Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 10

PR AC TICE MANAGEMENT

WAYS A NEWSLETTER
CAN WORK FOR YOUR FIRM
By Dan Mills

T

o bring in precisely the kind
of work a law firm desires,
a newsletter can be one of its
most effective marketing tools.
While it is easy to customize for a
specific target and can be produced
very economically, a newsletter
is seldom employed effectively.

Frequently I speak with lawyers who want to be
busier and have better clients. They think there
is a silver bullet out there to accomplish this and
are willing to write a big check for it, but they
don't know how to sift through all the marketing pushed at them to choose a solution.
When I suggest a well-crafted newsletter done
in-house, the typical reaction is, "Where will I
find the time?" I often respond, "You just told
me you want to be busier, right? So, you have
the time. It's resistance to marketing that you
are experiencing."
When I talk to lawyers who have figured out
how to use their newsletter to bring in the
best clients, they always say it is their top pick
if they had to choose one marketing method.
I know from personal experience that a good
newsletter works. I did a quarterly hard-copy
newsletter in my small firm, and it was hands
down the most effective tool I ever used -
and I had experience with many.
To create an effective newsletter, first get over
your resistance to marketing. Much of attorneys'
resistance is baked in primarily due to our skeptical and analytical nature. Set that aside and
summon your hidden entrepreneur to create
the newsletter. As a lawyer once said, you must
be pathologically optimistic to grow a firm with
good marketing.

10

WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

Your goal with the newsletter is to bring in
a steady flow of clients you consider ideal.
So, who or what is your perfect or best client?
Whose problems are you passionate about
solving? When you have figured that out and
your target market, what do you want to tell
the client in your newsletter?
Your content should be useful and related to
the issues a client needs resolved. When you
write about the problems you solve, you make
yourself very relevant to your ideal client. If
you don't know what is on the mind of your
perfect client, find out.
For example, if you do estate planning and see
young families as your target group, you know
that they are primarily concerned about what
happens to the children if the parents die. If you
provide useful information about that issue in
your newsletter or cover recent legal developments, you make yourself relevant to your clients.
Writing about interesting updates in your
practice area is another way to show prospective clients that you understand their world.
Appropriate, non-law-related content can also
work in a law firm newsletter. In fact, a very
successful plaintiff-injury firm in the area just
adjusted its content from 60 percent coverage
of non-law-related topics to 80 percent
favoring non-law content. The firm says its
recipe column is one of the most popular in
the newsletter.
The newsletter should be visually appealing,
and the writing style must be readable for a
wide audience. Do not write in the style of
a legal brief or memorandum. Study other
well-done professional newsletters to sample
writing styles that work.
The less information about the lawyer in the
newsletter, the better. Don't waste your time
talking about your qualifications. Add contact
information, including your web address, and

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020

spend the rest of the time writing about the
kinds of problems you solve in the language
your ideal client understands.
How you deliver your newsletter depends
upon your audience and budget. The most
economical format can be through email
marketing platforms like Mailchimp, HubSpot,
and Constant Contact.
The most effective format is still a hard copy
mailed to your target market. Although this
method tends to be the most labor intensive
and expensive, lawyers say it works because it
is unique and the reader tends to spend more
time with the newsletter.
Some firms use a combination of digital and
print newsletters on a weekly to monthly basis.
For example, they send out a short one- or
two-topic newsletter electronically that links
back to the firm website for more information,
as well as a four-to-eight-page hard copy
newsletter mailed quarterly.
Like all good marketing, a newsletter requires
long-term commitment. Therefore, if you are
going to use a newsletter, create a year's worth
before launching the first one and plan to have
them go out on a regular schedule.
To whom do you send your newsletter? Direct
it to friends, family, clients, former clients, other
professionals, and anyone who might consider
you for a referral.
And, of course, consult the rules of professional
conduct that are applicable to you and your
newsletter and get ethics guidance if necessary.
Our legal ethics counsel are available at 202737-4700, ext. 1010, or ethics@dcbar.org.
If you want to discuss the practical aspects of a
firm newsletter and see samples that we collect,
contact the Practice Management advisors
at dmills@dcbar.org or 202-780-2762, or
rwashington@dcbar.org or 202-780-2764.



Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar Of Events
The Opioid Litigation Wars
The Art Of Wellness: Law Firms Get Creative
Combating Secondary Trauma
Debating The Path Forward On Health Care Reform
Taking The Stand
On Further Review
Member Spotlight
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Speaking Of Ethics
Disciplinary Summaries
Community & Connections
Special Section: Counting Down To The 2020 Conference
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 5
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 7
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 9
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 11
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Calendar Of Events
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - The Opioid Litigation Wars
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 18
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - The Art Of Wellness: Law Firms Get Creative
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 22
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 24
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Combating Secondary Trauma
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 28
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 30
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Debating The Path Forward On Health Care Reform
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 34
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 36
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 37
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Taking The Stand
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 43
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 44
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 46
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Speaking Of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Special Section: Counting Down To The 2020 Conference
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 53
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 54
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 55
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Cover4
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