Writing a Book For Your Attorney Website? Avoid These Common Mistakes
Offering a free book is a great way to establish contact with potential new clients and establish yourself as an author and authority in your field. It also takes a bit of time and hard work to do it the right way. If you think that you can offer any kind of free book, of any quality, and get great results, you have a wake-up call coming.
We’ve given you tips before on how to write an effective legal guide to offer on your attorney website, now it’s time to review some of the common mistakes we see when lawyers come to us with free online offers that just aren’t working:
- Edit and proofread! One of the main reasons to write a book for your lawyer website is to establish yourself as a knowledgeable authority in your field, someone who has the answers, and someone who isn’t going to make a mistake. If your free ebook offer is filled with typos, grammar mistakes, and formatting errors, potential clients absolutely will not pick up the phone and call you. This is an easy mistake to fix: have at least two different pairs of eyes read over the final draft of your book.
- The book isn’t about you; it’s about the client. Some of the worst books we’ve seen come from attorneys who can’t get enough of talking about themselves, the awards they’ve won, the organizations they belong to, the schools they’ve attended. Understand that the people who are picking up your book are faced with a potentially life-changing legal issue, one that will affect their families and their finances. They want to talk about how to solve that problem, not what your GPA was.
- The book isn’t a legal document, it’s a guide. We understand that in law school, the longer the sentence and the bigger the word, the more impressed your professor was. But this isn’t law school. The best books are written in clear, simple language with short, informative paragraphs. Include subheads, bulleted lists, and informative graphics to make your book even easier on the eyes and easier to understand. Your job as an attorney is to translate the legal talk into language anyone can understand.
- It’s called a book, so it should be book-length. If you advertise a book and hand your potential clients a 10-page pamphlet, they are going to establish right away that you don’t provide what you say you are going to provide, when it comes to free offers and when it comes to anything to do with their legal cases. An electronic book should be at least 40 pages or so. If it is shorter than that, advertise it as a concise guide or pamphlet.
Most attorneys start their firms assuming that being a really, really good attorney should, in and of itself, be a marketing advantage. Those attorneys believe that joining a whole bunch of committees and putting their name in lawyer directories is “marketing,” and they never bother to ask if there is a better way.
Attorneys are catching on, however, and those who succeed learn to leverage their current resources to create effective (and ethical) marketing. What they discover isn’t a magic pill or silver bullet but a different approach to marketing that your competitors haven’t considered.
by Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.