And now for something completely different

Share

If you don’t promote your legal services, you run the risk of losing business to attorneys who promote theirs. If you only promote your legal services, however, you run the risk that some people will tune you out.

Yes, repetition of your marketing message is important. But if someone doesn’t have a legal problem right now, they may stop listening (reading) when you talk about what your services can do for them.

That’s why you need to talk about other things in your newsletter and/or blog or other outlets. And that’s why you need something else to promote.

What else can you promote?

How about the legal services of your partner or someone in your firm? Or the products or services offered by your referral sources or business clients?

When you do that

  • You help your clients and prospects who may need or want those products or services.
  • You earn the good will of the people you promote, some of whom will promote your services (and/or provide referrals).
  • And you get something else to talk about besides your services.

You can also promote your content.

Tell people about your articles, reports, websites, books, videos, courses, and so on, and let that content promote you.

Which is what I do with my books.

When someone reads them, they learn about me and how I can help them. I promote the books to get them in front of more people.

Which is what I did yesterday when I asked you to help me by leaving a review on The Encyclopedia of Attorney Marketing and told you about the .99 promotion.

Many thanks to all the attorneys who bought books. I’m looking forward to seeing your reviews (which can take a day or two to show up).

The Encyclopedia of Attorney Marketing.

Share

How much, how often?

Share

Information overload is clearly a thing.

According to a 2014 study by UC San Diego, each day we spend an average of 11.8 hours consuming media on our devices, the equivalent of 174 full newspaper’s worth of information.

That’s approximately 113,000 words per day, and this is increasing 2.4% each year.

So it’s not surprising to hear many people tell those of us who write a blog or a newsletter or produce videos or other content to cut back.

But I’m not cutting back and neither should you.

Because we have people with problems that need solving or goals they wish to achieve, and the information we send them helps begin the process.

So, let other people cut back. Not us.

When you send out valuable and/or interesting information that educates clients and prospects about their problems and the available solutions, you give them hope for a better future.

And you can’t do that too much or too often.

Where many marketers go wrong, however, is by sending out information that’s not helpful or interesting, so people stop reading it and forget your name.

Which doesn’t help anyone.

The message is simple. Write something people want to read and send it often, because you don’t know how many times they need to be reminded that you have the solutions they seek, or when they’ll be ready to take the next step.

How to write content people want to read

Share

Do you trust me?

Share

If you’ve been getting my emails for a while, there’s a good chance you trust me, at least enough to open the email and read what I say.

If I recommend a marketing idea, you’re inclined to try it. If I have something for you to buy, you’ll probably take a look. If you know someone who might need what I offer, you’re open to recommending me.

And it works the same way with you and the people on your list.

We write a newsletter, we write a blog, we post on social media, because, among other things, it helps us build trust.

And, as Seth Godin said in Permission Marketing, to be heard, you’ve got to earn trust.

Otherwise, our messages get drowned out by the messages of (so many) others.

When you get referrals, trust is part of the deal. The prospective client trusts you because his friend or advisor trusts you. When you speak at an organization’s event, the audience tends to trust you because you were invited to speak by an organization they trust.

When you advertise, there is no trust. You can point at various trust elements, e.g., your experience, etc., but there’s more doubt than trust. That’s why the rate of response is so low.

When you blog or write a newsletter, you build trust by showing up and delivering value, and by doing it consistently over time.

The nice thing about having a blog (podcast, video channel) is that all of the content you previously created is available for visitors to see. You can build trust faster that way.

We create content to attract prospective clients, and once they visit our blog or sign up for our newsletter, to build trust and encourage them to take the next step.

I have a course that shows you how to do that with email; details here

Share

5 ways to build trust

Share

Marketing isn’t just telling people what you do and how you can help them. Marketing requires targeting the right people with the right problems and providing them with the right message and offer.

One of the biggest hurdles is building trust.

People are scared about their legal situation and skeptical about your ability to help them. They don’t know if you’re competent, honest, or charge reasonable fees.

They may like what you say but if they don’t trust you, they often keep looking.

It usually takes time to build trust, but here are 5 ways to speed up the process:

  1. Referrals. Prospective clients “borrow” trust from the people who refer them, thus making them more likely to hire you. Referral marketing shortens the sales process, saves time and money, and usually brings in better clients.
  2. Content marketing. Blog posts, articles, presentations, etc., allow you to show people what you know, what you do, and how you work with your clients. This works even better when you are published by or interviewed on authority sites or podcasts or speak at industry events.
  3. Social proof. Ask people to share your content with their friends and neighbors, colleagues, clients and customers. Get testimonials and reviews from clients and endorsements from influential people.
  4. Free consultations. Let people sample your advice and demeanor, hear more about what you can do to help them, and get their questions answered straight from the horse’s mouth.
  5. Build a list and stay in touch. A simple email newsletter allows you to build trust over time. It helps you get more clients, more referrals, more people sharing your content, book more free consultations, and get more testimonials and reviews.

If you want to see how to use a newsletter to build your practice, go here

Share

Paid content vs. the other kind

Share

You’ve got content you give away to get leads and build your list. Because it’s free, it may or may not bring you high-quality leads.

But, you’ll take them.

If you get 100 sign-ups this month by giving away a report and only 5 “buy” your services, you could make out like a bandit.

The other option is to offer paid content.

Being a professional doesn’t mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) create seminars or books or other content that people pay for. You may earn some extra income that way (or turn it into a new business as I did), but there’s another reason to do it.

Better leads.

If your content provides value and is targeted to your ideal client, the leads and subscribers you get, while smaller in number, will usually be higher quality.

Which can bring you more clients. Probably better clients. With less effort because your content does most of the “selling” for you.

In my humble (but correct) opinion, you should consider creating both free and paid content. At the very least, publish a short book and use it to get traffic to your website.

On Amazon, you can run free promotions for your paid books, to get your book into more hands and improve the ranking.

Which is what I’m doing over the next few days for my latest book, “How to Sell Your Legal Services in 15 Seconds or Less.”

Starting tomorrow (Friday), for the next few days you can download the ebook at no cost.

You can get it here

It’s a quick read that spells out how to quickly get other people to understand what you do and how you can help them (or their clients). It also helps you find out if they are a candidate for your services and then transition to the next step such as an appointment or phone conversation.

So, check it out.

If you like the book, I’d appreciate your showing me some love and leaving a review. Even a few words help.

How to Sell Your Legal Services in 15 Seconds or Less.”

Share

Give it away, give it away, give it away, now

Share

Some lawyers are concerned that if they give away too much information–through a blog or newsletter or other means–the people who consume that information won’t need to hire them.

“I’m paid for my knowledge and experience and I’m not going to give that away,” they say. “If they want information, they need to hire me.”

But here’s the thing.

It’s true that some people will take your information and never hire you. They’ll use that information and do the job themselves. But that’s a very small percentage of the whole and those people are unlikely to ever hire you anyway so you lose nothing.

Some people will do the job themselves, mess up–because they can’t do what you do even if you tell them how to do it, and hire you to fix their mess. You’ll get more business this way, not less.

And some people will see that it would be too difficult or time-consuming or risky to do the job themselves and hire you. They might not have done that had they not seen your information.

In other words, giving away information helps you get more clients because:

It educates prospective clients about the scope of their problem, the risks of ignoring it or trying to handle it themselves,

It demonstrates your knowledge, experience, and ability to help them solve their problem,

It distinguishes you from other lawyers who say, “If you want information, hire me,”

It attracts people who find your information through search or sharing, thus increasing the pool of prospective clients for your services, and

It sells them on choosing you because they get to hear your “voice” in that information and see what it would be like to have you represent them.

If you’re smart, and I know you are, you’ll give away lots of information, and let that information do most of your marketing for you.

What information you should put on your website

Share

3 simple ways to quickly create content

Share

You need more content for your blog or newsletter or channel. You don’t have a lot of time. What do you do?

Here are 3 ideas:

(1) The simplest source of new content is old content. Find something you’ve written before and re-use it. Convert a blog post into a video or vice versa.

Or, re-write it. Add some new information or examples.

Done.

(2) Almost as simple is to re-write something written by someone else.

Find a blog post or article by someone in your niche, put it into your own words and add your own examples or stories. Or, summarize the other person’s article and comment on it–what you agree with, what you don’t, and why.

Done.

One more.

(3) Respond to comments or questions posted on your social media, blog, or in your email inbox.

You can get some of your best content this way because you’re responding to real people with real questions about things you’re already thinking about or talking about.

And, done.

Wait, what? You don’t have any comments or questions you can respond to?

No problem. Go find someone else’s blog or social media and answer one of their questions.

Now, since you don’t have a lot of time, I’ll shut up and let you get to work.

More ideas here

Share

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

Share

In the 1970s, Louise Lasser starred in a satirical soap opera, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. The name was repeated because Producer Norman Lear and the show’s writers believed that dialog in a soap opera was always said twice. 

Satire notwithstanding, that’s not much of a stretch.

It’s not because soap operas have a lot of time to fill and a set of storylines where not much happens. It’s because repetition is an effective way to build tension.

It’s the same in marketing a product or service. You want to create or recognize tension, and build it, so you can get readers or listeners to buy your product or service to relieve that tension.

So we repeat our marketing messages by running multiple ads or writing multiple articles or doing a series of presentations that deal with the same issues.

Some say it takes seven impressions to get someone to buy. The first time, they don’t notice it. The second time, they may notice it but not really listen. The third time, they listen but may not believe. And so on, until they are persuaded to take the next step.

Accurate or not, there’s value in repeating your message.

If you’re writing a blog post or article, it’s okay if you’ve written about the same subject before. Somebody will be hearing it for the first time; others, are on their fifth or sixth time and need to hear it again.

Besides, you may present the same message but you will probably write it in a different way. Different lead, different examples or stories, different call to action.

So don’t fear repetition, embrace it, embrace it.

Here’s the formula for marketing legal services

Share

Information isn’t advice

Share

There are those who say we should give away lots of information to show prospective clients how much we know and thus, how much we can do. Others say that we shouldn’t give away our knowledge and experience, that’s what we get paid for.

Who’s right?

Should we deliver “massive value” via a plethora of blog posts and articles and free seminars, to demonstrate our skills (and generate leads), or should we play it close to the vest and make people pay to learn what we know?

Content marketing makes a lot of sense. The information we share does attract prospective clients and shows them we know what we’re doing. It’s also an effective way to attract traffic and generate leads.

And, general information isn’t advice. The client still has to hire us to find out what we think about their specific situation. To the extent the information we give them demonstrates the risks they face and the benefits of hiring us, that information makes it more likely that they will do that.

So, score one for free information.

On the other foot (hey, why should my hand get all the glory?), many top lawyers and other professionals do little or no  “content marketing”. They may do some speaking and publish the occasional paper but they build their practice primarily via their reputation and their contacts.

If you need brain surgery, you hire the surgeon that other doctors recommend, not necessarily the one who has the most videos on YouTube.

If you’re tops in your field you may not have to do any content marketing. For most lawyers, however, giving away information is a simple and effective marketing strategy with no discernable downside because we sell our advice and services and solutions, not information.

Your website is made for content marketing

Share

Eighty percent of success is showing up

Share

Woody Allen famously said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Being where you need to be when you need to be there.

In the context of marketing legal services, that means showing up when someone needs your help. But how do you do that?

You don’t know when someone will be in a collision, want to file for divorce, or start a business. You don’t know when someone is unhappy with their current attorney and is looking for a replacement.

And if you don’t know, you can’t show up. Or maybe you can.

You can create search engine optimized content so that when someone needs a lawyer and goes looking, they can find you.

You can write articles and run ads in publications and on websites where your target market is likely to see them.

You can educate your clients about who would make a good client for you and the best way to refer them and let them keep their eyes and ears open for you. You can do the same thing with professionals and other referral sources.

These strategies will help you get your name and message in front of prospective clients when they need your help. But there’s another strategy you should consider.

You should get your name and message in front of prospective clients before they need you.

You do that through a newsletter, a blog, a podcast, or a video channel. You build a list of subscribers and you stay in touch with them, sharing your knowledge and showing them how you can help them. As you do that, they see your passion and commitment to their niche or local market. They get to know, like, and trust you, and when they need your services (or know someone who does), you’ll be right there, ready to help.

Many lawyers do marketing sporadically. When you understand the value of building a list of prospective clients and you “bake” marketing into your daily method of operation, when you are never not marketing, you are never without clients.

Start or improve your marketing with this

Share