MARKETING MISTAKE 3:
USING PASSIVE MARKETING VERSUS ACTIVE MARKETING
One of the mistakes I talk about in my book, Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers, is using passive versus active marketing strategies in Law Firm Marketing.
Passive marketing is when you wait for your prospective clients to come to you—like placing an advertisement in the newspaper or waiting for a referral to walk in the door.
Active marketing is when you go out and find those prospective clients—like giving a presentation or formal networking.
PASSIVE MARKETING STRATEGIES may include: Sending out direct mail letters, postcards, or flyers announcing my company, new services, or law firm websites. Researching area associations I can speak to. Refining my Unique Competitive Advantage. (UCA). Waiting for referrals to come in. Writing or reworking the firm’s brochure.
ACTIVE MARKETING STRATEGIES may include: Making a follow-up call to everyone I sent the direct mail pieces to until I reach them and ask them to attend or sign up. Calling a list of ten organizations a month and inquiring about speaking opportunities. Sharing my UCA with potential referral sources in a 1-1, face-to-face setting. Conducting a phone survey of leading experts in my target markets industry and interviewing them on a specific topic. Handing the brochure out to hot prospects I meet at a networking event and following up with them via phone & email within 24 hours.
What's wrong with using Passive Marketing Strategies in your law firm marketing plan?
There is nothing wrong with using Passive Marketing Strategies. Passive Strategies are not necessarily better than Active Strategies; however, as a law firm marketing consultant here are two common problems I frequently encounter with the attorneys I coach and offer legal marketing services to:
1. First, attorneys have a much greater tendency to use passive rather than active strategies. As I said, one is not better than the other. The key to success is using a powerful combination of both.
Take a look at your 12-month law firm marketing plans and ask yourself, does it contain a balance between the passive and active strategies or am I favoring one or the other?
2. Passive strategies tend to take a lot longer to produce results—which is fine if you have lots of time to make money and generate revenues, but if you're hurting for cash flow right now or want to quickly ramp up your revenues, you really need to use Active Marketing Strategies more frequently.
Why every single law firm should have a blog... Spend 60 minutes with us on August 5th and learn how blogging will really make a difference in your practice. Click here to learn How to attend this Session and Receive Your Digital Audio Clip...
Law Firm Marketing MISTAKE 2:
TARGETING THE WRONG MARKET
This is one of the biggest mistakes I see among attorneys especially in small law firm marketing—targeting the wrong market. Identifying and targeting the right market for your services is the most important thing you can do marketing your law firm to ensure the success of your practice. If you don’t target the right market, nothing else you do will matter.
Let me give you an example.
As a law firm marketing consultant I was talking with a lawyer in Chicago and asking her about her target market. She said that her target market was small business owners who were too small to need in-house counsel or who couldn’t afford the high priced downtown lawyers. They needed someone who understood the legal issues small businesses face and who offered them a flexible payment plan.
I asked her, “Do you know how many small business owners there are here in Chicago?”
“No,” she replied.
I stated, “Recently, Crain’s Chicago business magazine reported there were over 300,000 small business owners here in Chicago.
“Now, I've never been very good at math, but for the sake of illustration, let's say that only 50 percent of those business owners needed or wanted your services, that’s a pretty large task trying to reach 150,000 prospects even once.”
Marketing research has shown that it takes seven “touches” before a prospective client becomes a client. The Law of 7 Touches is based on research that found it takes an average of 7 to 10 meaningful touches EVERY YEAR to move someone through the cycle from not knowing anything about you to being ready to buy from you.
This is just the average, not a guarantee, because in hypercompetitive markets, like legal services, it often takes many more touches than that. In addition, it also takes consistency.
There are also ways you can speed up this process and create multiple touches all at once by being highly-targeted in your marketing materials; using technology like law firm internet marketing, law firm websites and using mail delivered by the post office.
In general, only 3 percent to 5 percent of your target market is ready to buy at any given time. Therefore, it’s how you reach the other 95 percent to 97 percent that will make or break your business. You must consistently be in front of your prospects to be at the top of their minds when they are ready to buy.
Now that you know The Law of 7 Touches, you can better understand why it’s so vital to narrow your target market in your law firm marketing plan. Remember the story I told about the Chicago attorney who targeted small business? Well, according to The Law of 7 Touches, you multiply this lawyer’s 150,000 prospects by a factor of 7, maybe 10. That means she would need to produce 1 to 1.5 million meaningful touches every year. Considering both her time and money, there is no possible way a typical solo practitioner could do that and smart business owners who are also smart marketers won't even try.
Do you want to know what will move you to the front page of Google faster than anything else? Join us on August 5th for a 60 minute webinar led by Kevin O’Keefe, President and Founder of LexBlog and learn how blogging will really make a difference in your practice. Click here to learn How to attend this Session and Receive Your Digital Audio Clip...
In having coached more than 6,000 attorneys in small and solo law firms over the years, I’ve discovered that in law firm marketing they share many commonalities. One of these is their realization that marketing for lawyers is challenging; it is time-consuming, budget-draining and often lacking in results.
And the reasons why attorneys find marketing their practices so challenging are best summed up in the 10 major marketing mistakes that attorneys make when creating their law firm marketing plan. We will be introducing each mistake in upcoming posts.
Law Firm Marketing MISTAKE 1:
BELIEVING “IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME”
One of the most common mistakes attorneys make in their law firm marketing plan is their believing “If you build it, they will come.” It’s the false belief that all you need to do to grow your practice is to tell friends and family about it, or to place a Yellow Pages ad, and people will be lining up outside your door.
This is simply not true.
To be successful in business, you need to take an active role in that business. Top rainmaker attorneys do not risk their chances of success by depending on someone else to spoon feed clients to them. They actively seek new clients. They seek to control their destiny rather than placing their financial future in another’s hands.
It takes more than courage and money to make a new business succeed; marketing your law firm takes creating and daily implementing a law firm marketing plan of action.
The next several blogs will discuss marketing for attorneys and the actions that will truly bring success.
Why every single law firm should have a blog... In this economy, it’s critical to stand apart from others in the industry. Join us for this 60 minute webinar on August 5th, led by Kevin O’Keefe, President and Founder of LexBlog. Attorneys across the country have integrated blogging into their practice with great results. Spend 60 minutes with us and learn how blogging will really make a difference in your practice. Click here to learn How to attend this Session and Receive Your Digital Audio Clip...
On Wednesday we discussed Mastermind Groups and what they are. This week John Bisnar shares with us the 5 major benefits that Mastermind Groups have in relation to Marketing for Lawyers.
1. Specialized Knowledge: No one person knows it all, which is one of the most common reasons people fall short of their goal or choose not to take chances. People believe they don't have the knowledge or required education to get where they want to be. The fact is, no successful individual has become successful because he knew everything. The most successful people are not the ones who know how to do everything, but the ones who know how to get people to assist them with what they don't know. While it is our duty to be experts in our particular area of law, it is not possible for us to know everything there is to know about all aspects of the law or building a law practice. For instance you may know little about law firm marketing, law firm websites, Law firm marketing plans and the like. But By being part of a mastermind group we can leverage the knowledge and strengths of everyone around us to move forward more quickly toward our goals.
2. Definiteness of Purpose: Definiteness of purpose is a key to your success. If you do not know with absolute certainty what you want, you are not likely to reach the level of success that is possible. Mastermind groups offer knowledge, information, and direction.
Members will help you stay on track, call you out when you are not doing what you say you are going to do, and generally serve as the more rational voice inside you to keep your eye on the prize. However, you have to be clear on your own purpose if you expect to get the most out of the experience. The clearer you are about your purpose, the more success you will find. This power should not be under-estimated.
3. Infinite Experience: An individual who is trying to develop a strategy to grow his or her law practice for the first time has a higher probability of failure because he or she has finite experience. You have only what you currently know to guide you. However, the mastermind group has infinite experience. It has years of combined experience, knowledge and insight from which you can draw to accelerate your learning curve. As Napoleon Hill said, "When a group of individual brains are coordinated and function in harmony, the increased energy created through that alliance becomes available to every individual brain in the group." I have experienced no greater shortcut to success than having access to infinite experience.
4.Group Energy: Many attorneys at small and solo law firms struggle without consistent interaction with their peers on a daily basis. They may work with clients and attend events a few times a month, but working in isolation can limit your growth. Having a mastermind group keeps you connected, helps you to see that your struggles are not unique, and that you can have outrageous success even if you stumble once in a while.
5.Higher Levels of Accountability: When you have a group of likeminded people committed to you and your goals, it is much more difficult to let things go than when you are working alone. Having others who are expecting you to achieve the goals you have set for yourself can often add that little extra bit of motivation you need to follow through. In addition, when you know that others feel accountable to you, there is a sense of responsibility you have to do what you say you are going to do. Accountability works both ways and it is one of the primary reasons why mastermind groups are so effective.
Action Step to Consider: If a Mastermind Group sounds like something you would be interested in please contact us by emailing Diane@theRainmakerInstitute.com or call 888-588-5891
Stephen Fairley's Law Firm Marketing Presentation on the Front Page of the State Bar of California's Website
But I just can't contain my excitement!
I'm very excited to announce I will be giving a keynote presentation at the upcoming 82nd Annual Conference of the State Bar of California and they are promoting my presentation on their event’s homepage!
Here's the link to check it out: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/annualmeeting
How cool is that!?
I will be giving a 3 hour presentation on Thursday from 2-5pm on The Top 10 “Secret” Strategies Used by Rainmakers: How to Build a 7 Figure Law Firm During Difficult Times
If you are an attorney in California I invite you to join me and discover why some attorneys struggle to build a financially successful practice, while others grow even in trying economic times.
In this information packed session, I will discuss in detail 7 strategies small firms must use to “recession proof” their law firm while generating more and better referrals.
Attendees will learn practical tips to:
- Rapidly increase their referrals in 90 days
- How to stay connected with current and former clients
- Recession proof their law firm
- Reduce their overhead
- Improve productivity and moral among their office staff
- Ways to market their law firm on a shoe string budget
Looking forward to seeing you there!
The greatest principle in building a financially successful and personally satisfying law firm is to learn from the experts. Why recreate the wheel when you can learn from attorneys who have passed on before you and have taught thousands of others proven law firm marketing techniques?
According to John Bisnar Esq., ”If you study or analyze the record of any person who has achieved great success or accumulated a great fortune you will find evidence that they have either consciously or unconsciously employed the principle of the mastermind.”
Attorneys are no exception. In my years of experience marketing for attorneys and teaching thousands of attorneys as they build a law firm marketing plan I have seen that mastermind groups are often a key factor in the success of their firms.
John goes on to say that “As an attorney in a small or solo law firm you know what it feels like to have an abundance of experience in some areas and a definite lack in others. You may also experience such challenges as lack of collaboration, lack of external support, lack of external accountability, lack of personal support and too many distractions as you try to practice law and grow your practice while enjoying your practice and your life. This is where the mastermind group comes into play.”
“A mastermind is a group of mutually supportive, mutually accountable professionals who realize the value of collective thought and accountability. They meet regularly to identify and define goals and review achievements along the path to reaching those goals. The members provide input, insight resources, experience and constructive criticism to ensure each person the best chance of reaching his goals.”
“In a mastermind group, success is not merely hoped for, it is assured. Mastermind groups allow you to use the full strength, training, experience and knowledge of the other people as if they were your own. Each of the minds involved are expanded and reinforced by exposure to the other minds. Imagine what it would be like to have two dozen skilled and focused law firm partners helping you find solutions to your most challenging questions and issues in your practice. You would get two dozen lives of experience, resources, education and insight from which to draw. There are few things as powerful.”
“Open up to the reality and the idea that while we are unique in many ways, we encounter many of the same struggles, and it is only in being aware of these truths and allowing ourselves to be assisted that we will overcome challenges and reach our goals sooner and easier.”
Friday’s post will go into more detail about how a Mastermind Group can ensure your success by identifying it’s 5 key benefits.
Transform Your Practice. Achieve Your Financial Goals. Create the Lifestyle You Desire and Deserve. If you are ready to transform your practice into the highly profitable, personally satisfying firm you dream of, apply for membership in the Bisnar Rainmaker Mastermind Group. As a member, you will gain access to some of the best minds in the areas of law firm marketing, practice management techniques and internet marketing for attorneys.
You will receive direct, candid coaching, ideas and insights from other attorneys who have struggled with the same challenges you struggle with. You will discover proven, practice-building methods that will save you time and money while eliminating guesswork from your business. And you will accomplish all of this while building a law firm that is just as financially rewarding as it is personally satisfying. Contact us by emailing Stephen@theRainmakerInstitute.com or call 888-588-5891
We just held our Summer Las Vegas Rainmaker Retreat 2 day law firm marketing boot camp at the Mirage. It was fantastic!
Great group of attorneys! Powerful content! We added some special presentations: one by Conrad Saam of www.Avvo.com and one on social media. Social media was a big hit. It seems everyone wanted to know how to use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
I was honesty surprised to find almost everyone in the room was on LinkedIn, several were on Facebook and 5 were even on Twitter!
Here's how we can connect on these social media networking sites:
We had a little unexpected excitement when the burglar alarm went off in the Mirage Casino—yes, you heard me right, during my presentation someone tried to steal money from the Mirage Casino and the burglar alarm went off!
It was even funnier when Conrad from Avvo walked back into the room and asked if there were any criminal defense attorneys in the room!
I love to see all the light bulbs go off in the room when attorneys discover how many different low cost tools there are to market their law firms.
Teaching effective law firm marketing is a lot of fun for me! I love empowering entrepreneurs and law firm partners.
Here are just a few of the written comments attendees made:
“The Rainmaker Retreat was the best business investment I have ever made for my law practice!”
Peter Schaeffer, JD, MD, Solo, Riverside, CA www.pslaw.com
“This program was the best marketing presentation I have ever attended and I have done lots of marketing and attended many marketing seminars. Stephen is articulate, extremely knowledgeable and bright. I will implement many of his very practical and terrific strategies. Stephen is the best and no one else is even a close second!”
Jeffrey Matsen, Partner, Estate and Asset Protection, Costa Mesa, CA http://www.jrmatsen.com
“Stephen Fairley has totally changed my perspective on marketing. The Rainmaker Retreat program is mandatory!”
Joseph Arnold, Partner, Fresno, CA http://www.arnold-blea.com
“The information I received put the whole marketing matrix picture in focus for me. A clear A-Z path to purposeful, consistent legal marketing that guarantees good results if applied. Thank you very much.”
Roy Landers, Partner, Real estate/Business Entity Structure, San Diego, CA http://landerslaw.com
“The program helped me to crystalize, with real tools, how to create an effective and efficient law firm marketing plan to not only maintain the existing practice, but maximize growth.”
Caren Castle, Partner, Real estate/Mortgage Banking, Denver, CO
“The Rainmaker Retreat arms you with simple specific affordable marketing tools that you can instantly apply towards promoting your practice.”
Raffy Boulgourjian, Solo, Real estate, Los Angeles, CA
“I would recommend all attorneys send their Marketing Director to the Rainmaker Retreat. There is nothing better than a first person learning experience.
Stephanie Colosi, Marketing Director, Family Law, Winter Park, FL http://www.mensdivorcelaw.com/
“Well structured seminar. Very good content. Very useful workbook.”
Luc Audet, Partner, Business law, Montreal, Canada
‘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 Yau, Associate, Trademarks/Franchising & Personal Injury, Jacksonville, FL
“This seminar has been helpful in merging my social abilities with actively attacking the internet. The discussions were great at furthering ideas and providing brainstorming to be effective in both areas.”
Lenorae Atter, Associate, Family Law, Jacksonville, FL
“I came to the Rainmaker Retreat with no idea of how to market my legal services, and I feel like I am leaving this retreat extremely well informed about all aspects of legal marketing.”
Brent Finch, Solo, Business/Real estate litigation, Woodland Hills, CA
“Opened my eyes to all the things I should have done 10 years ago and will start today.”
Phil Ganong, Solo, Personal Injury, Bakersfield, CA
“The Rainmaker Institute has transformed my law practice. In the middle of the ‘great recession,’ I am so busy, I am expanding my practice.”
Kevin von Tungeln, Partner, Estate Planning, Lancaster, CA www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com
“I came to the Rainmaker Retreat with high expectations and I wasn’t disappointed. I have months of actionable ideas to implement.”
Darrin Mish, Partner, Taxation, Tampa, FL www.GetIRSHelp.com
“Unlike other seminars, the Rainmaker Retreat offers real, practical solutions and tips to better market your law firm. Law schools teach the law, the Rainmaker Institute teaches lawyers to be better marketers and business owners.”
David Wolf, Partner, Personal Injury, Jacksonville, FL http://www.woodatter.com/
If you missed our www.RainmakerRetreat.com in Las Vegas, don’t worry, we will be back this fall probably either late November or early December. Keep a lookout as we will be posting dates on our website around mid-August.
We also anticipate holding Rainmaker Retreat’s in Los Angeles and San Francisco this fall.
In the current economy and with the many changes that are going on around us we are likely to feel overwhelmed, panicked or stressed. Law firm Marketing can be affected by the choices you make in reaction to this stress.
Lynn Jarrett a life balance coach suggests that there are three foundational strategies to help manage the stresses in your law firm that can lead to burnout in your professional life and problems in your personal life as well. I would like to comment on each of them.
1. Set Priorities-The "riches are in the niches" so the saying goes. When you know exactly whom you truly enjoy as a client, focus where you would find them instead of marketing to all the masses. More focused marketing will bring greater results.
I suggest taking this strategy to heart. Many Lawyer marketing mistakes include trying to be everything to everyone. Your Law Firm Marketing plan should be specific. When Marketing your law firm be clear on who you target and what services you want to focus on providing them. Starting with this one simple step can free up a great deal of energy spent worrying.
2. Establish Boundaries -Whether you're a solo lawyer or a partner in a small firm, it's very easy to get caught up in believing that success or failure rests solely on you. From the very beginning of your practice, it's crucial to understand where your talent and wisdom end and where another person's expertise begins, making your job easier.
In last weeks blog post we talked about Delegation. Not only is Delegation key to your financial success but it is crucial to your personal well being and state of mind. Delegate! Your Law firms marketing success depends on it.
3. Know Your Purpose- Once you've established priorities by targeting a niche, allowing you to set boundaries naturally, you then can focus on the purpose of your role as a lawyer: helping people.
Lynn suggests that you think about what you enjoy most about practicing law. Re-discover or discover the true motivators in your career and where you find your purpose. Look at the areas that you have the most passion for and integrate your conclusions as you are marketing your law firm.
Call to schedule your attendance at our next Rainmaker Retreat. In this two-day marketing boot camp for small and solo law firms, you'll learn valuable information and practical steps to better market your practice. For more information or to sign-up for the next one, go to:www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.
1. Don't do it all by yourself. Most of the follow up should be done by your staff, not you. Don't have a staff? Then outsource it to a virtual assistant or someone who provides legal marketing services. You should remain focused on bringing in more business, meeting with prospects, signing new people up as clients, and billing your clients. Attorneys are not in business to chase down people they meet, especially unqualified leads. Focus on making money by bringing in more clients and then by billing them for your services.
2. Create your written plan ahead of time. Do not wait until the last minute to create your follow up plan. Think about it ahead of time. How do you want to connect with them after your event (trade show, seminar, presentation, article, networking event, etc)? As part of your law firm marketing you plan you should write down the exact steps your team will take to connect with them. Write down roles, responsibilities and time frames. Go over it with your team just before the event to answer any questions and make sure they know their role.
3. Have a plan for obtaining their full contact information and then have a back up plan. Do not rely on someone else giving you their contact information in a timely fashion. They may or may not. They may have better things to do or an emergency might arise or they may forget. Always, always have a back up plan. Make sure you get all their contact information including: full name, mailing address, phone number, and email. This will be of great value later on.
4. Use a database to keep track of your contacts. Do not rely on the stacks of business cards you have on your desk. Put them into a database like ACT or Goldmine or zoho.com. I heard of an attorney who went to a very important networking event and gathered about 30 business cards from some high profile contacts. He left them on his desk and when the cleaning crew came that night they threw them away as trash. Have someone on your team input them into a database as soon as possible!
5. Use multiple methods to connect with them. Some people read emails, some people read letters, and some people respond to phone calls. Any law firm marketing consultant will tell you to use at least two of these methods to connect. If possible, use all three. For example, have your assistant send out an email the very next day after your networking event. Have a letter sent out the day after that and three days later have them follow up with a phone call to set an appointment for you.
6. Remember the Rule of 48. The Rule of 48 refers to the amount of time you have to follow up with a qualified prospect after you meet them before they forget why you are contacting them. In most cases, you have 48 hours to make the first contact or you can forget about it.
I remember meeting with an attorney who still had a list of "qualified prospects" he met at a networking group six months ago. I told him the only thing they were qualified for is the trash. The fortune is in the follow up so do it quickly. If you don't have time, make time or don't bother. Even a quick email is better than nothing. Here's a helpful tip: whenever you have a big event coming up, clear two or three hours first thing the next day from your schedule and use that time to start the follow up process.
7. Plan for the long-term. Even though you usually only have 48 hours to start the follow up process, your law firm marketing plan should include specific ways you can stay connected to your leads, prospects, clients, and referral sources over the long-term. Whether it's a monthly newsletter, a quarterly phone call, or a legal update you send out. Once a semi-qualified person is on your list, institute a process to stay connected with them at least seven to ten times per year.
For law firm marketing, the fortune is in the follow up! You need to have a system in place to connect with and stay connected to your leads, prospects, clients, and referral sources. Why not take some time this week and meet with your staff to develop a written system for following up with people in a timely, systematic fashion. "Top attorneys
understand the fortune is in the follow up!"
Need some help keeping in touch with your contacts? The Rainmaker Institute has a new service for Attorneys just like you. We will write and send out a personalized monthly or quarterly ezine to your contacts to help you keep them informed of upcoming events, keep your name in the forefront of their minds and offer them helpful tips and information. And if you need more help turning your contacts into clients so you can earn a seven figure income join us at our next Rainmaker Retreat. In this two-day marketing boot camp for small and solo law firms, you’ll learn valuable information and practical steps to take to better market your practice. For more information or to sign-up for the next one, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.
If you are like many lawyers, you have tried many things to market your law firm. Marketing for lawyers often include giving seminars and presentations, going to networking events, writing articles, talking to old law school buddies, meeting with potential referral sources, building law firm websites, and sending out holiday cards to remind clients of who you are.
When marketing your law firm, there are four different groups of people you come into contact with and which group they fall into will usually tell you how you should follow up with them. It is important to understand the differences between each group.
Leads are people or companies who are unqualified and may or may not need your services or even be able to afford your services. Leads come from a presentation you make to a local trade group, by visiting your law firm website, or perhaps sending you a question in an email.
Prospects are people who have some level of qualification. They have either expressed a need for your services or they fall into a category that you believe has a high likelihood of needing your services. The major differences between leads and prospects are two-fold: you know who they are and you have a good reason to believe they need your services.
Clients are the third group you need to follow up with. A client is someone who has paid you money. Do not confuse prospects with clients. If someone hasn’t signed an agreement and paid you money yet, they are not your client.
Referrals are the last group you need to follow up with as part of your law firm marketing plan. They may be current referral sources, former referral sources (they haven't sent you any new leads or prospects in the last 12 months), or prospective referral sources.
I have coached and trained over 6,000 lawyers in virtually every practice area.The difference between financially successful attorneys and struggling attorneys is often found in their follow up.
Top attorneys clearly understand “the fortune is in the follow up”. They plan ahead and lay out a clear game plan for following up with every person they connect with.
Friday’s blog post will include 7 powerful tips to remember when planning your law firms follow up strategies.
"It’s absolutely incredible. My personal opinion is that in a few years, everybody is going to be taking this course as one of the foundations of marketing. And, anybody that hasn’t taken the course isn’t serious about marketing. There are plenty of courses I’ve gone to just in general and I’m sure all the attorneys feel this way that it’s usually very boring and you don’t really learn much that is applicable right away. That was totally different today I’m taking things I’m going to immediately commence as soon as this weekend is over." Paul Cheng, Esq. Solo Practitioner.
To get results like Paul’s and thousands of others call to schedule your attendance at our next Rainmaker Retreat. In this two-day marketing boot camp for small and solo law firms, you’ll learn valuable information and practical steps to better market your practice. For more information or to sign-up for the next one, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.
Law firm marketing is a struggle for most small law firms.
As an attorney in a small law firm or a solo practice, you cannot and should not try to do all your marketing by yourself. In any full blown legal marketing plan there are many moving parts, there is an expertise that must be applied to get the results you really want. Here are five keys to delegating when it comes to marketing for lawyers.
Key 1. Delegation is a learned skill. Attorneys must learn how to delegate certain parts of their law firm marketing plan, whether it's sending out letters, making follow up phone calls after a seminar, sending out your monthly newsletter, or building your law firm website. Your job as an attorney is to do two things: bring in new clients (be a Rainmaker) and bill them for your services (make money). Everything else is ancillary and should be delegated or outsourced.
Key 2. Delegation is not abdication. Delegating responsibility for a specific marketing project does not mean you completely abdicate responsibility. It doesn't mean you can't check in on the progress or hold people accountable for the results, I am not a proponent of abdicating responsibility for any major part of your law firm, especially one that makes you money like marketing.
Key 3. Trust is developed and must be mutual. In order to delegate your law firm's marketing plan you must have someone you can delegate to and you must trust them. You may not have anyone in your practice whom you trust enough to give the task of marketing your law firm. If not, then you have two choices, either hire someone or outsource your marketing to a law firm marketing consulting company that specializes in helping small law firms generate more referrals and find new clients fast, like The Rainmaker Institute, LLC.
However you decide to proceed you must realize that trust is developed over time and it must be mutual. You must believe the person entrusted with marketing has your best interests at heart and is competent. They must believe you will support their decisions and will not try to undermine their authority to make progress.
Key 4. Delegation is about control. Ultimately when an attorney says they can't delegate law firm marketing to someone else - I know it's about one thing -They have a need to control. To create a 7 figure law firm you must start to give up control. I have yet to meet a financially successful law firm where the partners micromanage everything. They have hired people they trust, they have trained them well, and they have implemented written systems to run the major parts of their law firm. If you're a "control freak," like a lot of partners, start with something small, like letting your web designer select the pictures on your new website, or hiring a professional copywriter to revise the copy for your law firm's brochure. Hire great, competent people, train them, and then let them do their job.
Key 5. Your lack of ability to delegate is your biggest obstacle to success, both personally and financially. Please read this again. It is critical you understand that you will kill any chances of achieving true and lasting success if you are unwilling or unable to delegate important tasks to your key people or outsource them to trusted law firm marketing consultants. We have worked with over 6,000 lawyers and have seen great attorneys limit their financial success because they were not willing to give up control and focus on what they do best: serve their clients.
``I am extremely thankful I met Stephen Fairley and that I attended his Rainmaker Retreat. I more than doubled my firm's annual revenue in the year since attending the Rainmaker Retreat and implementing Stephen's marketing program. If you are willing to do the work, Stephen definitely has a proven method of driving new business into your firm. I endorse his program, it clearly worked for me." --Gordon R. Levinson, Esq. (Levinson Law Group, Carlsbad, CA)
Come join us in Vegas next week for our 2 day marketing boot camp. We will teach you over 62 proven strategies to find more clients and generate massive amounts of referrals (even in this economy). If your practice is hurting or you want to build a 7 figure law firm you definitely need to attend. For more information or to sign-up go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891
- Identify 2-3 specific networking groups to attend.
- Indentify at least 1 “elite” group and attend 1-2 times per quarter.
- Refine your “audio logo.” (For a definition of audio logo and an example of one, see Wednesday’s post.)
- Develop 3-5 open-ended questions you can ask at a networking event.
- Join your local bar association.
- Join your local Chamber of Commerce.
- Attend 1-2 Industry-specific trade association meetings every month.
- Volunteer to sit on a non-profit’s board of directors.
- Join a formal leads group (like Business Networkers International.)
- Create a follow-up campaign consisting of emails, letters and phone calls.
- Use an Excel spreadsheet to track your results form various network events.
- Read Masters of Success and Masters of Networking by Ivan Misner.
- Set-up 1-2 informal networking lunches with colleagues every month.
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One law firm marketing tactic that consistently helps most law firms get new clients is through referrals. Now there are several different ways to get those referrals: initiating a strategic referral partner mail & meet campaign; informal networking and formal networking.
“Formal networking” involves attending an organized group event such as industry trade shows, bar meetings, rotary clubs, special interest groups, political groups and lead groups like Business Network International (BNI).
In today’s post, I would like to share 7 tips on finding clients through formal networking.
#1. Join the right groups: Not legal groups or groups where a lot of attorneys gather (unless you get a lot of your business from other attorneys). You need to go where the decision makers meet, not the gatekeepers.
#2. Join elite groups: Groups that cost several hundred dollars a year are better than cheap groups; groups that require a member to sponsor you are even better.
#3. Use an “audio logo”: An audio logo is an idea or statement that clearly and succinctly tells who your intended audience is and what you can do for them.
Most people are basically narcissistic – they want to talk about what interests them. They don’t want to talk to someone who’s only interested in how to get their business. So you can use an audio logo to attract attention. Be prepared to give case examples of how you have helped others.
Here is an outline of an audio logo: “I help (who your clients are) to (what your solution is or how you solve their problems.)”
#4. Remember your primary purpose: Remember your primary purpose is going to networking events is NOT to get new clients. Your primary purpose is to BUILD A RELATIONSHIP with potential referral sources and to offer yourself as a referral source to them. If you’re going to networking events to get new clients you are not only wasting you time, but you are also coming across as either pushy or desperate to the people you’re meeting.
When you understand the real reason for going to networking events, it takes all the pressure to perform off and keeps you focused on a more productive purpose—building relationships with people you could help and how may also be of help to you.
#5. Ask open-ended questions: Use the 8/20 Rainmaker Rule when you meet them. Ask open ended questions like:
What do you like best about the work you do?
What are the biggest challenges your industry/company/profession is facing?
Where do you find most of your clients?
Who is your target market?
If one of your prospects asks what makes you different from your competitors, what do you say?
How would I know if the person I’m talking to would be a good referral for you?
#6. Be intentional in your follow-up: It does absolutely no good to go to a bunch of networking events, talk to people, collect business cards, and not follow-up. You must have a plan and reasons for following up with people you meet. Your primary reason is to learn more about their business and see if you would be a good referral source for them.
#7. Track your efforts:
Contact’s name and full information.
Follow-up method used—phone, email letter.
Date of 1st follow-up.
Dates of each additional follow-up.
Date of first face-to-face meeting.
Results of efforts.
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Client satisfaction surveys are information gold mines. Through these surveys, you understand what your client thinks: about how you delivered your service; what you could have improved upon; what they actually gained from your service and what they really need from you.
Although this insight is vital, the benefits to client satisfaction surveys don’t stop there. You can use these insights to improve your law firm marketing. For example, by better understanding how your clients find services such as yours, you know more specifically how to promote your services to reach similar clients.
So here are some tips on creating effective client satisfaction surveys.
Who should conduct the survey
Preferably have your assistant or outside coach/consultant conduct the survey for you for a deeper level of honesty and better objectivity. Least preference is having the attorney responsible for the account conduct the survey.
Choice of formats
There is a strong preference for doing surveys either in person or over the phone. If conducted via email or letter, you need to reword the questions to be more quantitative (forced choice), not qualitative (open ended.)
Or you may choose to convert this survey into a law firm Internet marketing technique and use the online resource called “SurveyMonkey.” (www.surveymonkey.com)
Some questions to ask
No matter what format you use, here are some good questions to ask in your survey:
***What was your first impression of the firm? Of your attorney?
***How were you initially treated during your first in-person meeting?
***What do you believe is our biggest strength?
***What do you believe is the area we need the most improvement on?
***Out of the following 5 areas, which ones do you anticipate needing in the next year?
***Were invoices sent out on a regular basis to you?
***Were you ever surprised by the amount on an invoice?
***What are the 2 ways we could better serve you?
***Would you recommend your friends or colleagues to hire us?
***Are they any other comments, suggestions, complaints, or concerns you would like to voice?
Some additional ways to use a client survey
You can use a survey:
- During a meeting with a client.
- At the end of a successful relationship (An “exit” interview.)
- With current and former clients as a “keep in touch” technique.
When you conduct your next -- or your first – client survey, I hope this information has helped you.
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A Unique Competitive Advantage (UCA) answers the questions: Why should we hire you versus your competition? What’s unique about your firm and your services?
Here are 10 ways you can begin answering those questions:
- Benefits. What are the benefits of working with your firm as compared to working with others? What do you do that other firms refuse to do to better serve their clients?
- Value. Compare your costs versus how much money you save clients. How have you helped other clients take better advantage of opportunities or avoid legal liability? What are some specific ways you are constantly looking out for their best interests? What are the core values of your firm and how do you demonstrate these values?
- Results. What are some specific results you have obtained for clients in the past? What is your win/loss record? What do you do to achieve better results than your competitors?
- Solutions. Give an example of a creative solution you found to a client’s problem. How did you come up with it? What happened because of your creative solution?
- Individual Partners. Remember, people don’t buy legal services from law firms; they buy legal services from attorneys. People don’t say, “Go talk to my law firm,” they say, “Go talk to my attorney.” What is different about your partners than in other firms?
- Service. How do your clients describe the way you treat them? What’s an example of how you went out of your way to better serve a client? How do you demonstrate exceptional client service on a regular basis?
- Industry-specific Specialty. Position your partners as leading experts in a specific industry, not as generalists. To be a generalist for most attorneys is the “kiss of death.” Go deeper, not broader. Have industry specific marketing materials.
- Clients’ Feedback. What do your best clients say about you? What would they tell someone else about your services and how you’ve helped them? Do you have a long list of very satisfied clients that prospects can speak with? Do your clients refer other clients to you on a regular basis?
- Credibility. What is your firm known for in the industry? Talk about how your partners are profiled in the media or are industry experts. What are 3 reasons why your prospects should perceive you as a credible expert?
- Visibility. How visible are your partners within an industry? Do they regularly speak at top industry events? Are they a nationally-recognized expert? A published author? What happens when prospects type their names into Google?
Where can you read articles like: “9 Proven Keys to Recession-proof your Law Practice”;
“4 Secret Strategies of Law Firm Marketing” or “Supercharging Your Law Firm’s Referrals?”
In The Rainmaker Advisor Journal. To get your free trial copy, go to www.therainmakeradvisor.com
One of the biggest mistakes I see most attorneys make in the legal marketing is defining their target market way too broadly. For example, a PI attorney might say: “My target market are those people who have been injured in Texas.”
Although this statement is certainly true, that’s a lot of people and it certainly doesn’t help the marketing efforts of such an attorney.
A better way to describe that PI’s target market might be something like: “My target market are those married couples who make more than $50,000 a year, own their own homes and either the husband or wife has been injured in a construction accident in Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston or Austin, Texas.”
There, isn’t that more specific? Now, although for purpose of illustration here I’m making up these qualifiers, in the real world of finding your prospective clients, you should not. Your qualifiers should be based on factors such as: who is more likely to hire you, who is more likely to listen to you when they hire you and who is more likely to pay you, for example. By strategically qualifying your target market, your marketing efforts are made much, much easier and have a greater likelihood of producing results.
Here are more examples of what I’m talking about, broken down into practice categories for
Business Attorney for Small, Privately-held Businesses
- CEOs, Presidents, VPs, General Managers.
- $2M to $100M in annual revenue.
- Privately-held companies with 20 to 1,000 employees.
- In the high-tech, telecommunications or software development industries.
- Headquartered within 20 miles of my office.
- Are challenged with protecting their IP, wanting to grow nationally or internationally, and looking to joint venture with or license their IP to larger companies.
Commercial Real Estate Purchase & Development
- Owner, General Manager, President or CEO.
- Involved in a minimum of 3 projects per year.
- Average deal is worth at least $5M up to $500M.
- Projects are either retail, office space, malls, land use and require special zoning, such as industrial or multi-family.
- Have many legal needs including initial and extended contracts, negotiation with larger companies, tenant leasing, employment contracts, zoning laws, lending laws, dispute negotiation, etc.
- CEOs, Presidents, Owners, General Managers.
- At least $2M to $100M in annual revenue.
- Privately-held companies with usually 20 to 1,000 employees.
- Often my client’s businesses are growing 10 to 20% faster than average.
- Open to any business, but most clients are in manufacturing, technology or the transportation field.
- Most clients run a business that has an international component to it, is based largely on their IP, is very employee-intensive, or contracts with much larger companies.
- Can be located anywhere within the state, but usually within 20 miles of a major city. (Manufacturing and technology companies) or along a major interstate (transportation companies.)
- Have litigation matters where the ”problem” is worth at least $100,000.
Family Law/Divorce Attorney
- Have an estate worth at least $500,000 to $1MM in assets.
- White collar professional or service professional (doctor, chiropractor, accountant, etc.)
- Not interested in a “scorch and burn” attorney; willing to work with the other party.
- Located within 20 to 30 miles of my office or a direct referral.
- Able and willing to pay a $7,500 to $10,000 retainer.
Where can get practical, proven and results-producing law firm marketing help in one place? In the The Rainmaker Advisor Journal. To get your free trial copy, go to: www.therainmakeradvisor.com