Hard selling your list

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You have a list. You want your subscribers, friends, and followers to hire you, refer you, promote you, or otherwise do something that will (eventually) bring you more business.

That’s why you have a list, right?

You want people who have never hired you to pull the trigger. You want old clients to contact you about a new matter. You want referrals, reviews, sign-ups for your seminar, and you want people telling others about you or your content so you can build your list.

But you don’t want to overdo it. You don’t people on your list to leave or get pissed off and then leave. You don’t want people to think you’re too spammy or unprofessional.

So, how much is too much?

First, as long as you’re writing something your readers find interesting or valuable or that allows them to connect with you, you can’t write too often. Even every day is not too often.

So, not boring. Check.

But what about selling? How “pushy” or “salesy” can you be, should you be, and how much is too much?

In a nutshell: soft sell regularly and hard sell occasionally.

Yes, I said hard sell. You can (and should) do it because there are people on your list who need your help but need a little push. A hard sell from time to time may be just what they need to finally take action.

Good for them and obviously good for you.

Just don’t do it all the time because you’ll wear out your welcome.

We’ve all signed up on lists where everything we get is a hard sell. Pitch, pitch, pitch, urgency, scarcity, now or never, coming out of their pores.

Yeah, don’t be that guy.

Marketing is seduction. You can’t constantly ask your list to go to bed with you.

But this isn’t something most attorneys do. Most attorneys do the opposite.

They send lots of information but never sell anyone on anything.

News flash: you’re not in the information delivery business.

You’re in the helping business, so tell people what to do to get your help.

Tell your subscribers to make an appointment or call with questions or sign up for your next event.

Do that regularly because you never know when someone on your list is ready to take the next step.

While you’re at it, tell them to invite their friends to see your video, read your blog, or sign up for your newsletter. Their friends need your help, too.

Sometimes, you push a little. Sometimes, you push a lot. Sometimes, you add a link (and a few descriptive words) and let your readers decide if there’s something they should see.

In other words, mix it up.

In other words, be normal. Like you’re having an ongoing conversation with people you care about and want to have in your life for years to come.

Because you are.

My email course shows you how to do it right

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Facebook vs. email: the verdict

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Many studies confirm the supremacy of email over social media for marketing, including one I saw the other day.

Sumo sent a Facebook post to 74,000 fans and, they said, they got 10 clicks. They sent the same message to 81,000 email subscribers and got 4,203 clicks.

“In 10 hours, the email had 420x more clicks. Plus, with email you OWN the list. Not Facebook,” they said.

One reason for this disparity: many people simply don’t see your social media posts, due to filtering (censoring), and because many people don’t check social media as often as they check email.

But that’s not the entire story.

Even if you got the same number of clicks from social, email will almost always outperform social where it counts–new clients, repeat business, referrals, engagement, and relationship building.

Because email is more intimate than social media.

With social, unless you PM someone, everyone sees the same message. Most people, therefore, liken social media posts to ads or commercial messages.

But email is perceived as a personal message.

Even though you might send your message to hundreds or thousands of people, if you do it right, each recipient reads it as though it was sent just to them.

Doing it right starts with sending an email, not an ad or commercial message, or an article they can find anywhere online.

Email is the killer app.

This is why I (and others) tell you to build an email list. It’s why we say you can get big results with a small list. It’s why many of us build successful practices and businesses without spending a lot of time (or money) on other forms of marketing.

Build a list and stay in touch with it. By email.

If you want to learn how to do it right, go here

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Sixty-second marketing

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What are you doing for the next sixty seconds? Okay, after you finish reading this?

You could be using that minute to market your practice.

I just watched a one-minute video by a guy walking and talking into his phone. No intro, he just started talking. He shared his thoughts on a subject and the video ended.

No promotion, no request to Like or subscribe or hit the bell. Sixty seconds and he could get on with his day.

It wasn’t scripted, and it wasn’t brilliant, but it wasn’t boring, either. He gave me something to think about.

The next time one of his videos comes up in my feed, I’ll probably watch it. If he continues to share something interesting, I may subscribe.

That’s how you build a following.

You could do the same thing. Just you and your phone, or you and your computer screen. Press record and talk for one minute.

You could record audio only, convert it to text and post that on social.

Or use that text in your email newsletter.

In sixty seconds, you would probably push out 150-180 words, and yes, that’s enough for a short email newsletter. If you have more to say, speak for two minutes instead of one.

What do you think? Do you have a minute to talk about something your audience or subscribers would find interesting or valuable?

If so, go record something. Like I did. Right here.

How to build your law practice with email

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Dealing with social media marketing overwhelm

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I read an article recently about what it takes to get started on YouTube. The article provided a list of things you need to do or skills you need to learn:

  • Editing videos
  • Speaking in front of a camera
  • Mastering camera settings
  • Lighting
  • Graphic design or photography for thumbnails
  • Learning how to optimize YouTube videos for Search
  • Posting “best practices” on Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms
  • Researching trends and topics
  • Understanding and using YouTube analytics data (to rank higher, get more traffic, etc.)

You know, the basics.

You may have some or all of these skills (and equipment), or be willing to acquire them, but if not, you may look at this list and say, screw it.

Because you don’t have time to do all that. Or you don’t want to do all that. Or you don’t want to be in front of the camera.

You want to build your practice and everyone says that social media is the place to go so you look at doing podcasts. Gotta be easier, right? No camera.

You do some research and find that there’s nearly as much to learn and do.

You look at Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and other platforms and find them nearly as complicated or time-consuming.

How about blogging? To do that the way “everyone” says you should do it also requires a serious commitment of time and effort.

It’s all too much, you say. But don’t give up.

You don’t have to learn everything or do everything from day one.

You can start by posting screen-capture videos on YouTube–just you talking and showing the front page of your website and providing a few minutes of valuable information.

You can post content on a WordPress blog without worrying about SEO or keyword research or any of the other things bloggers do.

You can set up social media accounts and post or re-post anything, even if you don’t know what you’re doing.

You can dip your toe in the social media waters, using what you already know and the skills you already have, and not give a flying fig about everything else.

Start where you are, with what you have. You can learn about keywords later.

I do most of my marketing with email

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My dinner with Bob

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A few years back my wife and I went to dinner with our old friends Bob and Lou Ann. During dinner, Bob mentioned something I’d recently written on my blog.

I was surprised since Bob isn’t a lawyer. And he’s retired. And I figured he probably has better things to do than to read my utterances.

But apparently, we’re connected on LinkedIn where my blog posts are re-posted and he reads them there.

You never know who is following you, reading you, keeping tabs on what you’re doing. And you never know the reach of your network.

Your connections have connections, and while a personal friend may not need your services, he may know someone who does.

Bob was in business for a long time. He knows other lawyers. If one of them mentions that they were looking for help with something in my wheelhouse, I’m sure Bob would tell them about me. Or forward something I’d written to them.

The lesson: you may not depend on social media for marketing, but don’t ignore it.

Connect with people you know and people you want to know. Clients, former clients, professionals, and personal friends. People who know people who might need your help. Or know people who know people.

Because marketing isn’t just about who you know. It’s about who they know.

Build your list and stay in touch with it

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What makes content shareable?

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You’re ready to write a blog post, article, or social media post and you want your subscribers and followers to share it. What should you write that will make that more likely to occur?

We know that sex and scandal and other tabloid-esq topics sell, but that’s off the table. Humor and human interest (kittens, babies, sports, games) are highly shareable, and you can write about those things occasionally, but only occasionally.

What then? News? Opinion? World events?

Sometimes. But your best bet is also the simplest. Write about your area of expertise.

Write about legal problems and solutions. Write about the law and procedure, the timeline and processes, the benefits of taking action and the risks of waiting too long. Describe your services and the pros and cons of each.

Answer the questions prospective clients and new clients frequently ask you. And write about the questions they should ask you but often don’t.

Show people what it’s like to work with you by describing what you do and how you do it.

Write about your clients and how you have helped them. Write about people you know who didn’t get help and are now paying the price.

Educate people about what they can do themselves. Teach them when they should talk to a lawyer and what questions they should ask them.

Write about solving problems, preventing problems and mitigating consequences when problems occur.

If you have a consumer-oriented practice, you can also write consumer-related topics such as buying the right insurance, saving money, retirement, taxes, etc. You can also write about issues and developments in your local community.

For a business-oriented practice, write about marketing, management, productivity, and issues and developments in your target market’s industry or niche.

No matter what type of practice you have, you can also write about personal development because everyone reading what you write is, unarguably, a person.

This is the kind of content that people will share with friends and colleagues and co-workers and family, because they know they need it or they know they would benefit from it.

And that’s all any of us could ask.

More ideas for creating shareable content that will make your phone ring

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Marketing legal services: let other people do it for you

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You don’t want to blog or do a podcast but other people in your niche do. They need people to interview and people to write guest posts.

You, for example.

Find blogs and podcasts and video channels in your niche and introduce yourself to the head guy or gal. Compliment their work. Promote their content to your lists. Comment on their posts. Get on their Hangouts and contribute to the conversation.

Stay on their radar and eventually they will ask if they can interview you. In fact, once they know who you are, let them know that you are available and you’ll probably move to the front of their list.

By helping them, you help yourself. Your interviews and posts will get your name and contact information in front of people who need your services or who know someone who does. You’ll get more traffic to your website, more followers on social media, and more subscribers for your list. New clients will be next.

Remember, they need content and they can only create so much themselves. They need people like you to help them. As you help them, you help yourself.

The more you get your name out there, the more other bloggers and podcasters will seek you out. Marketing will get easier for you. Instead of doing one interview this month you’ll have three interviews this week.

Soon, your target market will see you “everywhere” and they will know that when they need a lawyer who does what you do, you are the one they want. Other professionals will see that you are in demand and choose you for their referrals.

Help others with their marketing and they will help you with yours.

Learn more about marketing legal services online, here

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Use your outside interests to build your law practice

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There’s a novelist who blogs about my favorite writing tool, Scrivener. I read one of his posts this morning and noticed one of his novels in his sidebar. I thought, “With all the novelists reading his posts, I’ll bet he’s selling more books.”

Because a lot of novelists use Scrivener, and because a lot of novelists like to discover new authors.

You can use your outside interests to do the same thing, that is, to get more people finding you and learning about your legal services.

Right now, I’m watching a lot of videos and reading blogs about the voice to text tool, Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I know that a lot of lawyers use DNS, or are interested in doing so. If I started a youtube channel on “Voice Dictation for Lawyers,” I’ll bet I could build a list of subscribers who would also be interested in my products and services.

You might be interested in classic films or travel or Apple products. Many of your prospective clients share your interest. They may not want to hear about legal matters right now, but they would love to read about your mutual interest.

If you write a blog, participate in online forums, start a group on social media, or post videos on a channel related to your interest, people will find you. Most won’t need your services right now, but some will. Over time, as you continue to post information or ideas or resources, more and more people will find you and tell their friends about your videos or posts.

As your blog or channel grows, you will also build your law practice.

Marketing is easier when you know The Formula

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Successful lawyers don’t have time for Facebook

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Busy, successful lawyers don’t have a lot of time for Facebook. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use social media in your marketing if you want to. It means you need to be careful that you don’t look like you have an abundance of free time to do it, especially during work hours.

And yet, that’s what many attorneys do.

They might actually be extremely busy and only log in once or twice a day. They might re-post or share others’ posts and not create any of their own. They might use software to automate everything and spend only five or ten minutes a day on social.

It doesn’t matter. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.

Don’t be a duck.

Watch what you post, and when. Post about weekend things on the weekends. During the workday, be careful. Share your law firm blog post, but don’t invite people to play a game.

And whatever you do, don’t post too much or too often.

In some businesses, an easy lifestyle with lots of free time are part of the sales pitch. You want people to see (or think) that you don’t work that hard and have lots of time for sports, working on your classic car, and trying out new restaurants.

But people think successful lawyers are busy and work hard, and even if that’s not true of you, that’s what you want the world to think.

Want to know how I use social media for marketing? Get this

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Viral videos for marketing a law firm

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You may have seen a video depicting an unhappy, soon-to-be ex-husband who took the household furniture and cut everything in half.

I didn’t see it until today but apparently, a lot of people did. At last count the video is up to five million views.

The video wasn’t produced by an unhappy husband, however. It was a prank or advertising gimmick (call it what you will) commissioned by a German law firm. That firm recently came clean, admitted their skulduggery and apologized.

But why? It was clever and got a lot of attention. You could say that it made a valuable point, that in a divorce, if you don’t have proper counsel, you could lose half your possessions.

Was it misleading? Yeah, but so what? They could have “signed” the video with the firm name, but it wouldn’t have nearly as many views.

Is the whole idea tacky? Unbecoming for a law firm? You could make that case, but I say, lighten up. Nobody got hurt, a lot of people got a chuckle or two, and the firm got some attention that will, I’m sure, convert into new business.

Do you agree? Disagree? Have you use viral videos for marketing? Are you smacking your forehead and saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

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