Today I am writing to you from beautiful and rain-soaked Aurora, Ohio. Needless to say, this is not my typical “home base”. My wife, kids and I live in North Carolina, where it was 80 degrees yesterday, albeit slightly overcast. The forecast high today is 34. Yuck.
Welcome to Ohio during the holiday season.
What does any of this have to do with legal marketing success, you may be asking yourself? Well, everything.
The key to successfully marketing a law practice is…
The key to successfully marketing and building a law practice is easier to attain than you think. It is, in a word – consistency.
You need to show up everyday, telling the world why you are the best lawyer/law firm for their case. That’s all that legal marketing is, really. Communicating your unique selling message over and over and over… in a consistent and compelling way.
Now, getting back to the temperature differences between North Carolina and Ohio and why they are related to your legal marketing. The temperature differences are actually insignificant, but what is significant is that I’m sitting here in my Mom’s house, 10 hours from home, at 6 in the morning writing (while everyone else is sleeping) to you about legal marketing. Most lawyers will be taking this week off. They will sleep in. They will make an excuse such as “I had to spend all my time with family and didn’t have time to do any work.”
I know because until the past several years – this was me. I would basically take the 3-4 days before and after Christmas off. I rationalized this by the fact that we had to travel great distances to see family, and I was “tired”. I had not yet developed the habit of getting up every morning to write. I had a million excuses.
Now life is different. Since I started writing every morning last October, I have yet to skip a day. This has become the most productive and important time in the day for me. I’m posting 2-3 times per week on this blog (including a weekly podcast), and 1-2 times per week on my law firm’s blog.
This is not to say that I wasn’t writing before – I certainly was. However, I wasn’t “intentional” about my writing. I wrote when I wanted and when I found the “inspiration” to write a blog post or article. There was, however, a problem to doing it that way – I was not writing consistently.
If you go back and look at my law firm website from 2012 and earlier this year, my posts are sporadic and inconsistent. I may have written one post a month, if it was a good month. I actually apologized to my readers at one point for the lack of consistency in my writing – that’s when I knew something was wrong.
So here is my challenge to you
I have a challenge for you. The new year is good for things like this. I challenge you to devote one hour a day, everyday this holiday season, to working on some aspect of your law firm marketing. Here are some ideas:
- Just write anything (articles, blog posts, systems manuals, etc.) – To be honest, it doesn’t much matter.
- Create a Facebook, Linked In, Google Plus page for your law firm
- Use Buffer to load up your Twitter feed with information that is relevant and helpful to your followers
- Write a book (or at the very least an E-Book)
- Create a follow-up sequence for people who order your book
Maybe you can set a goal to write 1,000 words a day – that’s all. Somedays you will hit that goal and others you may fall a few words short. It’s ok. The idea here is to get into the habit of writing on a consistent and regular basis.
1,000 words per day may seem a bit steep to you at the moment. So start with baby steps – write one sentence a day. What you will find by doing this is that you won’t write just one sentence. After you get that first sentence out, you will get into the writing mode and things will keep coming out.
There are days where I will literally sit at my computer screen without anything to write about. But after I write that first sentence, the idea for what to write about will magically come to me and before I know it, voila – 1,000 words.
How to find topics to write about
Finding things to write about is easier than you think. Here are four ideas to help you find things to write about:
- Answer the questions your prospects and clients ask you. As lawyers, we are getting questions from people all the time. Client’s call us and email us with questions, they email us with questions. Prospects ask us questions during their initial consultations. Many times, we will get the same questions over and over again. Make a list of the top 10 questions that you get from your clients and prospective clients.Now… have you answered these questions on your blog or law firm website? Each of these questions is a little nugget of gold just waiting for you to mine it. Take each question and turn it into a blog post. Try your best not to write like a lawyer (unless your readers are other lawyers) – you want to have content that is easy to understand, informative, and relevant to the needs and concerns of your audience.
- Join a practice-area specific list-serv. Many bar associations now sponsor a list-serv for lawyers to post questions. Many lawyers will post questions that are unique to a certain case, or may discuss a recent court ruling. This may not be information that your client’s are privy to, but it may be information that they should know about. You can easily find information and questions on your local list-serv that can be repurposed into a blog post.
- Take out your hornbooks. Every practice area has a set of books that lawyers in that area will refer to regularly for information and to answer infrequently asked questions. I will typically use these books to find topical ideas for articles on my website.
- Current Events. Without fail, people get in trouble and unless you practice in some crazy obscure hyper-niche specialty, there will be current events related to your practice area on almost a daily basis. Just do a quick google search or go to your local paper. That is always a good way to find a relevant story that you can put your “spin” on and add content to your website at the same time. Just make sure not to plagiarise the article. (Do I really need to say that?)
So lets just sum up some of the ideas in this blog post.
- Write consistently and frequently. It is the best way to get you and your law firm noticed on the web.
- Write at least 1,000 words per day – even during the holiday season!
- Write about topics and information that your prospects are looking for first – then go to list-servs, hornbooks, and newspapers for additional ideas of things to write about.