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Law firm marketing and business development strategies

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Plan Now to Grow Your Law Firm in 2017

Posted in Law Firm Development, Law Firm Management

Plan Now to Grow Your Law Firm in 2017For many law firms, business slows during the holidays. And that makes it a perfect time to review your law practice for ways to grow your law firm in the new year.

Start by Asking 3 Questions:

Am I on target with my goals?

Are my numbers lining up? (Examine your overhead, major expenditures, profit margins, etc.)

Am I creating a business that supports and enhances the lifestyle I want to lead?

Create an Action Plan

After you’ve collected the data and done a bit of reflection as these 3 questions require, you’re only half-done. You now need to create an action plan. To help you with this, here are a few questions to answer and suggestions to guide you:

On Your Goals

If I’m on target with my goals, is there something I can do differently to make those goals happen sooner? What are the things I can do? If I’m not on target with my goals, what’s standing in the way?

On Your Numbers

Do the numbers look good? Could they look better? How? What actions should I take? (i.e, improve marketing, cut costs, automate functions, etc.)

On Lifestyle

If I am creating a business that supports the lifestyle I want to lead, is there something that could be improved upon even more? What are those items? If I am not creating a business that supports the lifestyle I want to lead, what are the obstacles?

Action Plan

Now take a look at each category. List what you came up with. For example, under “goals,” depending on how you answered the question, you could have listed either 1) things you could do to make the achievement of those goals happen sooner, or 2) obstacles in the way of achieving your goals.

After you’ve listed all the respective items in their categories, then rank them from “Urgently Need to Address;” “Need to Address Soon” “Nice to Address But Not Essential.” And congratulations! You just created your blueprint to grow your law firm in the coming year.

But remember, hope is not a strategy!  Don’t make the mistake of “hoping” you’ll get around to addressing these things.  To make change happen, start off by attending a Rainmaker Retreat, which I guarantee is a great way to kick off your renewal efforts!

Here are the dates for upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions:

To register, call 888-588-5891 or visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com.

FREE Webinar 12/7: Top 10 Mistakes Lawyers Make That Kill Their Intake & Lead Conversion Rate…And How To Fix It Fast!

Posted in Lead Conversion

FREE Webinar 12/7: Top 10 Mistakes Lawyers Make That Kill Their Intake & Lead Conversion Rate…And How To Fix It Fast!Join me on Wednesday, December 7 at 3 p.m. ET/Noon PT for a free Affinity Marketing webinar on the Top 10 Mistakes Lawyers Make That Kill Their Intake & Lead Conversion Rate…And How To Fix It Fast!

Lawyers spend a lot of money generating leads, but we have found through secret-shopping more than 2,500 law firms that many of those leads are left to languish. You have companies who will sell you SEO, PPC, direct mail, TV advertising, and PPL (pay per lead), but who will help you convert more of these costly leads into more retained clients?

Is the person who answers your phone doing everything they can to convert? Do you have a simple system in place to track all of your leads and measure your true conversion rate to determine if you are making a profit on these leads?

In this fast-paced workshop, attendees will discover:

  • The mistakes law firms make when dealing with leads and how to avoid them
  • Cutting-edge information about how to better track your leads
  • Specific tools to convert more prospects into paying clients
  • The 5 stages of lead conversion
  • How to overcome pricing objections

By investing just an hour of your time — and none of your money — you will learn specific strategies that will help you increase your conversion rate and add thousands of dollars to your bottom line. These are strategies that you can implement immediately and reap the results.

Register online now for the free Affinity Marketing webinar — Top 10 Mistakes Lawyers Make That Kill Their Intake & Lead Conversion Rate…And How To Fix It Fast! — on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. ET/Noon PT. I hope to see you there!

How to Keep it Legal When Marketing Your Law Firm Online

Posted in Internet Marketing for Lawyers, Law Firm Marketing

How to Keep it Legal When Marketing Your Law Firm OnlineAs you market your law firm over the Internet, you need to be aware of the legal issues that pertain to doing business online or suffer some pretty unpleasant consequences.

Not only do you need to know about your state bar and ABA regulations governing attorney advertising online, you also need to be aware of federal laws pertaining to these three key legal issues:

Data collection and privacy.

To be able to market to consumers online, you must first collect their contact information. The methods you use to collect this information need to comply with current data collection and privacy laws.

Your first step should be to have a Privacy Policy posted on your website and then require visitors to your site to agree to it when you are collecting data from those visitors. This is commonly done via what it known as a clickwrap agreement — usually a box that visitors click after they enter their information that says they agree to your Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Your Privacy Policy should spell out exactly how you plan to use the data collected from consumers and the security measures you are taking to ensure their data is secure. To protect yourself from liability in case of a data breach, you should also include a Limitations of Liability clause.

Intellectual property.

You not only want to ensure your own intellectual property is protected, but also that none of your activities infringe on the intellectual property rights of others. When marketing products or services online, be sure that your brands and logos are protected with trademarks. You may also want to copyright the content on your blog or website.

In addition, you should include an intellectual property clause in your Terms of Service that details IP use expectations for your trademarks and copyrights as well as those of other owners that may appear on your website.

One of the main ways marketers infringe on IP is using protected images. There are lots of free image websites out there — or inexpensive ones for stock photography — that you should access to ensure you don’t inadvertently use copyrighted images.

Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates online advertising, including privacy, anti-spam rules and truth-in-advertising. When using email marketing, companies must comply with the CAN-SPAM anti-spam law, which requires that you:

  • Do not use misleading or false header information
  • Do not use subject lines that are deceptive
  • Tag the message as an ad
  • Provide recipients with your contact information, including location
  • Allow recipients to opt-out of receiving future emails
  • Promptly remove recipients who opt-out
  • Monitor the activities of third parties conducting email marketing on your behalf

The FTC has published a handy guide to reference so you can make sure your law firm is in compliance with this law.

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Blessings to You at Thanksgiving

Posted in Uncategorized

rockwell_thanksgivingThe Rainmaker Institute team would like to wish all our clients and blog readers a wonderful Thanksgiving full of friends, family and food that make the holidays such a special time of year.

If you are traveling for the holidays, we wish you a safe journey.

If you are hosting friends and family, we wish you many helping hands to ease the work.

We are grateful for your support of TRI and will be remembering you as we gather at our holiday tables and look back at all we have accomplished together during 2016. We sincerely appreciate your confidence and loyalty. Thank you!

Partner Demotions Demonstrate Need for Lawyers to Hone Their Rainmaker Skills

Posted in Rainmaker Retreat Boot Camp

Partner Demotions Demonstrate Need for Lawyers to Hone Their Rainmaker SkillsAn article in yesterday’s New York Times chronicled the continuing struggle big law firms are having in coming to terms with today’s legal services delivery reality. Their response has been to demote or even jettison partners, reducing salaries and cutting some out of annual profit distributions.

The latest large firm to announce its “revamp” is the New York firm of Shearman & Sterling. Although the firm says the demotions and delays in promotions were necessary “to create a more efficient practice group management structure,” that is no solace for those on the receiving end of the demotions.

For attorneys to succeed today, it’s never been more important to be a Rainmaker.

There’s a lot to be said for being in charge of your own destiny, especially when demotions or layoffs happen. The best way to do this, of course, is to be a Rainmaker, someone who has a good book of business and knows how to attract prospects and convert them into clients.

Sure, not everyone is born to be a Rainmaker.  But it is a skill that can be learned and honed over time.  Law firms that weave rainmaking into the fabric of their culture will always see better results than those that do not.

With more lawyers than ever competing for a finite amount of legal work, don’t fool yourself:  it is your ability to make rain that will determine your success and that of your firm.

Financial independence is something all business owners work for, no matter what type of business they are in. The ability to build a “lifestyle law firm” – one that enables you to do what you want, when you want to do it – is the key to financial independence for attorneys.

Creating and managing a lifestyle law firm is what we teach at the Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing seminar. With our 100% Money Back Guarantee, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain by attending a Rainmaker Retreat.

Here are the dates for upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions:

To register, call 888-588-5891 or visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com.

 

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Special: Let Us Secret Shop Your Law Firm for Only $19 ($300 Value!)

Posted in Lead Conversion

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Special: Let Us Secret Shop Your Firm for Only $19 ($300 Value!)Do you know what really happens when a prospect calls your law firm? If the results of our secret shopper calls to law firms over the past two years are any indication, I think not.

We have secret-shopped more than 1,500 law firms over the past couple of years and make careful notes of each call. Here is a sampling of some of those notes from our callers, all from different firms across the country:

The phone was not answered. The first time I called, the phone rang four times, then stopped. I called again and the phone rang 10 times with no answer. No answering machine picked up either.

The phone was answered by voicemail that said, “Please leave a message.” No firm name was given.

Called the firm three times and each call went to voicemail.

Called to report my horrible accident (with injuries). She said, “Hold on” and transferred my call. I sat on hold for a couple of minutes and was disconnected. I called back and she told me she worked for a national phone answering service. I asked for the law firm’s website and she said she couldn’t find one.

I asked the woman who answered if the firm had a website. She said she “didn’t have it memorized” and asked me to hold so she could find it. I was disconnected.

After holding for over two minutes, the appointment setter came on the line. When I asked about the firm’s website, he said, “It’s not very good and I think you’ve got all the pertinent information.”

I asked the woman answering the phone if the law firm had a website. She said she didn’t know and suggested I Google the name of the firm.

If you are like these and many other law firms, you are losing potential clients because of how your calls are being handled. Let us secret shop your law firm and unveil how you can dramatically improve your team’s intake performance.

  • $300 Value, Only $19 until midnight PT on Monday, November 28

After we evaluate your firm, you will receive a 30-minute debrief to learn what happened during the call and specific action items you can implement immediately to increase your team’s conversion rate with prospective clients.

This offer is for:

  • Law firms that have a staff person other than the owner taking calls, such as receptionist, call center, intake specialist.
  • Law firms that have more than 15-20 leads per month.
  • Consumer law firms such as personal injury, family law, bankruptcy, criminal defense, estate planning, immigration, etc.

Sign up online now for our Black Friday/Cyber Monday Special and we’ll secret-shop your law firm for only $19 (a $300 value!). Offer ends at midnight PT on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016.

 

How Your Clients Can Guide You to Building a Better Law Firm

Posted in Law Firm Development

How Clients Can Guide You to Building a Better Law FirmClient satisfaction surveys are information gold mines for your law firm, helping you to understand what your client thinks about how you delivered your service, what you could have improved upon, what they actually gained from your service and what they really need from you.

Although this insight is vital, the benefits to client satisfaction surveys don’t stop there. You can use these insights to improve your law firm marketing. For example, by better understanding how your clients find services such as yours, you know more specifically how to promote your services to reach similar clients.

Most people are accustomed to taking online satisfaction surveys, which is an expeditious and inexpensive way to conduct customer satisfaction research. It also doesn’t intrude on your client’s time too much.

Most of the email marketing services have this functionality, so if you are already using Constant Contact or something like it, it is simple to design a survey and send it out to your contact list. You can also use a surveying resource like SurveyMonkey.com that essentially does the same thing.

No matter what format you use, here are some good questions to ask in your survey:

  • What was your first impression of the firm? Of your attorney?
  • How were you initially treated during your first in-person meeting?
  • What do you believe is our biggest strength?
  • What do you believe is the area where we need the most improvement?
  • Out of the following 5 areas, which ones do you anticipate needing in the next year?
  • Were invoices sent out on a regular basis to you?
  • Were you ever surprised by the amount on an invoice?
  • What are some ways we could better serve you?
  • Would you recommend us to your friends or colleagues?
  • Are there any other comments, suggestions, complaints, or concerns you would like to voice?

You can also use a survey with current and former clients as a “keep in touch” technique. For example, if you have had an e-newsletter program in place for awhile, create a survey asking your list if they are satisfied with the content, frequency and format, if they have suggestions for future content or other improvements. You may learn a lot through this short query that will help you improve your marketing efforts by learning what your clients value most.

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5 Low Cost & No Cost Strategies to Transform Your Law Firm5 Low Cost & No Cost Strategies to Transform Your Law Firm

Have you ever failed to use a business growth strategy because you thought it would be too expensive or time consuming?

Are you ready to learn proven strategies that can significantly increase your referrals?

Are you tired of watching your cash flow stagnate or drop month after month?

This 60-minute on-demand webinar will show you five low or no cost marketing strategies specifically for attorneys looking to build a lifestyle law firm.

You will discover simple and effective ways to:

  • Convert more prospects into paying clients
  • Enhance the client experience in order to build loyalty and referral sources
  • Drive more website visitors to take action and call you
  • Use third party credibility in a way that compels prospects to hire you
  • Implement follow-up strategies to stay in contact with your prospects until they hire you.

Click here now to order the 5 Low Cost & No Cost Strategies to Transform Your Law Firm webinar.

 

 

 

What You Need to Know About SEO in 2016

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

Thankfully for small law firms and solos, SEO best practices have evolved past backlinking and coding to strategies that you have more control over – content marketing and social media participation.

Good content and good SEO are no longer mutually exclusive entities; today, great content is the engine that drives SEO as far as Google is concerned, and since they are the 800-pound gorilla, anyone not complying is wasting their time. To be successful at the SEO game, you need to deliver a great experience and build a robust online presence.

This infographic from Digital Marketing Philippines aggregates all the latest industry thinking on SEO and what is important for law firm marketers to understand in order to build successful online properties. Follow these rules, and your lead generation and conversion efforts are sure to improve.

What You Need to Know About SEO in 2016

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Free Webinar Nov. 17: Social Media Marketing Do’s & Don’tsJoin Me Tomorrow for a Free Webinar on How to Use Social Media Effectively for Law Firm Marketing

On Thursday, Nov. 17, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, I will be hosting an information-packed webinar on how to ethically market your law firm on Facebook, LinkedIn, and your blog as well as successfully manage your online reputation.

The webinar entitled, Social Media Marketing Do’s and Don’ts and Managing Your Online Reputation, will be presented by Bennet Kelley, Esq., who has been named among the nation’s top Internet lawyers by several publications. As founder of the Internet Law Center, Bennet specializes in Internet law and helping clients who have had their reputation trashed online.

During this free live webinar, you will learn:

  • How to effectively and ethically use social media to promote your law firm
  • When a blog article or Facebook post is subject to advertising rules
  • How to avoid accidentally soliciting clients online
  • The biggest mistakes lawyers make with social media and how to avoid them
  • The do’s and don’ts when responding to negative client reviews
  • Outrageous (and hilarious) case studies of attorneys using social media

Register online now for the free Nov. 17 webinar on Social Media Marketing Do’s and Don’ts and Managing Your Online ReputationIf the time doesn’t work for you, register anyway so you can receive a recording of the live webinar to watch at your convenience.

 

 

 

 

Don’t Miss This Opportunity to Learn How to Use Social Media Effectively for Law Firm Marketing

Posted in Social Media Marketing for Law Firms

Don’t Miss This Opportunity to Learn How to Use Social Media Effectively for Law Firm MarketingOn Thursday, Nov. 17, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, I will be hosting an information-packed webinar on how to ethically market your law firm on Facebook, LinkedIn, and your blog as well as successfully manage your online reputation.

You don’t want to miss this free webinar if you:

  • Are not currently using social media to market your law firm
  • Are using social media but are not seeing results
  • Have ever been surprised by something online that could damage your reputation but had no idea what to do about it

The webinar entitled, Social Media Marketing Do’s and Don’ts and Managing Your Online Reputation, will be presented by Bennet Kelley, Esq., who has been named among the nation’s top Internet lawyers by several publications. As founder of the Internet Law Center, Bennet specializes in Internet law and helping clients who have had their reputation trashed online.

Bennet was Co-Chair of the California Bar Cyberspace Committee where he led the effort to develop a primer on cyberspace law for state policy makers.  He is a frequent presenter at conferences worldwide and has been a contributor to the Journal of Internet Law and E-Commerce Law and Policy.  He frequently appears or is quoted in television, radio and print stories on Internet legal developments, including appearing on The Today Show.

During this free live webinar, you will learn:

  • How to effectively and ethically use social media to promote your law firm
  • When a blog article or Facebook post is subject to advertising rules
  • How to avoid accidentally soliciting clients online
  • The biggest mistakes lawyers make with social media and how to avoid them
  • The do’s and don’ts when responding to negative client reviews
  • Outrageous (and hilarious) case studies of attorneys using social media

Register online now for the free Nov. 17 webinar on Social Media Marketing Do’s and Don’ts and Managing Your Online Reputation. If the time doesn’t work for you, register anyway so you can receive a recording of the live webinar to watch at your convenience.

How to Create Landing Pages That Land More Leads

Posted in Lead Conversion

How to Create Landing Pages That Land More LeadsIf your law firm marketing is directing traffic to the home page of your website, you are missing a big opportunity to capture more leads. You should be using dedicated landing pages instead.

Landing pages have been proven to more than double conversion rates when compared with website home pages. This is because they are created specifically for converting leads, featuring specialized content and offers that appeal to a targeted audience.

To make your landing pages pay, you need to know the basics about how to create a highly effective landing page. Here are the steps you need to take in developing landing pages for your law firm:

Have just one goal. You want your landing page to do just one job for you — get the visitor to download that free report, sign up for a seminar, subscribe to your newsletter, etc. Don’t clutter them up with multiple offers. One page. One job.

Use just one image. Choose an illustration or photo that is relevant to your offer.

Don’t fake it. Don’t create false endorsements for your offer. Avoid cheesy endorsement copy that turns visitors off.

Use simple design. Keep your design simple with minimal, impactful copy that consists of a headline, subhead and bullet points that make the content easy to scan.

Quick load. Be sure your landing page loads quickly; you only have a few seconds for it to pop up or your visitor will lose interest and click off.

Compelling copy. The worse thing you can do is bore your visitor. Your copy needs to be readable, believable and lead the visitor quickly to your ultimate goal.

Focus the content. Write and design your land page with your singular goal in mind. Do not clutter the content with irrelevant prose.

Inform and educate. Don’t waste the visitor’s time by not delivering anything of benefit. And don’t ask for too much information — a name and an email address should be sufficient.

Be truthful. If you have actual testimonials that would be appropriate, use them but be sure you are not making any false promises or guarantees.

Provide value. Make it clear what the value and benefits of redeeming your offer will provide to your visitor. If they are entrusting you with their information, you need to let them know it is a fair exchange for what you are providing with the offer.

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tei-bc-nomineeToday is the Last Day to Cast Your Vote for The Rainmaker Blog!

From a field of hundreds of potential nominees, The Rainmaker Blog has received enough nominations to join the one of the largest competitions for legal blog writing online today, sponsored by The Expert Institute.

Please help us out by voting online for our blog by midnight tonight!  Thanks!