Several people emailed me to say they found last week’s conversation about getting more done by changing up their routine to be really helpful. (I love the feedback!) Because at the end of the day it’s really not about finding more time to get more things done. It’s about better using the time we have to get the right things done.
On to this week. Which concerns something that happened last week. In a blog post, Chris Mercer wrote:
If you want more business from existing clients and new business from prospects, think about the Reason and do what it takes to communicate the Reason to them clearly and consistently over a long period of time.
And according to Chris, one of things that would give the Reason for a client or prospect to reach out to you was: “Writing a newsletter or blog directed to clients or prospects.”
And if you’re new here, welcome aboard. This is what we do!
What is the best non-BVFLS book you’ve read so far this year/in the last 3 months?
Mine is Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear.
One of the things that can give clients and prospects the Reason to call you is a newsletter or blog you write.
I have previously written about why newsletters are better than social media here, so let’s have a dialog about how you can create the best email newsletter for your audience.
There are 3 kinds/styles of email newsletters
#1 – Long Form
As the name implies, long form is a long newsletter (word-count be damned!), and this newsletter is a long form example. Looking for another example? Fred Rosen writes a fantastic weekly practice development newsletter for attorneys called Friday File.
In many cases, the longer the newsletter the less frequently it is sent out because it is difficult to deliver 3,000 good words every week.
#2 – Curated
Curated newsletters follow a “your summary/3rd party link” format of themed articles that appear in various online places and spaces. One I subscribe to is Brian Clark’s Further, which deals with health, wealth, and personal growth resources for Gen X (even though I am Gen Old Fart).
These newsletters are a nice way to provide value to an audience without having to write 1,000+ word articles. And by sharing only the best links on a theme, you save your audience the time and effort of finding information they would have to track down.
#3 – News
Similar to a curated newsletter, a news newsletter is focused on topical or breaking news, generally for a specific genre, e.g., politics. My favorite in this category is Next Draft, authored by David Pell.
This kind of newsletter requires a lot of work because you’ve got to digest current events quickly and then share the best content while it’s still timely. But despite the effort required, these newsletters are often emailed out daily.
Knowing the needs of our BVFLS leads, prospects, clients, and referral sources, I recommend a long form or curated newsletter. Why not a news newsletter? Frankly, I think it’s too much damn work.
Your long form newsletter should cover the practice area or industry niche you are in or want to be in and want to be known for. Mine is obviously about practice development. If you’re into ESOPs, your newsletter would be the who, what, why, where, when, and how of ESOPs.
I think court cases would really lend themselves to a curated format. You are probably reading the cases anyway to stay current, so why not curate them for an attorney audience. My only caveat would be that the type of cases should match the kind of attorneys you have on your email list. (If I were an estate planning attorney, why would I want to read a lost profits case?) If you are in a large firm with multiple practice areas, the firm can create multiple newsletters for different lists of attorneys.
Newsletters as a practice development tool? If I can’t convince you about their importance, maybe you’ll believe Chris Mercer!
And there is no one type of newsletter that works best (despite my opinion above) … only the best format for the subscribers you’ve got and want to attract coupled with the best format for you to consistently write it.
In real life
Regardless of the newsletter style you choose, there is one common denominator: you have to write it. This isn’t as hard as you think, nor do you have to consider yourself a “writer.”
Anyone can write. We all write emails … and we likely write more words per day than we think. An email newsletter is just the next step.
Sometimes we need to get over the stories we tell ourselves about what we think we can’t do and just do the work. And give the Reason to clients and prospects to call us.
Reading that can help
– If you like what I write about, tell a colleague.
– If something resonates and you want to reach out directly, email me.
– If you think we share common interests, connect with me on LinkedIn.
– If you want a sense of how well your practice is working for you, take this Practice Self Assessment.