Don’t just tell me about your legal services, tell me what problems you solve

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People contact you and ask about your services. Or they find your website and have a look around. Some of those people are looking for X service because they believe that X is what they need. Other people don’t know what they need, they just know they have a legal problem.

If you’re smart (and you are), you’ll tell people about both the solutions (services) you offer and the problems you solve.

You have a “Services” or “Practice Areas” page on your website, right? If you don’t, uh, hello, McFly? If someone finds your website by searching for X, you want to show them that you do X, right?

Okay.

You should also have a “Problems We Solve” or a “How We Can Help You” page that describes the problems you solve, prevent, or mitigate, or the objectives you help clients attain.

Your “Problems” summary page should then link to pages where you present text and video content about those problems and the solutions you offer. You can then link to your specific “Services” pages(s).

Make sense? Sure. It also makes dollars.

Learn more about creating a website that sells

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Prospecting for gold in your law practice

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When my daughter was in grade school I went with her on a field trip to Sacramento. One of the events on the agenda was panning for gold in a stream that once teamed with prospectors. They spent their days sifting through water, dirt, rocks, and sand. The more “non-gold” they got rid of, the more gold they found.

There’s a marketing lesson in this for lawyers.

If you want to find more “gold” (bigger cases, better clients), you need to get rid of as much non-gold as possible, as quickly as possible.

Why spend your time and resources courting clients who aren’t a good fit for you?

Other lawyers filter out cases and clients they don’t want after they talk to prospects. What if you filter them out before you talk to them?

When you create a profile of your ideal client, make a list of clients and cases that aren’t ideal. If you handle plaintiff’s personal injury cases, for example, your second list might include fender benders and soft tissue injuries.

Then, create a page on your website and describe the clients who aren’t a good fit for you.

You’ll stand out for being honest and transparent. You’ll build trust and create higher perceived value for being selective. You’ll attract better clients who see that unlike other lawyers, you don’t take anyone as a client.

Be honest about what you don’t want. You’ll get rid of more dirt and find more gold.

Need help figuring out who you do and don’t want as a client? Get this

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What if I’m right?

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I get it. The two reasons you don’t have an email newsletter or blog or, if you do, you don’t write or post very often:

You don’t have enough to write about, and/or, you don’t have the time to do it.

I say you do. I say you have plenty to write about, way more than you realize, and you have more than enough time to do it.

Give me a chance to prove it.

Set up a new notebook or file for this email/blog project, open a page and label it “ideas”. If you have any that come to mind, write them down. If you have other files with blog post or content ideas you’ve collected, add them to your new file.

Go through your hard drive, reading list, saved article files, and do the same.

Next, write down the questions prospective clients and new clients typically ask you–about the law, procedure or process, about their legal rights and options, about what you can do to help them.

You should be able to quickly write down ten or twenty questions.

If you find yourself running short, visit some online forums where people post questions for attorneys to answer, and see what’s being asked.

You can also visit article directories, other attorney’s blogs, and websites that feature legal content and see what visitors are asking in the comments. You can search your keywords on social media and see what people are talking about.

Okay, that’s enough for now. More than enough, actually. You should now have enough ideas to keep you busy for the next several years.

Will you have the time to use those ideas? Let’s find out.

Go through your idea list and pick one. It doesn’t matter what it is, just pick something you have an opinion on or experience with, or something that interests you that you think might interest others.

Now, write down three words or phrases related to that idea.

If you’re a personal injury attorney and you’ve chosen to write a response to the question, “How much is my case worth?” your three words might be, “damages, liability, and insurance,” for example.

Next, take your idea and your key words, set a timer for five minutes and start writing. You can type or use a pen or dictate but don’t stop writing (or talking) until the five minutes is up.

Don’t edit, don’t worry about grammar or punctuation, don’t slow down or stop. Just keep pushing your pen or pounding the keys.

For. Five. Whole. Minutes.

I don’t care how busy you are, you can write for five minutes.

When you’re done, you probably learned that

  • You have a lot to say about certain subjects
  • You can get a lot of words on a page in five minutes
  • You wind up with a mess but it’s not as bad as you thought

At least that’s what I found out the first time I did this exercise.

You now have the first draft of an email or blog post or article. Put it aside and re-write or edit it later. When you’re done, you should have a few hundred words, enough for a blog post or email.

Then, tomorrow, or next week at this time, do it again. Pick another idea, write down three words, write for five minutes, edit later.

Continue doing this until you have at least ten posts or emails.

Now it’s time to decide what to do with them.

You could start a blog. You’ll have ten weeks (or days) worth of material to post.

You could start a newsletter. You’ll have ten emails to load into your autoresponder.

Or you can gather up what you’ve written and turn them into an ebook or report.

The point is, you now know you can do this. You can write something in 30 minutes or less, including editing. (Okay, it might take longer at first but you’ll get faster.)

The only remaining question is, “Should you?” Will it be worth it for you to write something once or twice a week and post or email it? Will it bring in business?

There’s only one way to find out.

For more ideas, and more ways to get ideas, get this

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Are you making this expensive advertising mistake?

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The other day I heard a radio commercial for a real estate broker. The show’s host said he’s the only broker he recommends and provided examples of some of the great results the broker has obtained for his clients.

The commercial ended with the host telling the audience to call the broker, provided the phone number, and repeated it.

The broker sounds like a real player, someone you should talk to if you’re thinking of buying or selling. But there was something missing. Something that could help this broker massively increase his income.

It’s a common advertising mistake. Sad because it is so easy to fix.

Here’s what I’m talking about.

There are three categories of people who hear this ad. The first category is the smallest but provides the most immediate revenue: people who like what they hear, pick up the phone and call.

The second category is the largest: people who will never call. They don’t own property, aren’t planning to buy property, have a brother in the business, and so on.

They’re not prospects.

The third category isn’t as big as the first category (those who call) but offers the most long-term profit potential. It consists of all of the people who were interested but didn’t call.

They didn’t have time to call. They’re not yet ready to buy or sell. They want more information. They don’t want to talk to someone who will try to get them to make an appointment.

Lots of good meat left on dem bones.

At some point, many people in the third group will be ready to call. Unfortunately, they won’t remember the broker’s name and will call the next broker who comes along.

The solution is simple.

Tell listeners to call OR visit your website.

At the website, they get tips about buying and selling, information about the market, hear more success stories, learn more about your greatness, and generally sell themselves on making that call.

If they’re still not ready, perhaps they will download your special report or planning guide, giving you their email and allowing you to stay in touch with them until they are ready to call.

Some won’t ever call (for a variety of reasons) but will tell their son or daughter, friend or neighbor, about you, and they will call.

Mr. Broker, by not giving listeners another option besides “call now,” you’re leaving a boatload of money on the digital table. Yes, you can continue running ads and appeal to people who are ready to call, but why not also begin a conversation with the ones who aren’t yet ready?

If there’s enough of them on your list, you may never have to run ads again.

Let your website do most of the marketing for you. Here’s how

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Darth Vader would have made a terrible lawyer

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You have a marketing voice and it can make or break you.

Your marketing voice is the personality you present in your writing, in your presentations, and in conversations. It paints a picture of who you are and what it would be like to work with you. Your voice either attracts people to you or pushes them away.

If you sound arrogant, overly aggressive, or overly formal, you push people away. If you sound weak or overly casual, you do the same.

People expect a lawyer to sound like a professional. Not too hot or too cold. They want you to be strong and confident but even-tempered. Friendly and approachable but not a pushover. They want you to speak to them, not down to them. They want you to be conversational, not academic.

A little toughness. A little charm.

Your marketing voice–on your website, in your newsletter, in your presentations–should resonate with your target market. It should attract them and inspire them to connect with you. It should make them trust you and choose you to represent them.

If your marketing voice is working for you, great. If not, get some help. Get a marketing pro or a writer to look at your writing and presentations and give you some advice. Or hire them and have them do a makeover.

How to write a report that attracts new clients

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New tricks for an old dog

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I just installed macOS on my PC. A bit tech-y for me but it was either that or buy a Mac and I wasn’t about to do that just to run one application. (There’s an app I want but it’s only available on Mac and there’s nothing like it for PCs.)

After reading a slew of articles and watching lots of videos, I went ahead and got my geek on.

It didn’t go smoothly. The first method didn’t work. The second method eventually worked, but not without many error messages and missing helper files. Some videos assumed facts not in evidence, that is, my knowledge about where to find things on my system (e.g., BIOS) or how to show hidden files.

But I stuck with it and now I’m good to go. In retrospect, despite the frustrations, it was easier than I thought.

My point?

Is it that you can run other operating systems on your existing machine and don’t need to buy a new one?

No, although that’s good to know, isn’t it?

Is it that you can learn how to do things you previously thought were over your head?

No, but that’s certainly important to know.

Is it that the Internet is an incredible resource for learning things?

Well, we already knew that, didn’t we?

While all of the above are true, my point has to do with marketing.

The youtube video that finally worked for me, providing links to up-to-date downloads and instructions on how to do the little bits and pieces necessary to make the whole thing work, was recorded by a guy who’s in the computer business. He does installations, troubleshooting, updates, and so on, and very casually mentioned this.

It probably took him 15 minutes to record this video. In return, he gets traffic to his site and, no doubt, new business.

His video demonstrates his expertise and builds trust. Viewers can see that he knows what he’s doing. After watching the video, some viewers might still need help and hire him. Or hire him for other computer problems. Some might share the link to the video with a friend they know who has the same problem.

Lawyers can do the same thing with our expertise.

Take your presentations and put them online. Or record yourself answering FAQs. Teach people how to do something or understand their legal problems and the available solutions, and you will get traffic, subscribers, followers, and clients.

Marketing online for attorneys. Click here

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Does your practice need more sales people?

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Before you say no, give me one minute to convince you of the value of hiring a sales person for your practice. Someone who would talk to prospective clients and referral sources on your behalf and convince them to hire you or send you their referrals. Suppose that this was legal and ethical and could be done with little or no cost.

This sales person could deliver a steady stream of new business for you. Every day, prospective clients will call your office to make an appointment. When they meet with you, they are either sold on hiring you and ready to sign up or they have a few questions about their legal matter, and then they sign up.

So. . . how many sales people would you hire?

Hold on. Calm down. This is doable. In fact, there’s a very good chance that you’re already doing it. You already employ one or more sales people who are bringing you new clients.

Okay, I’m not really talking about people. I’m talking about information.

Articles, blog posts, reports, ebooks, videos, audios, podcasts, seminars, and other content you deploy on your website and elsewhere. This information attracts prospective clients who learn what you do and how you can help them, and persuades them to call you, fill out a form, or otherwise take the next step towards becoming your client.

Your content does what a sales person does, but in many ways, it does it better. It works for you 24 hours a day, never complains, and never asks for a raise. And once your content is deployed, it works for you tirelessly, endlessly, for many years to come.

So the next time you’re looking for a way to bring in more clients, start writing, or hire someone to help you, and get more content out into the world.

Here’s how to create content for your website

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Is your online presence costing you business?

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Our washing machine is failing so we’ve been shopping for a replacement. My wife spent lots of time reading reviews before making her selection. Unfortunately, the one she wants is slightly too big for the space occupied by the current machine. There is a cabinet overhead and the lid of the new machine wouldn’t clear it.

We went to a store to see if there was anything we could do. We talked to a friendly sales person and asked about switching the positions of the washer and dryer, which would solve the problem (our dryer is front loading), and the sales person told us that they do this all the time.

Only they don’t.

According to another sales person at that store, due to legal concerns, their installers won’t move the dryer. We would have to buy a new dryer, which we don’t need. He also pointed out some other issues with respect to the position of the existing hookups.

Was the first sales person telling us what we wanted to hear? Was the second sales person being overly cautious?

We didn’t know so went to another store and asked the same questions.

That sales person told us there should be no problem switching the machines, but he would check with their installers and let us know.

His shirt indicated that he was the head of the department and we wondered why he didn’t already know the answer to this question. In addition, he made absolutely no eye contact with us while he said “no problem.” My wife and I walked away thinking we couldn’t trust him.

Now, do you think prospective clients go through a similar process when they are shopping for a lawyer?

Yes indeed. And if they don’t trust you, they won’t hire you.

If a lawyer doesn’t have a website, many clients will pass them over, even if the lawyer was referred by a friend. In addition, according to one study, 75% of consumers say that not having a professional email address (you@yourdomain.com) is an important trust factor.

I’ve mentioned this before. If you have a generic gmail or hotmail or aol email address, you’re probably losing business.

Prospective clients don’t hire lawyers they don’t trust and if you don’t want to lose business, you need to tick as many “trust” boxes as you can. Start with your online presence, which is what they see first. Your website doesn’t need to look snazzy, but it should look professional, be easy to navigate, and have lots of good content.

And when they come to see you, make sure you make eye contact and tell them the truth, not what you think they want to hear.

The 9 elements of an effective website

 

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How to put (a lot of) your marketing on autopilot

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Writing a weekly blog post and emailing that post to your email subscribers is one of the smartest things you can do to build your practice. If you don’t have an email list and a sign-up form on your website or blog, put that at the top of your project list under the category of “incredibly effective marketing”.

Don’t argue with me, just do it. And then email something to that list at least once a week. You’ll thank me later.

See, one reason many lawyers don’t do this is because it seems like too much work, relative to what they believe will be the outcome. That’s because they don’t know how effective this can be in bringing in new clients, repeat clients, referrals, and other marketing goodness.

If you found out that doing this could double or triple your client intake this year, would it be worth it?

One way to ameliorate the “burden” of writing a weekly email is to collect some of your past emails and add them to your autoresponder sequence.

Autoresponders let you send “broadcasts,” which is what you do when you write and send fresh material, and “newsletters” when you want the software to automatically send emails you have already written on a schedule of your choosing.

Are you with me?

Go through the emails you previously sent to clients and prospects and website visitors and select the best ones that are “evergreen”. You may have some that you can edit (remove dates and time-bound offers and “current” events) and add them to your list.

Still with me?

If you have 20 evergreen emails, you can put them in your autoresponder queue and send them to new subscribers automatically. Those new subscribers won’t know (or care) that you wrote them in the past; to them, the information is new and valuable.

That’s 20 weeks of new emails you don’t have to write. You can also send these to “old” subscribers, many of whom have already received those emails. Just because you sent it to them before doesn’t mean they received them, read them, related to them, or were ready to act on them.

When you have 52 evergreen emails, you can add them to your queue and take the next year off. When the year is over, you can instruct the autoresponder to repeat the process and start sending those emails again.

You’ll want to add new emails (broadcasts) throughout the year, however. To notify your list when you have a new article or blog post on your site, invite them to your event, or make a special offer. But that’s easy to do because you won’t be writing emails every week. Unless you want to. But that’s a subject for another day.

Here’s how to do it: Marketing online for attorneys

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A simple plan for quickly bringing in new clients

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There are lots of ways to bring in new clients. Referrals, writing, speaking, networking, and other “reaching out” methods all work. But nothing is quicker than advertising.

Done right, an ad can pull in new clients within minutes after it appears.

Not only that, in the online world especially, advertising gives you unprecedented control over your message–where it appears, how often it runs, and who sees it.

You can test different headlines, copy, and offers, to find out what works best. You can start out with inexpensive PPC and classified ads, and when your ads are working, increase your budget to maximize your return.

Maybe you don’t like the idea of advertising. I understand. But don’t hang up the phone until you hear what I propose., because what I propose could be your ticket to quickly growing your practice.

Many lawyers who reject the idea of advertising do so because they think it’s unprofessional or inconsistent with the image they want to portray. Or they believe it “won’t work” for their type of practice or their target market.

I’m not going to debate any of that right now. Instead, I’m going to propose a different idea.

Instead of advertising your firm or your services, what if you advertised a book or a report?

The spotlight wouldn’t be on you, it would be on the report.

Many attorneys write books and other information-based “products”. What’s wrong with advertising them, either for sale or as a free giveaway?

Nothing. Nothing is wrong with that.

Okay, so you have to write a book or report. But you could do that in a weekend.

“The 30 Day Referral Blitz” shows you everything you need to know to quickly write a “Special Report” you can advertise, and use for other marketing purposes.

You could also hire someone to write the report, or help you write it, but don’t overthink this. If you can pass the bar exam, you can write a report that prospective clients will want to read.

Once your report is written, you advertise it and give it to prospects who visit your website (or a separate website dedicated to the report, if you want) in return for signing up on your email list. Your website can handle the sign-ups and delivering your report, automatically.

Then what?

Your report provides your prospective clients with valuable information on a subject that interests them. It also shows them how you can help them. If they like what they see, and they’re ready to hire an attorney, you’ll probably get the call.

And this can happen immediately. Some prospects will request your report, see what you do, and call you even before they read the report.

Others will read the report, follow links to your (other) website where they can learn more, and then hire you.

Some won’t be ready to hire you, but they’ll be on your email list and you can send them additional information about what you do and how you can help them. When they’re ready to hire an attorney, there you will be–in their minds and their (e)mail boxes.

It doesn’t get simpler–or quicker–than that.

The 30 Day Referral Blitz shows you how to write and deliver your report

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