Get the folks to do something

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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

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Marketing without social media

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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

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More ways to get traffic to your blog

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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

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7 ways to grow your law practice with videos

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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.

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Quality or quantity? Yes.

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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

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Another simple content idea

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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.

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If your net isn’t working

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Many lawyers find networking to be a waste of time. Ditto for networking online, aka Social Media. 

Some have been at it for a long time with little to show for it. They may have collected 1000 business cards from events they’ve attended, or have thousands of connections on LinkedIn (et. al.), but, their phone isn’t ringing. 

That’s because it’s not quantity that’s paramount, it’s quality. 

A handful of high-quality connections can eventually lead to a steady stream of new business for you. 

What is a high-quality connection? 

Someone who has influence in your target market. They know people who might need your services (or have clients or customers who do) and will listen to them when they recommend you.  

In other words, they have the ability to send you referrals or introduce you to business and professional contacts who can do that.  

That’s the easy part. There are plenty of people who meet that definition. 

The hard part is finding people who are willing to send you those referrals or make those introductions.

That’s a daunting task when you’re trying to sort through a thousand contacts. 

That’s why the best networkers don’t show up at events seeking to meet everyone they can. They don’t follow anyone they find on socials, hoping they will follow them back. 

Instead, they have found that the best way to meet and connect with the right people is to deliberately target them. 

Make a list of 25-50 of the most influential people in your target market. Contact them, introduce yourself, and find out what you can do to help them. 

Because helping them is the best way to get them to help you. 

Here’s how to find and approach influential people in your target market

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The TRUTH about practicing law

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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.

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The worst legal market tactic

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It may be unethical. It’s definitely bad posture. More than anything, it doesn’t work.

I’m talking about spamming people (on Facebook, for example) who never expressed interest in your services or in the legal issues you handle, and saying, “If you have/need/want. . .” to contact you for an appointment.

On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with telling people what you do and asking them if they want to learn more.

Just don’t make those the first words out of your digital mouth.

First, talk to them about one of their posts, or about something they’ve revealed about themselves. Answer their question, offer a tip, comment on their idea or photo.

Have a conversation.

Find a way to mention what you do, or, ask them what they do for a living. They’ll usually ask you in return.

Then you can tell them what you do and ask them if they’d like to get some information about your services.

The easiest way to do that is to tell them about your new article, report, blog post, checklist, or the like, and asking if they’d like a copy.

Because marketing is different than advertising.

What to say when someone asks what you do: How to Sell Your Legal Services in 15 Seconds or Less.

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Hacking social media

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Most people use social media to blast out information, offers, and requests. And that’s okay. Ask enough people to do something and you should see some results.

But there’s another way to use social media that can bring better results, and it doesn’t depend on the size of your list or the value of your content or offer.

Instead of asking everyone to do something, ask a few people, and do it one at a time.

Identify some people on your list you know personally or with whom you’ve corresponded, send them a direct message or email, or call them, and tell them what you want.

If you ask them to Like or share your post or content, for example, you should get a better response simply because they know you’ve asked them and are watching to see what you do.

They can’t hide behind a list of hundreds or thousands of contacts. If they ignore your request, they’ll know you know.

If you want to get even better results, there’s something else you should do.

Tell them why.

Why you’re asking them specifically. Why this is important to you. Or why you believe their contacts will benefit from your content or offer.

If I ask you to share this post or email with other lawyers, I should get some new subscribers or followers. I’ll get more subscribers, however, if I tell you that this year, I’m focusing on building my list.

Not a great reason from your standpoint. “Your lawyer friends will appreciate you for thinking of them,” is much better.

But studies show that the reason isn’t terribly important.

Offering a reason significantly increases the likelihood that the other person will comply–even if the reason isn’t a particularly good one.

But, just in case, here’s another reason: I appreciate your help.

The easiest way to build a law practice? Email.

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