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Law firm marketing and business development strategies

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Tips for Succeeding on LinkedIn

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

If your practice serves businesses or business people, then you need to have a presence on the leading business website:  LinkedIn.  This is the #1 social media hangout for business professionals who use the site to connect with peers, find jobs, learn things that can make them better at their current jobs, or utilize as a vehicle for outreach to potential clients.

LinkedIn is also powerful when it comes to search.  When someone searches for you on the Internet using your name, your LinkedIn profile will be one of the first things that pop up.  Its summary format makes it an attractive choice for those who want a comprehensive view of your background.  Which is why having a well-written, exhaustive profile is key to success on LinkedIn.

There are some other good strategies for succeeding on LinkedIn, and presentation design agency Ethos3 recently compiled a list of 33 tips to help you navigate and take advantage of all the LinkedIn features in this informational infographic:

Tips for Succeeding on LinkedIn

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How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn

Most attorneys already have a profile on LinkedIn, but very few know how to effectively use it to build a powerful referral network. With over 300 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:

  • Linkedin-iconHow 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.

How to Tell Which Social Media Platforms Will Work Best for Your Practice

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

One of the most common questions I get from attorneys is how to identify the right social media platforms for their practices.  First, the most important thing in identifying the right social media platform is to know your target market.   If you don’t know that, then any marketing you are doing anywhere is just a shot in the dark.

Once you know the demographics of your market, you can then focus on the social media platforms that do the best job of reaching that audience.  Here are demographic breakdowns on the most popular social networks from the Pew Reseach Center’s 2014 Social Media Update:

fb2

 

li

 

twit

pin

If your market is business-to-business, then you want to have a robust presence on LinkedIn.  If you market to consumers, then Facebook is your best bet.  If you want to go after a female clientele, then be sure you have some presence on Pinterest.

Once you have done the necessary homework on knowing your prospect inside and out, then it’s much easier to find the best places to reach them.

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

With over 332 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.

 

How to Motivate Your People and Profit

Posted in Law Firm Management

How to Motivate Your People and ProfitLast year, I invited attorneys to submit questions for an interview I was conducting with Michael Gerber, the author of a number of books on entrepreneurship including the best selling Awakening the Entrepreneur Within and The E-Myth Revisited. For more than 40 years, he has been teaching business owners who possess significant technical skills but few business skills how to transform their companies into world-class organizations.

I fielded about 40 questions and was amazed at the number of those that dealt with personnel issues.  Not just finding good people, but training them and keeping them motivated.  This is something that bedevils a lot of businesses, not just law firms.

I run a fairly large business now myself (60+ and counting), and dedicate real effort every day to ensuring that everyone who works here is motivated to do the best possible job for our clients and our company.  Here’s what I’ve learned about motivating the people who work for me:

First, hire good people.  You can’t fix stupid, so don’t hire it.  Sure, we have all made hiring mistakes — people who interview great but their rubber never meets the road.  Learn from those mistakes and put together a process for hiring that ensures you get the best possible people.

Get rid of the weak links.  Bad employees kill the motivation in good ones.  As soon as you discover you have a rotten apple, toss it.

Give them freedom.  Good people hate being micro-managed, so as soon as they have proven themselves, give your employees the freedom to do their jobs.  If they have a great idea for doing something different than the way you’ve always done it, listen.  If it makes sense, run with it.  Incentivize them for ways to cut costs and serve clients better.

Make it easy.  The actual work we do is not easy, and neither is yours.  So why make it more difficult for your folks by having outdated systems or processes?  There are so many great automated tools out there to make the work process go more smoothly; invest in as many as you can and you will reap the benefits in a better work product from your people.

Celebrate!  I love to celebrate with the people I work with, whether it’s an informal lunch in the office where we can spend a little downtime just shooting the breeze or it’s a big holiday do.  Last month, I held a Secret Santa party that our team did not expect.  I gave away an iPad, Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy 4, 55″ HDTV, paid days off, round trip airfare, Amazon gift cards, Massage Envy gift cards, 2 trips to Sedona and Aria in Las Vegas, as well as a few hundred in cash.  My team was thrilled and fired up for the New Year.

No one succeeds alone, so spend the time and effort to motivate your team and you will reap the rewards.

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FREE WEBINAR TOMORROW:  6 Key Numbers Every Attorney Must Know

Join Rainmaker Institute CEO Stephen Fairley and Brooke Lively, who directs the outsourced CFO services program for How to Manage A Small Law Firm, on Friday, Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT for a free one-hour webinar on the 6 Key Numbers Every Attorney Must Know, where you will learn:

  • freeThe 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

If you can’t attend the live webinar, be sure to register anyway to receive a recording to watch at your convenience.

Register online now for the free one-hour webinar on the 6 Key Numbers Every Attorney Must Know on Friday, Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

How to Identify Your Ideal Target Market

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

How to Identify Your Ideal Target Market When it comes to marketing your law firm, identifying your target market is job #1.  If you don’t do that, nothing else you do will matter.

Many attorneys may struggle with developing a concise, detailed description of their target market, but it is vital that you do this or your marketing efforts will fall flat.

Ask yourself these 10 questions when trying to determine your target market:

1.  Who would pay for my service?  People that have legal issues need attorneys, so what specific problems do you solve and who is willing and able to pay for that solution?

2.  Who has already purchased my legal services?  Take a look at your current client base and search for commonalities.

3.  What is the extent of my reach?  What geographic area can you realistically serve?  Based on the type of law you practice, you may need to restrict or expand your area of service.  For example, a divorce attorney will probably have a smaller geographic area than an IP attorney.

4.  Am I making the right assumptions?  As I have said many times, you are not your client.  You need to talk to your existing clients or prospects to see what resonates.

5.  What do people who know me think?  Check in with your network peers to get feedback on who they think is your ideal client.  They may give you some ideas you might never have considered.

6.  How am I going to make money?  Are you charging by the hour or by the case?  This can determine who will be best able to afford your services.

7.  How am I going to sell my services?  Different marketing methods appeal to different demographics.  If your target skews young, social media will probably be a top priority for you.

8.  What are my competitors doing?  Looking at what your competitors are doing can help you define your target market – and then you can develop strategies for differentiating yourself.

9.  How will I find clients?  Once you have started identifying your target market, you will need to determine how you can market to them efficiently.  If you plan to use a website and social media as a key strategy, you will need to understand their online behavior patterns.  If you plan to get referrals, you will need a strategy to build a good referral partner base.

10.  Are there options to expand my target market?  This will largely depend on your practice area, but one way to expand your target market is by creating a niche within your practice area.  For example, if you are an estate planning attorney, you may want to develop a sub-specialty in asset protection for wealthy professionals.

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finance chart on brick wallFREE Webinar Friday:  6 Key Numbers Every Attorney Must Know

Join Rainmaker Institute CEO Stephen Fairley and Brooke Lively, who directs the outsourced CFO services program for How to Manage A Small Law Firm, on Friday, Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT for a free one-hour webinar on the 6 Key Numbers Every Attorney Must Know, where you will learn:

  • 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

Brooke consults with solos and small firms to help them make the strategic financial decisions necessary to grow their businesses.  She has an MBA with a double concentration in investments and corporate finance from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.  Her insights and real-world experience are invaluable, and available to you for free during this one-hour webinar.

If you can’t attend the live webinar, be sure to register anyway to receive a recording to watch at your convenience.

Register online now for the free one-hour webinar on the 6 Key Numbers Every Attorney Must Know on Friday, Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

Rainmaker Retreat Now Scheduled for Dallas and Los Angeles; 50% Off for Early Registration

Posted in Rainmaker Retreat Boot Camp

make more moneyDo you have a plan in place this year to meet or exceed your 2014 financial goals?

Want to learn how top attorneys are doubling their revenues even in this economy?

What do these attorneys know that you don’t?

“Even though my firm is ahead of the average law firm with respect to tech savvy techniques, the Rainmaker Retreat offered cutting-edge tips to launch our marketing strategies to all new levels.” - Jo-Anne, Partner (FL)

“This was the most valuable seminar I’ve been to. Stephen is wonderful, accessible, knowledgeable, entertaining, and truly gifted. If I implement a fraction of what I’ve learned, I will increase my practice tenfold.” - Helene, Partner (CA)

Here’s how to find out what they learned: Join us for one of our two-day marketing boot camps designed specifically for small law firms.  You will discover:

  • Ways to reduce your marketing expenses while increasing your return on investment.
  • How to implement low cost marketing tools and systems that let you control your practice – instead of your practice controlling you!
  • The #1 reason why attorneys do not receive more referrals and how to overcome it.
  • Why most of your advertising does not work and how to fix it.
  • Specific strategies highly successful attorneys are using right now on the Internet and with social media to attract hundreds of people to their websites and blogs every month, convert them to paying clients, and keep them coming back and sending a steady stream of referrals!
  • Demystifying social media strategies - what works and what doesn’t and how to stop wasting your time and start leveraging your online connections.
  • And much, much more!

We strictly limit the number of people for each event so that everyone gets personal attention in a more intimate environment.  Here are the upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions:

Get substantial savings (more than 50% off) through our Early Bird Registration, which ends January 31 for the Las Vegas Rainmaker Retreat, February 28 for the Dallas Rainmaker Retreat and March 22 for the Los Angeles Rainmaker Retreat.

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.

Lead Conversion Tips: 6 Ways to Improve the Initial Call Experience for Prospects

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

6 Ways to Improve the Initial Call Experience for ProspectsIn the past year, we have done a lot of secret shopper calls to law firms around the country.  Unfortunately, we’ve found that 95% of the firms we are calling are doing a poor job at compelling our caller to do business with that firm or attorney.

Here are six ways you can improve your lead conversion rate by dramatically improving that initial call experience for a prospect.:

1.  Show empathy. Our caller contacts personal injury firms all the time and the person on the other end of the phone never even says, “I’m sorry you were in an accident.” He/she immediately begins to ask questions without showing compassion.

2.  If you mention your firm’s website, spell it out. Many attorneys have websites that are difficult to spell, so by taking an extra minute to spell it out you can ensure the caller will actually be able to find your website.

3.  Always answer the phone with a smile and the firm’s name (Our call repeatedly hears “law firm please hold”).

4.  Before you place someone on hold, ALWAYS ask the person if it is ok.

5.  Before you transfer a person, always get their name and number in case you get disconnected so you can call back.

6.  Make sure whoever answers the phone likes that role and is able to dedicate his/her attention to the caller 100% (Our caller was often left with the impression that the call was annoying the person who answered).

Fixing this is not hard.  You just need to put a process in place that works for you and train your people to follow that process.  Sometimes the simplest fixes can provide compelling results – and this is a simple fix that can make a real difference in your appointment rates.

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6 Key Numbers Every Attorney Must Know: FREE Webinar on Jan. 236 Key Numbers Every Attorney Must Know:  FREE Webinar on Jan. 23

How much time do you spend every month looking over the financials for your law firm?  Do you even know the most important numbers you need to run and grow your business?

The fact is, you cannot get a true picture of the financial health of your firm without having a system in place that will help you obtain the critical numbers you need to gauge the financial stability of your business.

Most attorneys I know do not relish the numbers side of the business.  However, there are six key numbers that every lawyer must know in order to successfully run and grow a thriving practice.

So join me and Brooke Lively, who directs the outsourced CFO services program for How to Manage A Small Law Firm, on Friday, Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT for a free one-hour webinar on the 6 Key Numbers Every Attorney Must Know, where you will learn:

  • 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

Brooke consults with solos and small firms to help them make the strategic financial decisions necessary to grow their businesses.  She has an MBA with a double concentration in investments and corporate finance from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.  Her insights and real-world experience are invaluable, and available to you for free during this one-hour webinar.

If you can’t attend the live webinar, be sure to register anyway to receive a recording to watch at your convenience.

Register online now for the free one-hour webinar on the 6 Key Numbers Every Attorney Must Know on Friday, Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

Plaintiff Attorneys: Join Me at Mass Tort Med School 2015 on May 6-8 in Boca Raton

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

Plaintiff Attorneys:  Join Me at Mass Tort Med School 2015 on May 6-8 in Boca RatonHB Litigation Conferences’ Mass Tort Med School 2015, a two-day workshop on the medical and scientific aspect of mass tort litigation, has just added three companion seminars on marketing and trial skills and I am as proud as I can be that I will be leading the marketing seminars on lead conversion and social media marketing.

Mass Tort Med School 2015 will be held on May 6-8 at the Boca Raton Beach Club in Boca Raton, Florida.  A distinguished panel of attorneys and physicians will focus on the hottest pharmaceutical and medical device products litigation topics.  Presentations will be made on:

  • The science of emerging litigation
  • Recent medical studies
  • Recent evidentiary decisions
  • Regulatory considerations
  • Science day
  • Expert witnesses
  • Roundtable discussions

In addition, I will be leading two law firm marketing seminars, including:

May 6:  30 Ways to Improve Your Intake, Increase Your Lead Conversion and Fix Your Follow-Up, where attendees will discover:

  • The 5 stages of lead conversion
  • Critical metrics every law firm must measure
  • The 3 biggest reasons why your intake team isn’t converting more leads and how to fix it
  • A proven system for doubling your conversion rate
  • How to convert more Internet leads faster
  • Top 10 most common mistakes intake departments make

May 7:  The Secrets to Using Social Media as an Effective Lead Generation Tool, which will feature:

  • Top 5 reasons why most social media doesn’t work for attorneys and how to change that
  • How to apply the proven Rainmaker Social Media Blueprint™
  • Top trends in social media and where it’s going so you can be ahead of your competition
  • 10 steps to jumpstart your efforts on LinkedIn and build your referral network
  • How to use the power of Facebook to bypass Google and directly connect with prospects
  • Leveraging your content marketing into your social media platform

The third companion seminar on trial techniques will be led by John Romano of the Romano Law Group, who is widely recognized as one of the best plaintiff trial lawyers in the U.S.  John will speak on the morning of May 8 on Tort Trial Techniques for Plaintiff Attorneys.

You can register online now for the Mass Tort Med School 2015 and the companion sessions.  The cut-off date for room registration at the Boca Raton Beach Club is April 5, 2015.

See you in Boca!

10 Steps to Creating Landing Pages That Work

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

10 Steps to Creating Landing Pages That WorkLanding pages — those pages a visitor is guided to after clicking on a link on your website, blog, social media post or e-newsletter — are your bread and butter when it comes to turning visitors into qualified leads.

To make them pay, however, you need to know the basics about how to create a highly effective landing page.  Here are 10 steps you need to take in developing landing pages for your law firm:

1.  Have a singular goal.  You want your landing page to do just one job for you — get the visitor to download that free report, sign up for a seminar, subscribe to your newsletter, etc.  Don’t clutter them up with multiple offers.  One page.  One job.

2.  Use a single, relevant visual.  Choose an illustration or photo that is relevant to your offer.

3.  No false endorsements.  Don’t create false endorsements for your offer.  Avoid cheesy endorsement copy that turns visitors off.

4.  Use simple design.  Keep your design simple with minimal, impactful copy that consists of a headline, subhead and bullet points that make the content easy to scan.

5.  Quick load.  Be sure your landing page loads quickly; you only have a few seconds for it to pop up or your visitor will lose interest and click off.

6.  Compelling copy.  The worse thing you can do is bore your visitor.  Your copy needs to be readable, believable and lead the visitor quickly to your ultimate goal.

7.  Eyes on the prize.  Write and design your land page with your singular goal in mind.  Do not clutter the content with irrelevant prose.

8.  Inform and educate.  Don’t waste the visitor’s time by not delivering anything of benefit.  And don’t ask for too much information — a name and an email address should be sufficient.

9.  Be truthful.  If you have actual testimonials that would be appropriate, use them but be sure you are not making any false promises or guarantees.

10.  Provide value.  Make it clear what the value and benefits of redeeming your offer will provide to your visitor.  If they are entrusting you with their information, you need to let them know it is a fair exchange for what you are providing with your offer.

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Get 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.

 

Law Firm Management: Learn the 6 Key Numbers Every Attorney Must Know at FREE Webinar on Jan. 23

Posted in Law Firm Development, Law Firm Management

6 Key Numbers Every Attorney Must Know:  FREE Webinar on Jan. 23How much time do you spend every month looking over the financials for your law firm?  Do you even know the most important numbers you need to run and grow your business?

The fact is, you cannot get a true picture of the financial health of your firm without having a system in place that will help you obtain the critical numbers you need to gauge the financial stability of your business.

Most attorneys I know do not relish the numbers side of the business.  However, there are six key numbers that every lawyer must know in order to be successful at law firm management.

So join me and Brooke Lively, who directs the outsourced CFO services program for How to Manage A Small Law Firm, on Friday, Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT for a free one-hour webinar on the 6 Key Numbers Every Attorney Must Know, where you will learn:

  • 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

Brooke consults with solos and small firms to help them make the strategic financial decisions necessary to grow their businesses.  She has an MBA with a double concentration in investments and corporate finance from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.  Her insights and real-world experience are invaluable, and available to you for free during this one-hour webinar.

If you can’t attend the live webinar, be sure to register anyway to receive a recording to watch at your convenience.

Register online now for the free one-hour webinar on the 6 Key Numbers Every Attorney Must Know on Friday, Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

5 Legal Marketing Tactics You Can Let Go Of in 2015

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

5 Legal Marketing Tactics You Can Let Go Of in 2015When it comes to marketing, sometimes less is more.  Although there are certain legal marketing tactics where doing more leads to better results — blogging, for example — there may be some tactics you can feel free to let go of this year.  I can think of 5:

1.  Spending time on social networks that don’t work for you.  Attorneys often ask me which social networks they should be using as part of their marketing efforts.  With so many platforms out there these days, it can be confusing.  My advice, though, is not:  use what your target market is using.  If you market directly to consumers, then Facebook has to be your #1.  If you market to businesses, it’s LinkedIn.  If your target market skews female, you need to give Pinterest a try.  If you are trying to engage on a social network that is just not delivering any opportunities for engagement, then quit it and forget it.

2.  Putting out great content without promotion.   Before everyone jumped on the content marketing bandwagon, your chances of getting attention for your superior content were much better.  Today, just being awesome isn’t enough.  You have to actively work to promote your content.  Link to it on your social media pages.  Promote your blogs via email.  Repurpose a timely blog post as a press release.

3.  Using lame stock photography.  Visual content has become increasingly important to getting your content noticed, so using staid, irrelevant stock photos just won’t do the job for you anymore.  I recently provided readers here with a list of great free photo resources, so you have no excuse for using the same old stock photos again and again.

4.  Not following through on mobile optimization.  If your website has been optimized for mobile (and it should by now since most people use their phones or tablets to go online or access email), don’t make the mistake of just stopping there.  You need to be sure your entire lead conversion path is optimized for mobile — that means if your site has calls-to-action like downloading a free report, the button to click on needs to be large enough for a finger to tap on it.  If you have a landing page with a form for people to fill out, that form needs to be optimized for mobile.  Your e-newsletter needs to be easy to read on mobile devices, without having to pinch or move around to make it legible.

5.  Compiling metrics that don’t matter.  With Google Analytics and other measurement tools, you can gather thousands of data points from your online activities.  But there’s no sense in compiling all these statistics if they don’t measure what truly matters to you.  Set clear-cut goals for your online efforts, and then measure just those things that line up with your goals.

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Remember to Join Me Tomorrow for My FREE Webinar on How to Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

Join me tomorrow, January 14, 2015 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT for a free one-hour webinar on How to Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan, where you will discover:

  • don't forget3 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)

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

If the time doesn’t work for you, register anyway to receive access to a recording of this important webinar to view at your convenience.  Share it with your partners, associates and sales team, all of whom should be involved in your legal marketing program.

Register now for my free one-hour webinar on How to Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.