Where will your next client come from?

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Check your records. Where did your last twenty clients come from?

It’s important. You need to know because the odds are that’s where your next client will come from.

If most of your clients are coming from ads or search engines or social media, that’s not good. Most of your clients should be coming from referrals.

Nothing wrong with ads or search or social media. But if you’re doing a good job for your clients and you’re building relationships with professionals and other referral sources, at least seventy to eight percent of your new clients should come from referrals.

If your clients aren’t thrilled with your work and the way you treat them, you need to fix that. If you’re not letting clients know that you appreciate their referrals, you need to start. If you aren’t sending referrals and helping to promote your professional contacts, this needs to be a top priority.

Referrals are waiting.

Now, if most of your business does come from referrals, congratulations. But don’t rest on your laurels. You need to figure out how to get even more referrals.

And better referrals.

Better referrals? Yes. Bigger cases, higher paying clients, clients with lots of legal work, and clients who have lots of contacts they can also refer.

Better referrals.

You can get better referrals by continuing to improve on what you’re already doing. Even better service and more value. Not just sending referrals to your professional contacts when they fall in your lap, but actually going out of your way to look for people you can refer or introduce to them.

To get better referrals, you also need to make room for them.

Prune your client list and dismiss clients who aren’t the best. Get rid of the trouble makers, the no-pays and slow-pays. Let go of clients who can’t or won’t pay top dollar. Decline to take the smaller cases.

If you continue to accept less than the best clients, you’re telling the universe that you will settle for less and that’s what you’ll continue to attract.

It’s like cleaning out your closets: if you want new and better, you have to get rid of the old and tattered.

Marketing for smart people: The Attorney Marketing Formula.

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Marketing legal services the Evernote way

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You know I’m a big fan of Evernote. I use it all day long for everything I do in my work and in my personal life. I detailed my use in my Evernote for Lawyers ebook.

I’m also a fan of how Evernote does their marketing. They use a “freemium” model–giving away their apps and service for free, believing that users will fall in love with the product and sign up for the paid service.

Their free service is not stripped down. It has everything most people would want. The paid version provides additional capacity and features.

Evernote understands that the more people who use their free service, and the longer they use it, the more who will subscribe and pay.

Evernote does not advertise. They rely on word of mouth–satisfied users sharing their experiences with the product.

Their model works. Evernote has some 40 million free users and 1.4 million paid subscribers. They have recently achieved a billion dollar valuation.

Attorneys who offer free consultations are following a similar marketing model. The more free consultations they give, the more paying clients they get. Some attorneys take things a step further, offering not just free consultations but free services to get prospective clients to “try before they buy”. If you offer a free will, for example, a certain percentage of clients will want to upgrade to a trust or other paid services.

Evernote does not pressure users to upgrade. They provide upgrade links in their desktop, web, and mobile apps, but users are reminded to upgrade only when they try to use a paid feature or go beyond their free monthly usage limit.

There’s something attractive about a company that doesn’t push you. They give you value, lets you know there’s more available, and leave it up to you to come to them. Contrast that to what many companies do: they push, they chase, they sell.

I don’t know about you but when I’m chased, I usually run the opposite way.

Evernote provides value through their service and also through their blog and newsletter. Their blog provides tips and uses for making Evernote more useful and it’s fun to read.

Marketing consultant Jim Connolly wrote today about Evernote’s newsletter, contrasting it with other newsletters that do little more than sell. He says Evernote’s newsletter gets it right for three reasons:

  1. Their newsletter actually contains news
  2. Their newsletter makes Evernote more valuable
  3. Their newsletter doesn’t push

Connolly and I agree that providing valuable content that enhances the user experience with the product is effective in making the case for upgrading without ever asking users to do so. Their approach attracts us, instead of pushing us away with sales pitches and an abundance of links.

Attorneys deal with issues that don’t always allow for such a laid back approach. If it’s in the client’s best interests to push them to take action, a little push is not a bad thing. Nevertheless, I think we can all learn from Evernote how to be more attractive and let people sell themselves on hiring us.

People like to buy. They don’t like to be sold.

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How to make a quick screen capture video for your blawg

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How to create free screen capture video for your blawgYesterday, I issued an “attorney marketing video challenge“. Today, I want to show you a free and very easy to use web app that allows you to make screen capture videos. I’d seen ScreenR before and was reminded to take another look when I read a review of screenR this morning.

I created the following video a few minutes after I set up an account. I uploaded the video to my Youtube account and then embedded it in this post.

Very easy, very quick.

Even if you don’t want to take the video challenge, I encourage you to set up an account and do a few practice videos. Put your web site or blog on screen, say something intelligent, and you’re done.

You can download the video, post it at youtube or other video sharing sites, put it on your web site, or leave it hosted at ScreenR and post the link to your social media friends and followers.

Note, your video will be public (on the free account) so don’t go too crazy in your video.

Take a look and share your comments. If you are unable to see the video, refresh your browser or you can view it here.

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If you’d like to “Crush It!”

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I wrote this brief review of “Crush It!” by Gary Vaynerchuck on another blog more than a year ago. My knowledge and use of social media has come a long way since then. I’ll post reviews of other books I’ve read that have more of the “how to’s” but this is the book to read if you want to know “why to”.

I’d heard a lot of good things about “Crush It!” and finally downloaded it (kindle for PC, in case you’re curious). I’m fairly new to the world of social media marketing so I was surprised at how much I already knew and how much I was already doing.

After reading Crush It!, I now know (a) social media marketing is not a passing fad, (b) properly implemented, it’s an incredibly powerful way to build almost any kind of business, and (c) it’s not that complicated. In other words, if you market something on the Internet, or you want to, you need to add social media marketing to your marketing mix and it’s a lot easier than you may have thought.

Now, if you’re looking for a detailed manifesto on social media marketing, this isn’t it. It’s a great story and a compelling look at the power of social media marketing and worth it for that alone. Where it really shines, however, is in driving home the importance of finding your passion, your DNA as Vaynerchuk calls it, and building your brand, and your business, around that.

Vaynerchuk makes you think about who you are and what drives you. If you’re going to “crush” anything, it’s going to have to be something you are passionate about, or you won’t do it enough, or well enough, to cut through the noise and clutter that competes for the eyes and ears of your target market. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you aren’t going to make it; if you do, the journey will be as rewarding as the destination.

A friend of mine often says, “if you do what you love and you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.”  No doubt Gary Vaynerchuk would agree.

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The single most valuable skill for attorney marketing

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copy writing for attorneysLearning how to write effective copy not only helped me to build a successful law practice, it helped me to sell millions of dollars of my signature marketing course and other products. Copy writing, which as been called “salesmanship in print” is an important skill for every attorney, even those with no intention of writing their own sales materials.

Effective marketing documents can make the different between unbridled success and abject failure. A change of headline or offer can increase the pulling power of a letter or ad or web site twenty-fold–and even more.

The best way to learn copy writing is to study effective marketing documents. When you see something good, something that’s working, perhaps something that made you buy a product or service, copy the sales letter or ad or web page so you can study it. Create a “swipe” file of letters, brochures, ads, web pages, newsletters, and other compelling copy, to study, for ideas and to use as models for creating your own documents.

(Shameless plug alert. . .) The Lawyers’ Marketing Toolkit is a swipe file of marketing documents for lawyers. It is a collection of referral letters, reports, ads, newsletters, brochures, and other marketing documents submitted to me for critique by lawyers in my marketing program–along with my (detailed) critiques.

Start your copy writing education by studying the sales letter for The Toolkit. Print the page, copy it, read and re-read it. It works and it could be the first document for your new swipe file.

After many years of collecting marketing documents in file boxes, today, I use Evernote to collect them electronically. It’s free and a great place to start your swipe file.

[mc src=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObHOvFoRLxk&feature=mfu_in_order&playnext=1&videos=QOSWMn-miTw” type=”youtube”]The single most valuable skill for attorney marketing[/mc]

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Lawyers: Now you can get legal marketing videos on youtube

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legal marketing videosOkay, this first video isn’t specifically about legal marketing, but I’ve got a youtube channel now and will be posting videos you can watch while sorting email or having your morning coffee.

Actually, I’ve got some good things planned and when you subscribe to my channel you’ll be notified when there’s a new video posted. I also added social media badges to the blog for youtube and linkedin.

What’s this first video about? Well, social media. I wanted to have a simple page where people can find the links (badges) to all my social media accounts so they can friend/follow/like me. Since I have another business and blog, this was even more important. I was getting to the point where even I couldn’t remember how to find me. Anyway, this short video explains what I did in case you want to do the same.

Please leave your comments (or questions) below. Since this is my first video (imagine that), I’ve probably left out something important and I’m sure you’ll want to mention it (as my wife just did when she poked her head in the door to tell me about how I messed up “attorney marketing”.)

Oh, please also use the share button or tweet button to tell people about this post. They might want to show their spouse that they aren’t the only ones who can’t speak proper English.

[mc src=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhZEpFTg8XI” type=”youtube”]How to create a personal social media hub page[/mc]

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Poll results and NEW poll: What are you doing to increase your income?

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Last week’s poll provided some interesting results. The numbers themselves were as predicted–most who responded said their income and/or number of new clients was down. You can see the results and add your vote if you’d like–the poll is still open.

There were some comments suggesting that attorneys are adapting to the current economic situation by taking on new practice areas.  How about you? If your income has suffered, what are you doing about it? If you’re doing better now than in the past, how did you go about it?

Please take this new poll to share with our readers what you are doing to increase your income. Feel free to add your comments as well.

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The three things that matter most

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What are the three most important things you do in your career? Sure, you do a lot of things, but chances are, three of them are more important than the rest. We’ve talked about the 80/20 Principle before. These three things are the twenty-percent activities that deliver eighty percent of your results. They are worth identifying. If you can identity them, you can do more of them (and less of those things that aren’t of the three).

What’s more, if there are only three things, you can remember them. You don’t need a list. “These are the three areas I focus on,” you’ll say. “This is where I focus eighty percent of my time.” So what are they? If you could only do three things all day long, what would they be? Don’t think too much about this; you already know the answer.

When I was practicing (personal injury), I would have said that these are my three things:

  1. Marketing
  2. Settling Cases
  3. Managing staff

For me, litigation was not one of the three things that matter(ed) most. We did it, but the practice was a high-volume of smaller cases and litigation was not our primary focus. So, it was these three things that mattered most to my practice. If I was doing one of these three things, I was doing “twenty-percent activity”. Anything else was “eighty-percent activity” (which brings in only twenty percent of the results).

Let’s take things a step further, shall we? Once you have identified your “three things that matter most,” what about identifying the three things that matter most about each of those three things? This allows you to get more specific about how you are spending your time and how you are focusing your energy. You will perform “on purpose” instead of reacting to whatever presents itself. And, if you can recall the three things that matter most, you should also be able to recall the three things about each of those things, too. If they are truly important and you are doing them, they will be second nature to you.

In my case, I would have identified the three things about my three things, like this:

MARKETING

  • Ads in yellow pages
  • Network with referral sources
  • Client referral strategies

SETTLE CASES

  • Client interviews/evidence collection
  • Demand package
  • Negotiation

MANAGE STAFF

  • Interview/hire
  • Monitor work flow
  • Recognize and incentivize

What are your three things? And what are the three things about each of those three? Take the time to identity these crucial items and then focus eighty percent of your time and attention on them. You’ll get more done in less time and you’ll get more results. You’ll earn more and work less.

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