Law Firm Marketing: How Social Media Helps Attorneys Grow Their Sphere of Influence

In their recently published book titled Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier (ABA, 2010), authors Carolyn Elefant and Nicole Black found only 12% of law firms are using social networks to actively promote their law firms, while 83% of non-legal, consumer focused companies and 77% of business to business companies are actively using social media to generate leads and market their services and products.  

There is definitely an opportunity here for law firms who enter the fray early. As one of my clients says, this is like being one of the first attorneys to put up a website on the Internet back in the 1990's.  As you look around, there's relatively little competition from other law firms, but it's a target rich environment!  

For most practice areas there are more than enough prospects for it to make sense for your firm to take another look at how to use social media.

Social media is the fastest way to build your "platform" or sphere of influence.  Your platform is defined as how many people know:

  • Who you are
  • Who you help 
  • 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. The scary part is that most attorneys rely on less than half that number to generate most of their referrals.   

Social media allows you to rapidly grow your sphere of influence.

 I was speaking with a client recently who is the Managing Partner at a small, full service law firm with several attorneys. They practice primarily in the areas of personal injury, family law, estate planning, and more recently they started up a bankruptcy practice. Several months ago they hired The Rainmaker Institute to build and run their social media campaign on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Avvo.com and JDSupra.com.

Before we started this program they only had a dozen or so active referral sources. By building their platform on social media, we have been able to connect them with well over 20,000 prospects and potential referral sources on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter in their local area.   

Just a few months into starting this program, their referrals had doubled and they had received 67 leads for their brand new bankruptcy practice!  While I'm not suggesting all of these leads came from social media, building their platform on those networks has created a much deeper pond to pull prospects from...and most attorneys I know would love to launch a new practice and have 67 leads the first month!

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Looking for more proven tactics from The Rainmaker Institute?

Then subscribe to our FREE monthly e-newsletter. One click of your mouse will take you to our site where you can see the current issue and subscribe to our complimentary monthly e-newsletter that will be delivered to your inbox.  Each issue is chock-full of legal marketing information you can put to use right away. I think you will find the information in every newsletter something you will want to share with your staff to maximize the effectiveness of your legal marketing plan.

 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Create A Call to Action That Creates Action!

Millions of people purchase products every day because they were enticed to do so through a strong call to action – a Buy It Now, a Limited Time Offer, a Click Here, a Sign-Up Now – whatever the incentive, it moved them to a purchase decision.

Calls to action work for several reasons, chief among them is that it’s human nature to follow instruction. A great call to action is one that creates a sense of urgency in a prospect’s mind, offers a solution to a problem or stimulates a desire. 

A great call to action works when it:

  • Triggers an emotional reaction;
  • Show exactly how to make a purchase;
  • Creates a sense of urgency to make the purchase;
  • Provides incentives or an offer that is too good to ignore.

There are many ways to integrate a great call to action into your law firm marketing efforts, including:

On your website. Even when you’re selling a service, you should create calls to action on every page of your website. Have a sign-up for a free report, a webinar or e-newsletter on every page.

In your newsletter. If you have a monthly newsletter, you should be featuring a new incentive every month to entice prospects to get in touch with you.

On your blog. Use your blog to connect on an emotional level with prospects. Tell a story about how your legal service has solved a problem. Include calls to action in your sidebars where they are easily visible.

On your social networking sites. Facebook and Twitter are great vehicles for reaching prospects in real-time and testing a variety of calls to action to see what works best for your legal service. These venues are an inexpensive and effective way to test what works best for your target market.

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Want to Learn More Effective Marketing Techniques for Attorneys? Attend a Rainmaker Retreat!

If you are interested in building a lifestyle law practice through effective law firm marketing, then come to one of our upcoming Rainmaker Retreats:

October 7-8, 2011: San Francisco, CA

October 21-22, 2011: Livingston, NJ

November 11-12, 2011: Chicago, IL

December 2-3, 2011: Los Angeles, CA

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 7,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then register now for one of our one-hour complimentary teleseminars:

Thursday, September 29:

11am PT | 12pm MT | 1pm CT | 2pm ET  

Wednesday, October 5:

1pm PT | 2pm MT | 3pm CT | 4pm ET  

Thursday, October 13:

12pm PT | 1pm MT | 2pm CT | 3pm ET  

Join us and learn why the Rainmaker Retreat is the one law firm marketing boot camp you cannot afford to miss!

 

Understand How Consumers Use Social Media to Improve Your Law Firm Marketing Efforts

While it is important to understand how social media works and the basic tenants of SEO, it is equally important to understand how your target audience is using social media so your law firm marketing efforts can align with usage patterns.

New research by NM Incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey company, takes the recent Nielsen Social Media Report Q3 data and digs deeper to help us all understand how we are using social media. 

For example, especially relevant to your law firm marketing efforts is the fact that 68 percent of social media users rely on social media sites to provide them with reviews and feedback on services and products. Are you actively monitoring what is said about your practice on social media sites? Are you engaging and encouraging positive feedback? 

Here is a graphic from the report that provides a broad overview on how people are using social media today:

It’s no surprise that a vast majority of social media users go to social media sites to socialize – not only to keep up with old contacts, but to find new ones. If your law firm marketing plan lacks a robust social media component, you’re missing out on a great and inexpensive source of generating new leads.

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Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers

Based on Stephen’s highly successful seminar series by the same name, this 3-audio CD program covers dozens of practical recommendations and step-by-step sales and marketing techniques for solo practitioners and small law firms.

More than 7,000 attorneys from law firms all over the country have experienced powerful results from attending the Becoming A Rainmaker seminar. It has been sponsored by more than 22 of the largest state and local bar associations.

In this information-packed audio program, you will discover:

  • How to generate more leads by using education-based marketing
  • The relationship between credibility, visibility, tangibility, and consistency
  • How to position your small firm as an industry leader
  • The importance of being perceived as a specialist
  • Why most advertising is a waste of your money
  • What to expect from a Yellow Pages ad
  • The 3 marketing strategies that will produce 80% of your results
  • How to influence the Know, Like and Trust factors
  • Common marketing mistakes lawyers make and how to avoid them
  • How to answer the question, "Why should I buy from you?"
  • Specific ways you can set yourself apart from low-cost lawyers
  • What to do with the 15% of the population that always buys on price
  • Ways to attract your Ideal Target Market
  • The 6 stage sales process you must follow for maximum success

To order yours now, click here.

 

New Jersey Attorneys to Learn The 5 Rules of Internet Marketing at Oct. 20 Bar-Sponsored Seminars

There couldn’t be a hotter topic to discuss than what I’ll be presenting on October 20 in New Jersey:  The 5 Rules of Internet Marketing for Attorneys: How to Ethically Use Your Website and Blog to Generate High Quality Leads for Your Law Firm.

This fast-paced seminar will focus on how top attorneys are using the Internet, their websites and blogs to find more and better clients for their law firms. We’ve found that the Internet is one of the most cost-effective lead sources for today's attorneys.

I will be sharing:

  • The 5 rules for Internet marketing for attorneys
  • Do's and Don'ts: the intersection of ethics and online marketing
  • The 3 keys to getting your website on the front page of Google
  • How to set up your website right the first time
  • Avoiding common ethical pitfalls with your Internet marketing
  • Lead conversion pages: how law firms are converting 10-30% of website visitors into qualified leads
  • 3 most important goals of your website & blog
  • The "secret weapon" of Internet marketing for lawyers

Attendees will receive 2.4 New Jersey General CLE credits. Here are the details on the two upcoming sessions:

NJSBA:

Date: Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011 from 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Location: ACUA, 6700 Delilah Rd., Egg Harbor Township, NJ

Cost: $77 for NJSBA members; $97 for non-members

Camden County Bar Association:

Date: Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011 from 4 p.m.-6 p.m.

Location: Camden County Bar Association, 1040 Kings Highway N., #201, Cherry Hill, NJ

Cost: $77 for NJSBA or Camden County Bar Assn. members; $97 for non-members

To register online for either of these seminars, click here

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Free Report: 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys From Building A Referral-Based Practice

Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process.  Stephen Fairly 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 here to get your free report today.

 

Search Engine Marketing for Lawyers: Don't Forget The Basics

An excellent post today at SearchEngineWatch.com provides the eight basic SEO elements that should remain consistent on your law firm marketing websites to achieve a high Google rank, no matter how many times Google tweaks its search algorithms – which it does at least once a day!

Summarized, here are the rules of the road to higher rankings:

Basic keyword SEO rules – including your target keywords in your URLs, meta tags, titles and descriptions as well as in your page content.

High quality inbound links – creating high quality, unique content that others will want to link to and reference can have a huge impact on your website ranking.

Authority – build authority for your site through participation in social media, providing commentary and links to other authoritative sources in your space and quality inbound link building.

Quality user experience – Google rewards sites that are well designed, easy to navigate, load quickly and keep visitors engaged (low bounce rates).

Fresh content – creating new content and updating old content regularly boosts authority and news ranking.

Content diversity – Google prefers diversity in format and content, so include photos, videos and presentations wherever possible.

Feedback – syndicate, promote and provide people with an easy way to share feedback via a blog hosted or linked to your website.

Browser compatibility – your site needs to be compatible with the latest browser versions, including mobile.

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Sept. 28 Webinar: How to Answer the Question, "Why Should I Hire You?"

One of the toughest questions attorneys get from a potential client is, “Why should I hire you?”

When faced with this question, most attorneys fall back on talking about the quality of their services, their experience and the size of their law firm.

Prepare to have your eyes opened to the truth when you attend our one-hour How to Answer the Question, “Why Should I Hire You?”: Creating a Unique Competitive Advantage webinar on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET:

  • Why quality does NOT matter! (Yes, you read that correctly, quality does not matter when it comes to closing a prospect)
  • The #1 reason why prospects “shop you on price”
  • How most attorneys completely miss the point when talking about their experience
  • The 4 biggest reasons to emphasize when talking with prospects
  • Overcoming common objections attorneys encounter
  • Winning over skeptics by focusing on the numbers of your practice
  • Case studies of how top attorneys respond when asked the ultimate question
  • How to overcome price objections even before you meet with a prospect
  • How to respond if someone says, “Your price is too high” or “That’s too much money!”
  • How to get potential clients to stop making price an objection once and for all
  • And 8 more effective ways to answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”

To register online for the Sept. 28 webinar on Creating a Unique Competitive Advantage, click here

 

When It Comes to Law Firm Marketing, Bring the B-V-R (Benefits, Value, Results)

When it comes to doing business with an attorney, prospects only care about 3 things:

The Benefits they receive because of your services

The Value they perceive a relationship with you will bring

The Results they achieve from your service

If you're an estate planning attorney, don’t sell estate plans.  If you're a family law attorney, don’t focus on the types of family law services your firm provides.  If you're a defense attorney, don’t focus on how many different types of crimes you can represent.

These are all features of your service. People don’t buy features. They buy benefits.

They buy solutions not service, because they expect everyone to have great service.

They buy other people’s experiences of your service.

They buy your credibility as presented by your marketing image.

They buy based on their emotions, but they want logical reasons to justify their decision.

And they buy guarantees and promises, so don’t make them if you can't keep them.

Fundamentally, the reason why people or businesses seek out your law firm is because they have a problem and they are asking you, “Do you have a solution?”

In the past I’ve talked about the 15 percenters—the 15% of the population that always and only buys on price. Your job is to weed them out and focus on the other 85%. However, the other 85% will also buy on price—unless you give them a reason not to.

That’s why your law firm marketing plan must focus on more than just the features of your product or service.  You must make sure all your law firm marketing efforts answer the questions that prospective clients are asking, not just giving them a laundry list of everything you can do.

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money

Feel like you don’t have time for marketing?  Let us show you how to make a plan that runs on “autopilot” – one that attracts new and lucrative clients while you focus on your practice.

Learn how easy it can be to create an effective law firm marketing plan that performs by getting our Free Guide: 5 Easy Steps to Create Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

After working with many ultra-successful lawyers we found five common threads in their marketing plans. This guide outlines these shared elements to provide insight into strategies that work and how to make them work for you.

There are two versions: one for Attorneys in Solo Practice and one for Attorneys in a Small Firm.  Click here to download, and start using these proven strategies today!

 

Why Social Media Matters for Law Firm Marketing

The Growth of Social Media: An Infographic
Source: The Growth of Social Media: An Infographic

 

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Free CD: Insider Small Law Firm Marketing Practices

Get your free CD on Insider Small Law Firm Marketing Practices by #1 Best-Selling Author And Nationally Recognized Law Firm Marketing Expert Stephen Fairley, and listen as he reveals A Proven System To Generate More and Better Referrals, Find New Clients Fast, and Fill Your Law Practice! Discover:

  • How 1 piece of simple technology in your practice will drastically increase your communication with prospects, clients and referral sources – resulting in a major revenue boost
  • 5 ways to market and position yourself as a recognized expert
  • How 2 Attorneys promoted their law firms to over 100,000 people for less than $100 in 2 hours
  • The 1 item you must absolutely have to create a Million Dollar Law Practice (hint: Not having this will almost guarantee your failure!)
  • 6 BIGGEST secrets to generating more and better referrals
  • How to create a proven network of 30 new Strategic Referral Partners in the next 90 days

To obtain your free CD, click here now.

 

 

Social Media Marketing for Attorneys: How to Promote Your Facebook Fan Page

A recent post at SocialMediaExaminer.com provides some excellent guidance on ways to promote your Facebook Fan page:

Email signature – include a link to your Facebook Fan page – in fact, to all your social media pages – in your email signature.

Blog post – post the reasons why people will benefit from joining your fan page on your blog.

Tag other pages – find popular fan pages in your space and promote them in your updates.

Tweet – ask your Twitter followers to join your fan page.

Advertise – Facebook ads are inexpensive and allow you to target by demographic and region.

Follow button – add a Facebook Follow button to your website and blog to make it easy for people to join.

Customize – make your fan page memorable by customizing your fan page URL: https://www.facebook.com/LawFirmMarketing

Link pages – put a link on your personal Facebook page to your Fan page.

Teamwork – have everyone in the organization add a link to your fan page from their personal profiles. Don’t be afraid to ask fans to add one, too.

Cross-promote on other social media networks – add a fan page link to your YouTube videos, your Twitter, LinkedIn, Avvo and JD Supra profiles.

Use Fan Page tools – there’s a “Tell Your Fans” feature on Facebook that allows you to import a contact file so you can shoot a message to everyone you know asking them to join.

Promote in all your marketing materials – add a link to your e-newsletter template, PowerPoint slides, articles, press releases, etc.

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Want to Learn More Internet Marketing Techniques for Attorneys? Attend a Rainmaker Retreat!

If you are interested in building a lifestyle law practice through effective law firm marketing, then come to one of our upcoming Rainmaker Retreats:

October 7-8, 2011: San Francisco, CA

October 21-22, 2011: Livingston, NJ

November 11-12, 2011: Chicago, IL

December 2-3, 2011: Los Angeles, CA

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 8,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then register now for one of our one-hour complimentary teleseminars:

Tuesday, September 20

1pm PT | 2pm MT | 3pm CT | 4pm ET  

Thursday, September 29

11am PT | 12pm MT | 1pm CT | 2pm ET  

Wednesday, October 5

1pm PT | 2pm MT | 3pm CT | 4pm ET  

Join us and learn why the Rainmaker Retreat is the one law firm marketing boot camp you cannot afford to miss!

 

Sept. 28 Webinar: How to Answer the Question, "Why Should I Hire You?"

One of the toughest questions attorneys get from a potential client is, “Why should I hire you?”

The rest of that question is implied: “Why should I hire you versus any of your competitors?”

Even though most prospects never ask it out loud, every single one of them is silently asking it to themselves.

When faced with this question, most attorneys fall back on talking about the quality of their services, their experience and the size of their law firm.

Prepare to have your eyes opened to the truth when you attend our one-hour How to Answer the Question, “Why Should I Hire You?”: Creating a Unique Competitive Advantage webinar:

  • Why quality does NOT matter! (Yes, you read that correctly, quality does not matter when it comes to closing a prospect)
  • The #1 reason why prospects “shop you on price”
  • How most attorneys completely miss the point when talking about their experience
  • The 4 biggest reasons to emphasize when talking with prospects
  • Overcoming common objections attorneys encounter
  • Winning over skeptics by focusing on the numbers of your practice
  • Case studies of how top attorneys respond when asked the ultimate question
  • How to overcome price objections even before you meet with a prospect
  • How to respond if someone says, “Your price is too high” or “That’s too much money!”
  • How to get potential clients to stop making price an objection once and for all
  • And 8 more effective ways to answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”

Webinar Details:

How to Answer the Question, “Why Should I Hire You?”: Creating a Unique Competitive Advantage

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011

11am-12pm PT
 | 12pm-1pm MT 
| 1pm-2pm CT 
| 2pm-3pm ET

Cost: $97

To register online, click here

 

13 Ways to Create a Powerful & Profitable Law Firm Blog

Blogging can be a powerful performer for your law firm marketing efforts, but there’s a way to do it right and a way to do it wrong. Here are 13 tips for creating a powerful – and eventually profitable – law firm blog:

Integrate your blog with your law firm website. For SEO purposes, it is best to create your blog either as a sub-domain of your law firm website or within the site as a separate tab or folder. If you need to host the blog as a separate domain, that’s okay, too, and can provide you with link-building opportunities between the two.

Don’t write about yourself. Writing about yourself or your firm does you no great service and you miss a great opportunity for thought leadership.    You need to be a resource to your target market for legal information, so they will think of you first when they actually need a lawyer.

Publish often. I’ll say it again: Google loves fresh content! Publishing 3-5 times a week is best.

Write focused content. Put yourself in the shoes of your target market and speak directly to their needs.

Create variety. Don’t be boring. Include video, audio, charts and graphs, photos, cartoons or other visually interesting content in your blog.

Encourage engagement. A blog is the perfect opportunity to create a conversation with your target market – so ask for thoughts and post responses to create a dialogue.

Take every opportunity for SEO.   Identify and use the keywords that will help your blog get found by search engines.

Pick that low-hanging fruit. Add a subscribe button so people can get a continual feed from your blog. Add social sharing buttons so users can share your content in social media. Add a search box so people can more easily find your content.

Source content. Ask others in your professional network to contribute, or quote from their blogs and include a link as attribution. 

Promote your blog through social media. Share a link to your blog posts through social media by posting it on your Facebook Fan Page, tweeting and posting on LinkedIn. Those social share buttons will also have your readers doing some of the heavy lifting for you.

Make it actionable. Include offers of free reports, e-newsletter subscriptions, webinars or other “freeminums” that will encourage people to give you their email address, which is also known as a lead!

Scour analytics for insight. How do you know if your blog is working for you? Look at your blog analytics. These provide important insight into how many visitors you’re getting, how many times they come back, how many subscribers you’re generating, which posts are the most popular, etc. Use what you’ve learned to improve every month.

Give it time. Reaching the level of success you want for your law firm blog takes time and effort. Don’t give up or you’ll miss a powerful lead generation opportunity.

NOTE: For those of you attending the State Bar of California Annual Meeting this week, drop by our booth (#504) to talk with us about your law firm marketing goals and challenges. We’ll be giving out complimentary marketing materials that I guarantee you will find useful!

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Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD Set

The Practice Made Perfect CD set and manual applies Stephen Fairley’s unique High Impact Marketing System to the practice-building challenges faced by solo practitioners and partners at small law firms.  

It includes dozens of specific marketing and sales recommendations that can be easily and quickly applied to your firm, including:

  • The only 7 sure-fire ways to get clients in your door NOW
  • Why advertising doesn’t work for most small law firms
  • The 7 reasons why people don’t buy from you           
  • How to market and sell with USP’s (Unique Selling Proposition)           
  • Using audio logos to attract immediate attention for your business
  • Using low-cost, high impact marketing strategies           
  • Strategies for achieving maximum results from all of your marketing efforts           
  • How to discover your Ideal Target Market
  • 3 critical factors to remember when looking for new clients
  • The NEW sales cycle for professional services
  • How to retain your best clients

Click here to order your Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD set and manual now.

 

Why SEO Matters to Your Law Firm Marketing Efforts

Are you still trying to figure out why search engine optimization (SEO) -- the art and science of artificially boosting your website or blog to the organic results (versus paid advertising) for specific search terms – should matter to your law firm marketing efforts?

New research from the Pew Research Center shows that 92% of online adults use search engines to find information on the Web, and a majority of those use search every day:

So what SEO tactics are the most effective? SEO research firm MarketingSherpa featured this chart from their latest Search Marketing Benchmark Report-SEO Edition:

Keyword research, title tags, meta descriptions and a good URL structure are the “low hanging fruit” of SEO and should be done first. Content creation has the most impact, but takes the most effort.

If you don’t know how to integrate SEO tactics into your law firm marketing plan, then I invite you to attend a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing boot camp where you will leave with a comprehensive marketing plan for your practice. Here are the upcoming dates:

October 7-8, 2011: San Francisco, CA

October 21-22, 2011: Livingston, NJ

November 11-12, 2011: Chicago, IL

December 2-3, 2011: Los Angeles, CA

Registration information is available by visiting the Rainmaker Retreat website, www.RainmakerRetreat.com or by calling 888-588-5891.

***NOTE: For those of you attending the State Bar of California Annual Meeting this week, drop by our booth (#504) to talk with us about your law firm marketing goals and challenges. We’ll be giving out complimentary marketing materials that I guarantee you will find useful!

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Free Report: 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys From Building A Referral-Based Practice

Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process.  Stephen Fairly 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 here to get your free report today.

 

Small Law Firms and Solos: In the Crosshairs of Change

We’ve all heard the expression “Innovate or Die,” but how many of us really thought about the practice of law in conjunction with that phrase?

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman is out with a new book that is all the buzz on the talk show circuit; it’s called That Used to Be Us, and focuses on how making innovation a priority can help our nation retain/regain its superpower status.

Innovation is very much at the forefront when it comes to the legal profession these days, as evidenced by venture capital investments in Rocket Lawyer and other online legal service providers.  

Jim Calloway, an Oklahoma attorney who writes a blog about law practice management, recently conducted an interview with Richard Granat, the lawyer behind DirectLaw and current co-chair of the eLawyering Task Force of the ABA Law Practice Management Section. They discussed how venture capitalists are changing the way that small firms and solos will practice in the future; here are some quotes of note from Granat:

I see a “buzz” or “new paradigm” going around this community ( “the VC community”), that it is time to break the back of solos and small law firms by funding disruptive experiments that are designed to bring real change to the delivery of legal services, no matter what impact it has on the livelihoods of solos and small law firms.

I think that the economics of solo and small practice is undergoing a major transformation. Lawyers will still be able to demand high fees for complex, value-added work. For tasks where there is a large information component which can be manipulated by software, such as web-enabled document automation systems, lawyers will feel the effects of disintermediation, just as other industries have that have been transformed by the Internet.

To compete in today’s connected world, lawyers need to pick up the skills to market their services online and to deliver legal services online. If you are not online, you are nowhere.

There is no question that the same forces that enabled Amazon to change the way we buy books and Apple to change the way we buy music are bringing about a similar evolution in the way consumers buy legal services.

The question to be answered now is, will small firms and solos innovate or die?

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Free Report:   How to Use Article Marketing to Increase Your Google Ranking & Control Your Online Reputation

Did you know there are thousands of directories on the Internet that will publish your articles for FREE?! Get all the details in Stephen Fairley’s latest free report, How to Use Article Marketing to Increase Your Google Ranking & Control Your Online Reputation.

Here are 4 reasons why you should publish your articles online:

  • You can control what comes up when people search for your name on Google!
  • Most of the Article Directories will give you a link back to your website!
  • It’s FREE Marketing! The majority of these article directories do not charge anything to publish your article.
  • You can look like a much Bigger Player!

To get your free report right now, click here.

 

Nielsen Report Reflects Growing Influence of Social Media and Blogs on Consumer Behavior

Nielsen has just released its Q3 2011 Social Media Report, which looks at patterns of consumption and trends across all social media platforms in the U.S. and other major worldwide markets to more closely examine the influence of social media on consumer behavior.

Here’s an infographic of the U.S. market:

Highlights of the latest report include:

Social networks and blogs continue to dominate Americans’ time online, now accounting for nearly a quarter of total time spent on the Internet

Americans spend more time on Facebook than they do on any other website – 53 BILLION total minutes per month.

Nearly 40 percent of social media users access social media content from their mobile phone

Internet users over the age of 55 are driving the growth of social networking through the Mobile Internet

Across a sample of 10 global markets (including the U.S.), social networks and blogs are the top online destination in each country, accounting for the majority of time spent online and reaching at least 60 percent of active Internet users.

You can download and read the entire report here. If your target market is one that participates heavily in social media, then social media marketing needs to be an important focus for your law firm marketing plan.

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FREE "Top 10 Mistakes Attorneys Make and How to Avoid Them" E-book

In a newly revised e-book, legal marketing expert Stephen Fairley outlines 10 of the most common marketing mistakes attorneys make that can lead to the failure of their business, and provides specific strategies and proven principles for avoiding these deadly errors. 

Get your complimentary copy online here.

Regardless of your specific situation, this free e-book will help you examine how you are currently finding new clients and recommend specific steps you can immediately start using to grow your practice. 

We have helped thousands of attorneys achieve their goals of creating a financially successful and personally satisfying legal practice. In this e-book you will discover specific principles and tools you can use to grow your practice, too.  

 

Law Firm Marketing: Tips on Creating Content Readers Want to Share

The New York Times has done a research study on the Psychology of Sharing to learn more about why people share content on the Web. 

You can download the report for free here.

The research found that these were the top five reasons people share content via email or social networks:

1. To bring valuable and entertaining content to others

2. To define ourselves to others

3. To grow and nurture relationships

4. Self-fulfillment

5. To spread the word about causes or brands

So if you have posted content on your blog or created articles on JD Supra, Avvo or other legal info sites that isn’t seeing much action, you need to examine it to see if it is meeting any of these needs that people have for sharing.

Here are some tips for creating great content that people want to share:

Make it real. Don’t simply deal in hypotheticals – tell a story with a good outcome for a client (maintaining privacy, of course) that draws people in and makes them feel something.

Create a conversation. Commenting on the hot legal topics of the day with a unique viewpoint increases the chances your content will get shared. Ask others’ opinions on your blog and post comments.

Speak like a human being. Do not use legal jargon or write above your target market’s head. Use a conversational tone in your posts or articles in a voice people can understand.

Make a list. People love to read and share lists, so get a little creative and develop lists that will get noticed – for example, The Top 5 Divorce Disasters you’ve seen in your family law practice, and so on.

Understanding the psychology behind what makes people want to share content and then crafting your content to fulfill those needs will ensure your words get the reach you’re hoping for when creating content.

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Get All the Law Firm Marketing Strategies You Need to Create A 7-figure Law Practice with Rainmaker In A Box: Volumes 1 and 2!

Want to discover Proven Marketing Strategies that Top Law Firms are using right now to generate more leads and referrals and convert them into paying clients?

Rainmaker In A Box: Volume 1 and Rainmaker In A Box: Volume 2 contains highly valuable legal marketing information you absolutely need to know!

Rainmaker in a Box: Volume 1 includes:

  • The 5 Immutable Secrets to Building a 7 Figure Law Practice
  • Secrets of Building a Referral-based Law Practice for Busy Practitioners:
  • The Top 6 Most Powerful Online Marketing Strategies for Attorneys:
  • Action, Accountability and Next Steps
  • Data DVD: Includes all 4 PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations. We recommend you print all these off and take notes on them as you watch the 4 intense DVDs.

Rainmaker in a Box: Volume 2 includes:

  • 8 Proven Steps for More & Better Referrals


  • 7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Law Firm


  • 6 Keys to Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media


  • 5 Core Components for Highly Successful Websites & Blogs

  • Data DVD: 
Includes all 4 PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations. We recommend you print all these off and take notes on them as you experience these information-packed DVDs!

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Law Firm Marketing: How to Optimize Your JD Supra Content

Optimizing your content is something you should be doing everywhere you appear online, and your presence on JD Supra is no exception. 

Last week, the law firm marketing minds at JD Supra provided a list of five ways you can optimize your content on their website. I’ll paraphrase:

1. Review your analytics regularly. By logging in to your JD Supra account and looking at how many people have viewed your profile or your articles, you will be able to see what is striking a chord with your target market – and, equally important – what is not.

2. Review the trend reports. Every month, JD Supra emails their Pro account holders a trend report for each practice area. Take note of what the hot topics are and generate content that will appeal to those readers.

3. Feed your social networks. Make sure that JD Supra is feeding your content to all your social networks – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. If not, contact them to set up the automatic feed. Also make sure all your social network links are on your profile.

4. Share all your content. Add all your content from publications and blogs to your JD Supra site monitoring and distribution plan.

5. Monitor feeds. JD Supra has subject-specific feeds on all the major social networking sites so you can choose the ones that matter most to you and follow them. This helps you keep track of your own content as well as follow what your competitors are doing.

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Looking for more legal marketing tactics from The Rainmaker Institute?

Then subscribe to our FREE monthly e-newsletter. One click of your mouse will take you to our site where you can see the current issue and subscribe to our complimentary monthly e-newsletter that will be delivered to your inbox.  Each issue is chock-full of legal marketing information you can put to use right away. I think you will find the information in every newsletter something you will want to share with your staff to maximize the effectiveness of your legal marketing plan.

 

How to Build a Law Firm Marketing Mailing List That Performs

When it comes to reaching out to potential clients on a consistent basis, few law firm marketing tools can match the success rate of newsletters.

However, before you can engage prospective clients through law firm marketing newsletters, you first have to find them.  Which brings us to one of the foundational tools of law firm marketing: list building.

There are list services where you can purchase names, e-mail addresses and home addresses that match your target demographic.  But I don’t recommend them for law firm marketing for one important reason:  the client’s choice in legal counsel rests so much on trust, my opinion is that contacting clients without their permission is suspect. 

However, there are many proven ways to build law firm marketing lists without purchasing names from a service. Below are some of the best:

Insert a newsletter sign-up form on each page of your website and on your blog, including a brief summary of the benefits of receiving no-cost, ongoing legal information they can use.

When you have a speaking engagement, provide a sign-up sheet for your “complimentary” newsletter. This technique has a very high response rate because the audience is already interested in your area of the law.

Partner with other professionals who serve a client base similar to yours. For example, if your area of practice is estate planning, financial planners or brokerage houses might have a target client similar to yours.  Once you locate these “list partners”, you can insert your offer for a free trial newsletter into their outgoing communications to that client base (and they can do the same with yours).  In that way, you are getting permission from the recipient prior to sending your law firm marketing newsletter – which is much more effective than purchasing a list.

In addition to using these proven ways to build your law firm marketing list, be sure to make it visible and easy for recipients of your newsletter to unsubscribe. It does you no good to contact someone regularly that does not want your information -- and making it clear they may cancel at any time sends the message that you care about them and they can trust you.

Adding these list-building tactics to your law firm marketing strategy will help you build a solid, highly responsive list of prospects that have real potential to turn into paying clients.

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Free Guide: 5 Easy Steps to Create Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

Feel like you don’t have time for marketing?  Let us show you how to make a plan that runs on “autopilot” – one that attracts new and lucrative clients while you focus on your practice.

Learn how easy it can be to create an effective law firm marketing plan that performs by getting our Free Guide: 5 Easy Steps to Create Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

After working with many ultra-successful lawyers we found five common threads in their marketing plans. This guide outlines these shared elements to provide insight into strategies that work and how to make them work for you.

There are two versions: one for Attorneys in Solo Practice and one for Attorneys in a Small Firm.  Click here to download, and start using these proven strategies today!

 

Discover a Highly Effective Lead Conversion Process at a Rainmaker Retreat

Do you need to learn more strategies for increasing the number of leads for your law practice? Did you know there are five stages in the lead conversion process, and if you’re only concentrating on one or two, you are missing the opportunity to convert more leads into paying clients?

Listen as I explain:

If you want to know more about getting leads and then coverting them into paying clients, then I invite you to attend a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing boot camp. We’ve just added a new session in Chicago to our schedule; here are all the upcoming dates for 2011:

October 7-8, 2011: San Francisco, CA

October 21-22, 2011: Livingston, NJ

November 11-12, 2011: Chicago, IL

December 2-3, 2011: Los Angeles, CA

Registration information is available by visiting the Rainmaker Retreat website, www.RainmakerRetreat.com or by calling 888-588-5891.

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Exclusive Rainmaker Retreat Preview Call – Learn Before You Go!

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 8,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then register now for our one-hour complimentary teleseminar.

Hosted by Rainmaker Institute CEO Stephen Fairley, this teleseminar will give you a preview of the valuable material that is taught at our 2-day Rainmaker Retreat as well as teach you:

  • How to Avoid the Most Deadly Marketing Mistakes Attorneys make
  • 3 powerful strategies you must put into action in your practice immediately
  • How to set yourself apart from your major competitors
  • Secrets top attorneys are using to generate more referrals right now…
  • How attorneys are winning even in this economy by implementing this proven 8-step system

Sign up now for one of these upcoming one-hour teleseminars:

Wednesday, September 7

1pm PT | 2pm MT | 3pm CT | 4pm ET  

Thursday, September 15

12pm PT | 1pm MT | 2pm CT | 3pm ET  

Tuesday, September 20

1pm PT | 2pm MT | 3pm CT | 4pm ET  

Join us and learn why the Rainmaker Retreat is the one law firm marketing boot camp you cannot afford to miss!

 

 

News You Can Use: Consumer Reports Reviews Legal Software Products

Consumer Reports doesn’t really like legal software products, and that can be good news you can use in your law firm marketing efforts.

Earlier this week, Consumer Reports issued a caution to consumers based on an analysis by the Consumer Reports Money Adviser of the three most popular products – LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer and Quicken WillMaker Plus – for creating wills. They created three different profiles: a father of a simple nuclear family, a widow with grown children and a live-in boyfriend, and a twice-married father of five.

Consumer Reports found that while these software programs were “better than nothing,” they had real problems, including:

Outdated information – two of the three used federal estate tax limits that were outdated for 2011.

Insufficient customization – little detail on state estate laws available.

Not enough flexibility – testers were unable to distribute property the way they wanted to.

Too much flexibility – contain features that could lead you to add clauses that may contradict other parts of your will.

Incomplete – no options for a special needs trust, only one provided information on registered domestic partnerships and pet trusts. None touched on digital assets.

No advice – no explanation for how to structure trusts to reduce estate tax liability.

Consumer Reports recommends that consumers only use these software products to “take a practice run” and prepare inventory lists and instructions for executors and beneficiaries. Then, they say, call an attorney.

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Free CD: Insider Small Law Firm Marketing Practices

Get your free CD on Insider Small Law Firm Marketing Practices by #1 Best-Selling Author And Nationally Recognized Law Firm Marketing Expert Stephen Fairley, and listen as he reveals A Proven System To Generate More and Better Referrals, Find New Clients Fast, and Fill Your Law Practice! Discover:

  • How 1 piece of simple technology in your practice will drastically increase your communication with prospects, clients and referral sources – resulting in a major revenue boost
  • 5 ways to market and position yourself as a recognized expert
  • How 2 Attorneys promoted their law firms to over 100,000 people for less than $100 in 2 hours
  • The 1 item you must absolutely have to create a Million Dollar Law Practice (hint: Not having this will almost guarantee your failure!)
  • 6 BIGGEST secrets to generating more and better referrals
  • How to create a proven network of 30 new Strategic Referral Partners in the next 90 days

To obtain your free CD, click here now.

 

How to Turn Your Legal Knowledge Into a Powerful Law Firm Marketing Tool

Education-based marketing is one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of lawyers. There is a great amount of basic information you know about your practice area that prospects want and need to know.

Think about some of the questions your clients have about child custody and divorce or how to avoid getting sued by employees or ways to protect their intellectual property.  Identify their frequently asked questions or biggest challenges and put together a short report (three to six pages long), a PowerPoint presentation, or even an audio CD, and offer a free copy to website visitors who give you their contact information. (Remember, if you cannot get visitors to call you directly, the second-best alternative is to persuade them to give you their contact information with permission to contact them.)

Give your education material a creative title that will also turn up well in an online search, such as “How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer” or “What Men Need to Know About Divorce” or “How to Make Money Off Your Invention.”

This kind of free educational information is a great tool you can use to start building relationships with many people who need your help but aren’t ready to walk in your door. It is not enough simply to offer people a free consultation. Almost every lawyer does that. Take it one step further and give them some great information that will help them think through the issues and challenges they are facing.

Once you have created these educational tools, find every way you can to give them away to as many people as possible. 


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Free Report: How to Use Article Marketing to Increase Your Google Ranking & Control Your Online Reputation

Did you know there are thousands of directories on the Internet that will publish your articles for FREE?! Get all the details in Stephen Fairley’s latest free report, How to Use Article Marketing to Increase Your Google Ranking & Control Your Online Reputation.

Here are 4 reasons why you should publish your articles online:

  • You can control what comes up when people search for your name on Google!
  • Most of the Article Directories will give you a link back to your website!
  • It’s FREE Marketing! The majority of these article directories do not charge anything to publish your article.
  • You can look like a much Bigger Player!

To get your free report right now, click here.