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Law firm marketing and business development strategies

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FREE Online Webinar May 26: How to Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

FREE Online Webinar May 26:  How to Develop Your Law Firm Marketing PlanJoin me on Tuesday, May 26 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT 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 15,000 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:

  • 3 critical areas you must focus on to make this your best year ever!
  • Why your law firm is not getting more referrals and how to change it fast
  • How to find more clients you love to work with and who consistently pay you on time
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
  • The most cost effective online and offline marketing strategies for your practice area
  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)

During this webinar, I 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.

I will also be giving you a sneak preview of the 65 different marketing strategies taught at our two-day law firm marketing and development seminar, the Rainmaker Retreat.

In addition to the May 26 session, there are several additional 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.

Have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend — hope to see you next Tuesday for this info-packed webinar!

3 Steps to Leverage LinkedIn for Your Law Firm

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

3 Steps to Leverage LinkedIn for Your Law FirmI have yet to find an attorney who could not benefit from having their profile on LinkedIn. It’s the number one online network for white-collar professionals.

Whether you want to connect with non-competing attorneys, non-legal professionals, or potential clients, the demographics on LinkedIn speak for themselves:

  • The average age range of a LinkedIn user is 30 to 49
  • 44% of LinkedIn users report an annual income of more than $100,000
  • 50% of members have a college degree
  • 28% have a graduate degree

LinkedIn members are highly educated and affluent. Is this a demographic you would like to reach? For most attorneys, the answer is obvious.

The first step to using LinkedIn is to create a comprehensive profile. Use your entire bio in your profile and be sure to include your keywords in it. In other words, use the exact keywords that you believe prospects or potential referral sources would use to find an attorney with your skill sets.

For example, if you are a business attorney in Omaha it might sound like this:

“John Doe is a Omaha business attorney who works with small business owners and CEOs of mid-sized companies to create comprehensive operating agreements, buy-sell agreements and employment agreements. His Omaha business clients appreciate the fact that John is an attorney who has a strong business background, having owned and operated two different companies, including a high tech company with 25 employees.”

Next, go to the See Who You Already Know on LinkedIn page and import your email contact list. This makes it super simple to connect with people you already know who are also on LinkedIn. In addition, based on your contacts, LinkedIn will suggest relevant contacts for you to connect with on the site.

Then search LinkedIn Groups and join those where your clients and prospects are. Create content — blog posts, free reports, articles, etc. — that will attract their attention. You can also start your own group and invite contacts to join.

The key to utilizing LinkedIn effectively is to be involved and be consistent. You need to commit to investing at least 30-45 minutes every week to log in, post an update or a link to your blog, reach out to your contacts, answer any questions that are sent to you, and make yourself visible. Simply setting up a profile on LinkedIn will not lead to more referrals any more than a having a business card will automatically get you new business.


LinkedIn-logo-008How 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 364 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.



2 Questions Every Attorney Needs to Know the Answers To

Posted in Generating Referrals for Attorneys, Law Firm Marketing, Strategic Referrals

2 Questions Every Attorney Needs to Know the Answers ToThere are two questions just about every attorney has asked at one time or another. At every Rainmaker Retreat – our two-day law firm marketing seminar – I answer dozens of questions that are top-of-mind for attorneys who have come from across the nation and these two consistently pop up:

Why am I not getting more referrals? Why are they not better qualified?

There are four primary reasons attorneys don’t get more and better referrals:

  1. Lack of client education. It’s your responsibility to properly educate clients and referral sources about what you do, who you can help, and what makes a good referral for you. Take 10 minutes and write down everything you know about your perfect client. Then practice describing who that person or company is so you have a standard answer you can share with referral sources.
  2. Lack of client communication. Telling people once who your perfect client is not sufficient! You must remind them at least 4-6 times every year. The best way to do this is by sending them a monthly newsletter. You never know when a potential referral might come in to their office so it is up to you to stay at the top of their mind.
  3. Lack of request. Do not assume people know you want more referrals. You need to ask directly for them. Here’s a way many of our clients have used: anytime a client or referral source says “thank you” respond with, “One of the best ways you can say ‘thank you’ is by sending us a referral and here is what a good referral looks like…”
  4. Lack of reciprocation. To receive referrals on a regular basis you must be willing to give them out. Actively look for ways to send referrals to the professionals you most want referrals from.

What’s a good way to ask clients to give a testimonial?

It depends on your practice area, but timing can be very important. For example, if you are a personal injury attorney, you might want to ask for the testimonial when your client comes in to pick up their settlement check. This is when the client will be the happiest.

If you’re an estate planning attorney, ask when the client comes in to finalize their estate plan. If you’re a commercial litigation attorney, ask right after you get a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed against your client.

If you practice in other areas of the law, find a good time when your client is pleased with your work. That’s the optimal time to ask!

You also need to make it easy for people to give you a testimonial. Let your clients know why a testimonial is important to you. Make it part of your process, like an exit interview. Guide the client with questions so you can get strong testimonials. Position the testimonials as “before” and “after” scenarios—this is what my life was like before I hired this attorney, here is what they did for me, and here is what it’s like now. These are powerful!

Also, if you squirm at just the thought of asking for a testimonial, then don’t be the one to ask. Have your administrative assistant or paralegal do the asking as part of your closing-the-case process. By the way, written testimonials are good, but video testimonials are way better and more believable to consumers.


referral marketing signFREE Report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources

When it comes to the different kind of leads that attorneys can generate for new business, referrals are the gold standard.  They come to you pre-qualified and ready to “buy” from a source they trust – and with a trust transference to you that is built-in.

If you do nothing else with your law firm marketing this year, make it a priority to cultivate more referral sources.  Cultivating referral sources is low-cost and high-reward, and should be at the top of your list when it comes to new business development for your law firm.

This new free report by national law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley can get you started.

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

  • How to identify the referral sources who have relationships with the people you want as clients.
  • How to start the relationship
  • How to build a referral network
  • How to make your referral network successful
  • …And much, much more!

Click on this link now to get your free report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources.


Practical Wisdom for Attorneys on Pricing and Price Shoppers

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

Practical Wisdom for Attorneys on Pricing and Price ShoppersWhen attorneys come to me complaining of being shopped on price I tell them three things:

Only 15 percent of people buy solely based on price, which means 85 percent of people take price into consideration but it’s not their only or even their most important consideration. The best thing you can do for your practice is identify those true “price shoppers” early on in the consult and quickly refer them to your competitors because they are nothing but trouble.

It’s almost never about the money! When people focus on the price, it’s rarely about the money—it is almost always about your failure to show them enough value. You need to emphasize how the price is reasonable compared to the value you are bringing to the situation.

Be ready to challenge people when they bring up price as a major objection. When a prospect brings up price, especially early on in the conversation, directly ask them, “Is price the major factor in making your decision?” Most will quickly answer, “No, but it is something I’m going to consider.” You can then respond, “Certainly, but what are the other factors you are going to use in determining who to hire as your attorney?”

Once they list the other factors you can use them to show how you can meet or exceed those criteria. If the prospect says, “Yes, price is the most important criteria I’m looking at.” Then you have a decision to make—do you want to be the low cost provider by charging the lowest price?

If not (and I don’t recommend it unless you are truly desperate for business), then respond with something like, “then we are probably not the best fit for you. We pride ourselves on doing excellent quality work at a fair and reasonable price, but if you’re truly only interested in getting the lowest price then I would be glad to refer you to someone else. In fact, I have the names of the three law firms in town who are known for charging the lowest rates. Of course, they also have the least amount of experience and get more than their fair share of client complaints, but here are their names.”

More often than not, people use this objection as a negotiating tactic to see if they can get a better deal. Don’t play into their hands. I like my clients to be on the high side of where the market is priced. You can always negotiate down, but you can never go up.

Is it OK to tell clients “it depends” when they ask how much their case will cost?

Setting appropriate expectations and being transparent about pricing and the expected costs to handle a legal matter is key.

Here is what I tell attorneys: if you ever use the phrase “it depends” in your answer, you must immediately follow up with “and here are the major factors it depends on….” For example, if a prospect asks you how much will it cost to handle their divorce you could say: “Well, it depends and in my experience of handling over 1,200 divorces in the last decade here are some of the major factors it depends on:

Are there children involved and if so, how old are they? If there are young children involved, it usually costs significantly more because of all the decisions that need to be considered along with the emotions surrounding them.

How much conflict is there between the couple? If each side wants out of the marriage as soon as possible, then it can be easier, but if a major fight erupts every time both parties are in the same room, then chances are it’s going to cost a lot more.

Which attorney did the other person hire? Every town has a few divorce attorneys with a reputation for dragging things on forever and needlessly racking up legal bills. If the other spouse hired one of those attorneys, it is going to get messy really quick!

Knowing the factors that typically impact your case fees or settlement awards and being able to articulate them are important when it comes to talking to prospects about pricing and fees.

Want to Learn More? Attend a Rainmaker Retreat!

Pricing strategies is just one important subject we cover during our two-day law firm marketing and development seminar, the Rainmaker Retreat. Here’s what some 2015 attendees have had to say about their time spent at a Rainmaker Retreat:

“Impressive tour de force law firm marketing, from no-brainers to profoundly researched insights. If you leave the seminar the same, there is something wrong with you.” -Kojo Bentsi-Enchill, Energy & Natural Resources, Accra, Ghana

“The most straight-forward, no-nonsense marketing seminar I have yet attended. Colorful, memorable, practical advice, including explanations of the mysteries of the Internet.”-Bill Cook, Solo, Personal Injury, Anchorage, AK

“I was already doing a lot of social media and so I was looking for a few nuggets.  Stephen gave us a map to a virtually untouched gold mine.”-Stephen Garner, Solo, Personal Injury, Bremen, GA

Join us at one of our upcoming sessions this summer to jumpstart the second half of 2015:

June 5-6, 2015 — San Francisco, CA

July 17-18, 2015 — Atlanta, GA

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.

Listen and Learn How to Move from a Job to a Law Practice to Building a Business

Posted in Law Firm Development, Law Firm Marketing

How to Move from a Job to a Law Practice to Building a BusinessMany attorneys in small law firms continue to struggle year after year, finding just enough clients to keep them busy, but are never able to move their practice up to the next level.

There are 29 million American small businesses today.  Less than 10% of them will ever break the $1 million revenue mark.  Fewer than 4% will break $10 million.  This means that more than 90% of “small businesses” are really just people who are self-employed and trapped by their own job.

That means if you go on vacation, business stops. Work consumes you and you never find the balance you need to live a full life.

In my recent interview with Lawpreneur Radio podcast host Miranda McCroskey, I talk about 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.

Listening to these 27 minutes can change the way you think about your legal practice and open your eyes to building a lifestyle law firm:



This is just one of the four talks I’ll be giving at the event of the year for California solo and small firm practitioners: The State Bar of California’s Solo & Small Firm Summit on June 18-20, 2015, at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa in Newport Beach, California.

I’ll also be speaking on:

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

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

7 Keys to Building a Referral-based Law Firm

You can register online by visiting The State Bar of California’s Solo & Small Firm Summit home page or call 415-538-2508 for more information.


Learn My Top 10 Strategies to TRIPLE Your Lead Conversion Rate

Posted in Law Firm Development, Law Firm Marketing

LeadConversionDVD_275x250I’m in Las Vegas today at our Rainmaker Retreat, and one of the subjects I talk a lot about is lead conversion. The reason for this is simple: there are just three ways for you to dramatically increase your revenues in a short period of time (short of winning the lottery):

One, you can increase the number of leads you bring into your firm. This takes both time and money, but if you are content with your current lead conversion rate, you will need more leads to obtain more clients.

Two, you can increase your fees. This also takes time and usually garners a lot of pushback from clients but it can be done.

Or three, you can increase your lead conversion rate. This takes little money, but it does require some understanding of the strategies you can employ to accomplish a better conversion rate. Better conversion from the same amount of leads means more money in your pocket.

I have just released a new DVD where I outline my Top 10 Strategies to Triple Your Lead Conversion Rate. When you watch it, you will learn the revolutionary strategies top performing law firms are using to improve their lead conversion and client retention.

It’s easy to assume your law firm has the right systems and processes in place, but once you hear me reveal the secrets of law firm lead conversion and client retention, you’ll be eager to make immediate changes so you can plug the holes that are resulting in LOST revenue for your firm.

Specifically you will:

  • Discover over 10 strategies that will immediately improve your law firm lead conversion when implemented
  • Gain insight into the top mistakes law firms make that negatively impact their lead conversion and how to fix them now
  • Deep-dive into the five stages of lead conversion and specific strategies to improve at every stage
  • Discover where your law firm processes are leaving money on the table and how to plug the holes and increase your revenue
  • Get your hands on the most critical numbers your law firm must be tracking and why

The price for this DVD is usually $97, but I am making it available to Rainmaker Institute fans for just $19 for a limited time.

To take advantage of this offer, simply go here to order the DVD or download an MP4 file onto your computer. Be sure to enter the promo code DVD19 at checkout to receive your discount.



The 5 Truths I’ve Learned About Attorney Referrals

Posted in Law Firm Development, Law Firm Marketing

The 5 Truths I’ve Learned About Attorney ReferralsThere are many truths I have learned over the years from working with more than 10,000 attorneys across the country. When it comes to business development for law firms, none are more important than the truths I have learned about referrals.

Referrals are like gold to attorneys, but just like real gold, you have to put some work into digging for them. If you understand the truths I have learned about referrals, it should make your job easier in cultivating them:

Truth #1: People Make Referrals to Build Social Capital.

Most people enjoy making referrals to their friends and associates as a way of building social capital. If you truly want to build a referral-based law firm, then you need to develop a habit of referring your clients and contacts to other professionals. It must be reciprocal to work long-term. When you refer a client to another professional, they feel more inclined to refer one of their clients to you. This becomes a give and take process. The more referral relationships you develop among your professional associates, the easier it will be for your practice to flourish from referral business.

Truth #2: Mitigating Risk is Important.

All referrals involve some risk – if someone sends you a referral and it turns our poorly, chances are you won’t receive too many other referrals. Attorneys who count on referrals for business development need to take necessary steps to mitigate this risk with clear communication, setting expectations from the start, ongoing client education and stellar follow-up. This risk goes both ways. If you refer one of your clients to a professional associate and it doesn’t go well, then it reflects poorly on you. Don’t make referrals lightly; ensure that the professional associate is capable of handling the case.

Truth #3: People Refer Great Experiences.

People who have had great experiences with a product or service tend to refer it to their friends and colleagues. This is why cultivating a culture of great client service is a must for gaining more referrals. How can you create a “VIP” experience for each client and referral that walks in your door?

While a lot of referrals can come from a referral network or a professional associate, clients also have the ability to spread your name. It is important to remember that people will tell friends and family about a bad experience before they will brag about a positive one. In order to keep your positive service top of the mind, make sure that you keep past and current clients up to date on your practice, awards and services. If a friend comes to them, they may remember reading your newsletter about a recent case or award and be more inclined to recall their own positive experience with you.

Truth #4: Referrals Require Trust.

Even if someone raves to a friend about you, that referral is likely to conduct a credibility search for you on the Internet. If the referral can’t find good content, reviews or social network participation, they will be less likely to proceed with contacting you. You need to manage your online image. Make sure to regularly check sites with client reviews. If someone posts a negative review, address it immediately. Don’t let a bad review turn away potential clients.

Also, make sure that clients can easily find you. Make your LinkedIn profile public, so they can look over your endorsements, your honors and your work experience. Make sure that you claim any attorney directory pages, so that it has accurate information. Clients should be able to contact you from any web page.

Truth #5: Referrals Require a System.

Attorneys need to create a referral strategy that includes a systematic approach to educating referral sources about what a good referral looks like and how to make it. This includes keeping all clients and professional associates current with your practice. Make sure that they are on your newsletter list. If you write an article about your practice area, send it out to everyone.


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.


7 Steps for Law Firms to Achieve ROI from Social Media

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

7 Steps to Achieve ROI from Social MediaMany law firms continue to struggle with how to accurately measure ROI for social media. However you choose to measure social media, it is imperative that you have a success metric in mind before you begin. Without some sort of benchmark, determining your ROI is impossible.

Here are 7 steps to achieve ROI from your social media efforts:

  1. Establish clear marketing goals for your company (generate more opt ins, more leads, etc).
  2. Identify the basic measurements and metrics you want to measure.
  3. Remember, social media is a commitment to connect with leads, clients and referral sources, it’s not a campaign. To win at social media, you need to have a long-term outlook.
  4. If hard ROI metrics are difficult to track directly, consider a range of softer metrics that can be linked back to desired business outcomes.
  5. Determine how much a client who opts in to your database is worth to you if a sale is made. Estimate how many sales you need to make in a year to justify the investment.
  6. In your ROI calculations, don’t overlook the value of cost savings that result from engaging in online conversations with prospects, leads, clients, and potential referral sources.
  7. Examine your choices for managing your social media marketing efforts. You have three choices:
    • Do It Yourself. While this may seem the cheapest option at first (“It’s only my time”), consider this—How much do you charge per hour (if you don’t charge hourly ask yourself how much value do you place on an hour of your time)? For example, if you bill out at $250 per hour and it only takes you 1 hour to research, write, edit and post a blog (that’s a good estimate), but you do this 5 times every week to maximize lead generation, that’s $1,250 per week, $5,000 per month, or $65,000 per year. That’s not counting the “opportunity cost”—not only will you “spend” $65,000 of your time each year, but you will also lose another $65,000 in actual billing where you could have billed a client! So the true cost of “doing it yourself” may be upwards of $130,000! Suddenly, that doesn’t seem so cheap.
    • Use a Staff Member. This usually takes the form of either instructing an Associate to do it (what’s their motivation to write great blog posts 5 times every week?) or assigning another non-attorney staff person to write it—at which time it becomes just one more thing on their long list of to-dos. Not to mention the fact that you will need to make sure any staff member understands SEO best practices.
    • Outsource It. A growing number of attorneys are outsourcing their social media programs to organizations like ours (full disclosure: yes, we have a program for attorneys to manage their blog and social media). When you outsource, you can focus on end results, not the process and hopefully you will be working with professionals who do this for a living. It’s not just another item on their to-do list, it is the very service you are paying them to provide for your firm.

The two most difficult ones for most attorneys to grasp are #3 – social media is a commitment, not a campaign (there is no easy button and it’s not a “get rich quick” scheme) and #7—how to manage blogs and social media cost effectively (doing it yourself is usually the most expensive option).

Building a social media presence takes time. You cannot simply post a few articles on your blog and expect prospects to knock down your doors. Create content that is relevant to your targeted prospects, keep pumping out fresh content almost every day, and when they come, focus on converting them!


idea bulbGet More Proven Legal Marketing Strategies FREE from The Rainmaker Institute

One click of your mouse will take you to our website where you can see the current issue and subscribe to our complimentary monthly e-newsletter that will be delivered to your inbox every month.

Each issue is chock-full of legal marketing information you can put to use right away and share with your staff to maximize the effectiveness of your legal marketing plan. Click here now to subscribe to The Rainmaker Institute Law Firm Marketing Newsletter.


5 Proven Ways to Beef Up Your Law Firm Blog Audience

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

5 Proven Ways to Beef Up Your Law Firm Blog AudienceNo one wants to spend time writing for a law firm blog if no one is reading it. The very purpose of a blog is engagement, but waiting for that to happen organically won’t ensure success for your law firm blog.

To beef up your law firm blog audience, you need to take the proverbial bull by the horns and promote your blog posts to those who would benefit most from your words of wisdom. Here are 5 proven ways to do that:

1.  Social media. Posting snippets and links to your blog posts on Facebook and LinkedIn are great ways to increase the number of people who see your posts. You can have individual attorneys go into their profiles and post snippets with a link back to your blog. On LinkedIn you can post this information into individual groups to drive a lot of traffic back to your blog.

2.  Monthly newsletter. In your newsletter, include links to a few of your recent blog posts. At The Rainmaker Institute, we send out a fully custom newsletter at the beginning of each month to all our current and former clients as well as referral sources. A couple of weeks later, we send out a second newsletter with links to 3-4 of our top blog posts.

3.  Press releases. If you have a really good topic or a major industry story/scoop, consider doing a press release about it. A press release can drive thousands of visitors to your blog in a matter of days.

4.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO can assist your blog in ranking higher for relevant key terms. Most people start their online experience with a search engine like Google. Getting to the first page of Google for your firm’s relevant key terms (like “Irvine estate planning attorney” or “Boston trademark attorney”) can increase your traffic by thousands of visitors per month. Listing your blog URL on all major legal directories can be a great source of traffic as well.

5.  Post on other major legal websites. Having your blog posts appear on Avvo, or will drive traffic to your blog and increase your online profile.


How to Use a Blog for Lead GenerationFREE 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.

4 Social Media Truths Every Attorney Should Know

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

4 Social Media Truths Every Attorney Should KnowWhenever I am speaking to or with a group of attorneys and the subject turns to social media, most want to know if social media can really do anything for them in terms of bringing them new clients. Before investing their time and/or money, they want to know if social media will deliver real value for that investment.

This is when I share the 4 social media truths every attorney should know:

1.  Social media will help you build trust, but it will not make a “bad” reputation better. Social media is a meritocracy – if you’re good, people will know it. Conversely, a bad experience will also get talked about. Building trust is crucial for attorneys, and social media helps you build trust by providing a robust platform for sharing your particular insights and knowledge. Once people trust that, they will use you and recommend you to others.

2.  Social media will get you leads, but it will not turn them into paying clients. People who follow you on Twitter, are a fan of you on Facebook or interact with you in any way on a social network have indicated an interest in what you have to say. These are leads. To capitalize on them and turn them into paying clients, however, requires effort on your part in following up.

3.  Social media will give you visibility, but it will not replace a good client experience. Social media is a 365/24/7 world, allowing you to engage with prospects at any time, and they with you. You must be vigilant about responding to posts and questions the same way you would in responding to a prospect that calls or emails you. Every point of contact is an opportunity to make a great impression.

4.  Social media is the fastest way to build your sphere of influence, but it won’t happen overnight.  Your sphere of influence is defined as how many people know (1) who you are, (2) who you help, and (3) why you are different.  If you only have 20 people who know enough about you to send you the right referrals, then you are severely limited in how much you will be able to grow your practice.   Social media is a long-term play, and you need to commit to spending the time and money (either yours or hiring someone else) to achieve success.

The best conversations about social media for law firms happens at every Rainmaker Retreat we host. If you are still trying to figure out social media — or law firm marketing for that matter — I invite you to attend one of our upcoming sessions:

May 15-16, 2015 — Las Vegas, NV (Special pricing available for this one if you can make it!)

June 5-6, 2015 — San Francisco, CA

July 17-18, 2015 — Atlanta, GA

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.