Content Creation Secrets of Successful Lawyers
Successful lawyers make a commitment to educational marketing. This means they help their client understand the issues he faces, help him comprehend the implications of those issues and provide him with criteria for choosing a lawyer.
This education process is not something that happens overnight.
Additionally, savvy lawyers also educate their referral sources. They help them understand the difference between a good client and a crappy client. They help them pre-qualify cases before send a client their way. They help the referral source position them as an expert.
Educational marketing requires diligent focus, pigheaded persistence and message discipline. It also requires a great deal of content.
This last part intimidates lawyers.
You have a full caseload. You run a law firm and need to deal with all the responsibilities that come with that role. You also have to attract new clients (and referral sources) and keep the pipeline of cases full.
When will you ever find the time to create the content necessary to educate your clients and referral sources?
Luckily there is a shortcut you can take.
If you focus, in one week you can create enough content to fill the following media:
- One 45 minute presentation
- One 550 word article for publication in a trade magazine
- 7-10 blog posts
- One video DVD to be sent out in a direct mail campaign
- One 1 hour webinar
- 60 – 80 posts on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn
- 12-15 YouTube videos
- 15-20 Frequently Asked Questions (with answers) for your website
- Content for an email newsletter for several weeks
All of this content is created almost simultaneously so you leverage your time and effort.
Wondering how all this gets done?
I do it all the time. And I reveal my secrets in this episode of the Valtimax podcast.
Click the link below to listen.
You can also listen on your desktop by using the player below.
Here are three additional articles that will help you with educational marketing:
This is a detailed article about successful lawyer marketing and content creation. These folks pump out great content each week. You can too.
Sometimes you create too much content and you are not sure how to keep it organized and focused. This article will provide you with a framework you can follow to keep your readers engaged and your marketing on track.
What you write is important but how you write it is critical. Do you know what is going on inside your client’s mind? You should and that’s how you should write.
Five Types of Lists that Work Well for Attracting Attention
Somewhere along the way here at the Rainmaker Lawyer Website I used the term attention getting device. Apparently there are lots of people searching for this term so I figured, hey, why not write an article about using a list as an attention getting device on a blog.
The easiest way to professionally attract attention is to use a short list to make your point. People love lists. They are easy to read and understand and the format is a welcome site to a person who believes a particular process will be complex or difficult to comprehend.
Here are the five types of lists that will attract attention:
How to List
This is usually a step-by-step guide to doing something. Everyone loves this kind of list because it can be used during the implementation process. It’s very tactical.
Big Mistake List
Nobody wants to make a mistake. Add to that the voyeuristic quality of watching other people make mistakes and you can see the power of the Big Mistake List.
To develop this kind of list you simply look back at the history of events that happened in your field of expertise. Identify the worst possible blunders. List them out and tell people how to avoid them in the future.
Curiosity is a huge motivator. When you tell someone you have a secret you immediately grab their attention. If you have insider knowledge of how something works or of how people behave, you can put that information into list format and it will attract huge attention.
List of Names
People also love gossip. If you have a list of names of people who may or may not have done something, you should leverage that list as much as possible.
Conversely, if there is a list of people who did good things and you can publish that, you will also get some attention.
Reasons Why List
People are always looking for justification. Give it to them. Break it down into step-by-step reasons. These lists are particularly helpful in a selling situation.
These are not the only types of lists in existence but they are the ones I personally recommend to attract attention.
So the next time you need an attention getting device, find a way to take your content and package it into a list. People will be attracted to it like a magnet attracts metal.
Here are a couple of additional articles you should read:
If you need help putting your law firm marketing blog content together, this is a great place to start.
Want to get your ideas together in a hurry? Here’s how you can do it.
If you want to become prolific at writing and producing great content you need to write and produce great content frequently. It is actually a habit.
Law Firm Marketing Essentials: Editorial Calendar
There are a few things that are absolutely essential to your success in law firm marketing. One of those essentials is an editorial calendar.
Why An Editorial Calendar is an Important Element in Law Firm Marketing
Topic selection is critical to your success with educational marketing. If you understand your audience and you know what information they want, you can help them make the best decision when choosing a lawyer.
Note: I didn’t say “select you as their lawyer” because everyone is not your ideal client. Your marketing process should not only help you attract ideal clients it should also help you weed out clients who are less than ideal.
Your editorial calendar is designed to help you select topics in advance and give you a plan for the writing you will do over the course of a specific period of time (usually one month).
The calendar can outline your blog posts, articles for publications, video topics or all of the above.
This takes all the guesswork out of daily article writing.
Steps Involved in Setting Up an Editorial Calendar
Here are the steps involved:
- Select Topics That Will Engage Your Audience
- Identify Keywords That Resonate With Your Audience
- Write Titles For Each Article In Advance
- Create a Spreadsheet With Dates, Keywords, Topics and Titles
Step One: Topic Selection
This is a function of the research you have previously done. You need to get inside the head of your ideal client and understand what keeps him awake at night. Once you understand how he thinks, you can break those thoughts and fears down into topics and sub topics.
Make a list of each of these topics. There does not need to be a particular order to the list.
Step Two: Keyword Selection
Search engines are still dependent upon the use of keywords to determine article content. Given the topics you selected, use the Google Keyword Tool to help you select your ideal keywords. The more specific you can be, the better you will be able to target your traffic.
For example: “Prenuptial Agreements for Doctors” is better than “Prenuptial Agreements” but “Prenuptial Agreements for Doctors in Los Angeles” is best for a family law attorney in Los Angeles.
Pick a list of relevant keywords that get good traffic (more than 10,000 local searches each month) and are specific. You only want to select 10-15 keywords and repeat them a few times in your editorial calendar.
Step Three: Match the Keywords Up with the Topics
This is not as easy as it looks. You must give significant thought to which keywords go well with each topic. Once you do that, you can proceed to writing the title of your blog post or article (or video). If you are going to use this content on line, you might want to put the keyword in the title (or at least the meta description of the article.
Step Four: Create a Spreadsheet with Topic, Keywords and Titles along with the Publication Date
Now that you have your topic, keyword and title matched up, you simply list them out and assign a date to each. This prevents you from repeating a topic in a 30 day time frame. It also helps you organize yourself and your writing. When you are ready to write an article, you simply sit down and write the article to match the topic, keywords and title you have planned.
The editorial calendar is one of the fundamental building blocks of law firm marketing. You must be organized and focused in order to get maximum results. Take your first run at creating an editorial calendar right now. You will be amazed at how it brings everything into focus and enables you to maximize results from law firm marketing.
Here are some additional resources you will find valuable:
Are you still wondering if you are doing all the right things with your law firm marketing blog? This podcast will help you stay on track.
One of the most frequently asked questions about blogging is about frequency of blogging. This article addresses that question. Keep in mind: quality is always more important than quantity.
You probably don’t need this refresher but if you want a shot in the arm, read this article. It is a reminder of three of the reasons why everyone should have a blog.
How to Get a Book Publishing Deal
Once you write a book that is successfully published you will be asked (over and over again) how to get a book publishing deal.
I get this question a lot.
Lawyers think getting a publishing deal will help them get clients. Some people (a few lawyers included) think being a published author is the key to fortune and fame.
Being published helps with credibility, and it can also increase your visibility, but it is not a panacea.
Nevertheless, I feel compelled to offer the best advice I know of on getting a book publishing deal.
(Keep in mind I have only written two books and only one of them was commercially published – but hey, you asked…)
Here are three steps to getting commercially published:
Step One: Build a huge list of followers
This is absolutely essential. You must have a huge list of people who have given you permission to communicate with them. Email, physical address, social media subscribers, all of those count.
I recently attended a presentation by one of the leading agents in business book publishing and he said publishers were looking for a list of at least 30,000 subscribers in a narrow niche and at least 100,000 subscribers in a broad niche.
This guy also said he wanted his authors to have a Klout Score of over 70. Yeah, he actually referenced Klout scores. I threw up in my mouth a little and wrote it down.
Step Two: Successfully Sell This List of People Other Information Products
Publishers want to know your audience will buy things from you. You can be the most brilliant person on the planet but if you can’t sell your ideas, they are worthless.
So to get a book publishing deal you’ve got to prove your sales skills (even as a lawyer if you don’t sell, you are not getting published).
Step Three: Write a Book People Want
No publisher cares what you want to write about. They only care about things that will sell. What sells? Books that fill a need or solve a problem. If you are going to pitch a topic to an agent or a publisher, it better be something that can solve a problem that has persisted for ages and at the same time, one that people need to solve.
Is this the advice you were looking for?
Is it accurate?
Sometimes the advice that answers the question: “How do I get clients as a lawyer?” Is incongruent with your version of reality. That’s probably the case with getting a book published too.
Here are some other resources you will find valuable:
If you want to get clients to say yes and if you want to master attorney marketing, you must understand why they say “No.” This article highlights the four reasons why clients say “no” to hiring you as their lawyer.
- 2% of all sales are made on the 1st attempt
- 3% of all sales are made on the 2nd attempt
- 5% of all sales are made on the 3rd attempt
- 10% of all sales are made on the 4th attempt
- 80% of all sales are made after the 5th attempt
When was the last time you persisted beyond your fifth rejection?
What are you going to do to change that?
Here are a few quick tips that can help you write better law firm newsletters. Make sure you select at least one and implement it today.
When It Comes to Marketing for Lawyers Google Gets It Right
The idea of a lawyer paying someone else to blog for him (ghost blogging) bugs the living crap out of me.
I know. I know. You are so busy helping the oppressed or the misunderstood all day, you don’t have time to blog about truck accidents or big bags of cocaine seized at the airport.
So you hire FindLaw or a stooge from Craigslist to write a bunch of nonsensical posts about maiming and disfigurement and pretrial diversion and throw them up on your website.
They put in the hashtags and the keywords and you’re good to go.
Well my friends, Google is going to catch you.
There’s this little feature the internet colossus is rolling out called author rank and it will be a bucket of cold water directly on the heads of all you internet phonies.
The premise behind author rank is verification of content creation. So if you write and post a webpage, Google will assign you a score when it crawls that page. Each time you write, Google will come along and adjust your score based upon the quality of your body of work. The on-going compilation of this scoring algorithm is your author rank.
Like DNA, luggage and syphilis, author rank is with you forever. It follows you around the Internet. If you pump out crap packaged in a bunch of keywords, your rank will be reflective of your craptastic output.
If you write for humans and stay on point, your author rank will be reflective of the reader’s experience.
If you choose not to become a verified author and you leave your content virtually unsigned (in the eyes of Google) it will be penalized.
People with higher author rank will have their content show up with better search placement than people with low author rank or content with no verified author associated.
Yeah, they have a system for verifying author’s identity and linking it with real people.
So if you have Icbal from Timbuktu blog for you and Icbal gets verified as you, he better be Hemingway or you are going to have a crappy author rank.
This should scare the living crap out of some people.
Google is doing everything it can to make the user’s search experience as much like real life human interaction as possible. If you are a lawyer and you are writing an article about your area of expertise, you better sound like someone who knows what their talking about. Grammar and context matter.
If your blog is nothing more than one keyword stuffed article after another, your author rank is probably going to suffer.
As someone who writes daily about marketing for lawyers, I’m thrilled with this Google development. I pump out 500 – 600 words each day of pure gold. I do it all myself and my prolific output of quality content is a huge competitive advantage for me.
Go ahead. Rank me.
I’ll take the Pepsi challenge with the hacks who call themselves lawyer marketing experts.
But you shouldn’t risk it. You should be writing your own, high quality content. You should be educating your target audience. You should be developing a relationship with them.
That’s what marketing for lawyers is all about.
Start a relationship with your prospective clients. Teach them a few things. Tell them how you feel about the events that shape your world view. Do it eloquently. Do it with snark. Be funny. Be serious. Be yourself.
Own your author rank and you will attract the visitors you deserve.
And so will the people who continue to game the system.