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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I’d like to interview you

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I’ve been interviewed a fair number of times, by reporters and bloggers and podcasters. A couple of weeks ago, a long-time reader of this newsletter asked to interview me for his podcast/radio program.

We did the interview the other day.

The host read my bio, introduced me, and ask me questions, starting with how I got my start. He asked more questions, I shared some pearls of wisdom, he promoted my website, and in 30 minutes we were done.

I get some exposure and traffic to my site, he gets content, and a good time was had by all.

Yes, a good time. It was fun. Who says you can’t have fun while making money?

Anyway, if you’re not finding ways to get your bad self interviewed, you’re missing out. It’s an easy and professional way to build your practice.

Here are three simple ways to make this happen.

  1. Build a blog or newsletter or social media following. If you put out enough content, you will be discovered and someone in your niche will ask to interview you.
  2. Hang out with bloggers and podcasters and other content marketers who sell to, write for, or advise your target market.

    Consume their content, leave comments, offer praise, and promote their stuff on social and to your list. Your list will appreciate hearing about good content and the content providers will appreciate the exposure.

    Some will recognize your value and reciprocate by promoting your content to their audience; some will ask to interview you.
  3. Contact bloggers, podcasters, et. al., in your niche and ask to interview them for your blog or podcast, et. al.

Where do you start? Ask a friend or colleague if you can interview them for your blog or newsletter. Or just for fun. And let them interview you.

You’ll get some practice doing interviews and being interviewed and you’ll be ready for prime time.

Who do you know you could interview today?

I interviewed an attorney and turned it into a book

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An easy way to get targeted traffic to your blog

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An easy way to get targeted traffic to your blog sounds good, doesn’t it?  

How about if you didn’t have to do any of the writing? Even better.

No, I’m not talking about hiring writers to create your content for you. I’m talking about leveraging other people’s writing by aggregating “clips” or blurbs from other blogs in your target market. 

Blogs written by people in your client’s industry or market. Or by vendors, consultants, and other professionals who sell to or advise that market. 

Find blog posts and articles in the niche, copy the headline, the lead paragraph or two, and the link to their post. Cobble together five or ten of these into your post.

Add your own title and call it a day. 

You’re doing your readers a favor by providing them with links to content they want to consume.

You’re doing the other bloggers or professionals a favor by promoting their content and bringing them additional traffic and readers. 

And you’re doing yourself a favor by building traffic to your site from search engines and from readers who share your posts with others. 

Do you need permission? Fair use, isn’t it? Besides, who wouldn’t want you to promote their content?

You might want to let them know after the fact, however, because that could lead to more good things.

They might reciprocate and share some of your original content with their readers. They might see what you do and ask to interview you or invite you to write a guest post. They may refer you some business. 

Since you already read deeply in your target market, (you do, don’t you), you have access to a lot of content to share. So, this shouldn’t take you much extra time. 

If you do have extra time, you could add a few comments to your posts–mentioning what you liked about the original post, offering your own stories or observations, or mentioning the writer’s other articles you recommend. 

Give this a try. Write one post and see how it goes. You can then make it a regular feature or start another blog that exclusively features the best content in your niche. 

For more blog content ideas, get this

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Another way your clients can help your practice grow

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Will you be seeing any clients today? This week? Good. When you’re done with your meeting, ask them if they can help you out with something and tell them it will only take 15 minutes.

When they ask what you have in mind, tell them you want to ask them a few questions about their experience with you and your office.

When they agree, ask them if it would be okay if you record the conversation. And then, do a brief interview.

Ask some basic questions about why they needed a lawyer, how they found you, and what you did for them. Ask about:

  • Their background/occupation
  • The legal issue or objective that prompted them to seek legal help
  • How they found you (referral, search, other)
  • If they saw your website, what did they read, what did they like?
  • Did they talk to other lawyers before they decided to hire you?
  • Why did they choose you?
  • What did you do for them/how did you help them?
  • What did they like best about having you as their lawyer?
  • Is there anything they think you need to improve? Anything you don’t do but should?
  • Would they recommend you? What would they say about you?

And so on. You’ll think of other questions, and they’ll volunteer statements about their experience with you and your firm.

At the end of the interview, ask them if it would be okay to post their comments on your website or put them in your newsletter. Ask them if you could use their name. You might also ask for a head shot photo, or take one on the spot.

Have the interview transcribed. You might use the transcript in it’s entirety, or lift quotes from it and use them in a “client profile”.

There are several benefits to doing this:

  • It’s an easy source of content for your blog or newsletter
  • You’ll get lots of readership. Your other clients and prospective clients like to see what others say about their experience with you
  • The interviewed client will “sell” readers on hiring you, so you don’t have to.
  • Their positive comments help your other clients feel good about their decision to hire you
  • The interviewee may share your post with their friends and followers, bringing you more traffic and more clients (indirect referrals)
  • If your client owns a business, this is a simple way for you to promote that business; they’ll also be likely to share your post
  • You’ll get feedback about what you’re doing right, and ideas you can use to add value

Go ahead, give this a try. Your clients will be flattered that you want to interview them. And once you see how easy this is, you’ll want to do it again.

Could you interview one client per month? Of course you could. If you do, and you write a weekly blog post or article, one-quarter of your monthly content will be taken care of.

More ways to get your clients to provide referrals

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Marketing online by profiling your clients

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Dollar Shave Club has a unique approach to marketing. On their website, they feature the businesses of their customers and the stories behind them. They recently featured a coffee roaster, for example. According the folks at Small Business Trends:

“Each article comes complete with an interview that gives a glimpse into the personality of that person’s brand. Rather than sum it up, they go to the source, which gives a more truthful glimpse into the companies they are featuring. The people that run and care about the business are those who get to speak about it and that’s not so common anymore.”

Customers can fill out a form on the site describing themselves and their business. “If the submission catches the editor’s eyes, a rep may reach out with some more questions.”

If you represent businesses of any kind, you could do the same thing. Profiling and promoting your clients’ businesses will benefit you in several ways:

First, it makes you look good. Instead of saying nice things about yourself, you’re saying nice things about your clients.

Second, your client gets more exposure and more business, thanks to you. They might reciprocate and tell their customers all about you and your practice. Also, as their business grows, they will probably have more legal work for you. More referrals, too.

Third, no doubt your featured clients will tell everyone they know about their profile on your site. You’ll get more traffic, more subscribers and followers, and more clients.

Fourth, this is an easy way to create interesting content for your blog.

Finally, you might get other websites talking about your innovative approach to marketing. Like mine.

If you have a consumer practice, undoubtedly some of your clients own or run a business. Or they are connected to a charity or cause-oriented group. Find the ones who have an interesting story to tell and help them tell it.

You can also interview your professional contacts and feature their business or practice. You may not be able to send a lot of referrals to an accountant you know; promoting his practice this way might bring him lots of new clients.

Marketing online for attorneys made simple

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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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Marketing online is easier than you think

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I have a blog but I am not a blogger.

There’s nothing wrong with blogging, it’s just not what I do.

Bloggers focus on engaging their visitors and social media connections. They encourage visitors to leave comments and to visit their social media pages, and they spend time reading those comments and responding to them.

I don’t. In fact, I don’t get many comments. Lawyers are busy. I am, too. If I got lots of comments, I’d probably turn off the comment function on my blog.

Yes, I have a blog. But that doesn’t make me a blogger. Bloggers have lots of guest posts, interviews, videos, graphics, and links to other sites. I don’t. These aren’t important to me.

I’m not a blogger. I write emails to my subscribers, share information, teach and train, and tell stories. I communicate with my subscribers, provide value, and sell my products and services.

I do post most of my emails on my blog, however. This brings search engine traffic. I have more than 1000 posts now, all serving to attract visitors who are looking for marketing and productivity ideas and solutions.

I also get traffic from social media, as visitors share my content with their connections. (I don’t do much with social media myself.)

The content on my blog does something else for me. It shows visitors that I know what I’m doing and how I can help them. I don’t have to work hard to convince them to buy my products or services. The content does most of the convincing for me.

Having an email list means that when I launch a new product, as I just did, I send an email to my list and get a crush of orders.

I don’t spend a lot of time on marketing, either. Once I have an idea for an email/post, I write the first draft (usually) in five minutes. In thirty minutes (usually), it’s done and sent and posted on the blog.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know that you can do what I do. You can build your practice by building an email list and posting content on your website (blog).

You can build a list of prospective clients and referrals sources and stay in touch with the people on that list, and use your emails as content for a blog.

If you’re still on the fence, take my “today” challenge. Write a short email today explaining what you do for your clients. A few paragraphs is all you need.

Here, I’ll help you: “I help people get/keep/avoid __________. I do that by ____________”.

Pretty easy, huh?

Now, email it to someone. And post it on your website.

Guess what? You’re not a blogger, either. But you’re doing what I do.

Marketing online is easier than you think. If you want to know where to start, or where to get ideas to write about, I’ve laid all that out for you in Make the Phone Ring.

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When people need you but don’t hire you

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I spoke with a guy who does websites for attorneys. He told me he has a client who is getting approximately 20 leads a month via his website but very few of them make an appointment. He wanted to know if I could help.

Of course I can help. I’m friggin Batman.

I took a quick look at his website and saw a lot of issues, but one issue tells most of the story. He doesn’t offer free consultations.

If you want to talk to the attorney, you have to pay.

He handles high end divorces and his site says he charges for a consultation so clever spouses can’t talk to him and thus eliminate him as a lawyer for their spouse (conflict).

True or not, I’m not sure prospective clients buy this explanation, and this is coming from a guy who practiced in Beverly Hills where this tactic is common. If prospects don’t buy this (or understand it), you’re not scoring points on the trust meter.

If you want to charge for a first consultation, “sell” the consultation by telling prospects all of the value delivered during that consultation. What do they learn? What do they get? How do they benefit? You should do this even if you offer free consultations.

Anyway, not the point.

The point is, is he making money? He gets a low percentage of leads converting to appointments, but if he closes them at the appointment, he might be doing just fine. Perhaps he doesn’t need to convert more leads to appointments, perhaps he should work on getting more traffic.

Charging for consultations weeds out people who aren’t serious or who might not be able to pay his fee if they wanted to hire him. He saves a lot of time by not talking to them, and time is money, even if you don’t bill by the hour.

On the other hand, he might earn more by offering free consultations. He would undoubtedly set more appointments, and this might lead to more clients and more revenue. He could screen out low-percentage prospects by speaking with them for a few minutes on the phone before setting an appointment, or having someone in the office do that.

If the conflict of interest issue is on the level, so be it. Otherwise, I would suggest running a test. Offer free consultations for a month or three and see what happens.

He might get more calls and more clients and conclude that he’s better off offering free consultations and very glad he found out. Or he might find that while he’s getting more appointments, he’s not getting more sign-ups and he can go back to his original plan.

Make sense? Good. Now go make some dollars.

For more awesome ideas on marketing online, get this

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I’d love to interview you

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You get an email from an admirer. Someone who reads your blog, gets your newsletter, or sees your social media posts. Or someone who heard you speak and thought you were the bees knees.

They have their own blog or newsletter, and they want to interview you and share your wisdom with hundreds (or thousands) of readers who happen to be in your target market. The interview will be 20-30 minutes over the phone, or they can send you five or ten questions you can answer via email.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Some great exposure for you. Could bring in a lot of new clients. The answer is “yes”.

Of course it is. And that’s exactly what the person you ask to interview for your blog or newsletter will say when you reach out to them.

That’s right, while you’re waiting for someone to ask you for an interview, you find people with a following in your target market and interview them.

You’ll get interesting content for your blog or website or newsletter. Your readers will like it, and like you for sharing it, and you don’t have to do any writing.

You’ll get traffic to your site, via search engines and social sharing. More prospective clients, more subscribers for your list.

You’ll get traffic and subscribers from the friends and followers of your interview subject who will undoubtedly promote the interview to his lists.

And you’ll get a new contact who appreciates the opportunity to be interviewed and who will at some point realize that they should interview you.

So, what are you waiting for? Go interview someone.

Marketing online for attorneys: Click here

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