On Wednesday, March, 12 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, join LawMarketing.com Editor-in-Chief Cindy Greenway and AttorneyRankings.com president Chris Dreyer for a free one-hour teleseminar on the Top 5 Ways to Market Your Practice & Improve Your Brand Recognition With Google+.
Many attorneys have confessed that they are confused by Google+ and how it can benefit their law firm, but with more than 350 million monthly users, you can no longer afford to ignore it. If you need only one reason to pay attention, then be aware that strong Google+ users often rank better in Google search.
During this teleseminar, you will learn:
- How law firms are benefiting from Google+ TODAY and how you’re missing out if you’re not using Google+
- Where to easily locate and build relationships with top influencers within your niche on Google+
- 3 top methods to increase engagement on Google+ (and gain more visibility than your competition)
- When to participate in Shared Circle Campaigns and how they help you effectively market your practice.
- How to leverage each of your law firm's attorneys on Google+ so you can gain even more exposure online for your law firm
In addition, you will receive a copy of the "Google+ For Lawyers Handbook" that will include the basics to getting started with Google+.
Click on this link to register online for the Top 5 Ways to Market Your Practice & Improve Your Brand Recognition With Google+on Wednesday, March, 12 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.
The purpose of having a blog is to foster an online dialogue with prospects, clients and referral sources so that when they need someone who does what you do, they will think of your first. Drawing people into your conversation requires you to often step outside your comfort zone, since most attorneys write the way they were trained to do in law school.
But when it comes to writing blog posts that people actually want to read, that just doesn’t cut it.
The most important thing to remember when writing for those who don’t practice law for a living is to be authentic. And the best way to do this is to write the way you talk. As you sit down to craft a new post, imagine you are talking to a friend who needs your guidance on a legal issue. Use the same words you use in your everyday life. Forget the grammar rules and write your draft, then go back over it to correct any glaring grammatical errors.
The infographic below, courtesy of Copyblogger.com, outlines the other essentials for writing blog posts. Print it off and keep a copy by your computer to refer to as you write. Following these simple guidelines will have you authoring a compelling, lead-generating blog in no time.
FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal
One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.
Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:
- Why you must have a blog in order to stay relevant
- 3 keys to successful blogging
- 7 Guidelines for achieving ROI
- Your 3 choices for managing your blog and social media efforts
- And much more!
Click now for your FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal.
According to a recent article at The Am Law Daily, just 30 percent of the 493 new partners named by 51 Am Law 200 firms at the beginning of this year are female – down from 24 percent in 2013 and 32 percent in 2012.
In five of the firms, not one female lawyer received a promotion to partner. Two of the firms – Locke Lord and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher – categorized their all-male partnership class as an “anomaly” and said they were committed to gender equality. Two other firms -- Edwards Wildman Palmer and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan – refused to discuss the matter with The Am Law Daily and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton did not respond.
Jaffe PR, which provides public relations services to law firms, had a post on its blog yesterday on how PR can help law firms boost their gender diversity profile. Jaffe recommends that firms committed to demonstrating gender diversity should conduct an audit to determine their firm’s “PR diversity ratio”.
The audit should collect data on the firm’s media quotes, speaking engagements and thought leadership efforts (articles, blogs, etc.) and then parse that data by gender, practice area and industry groups. This will provide management with the firm’s PR diversity profile.
If the profile points up the need for improvement, firms should use these insights as a base for structuring a PR program aimed at boosting their PR diversity profile. This may require some investment in media and public speaking training as well as additional efforts toward professional networking.
New Free Report! The 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days: Key #1-Press Releases
One of the best ways to get you on the road to becoming a recognized expert is through the use of press releases.
A press release is simply a short announcement about your law firm that may be of interest to the public or news media.
A press release that not only targets the audience you want to reach, but intrigues the editor and/or publisher, will gain free media coverage that surpasses any response you could hope to gain from any of your company’s paid advertising campaigns.
In addition, Google search engines love press releases!
Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:
- What constitutes an effective press release
- Ideas for press release content
- How to format your press release
- Where to submit your press release
- Best days to send out your press release
- …And much, much more!
Click on the following link to get your free report on The 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days: Key #1-Press Releases.
Probably one of the most frustrating things for law firms that invest time and money into content marketing is not seeing results...and by that I mean, immediate results.
First of all, thinking that you can create content and then just sit back and watch while hundreds of prospects thirsty for this information will flock to you is just crazy. Even if you have written outstanding, original content – and published consistently – there is no guarantee that you will see good results unless you put in the work to push it out there in front of folks.
Here are three steps you can employ to get your content noticed online:
Keep building your network. When it comes to sales, the mantra is “ABC – Always Be Closing”. But when it comes to content marketing, the mantra is “ABB – Always Be Building” – as in building your content library and your network of publishing outlets. These publishers include other outlets that attract the same profile of readers as your target market and can be social media sites like LinkedIn, other bloggers in your space and online publications that are willing to publish you. For example, my content is regularly published at the National Law Review site, on Avvo, on the Attorney at Law Magazine website and more attorney-focused websites. This is a great way for you to get found online.
Make it easy to share. Beyond putting share buttons on your website and blog, there are other ways to make your content easier to share by others. These can include the formatting of your articles or posts to make them more reader friendly, including images that grab attention, creating infographics that tell your story, etc.
Be unique. Just like you have to differentiate your practice to rise above competitors, you also need to differentiate your content to do the same. Don’t make the same point that everyone else is making – take a stand, be unique, adopt a different voice to attract an audience for your content.
NEW “Rainmaker Retreat: Unplugged” DVD Set Now Available!
The 6 DVD set is a live recording of the Rainmaker Retreat, a 2-day legal marketing intensive led by legal marketing expert Stephen Fairley that covers over 65 proven online and offline marketing and business development strategies for law firms.
You will discover:
- Lead Generation Techniques: how to generate more leads from the Internet, social media and blogs.
- Lead Conversion Techniques: a proven system to track incoming leads and improve your conversion rates to turn more of those prospects into paying clients.
- Client Retention Techniques: specific tools to double your referrals and to help you with “Building a Lifestyle Law Firm®”
- Engaging activities to help you identify your ideal target market so you can powerfully market to them.
- Over 65 PROVEN online and offline legal marketing strategies.
Last month, an article at Forbes.com written by Micah Solomon, who counsels companies on client relationship management issues, made attorneys who read it do a double-take. Here’s how it started out:
I’ve got a bit of a reality check for my friends in the legal industry:
Your law firm’s unlikely to build a loyal client base solely through your legal accomplishments and results.
It certainly got my attention since this is something I’ve been saying for years and am still met with blank stares when I tell lawyers that your competition is not the law firm down the street, it’s Amazon or Zappos or any other business that has taught consumers what to expect when it comes to best-in-class for customer service.
You see, clients don’t really understand the law, so they don’t really know how to judge if an attorney is good at practicing law. Instead, they are judging you on the intangibles, and comparing you not to other attorneys but to other experiences they have had as a customer.
As covered in the Forbes piece, here are five tips for law firms on how to build client loyalty through exceptional service:
1. Fast delivery. The law is often a plodding thing, but clients don’t really understand that. They expect you to produce what they need quickly, so if something is going to take a week or so, then tell them that. It’s up to you to manage expectations. Give them a date and stick to it.
2. Benchmark against the best in service. Don’t make the mistake of benchmarking your service delivery against other law firms; that won’t cut it these days. Instead, benchmark yourself against the best in service-intensive sectors like hospitality, financial services, etc. Do you make it easy to do business with you online? If not, you have an easy, technology-based way to differentiate yourself immediately.
3. Take your client’s side in service disputes. It can be hard to drop a courtroom mindset when dealing with clients, but you must. You need to apologize for lapses in service and show empathy, no matter who is at fault. Your staff needs to adopt this approach as well.
4. Scale your rates reasonably. If you’re charging clients several hundred dollars an hour for mundane tasks like proofreading, find a way to get that down. Your bills should explain all charges – and you should explain your fees in plain English upfront. And don’t charge clients for lunches or lattes you would have had on your own anyway – those are the things they will likely remember the longest about their experience with your firm.
5. Remember that every client defines service differently. Every client is unique and wants to be treated as such. Get to know your clients personally so you can anticipate their needs and hire people who are naturally empathetic so your clients will feel that you do truly care for them as an individual, not just a case number.
Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line
At The Rainmaker Institute, we define a “7-figure lifestyle law firm” as one that allows you to have the lifestyle that you want to live!
It’s more than just money or achieving a million dollars in revenue.
It’s about creating a lifestyle where you do what you love and building a business around your core values and interests.
In this recording of an interview between Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, and nationally recognized attorney John Bisnar, Stephen asks John to share with us some of the secrets he has used to create a law firm that allows him to go into the office only one day a week and take, on average, 3 to 4 months of vacation every year - all the while managing a very successful, multi-million dollar law firm!
You will receive either a CD or MP3 recording, plus we will email you a pdf transcript of the interview.
This interview will help you discover:
- The difference between a law practice and a business
- How to identify superstar employees to help you run your business
- The difference between an Office Manager and a Business Manager
- The 7 essential systems your firm must have & how to implement them
- How to micromanage the client experience
- Critical keys to success
- And much more!
Click this link now to order Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line.
I’ve just returned from our Rainmaker Retreat in Miami this past weekend, where we had several good questions from attendees during the Q&A session. As is my habit now, I will share some of these with our blog audience so you can benefit as well:
How do I decide whom to connect with on LinkedIn?
One of the most important things when it comes to LinkedIn is to have at least 500 connections. After you hit 501 connections, your profile will specify you as a “power user.”
If you think about your own psychology, you would most likely feel more inclined to connect with someone who has many connections versus few. Essentially we believe this person is more of an influencer. Regardless if this is true or not, it’s our perceptions that create reality.
The same is true when people consider connecting with you. So when you first become active on LinkedIn, I would advise you to be less restrictive about whom you connect with. After you hit the 500 mark, you can be far more picky about who you connect with.
Why do most solo attorneys hit a ceiling in regard to gross revenue?
The reason most solo attorneys can’t exceed $250,000 in gross revenues a year simply boils down to capacity issues. There are only so many hours in a week and weeks in a year. When you are the CEO, the attorney, the accountant, the marketer and wear several other hats in order to keep your business going, at some point you run out of time and effectiveness and you can’t bring in more revenue.
Without building a team and investing in them and a variety of necessary systems, your income will always directly be tied to the number of hours you can dedicate to work on a weekly basis.
A great friend of mine who is very successful with his legal practice says, “You can’t save your way to a multi-million dollar law firm, you have to spend your way to it.”
Essentially that means if you want to build a 7-figure lifestyle law firm, you must invest in people and systems in order to leverage time and grow beyond your own production capabilities.
What are some easy ways I can grow my email list?
A few great and easy ways to grow your list are:
1. Find ways to speak and present. Each time you do, make sure you collect the names and email address of everyone at the events. If for some reason the organizer will not give you this information, do a give-away during your presentation. In order for individuals to be eligible to receive your give-away, they must give you their business card or their name, number and email.
2. Every time you go to a networking event and collect business cards make sure these individuals are added to your database or e-newsletter list. Don’t worry, if someone gives you’re their information they are implicitly stating you can send them information. If for some reason they don’t want it, there is always the opportunity for them to unsubscribe or to ask to stop receiving the information.
3. Offer a freemium. On your website you can send people a free report (filled with information that is important and meaningful to them) in exchange for their contact information. For example you can send them an article titled “Top 6 questions to ask a criminal defense attorney before hiring” as soon as they give you their info. You can have this automated so you or someone else is not personally responsible for sending out the article, but it goes automatically after your system gets their info.
4. Any time you send out an e-newsletter, encourage those who receive it to forward it on to anyone they know who can also benefit from the information.
5. Have a “e-newsletter” opt-in form on your website so people who visit your site can opt-in to receive your e-newsletter.
One way you can really benefit yourself and your firm this year is to attend a Rainmaker Retreat. Our next session will be March 27-28 in New York City.
To learn more or register online, visit www.rainmakerretreat.com
Generally speaking, I’ve found that women are superior relationship builders and excel at staying connected with their communities. I believe that female attorneys do have innate abilities that can help them do a better job of attracting and retaining clients than most male attorneys – a key asset in rising in the ranks within a law firm.
This new LawMarketing.com video interview explores how female attorneys can establish themselves as a leader in their law firms. LawMarketing.com editor Cindy Greenway talked to Kimberly Rice at KLA Marketing, a legal marketing firm that specializes in working with female lawyers, who shares a few tips on strategies female attorneys can use to assume a leadership role within their firms:
FREE "Top 10 Mistakes Attorneys Make and How to Avoid Them" E-book
In a newly revised e-book, legal marketing expert Stephen Fairley outlines 10 of the most common marketing mistakes attorneys make that can lead to the failure of their business, and provides specific strategies and proven principles for avoiding these deadly errors.
To get your complimentary copy online, click here.
Regardless of your specific situation, this free e-book will help you examine how you are currently finding new clients and recommend specific steps you can immediately start using to grow your practice.
We have helped thousands of attorneys achieve their goals of creating a financially successful and personally satisfying legal practice. In this e-book you will discover specific principles and tools you can use to grow your practice, too.
No lawyer – unless he or she has been practicing under a rock the last decade -- can argue that the delivery of legal services is changing.
This infographic, based on data collected by Online-Paralegal-Degree.org from the New York Times, Altman Weil and other sources, demonstrates how technology and changing consumer habits has impacted the legal profession today and how it will continue to do so in the future:
We make it our business to teach attorneys practicing as solos or in small law firms to recognize and embrace the change and use it to their advantage for lead generation and practice management. We do this primarily through our monthly Rainmaker Retreat law firm marketing seminars; the next one is scheduled for March 27-28 in New York City.
Here is just a small sample of the actionable methods you will learn at the Rainmaker Retreat:
Specific strategies highly successful attorneys are using right now on the Internet and with social media to attract hundreds of people to their websites and blogs every month, convert them to paying clients, and keep them coming back and sending a steady stream of referrals!
Dozens of ways to drastically reduce the cost of your marketing campaigns and still get more clients than you might believe possible.
How to implement low cost marketing tools and systems that let you control your practice – instead of your practice controlling you!
Experience why 35 of the largest State and local Bar Associations have sponsored our events. With our 100% Money Back Guarantee, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain by attending a Rainmaker Retreat.
To register online, visit www.rainmakerretreat.com or call us at 888-588-5891. We offer an Early Bird discount that can save you 15% off the regular registration fee!
Great copywriting for blogs, websites and other online content takes more than just a way with words. Writers who do this for a living know things like the importance of creating compelling calls-to-action, optimizing for search, using formats that draw readers in using things like bullet points and lists, and other tricks of the trade.
Some lawyers love to write, and if you are one of those, then there’s a resource I’d like to recommend to you right now: Copyblogger.com. You will find lots of tips there for applying the techniques used by professional copywriters to create great content for the Web.
But there are scenarios that should compel you to call in a pro; here are 5 of them:
1. You’re not a good writer. Good writers love to write, but if you’re not in that group, there are plenty of people out there for you to hire or partner with in creating great content for your law firm. Yes, we do this for our attorney clients. There are also some great freelancers on Elance.com and other online job boards. Or maybe someone at your firm has this hidden talent. Find it, invest in it, and reap the benefits.
2. You don’t have the time. You went to law school to practice law, right? Creating content for blogs, social media and websites takes consistent effort and the investment of someone’s time, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be your time.
3. You need expertise you don’t have. If you’re not up to speed on the latest SEO practices for online content, you need to either educate yourself or find a good writer with this expertise. Maybe you can write blogs, but you need help with your e-newsletter or free reports – this calls for a specialist with a particular skill set for creating content that will entice prospects.
4. You can’t see the forest for the trees. Most attorneys are great at writing...for other attorneys. You’re too close to your subject and lose sight of the importance of writing for your target market.
5. It’s too important. If you’re convinced of the importance of having the best possible messaging going out to your prospects and clients, and building your online reputation, leaving the development of that content to chance is a sure way to screw up. Bad copy can kill your credibility.
Whether you do it in-house or hire a professional writer, remember that you are always in charge of your messaging. Your writer should be your marketing partner, understand your firm and your target market as well as the legal ethical standards you are held to, and maintain your high standards. Even if you are not doing the actual work, the final responsibility for your legal marketing rests with you.
Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD Set
The Practice Made Perfect CD set and manual applies Stephen Fairley’s unique High Impact Marketing System to the practice-building challenges faced by solo practitioners and partners at small law firms.
It includes dozens of specific marketing and sales recommendations that can be easily and quickly applied to your firm, including:
- The only 7 sure-fire ways to get clients in your door NOW
- Why advertising doesn’t work for most small law firms
- The 7 reasons why people don’t buy from you
- How to market and sell with USP’s (Unique Selling Proposition)
- Using audio logos to attract immediate attention for your business
- Using low-cost, high impact marketing strategies
- Strategies for achieving maximum results from all of your marketing efforts
- How to discover your Ideal Target Market
- 3 critical factors to remember when looking for new clients
- The NEW sales cycle for professional services
- How to retain your best clients
Click here to order your Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD set and manual now.
A new social network for attorneys – Foxwordy – has now launched and is offering any lawyer who is “an innovator and influencer in the legal industry” a free three-month membership to what its founder is calling an “invitation-only private social-networking platform brings together relevant top-tier legal colleagues to efficiently collaborate in real-time.”
Forbes ran a story on the Foxwordy launch today, and it appears that this new site is aimed at creating a new attorney-to-attorney referral platform. Foxwordy founder Monica Zent said that the site provides a way for attorneys to gain a peer validated reputation and encourages collaborations that would normally happen via the phone, in person or by email.
Some of the site’s features include:
- Real-time collaboration with other lawyers working on common issues
- Ability for attorneys to share best practices and language for legal documents
- Listing of job opportunities similar to LinkedIn
Zent says there are currently 1,000 members on the website that is now out of beta. The network will not be available to the public; it is designed solely as a website for attorneys to share information and collaborate, and membership is by invitation only. You provide your name and email address on the home page to request an invitation.
It was unclear on the site how you are vetted for membership; since the site’s revenue model is based on subscriptions alone ($10 per month), I was guessing that the bar isn’t set too high. And I was proven right after I had one of my non-attorney staff members enter her name and Gmail address, and she received a congratulatory email minutes later on her acceptance.
I’d be interested to hear from attorneys who sign up and participate on this new social network for lawyers – what are you finding of most value for your practice from this new social media tool?
FREE Report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources
When it comes to the different kind of leads that attorneys can generate for new business, referrals are the gold standard. They come to you pre-qualified and ready to “buy” from a source they trust – and with a trust transference to you that is built-in.
If you do nothing else with your law firm marketing this year, make it a priority to cultivate more referral sources. Cultivating referral sources is low-cost and high-reward, and should be at the top of your list when it comes to new business development for your law firm.
This new free report by national law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley can get you started.
Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:
- How to identify the referral sources who have relationships with the people you want as clients.
- How to start the relationship
- How to build a referral network
- How to make your referral network successful
- …And much, much more!
Click on this link now to get your free report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources.