Attorney Lowell Steiger tells me he is “impressed by the fact that you come up with something new every single day”. He says my newsletter is useful and helpful, and dubs me a marketing guru who generously helps “people like me, the less talented.”
Poppycock. (I’ve been wanting to use that word for awhile now, so thanks for giving me the opportunity.)
The thing is, while I know a thing or two about a thing or two, I am not any smarter or more talented than the average bear.
Including Lowell, who I happen to know really is smarter than the average bear, and a very good writer to boot.
Anyway, most of what I write comes from subjects that interest me. I read a lot and share the ideas I find and what I think about them. I tell you about my experiences and give you my opinion about things I like and things that drive me crazy.
You could do that, too.
Trust me, if you want to write (or speak) and use that to build your practice via a newsletter or podcast or blog, you can. You know enough and have done enough, in your practice or business or personal life, to provide you with a library of material.
So stop telling yourself you don’t have anything to say. That’s a one-way ticket to Palookaville.
You also know how to write. If you’re not yet where you think you need to be on the write-o-meter, you can get there. Just keep writing (or speaking). Before you can say Joker Joker Joker, you’ll win the big prize.
What should you write about? Well, what did you do yesterday?
This week, I told you about a conversation I had with my accountant and a visit to the eye doctor. Next week, I’ll probably tell you about my gardener (again), and something he did or didn’t do. And here I am, telling you about someone who thinks I’m the bee’s knees in the marketing world, confessing to you that I’m not.
Hardly brilliant stuff. But I make it interesting, and that’s the key. It’s the one thing you need to get good at if you want people to read your stuff and keep reading it until they need your help or talk to someone they can refer.
The easy way to do that? Talk about things you know your reader is already interested in. To do that, you have to know your reader.
When you do, you know what they think about, what they want and don’t want, what they fear and what they covet.
Talk about those things. Or at least think about those things while you write about other things.
I know lawyers. It’s easy for me to talk about what’s in your head because it’s in my head, too. If I had a different market, if I was writing to physicians or engineers or real estate pros, I would research that market, to find out what they know and how they think.
I’d read what they read, listen to the speakers they listen to, talk to centers of influence in their market, and get to know what makes them tick.
That’s the easy part. But you have to do it.
The hard part, the part many lawyers have trouble with, is coming down from the ivory tower we tend to inhabit.
If you want to win friends and influence clients, you have to be yourself. Not your lawyer-self. Your human self, warts and all.
You have talk to folks, not at them. Have a conversation, not deliver a lecture or submit a brief.
You can’t connect with people by being aloof and professional and unapproachable. Just talk, like you would if they were sitting next to them having a beer or a cup of coffee.
That doesn’t mean you have to be unprofessional. Just human.
I know, I know, I get away with murder because I’m writing to you, a colleague. We’re comrades, made from the same cloth, brothers and sisters, friends with benefits. . . uh, well, you know what I mean.
When you’re a lawyer writing to clients and prospects, you can’t have a potty mouth or joke about whatever comes into your head. You need to be more decorous, so they don’t think you’re too weird to be their lawyer.
But this is only a matter of degree.
I can write “friends with benefits” and get away with you. You (probably) can’t. But you can still connect with people, by using a lighter touch, writing plainly and directly, and by not trying to impress anyone.
Don’t be the stuffy professor that puts everyone to sleep, be the cool teacher who’s smart and funny and tells great stories and makes learning fun.
Are you picking up on what I’m laying down?
One more thing.
Stop saying you don’t have time to do this. You do.
You don’t need to write every day. Once a week is great. Invest an hour writing something and sending it to the people who pay for your groceries and rent. The people who know, like, and trust you, or soon will.
Keep doing that, have fun with it, and one day, someone will call you a guru.
How to write a kickass newsletter that pays your mortgage