I don’t usually go to conferences.
Because for the most part, I feel like I can get the same information whenever I want it via blogs and other online sources.
So when I was offered a ticket to the Ray Edwards Copywriting Academy Live in Tennessee, I almost said no…
No, I have too much work to do and can’t afford that kind of time.
No, I hate driving long distances and that would take EIGHT HOURS.
No, I need to RELAX on weekends so that I can recharge for the next week.
But after Ernie the Attorney insisted I should check it out, and then Ramesh Reddy emailed saying he had an extra ticket and that I should go…I felt that the universe was telling me to say YES.
And I’m glad I did.
Over the course of 2 full days, I was able to rewrite a ton of sales copy that I’ve been working on but not getting quite right for over 2 years. I also mapped out some really cool new email systems that I can’t wait to put into place.
That’s what I went there for…but there were also some really valuable takeaways that I didn’t expect:
- Put the broccoli inside the cupcake.
Translation: Give people what they WANT, but include what they NEED.
Sounds simple, but after 5 years of doing web and marketing for lawyers, I still struggle with the fact that people come to us for “social media” and “nice websites.” But what we actually do is SO MUCH MORE.
We are masters of lead-based SEO. We literally drive traffic that converts to great clients for our clients.
But no one wants to hear about SEO, or traffic, or the technical things that WE think are important. They want a professional website, great messaging, to stay in line with legal ethics and professionalism, and to know that they’ll be getting calls from the clients they want to hear from. They don’t care how that’s done, they just want it done. Period. And we do those things…so why don’t we just say that?
This was the core lesson the sparked the rewrite of all of our sales copy, which I’ll be integrating over the next couple of weeks!
- Use your individual challenge as a reason to succeed, instead of a reason not to.
I found this particularly interesting as it applies to solo attorneys and their personal stories about what lead them to practice law, and specifically their niche area of law.
Often, we learn that “not having big firm experience” or “not coming from a family of lawyers” can cause solo lawyers to feel “less than.” When in fact, not letting your soul die in a large corporate environment and deciding to practice law because of something other than family pressure is exactly WHAT you should let people know about…those are driving factors.
“People can easily understand what it is that you do for money. What they want you to do is tell them why else you do it, besides the money.” – Ernest Svenson, Copywriting Academy Live, June 2017
We recently built a website for a young DUI Accident lawyer in Baton Rouge, whose personal story about being tricked by an insurance agency after an accident in college was the exact reason why he decided to pursue law. “I didn’t even know anyone who was a lawyer at the time, or that it was an option to contact one,” he said. Which I think is a very powerful statement that a lot of people can relate to.
- There’s no “magic bullet,” hard work is still the key to success.
While this is certainly the least sexy lesson of all, I think it’s the most important.
Guitar player Chad Jeffers took the stage to tell a story about his music career.
He has a reputation, built over many years, for always being on time, always having all of his equipment ready and in working order, and having a great attitude – always willing to go above and beyond.
Because of this, he’s landed gigs with people like Kenny Loggins and Carrie Underwood – WITHOUT HAVING TO AUDITION.
Because he’s “the guy.”
Because he put in his 10,000 hours, and he put EVERYTHING into those 10,000 hours.
He’s successful and respected, because he deserves to be.
And it all boils down to this:
Do what you love (and know why you’re doing it).
Be able to tell your story (effectively).
Give people what they want (and what they need).
Those are business and copywriting lessons…but I think they can be applied to just about anything.