We interviewed New York employment and business litigator Richard Friedman to learn how he is helping to keep his five-lawyer firm top of “mouse”, i.e., mind, with potential referral sources by sending a newsletter.
For most lawyers, the highest quality leads come from referrals. Thus, it is very important to stay top of mind with anyone who refers new business to your practice.
This is exactly what New York employment and business litigator Richard Friedman is doing with a newsletter that he started this past July. We interviewed Richard to learn not only how he went about creating the newsletter, but to also discover what he would do differently next time and to see what the results have been so far.
Follow the interview below and use Richard’s experience to help your firm get more referrals.
LFS: Did you hire someone to create this newsletter or did you do it yourself?
Friedman: I hired a company named Phoneblogger.net to create the newsletter but my part-time law student clerk wrote the first draft of the articles which I edited. Phoneblogger.net personnel provided the layout of the newsletter, which I approved and disseminated through a service named MailChimp and various social media channels.
LFS: How did you find Phoneblogger.net?
Friedman: I met the principal of the company through several networking groups. I then spoke with several lawyers who work with the company and heard good things about it. But I didn’t want company personnel to prepare the content for my newsletter, which is what I understand they do with many of their clients based on telephone interviews.
LFS: What was the goal of the newsletter?
Friedman: The purpose of the newsletter was to remind people of my firm and the types of work we do:
1. Counseling, drafting, and negotiating on behalf of senior and mid-level executives in connection with employment, severance, and consulting agreements.
2. Preparation of employee handbooks, codes of conduct, and social media policies on behalf of employers.
3. FINRA arbitrations for well-compensated finance personnel.
4. Employment and business litigations where we represent an organization or an individual co-defendant or third party witness aligned with a referring law firm’s corporate client.
5. Other employment and business litigation cases, particularly in the New York County Commercial Division on whose Advisory Committee I serve as one of fifteen or so judicially appointed private practitioners with the 10 judges of that court.
Because of a recent uptick in referrals, I believe that the newsletter has started to accomplish its objective.
LFS: How long did it take Phoneblogger.net to set up the newsletter?
Friedman: Because I had previously sent out several mass emails through MailChimp, I had eight or nine email lists with a little over 2,000 contacts. Although those lists certainly made it easier for Phoneblogger.net to send out the newsletter, company personnel still had other setup work to do first. The newsletter was sent seven to ten days after I provided the company with the first article.
LFS: How much time did you personally have to put into creating the content?
Friedman: I edited all of the articles. Before the first newsletter was sent, I worked with my principal contact at the company to finalize the structure of the newsletter. I would estimate that I spent about 10 hours on the first newsletter. Of course, the set-up work will not have to be duplicated. All I have to do now is identify topics and edit the articles.
LFS: Did you share this newsletter through any social channels, or was it solely sent out via email?
Friedman: In addition to sending the newsletter via email using MailChimp, Phoneblogger.net posted the article on LinkedIn and disseminated it to my LinkedIn groups and via all other LinkedIn channels.
LFS: Which aspects of creating and launching the newsletter gave you the most difficulty and what would you do differently next time?
Friedman: I would hire a website developer who welcomes the introduction of a new partner on my team. My former website developer viewed Phoneblogger.net as an interloper and thought the company was treading on her turf. For example, I needed her to add a blog page to my firm’s website and she didn’t want to do it until the content was created, which led to a last minute crisis. I have since replaced her on my team.
I would urge other lawyers to introduce their web developer to their social media consultant early in the process to try to foster a team approach in the hope of avoiding unnecessary aggravation.
The bottom line is that I am very happy with the newsletter and have received some very positive feedback.
LFS: What kind of feedback have you received?
Friedman: So far I have received two kinds of feedback. The principal demographic targets for my newsletter are lawyers in firms of varying sizes because my firm gets virtually all of its work from other law firms. The secondary demographic targets are in-house lawyers. I have received quite a few compliments from the former but almost no feedback from the latter. However, I have received dozens of likes on my LinkedIn profile as a result of the postings. This has enabled me to see who has viewed my profile. I have noticed that several people visited my profile who I do not know which may prove beneficial.
LFS: Finally, have you received any new cases or referrals due to your newsletter?
Friedman: I am not sure. But I received an uptick in referrals since Labor Day not long after the second newsletter was sent. Several of those people have become clients. I plan to send another substantive newsletter next week and will continue to do so periodically in the hope that it is viewed as helpful but not so frequent as to be annoying.