The three quickest ways to get new clients

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You want (need?) new clients and you want them fast. You want them today. Next week at the latest.

I understand and I can help.

Here are three quickest ways to get new clients:

1. Referrals

Not only can you get clients quickly through referrals, those clients tend to be better clients. Because they trust the person making the referral, they are more likely to hire you, more likely to follow your instructions, and less likely to complain or argue about fees. They are also more likely to refer other clients.

The simplest way to get referrals is to ask for them. Contact your clients and former clients and professional contacts and social media contacts and ask for referrals. You can do this in an email, letter, post, or phone call. Say, “Who do you know. . .[who fits the description of your ideal client/might have a specific legal need]. Ask them to have these people call your office to schedule a free consultation or visit a page on your web site to learn all about how you can help them.

Instead of asking for referrals directly, you can ask indirectly. You do this by offering a copy of your free report, ebook, planning guide, checklist, coupon, or other goody, and telling your contacts they can forward your email or share you post with anyone they know who might want one. Give them a download link to make it easy. For step-by-step instructions, get The 30 Day Referral Blitz.

You’ll get referrals, build your email list (which will lead to more new clients and more referrals), and self-referrals, i.e., people who hear about your request or offer and contact you with their own legal matter.

2. Advertising

If you get it right, advertising is an incredibly quick way to bring in new business. You can place an ad today and have new clients calling within minutes.

The key is to test different headlines, offers, and media/lists, until you find a combination that works. When you do, repeat those ads, and run them more often and in more media.

You can offer your services directly, or offer a free consultation or other incentive for new clients. You can also offer your free report, planning guide, etc. Which leads me to the third method of getting clients quickly.

3. Special offer to your list

If you don’t have a list, you need to build one immediately. Include prospects, friends of the firm, people who have attended a seminar, newsletter subscribers, former clients, and other people in your target market. People who know who you are and what you do.

If you have a list, you know you can make things happen with the click of a button.

Send your list an email and remind your subscribers about what you do. Some of them need your services right now and will contact you. Others will know people who need your services and refer them.

Spice up your email with a time-sensitive special offer, something that gets the maybes off the fence. Your special offer could be a bonus service for new clients who come in this week, a one-time discount for new clients, something extra for returning clients, or you can get creative. For example, you could enter all new clients into a drawing for free tickets to the World Series or dinner for two at a good restaurant.

You wanted quick, you got quick. Go forth and slay ye some new clients.

Create a referral blitz in your practice with this

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What to do when you get a “one star” review

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It had to happen. I’ve been riding high on a unbroken string of five star reviews of my Kindle book, “Recruit and Grow Rich” (about network marketing) and comments like these

“The Best Network Marketing Book I’ve Ever Read!”
–Mitch Jackson

“By Far The Best & Most Complete Resource for Network Marketing!”
–Erik Christian

“Incredible Resource for Anyone in Network Marketing!”
–Marcia J. LeVoir

Donald Gravalec, an attorney, said, “This book is an absolute must read for any attorney considering a network marketing opportunity.”

Nice, huh?

Then, last week, I got a stinker. A one star review. The anonymous reviewer said, “No (sic) recommended. Not that good. Too basic.”

I don’t know what this guy is smoking. The book covers the basics, as a book like this must, but there is so much more. If anything, there is too much information, especially for newbies. My guess is Mr. Anonymous didn’t read past the introduction or first chapter.

Right or wrong, that’s his opinion. What can I do about it?

The same thing you do when you get a bad review or rating from a client on a review site or social media:

You bury it.

You reach out to your clients and ask them to post a review on the site. Most will leave you good reviews, right? As new reviews come in, the stinker will move down and eventually off the page. If a prospective client does see it, he will also see that it is one bad apple in a big barrel of satisfied clients.

Will you help me? If you read the book, would you please leave a review. Just a line or two is fine. I would appreciate it. You can do that on this page.

If you don’t have the book, you can check it out here.

One more thing. Amazon allows people to vote on which reviews are “helpful” and which are not. If you believe the book is good and not “too basic,” please vote down Mr. Antonymous’ review.

Thanks again for you help. I’m looking forward to reading your review.

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Networking: how to make a great second impression

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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.

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You have been judged and found guilty

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I judge you. Yes I do. When you associate with someone who does bad things I think less of you. When you support and promote their business or message, when you re-post their words, when you listen to their music, I assume you believe in them and agree with their opinions and lifestyle. When you fail to denounce evil, or worse, support it, I conclude that you as either ignorant or that you share those values.

I’m not alone. Your clients feel the same way. So do your colleagues. Your friends and family may give you more slack but they are with me on this.

I see people online, people I thought I knew and liked, open their mouth and reveal to me their true self. I learn their values, their beliefs, and their habits, and too often I see a different person than the one I thought I knew.

Be careful who you follow and Like. Be careful what you say about the news. In this overly connected world, where everyone can see what everyone else is saying and doing, you need to edit everything that comes out of your mouth or your fingertips.

Am I saying you should be almost paranoid about what you do on social media? Yes I am. Am I saying you should strenuously avoid all controversial topics? No. Just that you should think about what you are doing and make a conscious choice before you take a stand.

Everything we do entails risk. No matter what you say there will always be people who disagree. But you run a business. Your business rises or falls on who and how many follow you, like you, and trust you. Push people away and your business suffers.

Be careful out there. People are watching you. And judging.

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Social Media Myths Busted (and other lessons for lawyers)

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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.

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

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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?

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What is the ideal length for a blog post?

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What is the ideal length for a blog post? No, I’m not going to give you a clever answer about it being long enough to get the job done. There actually is an answer.

According to research, ideal length is around 1500 words and takes 7 minutes to read. After that, readership drops off. Longer posts also attract more inbound links, which gives your SEO a boost.

There’s also an ideal length for posts on social media. Facebook posts should be 100-140 characters. Tweets 120-130 (to allow room for re-tweets). The ideal length for a podcast is 22 minutes, which corresponds with what I’ve heard is the best length for a live presentation. (After 20 minutes, attention drops off.)

They’ve even researched the ideal length of meta data like title tags. (This is starting to make my brain hurt).

Anyway, if you like numbers, check out this article.

Wait, this post is less than 200 words. It’s not ideal! What shall I do?

Maybe I’ll go hang with Seth Godin.

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Build trust by admitting a flaw

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A well-known copy writing principle for making an ad or offer more believable is to admit a flaw. When you admit that your restaurant often has a two hour wait to get seated, or that it takes 23 minutes of bicycling to burn off the calories in a can of coke, as a recent Coke ad declares, you appear more trustworthy.

Sometimes, your admitted flaws are benefits in disguise. The two hour wait for a table suggests that you have great food and that it’s worth the wait. The Coke ad was thought to be an attempt to counter a film in which, “a health advocate states that a child would have to bike for an hour and 15 minutes to burn off the calories in a 20-ounce Coke.” By comparison, 23 minutes doesn’t seem so much.

For lawyers, admitting a flaw may be a good strategy in a trial, in a negotiation, or in speaking with a prospective client. The trick is to find something about you, your client, or your position, that shows a vulnerability, but doesn’t go too far.

Telling a prospective client you don’t have a lot of experience with his particular matter, for example, may be admitting to a flaw that causes the client to look elsewhere. On the other hand, your honesty may be exactly what the client needs to hear for him to decide that you’re the lawyer he wants.

Admitting that clients may have to wait up to thirty minutes after their scheduled appointment time to see you, because you’re so busy, may be an effective strategy. But maybe you better start serving great food.

Want more ways to build trust? Get this.

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The quickest way to grow your law practice

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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.

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

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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

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