Learn to Significantly Increase Your Referrals in 90 Days on Nov. 5

Today is Halloween and what could be scarier than trying to run a law firm with no referrals? 

Attorneys love referrals, since they come pretty much pre-qualified and ready to do business with you.  So why is it that so many law firms have no process in place to generate referrals? 

Referrals do not have to be happenstance.  There are procedures and processes that have been proven to significantly increase law firm referrals in just 90 days.  And we will be sharing that information during a FREE webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

Please join me and LawMarketing.com Editor-in-Chief Cindy Greenway for the How to Significantly Increase Your Law Firm’s Referrals in 90 Days webinar, where you will learn:

  • The top 3 reasons why you are not getting more referrals and how to fix them
  • The most cost effective way to stay connected with every single client every month
  • The 7 questions every client must know to send you a referral
  • and much, much more!

Simply register online here to learn more and to reserve your spot.  Everyone who registers will receive a free copy of the recording to watch at his or her convenience.

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Free Report: 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys From Building A Referral-Based Practice

Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process.  Stephen Fairley unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

  • How to determine the best source for your referrals
  • How to explain your ideal target market to a referral source
  • How to get referrals from other attorneys
  • Whether online directories are a good referral source
  • How to network effectively
  • And much, much more!

Click now for your free report on 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice.

Less Can Mean More When You Niche Your Practice

Very interesting read in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal online about a small financial services firm that discovered fewer clients could mean a much more profitable practice -- and a chance at living a real life outside work.

Two female financial advisors launched their own firm 12 years ago in a Kansas City suburb.  At that time, they admittedly took “anyone who breathed” as clients.  Within four years, they had 600 clients and $33 million in assets under management.

And they were working themselves to death, never taking a vacation and rarely spending time with family.

After one of the partners delivered her baby prematurely, which she blamed on work stress, the partners made a radical decision to niche their practice, paring down the 600-member client list to only their top 30 clients.

They met in person with each of their 30 ideal clients to explain their desire to truly focus their practice on meeting the needs of this top tier, who were all wealthy individuals going through life transitions like marriage, divorce, retirement and the sale of a business. 

All of the clients they wanted to keep embraced their new vision and stayed on, even though the firm raised their fees substantially.  Over the next two years, the partners met with the rest of their clients to explain their new direction.  Most agreed to leave because of the higher fees.  Some even referred new clients to the firm because they were a better fit.

Over the ensuing years, the partners carefully grew their business, taking on qualified referrals from their existing base.  Today, the firm has 110 clients and $150 million in assets under management.

The partners say they have found a comfortable work-life balance, and enjoy getting to spend more time with their clients.  Their advice to other advisors who want to create a dream niche practice:  “Realize you can’t be all things to all people.  Get super clear about whom you want to work with and then take a leap of faith.”

I have been telling attorneys for years that niches lead to riches.  Most lack the courage to take that leap of faith; perhaps this real-life example will inspire you to build that lifestyle law firm you’ve always dreamed of. 

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7 Strategies for a 7-Figure Law Firm

If you’re like many of the attorneys I speak with every week:

You’ve been practicing over 10 years, you own a small firm with a handful of staff, you work hard month after month, but you never seem to get ahead.

You’ve tried all the traditional methods of marketing your law firm, but so far nothing seems to work very well.

You have goals, dreams and ambitions, but after all these years you’re still struggling to break or consistently break the million dollar mark…and every once in a while you wonder if it’s really worth it all.

I need to tell you from one business owner to another-the skills that helped you build a good 6-figure practice are not the same skills you will need to build a great 7-figure business.

So if you’re tired of beating your head against the wall and you’re ready to take a fresh look at how to break out of the negative cycle you’re stuck in then you really owe it to yourself to watch this webinar.

Discover:

  • What it really takes to build a 7-figure law firm -- no hype and no b.s.
  • Insider tips from managing partners running multi-million dollar firms
  • How to position yourself as a recognized expert and attract higher quality clients
  • 3 biggest reasons why you’re not getting more referrals and how to overcome these hurdles
  • The 2 things every Million Dollar Law Firm has in place (you will never achieve 7-figure revenues without both of these)
  • 2 key metrics you must measure every month if you want to grow your law firm

Click on this link now to access the online webinar, 7 Strategies for a 7-Figure Law Firm.

How to Measure Your Email Marketing Performance

Email newsletters have proven to be one of the most effective methods for attorneys to market themselves to prospects, clients and referral sources.  Every year, email marketing service provider MailerMailer provides a report on email marketing metrics across 34 different industries, including Legal. 

They have just issued their 2014 report, based on data gathered from 62,000 newsletter campaigns totaling 1.18 billion emails sent between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2013.  Here are the results -- and what should be your new benchmarks -- for your law firm newsletter:

Open rate (what percentage of your recipients opened your email):  13.5%

Click rate (what percentage of your recipients clicked on a link in your email)::  1.6%

Click-to-open rate (of the recipients who opened your email, what percentage of them clicked on a link):  11.8%

Bounce rate (the percentage of emails that cannot be delivered):  2.4%

Every email service (Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, iContact, etc.) provides these statistics for each newsletter you send out.  If your newsletters are not delivering at rates that meet or exceed the benchmarks above, you have a problem.

Here’s what you should consider to improve your click, open and bounce rates:

Are your subject lines engaging to entice people to open your email?  Short subject lines -- 4 to 15 characters -- generate the highest open and click rates.

Are you sending emails on the right day and at the right time?  The highest open rates occur on Mondays and the highest click rates occur on Sundays.  Open rates peak during the early part of the day, between 8 a.m. and noon.

Is your email list updated regularly and cleaned of old, undeliverable email addresses?  Bounce rates are inescapable but can be improved if you send out emails on a regular basis.

Have you segmented your email list so you can tailor your content to your different audiences?  Targeted emails deliver 18 times more revenue than general blast emails.

Are your emails personalized? Personalizing the message content can boost open rates significantly.

Do you use a responsive design template so your emails are displayed properly for every screen size?  More than half of emails are now opened on mobile devices.

If your newsletters are performing at or above these benchmarks, you may still have some work to do: if you don’t know the source of your success, you can’t repeat it.

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FREE Webinar TOMORROW (Oct. 30): How Law Firms Can Use Dashboards to Save Time, Increase Productivity and Close More Cases

Do you have the critical numbers you need to run your law firm efficiently at your fingertips?  Dashboards have been used by businesses for years, but law firms have been slow to adapt them to running a more efficient, effective enterprise.

A dashboard provides you with insights into what is working -- and what is not -- in your marketing programs and other areas of your business.  Join me and law firm management expert Micki Love, COO of Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers for this free webinar on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT where you will learn:

  • 5 key metrics every law firm must be tracking every month
  • How to save 100 minutes a day with dashboards
  • Key performance indicators for law firms
  • How a business dashboard can help you grow your law firm
  • 3 areas to audit each month to ensure staff compliance
  • 5 critical questions to ask yourself to create your own dashboard

Hughes & Coleman is a personal injury law firm with seven offices in Kentucky and Tennessee. Micki has demonstrated the knowledge it takes to lead a staff of more than 100 employees and to grow a firm across the country. She has consulted with countless law firms on law firm management, giving them direction and building their knowledge of legal management and marketing.

If the times for this webinar don’t work for you, register anyway to receive the recording of this webinar to watch at your convenience.

Register online now for the free one-hour webinar on How Law Firms Can Use Dashboards to Save Time, Increase Productivity and Close More Cases on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. 

Email Marketing Stats You Shouldn't Ignore

Some very interesting stats from email marketing software and services provider Emma recently hit my inbox and they are worth sharing with you:

The average open rate for welcome emails is 50%, making those types of emails highly effective.  Whenever someone signs up for anything and provides their email address, an automated welcome email is a no-brainer and a great chance to engage your prospects.

51% of email is now opened on a mobile device, so always use responsive design email templates to ensure your emails look great on any screen.

80% of people just scan emails, so be sure you have bold headlines for your main subject and engaging graphics.

Targeted emails deliver 18x more revenue than non-targeted emails, so be sure to segment your email marketing list and create personalized, targeted emails for each audience.

Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than leads that are not nurtured.  Having an automated series of emails triggered by time or events can pay off big for you.

The human finger is approximately 46 pixels square, so be sure your call-to-action buttons are large enough for mobile readers to tap.

58% of people check their email first thing in the morning, so send your emails early to increase your open rates.

The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, so choose good images that tell your story.

People check their mobile phone up to 150 times a day.  Using email and social media together can reinforce your message in the places people visit most often.

iPhones cut off a subject line after 32 characters, so be sure the most important words are at the beginning of your subject line.

Using white space improves comprehension by 20%, so don’t crowd your content.

Eye tracking data shows that readers look at the same section of the screen where pictures of people are looking, which makes that area a perfect place to put your call-to-action.

The #1 reason people unsubscribe is because of too many emails.  Use automation to send emails at just the right time instead of blasting emails out with every little piece of news.

Adding video to your emails can increase click rates by 300%.

Email conversion rates are 40 times greater than that of Facebook and Twitter.  Use social media to encourage people to sign up for your emails, and then use those emails to convert your browsers into buyers.

Personalized emails improve click rates by 14% and conversions by 10%.

People share content they feel will entertain or benefit others.  94% of people consider how what they share will be of use to others before sharing.

Use these stats to improve your email marketing program and you should increase your open and click-through rates -- which in turn will increase your lead conversion rates.

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FREE REPORT:  How to Tap Into One of the Most Cost Effective Marketing Tools for Law Firms & 4 Steps to Get Started Today

In less than a few hours a month, you can produce an effective electronic newsletter, also known as an “E-newsletter.”

An E-newsletter is a customized electronic newsletter that is commonly used in business, but rarely in the field of law. If you are truly interested in the long-term success and sustainability of your practice, you need to learn how to leverage technology and the Internet to build it.

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • 10 reasons an e-newsletter is necessary to your legal marketing strategy
  • The cost benefits of an e-newsletter
  • How to incorporate your e-newsletter with your social networking
  • How an e-newsletter supports your marketing efforts
  • How to get started right away with your e-newsletter

Click on the following link to receive your free report on How to Tap Into One of the Most Cost Effective Marketing Tools for Law Firms & 4 Steps to Get Started Today.

How to Hire Superstars & Let Them Take Your Firm to the Next Level

Is your firm full of Superstars?  I learned some time ago that hiring Superstars is the key to positive, steady growth and am proud that we have built our company together into the nation’s leading law firm marketing company.

I could not have done this by myself.  And you can’t get the lifestyle law firm you’ve always wanted by yourself either.  You need Superstars in your organization to make this happen.

Here are the measurements I use to ensure my company is staffed with Superstars at every level:

Every person must either make the company money or save the company money. A Superstar does both!  A Superstar also:

Consistently takes the initiative! They don’t wait for other people to step up, when they see a problem, they become the solution; when they perceive a gap, they look to fill it!

Has a bias for taking action! If they have a choice between sitting still and doing nothing or waiting for someone else versus taking action, even if it's a small step forward, they consistently have a bias for action.

Arrives early, stays late, and always asks, “What else can I do to help?”

Builds powerful relationships with every person they come into contact with and makes such a positive impression on that person they want to share their experience with others.

Knows that motion creates emotion. They get into motion and move forward because they know that taking positive action will create positive emotions.

Takes personal responsibility for their actions and never seeks to shift the blame.

Believes in the power of the team and is willing to give credit where credit is due.

Always shows respect for other team members, their opinions, their skill sets, and what they bring to the company. They work to build positive relationships with other team members.

Values different perspectives and opinions! They are able to clearly articulate logical reasons for their decisions, but are willing to listen to other people’s perspectives.

Is well balanced. They are not a drama queen, a whiner, or a complainer and they do not tolerate this kind of behavior in others.

Seeks to be a positive influence on team members and their environment.

Looks for creative solutions to challenging problems.

Consistently sets high goals for themselves and consistently achieves these goals.

Knows their numbers—the key metrics that make them a success in their position.

Effectively manages projects they are responsible for and is willing to be held accountable for the results.

Consistently follows up with prospects, potential partners, clients, and team members.

Is always reliable!

Invests in themselves by seeking out opportunities to learn and expand their knowledge so they are more valuable to the company, clients, and prospects.

Always gives the team more than they take or ask for. They find meaningful ways to consistently contribute to the team and the company and give more to others than they ask for others to give to them.

Studies show that companies with happy employees are 12% more productive and 20% more profitable than those with unhappy employees.  Once you have a group of Superstars working for you, you will never want to lose them, so be sure they are kept continually motivated and rewarded for all the good work they do for you. 

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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.

Click here now to order Rainmaker Retreat: Unplugged.

How Your Ego is Killing Your Website Leads

Most lawyers I know have a pretty healthy ego and let me state for the record that there’s nothing wrong with that.  Successful business people have healthy egos or they wouldn’t be as successful as they are.

But there is one place where your ego can get in the way of your lead generation efforts, and that is on your website.

For many law firms, a website is a vanity project.  They want a big, glossy photo of their attorneys (preferably in an imposing board room), and their firm name and their awards or recognitions prominently displayed on the home page.

That means a lot to you.

That means bupkus to your prospective clients.

Here’s what they want to know when they visit your website home page:

You practice the kind of law I need.  Whatever type of law you practice should be spelled out clearly and be one of the first things a visitor to your website sees. 

You understand my problem.  Get all the lawyer words off your site and speak to your prospect in their language so that they understand that you understand.  This builds trust.  And if they don’t trust you, they won’t do business with you.

You have the knowledge I need to solve my problem.  Lots of law firm websites have information that clients want to know hidden under a “Reference” or “Resources” tab.  This is important stuff to prospects; don’t make them hunt for it.

I understand the benefits and value I will receive if I work with you.  This is a tough one for most lawyers because they don’t really understand the benefits of working with their firm, so you have to spend some time really giving this some thought.  Look at the testimonials you have gathered and glean from those what really means something to your clients.  Using terms like, “We care” is both trite and commonplace.  Get to the meat of the matter.

If you are wondering if your ego has gotten in the way of having a website that can really generate leads for your firm, ask a friend (NOT another lawyer) or two to look at it and tell you exactly what they see.  Do not give them any of your input; just ask them what their first impressions are of your site.   Then make the necessary changes to ensure your website speaks to your prospects, not to your ego.

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On-Demand Seminar:  How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients

According to recent research…

58 million adults looked for an attorney in the past year

76% of them referred to the Internet at some point in their search

While most law firms already have a website, the majority of them don’t produce new cases on a regular basis. Why?

Because they are doing it all wrong!

This seminar will teach you how to do it right.

Law firm marketing experts Larry Bodine and Stephen Fairley join forces to deliver a compelling on-demand seminar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients; access this seminar now to learn:

  • 3 specific strategies that can immediately improve your website conversions
  • What elements you should and should not include on your website
  • How to effectively reach the 65% of consumers who like to gather information about their legal issue long before ever contacting an attorney
  • Ways to leverage top online attorney directories to control your online presence
  • Case studies on how top attorneys are using social media to attract more paying clients
  • Best practices for blogging and why Google loves them so much
  • The fastest ways to get to the top of Google

Click on this link now to receive the How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients seminar.

 

Money Talks So Prospects Don't Walk

Here’s a subject that makes lawyers nervous:  paying a bonus to intake personnel for decreasing your no-show rate.  Many of you think you can’t do that, but you are wrong.  You can and you should.

Any time you do a performance bonus incentive plan, it has to meet two criteria:

1.  It has to make the firm money or save the firm money.

2.  It has to be within that person’s control. For the show-up bonus, you never incentivize the team; you incentivize the individual people who set the appointments. If the receptionist was not responsible for setting the appointment, then you would not bonus him or her; you would bonus the actual person who sets the appointment, as long as it wasn’t the attorney because you never want to have the attorney talk with people over the phone if you can at all help it. The first time they talk to the attorney should be when they see them face-to-face.

If your firm is being plagued by no-shows, what you should do is set up a performance bonus plan. We’re not talking a lot of money -- $10, $15, or $20 max per appointment that shows up. The staff person doesn’t get the bonus if the prospect doesn’t show. They only get the bonus if the prospect actually shows up.

I’ve had a couple of attorneys that have said, “Wait a minute, you can’t fee-split with a non-attorney. That’s unethical.”

Of course you can’t fee-split with a non-attorney. However, you can absolutely provide a performance bonus for an employee of your law firm. There is no state that prohibits you giving a performance bonus to an employee as long as it is not fee splitting.

For example, if you charge a flat fee of $1,500 for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you give your intake person $150, that’s 10%. That’s a fee-split. You want to make sure that the bonus passes the sniff test if a bar association asks you about it.

That’s why it shouldn’t be a lot of money -- just $10, $15 or $20 per appointment that shows. It’s a flat amount regardless of whether or not the prospect signs up. As long as the staff member sets the appointment and the prospect shows up to the appointment, they get the performance bonus, and that is 100% ethical.

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FREE Webinar Oct. 30: How Law Firms Can Use Dashboards to Save Time, Increase Productivity and Close More Cases

Do you have the critical numbers you need to run your law firm efficiently at your fingertips?  Dashboards have been used by businesses for years, but law firms have been slow to adapt them to running a more efficient, effective enterprise.

A dashboard provides you with insights into what is working -- and what is not -- in your marketing programs and other areas of your business.  Join me and law firm management expert Micki Love, COO of Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers for this free webinar on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT where you will learn:

  • 5 key metrics every law firm must be tracking every month
  • How to save 100 minutes a day with dashboards
  • Key performance indicators for law firms
  • How a business dashboard can help you grow your law firm
  • 3 areas to audit each month to ensure staff compliance
  • 5 critical questions to ask yourself to create your own dashboard

Hughes & Coleman is a personal injury law firm with seven offices in Kentucky and Tennessee. Micki has demonstrated the knowledge it takes to lead a staff of more than 100 employees and to grow a firm across the country. She has consulted with countless law firms on law firm management, giving them direction and building their knowledge of legal management and marketing.

If the times for this webinar don’t work for you, register anyway to receive the recording of this webinar to watch at your convenience.

Register online now for the free one-hour webinar on How Law Firms Can Use Dashboards to Save Time, Increase Productivity and Close More Cases on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

Demystifying the Supreme Court, John Oliver Style

The U.S. Supreme Court has a longstanding ban on cameras inside its courtroom, which is apparently a pet peeve of John Oliver, the British comedian who hosts his own weekly news show on HBO called “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”

As Oliver notes during his five-minute rant on the high court camera ban, “What happens in the Supreme Court is way too important not to pay attention to.” He says that the current use of audio and courtroom sketches that he finds profoundly dull prevent people from being interesting in following Supreme Court arguments that could have a profound affect on their lives.

Oliver’s solution is to make it interesting and his way of doing that are quite unique.  See for yourself:

So what can you take away from this (besides a good laugh)?  To engage people, you need to make what you are doing interesting.  When it comes to your website, video is a much better choice than static pictures (usually stock photos that have nothing to do with your practice) and words.

And don’t be afraid of using a little levity when it’s appropriate.  Humor is one of the best ways to interest people in getting to know you better. 

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FREE Webinar Tomorrow, Oct. 23:  7 Tips to Finding Speaking Opportunities

How would you like to have one to two speaking engagements scheduled in your calendar each month?

Imagine how many people in your local community you could meet, how many would learn to trust you and contact you first with their legal questions ... and how your practice could grow as a result!

If you'd like to learn how to find speaking opportunities but have no idea where to start, I invite you to join Cindy Greenway, Editor-in-Chief at LawMarketing.com for 7 Tips to Finding Speaking Opportunities, a free webinar on Thursday, October 23. 

In this fast paced ­30-minute webinar, you will discover:

3 mistakes attorneys make when it comes to finding and securing speaking opportunities

3 ways you can use social media to increase your chances of being the first to know about potential opportunities

7 tools and tips that you can implement immediately to keep informed about upcoming events that serve your target market

Simply click here to learn more and to reserve your spot.  Everyone who registers will receive a free copy of the recording to watch at his or her convenience.

How to Hit the Sweet Spot for All Your Online Posts

When research points the way to how you can most effectively market your firm online, that is hitting the sweet spot.

Social media tracking firm SumAll partnered with BufferApp in creating the infographic below that sums up current market research done on the optimal length for posts on social media platforms. 

Here is the data represented in this clever infographic:

Twitter:  tweets of less than 100 characters have a 17% higher engagement rate.

Facebook:  posts with 40 characters receive 86% more engagement than those with a higher character count.

Google+:  ideal character count is 60 for maximum engagement.

YouTube:  the most popular videos are 3 minutes or less.

LinkedIn:  25 words is the optimal length for a post on LinkedIn.

Email:  subject lines of 28-39 characters enjoy a higher open rate.

Blogs:  6 words is optimal for headlines and 1,600 words for the blog itself. 74% of posts that are read are under three minutes long and 94% are under six minutes.

FREE Webinar Oct. 23: 7 Tips to Finding Speaking Opportunities

How would you like to have one to two speaking engagements scheduled in your calendar each month?

Imagine how many people in your local community you could meet, how many would learn to trust you and contact you first with their legal questions ... and how your practice could grow as a result!

If you'd like to learn how to find speaking opportunities but have no idea where to start, I invite you to join Cindy Greenway, Editor-in-Chief at LawMarketing.com for 7 Tips to Finding Speaking Opportunities, a free webinar on Thursday, October 23. 

In this fast paced ­30-minute webinar, you will discover:

  • 3 mistakes attorneys make when it comes to finding and securing speaking opportunities
  • 3 ways you can use social media to increase your chances of being the first to know about potential opportunities
  • 7 tools and tips that you can implement immediately to keep informed about upcoming events that serve your target market

Simply click here to learn more and to reserve your spot.  Everyone who registers will receive a free copy of the recording to watch at his or her convenience.

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FREE REPORT:  How to Use Public Speaking to Become a Recognized Expert

One of the biggest builders of credibility and an important key in becoming a recognized expert is speaking on your area of law practice at local or regional events.

So why doesn’t every attorney do it?

What we hear from many attorneys that we work with is that they’d rather jump out of an airplane without a parachute than speak in public.

But if you do it right, you can generate business as well as enhance your reputation as a solid and recognized expert.

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • How to make sure you’re speaking in front of the right people
  • Different approaches to conquer your fear of public speaking
  • How much information to share with your audience
  • How to follow-up in order to generate business
  • …And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on How to Use Public Speaking to Become a Recognized Expert.