Why social media marketing doesn’t work


Many attorneys do extremely well with social media marketing. It doesn’t work for me, however, because I don’t like and don’t do it. 

I could learn. Force myself. But life is too short to do things we don’t enjoy, and if you don’t enjoy something, you won’t get good results. 

Couldn’t you hire people to help you or do it for you? Sure, that’s an option. But since there are other things you can do, why not do something you like? 

For me, that’s email. My newsletter has an insanely good ROI. It’s low overhead, doesn’t take a lot of time, and I enjoy writing it. 

It works for me, but if you don’t want to write a newsletter, it might not work for you. If you want the benefits it offers, however, before you write it off, make sure you’re doing it correctly. 

  • Make sure you’re sending it to the right people. People who need or want what you offer, and who have told you to send it to them (opted-in). 
  • Make sure you use a subject line that promises a benefit or makes subscribers curious, so they open and read your email.  
  • Make sure your email is interesting, well-written, and easy to read. 
  • Make sure you tell your readers to call or write, to make an appointment or ask questions, and tell them why. Tell them the benefits of hiring you or taking the next step. 
  • And make sure you email often. Once a month is probably not often enough. 

Some lawyers say “email doesn’t work”. They really mean it doesn’t work for them. But it can, if they use it currently.

Email Marketing for Attorneys


Sorry, I don’t want to smack that bell


Everywhere we turn, somebody is telling us to do something. Fill out a form, download a pdf, watch a video, like, comment, share, subscribe. 

It’s annoying, but it works. We’re more likely to click something when we’re asked to do it.

Which is why everyone asks. And why you should too. 

If you want more subscribers, ask (tell) people to subscribe. You’ll get more subscribers. If you want more clients, tell people to call for an appointment. You’ll get more calls. And clients. 

You’re reminding them to do something that’s good for them. The more you ask or remind them, the better off they’ll be. So don’t feel guilty about asking. They’ll thank you later, after you’ve helped them solve their problem.

Ultimately, people do what they want to do. I do that; you do that. It doesn’t matter how many times I tell you to do something or buy something, you won’t do it—unless you want to. I can’t make you do it, just as you can’t make a prospective client write you a big check. 

But while we can’t compel people to do things, we can make it more likely that they will. 

The simplest way to do that is to tell them why. Give them one or more reasons or benefits for doing what you ask. Tell them what’s in it for them. Because they might not know. They might not remember. They might not have wanted or needed those benefits before, but now they do.

This doesn’t mean you have to pile on the benefits. You don’t have to smother them with extras and bonuses, or go to great lengths to persuade them to do what you ask. People like helping you. They like telling others about you and what you offer. It makes them feel good about themself to do that.  

Which is why many people will do what you ask simply because you ask.

But more will do it if you tell them why.

The Attorney Marketing Formula


How to build a law practice without social media


Extremely successful, perpetually cranky copywriter Ben Settle, who I have followed for a long time, famously built his list, top-shelf newsletter and businesses without social media. 

He was recently asked how he does it. 

By doing things people did to build their lists before social media.
It’s okay to use it, if you want to.
But only amateurs buy into “needing” social media for list-building.“

Ah, a man after my own heart. 

What did people do before social media? About what you think:   

Advertising, networking, public speaking, interviews, joint ventures, seminars, sponsorships, writing articles/books. . . and mentioning their offer (website, newsletter, services, etc.) to people connected with their target market. 

Things that work just as well today, and arguably better. For building a business, a newsletter, or a law practice.

There’s also SEO and publicity and direct mail and handouts. Some work better than others. Some require money but very little time. And some are incredibly labor intensive and not a lot of fun. But work.

What you should do depends on your field, your niche, what you offer, your budget (and tolerance for risk) and what you like and are good at. 

I know, too many choices. Pick something that’s not social media and run with it. 

On the other hand, if you’re okay with social media but find it challenging to find time to do it, your best bet might be advertising on social media.

Could be the best of both worlds.


Information is overrated


The people who regularly follow you on social, subscribe to your newsletter or blog, watch or listen to your videos or podcasts, don’t do it solely to get information. No doubt they get plenty of that from you already, and they know they can get more by asking you or doing a quick search. 

They read or watch your posts or messages for information, but also because your words provide them a brief mental vacation. For a few minutes, they don’t have to think about work or their troubles. They can hear something interesting or encouraging or entertaining. 

Information is important. But it’s not everything. 

When you spend time with people you know (or want to meet), at a networking event or socially, you don’t fire up your brain and start firing off information. You don’t deliver a lecture. You chat, you catch up, you share interesting things you’ve heard. 

Your subscriber is that friend.  

If you want them to look forward to hearing from you, consume everything you write, share your content and links, and think of you first when they have a legal issue (or know someone who does), give them more than just information. Help them take a mental vacation. 

Email marketing for attorneys


Get the folks to do something


Why does everyone talk about the importance of engagement? To get your subscribers and followers to things like respond to a question, ask you their own question, or fill out a survey?

Is it because engagement is a way of measuring the responsiveness of your list? Is it because the information they supply by replying to your request helps you better understand them—what they want, their opinion, or their experience? Is it because when you ask and they respond, it parallels a conversation, which helps foster a relationship?

Yes to all the above. But there’s something else.

Each time you ask your list to do something, however trivial, and they do it, makes it more likely that they will do something else.

When they hit reply and answer your question, or ask you one of their own, when they take two minutes to fill out your survey, even if they do that anonymously, they are that much more comfortable responding.

If they were fearful before, they are less so now. If they didn’t want to take the time before, they might now think that’s okay.

If you share the survey results with your list, or answer their question in your next post, they see how they learn something or get something by replying to you.

They didn’t get hurt or embarrassed. They responded and it was okay.

You’re training the people on your list to come a little closer to you. Which means they trust you a bit more and are more likely to respond again when you ask them to do something else.

Strangers might hesitate to sign up for your event, forward your link, or schedule an appointment. But they are no longer strangers.

So tell me, what is something you did recently to engage with your list and how did it work out?

More ideas for engaging with your list


Marketing without social media


Let’s say you’re like me and you don’t like social media, or you don’t like it enough to make it a mainstay of your marketing.

If you do like it, or don’t want to ignore it completely, there are a lot of benefits, but it’s not the only game in town.

You can get traffic to your website or blog without selling your soul to the master of the universe, through:

(1) Search.

People looking for information (about legal issues and/or lawyers who can help them) will find your content if the search engines deem it worthy of the same. So, make it worthy.

No clickbait. Good information. Published more often than “once in a while.”

(2) Sharing.

If your content is good, visitors to your blog or website will share it. Make it easy for them to do that by providing share buttons that allow them to link to or post your content on their social media platforms.

(3) Posting.

Sign up for accounts on the major social media platforms and, when you write new content, post a link to it on those platforms. You can also post in groups that cater to your niche market, besides posting in your timeline.

(4) Advertising.

You can do pay-per-click advertising, ironically through social media companies, or display advertising, or even offline advertising. Advertise your content, your services, or both.

(5) Everything else.

When you speak or write articles or give interviews, promote your blog or other content properties. When you meet people, via networking, or socially, and you think they might benefit from your recent article or video, tell them about it.

And don’t forget to share your content via your newsletter and invite (ask) your readers to share it.

Tell folks what they’ll find and how to get there, and they will come.

Social media is free marketing, but it can take up a lot of time. Optimizing posts for SEO, guest blogging, commenting, and especially, consuming other people’s and content and engaging with them. You could easily spend an hour or more per day.

For some, that is time well spent. For others, like me and perhaps you, the time factor is a big reason for not making social media a big part of your marketing.

If you want to do something, choose one social media platform used by the people in your target market, and spend your time there instead of everywhere. And limit yourself to ten minutes a day.

But you don’t have to do that, either.

If social media just isn’t your thing, you can still benefit from its power and reach without a formal social media marketing plan or hiring people to run it for you.

Make it “something else” you do, in support of your primary marketing activities, and spend your time on those.

My primary marketing activity is email


More ways to get traffic to your blog


Yesterday, I said there are other ways to get traffic to your blog besides search. Paid advertising should be considered, but there are others that are free (other than the time it takes to use them, but you can have an assistant do most of this for you) and, arguably, better.

For starters, you should routinely ask your clients, professional contacts, and newsletter subscribers to share your content with their friends, clients, customers, and others who might need help or be interested in your (great) content.

Your blog should also prominently display share icons so visitors can easily share your content on social.

Simple. And smart. When someone who knows you or follows you shares your content, they are referring people to your digital door and implying that you’re good at what you do.

That’s a referral, isn’t it?

What else. . .

Mention your blog and link to it everywhere:

  • In your email “signature” and the signature at the bottom of articles you publish elsewhere
  • In your bio, when you are introduced at a speaking event
  • In interviews, when the host asks you how people can learn more about you
  • Print copies of some of your content for the table in your waiting room and the table at the back of the room at speaking events
  • Put print and/or digital copies in your “new client welcome kit” to share with friends and family

You have access to an army of people who know, like, and trust you. Use them.

What about the rest of the universe?

Social media (if that’s your thing) can be a good source of traffic. Flakebook, Quora, Reddit, Linkedin, and many others have groups you can join or discussions about subjects within your area of expertise you can take part in.

Answer questions or comment on the answers provided by others, and link to your blog.

You can do the same thing in consumer or business forums.

You can share your content on sites like Medium and direct readers to your blog for more of your wisdom about the subject.

You can find small blogs in your niche, even those written by other attorneys (or perhaps especially those), and comment on their posts, with a link to your blog. You can also offer to write guest posts for those blogs.

And, when you have enough content, you can gather up your posts and create an ebook, which you can sell on Amazon, and/or offer to visitors to your site, as an incentive to sign up for your newsletter.

There, that should keep you busy for a while. Busy with new clients, that is.

Email (and blog) marketing for attorneys


7 ways to grow your law practice with videos


Everybody (and their brother) likes to watch videos and you can use them to build your practice.

You don’t need expensive equipment or software or spend a lot of time recording and editing. And you don’t have to appear on camera.

Because it’s not about the videos, it’s about the content.

Here are 7 ideas for videos to make that content:

  1. Explain something. Tell people about the law, legal issues in the news, teach them how to do something, share your opinions, and anything else your market would like to know about your area of expertise.
  2. Interview someone. Ask another lawyer a series of questions about their practice area. Interview your business clients, authors, bloggers, and subject-matter experts. Ask a friend to interview you.
  3. FAQs. Invite your subscribers, clients, or followers to submit questions and answer them.
  4. Talk about your work. Describe your services, who might need them, and when. Tell folks what you can do to help them and how to get more information or take the next step.
  5. Show how you make the sausages. Demonstrate your document creation software, calendaring system, research systems; explain how you open a new file, investigate, or prepare for trial.
  6. Recommendations and reviews. Software, books, websites, businesses, trade shows, courses—anything you recommend or have heard good things about.
  7. Promote your other content. Show folks your website, blog, articles, books, podcasts, newsletter, and other videos, and your upcoming presentations or publications. Tell them what they’ll learn and encourage them to read, watch, listen, subscribe, and share.

You can also re-use content you’ve previously created. Convert your blog posts or articles into videos (read and record), upload your presentations, podcasts, webinars, or panel discussions.

Post your videos on your channel and blog and encourage others to share them on theirs.

You’ll get more traffic, subscribers, followers, leads, repeat business and referrals.

You might also have a lot of fun, you ham.


Quality or quantity? Yes.


When it comes to writing a newsletter or blog, posting on social media, or otherwise connecting with prospective clients and the people who can refer them, what’s better, frequency or length?

Should you write longer posts and publish less often, or post shorter pieces more often?

Let’s think this through.

You need quality, because that’s why folks subscribe and follow you, and because you want them to see that you know what you’re doing.

You also need quantity (frequency), because you want to keep your name in front of people.

But you’re busy and can’t afford to spend all day crafting brilliant prose, and even if you have the time, you don’t want your readers and followers to think you do.

So, how about a comprise?

You might write a “longer” post, at least a few paragraphs of original thought, once a week. On other days, as you can, you fill in with brief comments, observations, quotes, and links to other people’s posts.

Quality and quantity, for the win.

If you’re not doing anything now, or you don’t publish consistently, start small. Post an inspiring quote once or twice a week, for example, to create the habit of posting; after a few weeks, you can do more.

Whatever you decide to do, put it on your calendar and/or in your task management app, because trust me, you won’t remember.

How to build a law practice with email


Another simple content idea


I bought an iPad. Yes, my first. You know how it is, you don’t know you need something until you get it (or someone lets you try it) and you realize what you’ve been missing.

Anyway, as part of my research into “if” and “which one” and “ways to use it,” I saw some videos made by law students who are using iPads for note taking and studying. They explain the apps and accessories they use, why they chose them, and how they use them.

Basically, they’re doing product review videos for a niche market.

Which prompted me to tell you that if you use and recommend any tech tools or apps, and workflows and best practices for using them, you could record product reviews, and post them on your blog or channel.

Most product review videos follow a pattern:

  1. Describe the product/model/version and features
  2. Explain what they like
  3. Explain what could be improved
  4. Compare the product to other options
  5. Explain if they recommend it, for whom, and why
  6. Tell where to get it

Product reviews lend themselves well to video, as you can demonstrate the product and give it a face (yours). You can instead do “faceless” screen capture videos.

If you’re not up for doing videos, you could write a blog post or newsletter article, with or without images, or simply mention the product and your recommendation on social. (Be sure to tag the relevant company when you do.)

And if you don’t want to do product reviews, or share your workflows, you could do something similar by writing book reviews.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you have fun doing it. Because if it’s not fun, it’s work, and you have enough of that already.