benefits. Just more often than once a month or once in a while.

Start with once a week. As you find yourself getting more leads and more new clients, you may suddenly find the time to publish more often. 

How to use a blog to make the phone ring

Share

Use this checklist for better headlines, titles, and email subject lines

Share

A friend of mine uses a checklist to double-check his titles and headlines. It can be used for emails, blog posts, articles, book titles, presentations, ads, and more.

He calls it the “ABCD” Formula:

A – Attention
B – Believable
C – Care
D – Different

[A] The first job of your headline is to get attention. It needs to make people curious or promise a benefit, to flag them down and get them to read the headline. The headline should then compel them to read your email, blog post, or sales copy.

[B] If the headline isn’t believable, if it promises too much (and isn’t obviously tongue-in-check), the reader is likely to turn the page (or tune out of your presentation).

[C] Your headline or title has to be relevant to the reader or prospective client and their problem or desire They have to care about what you’re saying.

[D] Finally, in the age of massive competition for eyeballs and dollars, your headline or title needs to be different from the competition’s. Why should they read your article or ad when it appears to say the the same thing as a dozen others?

When a prospective client sees your ad or post, they’re asking themselves, “What’s in it for me?” You need to tell them that, and the telling begins with your headline, tile, or email subject line.

Because if it doesn’t start there, it doesn’t matter how good your sales page or email or presentation is, nobody is going to see it.

To learn more about writing effective headlines, titles, and subject lines, especially for your newsletter, check out my Email Marketing For Attorneys course.

Share

Small favors lead to referrals

Share

You want referrals but you may not be comfortable asking for them.

Try this instead:

Instead of asking for referrals, ask your list for a small favor.

Something easy to do.

Like forwarding your email or sharing your link. Or replying to your email and telling you which title (for your next article, for example) they like best. Or, asking your list to recommend a good hotel or restaurant in a city you’ll be visiting for the first time.

Why is this a good idea?

When you ask for a small favor, you invoke the psychological principle of ‘consistency’ which says that people tend to act consistently with how they’ve acted before.

If they’ve done a favor for you, they begin to think of themselves as someone who does favors for you.

Which can eventually lead to referrals.

Try it. Send your list a short email and ask for a favor. Then, thank the people who helped out or sent suggestions or voted for their favorite, and tell everyone what happened, e.g., how you enjoyed the restaurant.

An engaged list is a responsive list, and a good source of referrals.

Engaging your list is a valuable part of email marketing

Share

Video killed the radio star

Share

Video marketing is big and will no doubt get bigger. But it’s not the only way to get your message in front of prospective clients and, as I’ve said before, it’s not necessarily the best way.

Some reasons:

  • The user needs to take time to watch a video that’s longer than a couple of minutes and many people won’t do that.
  • Not everyone has the ability to watch a video; even if they have their phone with them, they may not have privacy or a good signal.
  • While you can fast-forward (or “scrub”) through a video, it still takes time to watch it and the user may miss something. A document, on the other hand, can be scanned and your message received and understood (an impression) in a few seconds.
  • Viewers may be spoiled by the production value of the videos they usually watch. If you’re not good on camera or don’t want to spend time on editing, etc., if your videos aren’t first-class, prospective clients may conclude that your legal services aren’t, either.
  • It will usually take you more time to produce a video than a written message.

Video do offer advantages in marketing. For one, they give you the ability to help prospective clients get to know and like you before they speak to you.

Videos can play a role on your website and/or social media channels. You can answer FAQs, explain how you work with clients, show visitors where to find articles and resources on your site, and re-purpose or share content from you blog or newsletter.

If you use videos, however, I suggest you also supply a transcript so people can scan your message if they can’t or don’t want to watch your entire production.

Okay, that’s marketing. Videos can also play a role in improving your client relations.

When someone becomes a client, they are more likely to spend time watching a video from you, and more forgiving if your efforts aren’t up to Cecil B. DeMille standards.

How could you use videos to improve client relations? Some ideas:

  • A general video “welcome letter”–welcome to your practice, introduce them to staff, show them your library, conference room, etc.
  • A “personal welcome letter”–use their name, tell them you’ve started on their case, hold up a copy of their file, show them a screen cap of their name in your calendar system, etc.
  • FAQ’s–answer questions new clients typically have about how things work, the steps, what happens when something (bad) happens, etc.
  • Testimonials from other clients. Yes, you’re showing this to clients but testimonials from other happy clients can help attenuate “buyer’s remorse”. (This might be a way you can use testimonials if you are otherwise not allowed to do that in your marketing.)
  • Client ‘training’–getting ready for a depo or court appearance, etc.
  • Updates–here’s what’s happened so far, here’s what’s next.
  • Videos of you speaking (or on a podcast), so they can see they hired the right attorney for the job.

Some things to think about and work on, yes?

Now, I could have recorded this post in a video for you. But would you have watched it?

You would if you had hired me and paid me thousands of dollars.

If you’d like to do that, let me know and I’ll be happy to record it for you.

More ideas for your website

Share

Another easy way to write a book

Share

You often hear me encourage you to write a book to promote your law practice. I’ve said it isn’t as difficult or time-consuming as you might think.

I’ve mentioned that one way to do it quickly is to have someone interview you and publish the transcript. I did this with an interview of a successful appellate attorney I did and another book based on an interview another attorney did of me.

If you’re interested in writing a book based on interviews, you can learn what to do in my book, The Easy Way to Write a Book.

Today, I want to show you another way to quickly publish a book.

I just uploaded a book to Kindle: How to Sell Your Legal Services in 15 Seconds or Less. It’s roughly 6000 words (so, short) and is essentially an updated version of a report I previously offered to new subscribers to my list.

You may have read a copy of the original report. If not, you can get the revised “book version” here.

So, there you go. Take something you’ve written before–a report, a presentation, or the transcript of an interview, and re-purpose it as an ebook.

If you don’t have anything suitable, you can write something in a day or two.

Take something you know well that your prospective clients might want to know, write it down or speak and record yourself. One hour of dictation (or an interview) should yield approximately 10,000 words.

And then, you’ll be able to add to your bio that you are a published author. You’ll also have a book published that can bring traffic to your website.

And that’s good traffic. Anyone who reads your book and comes to your website to learn more about you is “interested” in you.

You’ll also have something you can give away, to build your email or newsletter list.

Let me know if you have any questions about any of this, or you want some help getting your book written and published.

How to Sell Your Legal Services in 15 Seconds or Less

Share

Real ID is a real pain

Share

October 1, 2020, the new “Real ID” law goes into effect. After that date, you’ll need a Real ID card or other federally approved documents such as a passport or military ID to get on an airplane or enter a secure federal facility.

Did you know?

I didn’t until my wife renewed her driver’s license recently and found out about it. Later today, we’re headed to the DMV to submit our applications and supporting documents.

We hope we have everything we need. I say that because there are a lot of rules about which documents to bring, and if you get it wrong, “No soup for you!”

Do yourself a favor and find out what you need to do–and do it. As we get closer to the deadline and more people find out about this, you can be sure the lines are going to get longer.

Once you have a handle on what to do, give a heads up to your clients and prospects. Give them the link to get the details, apply online (if available in your state), and gather the required documents.

They’ll need a certified copy of their birth certificate, for example, and may need time to send for it.

Your clients will be glad you told them, glad they have you as their attorney.

Post a summary on your website. You might invite your clients to call your office if they have any questions.

Consider blogging about it, making a video or two, and posting on social.

You’ll generate some goodwill and get more people coming to your website where they will learn about the (paid) services you offer.

Your website can help you make the phone ring

Share

Spoilers

Share

I love a good hamburger and one of my favorite hamburger joints is In-N-Out Burger.

This morning, a video presented itself to me with the title, “BRITISH Try IN-N-OUT BURGER for the FIRST TIME!” so naturally, I read the description: “This is probably our most requested video EVER! We FINALLY GOT TO TRY IN-N-OUT and we LOVED it!”

Color me surprised.

Videos like these usually don’t tell you the verdict. You have to watch the thing to find out. Now I don’t have to.

For the record, even if they hadn’t revealed their opinion, I wouldn’t have invested 11:50 to find out.

Okay. I don’t know if posting “we LOVED it!” in the description was done intentionally, but in marketing, we do our best to come up with irresistible headlines and clickbait-y titles, to draw in readers and listeners to our content.

So, you have to wonder, is there anything to be gained by revealing the takeaway in advance?

The answer is, “maybe”.

If you’re a fan of the couple who made the video, if you’re one of the many who requested it, you watch it because it’s your thing.

If you’re crazy about IN-N-OUT and are curious to see what they ordered or to hear what they liked best or you want to know what they thought about the crowds or the service or the decor, or you’re bored and looking for something new to watch. . . maybe you watch even though you know how the movie ends.

Different strokes.

But this raises another question.

When you’re making videos, writing blog posts, or creating other content and hoping to get more eyes and ears on your creations, how do you know when (or if) you should provide spoilers?

You don’t.

But when you know your market well, eventually, you develop your Spidey Sense and know when it’s okay to break the rules.

Which is why you need to research your target market and make sure you know it inside and out (In-N-Out).

You can learn how to do that in my Email Marketing for Attorneys course.

Share

Do you have to get a lawyer to get divorced in Indiana?

Share

Saw this question posted on Quora. If you’re a divorce lawyer in Indiana, should you answer it?

Should you go looking for questions like this for your practice area or jurisdiction?

My take:

Answering questions on forums probably won’t bring in a lot of business. More importantly, the business it does bring probably won’t be high quality. 

Yes, there are exceptions. You might indeed get some decent clients this way. If you’re just starting out or you otherwise have the time to troll through forums and answer questions, why not?

Just don’t make this your primary marketing method.

On the other hand, there are some very good reasons why visiting forums and answering questions can be a good use of your time.

You’ll get to learn what people want to know about the law in your practice area. You’ll see the words they use to describe their situation, their pain, and their desired outcomes. This can help you write more effective marketing documents.

You can get some ideas for blog posts and your newsletter. Hey, I got this idea from a forum, didn’t I?

You could get some traffic to your website from the answers you post. That might improve your website “score” in the eyes of the search czars, and that could bring you some good clients.

Now, are you thinking what I’m thinking? Did a divorce lawyer in Indiana ask someone to post that question so he could answer it?

Devious minds want to know.

Your best clients come from referrals

Share