Why Lawyer Newsletters SUCK!

Why Lawyer Newsletters SUCK!

By John Fisher, Esq.

The biggest problem facing lawyers is obscurity.  If no one knows who you are, your technical skills as a lawyer are meaningless. Getting an introduction to prominent, influential referral partners is just the beginning. You need to nurture and grow your relationships with referral partners.  You need to stay “top of mind” with your referral partners on a monthly (and ideally weekly) basis.

There is no better way of staying top of mind with your referral partners than a lawyer newsletter.  A lawyer newsletter does all of the work for you—your referral partners are hearing from you at least once a month and they collect and share your newsletter with their partners, associates and paralegals. Some referral partners post your newsletter on a bulletin board or collect all of your newsletters in a binder.  Over time you build a tribe of fans and your referral partners can’t help but think of you for their referrals.  But why do so few lawyers have a newsletter?

The #1 Reason that Lawyer Newsletters are Crap

Most lawyer newsletters are filled with meaningless crap, i.e., grandma’s apple pie recipe or your family trip to Aunt Betsy’s house.  Stop boring your readers with stories of your personal life.

Give away all of your best secrets and practice tips with specific, actionable advice that can be implemented right now.  Your best tips might be your “Rules of Communication” with clients, or your “Rules of Engagement” for cases referred to you. Share your best legal forms, inside practice tips and the lessons you’ve learned from your mistakes.

Are you losing a competitive advantage by giving away your trade secrets?  HELL NO!  A rising tide lifts all boats and if your referral partners get more cases from your tips, they will show you love for helping them.  And just think, how many of your referral partners will implement your advice?  Almost none, but the ones who do will crave your tips and become raving evangelists for your law practice.  You’re doing something that no other lawyers are doing—you’re giving away your best advice.  No one else is doing this and that’s precisely why you should.

3 Simple Rules for a Killer Lawyer Newsletter

Lawyer newsletters should be in high-gloss paper with a real stamp and mailed on the same day every month.  You are wasting your time with a quarterly or bi-monthly newsletter.  Your fans have to hear from you at least once a month, or they’ll forget you exist.

Do not delegate the art of writing!  Your newsletter must have your personality and creative touch and whatever you do, never hire an outside newsletter service, i.e., “Newsletter R Us”.  With a pre-canned newsletter, your referral partners will know that they’re getting junk mail.

Do not pitch or sell anything in your newsletter. Your referral partners will love that you’re giving your best advice away and asking for nothing in return (and they’ll pay you back in spades).

Make life easier by hiring a graphic designer and fulfillment provider to design, print and mail of your newsletter.  All you have to do is spend 2 hours writing the copy, ship the copy to your graphic designer, make a few edits and the newsletter is done.  (BTW, graphic designer, Julee Hutchison, [email protected], and fulfillment provider, Michelle Foster, [email protected], are a phenomenal team for creative and funky newsletters!)

Why All Lawyers Should have an Email Newsletter

Once you’ve got your print newsletter off the ground, take your extra content and create a weekly email newsletter.  Every day think of new content that you can add to your email newsletter—think of creating a system for everything in your practice.  Whenever you face a specific question posed by your secretary or paralegal, think: How likely is that this problem will come up again?  If the question is likely to recur, write specific policies for the problem and share it in your email newsletter.

To entice email subscribers, offer a free eBook in return for their name and email address.  You’re building a list of raving fans who crave your weekly emails and just like the print newsletter, you must send your weekly email newsletter on the same day and time.

With an email list, you’ll have ready access to a few thousand fans to promote a speaking engagement, new book or webinar.  And your email subscribers won’t view your emails as junk—they’ll want more from you and they’re more than willing to sign up for your special events.

Whenever you post new content on your website, your email subscribers will receive an email to alert them about the new article. You’re not hoping that your fans will visit your website—you’re virtually guaranteeing it!

Ignore the Naysayers

I know, I know, you’re skeptical about lawyer newsletters. You’ve heard from lawyers who have tried newsletters and told you they’re worthless.  But I’ve had a monthly lawyer newsletter for 5 years and it is the single, best marketing tactic that I’ve ever used for my law practice.

There is no better way to stay top of mind with your referral partners than a newsletter that gives specific, actionable advice.  Once you get in the habit of sending a monthly print and weekly email newsletter, you will become a mini-celebrity and your referral partners will reward you with a steady pipeline of new cases.

About the Author

John Fisher JDBloggerJohn Fisher is a New York attorney with a practice that is limited to the representation of the victims of serious or catastrophic injuries in medical malpractice, personal injury, legal malpractice and nursing home abuse and neglect cases.

John is also the author of “The Power of a System: How to Build the Injury Law Practice of Your Dreams“.

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