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The Rainmaker Blog

Law firm marketing and business development strategies

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When to Post on Social Media for Best Results

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

Because it’s April Fool’s Day, let me say that it would be foolish to waste the efficacy of your social media posts by not paying attention to readily available data that tells you exactly when it’s prime time for you to post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other networks.

Courtesy of Quicksprout, below is a guide on the best days of the week and times to post for each social network. Print it out and give it to the person responsible for your law firm’s social media marketing. If you’ve been measuring your social media marketing as you should but haven’t been strategically posting as this guide suggests, track your posts from here on out to see if you get better results through strategic scheduling.

If you do, great. It didn’t cost you a dime to get better results. If you don’t get a bump in traffic, shares or likes, then go back to what you were doing before if you like. No harm done.

You see, sometimes marketing is like creating a perfect soufflé. You need to test and tweak to get the best rise from your efforts.

When to Post on Social Media for Best Results

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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.

 

How to Optimize Your Law Firm Marketing Emails For Better Results

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

I’m a big believer in data-driven marketing, so I found a recent post at the HubSpot blog to be very informative when it comes to refining my own company’s email marketing efforts.

HubSpot collaborated with Market Dominion Media to create the infographic below that is based on data from its 2014 Science of Email Report (you can get a free copy of the full report by clicking on the link).

Email marketing is by far the most cost effective and efficient way for attorneys to generate leads. So if your law firm marketing email program is not delivering for you, perhaps you are relying on outdated methods and old data. This infographic will bring you up to speed quickly on what you need to know to optimize your email for better results today:

How to Optimize Your Law Firm Marketing Emails For Better Results

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NEW 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.

Need Ideas for Facebook Posts? Here’s What’s Working Now

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

Good post today on the BufferSocial blog about 12 Facebook tactics they say are the best for getting attention and traction for your Facebook posts.

Here are the ones I find have worked best for me recently (like Google, Facebook has an algorithm that is regularly updated so what worked a few months ago may not be working for you so well today):

Native video. Posting native video (meaning posting a video directly on Facebook) gets better results than just posting a link from YouTube or Vimeo. Although any video is better than none at all. As you scroll through your Facebook feed, your eye is naturally drawn to video — and once drawn, it’s almost irresistible not to click and watch what others have seen and are commenting on. Post a native video on your home page for sure, since Facebook allows you to keep one in a prominent place on your site.

Quote photos. I’ve been using quote photos a lot lately. They are great for just putting a thought out there to stimulate conversation and people share the ones they like — which can result in lots of other people finding you.

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CTA button. Facebook allows you to add a call-to-action button on your home page so be sure you are taking advantage of this feature. You can choose from seven different CTAs: Book Now, Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up or Watch Video.

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Trending topics. Sharing trending topics of interest to your target market is a great way to post on Facebook when your own creative juices have run a little dry.

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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.

AmLaw 100 Firm Partner Says Marketing is Every Lawyer’s Job

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

AmLaw 100 Firm Partner Says Marketing is Every Lawyer’s JobJohn Quinn, name partner at AmLaw 100 business litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, made news recently with the simple contention that marketing is every lawyer’s job.

A couple of weeks ago, legal blog Above the Law got ahold of an internal Quinn Emanuel email that was sent firm-wide on a new prerequisite for firm associate and counsel bonuses: completion of a marketing project. The email noted that the project might “take the form of contributing to an article, a pitch, doing some background research on a potential case or client, or industry research.”

The email went on to say that time spent on the project is not included in the 100-hour non-billable allowance towards bonuses, but that it is “just something we are asking everyone to do as part of their contribution to the growth of the firm’s practice.” It stated that firm associates and counsel would be asked to identify their marketing projects in December in order for the firm to determine if they were eligible for a bonus.

While Above the Law called the idea a good one, it labeled the implementation of it “seriously flawed.”

But wait, there’s more.

Above the Law then followed up with an interview with John Quinn about the initiative and I found many of his insights spot-on. Especially this one:

Associates and counsel are a huge untapped resource. They have law school classmates who, after three to four years, have moved in-house and — guess what? — are participating in decisions about whom to retain. We’d like our lawyers to be comfortable knowing how to take advantage of these opportunities — really, how to create opportunities. If we are successful, this could be transformative.

When asked whether marketing is better left to marketing professionals, Quinn said that the premise that some people are marketers and others are not is wrong:

Whether they know it or not, all lawyers are marketers, making impressions for good or ill in the business and legal community. A very few are naturally good, some get good by working at it, some are oblivious, and some are just bad. We should find a way for all to be contributors. It’s important for the firm to succeed, but it’s also important for the associate to succeed. It’s very empowering to know how new work comes in and what succeeds and what doesn’t.

Quinn said the reason for tying marketing to bonus eligibility was to get 100% participation. He noted that the firm asks lawyers to participate in trial and deposition training without getting paid extra for it, and that marketing is just as important.

Bloomberg picked up this story and interviewed Quinn for its Big Law Business column. And while there are some in the legal community who might not get it, Quinn clearly does. He is preparing his firm to prevail in an increasingly competitive marketplace where legal knowledge and competence is a parity product. It is no longer enough to “out-lawyer” the competition, you have to out-market them to grow your firm.

As Quinn told Bloomberg, “The idea that (marketing is) somebody else’s job? No. It’s everybody’s job.”

And as I would tell John Quinn:  “When you’re right, you’re right.”

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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 attend this webinar.

Join us and 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.

 

Email Marketing Best Practices for Law Firms

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

Email marketing still remains the #1 way to reach clients and prospects with a branded message. According to the 2014 Pew Internet & American Life Project report, email remains the top use of the Internet across all age groups.

If you don’t already have a regular email marketing campaign in place – like a monthly e-newsletter – here are some tips on creating an effective law firm email marketing program:

  1. Email Marketing Best Practices for Law FirmsBuild a good list at every opportunity – when you get a new client, from your website or blog, or via social media. Give away a free report on a topic of interest to your ideal client to collect email addresses.
  2. Only send emails to people who have agreed to receive them. Include an opt-out option in every email you send.
  3. Be sure your content is always relevant to your audience and always include one clear call-to-action.
  4. Send your email on a consistent basis – a monthly e-newsletter is a perfect example.
  5. Segment your email list and target your messaging to each unique audience. It takes a little more work, but your results will be better.
  6. Have a single message/purpose for each email or e-newsletter, with a call-to-action that creates a clear path to interacting with you.
  7. Keep the “from” name consistent – use your name or the name of your firm.
  8. Use clear, concise subject lines that make it clear what your email is about. Don’t get too creative – studies show that open rates are much better for straightforward subject lines.
  9. Be sure to include both a text and an HTML version of your e-newsletter to ensure all your recipients can see it.
  10. Do not use ALL CAPS or exclamation marks in your emails as these trigger spam filters.

A significant percentage of us now read emails on our smartphones or tablets, so be sure you use an email delivery service like Constant Contact or iContact (two of many) that will help ensure your messages are delivered appropriately.

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The Automatic Newsletter:  How to Get Your Newsletter Done in Just 45 Minutes a MonthThe 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.

Law School Applicants Drop 50% in Last Decade; Class of 2010 Provides Insights Into Reason for Decline

Posted in Law Firm Development

Law School Applicants Drop 50% in Last Decade; Class of 2010 Provides Insights Into Reason for DeclineAccording to a report just released by the Law School Admission Council, the number of people applying for law school in the Fall of 2015 as of March 13 is less than half of the number of people who applied to an accredited law school for the Fall of 2005 — 41,136 vs. 95,800.

Another study just out from Ohio State University’s Michael E. Moritz College of Law professor Deborah Jones Merritt, who examined the job prospects for new lawyers admitted to the Ohio bar in 2010, reflects the stark realities facing recent law school grads:

  • Overall unemployment rate is 6.3%
  • 40% work for law firms
  • 20% currently work in jobs that require no law degree
  • Percentage of solo practitioners is up significantly from graduates a decade ago

This chart from Merritt’s report details the employment status for the Class of 2010 nine months and 55 months post-graduation:

law

Merritt found that many law school graduates might have difficulty finding legal work because of geographical constraints. She reports that two-thirds of the students seek bar admission in the state where they attended law school, and three-fourths stay within the same region as that school.

Gender also has a role to play, according to Merritt:

  • Men are more likely to work in private practice or business
  • Women are more likely to work in government, public interest and academia
  • Men outnumber women in solo and small firm practices
  • Four years after passing the bar, 58% of male lawyers were in private practice vs. 45% of female lawyers

This data may be welcome news to current practitioners who see the glut of graduates taking a toll on market rates for legal services and who struggle daily with increased competition. What’s your take?

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

With over 300 million members in over 200 countries (100+ million in the U.S.), 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.

 

 

5 Places to Find Topics for Your Law Firm Blog

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

5 Places to Find Topics for Your Law Firm BlogAt our two-day legal marketing seminar, The Rainmaker Retreat, I see many attorneys get excited once they truly understand the benefits of blogging.  But most have the same stumbling block:  what to write about.

Here are 5 sources of information you can use to find topics for your law firm blog:

Internet searches and alerts.  Do a search for your area of practice on Google News and you will get a ton of the latest articles on what is happening worldwide.  Set an alert to notify you by email or RSS feed when new articles appear.  Do the same on the Google Blogs search and you’ll see what other attorneys in your field are blogging about – just be sure to borrow ideas, not the actual content.

News feeds.  There are several services that provide free news feeds.  One of the most popular is Feedly.com – there’s also Newsvibe, NewsBlur and Digg Reader.  These are content aggregators that allow you to get feeds from news sources and other blogs.  They serve up a headline and a little bit of text, which makes scanning them easy.

Hashtags:  Hashtags (#) used to be just for Twitter, but they have become popular on all the social media networks – Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ — and allow you to learn what is being said in real time in your practice area.

JDSupra. JDSupra is a great place to find topics that other lawyers are writing about. You can sign up for a custom email digest that will email you daily or weekly (your choice) posts on topics in your practice area. It’s all free, too. Again, just be sure to borrow ideas, not content.

Your old content.  Repurposing content is common so look at any past articles, press releases or other content you have published for blog ideas.  Review some of your past posts to see if there is an idea you can expand upon or update.

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blog on keyboardFREE REPORT: How Law Firms Use Blogging to Get More Leads, Increase Website Traffic & Become an Industry Thought Leader

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. Inbound marketing firm Hubspot released a report based on a marketing benchmark study of 7,000 companies and found that when it comes to blogging:

Companies that blog 15+ times per month get five times more traffic than firms with no blog.

B2B companies that blog at least twice a month get 70% more leads from their websites than firms with no blog.

Companies that increase their blogging from 3-5 times per month to 5-8 times per month almost double their leads.

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

  • 7 ways that blogging can help your law practice
  • How to create your blog strategy
  • 10 ways to build an audience for your blog
  • 4 sources of information for writing blog posts
  • And much more!

Click now for your FREE REPORT: How Law Firms Use Blogging to Get More Leads, Increase Website Traffic & Become an Industry Thought Leader.

 

FREE Avvo Webinar March 19: 7 Deadly Sins That Can Destroy Your Intake & Kill Your Conversion Rate

Posted in Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing Strategies

FREE Avvo Webinar March 19:  7 Deadly Sins That Can Destroy Your Intake & Kill Your Conversion RateJoin me tomorrow — Thursday, March 19 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT — for a free Avvo webinar on the 7 Deadly Sins That Can Destroy Your Intake & Kill Your Conversion Rate.

Lawyers spent a lot of money generating leads, but we have found through secret-shopping more than 1,000 law firms that many of those leads are left to languish. Through this experience, we have developed a list of the 7 most common mistakes law firms make in failing to convert their leads into clients. I’ll be telling you all about those, and more, during this free March 19 Avvo webinar.

You will learn:

  • 7 major 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
  • Top ways to double your conversion rate in 90 days or less
  • The 5 stages of lead conversion
  • What metrics you must track to build a 7-figure law firm

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 Avvo webinar — 7 Deadly Sins That Can Destroy Your Intake & Kill Your Conversion Rate — on Thursday, March 19 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. I hope to see you tomorrow!

4 Common Fears Attorneys Have About Social Media & How to Overcome Them

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

4 Common Fears Attorneys Have About Social Media & How to Overcome ThemIf you feel as if you need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the world of social media, you are not alone. Most people fear what they do not know — and old traditions die hard, especially when it comes to the practice of law.

Our two-day legal marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat, focuses a lot on teaching social media strategies to attorneys. Because social media is here to stay, and consumers are using it more and more to search for solutions to their legal issues. Becoming proficient at the use of social media to reach your target market is a powerful and inexpensive way to market your law firm. But I understand the hesitation.

Here are four of the most common fears I hear from attorneys at our Rainmaker Retreats:

  1. “I don’t have enough time.” You don’t have to spend a lot of time on social media for it to benefit your firm. Choose one or two social media networks where your target market is most likely to be found — for B2C attorneys, the #1 network is Facebook; for B2B attorneys, it’s LinkedIn. Then spend about 15 minutes a day on creating a post about something of interest to your target market.
  2. “I don’t know what my ‘voice’ should be.” The voice in your posts should be yours. It should sound human, not corporate. Have your personality and opinions reflect your firm’s marketing strategy and values.
  3. “I don’t know what to post.” Think about the top 10 problems clients have that you solve, and create posts with solutions to those problems. You can then turn those posts into a free report. How-to articles and Q&A’s are great ways to showcase your expertise as well. Share interesting and informative articles you’ve found that your audience can relate to, and ask questions to start conversations.
  4. “I’m worried about negative comments.” Yes, there are some trolls out there who will leave a negative remark every now and then. If it has merit, then you’ve just learned something about how you can improve your service. If it doesn’t have merit, don’t worry — it’s an opportunity to respond professionally to show you care enough to engage. And if it’s just off the wall, no one will pay it any mind.

The point in engaging in social media for law firms is to create trust through demonstrating your legal expertise and your concern for those who have problems you can help solve. Once you become a trusted voice, people are more inclined to interact with you offline — and those are the interactions that can turn prospects into clients.

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On-Demand Seminar: How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients

After paying your employees, the most costly part of your law firm is Lead Generation.

This year your law firm will spend almost 10 times as much generating new leads as it does servicing existing clients!

Generating leads for your law firm is very expensive, yet a common complaint of many attorneys is that they “need more leads.”

Lead Conversion is the most overlooked area at most law firms and it has the potential to save you tens of thousands of dollars this year!

How? By helping you convert more of those costly leads into more paying clients!

Get this on-demand seminar to learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • A proven system for converting more leads into paying clients

You can watch the How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients seminar at your convenience by clicking here now.

 

 

Law Degree No Longer a Prerequisite for Practicing Some Kinds of Law in Washington State

Posted in Law Firm Development

Law Degree No Longer a Prerequisite for Practicing Some Kinds of Law in Washington StateWashington state’s new “limited license legal technician” program was profiled last Friday in a Washington Post piece that posed the question, “Who says you need a law degree to practice law?”

The article called the program an “ambitious experiment to revolutionize access to legal services, particularly among the poor.” Participants in the program take a year-long class at a community college, followed by a licensing exam. If they pass, they must then apprentice under an attorney for 3,000 hours. After that, they are free to open an office, set their own fees and provide limited legal services to all takers.

The LLLT program is modeled after the medical profession’s nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, who can see patients and write prescriptions just like doctors do. In 2012, the Washington Supreme Court adopted a rule that allowed for the LLLT program. The court appointed a board that worked with state law schools to determine the curriculum covering civil procedure, contracts, research and family law. The first class of 15 graduated late last year.

The total cost of the program is approximately $10,000. Washington limits the practice area for LLLTs to family law right now, but that will eventually be expanded. LLLTs cannot represent clients in court.

According to the article, California, Oregon, Colorado and New Mexico are considering emulating the Washington state program in order to provide more affordable access to legal services to low- and middle-income residents.

Washington’s LLLT program was vigorously opposed by the Washington State Bar, which argued that the training licensed attorneys receive is necessary to ensure competency in handling legal matters and protecting the best interests of clients.

When I posted this story on my Facebook page, I got lots of comments, both pro and con. What do you think?

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frontrmrFREE Rainmaker Retreat Live Preview – Learn Before You Go!

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 10,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then access this live preview of this impactful 2-day law firm marketing boot camp.

We have scheduled these upcoming sessions:

March 27-28, 2015 — Dallas, TX

April 17-18, 2015 — Los Angeles, CA

May 1-2, 2015: Las Vegas, NV

To watch a live preview of the Rainmaker Retreat two-day law firm marketing boot camp or order your free DVD now, click here.