Top 3 Reasons Attorneys Fail to Grow Their Practices & What You Can Do to Succeed

Law firm marketing is a complex and competitive business. And there are many reasons why certain law firms fail to grow or even fail to survive.

However, in my working with more than 10,000 attorneys over the years, I’ve come to find that there are essentially 3 main reasons why attorneys fail to grow their practices:


1.  Lack of time. This is the single biggest complaint we hear. You’re stressed for time. You barely have time to serve your clients, much less market your practice. Not to mention spend time with your family.

2.  Lack of strategy. From a marketing perspective, a comprehensive strategy to grow your law firm is essential to your long-term success. Otherwise, you and your team lack direction.

3.  Lack of systems. There are several simple systems attorneys can use to create a “lifestyle law firm”—a firm that supports the lifestyle you want to lead, rather than one that dominates your life.

These “lacks” can be overcome so that you can create that lifestyle law practice you desire.  Many of our clients are proof of that.

Isn't it about time you started growing your practice, instead of struggling just to get by?

If you are continually asking yourself, "What are the most effective ways to bring in new clients?", then you need to get yourself to a Rainmaker Retreat, where we will teach you a proven system that will bring you several new clients every month.

Learn our proven system at the Rainmaker Retreat, our 2-day marketing boot camp, at our next session in San Antonio, TX  on Friday, April 25 & Saturday, April 26. 

Right now, we are offering a special $200 discount for the San Antonio Rainmaker Retreat.  Just use the special code SAN when you register online.

I guarantee these two days will transform your practice.

Free LawMarketing.com Webinar on Creating Engaging Blog Content & Getting More Exposure Online

Hundreds of top law firms write new blog content every month, but most of their posts are never read by their top prospects! 

What can you do so prospects want to continually read your blog posts?

You probably already know that content marketing is a top strategy to attracting and building relationships with new leads. Consumers are turning to the Internet like never before to research answers to legal questions BEFORE they even consider calling an attorney or scheduling a consultation.

On Thursday, April 24, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, LawMarketing.com Editor-in-Chief Cindy Greenway will present a free webinar on 7 Tips to Creating Blog Content That Makes Prospects Want to Read! ... And 3 Tips to Get More Exposure Online.

In this fast paced 60-minute webinar, you will discover:

  • How to create a no-fail content marketing plan for your law practice that can run without you
  • 3 tips to brainstorming key topics to write about, specifically for your target
  • 4 ways to repurpose your blog content and gain additional visibility
  • Where to find help writing blog content when you get overwhelmed
  • How to get your staff involved in supporting your content marketing strategy

Sign up for this FREE webinar and learn specific step-by-step guidance on how to easily create and implement a solid content marketing plan for your law firm.

Here's One Banker Who Can Really Help Your Law Firm Grow

Meet Wally Hayes (that’s him on the right), vice president of Bank of America Practice Solutions and one banker who can really help your law firm grow.

If you’ve attended any of our West Coast Rainmaker Retreat sessions, you may have met Wally.  I’ve had him speak a few times, and he’ll be at the Las Vegas Rainmaker Retreat on May 30-31.  I wouldn’t waste your time, or mine, if I didn’t think he had something important to convey to attorneys who may need some financial assistance for things that can contribute to your firm’s viability but that you may not have available cash to fund.

First, a little background:  Bank of America started its Practice Solutions group 18 years ago to provide lending to health care professionals – doctors, dentists and veterinarians.  It turned out to be a great business model for them, so they expanded it three years ago to include attorneys, CPAs and insurance professionals.

Here are the lending products Bank of America Practice Solutions offers for attorneys:

Partnership buy-in program – if you are ready to be a partner in your firm but lack the cash for the buy-in, you can obtain financing for up to 10% ownership in the business (up to $200,000).  BofA offers flexible payment options to fit your firm’s capital distribution schedule, and loan terms can be for up to 10 years.

Express loan program – BofA can lend an attorney up to $75,000 via an express loan application that they can typically turn around within 24 hours.   These funds can be used for marketing expenses, consulting fees, technology hardware, software, or even upgrading office furniture. 

Practice debt consolidation program – attorneys can leverage the equity in their practice to consolidate business-related expenses.  BofA will lend up to 65% of annual revenue to improve cash flow and lower monthly expenditures.

Commercial real estate program – this conventional loan product provides loans up to $5 million for the purchase or refinance of commercial real estate.  This is a 85% loan to value program, so attorneys will need a 15% down payment.  Terms include six months no payment, 12 months interest-only option and a payment schedule of up to 25 years to keep payments affordable.

Line of credit – BofA lends up to 10% of a firm’s previous year’s revenue.  Minimum loan amount is $10,000.

None of these loan products are tied to SBA lending, and they don’t provide loans for firm acquisitions.  Plus, you can’t just walk into your local BofA branch to get one; you’ll need to reach out to Wally via email at wally.hayes@bankofamerica.com or at 614-572-7644.

You can go here to learn more about Bank of America Practice Solutions for attorneys.

Of course, I am most excited about this program’s ability to provide working capital to attorneys and law firms for marketing consulting expenses.  There are so many lawyers we speak with who want to invest in marketing to take their firms to the next level, but don’t always have the cash on hand to do it.  This program is an affordable way to fund your dream of a more profitable practice.  Can’t beat that!

5 Tips for Fixing Your LinkedIn Profile

I see a lot of attorney profiles on LinkedIn, since I connect with many of our clients and those who have attended our Rainmaker Retreat. And what I see mostly is room for improvement.

LinkedIn has become the de facto online Rolodex for keeping up with contacts and referral sources, and is a must for B2B law firms seeking ways to connect with prospects. So why wouldn’t you do your best to put your best foot forward at all times?

Here are 5 tips for fixing your LinkedIn profile:

1. Assess your goals. Why are you on LinkedIn? If it’s to market your firm, then you need to be sure your profile page reflects everything your firm is about, and that starts with loading it with great keywords to attract the broadest possible audience.

2. Kill the clutter. If you have basically uploaded your resume and it reflects all the jobs you’ve held since college, kill the entries that have nothing to do with what you do now.

3. Be personable. Add some flair so people know you as a person. People hire people, not profiles.

4. Include your photo. If you don’t have a photo uploaded yet, do it. A photo acts as your logo; a bad one does nothing for you and a missing one tells people you don’t care. Your photo should reflect who you are as a professional, so skip the vacation photo.

5. Get recommendations. Testimonials are irresistible to read, and tell people visiting your page what it’s like to work with you.

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New On Demand Webinar:  How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn

The Rainmaker Institute’s business development specialist Alec Borenstein is featured on this online webinar that is now available on demand:  From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn.

Most attorneys already have a profile on LinkedIn, but very few know how to effectively use it to build a powerful referral network. With over 238 million professionals on LinkedIn, it has become one of the easiest ways to rapidly identify strategic contacts and build relationships with them!

In this advanced, information-packed 60-minute webinar you’ll learn:

  • How to generate targeted connections using LinkedIn
  • How to join and create LinkedIn groups to target your key referral sources and clients
  • Tools to land 2-4 lunches every month with your connections and referral partners
  • What to say during these meetings to ensure prospects remember you
  • How to follow up after your LinkedIn lunch

Click on this link now to access the one-hour webinar, From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn.

What is a "Lifestyle" Law Firm?

Do you have a 'lifestyle' law firm?

My short video explains what that means:

Every attorney that I have ever met wants one, but not everyone knows how to achieve it.

I do! I have worked with over 10,000 attorneys and have shown them the exact color-by-the-numbers system that has helped create 7-8 figure law firms.

Now it's your turn to attend a Rainmaker Retreat this month in San Antonio and get it too.

Click the link below to hear other attorneys tell you in their own words about their experience at the Rainmaker Retreat. You will also see the dates and locations of upcoming retreats and how you can get registered to attend.

www.RainmakerRetreat.com/free-legal-marketing-dvd/

I'd like to help you achieve a 'lifestyle' law firm. Join me and other like-minded attorneys at the next Rainmaker Retreat where you will get the tools and system to make this a reality. 

5 Ways to Prove Your Law Firm is the Best Choice

I talk a lot about the importance of differentiating your firm by focusing your marketing efforts on communicating your unique competitive advantage – the benefits a client gets from working with you, the value you provide, the results you’ve gotten for past clients and the creative solutions you employ to solve legal issues.

Once you’ve got your UCA down cold, you can then go about spreading the good word.  Here are some effective ways to do that:

Testimonials. If it’s not barred by your state bar, then testimonials on your website are a good way to verify that people who have used your services are happy with the outcome. It is even better to have testimonials on your behalf on third-party websites like Avvo, Yelp! or Google.

Social proof. Being visible on social networks and having a good crop of followers lets those considering your services get more comfortable with the idea of hiring you – we have a strong herd mentality, and like to know we’re not alone.

Case studies. Posting relevant case studies to your website and your blog that are written for the average person (not another lawyer) can be very effective.

Videos. Populating your website and blog with videos that give prospects a feel for what it would be like to do business with you is another good way to showcase your skills.

Third-party endorsements. If you’ve been profiled in an article or interviewed in the media, post those interviews and articles on your website.

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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.

Law Firm Marketing Seminar Coming to San Antonio on April 25-26

The Rainmaker Retreat, a two-day law firm marketing seminar that focuses on the unique challenges facing small law firms and attorneys in mid-sized practices, will be held in San Antonio, Texas, on April 25 & 26 at the Courtyard San Antonio Riverwalk.

Each Rainmaker Retreat session focuses on the unique challenges facing small law firms and attorneys in mid-sized practices, providing advanced hands-on training for lead generation, legal marketing automation, and Internet and social media marketing strategies specifically designed to help attorneys generate more and better referrals for their law firm, and convert more prospects into paying clients.

“The Rainmaker’s lead conversion system is unlike any other conversion process I have ever seen,” said Patrick Wright, a family law solo practitioner from Dallas.  “If I didn’t attend the Rainmaker Retreat, I would have never learned this system. I would recommend this retreat to any attorney who wants to beat their competition and gain more clients.”

At each Rainmaker Retreat, we dive deep into how to market your law firm using 65 proven low cost and no cost strategies, how to leverage technology to attract and follow up with prospects, ways to generate more referrals from former clients, and low cost tools and methods to better manage their business development efforts.

The San Antonio Rainmaker Retreat is open to all attorneys and law firm staff and will be held all day Friday and Saturday, April 25-26, 2014.

An added bonus is that this Rainmaker Retreat is being held during the annual San Antonio River Walk Arts and Crafts Show, so there will be plenty of entertainment just outside your hotel when you finish your daily sessions!

For more information and to register online, visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 888-588-5891.

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FREE Online Seminar:  Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

Join Stephen Fairley for a free 60-minute legal marketing webinar: Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan, where you will learn...

A proven legal marketing system that has helped 10,000 attorneys convert more prospects into paying clients.

Step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

Effective strategies to win clients in today's hyper-competitive online focused marketplace.

Creating a marketing plan for your law firm is the first step in building a foundation for a profitable future.  During this complimentary webinar, learn:

  • How to target market to get your ideal client 
  • Why your firm is not getting more referrals and how to change it
 
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
 
  • Effective online and offline marketing strategies
 
  • How to create a financial plan to fund your marketing budget
 
  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
 
  • 4 ways to create a unique competitive advantage
 
  • What is critical to have in place for today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

Stephen will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

There are several sessions of this free webinar scheduled; you can choose what works best for you from the drop-down menu when you click on the following link to register online for our FREE Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan online seminar.

What You Need to Know About Marketing to Older Americans

If the target market for your legal services includes older Americans – those 65+ -- you will be interested in a new study out from Pew Internet Research on Older Adults and Technology Use that was released late last week.

Today, nearly 60% of Americans over the age of 65 go online, a six percent increase over one year ago.   Not surprisingly, older Americans continue to lag behind younger Americans when it comes to embracing technology:

However, the fact is that they are embracing it – 71% of older Internet users say they go online every day and 27% participate on social media networks. 

The study found that older Americans differ from the general population in terms of the devices they own.  While a majority of younger American adults own smartphones, for those 65+,  tablets and e-book readers surpass smartphone ownership.

When looking at the group of older Americans who use the Internet, certain demographic factors for this population stand out:

  • 74% of those aged 65-69 go online
  • 90% of online seniors have an annual household income of $75,000 or higher
  • 87% of online seniors have a college degree
  • More senior men than women are online (55% vs. 45%)

The research revealed that once seniors are online, the Internet quickly becomes a part of their daily lives.  Like other Americans, the most frequent use of the Internet is for email – which makes an e-newsletter an attractive tool for attorneys seeking to market to this older, richer and more educated demographic.

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FREE REPORT:  8 Reasons Small Firms & Solos Should Publish an E-newsletter PLUS 3 Steps to Get Started

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:

  • 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
  • And much, much more!

To get your free report now, click here.

New Online Platform Connects Small Businesses with Attorneys

A new online platform that helps small businesses find attorneys was profiled today in the New York Times

Priori Legal, which started up last September, is the brainchild of two Yale Law School classmates inspired by the work they did in legal clinics that exposed them to an unmet need: affordable legal help for small business owners.

What makes Priori Legal different from online directories or legal services websites is that it vets attorneys and makes recommendations based on a small business owner’s specific legal needs.  To be able to offer services on the site, attorneys must fill out a comprehensive online application and submit to reference checks and interviews with Priori Legal staff.

Attorneys that offer their services on Priori Legal must agreed to discount their regular fees by 25% and provide prospective clients with a free half-hour consultation as well as information on pricing for expenses like filing fees and deadlines for delivering the work. 

Priori encourages attorneys to provide both hourly and fixed fee packages, and handles all the back office administration work, including invoicing and fee collection.   Clients pay Priori 10% of the attorney’s fees for use of the network.

Based in Manhattan, Priori Legal currently has more than 100 New York attorneys on the site and a few from other states as it seeks to expand its network nationwide.  It says it has already served hundreds of clients in New York state.

Attorneys currently participating in the network range from solo practitioners to those in firms of fewer than 50 attorneys.  Priori Legal says that 85% of potential clients who take the free half hour consultation go on to hire the attorney.

The site’s founders -- Basha Frost Rubin and Mirra Levitt – say that the site fills a need that small businesses have for transparency when it comes to legal fees.  They note that many small business owners are reluctant to retain counsel because they have no idea what it will cost and fear that a simple question could end up costing thousands of dollars.  Yet, competent legal advice can make a real difference in whether a small business is successful or not.

Priori Legal also features a blog with submissions from its network of attorneys.  For more information, visit www.priorilegal.com.

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On-Demand Seminar: How to Make Flat Fee Billing Work for Your Law Firm

Lee Rosen is one of America’s top divorce attorneys and practice management specialists who transformed his practice from relying on hourly billing to charging flat fee prices.

In Stephen Fairley’s one-hour interview with Lee, he explains in detail how he set out to fix his cash flow several years ago and in doing so he fundamentally changed his practice – for the better!

As a direct result of his “radical” decision to switch to flat fee billing (which many of his colleagues told him couldn’t be done), his revenues have never been higher, his profit margins are larger, and he’s building a lifestyle law firm!

Listen in as Lee and Stephen focus on hot topics like:

  • Why your clients will love flat fee billing
  • How to use flat fee pricing as a major differentiating factor
  • The inherent conflict of charging by the hour
  • Specific steps on how to position it with clients
  • Which practice areas can benefit from flat fee billing
  • Real world case study for consumer law attorneys
  • Practical considerations for litigation-based practices
  • How to improve your cash flow using flat fees
  • Best practices when implementing flat fee billing
  • 3 quick and easy ways to get started
  • Potential pitfalls to avoid when setting up your system

To access this exciting one-hour interview with Lee Rosen, click on this link:  How to Make Flat Fee Billing Work for Your Law Firm

5 Steps to Use Social Media Effectively for Business Development

One of the best reasons for attorneys to use social media is that it is a very cost effective business development tool. Here are 5 steps you can take to harness the effectiveness of social media for your law firm marketing efforts:

1. Set up a targeted landing page. Your landing page is separate from – but can be connected to – your website. It should feature content that addresses the specific needs of your target market and have one compelling call-to-action that gets them to connect with you.

2. On the landing page offer them something of value.  Offer visitors a free special report, audio CD or white paper on a topic of interest to them.  Again, it must address a specific need of your target market.

3. Drive traffic to your landing page by promoting it via your social media outlets. You can announce your free special report on your Facebook fan page, post a Tweet or promote by including the link to your LinkedIn account.

4. Visitors to your landing page can only obtain your valuable information if they give you their contact information (name, phone and email address) and by agreeing to opt into your database and be contacted by your law firm for further follow-up.

5. Use their contact information to follow up with them. When you connect with visitors to your landing page, you qualify them to see if they are a good prospect for you and then offer them a complimentary consultation, if that's part of your business model.

At The Rainmaker Institute, we have successfully used this exact process with attorneys across the country for almost a decade.  During this time we have generated thousands of qualified leads, for our company directly from our social media efforts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter!  

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NEW Free Report: How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn

With over 238 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn has quickly become THE ‘go to’ business-to-business directory and the most popular social networking platform dedicated to professional business development.

To ignore it is the proverbial equivalent of sticking your head in the sand.

Learning how to use LinkedIn to your biggest advantage takes time and effort, but it is time well spent.

If you are new to LinkedIn, it can be confusing, much like any new software that you need to learn to grow your business.

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

  • What LinkedIn can help you accomplish
  • Valuable LinkedIn features that can increase the power of your network
  • Smart ways top attorneys use LinkedIn
  • What your profile needs in order to be effective
  • How to make people want to know more about you
  • And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn.