The Rainmaker Blog

The Rainmaker Blog

Law firm marketing and business development strategies

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How Law Firms Can Use Dashboards to Save Time, Increase Productivity and Close More Cases

Posted in Law Firm Management

How Law Firms Can Use Dashboards to Save Time, Increase Productivity and Close More CasesDo 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.  It can give insights when analyzing what marketing works better, which cases make you more money, and which attorney converts higher.

Listen in to our free webinar as the Chief Operating Officer from one of the top personal injury law firms in the nation explains how their law firm went from paper and pen to a very sophisticated dashboard and how it significantly improved their productivity and profitability!

Rainmaker Institute CEO Stephen Fairley and law firm management expert Micki Love, COO of Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers, lead you through this free webinar 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.

Register online now to get immediate access to the free one-hour webinar on How Law Firms Can Use Dashboards to Save Time, Increase Productivity and Close More Cases.

How Lawyers Can Stop Failing at Facebook

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

I had a comment on one of my Facebook posts the other day saying that, for attorneys, Facebook is a waste of time because you’re just preaching to the choir. The writer said that your friends on Facebook are already your friends in real life, so why waste time on it for business purposes.

He couldn’t be more wrong.

I currently have 4,894 friends on my Stephen Fairley Facebook profile page. I also have a Facebook fan page for my business, The Rainmaker Institute, with thousands of fans. I post a lot of the same stuff on both pages because I am the very public face of my company. But any personal stuff I post I keep on my profile page. People know they can get the business tips and freebies in both places, plus they can see my photos from my travels on my profile page. It works for me.

How do I know it works? We are currently getting 150-300 leads per month from social media, including Facebook. It is certainly something that is well worth our time.

One of the most difficult things attorneys who want to succeed on Facebook face is getting a good fan base. I came across this excellent infographic from Quicksprout that tells you, step-by-step, how to grow your Facebook fan base. If you implement these steps, you will see your sphere of influence on Facebook grow.

How Lawyers Can Stop Failing at Facebook

Learn How Your Law Firm Can Break the 7-Figure Barrier

Posted in Law Firm Development, Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing for Solos

Learn How Your Law Firm Can Break the 7-Figure BarrierFor the solo practitioner or small law firm, breaking the 7-figure barrier in profits is often considered an unobtainable goal.  But there are ways to accomplish this, and you shouldn’t let lack of knowledge stand in your way.

I recently interviewed small business guru Michael Gerber, who INC Magazine has called “The World’s #1 Small Business Guru,” on how attorneys can take their firm to the next level of success.

As the author of a number of books on entrepreneurship, including the best selling Awakening the Entrepreneur Within and The E-Myth Revisited, Michael is arguably the most famous consultant for small companies. He coined the phrase “working on your business versus working in your business,” which has become the mantra for tens of thousands of business owners.

Michael has worked with over 70,000 small business owners over the last 40 years, teaching business owners who possess significant technical skills but few business skills how to transform their companies into world-class organizations.

The time I spent with Michael was transformative for my own business, and I know what he has to teach can transform yours as well. That is why we have created a new FREE audio interview that you can access at Breaking the 7 Figure Barrier: An Explosive Interview with Small Business Guru Michael Gerber.

In this exclusive interview, Michael discusses with me:

  • How the E-Myth Principles apply to law firms
  • The 4 stages of business and how to move from a job to a practice to a business to an enterprise
  • How to compete in an aggressive marketplace like legal
  • Why services don’t matter anymore and the power of differentiation
  • How to build a law firm that works without you
  • Why you must shift the conversations you have with prospects from money to value and how to do this
  • Tips to creating a lifestyle law firm

Sign up now to get this free interview and we will send you a link to download the audio interview as well as a PDF transcript.

Why Law Firms Need Marketing Automation

Posted in Law Firm Management, Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing Strategies

Why Law Firms Need Marketing AutomationCould you still do your job without the Internet? Yes, you probably could. But would you want to? The Internet has become an indispensible tool for everyone and I certainly could never envision doing my job without it.

Compared with how things used to be before it, the Internet is almost like having super powers.   It makes you smarter. It makes you faster. It allows you to get more things done in a day. It saves you money. It opens up new opportunities. It lets you meet interesting people you’d never have met before. The list goes on and on.

I use this as an analogy, between what marketing was before automation and what it is today with automation.

Marketing automation software automates, streamlines and measures your marketing tasks. It makes you smarter, faster and more efficient. You use it for email marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, lead conversion, client retention, ROI measurements and more.

Among many things, marketing automation allows you to:

  • Identify, track and engage prospects online
  • Segment your prospects for targeted messaging
  • Nurture leads through drip email campaigns with no human intervention necessary
  • Create and manage lead-generating landing pages
  • Measure the revenue contribution of every email, e-newsletter or other marketing effort

Email marketing is one of the most effective uses of marketing automation. Consider these statistics:

  • Companies that automate emails are 133% more likely to send messages that coincide with the purchase cycle of their customers.
  • Relevant emails drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails.
  • Personalized emails generate up to 6x higher revenue than non-personalized emails.
  • The #1 reported benefit of email marketing automation is the creation of more and better leads.
  • Automated emails get 119% higher click rates than broadcast emails.

Most attorneys have a finite amount of time to dedicate to legal marketing, so having a process in place that nurtures a lead along the path to becoming a client and having data that demonstrates the most effective marketing tools for your law firm is a great benefit. That is what marketing automation delivers.

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newsletter on tabletThe Automatic Newsletter: How to Get Your Newsletter Done in Just 45 Minutes a Month

An “old fashioned” newsletter is still among the most profitable and reliable ways to generate a predictable flow of potential new and recurring clients.  Your firm’s newsletter can be inexpensive, reliable…and when done right, a welcomed (not a pesky) form of marketing for your clients.

What if there was an easy and reliable way to get your newsletter done in JUST 45 minutes a month? That’s LESS TIME than it will take you to watch this information-packed webinar, where you will learn:

  • Exactly WHY an “old fashioned” newsletter packs such a powerful punch for your marketing dollars.
  • A proven strategy for producing a newsletter that will make it fun and easy to make, and keep, your monthly commitment.
  • A template you can begin to use right away to produce a monthly newsletter that will get noticed and appreciated.
  • An actual case study to help you get your newsletter DONE in less than 20 minutes each month.
  • The real world ROI of newsletters as a proven staple of your marketing campaign.

To access the recording of this webinar, just follow this link: The Automatic Newsletter: How to Get Your Newsletter Done in Just 45 Minutes a Month.

 

 

 

Dinosaur No More: Lawyers in NY and FL Told to Up Their Tech Game

Posted in Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing Strategies

Dinosaur No More: Lawyers in NY and FL Told to Up Their Tech Game Earlier this month, the New York State Bar Association released its updated Social Media Ethics Guidelines, based on its belief that, “As use of social media by lawyers and clients continues to grow and as social media networks proliferate and become more sophisticated, so too do the ethical issues facing lawyers.”

My friend Kevin O’Keefe at LexBlog received a courtesy copy of the new guidelines and blogged about his reaction to them here.

I agree with many of Kevin’s points, chief among them his questioning the need for more ethics guidelines every time technology or society advances. Lawyers know the rules for ethical behavior. It stands to reason if you can’t do something here, then you shouldn’t do it there. If you’re not allowed to advertise your results in a print ad or on a billboard, then the same should apply for websites and social media. Do we really need special rules every time a new mode of communication is introduced?

The NY Bar guidelines go further, however, than extending existing ethics rules to social media. They now seek to require attorneys to “be conversant with, at a minimum, the basics of each social media network that a lawyer or his or her client may use.”

Take a look at this Wikipedia list of major active social networking websites and see how many of these you feel you are “conversant with.”

Hopefully, you do know the basics of the social media networks you are already on — but what about those your clients are on? You have a mom for a client? Maybe she is on CafeMom. Have a client who loves to read? Maybe they’re on LibraryThing. Got a client who’s into video games? Better get conversant with Raptr! See how silly this can get….

As they say in the Ginsu knife commercial: But wait, there’s more…

Recently, the Florida Courts Technology Commission told attorneys that they are responsible for stripping all the metadata from e-filed documents to protect their clients from potential identity theft.

Florida attorneys were already required to strip off any personal identifying information — account numbers and the like — from client documents submitted through the Florida court system’s e-filing system. However, this information still exists in the file’s metadata — and when that file is posted online as required by the state Supreme Court, it’s fair game for scammers and thieves.

Court clerks have also submitted a proposal to the FCTC that would require attorneys to indemnify them if an attorney fails to identify any confidential information and it is accidentally made public.

The FCTC has recommended the addition of a notice to the e-filing system that states, “Warning: Removal of document metadata is the responsibility of the filer. Any document metadata remaining may become part of the public record.”

That warning would include a link to a YouTube video that explains what metadata is and how to remove it.

You are conversant with YouTube, aren’t you?

7 Effective Ways to Respond to a Negative Online Review

Posted in Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing Strategies

7 Effective Ways to Respond to a Negative Online ReviewPeople are not looking for perfection from you; what matters is how you address problems by being transparent, genuinely concerned and responding positively. Here are seven effective ways to address a negative online review:

1.  Contact the review site.

If the review is flagrantly false, defamatory or you can prove a disgruntled former employee or competitor submitted it, you can contact the review site and ask for its removal. Just be sure you can prove what you say. In my experience, it’s unlikely they will edit or remove the offending review, but it still doesn’t hurt to ask them to in a professional manner.

2.  Address the problem quickly, professionally and positively.

Respond directly to the review on the site and tell the reviewer you are sorry about their experience and that you want to correct the problem immediately. Be positive in your response! Let them know that while a vast majority of your clients have very positive experiences with your firm, it concerns you that there is one client who has been disappointed. Encourage them to contact you directly to try and resolve the issue. That shows other readers you are responsive and care about what people think.

Note: Yelp uses an algorithm to determine the “legitimacy” of reviews and often hides reviews in the filtered reviews section at the bottom of each page. Even legitimate, 5-star reviews can be found there, especially if they are from first-time reviewers. If that’s the case on your page, don’t be shy about drawing attention to these reviews in your commentary. Many people don’t know where to find the hidden reviews. This is another reason why I do not recommend you invest time asking people to review you on Yelp. Avvo is a much better platform for attorney reviews. LinkedIn is a great place if you are a B2B attorney.

3.  Try to fix the problem.

If there is some way for you to contact the reviewer directly, then do so. If you are not able to do this, then ask them in the comment thread to contact you so you can work with them on a satisfactory resolution.

4.  Ask for an updated review.

Don’t be shy about asking someone who posted an initial negative review to remove it or update it once they are satisfied that you have taken care of their problem. If they don’t do it, then provide your own commentary in the post thread that indicates the problem has been resolved.

5.  Set up a business page on multiple review sites.

There are over 100 different review sites. You should set up and maintain listings on all the major ones. Here are just a few: Google (very important), Avvo, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Merchant Circle, Yelp, Bing, City Search, Hotfrog, Superpages, Kudzu, Trip Advisor, Yellowbook, Dex Knows, Yellow Bot, Local, Best of the Web, Nolo and Four Square.

6.  Set up alerts.

Many of those sites allow you to set up an alert so you can be notified directly whenever a new review hits the site. In addition, set up an alert for your firm and each attorney on Google Alerts (https://www.google.com/alerts).

7. Proactively encourage client feedback.

Prevention is always cheaper than treatment! Be proactive in seeking out client feedback as you work the case, and conduct an exit interview following the conclusion of every client’s legal matter to ensure they have been satisfied with your services. Giving your client a direct voice in expressing any dissatisfaction may prevent them from taking it out on you online.

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How to Develop Your Law Firm Marketing PlanFREE Online Seminar:  How to 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 — there is one tomorrow, June 23, at noon ET/9 a.m. PT — or you can choose a date that 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.

 

 

New FREE Report: 10 Steps to Jumpstart Your LinkedIn Presence & Get More Referrals Fast

Posted in Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing for Solos, Legal Marketing Strategies, Strategic Referrals

New FREE Report:  10 Steps to Jumpstart Your LinkedIn Presence & Get More Referrals FastLinkedIn may be the most powerful social media tool for lawyers and litigators!

In my new FREE report — 10 Steps to Jumpstart Your LinkedIn Presence & Get More Referrals Fast — I’m going to show you how you can leverage LinkedIn to generate more and better referrals while connecting with clients in 10 simple steps.

What this free report has to offer:

  • Strategy: The exact strategy attorneys are using to get referrals from LinkedIn
  • SEO: How to optimize your profile for Google and other search engines
  • Avoid Common Mistakes: The biggest mistakes lawyers make and how to avoid them
  • Increase Profile Views: How participating in one feature can increase your profile views by 400%
  • Improve Profile Content: What to include and leave off your profile
  • Referral Sources: Where to find the best referral sources on LinkedIn

The ABA estimates over 90% of attorneys already have a profile on LinkedIn, but most of them have no idea of how to tap into the full potential of this powerful platform. To ignore it is the proverbial equivalent of sticking your head in the sand.

Learning how to use LinkedIn to your biggest advantage can take a lot of time and effort, but in this free report I’m going to cut to the chase and give you the exact steps you need to follow to tap into the vast resources on LinkedIn.

Whether you’re new to LinkedIn or you’ve been on it for years, I’m going to share with you the “paint-by-the-numbers” approach I’ve taught to thousands of attorneys who paid thousands of dollars to learn!

So why am I giving this away now for free?

I’m on a mission to double the revenues of 10,000 law firms in the next 5 years and if I’m going to achieve my goal, I need to get the word out fast and in a big way!

By giving you the tools to help you succeed on LinkedIn for free, I believe some of you will want to take the next step towards doubling your revenues and I’ll be the one you turn to for help.

Download your FREE report now on the 10 Steps to Jumpstart Your LinkedIn Presence & Get More Referrals Fast.

I also invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn at: http://rainmaker.mylinkinvitation.com. Want immediate help launching a referral marketing campaign on LinkedIn? Call 888-588-5891.

 

Don’t Miss What I’m Sharing Right Now at The State Bar of California Solo & Small Firm Summit

Posted in Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing for Solos, Legal Marketing Strategies

Don’t Miss What I’m Sharing Right Now at The State Bar of California Solo & Small Firm SummitOver the next two days, I’m making four presentations to more than 300 attorneys attending The State Bar of California Solo & Small Firm Summit in Newport Beach.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

What Do You Want? Moving from a Job to a Law Practice and from a Law Practice to a Business

Many attorneys in small firms continue to struggle year after year, finding just enough clients to keep them busy, but never able to move to the next level. In this hard-hitting session you will learn the three stages of growth for law firms, the ingredients for moving from a job to a law practice, and the three keys for taking your practice and building a 7-figure business.

15 Deadly Sins That Will Destroy Your Law Firm Client Intake & Kill Your Conversion Rate

We have secret shopped more than 1,000 law firms and discovered the biggest mistakes they make when trying to convert contacts into contracts. Discover the five biggest mistakes attorneys make when answering the phone, three tips you can immediately apply to double your conversion rate, why you may not ever want to do another phone consultation, and how a small law firm doubled their revenues in 6 months…without spending any more money on marketing.

Social Media Strategy: Using Facebook and LinkedIn to Get More Referrals

According to the ABA, more than 90% of attorneys are on LinkedIn, but very few of them generate any referrals from it. Facebook is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools, but it’s overlooked by most attorneys. In this fast-paced session you will learn the top 10 steps to jumpstart your referrals on LinkedIn, how to use Facebook to connect with potential clients and referral sources, and three low-cost marketing tools for maximizing your results from social media.

7 Keys to Building a Referral-based Law Firm

Every attorney wants a referral-based practice, but most attorneys struggle to consistently get enough referrals. In this fast-paced session learn about the three biggest reasons why you’re not getting more referrals and what to do about it, how to create a plan to double your referrals in the next six months, and discover the four most commonly overlooked places to increase your referrals.

If you’re wishing you could have been in my audience, there is a way for you to get all this great information and tips for building a successful law firm. Attend a Rainmaker Retreat! I share much of this same information at our intensive two-day law firm marketing workshop. Here are the upcoming dates:

July 17-18, 2015 — Atlanta, GA

August 21-22, 2015 — Las Vegas, NV

You can register online for a Rainmaker Retreat or call 888-588-5891 for more information.  National Trial Lawyers members receive a discount. Please contact National Trial Lawyers at 866-665-2852 to receive the discount code.

 

5 Questions to Ask Clients Leaving Your Law Firm

Posted in Law Firm Development, Law Firm Management

5 Questions to Ask Clients Leaving Your Law FirmClients can leave a law firm for a number of reasons. Typically, if you’ve done a good job, they are leaving because the matter is finished. Sometimes, they leave because they’re unhappy. And sometimes they leave because you ask them to go.

Conducting exit interviews with clients who are leaving you — for whatever reason — is essential. Yes, it can sometimes be comfortable. But it is almost always beneficial, since the insights you gain can be used to improve your firm in ways that will eventually lead to more business and happier clients.

Here are 5 critical questions you need to ask clients leaving your firm:

1.  Are we easy to do business with?

This will give you insights into how your operational system is — or is not — working to increase client satisfaction.

2.  What did you like about our services?

This answer will not only provide you with information on what your client found most important, but also what they wish you offered that you currently do not. There may be some opportunities for new services you could provide that would mean incremental income for your firm.

3.  What could we have done differently?

Clients usually let small annoyances slide, but those can build up over time. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what is lacking that you can easily fix so you can rid your firm of irritating or unproductive practices?

4.  Did our team communicate effectively with you?

The #1 complaint bar associations get from clients is that their attorneys do a poor job of communicating with them. If your team is not doing what they should to keep clients up to date on their legal matters, you need to know it and fix it.

5.  Did we meet expectations?

A negative answer to this question can tell you if your firm is doing a poor job of either setting or managing client expectations, or if you are failing to meet them altogether. Then you can work to prevent similar failures in the future.

H/t to: HubSpot Agency Post

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GrowthLadder copyFree On-Demand Webinar: 6 Key Numbers Every Attorney Must Know

There are six key financial numbers every lawyer running and growing a business needs to understand and review every month. Unfortunately, many attorneys don’t have the systems in place to obtain these numbers or they don’t know which numbers are the most critical to their business.

If you don’t know your numbers you cannot build a financially successful law firm! This webinar will provide you with the tools you need to accurately gauge the financial stability and health of your business.

In this information-packed webinar you will discover:

  • The 6 key financial numbers you need to track
  • How to determine your cash flow position so you can plan for future growth
  • Core components of a solid chart of accounts
  • The true cost of Accounts Receivables and how to collect more of them
  • How to set up and live by a monthly business budget
  • What a budget variance report is and why you need one
  • The importance of your balance sheet and how to create one

Register online now to access the free one-hour webinar on the 6 Key Numbers Every Attorney Must Know.

6 Steps to Improve Your Lead Conversion

Posted in Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing Strategies

6 Steps to Improving Your Lead ConversionThe average consumer attorney only converts 5-15 percent of their leads into paying clients (out of 100 leads they sign up 5-15 new clients). However, by using a systematic approach to lead conversion, you can increase your lead conversion rate to 25-35 percent.

Here are six steps to improving your lead conversion:

1.  You must have a dedicated intake specialist.

No attorney or paralegal will go after a lead with the kind of persistence and dedication it takes to convert them. If you are not willing to hire a dedicated intake specialist and train them to go after leads like a pit bull, then you are wasting your money on generating leads.

2.  There must be a sense of urgency when following up with the lead.

Research by velocify.com indicates conversion rates drop precipitously if you fail to follow up within five minutes after the lead comes in. The same study found your lead conversion rate drops by half if your first follow up attempt goes from five to 10 minutes!

3.  Your intake specialist must call them a minimum of 7-10 times before giving up.

No, that is not a typo. If you want to convert leads, you will have to work harder than anyone else. There should be three calls made the first day: one within five minutes, a second call within about an hour and the third by the end of the day. Two more calls should be made the next day, then two more the day after that, then ideally one per day for the next two-three days.

4.  You need to send them 3-5 emails in addition to the phone calls.

These emails should be educational in nature and subtly inform them of why they should call you and set up an appointment.

5.  You must track every single lead.

How many of these leads turn into appointments? How many of your appointments show up? How many sign up at the initial consultation? How many sign up afterward? By tracking your leads, you can discover the disconnects in your intake process and fix them.

6.  Use lead conversion software.

There are three components to a successful law firm: staff, software and systems. You need the right people running a lead conversion software (this is completely different from practice management software) and following a precise system of intake and lead conversion.

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FREE Webinar June 17:  How to Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

Join me tomorrow at Noon ET/ 9 a.m. PT for a free 60-minute legal marketing webinar: Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan.

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:

  • help meHow 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 Fairley 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.

You will also get a sneak preview of the 65 different marketing strategies taught at our 2-day legal marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat.

If tomorrow doesn’t work for you, 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.