Successful lawyers don’t have time for Facebook

Share

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

Share

Viral videos for marketing a law firm

Share

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?”

Share

Want to sell more legal services? Stop trying so hard.

Share

According to a study by Twitter, tweets that don’t include a #hashtag or @ mention generate 23% more clicks than tweets that do.

Read that again. It’s important. Even if you don’t use Twitter for marketing.

“After missing Wall Street revenue estimates, Twitter released a study advising people on how to use one of its new ad units — direct response ads. While this study is geared towards advertisers, it may also prove to be good practical advice when posting any kind of tweet that’s designed to drive a specific result, such as clicking on a link to your website or sales page.”

The theory is that other clickable parts of a tweet are distracting users from clicking on the link you want them to click. Twitter’s Anne Mercogliano says this doesn’t mean you should avoid using hashtags completely, however:

“If you’re trying to join a conversation, you should absolutely use a hashtag… But for driving for a specific click that you’re looking for off Twitter, the less noise that you put in between [the better].”

Why is this an important lesson even if you don’t use Twitter? Two reasons.

First, I agree that giving people too many choices can lower overall click-through rate–in your tweets, ads, emails, on your web pages, or any other form of marketing. If you give prospective clients in your office too many options for hiring you, for example, you may increase the odds of them choosing not to hire you at all.

(Or they might make a poor choice due to “decision fatigue”.)

The other reason for lower click-throughs is that prospects respond better to advertising that doesn’t look like advertising. If your tweet looks like an ad, a commercial effort rather than a friendly sharing of information, people are more likely to ignore it or see it as less trustworthy.

In other words, you’ll get fewer click-throughs if it looks like you’re trying too hard to get people to do something.

I’m not suggesting you avoid a call to action in your content. Not at all. You need to tell people what to do. But be aware that if you try too hard, especially on social media which has been traditionally been ad-free, you may get fewer people doing what you want them to do.

Sell more legal services online. Go here

Share

Networking: how to make a great second impression

Share

You’ve met someone new, through networking in person or online. You’ve done the card exchange, traded links, and said, “let’s keep in touch”. What now? How do you bridge the gap between first contact and the next step in your budding relationship?

The answer is to pay attention to them and make sure they know it. This will distinguish you from the majority of first time contacts they never hear from again.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Subscribe to their newsletter, blog, and social media channels. Comment on things they post. Share them with your social channels and subscribers.
  2. Set up Google Alerts for their business name and for their name. Congratulate them when others quote them or say something nice about their work.
  3. Track their industry. When you see a relevant blog post or article, share it with them.
  4. Engage them. Invite them to write a guest post for your blog or ask if you can interview them. Offer to write a guest post for them. Send them your content (but don’t subscribe them to your newsletter without their permission).
  5. Introduce them to someone they should know. A prospective client or referral source, a colleague of theirs, a blogger in their industry.

Do this with one or two new contacts each month and watch your business grow.

Share

Social Media Myths Busted (and other lessons for lawyers)

Share

I’ve been accused of being down on social media. It’s true that I don’t use it much, but I do use it. I realize it’s a big deal and it’s not going to go away. I also know that many people who read me and connect with me use social media extensively to provide value to their readers and followers and it makes sense for me to make it easier to do so.

I also understand that social media (done right) isn’t about advertising or selling, it’s about networking. I may not let on that I get the difference, but I do. It is a great tool for finding and reaching out to people in your niche, many of whom you would never meet at in-person networking events.

Apparently, a lot of people don’t get or don’t like social media. So when I saw a new book that promises to reveal the truth about social media and how Luddites like me can use it to increase our bottom line, I grabbed a copy.

In Social Media Myths Busted: The Small Business Guide to Online Revenue, social media expert Laura Rubinstein reveals the truth about common social media myths such as “It takes too much time,” “It’s not relevant to me,” and “You have to be an extrovert to be successful”.

After this, I might read, Social Media is Bullshit.

Whatever your take on using social media in your practice, there’s something else to be learned from Rubinstein’s book. Two lessons, actually, that can be used in marketing even if you never use social media.

The first lesson is about how she wrote the book. Although she is an expert on social media, Rubinstein interviewed 30 business owners and social media experts and got their take on the subject. Those interviews are distilled into the book. She was able to cobble together a book imbued with the knowledge and credibility of the interviewees, no doubt making the book better and easier to write.

Interviews allow you to write a book or any kind of content more quickly and easily. If you interview subject matter experts, their knowledge and experience will add depth to your content. If they aren’t experts, clients for example, their stories can provide context and human interest.

There’s another lesson from crowd sourcing content the way Rubinstein did it, and it’s a big one.

The thirty people she interviewed are all named in the book. They not only get the author’s stamp of approval, they also get exposure to thousands of people who read her book. Do you think these thirty experts might proudly promote this book to their lists and through their social media channels?

You bet your ass they will.

Tens of thousands of people who are interested in social media will hear about this book and want to see what their favorite guru says about social media. Result: Rubinstein is selling a ton of books.

She’s killing it. Bringing in cash, traffic to her web site, and opening doors to new marketing opportunities.

You don’t have to write a book to accomplish this. Interview some experts and post it on your blog. Feature them and their wisdom and they will send traffic to your site.

Where do you find these experts? How about social media?

More ways to create content, build traffic and get more clients, with or without social media: Click here.

Share

I told you so: email marketing is better than social media

Share

I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again: email is better than social media.

Want proof? Okay, feast your eyes on this article which shows that “Email marketing has a ROI of 4,300%,” and is “way more effective than social media marketing. It has greater effectiveness, better ROI, and higher CLV [customer lifetime value].”

The results are based on a survey conducted of owners of ecommerce sites to determine where they got their customers. In terms of customer acquisition percentages, paid and organic search came in first and second, but email had a much higher ROI. Social media wasn’t even in the running.

The conclusion: “Spend more time and money on email marketing than on social media marketing.”

So there.

Okay, but how do you get traffic to your site so you can build your list?

Search, of course. Paid and organic search is still number one for driving traffic.

And. . . social media also works. Hey, I never said it didn’t.

The article has some interesting social media metrics, if you are curious. For example, did you know that YouTube has the “highest engagement and lowest bounce rate”? If you want more traffic, take some of your content and re-purpose it with videos.

Anyway, whatever you do online, if you’re not also building an email list, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. My online marketing course will help you. And here are a few resources I use and recommend.

What do you think, do you feel better about not being a social media stud? Are you going to (finally) build your email list? Or is all of this too much to think about and you’re going to call it a day and catch a movie?

Share

How to get more clients from your newsletter

Share

When I launched my new ebook on Kindle recently I set up an email list for purchasers. If they subscribe, they get tips and other goodies from me related to the subject matter of the book (network marketing recruiting). They get value from me by being on the list. I get a mechanism for promoting my books.

It’s a small list right now, and that’s fine. Sure, I want lots of subscribers, but more than quantity, I want quality.

You should, too.

If you have a large list that’s not producing many inquires for your services (or buying anything else you’re selling or promoting), it’s because you’re focusing on building a list instead of building relationships. Relationships come from delivering value and engaging the people on your list. By finding out what they want to know or do and finding ways to help them.

A list of 50 people who love your content, and you, is worth far more than a list of thousands who barely know who you are.

When I say list I mean email list, not social media connections. On social media, your messages are fleeting. Most people won’t see them. They are public, so anyone might see them, and that makes your posts less intimate and special.

Email, on the other hand, is personal. Even though the same message is sent to many, that message isn’t out in the open for all to see. If someone wants to comment on a social media post, they have to consider that everyone else can see what they say (and who they are). With email, they can remain anonymous to everyone but you.

And with email, you are in control. Your list is yours. Facebook doesn’t determine who does or does not see what you write.

Yesterday, I sent my first email to the new list. I thanked them again for purchasing and told them the price would be going up in a few days, in case they want to let other people know. I encouraged them to leave a review. And then I shared a tip.

I’m starting to build a relationship with my list.

Note that everyone on your list may not be a prospective client for your services. They may have hired you before and not need you again, or never hired you because the crisis has passed. Or they might be a fellow professional who likes what you do. But everyone on your list is a potential referral source.

My list isn’t going to buy my book again, but they can tell many others about it. I’m pretty sure that if I continue to build a relationship with them, that’s exactly what they will do.

If you want to get more clients from your newsletter, get this

Share

Send your clients to client school

Share

Wouldn’t it be great if there was such a thing as client school? A place where clients would learn about the law and procedure, so they would understand what’s going on with their case and not have to ask you so many questions.

They would also get schooled on how to work with you: how to help you do a better job for them, how to contact you, what to send you, what is expected of them, and what to avoid. Client school would teach them about other services you offer and how they can benefit. They could learn about fees and billing, costs and retainers, and everything else a client needs to know.

No client school would be compete without a course on how to provide referrals. Clients would learn why sending you referrals helps them (i.e., it keeps your marketing costs low and you can pass the saving onto them, you don’t have to spend as much time marketing so you can give your clients more attention, etc.) and how it helps the people they refer (i.e., they get high quality help, they don’t have to spend time finding someone, they don’t take a risk of making a bad choice, etc.)

They would then learn what to do to make the referrals, i.e., what to say to their referrals, and/or what to email them or what page to send them to.

Client school would be great, wouldn’t it? Fewer questions, happier clients, more referrals.

So, why not start one?

All you have to do is put all of this information in writing, or record videos, and post everything on your website. You can put some or all of it in a password protected “clients only” area, or make it public so prospective clients can see all that you do for your clients. You can print transcripts and mail these to clients who prefer this, or put everything on DVD’s and give them to every new client.

You could have some of your staff record a video or two. Directions, where to park, office hours, and so on, or more substantive matters. They could do a walking tour of your office, or demonstrate the process for opening a new file. If appropriate, ask some articulate clients to record something.

More ideas? How about quizzes and a diploma for those who take all of the classes? How about things for kids, like legally themed pictures they can print and color, word search, crosswords, and so on?

Start with basic information. Add what you already have: articles, blog posts, recorded webinars or speeches, forms and checklists, reports and ebooks. Then, make a list of other areas you want to cover. Record one or two five minute videos each week. Don’t get fancy. Just talk into your webcam. Or put up a few slides and narrate them.

If you make some or all of this public, every time you do an update, notify your email list and your social media followers.

So, what do you think? Would you give this idea a passing grade?

For more ideas for your website, get this

Share

The quickest way to grow your law practice

Share

We’ve been talking about social media marketing lately. If you embrace it, and it’s working for you, I’m all for it. But there are two things you need to know.

First, social media may do everything it’s supposed to do for you, i.e., build your list, improve your reputation, bring you leads and clients, but it usually won’t do it quickly. It can take months or years to bring in meaningful results.

Second, you have no control over what happens. Yes, you can see that you’re getting more results on Twitter than LinkedIn and direct more energy to Twitter (and if that’s what’s happening, you should), but whatever is going to happen on a given platform, or all platforms, is going to happen. You can’t make it do more or do it faster.

The same is true of other marketing techniques lawyers typically use–networking, articles, speaking, blogging, publicity, and referral marketing. They all work, but slowly, and you have very little control.

True, you might get lucky. You might meet and sign a huge client at a networking or speaking event. Your blog post may get noticed and linked to by a major publication, sending you a swarm of traffic. And while these things do happen, they are unpredictable. They may happen next month, five years from now, or never.

One marketing technique is different. It gives you tremendous control. You can try it on a small scale and if works, leverage your results into sequentially bigger results with nearly scientific accuracy.

You can also get results much quicker. In fact, I know of no quicker way to bring in business.

Oh, and there’s another advantage: you don’t need to spend time on this marketing technique. You can just write a check.

By now you may have figured out that I’m talking about paid advertising. But I’m not talking about any kind of advertising, I’m talking about direct response advertising.

Most attorneys who advertise don’t use direct response. They use “general awareness” or “branding” style ads, and they are often a giant cash sinkhole. They might work just enough to keep running them (e.g., yellow pages), but not enough to make a difference in your bottom line.

Plus, there’s almost no control. You can ask new clients, “where did you see our ad?” (and you should), but this doesn’t give you the degree of control I’m talking about.

Direct response advertising is different. You include a response mechanism in the ad (call this number, fill out this form) and measure the response. If you get enough response, if the ad is profitable, you run it again. If it continues to pull in sufficient response, you continue to run it, and in more publications or websites.

So, you start with a small, inexpensive ad. If it works you buy more ads, and perhaps bigger ads, and you continue your campaign. If the ad isn’t profitable, you pull it and try something else.

You don’t risk big money unless and until you know you have something that’s working. And then you test some of the variables (e.g., headline, offer, list, copy) to see if you can make it work even better.

Lead generation ads are direct response, and often work better than “one step” advertising (i.e., “Call for an appointment”). In a lead generation ad you offer something other than your services, in order to get people to identify themselves to you so you can add them to a list. You might offer a free report, a book, a “planning kit,” a checklist or a set of forms. The quality of your free information “sells” the recipient on hiring you.

Instead of giving away your book or kit, you could sell it. Everyone who buys your book or paid seminar is likely to be an even better prospect for your services, and their purchases help you pay for your advertising and fulfillment.

Advertising isn’t easy. It requires expertise and some money to start. But unless you are precluded from doing so (by your bar or firm), if you want to grow your law practice quickly, I suggest you consider adding direct response advertising to your marketing mix.

Because there’s no faster way to grow your law practice.

If you’re getting started in marketing, start with this.

Share

Social media marketing isn’t the only way to market legal services

Share

When you read yesterday’s post about social media marketing, there’s a very good chance you had one of two reactions:

  1. Wow, this is amazing. I can’t wait to do this!
  2. Wow, this is amazing. But it’s not for me.

If you’re in the first group, you recognize that if a busy and successful trial lawyer can bring in lots of business through social media, you can too. You see how one article or update can be re-purposed for a variety of platforms, allowing you to attract prospective clients from a variety of directions.

You also understand the value of a good model, that is, you can see that by studying what Mr. Jackson does, you can emulate it.

You may have been a bit overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, but you realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day and you don’t have to do everything all at once. You can start with a few accounts and a few posts and work your way up.

Now, if you’re in the second group, if you read the post and immediately thought, “I’m not doing all that,” I understand.

I understand because that was my reaction.

Social media marketing aint my thang. I do it, but sparingly. I don’t doubt the power of social media, I just don’t like it. And if you don’t like something, forcing yourself to do it is unlikely to lead to good results. And, why make yourself miserable doing something you don’t enjoy?

Mitch said he gets the most engagement, traffic, shares, and so on, with his personal posts. That makes sense. But Mitch is an extrovert (or he does a very good impression of one) and I’m not. I’m not antisocial, but don’t invite me to your party, I’d rather stay home and read. (Wait, will there be food?)

What about the expurts and goo-roos who say you have to jump on board the social media train?

They’re wrong. Don’t listen to them.

You don’t have to do anything. Social media marketing isn’t the only way to market legal services, or anything else.

For the record, I do think every lawyer should have a website with a fair amount of content, to showcase their knowledge and expertise and help people get to know, like, and trust them. And that website should have social media integration so that your (extroverted) visitors can share your content through their social media channels.

But that’s easy. And not the same thing.

Of course there is a third group. You think social media is fine. You like it. You might not plan to go all out with it, but you would like to do more than you’re doing now.

I think that’s great.

There’s room for all us folk.

In my father’s day, some lawyers networked, some didn’t. Some did it a lot, some did it “whenever”. Now that we can network online, we have more options. But they are options, not laws, rules, or mandates.

To see  how I build my business online, go here

Share