How to get more clients to schedule an appointment


There’s a precept in marketing, and especially copy writing, that says you will get a higher response to your offer when you, “tell people what to do”.

Don’t leave it up to them to figure out. Tell them what to do, even if it’s obvious.

If you want people to call to schedule an appointment, tell them WHAT to do (call 888-555-4321), WHY (to get a free consultation and find out if you have case), and WHEN (now, between 8-5pm weekdays, any time 24/7).

If you leave something out, fewer people will call.

And whatever it is you’re telling them to do, make it easy for them to do it. Filling out a simple form on your web site with spaces for the information they’ll need to submit will get a higher response than an application they’ll need to print, fill out, and fax.

Making it easy also means being clear about what to do. Tell them what form to fill out and what button to push. Tell them what will happen after they do it.

Make it so clear that it is almost impossible to misunderstand.

And don’t change something that’s working. Once people get used to doing things a certain way, changes risk confusion and a lower response.

My wife went to pay our electric bill online. Last month, all she had to do was click the button that said “Submit.” This month, without telling anyone about it, the “Submit” button was now labeled “Save.”

She didn’t want to save, she wanted to pay. Where was the submit button?

She wound up calling the company to make sure she was doing it right. The person she spoke with admitted they were getting hundreds of emails from customers who were confused by the change. How many customers will be late paying their bills this month because they are confused?

Side note: Someone should fire the genius who thought “Save” was better than “Submit” or “Pay Now”. Yikes.

Another side note: If they’re getting hundreds of emails from confused customers, uh, here’s a thought: change the button back to “Submit”.

If you want to get more people calling, clicking, or pulling out their credit card, tell them precisely what to do and make it as easy as pie for them to do it.

If you’re not sure, show your page or email to a ten year old kid and ask them to follow the instructions. If they’re not completely clear on what to do, if they hesitate in any way, you’ve got work to do.


How to get more clients to choose YOU as their attorney


You have a list of prospects, don’t you? These are people who get your newsletter or ezine, who read your blog, or with whom you otherwise communicate on a regular basis.

Some will hire you. You don’t have to say or do anything special. When they are ready, they will call.

Others will never hire you. No matter what you say or do. It doesn’t matter why they won’t hire you, that’s just the way it is. They can help you in other ways: referrals, traffic to your web site, Likes and follows.

Then there are the “maybes”. They may hire you, they may not. The fence sitters represent the biggest potential for you. What you say and do can influence them to get off the fence.

How do you get more people off the fence and dialing your number?

One way is to make an offer. Something that compels them to act.

One of my subscribers sent me the ezine he sends to his list. In it is an offer he makes to the “new clients” who lurk on his list. His offer: “Mention this newsletter and we will credit one hour of billable time against your first monthly invoice.”

Simple. You have to become a new client to take advantage of the offer. From the attorney’s perspective, it’s certainly worth one hour of credit to get someone to become a first time client.

Is he giving away that one hour credit to people on the list who would hire him anyway? Yes. But it doesn’t matter. It’s small potatoes. He earns much more by getting the fence sitters as new clients.

But let’s be honest, a one hour credit is only mildly enticing to someone who might have to pony up $10,000 or $20,000 to hire you. It’s not going to get someone who isn’t ready to hire an attorney off the fence. What it might do is get someone who is ready to hire an attorney to choose you instead of any other attorney.

You must assume that yours isn’t the only newsletter your prospect reads. If you’re the only one offering a one hour credit to new clients, however, when the fence sitter is ready to hire someone, it could tip the balance in your favor.

For prospects who aren’t ready to hire an attorney, you will have to do more than offer a one hour credit. How do you convince someone who isn’t ready? I’ll cover that tomorrow.


How to get more clients from cases you don’t handle


shield laws for bloggersI’m sure you read the story about the blogger in a defamation case who got hit with a $2.5 million judgment because, the judge said, she is not a journalist and was not protected by the state’s shield laws.

Interesting story. Important subject.

You read the story but did you make any money with it?

Attorneys can easily leverage a story like this to get more media attention, more traffic to their web site, more prospects, more referral sources, and more clients. And I’m not talking about the attorneys who handled the case itself, I’m talking about you.

Interested? Here’s all you have to do.

First, write a two or three page report summarizing defamation laws in your jurisdiction. You don’t have to practice in this area to do this, Uncle Google will help you, or you can ask an attorney friend who does (and tell him about this idea so he can do it, too).

In your report, mention the case about the blogger. Offer your opinion. Include a few citations, maybe a few resources.

Now, go back to Uncle Google and ask him to give you a list of bloggers in your target market(s) who are in your state or province.

Next, contact these bloggers (a personal email will do) and tell them you wrote a report for bloggers about how they can protect themselves against lawsuits like the one in the news. Offer to send it to them, free of charge. Tell them they are welcome to send it other bloggers they know and care about. (If you know the blogger, you could just send them the report in your first email).

In one day, you can get your report into the hands of dozens of people who every day write and influence the people you are targeting for your services. You have provided value to the blogger on a personal level, and asked nothing in return.

Where can this lead? Interviews, hosted webinars for their readers, guest posts, referrals, introductions, you name it.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t practice tort law. If you do, that’s an added benefit, but the point of this effort isn’t to show these bloggers you can help them in this particular area of the law, it’s to meet them.

Now, what else could you do with your report? Here are a few ideas:

  • Send it to local media with a cover letter letting them know you are available for interviews.
  • Call or email your clients and contacts: Who do you know in (your area) who writes a blog? Tell them you have a report that can help them.
  • Offer it through social media; post a video on youtube, opining on the story and linking to your report; offer it via forums, chat groups, listserves, and other areas where bloggers and people who know bloggers congregate.
  • Contact local blogger groups, business groups (anyone who has a blog), and offer a lunch talk.
  • Write about it on your blog or in your newsletter.
  • Take out ads and offer the report, as a “public service”.
  • Send it to lawyers in your practice area in states or provinces where you don’t practice. Tell them what you’re doing with the report in your area, invite them to do the same in theirs. (If you have to ask how this could help you, forget about this idea.)
  • Do a presentation at your bar group’s next function on how you used a news story to market your services.

You get the idea.

Oh, and you don’t need a news story to do this, you can write about anything that affects people in your target market or they people who influence them.

It’s about providing value in a leveraged way. It’s simple and it works. And if your report goes viral, it could help you take a quantum leap in the growth of your practice.