4 ways to produce more content in less time

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Content marketing is a simple concept. You write or record something that educates your target market about legal problems and solutions and thus show them what you do and how you can help them. This brings you more traffic, more subscribers, more followers, more new clients, repeat clients, and referrals.

You can use articles, blog posts, newsletters, podcasts, video channels, social media, and other means to disseminate your content. 

Sounds good, right, but producing a steady stream of content for a blog or newsletter or podcast, takes time, and you don’t have that time.  

Never fear, here are 4 ways to get the job done more quickly.

1) Don’t write, re-write

Re-write your old posts and articles with fresh examples and stories, updates to the law, or different ways of saying what you said before. 

You can also “slice and dice”. Cut up old posts and combine them into new ones. 

No doubt have lots of material on your hard drive that can be re-written, updated, or re-purposed. Or, if it’s been awhile since you published something, publish it again. 

You can also re-write someone else’s content. Use their idea and basic structure but your words, examples and stories. 

2) Don’t write one article, write ten

Instead of writing one blog post on a topic, write 3. Or ten.

Take a subject you know well, or research for an hour or two, and write a month’s worth of articles on different aspects of that subject. 

It’s called “bundling” or “batching” and it’s a great way to produce a lot of content. 

If you handle personal injury, for example, you could write about tort law, the claims process, how cases are evaluated, medical treatment, liens, first party insurance, negotiation, and a lot more. And that doesn’t include litigation. 

3) Write less

Instead of writing lengthy newsletters, like I see many attorneys do, cut them up into shorter articles, one subject per post. People don’t have time to read 3000 words. Help them (and yourself) by delivering 300. 

4) Write faster

You can write content more quickly by outlining it first and then dictating it. Pretend you’re teaching a class or doing a presentation on the subject–talk, record, transcribe, edit, done.

Something else:

The more you write, the quicker you get at writing. Write often and you’ll soon crank out a lot more content in a lot less time. 

I’ve used all of these tactics and they work. They’ve helped me produce millions of words, which have brought me millions of dollars.

Now it’s your turn.

How to write more content for your blog

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Just the facts, ma’am

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In the pantheon of bad marketing advice, is the notion that telling prospective clients about your experience and your services is enough to persuade people to choose you.

Because it’s not.

They’re important. A client wants to know what you offer and what you can do for them, and you need to tell them, but if that’s all you tell them, if you give them just the facts, you’re not giving them enough to make a buying decision, that is, to hire you.

Because people “buy” for emotional reasons and then justify their “purchase” with the facts.

Your job is to trigger an emotional response to your words, to make them feel something that compels them to act.

The simplest and most effective way to do that is by telling stories.

Stories are the juice of marketing. They lubricate your message, give it context, and show the need for and benefits of what you offer. Stories convey importance and urgency and persuade people to act.

Seth Godin said, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”

Stories are especially important when you sell something abstract like legal services.

Stories work because they’re about people. Prospects pay attention to your stories to find out what happened to them.

Oh boy, look at that. Here I am trying to convince you to use stories in your marketing and I haven’t used any. I made an important point, but that point would be more effective and memorable had I told you about these two lawyers in the same market who offer the same services, but who use a slightly different marketing strategy.

Lawyer Moe’s marketing primarily consists of brochures, and a website filled with facts. He describes his practice areas, his experience, and his services, and it’s impressive.

Lawyer Larry also tells the facts, but includes stories from his practice to illustrate what he does for his clients. His stories are usually no more than a few paragraphs, but like any story, they have a beginning (a problem), a middle (complications), and a resolution (problem solved by Larry, our hero).

Moe has more experience than Larry, but Larry earns three times what Moe earns, primarily because his stories “show” instead of “tell”.

Facts tell, but stories sell. Use stories in your marketing.

Put stories in your newsletter

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Practice makes pregnant

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In college, I lived in a dorm. If the nickname “El Konk” sounds familiar to you, you know the place.

Like most dorms, we had a rec room where we played cards, read, talked about life, and occasionally do homework.

Just outside the rec room was a hallway. The walls of that hallway were about 6 feet apart.

No, I didn’t measure them. I know how far apart they were because I’m a little over 6 feet tall and I was able to “walk” up those walls.

By putting me feet on one wall and my hands on the opposite wall, I was able to push my way up the walls, all the way to the ceiling.

Some people thought it was funny and called their friends to come look. Some thought it was cool and wanted to try it. Some thought I was nuts.

Why did I do it? Because I was curious and wanted to see if I could.

So, what’s the point of this story?

That I was in better shape when I was in college? That I was an unmitigated clown? That I drank too much?

None of the above.

In fact, there is no point to this story. It’s just something I remembered recently and thought I’d write about.

And that is the point.

Writing down memories, however pointless, is a good way to improve your writing. Any skill gets better with practice, so if writing is important to you, I suggest you write something every day.

Not legal work, something creative or fun.

You might keep a journal and write down your thoughts about the past, what’s going on in your life right now, or your dreams for the future.

Writing regularly will improve your ability to come up with ideas (because there’s no pressure to write something pithy or useful). It will also improve your ability to put your ideas into words.

Writing every day will make you a better writer.

Do it enough and who knows, you might get lucky and write something with a point, something you can use in an article or blog post.

Like I just did in this one.

Ideas you can use in your blog or newsletter

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What secret word unlocks email marketing success (But isn’t a secret)?

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One word. A word that can turn a boring newsletter, blog post, or article into something your subscribers look forward to reading. A word that helps you forge relationships with your readers and bring them closer to hiring you and referring you.

The word is hardly a secret. You use it every day in conversation, but perhaps not so much in your newsletter, articles, and blog posts, because “experts” tell you to avoid it.

The word? “I”.

Yes, talk about yourself.

Of course you will mostly talk about your reader–their problems, their wants and needs, their niche market or community.

Talk about subjects that interest your reader, but don’t leave yourself out of the picture.

Tell your story. Let people get to know you and what it’s like to work with you.

Because you are the solution to their problems.

When you talk about the law, use examples and stories from your practice. Talk about how you’ve dealt with these issues before, on behalf of other clients.

Describe yourself in action, talking to people, creating documents, writing letters, arguing or negotiating on behalf of your clients.

Your readers what to know what you’ve done for other clients, because it shows them what you can do for them.

Don’t make your newsletter all about you. But don’t forget to talk about yourself, because that’s how your readers get to know, like and trust you.

Email Marketing for Attorneys

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Looking for ideas for your newsletter or blog? Here are 3 places to find them

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Where do you find ideas for writing interesting and relevant posts your clients and prospects look forward to reading?

Here are 3 “can’t fail” places:

1) Books

I know, you already read plenty. But if you only read about the law, or you only read short articles you find online, you’re missing out on an opportunity to create superlative content.

Read more books and talk about the ideas you learn.

Read history, philosophy, and books about business (even if you target consumers). Read books about important subjects, written by smart and accomplished people with interesting information and stories.

If it interests you, it will interest many of your readers.

Entrepreneur Patrick Collison said, “You could try to pound your head against the wall and think of original ideas or you can cheat by reading them in books.”

2) Posts written by your colleagues

Other lawyers are writing about subjects that interest their clients and prospects. There’s a good chance those same subjects will interest yours.

Read the blogs and newsletters written by professionals in your niche. Read what lawyers, accountants, consultants, and other experts are writing about and use their ideas to create your own content.

If you handle estate planning, read blogs written by other estate planners, even in other jurisdictions. Read tax experts, divorce lawyers, financial planners and others who sell to or advise the people you target.

Agree or disagree with them, amplify their article with examples from your own experience, quote them and link to them if you want, or simply use their idea as a starting point to share your own thoughts on the subject.

3) News about your target market

What’s going on in your target market and with the people in it? What are people talking about, complaining about or celebrating?

Report on trends in the market, predictions, and news. Which company or industry is in an upswing, which one is having trouble? What’s expected to happen next month or next year?

Share information and ideas on consumer issues, e.g., taxes, insurance, credit, debt, etc. If you target business clients, talk about avoiding lawsuits, protecting assets, increasing productivity and profits, and bringing in more business.

Identify prominent people in the market and write about them, interview them, review their books and profile their companies, products and services.

Share news and helpful and interesting information people want to know.

3 simple ways to get ideas for content your readers want to read.

Want more ideas? Get my email marketing course

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Back phrasing and negative space in writing

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In music, “back phrasing” is when “a singer intentionally sings in front of the beat (or behind it–“front phrasing”). I’m told that Willie Nelson does this effectively, as do many jazz artists.

The purpose is to create “negative space,” which ostensibly gives the ear a place to rest or surprises the listener with notes or timing that defy expectations.

It’s attractive because it sounds different. More complex. More interesting.

Negative space is also used in art, architecture, and other visual mediums.

Basically, negative space is the opposite of positive space. When our ears or eyes or brains expect something to be present–a sound, an image or a physical form–and it is not there, it draws our attention.

Negative space is also used in writing.

You can make your writing more interesting by omitting words, or using unexpected words or phrases, or by changing the “normal” flow of the message.

Like this.

Or. . .

THIS.

And by using other visual ornaments the reader doesn’t expect, like bold, CAPS, and other choices (e.g., varying the length of sentences and paragraphs, using slang).

You’ll see me use unexpected words or examples, and throw in the occasional cuss word (or simulated cuss word), to provide visual and auditory interest (auditory because we “hear” the words in our head).

It’s all about doing something the reader doesn’t expect.

Because the opposite is boring.

Boring works in the world of law or commerce. But “interesting” works better because readers are pulled into the writing.

There’s an art to doing it right. Overdo it and some readers will be repelled.

To get it right takes practice. Start by changing up the pattern of your writing. Use an occasional one- or two-word sentence. Turn statements into questions, to engage the reader in the “conversation” you’re having with them on paper.

Does that make sense? (Yeah, like that.)

I started doing this in my demand letters. I loosened up and had fun with them, staying professional but not nearly so formal.

And now, I do it in my newsletter and blog.

Try it. You’ll like it. So will your readers.

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What topic could you be interviewed about for 30 minutes with zero preparation?

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This was a headline for an ad I saw on social media. It’s a good headline and a good question for those who want to create more content to use in their marketing.

Which is something every lawyer should do.

My challenge to you is to answer that question and then turn your knowledge into a short presentation, a long article or blog post, or a series of emails for your newsletter.

Because people want to know what you know.

When you share your knowledge this way, they’ll want to ask you about their specific situation and hire you to help them.

Put your content online and it will live there forever, bringing you clients for years to come.

An easy way to do this is to have a friend interview you about your subject. Give them some starter questions to ask you and have at it.

Or, interview yourself.

Record yourself speaking about the subject for 30 minutes, transcribe the recording, and you’ll have a valuable piece of content. Or at least the first draft.

Or, keep talking for another 30 minutes and you’ll have enough for a short book.

One thing I can tell you, if you know your subject, the time will go quickly. 30 minutes will feel like 5. Which means you’ll have the rest of the day to talk on another topic people want to know.

My ebook, The Easy Way to Write a Book, shows you everything you need to know

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What ancient Egyptian sounded like and how we know

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Last night I watched a video with the above title. I don’t have a particular interest in the subject; the title caught my eye and made me curious.

Like you would be if you were about to witness the opening of a pyramid for the first time.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you anything about the subject because it was late and I fell asleep a few minutes after the video began. I woke up and trundled off to bed, but not before recording the title on my phone.

I did this because I collect good titles and headlines. You should, too.

They provide a template of sorts that we can use to write headlines and titles for our blog posts, articles, emails, and books.

Headlines that make people curious to read more.

If you’re a PI lawyer, for example, the title of this video might prompt you to write a blog post with the title, “How much is my case worth and how do you know?”

That’s something clients and prospects frequently ask, isn’t it?

Hopefully, people won’t fall asleep once they start reading your post, or turn the page because you failed to deliver on the promise of your title.

In other words, don’t write clickbait-y titles. That’s a surefire way to alienate people.

So, while you obviously can’t tell anyone what their case is worth in advance, make sure you provide enough information in your post so the reader feels like you didn’t lie to them.

And, when a clickbait-y title gets your attention and makes you curious, add it to your collection. It may prompt you to write a headline that promises something you can actually deliver.

How to write headlines and titles that get more referrals

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You already said that

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In one of his newsletters, legendary copywriter Gary Halbert tells a story about a reader who urged him to re-read a newsletter he’d written nearly a decade earlier. When he did, he found that the earlier newsletter was “almost word-for-word the same” as his latest.

Oops? Not at all. Halbert said, “. . .what I wrote almost ten years ago is as accurate and important today… as… it was back then.”

He added:

“It Is More Important To Be Reminded Of “Core Fundamentals” Than To Be Dazzled With Some New Piece Of Contemporary Creativity!”

For those of us who write newsletters and blogs and other content, the takeaway is clear. It’s okay to say things you’ve said before.

In fact, it’s a good thing. Here’s why:

  • You continually have new subscribers and followers, reading you for the first time.
  • Most people don’t read everything you write.
  • Most people don’t remember what you said before.
  • Some people may not have needed to hear your message before but very much need to hear it now.
  • You may repeat the basic points but use a different headline, lead, examples, stories, or quotes. You may say it more persuasively or make it more memorable.
  • Some people need to hear it again (and again) before they’re willing to do something about it.

If what you say is important, if you’re writing about “core fundamentals,” the best thing you can do for your readers is to write about it often.

So don’t worry about repeating yourself. Say what you want to say, as often as you want to say it. (Just don’t make it boring.)

And, on those days when you can’t think of anything to write about, find something you wrote about before and write about it again.

The core fundamentals of a lawyer’s newsletter

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2 things you need to know before your next paper or presentation

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You’re working on a presentation, paper, article, brief or book. You’re about to have a conversation with a client or prospect, negotiate a contract or address a jury. You’re writing an email for your newsletter or to someone you’d like to meet.

Any time you have a message to communicate, there are two things you need to know first:

  1. Your audience.

Who are they and what do you know about them and their situation? What’s important to them? What do they already know about you and your subject? How will they benefit from reading or listening to your message?

  1. Your purpose.

Why are you writing to or speaking with them? What do you want them to know? Why is this important? What do you want them to do after they read or listen to your message?

Give this some thought, make some notes, and then distill this information into a single sentence:

“As a result of my [talk, paper, email, etc.], they will understand [this] and respond by doing [this].”

For example:

“After reading my [email/blog post/article], they will understand the benefits for [updating their estate planning/corporate documents and the problems that can occur if they don’t], and respond by [making an appointment].”

Answering these questions before you write or speak will help you create a more effective message and make it more likely you’ll get the response you want.

[Based on this article about writing a better speech]

How to build your practice with email

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