7 Tips for Attorneys to Master Twitter

I know that many of you feel like you just got the hang of Facebook and LinkedIn, but have trepidations about Twitter.  So, really, why should you go there?  Because Twitter is huge, and it’s getting bigger every day. 

Recent statistics show that Twitter gains 135,000 new users every day.  Every day there are 58 million tweets and 2.1 billion searches on Twitter.  So how can you make Twitter work for you?

My first tip will hopefully make you feel better about mastering Twitter, because you don’t necessarily have to blaze new territory.  The most effective tweets are those that provide a unique take on something that is already trending on Twitter.  You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. 

Twitter trends appear in the left column of the Home, Discover and Search pages of Twitter.  You can customize Trends for your geographical area by clicking Customize in your Trends box.

Secondly, you need to optimize your Twitter profile.  Use a photo and remember that Twitter followers tend to follow a person, not a company. 

Third, sync your Twitter account with your Facebook and Gmail accounts to find the Twitter accounts of people you know.  Then follow them.  This will usually get them to follow you back and to share your content.

Fourth, use lots of photos and video.  These get more attention on Twitter.

Fifth, focus on quality, not quantity.  You want people who are interested in you and your legal services so you can use Twitter as another means of forging a more meaningful relationship.

Sixth, engage with the people who share your content by sending them a direct message, adding them to your follower list and retweeting some of their tweets. 

And lastly, keep tabs on your Twitter stats so you can see how your marketing strategies are working.  The stats will tell you how many people engaged with your tweets, how many clicked on the link, and more useful information.

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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.

Internet Marketing for Lawyers: How to Improve SEO With Social Links

The two largest search engines, Google and Bing, have confirmed that social media signals are being taken into account when it comes to ranking pages and content. 

Links shared via social media platforms – the most popular being Facebook and Twitter – can have a dramatic impact on your law firm marketing SEO efforts as outlined in this infographic:

Note that links are weighted different by search engines according to a number of factors, one of the most important being author authority – i.e., the number of followers or fans you have, how long you have participated in social media, how often you post and engage, and your connection to other websites.

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March 21 Legal Marketing Webinar: Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the numbers that make your law firm run. By analyzing these critical metrics, partners and owners of law firms can easily determine whether they are on track to achieve their goals or if they need to retool and refocus their marketing and business development efforts.

On Wednesday, March 21, Stephen Fairley will present a one-hour webinar at 10 am PT/1 pm ET on Key Performance Indicators: Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm.

In this fast paced webinar, you will learn:

  • How to easily identify the 12 key metrics your law firm needs to track and measure
  • How to set up a system to identify these numbers
  • The 7 critical systems every law firm must have
  • CPL and CPC: the 2 most important numbers every attorney must know in order to succeed
  • How to avoid “analysis paralysis” and being overwhelmed by too much data
  • Delegating roles and responsibility to your staff
  • Using software to track your KPIs

If you’re a spreadsheet and data driven individual, then you will love this webinar!  However, if numbers scare you or you tend to ignore them because you have a hard time making heads or tails of all the different data you see, then this webinar is a “can’t miss” event!

We will cut through the clutter and give you clear and easy to understand guidance on which numbers really matter the most, how to track this information, and what to do with it once you have it!

Click here now to register for the one-hour webinar on March 21 on Key Performance Indicators: Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm.

 

10 Things Attorneys Need to Know About the New Facebook Pages

I have already blogged here and here about getting your Facebook presence updated for the new Facebook Pages revamp that happens on March 30. 

Unfortunately, whether you are ready or not, the change is going to happen – so get out in front of it and make it really work for you! This infographic details the most important things you need to know about the new Facebook Pages:

 

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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.

 

Reflect on your mission and your legal marketing strategy

This week is a holy season to two of the world’s great religions – Christianity and Judaism. It is a time of reflection from things that distract people from their “mission in life.”  It is also a good time for you to reflect upon your own mission, the “mission” of your law firm, and the law firm marketing strategies you have set in place to help you achieve your mission

For the Jewish faith, this week commemorates the Passover. 

For Christians, this is Holy Week leading to Easter.

What do these have to do with law firm marketing?  They are holidays of remembrance: recall the past, learn from it and use the lessons to refocus on what's most important. Both Moses and Jesus focused on their mission while avoiding distractions that could have taken their eyes off of the ultimate goal.

You face similar challenges with your legal marketing mission.  There are many things that can distract you from your goals, and you need that same focus on your mission if you are to achieve the business and personal goals you have set.

Every week I speak to attorneys who have bought into the myth that their primary roles and responsibilities are, in order:
(1) To be a “billing machine” for their law firm.
(2) To be the administrator or fireman in the firm
(3) If they have any time left over, to meet with prospects.

This is completely reversed!

As a partner or owner of your law firm, your primary role and responsibility is to be the Rainmaker for the firm—not the technician billing clients and certainly not handling the “administrivia.” Technicians (lawyers who can bill clients) are easily found, but true Rainmakers are difficult to replace. (For those of you who are not partners in your law firm, here's the one key you need to become “irreplaceable”: learn the skills of being a powerful Rainmaker).

While you are reflecting this week, take time to reflect on your legal marketing strategies and ask yourself if you have taken your eyes off of your goals (or if you have let others distract you from your goals). If you have, make it your task this week to refocus on your law firm marketing plan and avoid the distractions that can move your focus onto things that will not move you toward your goals.

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Practice Made Perfect For Lawyers: 10 Principles for Marketing Your Legal Services

50% off until April 2nd only! Just enter the Promotional code PMP50 on the order page to receive the discount.  This comprehensive law firm marketing training manual is specifically designed for attorneys who desire to achieve a higher return on investment from all their legal marketing efforts by applying Stephen's unique High Impact Legal Marketing System to the challenges faced by solo and small law firms.
 
The set includes:  An audio CD that provides you with an overview of the '10 Principles for Marketing Your Legal Services', a CD with ideas on how to maximize your results,  a 130+ page Law Firm Marketing Manual, and a Data CD that contains customizable templates and forms to help you create a legal marketing budget and strategic development plan. Just a few of the tools you will discover in this highly practical legal marketing manual include:
 
* Over 50 specific law firm marketing strategies
* Why advertising doesn't work for most small law firms
* Strategies for achieving maximum results from all of your online legal marketing efforts
* How to retain your best clients.  

Click here to order.
 

 

Bust the Bracket with a Killer Legal Marketing Strategy

March Madness is upon us.  Office productivity has taken its seasonal dip as employees call in sick and spend work time scanning the internet to keep up with the progress of their NCAA basketball tournament brackets.  This is a good time to assess whether your legal marketing strategy is more sound than your game-picking strategy.

Some people are casual fans and spend little time and effort filling out their brackets.  Others spend long hours watching games, watching the “bracketology” experts on television, and researching injury reports before they fill out their brackets.

Their thorough preparation gives them an advantage over those who just pick schools based on rankings or their reputation from previous years.  Last year’s national champion didn’t even make the tournament, which is ample evidence that situations can change quickly in a year.

When you are putting your law firm marketing strategy together, take the time to research like a NCAA tournament coach, not a bracket picker.  Research the oppositionKnow the situations.  Try to anticipate the ebb and flow and prepare your team for several different contingencies.  Be quick on your feet with a strong game plan.  Then you will be prepared for the marathon that is the tournament.

Legal marketing isn’t a guessing game.  It is a disciplined effort that has a goal in mind from the outset.  Design your law firm marketing plan with that goal in mind. Execute your plan to perfection.  Then you can taste the sweetness of success.

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Looking for more Rainmaker Institute Wisdom?
Then sign up for a complimentary Law Firm Marketing Strategy CD.  It contains information that will enable you to Generate More and Better Referrals, Find New Clients Fast, and Fill Your Law Practice.  The CD is free, so sign up now!
 
 

Four leafed clovers are not a legal marketing strategy

Today, everyone is Irish.  Regardless of your country of origin, today is the day to celebrate the wearing of the green.  Irish lore, blarney stones, leprechauns and 4-leafed clovers are the topic of the day.

Before the festivities get out of hand, let me offer this caution.  The luck of the Irish is all well and good, but don’t count on it to deliver the results you seek in your law firm marketing plan.  Luck is for wishing.  Plans are for creating systems that deliver measurable results that will move you toward your goal.

Too many people plan lightly and hope for the best.  It’s akin to using lottery tickets as a retirement plan.  You cannot leave to luck and chance those things that are necessary to ensuring that you achieve the levels of success that you desire for your firm.  Luck , wishing and hoping are lots of fun, but they don’t bring home the bacon.

So on this St. Patrick’s Day, enjoy the festivities however you choose.  Maybe you should consider adding a Rainmaker Retreat into your plans. Whatever you choose to do, please remember that sound planning, timely execution, and hard work are what will bring you to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Not a plant or a small man in a green suit.

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Can't make the Retreat? Get the Rainmaker Retreat Live!
Over 6,000 attorneys from hundreds of law firms across the country have discovered how to generate more referrals and find new clients by simply applying our Rainmaker Marketing System.
Here's just a sample of what you will discover in this 6 CD set audio program:

  • Over 22 proven strategies for attracting more and better clients
  • How to create powerful relationships with over 30 new Referral Sources in the next 90 days
  • 7 ways to find more clients fast and how to select the best ones for you 
  • 2 ways to promote your firm to 100,000 people for only $100 
  • 5 ways to automate your marketing using technology and the internet 
  • 6 secrets top Rainmakers use to dominate their competition 
  • 8 steps to creating a 6 month comprehensive marketing plan for your firm
  • Much, much more!


This live recording of our highly successful 2 day law firm marketing boot camp will inspire you with practical examples, motivate you with sample case studies, walk you through best marketing strategies used by top Rainmakers, and provide a guide for you to quickly implement proven tactics in the next 30 days. You can purchase the Rainmaker Retreat Live here

 

Benefits, Value and Results should be the focus of your law firm marketing plan

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 during the relationship 
  • The Results they achieve from your service

If you're an estate planner, 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 a previous post I mentioned 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. This principle is often overlooked.

When you have a chance, take a look at several other websites of people in your
profession.  Analyze their websites from a prospect’s point of view and
ask yourself these 3 all important questions:

  • Why should I retain you for my legal need?
  • Specifically, how do you benefit me, the client? 
  • Why should I retain your services now?

You will be absolutely amazed at how often their websites fail to adequately
answer even these most basic questions. But I guarantee they will answer the
one question that few if any of their prospects even care about—What services
do you offer?

Make sure your law firm marketing materials answer the questions that prospective clients are asking, not give them a laundry list of everything you can do.

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Unsure about attending a Rainmaker Retreat?
If you are still unsure about attending a Rainmaker Retreat, sign up for one of our complimentary teleseminars. These free one hour calls give you valuable law firm marketing and business tips that you can implement in your law practice right now. Don’t miss this opportunity to preview something that can revolutionize your law practice.
 

 

Stephen Fairley's Law Firm Marketing Presentation on the Front Page of the State Bar of California's Website

 

Okay, so this is a little self-promotional (even for me)...

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!

 

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Legal Marketing Strategies: 13 Ideas to Jump-start Your Formal Networking

  1. Identify 2-3 specific networking groups to attend.
  2. Indentify at least 1 “elite” group and attend 1-2 times per quarter.
  3. Refine your “audio logo.” (For a definition of audio logo and an example of one, see Wednesday’s post.)
  4. Develop 3-5 open-ended questions you can ask at a networking event.
  5. Join your local bar association.
  6. Join your local Chamber of Commerce.
  7. Attend 1-2 Industry-specific trade association meetings every month.
  8. Volunteer to sit on a non-profit’s board of directors.
  9. Join a formal leads group (like Business Networkers International.)
  10. Create a follow-up campaign consisting of emails, letters and phone calls.
  11. Use an Excel spreadsheet to track your results form various network events.
  12. Read Masters of Success and Masters of Networking by Ivan Misner.
  13. Set-up 1-2 informal networking lunches with colleagues every month.

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If you think . . . you can’t make more money and have the time to enjoy your life . . . you’ve never been to a Rainmaker Retreat. If you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to attend a 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.

Law Firm Marketing: 7 Tips on Finding Clients Through Formal Networking

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.

Follow-up efforts.

Results of efforts.

Notes.

 

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Are you trapped into working more and more, while enjoying your life less and less? There is a way out.  It’s called the 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 so you can better market your small or solo law practice. For more information or to sign-up for the next one, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.

Legal Marketing Strategies: Tips for Conducting a Client Satisfaction Survey

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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Tough times call for tough action. This is especially true today in small law firm marketing, when the competition is fierce, the client dollars tight and your bottom line precious. Get battle-ready now with a two-day marketing boot camp called the Rainmaker Retreat. For more information or to sign-up for the next one, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.

Legal Marketing Strategies: 10 Different Ways to Create a Unique Competitive Advantage (UCA)

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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?
  5. 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?
  6. 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?
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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?
  10. 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?

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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

Law Firm Marketing: Is Your Marketing "on Target?"

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

your convenience:

 

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.

Business/Corporate Litigation

  • 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.

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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

State Bar of California Rainmaker Retreat Legal Marketing Boot camp: Round Up and Recap!

I just flew back from San Francisco. This last Friday & Saturday we had a fantastic group of attorneys for the first ever Rainmaker Retreat sponsored by the State Bar of California.

The staff at the Bar was fantastic. I was very impressed with their level of attentiveness and kindness. We look forward to working with them on many future projects and events.

Later this week on this blog I will let you in on a little secret the CA Stat Bar just shared with me on Friday morning. It blew me away! I'm very excited about this.

The group of attorneys who attended the law firm marketing workshop were incredible. While most were from California, we had lawyers who flew in from the states of Washington, Florida, Nevada, Utah, and Texas to join us. 

The level of sharing, learning, and eye-opening discoveries was non-stop. I also must say that this was probably the most fun I've ever had at a Rainmaker Retreat.

I especially want to thank:

  • Conrad Saam of Avvo.com was there to show attendees how to claim their free attorney profile and how to leverage it to drive great traffic to their website and attract more clients—all for free! What you may not know about Avvo.com is that it is the fastest growing online legal directory in the country. It already has 3 times more traffic than Martindale and will soon surpass lawyers.com to become the #1 largest legal directory. And did I mention it's FREE...
  • Ron Kramer, a personal injury attorney in Utah and a member our Rainmaker Mastermind Group who flew in at the last moment to attend. Thanks for joining us Ron!
  • Adrian Lurssen and Aviva Cuyler from JDSupra.com who gave a great presentation on how to rapidly increase your internet platform by posting articles on their site. Attorneys are using JDSupra to rapidly boost traffic to their websites. This is a very powerful tool we will be using more frequently in the days to come. You can check out my articles and JDSupra profile at: http://www.jdsupra.com/profile/stephenfairley/
  • The Team at Sagaria Law. Scott Sagaria is owner of one of the fastest growing bankruptcy law firms in California. In addition to being a very sharp business owner, he has a great vision for his law firm. He brought several of his team along including: Eddy Hsu (a true work horse!), Tina Phan (Are you still there?), Dominique Sopko (the shy one--not), Heather Cassidy (Hey, is that Stephen Fairley?), Erin Coyle (aka Bubbles), Brittany Klein (Where’s my Starbucks?), and Business Operations Director Extraordinaire Carrie Ramirez (Are you still working? It's 10pm). My thanks go out to Scott and his team for a great dinner on Thursday and for attending the Rainmaker Retreat. Looking forward to seeing you all again in 2 weeks for a 2 day in house law firm marketing audit.


Here are just a few of the comments attendees wrote down at the end of the conference:

“This was a great seminar that went through the very basics to more advanced techniques to bring in high quality cases. The sheer amount of information has left my head spinning! I'm looking forward to the flight home so I can put together a plan to implement the ideas I learned.” Ron Kramer, Esq. (Personal Injury, Draper, UT)

“The Rainmaker Retreat is the most insightful strategic planning I have every experienced! The ideas were simple yet genius and cost-effective. They could be implemented by firms of any size.” Heather Cassidy, Esq. (Bankruptcy & Family Law, Sacramento, CA)

“I am the world’s biggest cynic when it comes to direct marketing...but I decided to come despite my cynicism. I AM NOW A VIP MEMBER—that’s how great and practical this is! Delphine Adams, Esq. (Real Estate, Santa Rose, CA)

“This legal marketing seminar provides a ‘nuts and bolts,’ systematized approach to traditional Rainmaking, then provides strategies for 21st century marketing. I thought the promotional materials over-promised before I came. As I left, it was clear that Stephen over-delivered, by a wide margin!” Michael Atter, Esq. (Personal Injury, Jacksonville, FL)

“The Rainmaker Retreat has been simply amazing. Stephen Fairley is an outstanding speaker who I find very motivating and inspiring. The content, ideas and advice of this retreat has exceeded my expectations 110%!” Carrie Ramirez (San Jose, CA)

“The Rainmaker Retreat will not sell you useless books, CDs and tapes. It WILL teach you real, practical, useful methods for you to sell yourself, over and over again. If you are a small firm or a new Rainmaker, you NEED to attend the Rainmaker Retreat!” Jeff Nunes, Esq. (Estate Planning & Employment Law, Morgan Hill, CA)

“This seminar was an amazing experience! The advice is insightful and practical. We were provided with strategies and procedures that will deliver significant benefits almost immediately.” Dominique Sopko, Esq. (Family law & Bankruptcy, San Jose, CA)

“Stephen Fairley has a fast paced program that motivates, explains and organizes your marketing efforts. I highly recommend this to all attorneys.” Robert Rolnik, Esq. (Patent Law, Kingwood, TX)

“This was very thought provoking. I have not had such a clear plan for marketing presented like this before. I really appreciated the many different marketing options and internet possibilities that were presented.” Clark Vellis, Esq. (Commercial Litigation, Reno, NV)

If you couldn’t make, you really missed a great event! But you can catch a replay in Las Vegas in about 3 weeks at the Mirage.

Here's the link for more information: www.RainmakerRetreat.com

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Anouncing Never Before at the Las Vegas Rainmaker Retreat!
We will have a special, brand new break out session on how attorneys can leverage social media to drive more traffic and land more clients. Think Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and more—on steroids!

Legal Marketing: The Big 3 Reasons Why Attorneys Fail to Grow Their Practices

Law firm marketing is a complex and competitive business. And there are many reasons why certain law firms fail to grow or even fail to survive.

However, in my working with more than 6,000 attorneys over the years, I’ve come to find out that there are essentially 3 main reasons why attorneys fail to grow their practices:

  1. Lack of Time
    This is the single biggest complaint we hear. You’re stressed for time. You barely have time to serve your clients, much less market your practice. Not to mention spend time with your family.
  1. Lack of Systems
    There are several simple systems attorneys can use to create a “lifestyle practice”—a practice that supports the lifestyle you want to lead, rather than one that dominates your life.
  1. Lack of Strategy
    From a marketing perspective, a comprehensive strategy to grow your law firm is essential to your long-term success. Otherwise you and your team lack direction.

These “lacks” can be overcome so that you can create that lifestyle law practice you desire.

Many of our clients are proof of that. When you use a proven legal marketing strategy that consistently produces results, you can then set up legal marketing systems that, in turn, both free-up your time while increasing your client roster, increasing your revenue.


Although this sounds simple (and, at the 100,000-foot level, it is), there are numerous options that are equally good and effective, forcing numerous choices to be made with resources.

When law firms engage a law firm marketing expert or attend law firm marketing seminars, bootcamps and conferences, law firm marketing becomes so much clearer and so much easier.

 

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If you think . . . you can’t make more money and have the time to enjoy your life . . . you’ve never been to a Rainmaker Retreat. If you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to attend a 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.

Legal Marketing Strategies: 3 Strategies to Staying Positive in a Negative Climate

Fear and negativity are pervasive and everywhere you look these days. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting really tired of it.

I’m on a personal crusade to promote a positive culture based on positive relationships and positive solutions. No, I’m not sticking my head in the sand, but I do believe that if you only focus on negativity and fear that’s exactly what you will see and experience.

Here are 3 ways you can replace fear and negativity with positive action and attitude:

  1. Focus on Being a Positive Person

Positive people attract other positive people. When your attention is on being positive, you will draw clients and referrals sources to you who are also positive. Stop hanging around people who’s only concern in life is to bring everyone else down to their level. Find people who are doing great things and moving in the right direction and get to know them.

  1. Focus on Positive Solutions for Clients

People are looking for solutions that actually work in the real world. As their attorney, you have a responsibility to provide them with positive solutions. The more effective your solutions, the more attractive you will become to prospects, clients and referrals sources.

  1. Focus on Keeping Your Staff Positive

Everyone can use a little more encouragement and positive reinforcement these days. Even though your firm may be going through a tough time economically, you can still emphasize what your staff did right and say think you.

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Tough times call for tough action. This is especially true today in small law firm marketing, when the competition is fierce, the client dollars tight and your bottom line precious. Get battle-ready now with a two-day marketing boot camp called the Rainmaker Retreat. 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: A Step-by-Step Referral System that Gets Results

In this blog post, I’m letting you peek behind the curtain. I will give you the steps involved in this law firm marketing system that has helped many a client increase business.

  • Identify several professions or industries that already have trusted relationships with your target market.

  • Build or buy a database of potential referral sources (www.infoUSA.com and www.superpages.com are two great list-building resources.).

  • Focus on refining your Unique Competitive Advantage by answering this question: “Why should, someone hire me versus any of my competitors?”
  • Create a form letter that includes who you work with, how you are different and a personal invitation to get together to determine if/how you could work together.

  • Send out 10 to 20 letters per week.

  • Have your assistant call the people you sent letters to and determine their level of interest in connecting with you.

  • Have your assistant set-up appointments for you over lunch or coffee.

  • When you meet with prospective SRP’s (Strategic Referral Partners), find out more about their businesses and how you can help their clients.

  • Ask compelling questions to let them know you are interested in building a mutually-beneficial referral relationship, and remember to ask the best question: “How would I know if the person I’m talking to would be a great referral for you?”

  • Ask them if they would be willing to send you referrals.

  • When possible, try to send them a referral in the next 30 days.

  • Follow-up every 4 to 6 weeks to stay connected with them (Send them a letter, article of interest or one of your press releases.)

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Do you want to double your law practice, increase client referrals and make more money in these challenging economics times? Then subscribe to The Rainmaker Advisor Journal. To get your free trial copy, go to: www.therainmakeradvisor.com

Law Firm Marketiing: Protecting Your Most Valuable Assets

It used to be said “time is money,” but that’s not true anymore.

In our society, time is more valuable than money because you can always make more money, but you can never make more time.

In these perilous times, you must be sure to protect your most valuable assets. Here are the 7 vital and practical areas you must protect:

 

Protect Your Time by developing a practical marketing plan.

 

Protect Your Employees, who will make or break your business.

 

Protect Your Clients by providing exceptional value and focusing on benefits and results.

 

Protect Your Practice with consistent and persistent marketing efforts.

 

Protect Your Revenues with creative alternatives to the billable hour.

 

Protect Your Reputation online through social media and blogging.

 

Protect Your Referral Sources by staying connected with them each and every month.

 

Protect your assets, and they will protect you, both now and in the years to come.

 

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Learn the new rules of law firm marketing by attending an Avvo seminar. Three times bigger than Martinale.com, lawyer directory Avvo is holding three free seminars – today, Wednesday, June 17th in San Diego and Thursday, June 18th in Irvine in the morning and Los Angeles at night. Hear law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley and others tell you what you need to know to market your law firm in the New Normal.

Click here to register for San Diego, Irvine or to register for Los Angeles

Law Firm Marketing: Where's Your Focus?

I’ve been talking to quite a few attorneys over the past several months who are increasingly concerned about how the tough economy is affecting their practice and their ability to focus on marketing their law firm.

Let’s have a little perspective on this. As a business owner, you can either focus on the fear and scarcity mentality that is being promoted by the media today or you can focus on taking action and abundance. Which choice you make has immediate and long-term implications. If you allow yourself to be controlled by fear or make your decisions based on scarcity, you will miss the opportunities that come your way. Your challenge is to stay focused on taking action, look for opportunity in the midst of crisis and find a way to leverage it!

 

Here are 5 Tips to Keep You Focused:

 

Focus on the positive. I recommend making a list of all the good things that happen to you each day and keep it posted near your computer as a constant reminder that not everything is bad.

 

Focus on what you can control, instead of what you cannot control. You cannot control the global markets, the investment banks, or the economy. You can only control your actions so create an action plan of what steps you are going to take to keep moving forward. Have a heart to heart talk with every attorney in your firm and require them to submit 3 specific steps they will take in the next 90 days to generate more business for your firm.

 

Focus on improving client satisfaction and retention. Send out a client satisfaction survey, call up your top 10 clients and take them to lunch, stay connected with your current and former clients—ask them what challenges they are facing and how you can assist them. Perhaps you can introduce them to a banking colleague for a much-needed business line of credit or a real estate broker who can help them sublease some office space.

 

Focus on implementing your marketing plan. When this economic crisis is over, you will

find some firms have just barely managed to survive, while others have grown significantly. The difference is when everyone else was pulling back, some firms see this as the perfect opportunity to expand their marketing and increase their efforts. Which path will you follow?

 

Focus on connecting with referral sources. Go through your rolodex and reconnect with every single person who sent you a referral in the last 24 months and start meeting with them in person.

 

As you go through your week, working hard on growing your practice, remember these tips. And stay focused.

 

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Don’t get caught playing the law firm marketing game under the old rules. Get a new playbook by attending an Avvo seminar. Three times bigger than Martinale.com, lawyer directory Avvo is holding three free seminars on Wednesday, June 17th in San Diego and Thursday, June 18th in Irvine in the morning and Los Angeles at night. Hear law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley and others tell you what you need to know to market your law firm in the New Normal.   

Click here to register for San Diego, Irvine or to register for Los Angeles

Legal Marketing Strategies: What Business Are You Really In?

When someone asks you, “What business are you in?” What do you answer? I suspect, if you’re like most attorneys, you’d answer: law, real estate law, probate law, family law . . . or anything related to the word “law.”

Logical, right? It may be logical but it’s wrong. You may have a legal practice, but that’s not the business you’re in. You’re really in the business of running your business.

And there are three specific ways you do this: marketing your legal skills; creating extraordinary experiences for your clients and building deep and lasting relationships with those clients. In my blog this week, I’ll be discussing each in greater depth.

 

You are in the business of marketing your legal skills. As a solo practitioner, a partner in a small law firm, an associate or of counsel, your primary focus, after gaining competency as an attorney, is to understand the key principles of business development and marketing and to apply them every single day. Not every attorney will be a top rainmaker, but everyone can do something to grow and market their practice.

 

You are in the business of creating extraordinary experiences for your clients.  John Bisnar, founder of Bisnar Chase and a multi-million dollar rainmaker, has often spoken about the need to “micromanage the client experience”—controlling every aspect of how the client experiences your law firm. From how the phone is answered, to greeting them by name as they walk in the door, to minimizing the amount of paperwork you ask them to complete to reserving your conference room with their name on the door, to returning client phone calls and emails consistently and promptly, everything should be focused on creating a positive experience for your clients. If your client has asked to name the top 10 businesses that provide the best customer service would your name even be on their list? What are three things you can change this week to greatly improve your client’s experience? When is the last time you asked them how you can better serve them with a client satisfaction survey?

 

You are in the business of building deep and lasting relationships with your client? Far too many attorneys only have a transactional relationship with their clients. They create an estate plan for them, they file a lawsuit on their behalf, or they set up a corporation for them. To be successful over the long term you must think long term.

You must develop long-term, meaningful and influential relationships with your clients because the most expensive thing you can have is a one-time client. The first step is to say connected with them. Regular, non-billable communication with clients is more important than ever in these difficult times. Send out a monthly newsletter, a client communique’ or a copy of an interesting article you read 9or wrote). Here’s the rule of thumb: communicate at least 10 times a year with every current and former client. Sit down with your staff or partner and lay out a game plan for how you can build long term, meaningful and influential relationships with your clients.

 

 

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The rules of law firm marketing are changing. So where do you go for the latest and best information? You go to the game-changers, of course. You go to an Avvo seminar. Three times bigger than Martinale.com, lawyer directory Avvo is holding three free seminars on Wednesday, June 17th in San Diego and Thursday, June 18th in Irvine in the morning and Los Angeles at night. Hear law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley and others tell you what you need to know to market your law firm in the New Normal. Click here to register for San Diego, Irvine or to register for Los Angeles

Changing the Rules of the Game (Rules #5)

Today in our look at the new rules of legal marketing, we’ll be taking a look at Rule #5, both the old and new.

Old Rule #5: Look to your competitors to succeed. In the race to be perceived as equals, small law firms have done their level best to erase the lines between them and their larger brethren. The result is an inability to self-differentiate Ask two partners, one at a small firm and one at a large firm, what makes each of them unique, and they’ll both likely give you the exact same response.

New Rule #5: Only the specialists will survive. In this new economy, you must clearly stake out your ground: who you are, who you serve, and how you specialize is increasingly vital to your survival. Identify your uniqueness and emphasize it everywhere. Train every person from your partners to the receptionist how to answer the Big Question: “Why should I hire you?”

Agree or disagree, the rules have certainly changed. The new rules are here and they may be here to stay. How will you respond? What actions did you need to take yesterday to make the most of the opportunities tomorrow?

Welcome to the New Normal!

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Learn the new rules of law firm marketing by attending an Avvo seminar. Three times bigger than Martinale.com, lawyer directory Avvo is holding three free seminars on Wednesday, June 17t in San Diego and Thursday, June 18th in Irvine in the morning and Los Angeles at night. Hear law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley and others tell you what you need to know to market your law firm in the New Normal.

Click here to register for San Diego, Irvine or to register for Los Angeles

 

Changing the Rules of the Game (Rules #3 & #4)

When it comes to legal marketing, I’m here to be a game-changer for you. Throughout this week, I’ll be equipping you with a new playbook, so that you can be a fiercer competitor in today’s crowded legal market place.

Today let’s take a look at Rules #3 and #4, both the old and new.

Old Rule #3: The law is a noble profession. In times past, it was enough for you to be excellent at your craft. New layers could invest the first decade of practice perfecting their pitch.

New Rule #3: Law is a business. As outside pressures narrow your focus on what is truly important (your survival) you must pay attention to the business of your practice and engender a culture of total participation driven by measurable results, where setting and achieving aggressive goals is paramount.

Old Rule #4: Mediocrity is acceptable . . . as long as they bill enough hours. Although no one openly states mediocrity is okay, far too many partners tacitly accept it; some believe it’s inevitable. I have head and seen firsthand the devastating effects the wrong office manager or receptionist can have on a small law firm. I have had clients who tolerated mediocre associates only to lose top accounts and lawsuits because of them.

New Rule #4: Superstars are the currency of the new economy. You have a limited number of positions to fill in your firm and you can only afford to retain superstars in every position. If you find a position filled with someone who is “good enough,” either eliminate the person or eliminate the position. You set the standard. You raise the bar. Excellence is the only attitude we allow. “Exceptional” is the “New Normal” in our firm.

In my next post, I’ll discuss Rule #5

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Don’t get caught playing the law firm marketing game under the old rules. Get a new playbook by attending an Avvo seminar. Three times bigger than Martinale.com, lawyer directory Avvo is holding three free seminars on Wednesday, June 17th in San Diego and Thursday, June 18th in Irvine in the morning and Los Angeles at night. Hear law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley and others tell you what you need to know to market your law firm in the New Normal.   

Click here to register for San Diego, Irvine or to register for Los Angeles

 

Law Firm Marketing: Does Twitter Change the Game?

Shortly after the Total Attorney’s Get a Life Conference in Chicago, a firestorm started in the legal blogosphere around the question: “Is Twitter the legal marketing tool it’s cracked up to be?”

This firestorm was ignited by legal marketing consultant Larry Bodine when he contended during a Get a Life panel discussion that Twitter is not what it’s cracked up to be that sparked brushfires among scores of legal marketing Twitter Defenders/Twitter Detractors.


Most recently LinkedIn Lawyer David Barrett jumped into the fire with a very thorough and thought provoking discussion of Larry’s contention in Barrett’s blogpost: “Twitter for Law Firm Business Development: A Conversation Among Legal Marketing Brands.”


Such healthy, robust debate is what social media was meant to promulgate. And it is what is very much needed, as we in the legal marketing community try to find a place in our law firm marketing plans (or not) for these new media tools.


Keep in mind: social media is a only tool, not a final solution.


Like any tool it can be wielded with strength and power in the hands of an expert craftsman or it can be ineffectual in the hand of a novice. It's all in how you use it.


Can Twitter be a distraction?
Of course it can be. And so can email and the telephone and endless meetings....


Bottom Line:
Anything can become a distraction if you don’t harness it properly.


Many businesses and lawyers are still trying to figure out if social media is a fad or a trend.


The true test as to it's long term viability as a legal marketing tool is NOT how many people register on Twitter or how many drop off after 30 days (about 40% according to recent stats quoted in the above blog posts).


The real test will be found in the answer to this question: “If I effectively use social media platforms, will it generate new business, new clients, new referrals and/or new relationships for my business?”


To some people that question has already been asnwered in the affirmative. I spent some time with Kevin OKeefe of LexBlog fame. When I posed this question to him, he immediately responded, “All I know is that since I started using Twitter our business has increased by 20-25%.”


Wow!


Bottom Line:
In the right hands, almost anything can be an effective tool that can drive new business.


Clearly, we can’t forget the tried-and-true techniques of building relationships with referral sources, giving seminars and presentations, building an online presence, and the like. But I don’t hear the Twitter defenders saying that at all. I do hear some of the Twitter detractors saying the reverse. 


Bottom Line:
A powerful law firm marketing plan does not rely on one “magic bullet” to solve every problem and overcome every challenge.


Top Rainmakers use a variety of online and offline marketing strategies. They test the results and fine tune their marketing tool.


The exact legal marketing tools they use depends on:

  • Their target market
  • Their geographical location
  • Their practice area
  • Their personality
  • Their level of comfort

It is this bigger picture discussion that both David Barrett and I embarked upon shortly after the Get a Life Conference. We are exploring how legal marketing in 2009 needs to bring together proven techniques from both traditional and new social media marketing in creative, intelligent ways. (Toward the end of Barrett’s post he mentions our discussion.)


From this discussion will spring new educational products and legal marketing services. Stay tuned . . .


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Do you want to double your law practice, increase client referrals and make more money in these challenging economics times? Then subscribe to The Rainmaker Advisor Journal. To get your free trial copy, go to: www.therainmakeradvisor.com

Changing the Rules of the Game (Rules #1 & #2)

In the past few years of my working with attorneys across the country, I’ve discovered that the legal marketing game has quickly changed.

Sadly, many attorneys are still playing the old game by the same old rules. No wonder they’re seeing fewer clients, making fewer dollars and witnessing the erosion of their practices.

That’s got to stop, now. So throughout this week, I’ll be equipping you with a new playbook, so that you can be a fiercer competitor in today’s crowded legal market place.

Let’s take a look at Rules #1 and 2, both the old and new.

Old Rule #1: More marketing will obtain more results. In the past, all you had to do was throw more money at marketing or advertising and you would see more results. But not any more.

New Rule #1: ROI rules. With the increased competition and level of sophistication in the legal marketing industry, to get ahead you must be faster, smarter, and more effective than your competitors.

Your ability to leverage Internet marketing and automatic parts of your marketing system will allow you to dominate larger firms with bigger budgets; however, every dollar must be accounted for and every effort must be measured for Return On Investment. You cannot afford to be indifferent.

Old Rule #2: Taking care of clients comes first.

New Rule #2: Take care of your business first or you won’t be in business to take care of your clients. Too many times lawyers focus solely on their clients without focusing on the bottom line. The result is devastating: not sending out invoices on time; not raising your rates for years; not actively cross-promoting other services your firm offers; and not staying connected with former clients. Everything rises and falls on leadership. You must be the one to lead the charge in shifting your firm’s culture from one of passivity into action orientation.

In my next post, we’ll be discussing Rules #3 and #4.

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The rules of law firm marketing are changing. So where do you go for the latest and best information? You go to the game-changers, of course. You go to an Avvo seminar. Three times bigger than Martinale.com, lawyer directory Avvo is holding three free seminars on Wednesday, June 17th in San Diego and Thursday, June 18th in Irvine in the morning and Los Angeles at night. Hear law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley and others tell you what you need to know to market your law firm in the New Normal. Click here to register for San Diego, Irvine or to register for Los Angeles

Legal Marketing Strategies: 15 Ideas for Keeping in Touch with Referral Sources: Ideas 6-10

 

#6. Send them a holiday card, but not on the major holidays like Christmas. Instead, try a Thanksgiving card or a St. Patrick’s Day card so it will stand apart.

#7. Set-up a Google alert for a topic of interest to your referral sources. For example, “tax law changes” for CPAs or “Los Angeles commercial real estate market update” for a commercial real estate.  (To find out how to do this, click here.)

#8. Ask them if they would like to receive your monthly newsletter or e-zine. Use www.ConstantContact.com to manage and send out your monthly electronic newsletter (e-zine). Send a copy to your referral sources (with their permission, of course.)

#9. Invite them to connect with you on www.LinkedIn.com. This powerful social media tool is a great way to stay connected to referral sources. Be sure to set-up a free account, fill in your profile information, and update your status. You can connect with me at: www.LinkedIn.com/in/StephenFairley. Just click the button “Add this person to your network” and I will accept your request. Also, be sure to check out the various groups for attorneys you can join. Use the “status update” to keep in front of people.

#10. Invite them to connect with you on www.Facebook.com. What started out as a teenage phenomenon has quickly budded into a marketing tool for small business owners. Set up a profile (it should be more personal and a little less professional than your LinkedIn profile) and start to add friends. Search for me on Facebook and request a friend add.

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Are you trapped into working more and more, while enjoying your life less and less? There is a way out.  It’s called the 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 so you can better market your small or solo law practice. For more information or to sign-up for the next one, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.

 

Legal Marketing Strategies: 15 Ideas for Keeping in Touch with Referral Sources: Ideas 1-5

 

Our legal marketing strategy for all this week is discussing 15 ideas you can use to keep in touch with your referrals. Today we’ll cover Ideas 1-5.

#1. Send them an email immediately after each meeting with them. Send it the same day whenever possible. In the email express thanks for meeting with you, add any points you discussed and close with any action items or next steps.

#2. Send them a handwritten thank you card or form letter two to three days after your initial meeting.

#3. After your initial meeting, put a “to do” or task item in your Outlook for approximately 6 to 8 weeks later. Have your staff contact them to set-up another time to get together face-to-face. Make your next meeting more about the relationship than business. Perhaps meet at the golf course, over drinks or in another casual environment.

#4. Use your press releases. Each time you write and submit a press release, send them a copy. It’s easier if you use PRWeb (www.prweb.com) because they will automatically convert your release into a PDF file which you can print off and mail.

#5. Send them a copy of your published articles. As attendees to the Rainmaker Retreat learn, there are dozens of online article directories that will publish your articles for free. When one of your articles is published, print off several copies and send them out with a note.

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Tough times call for tough action. This is especially true today in small law firm marketing, when the competition is fierce, the client dollars tight and your bottom line precious. Get battle-ready now with a two-day marketing boot camp called the Rainmaker Retreat. 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: Keys to Reaping Rewards of Relationships--Key #2

 

Of the many legal marketing strategies, one of the most powerful is leveraging relationships to boost referrals. In today’s post, I’m going to be talking about the 2nd key to reaping the rewards of your relationships.

Key #2: Increase the Frequency of Your Contact

Try as we might, it’s difficult with our hectic schedules to meet with every potential referral source on a regular basis. Here’s one strategy I teach lawyers: Set up a Google Alert for a specific phrase that would be of interest to your referral sources, such as “becoming a rainmaker.”

Collect interesting articles and keep them in a separate folder (Referral Articles). Once a month, pull one out, print off a punch of copies and attach a brief handwritten note on each copy (“I thought you might enjoy this article.”) Enclose your business card and mail a copy of the article to all of your referral sources.

Several of my clients have doubled and tripled their referrals in 6 months using this simple technique to stay in front of their referral sources on a frequent basis. You can set up a Google Alert at: www.google.com/alerts

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To find out more ways to grow your practice while still having a life, attend the “Get a Life” conference in Chicago May 27th and 28th. Sponsored by Total Attorneys Practice Management Association, this conference is designed to help attorneys in small or solo law practices grow their businesses while achieving a balanced lifestyle. Register today at: www.totalpma.org and click on the banner to your right to access more information!

 

Law Firm Marketing: Keys to Reaping Rewards of Relationships--Key #1

 

Of the many legal marketing strategies, one of the most powerful is leveraging relationships to boost referrals. In today’s and Friday’s post, I’m going to be talking about 2 keys to reaping the rewards of your relationships.

Key #1: When it comes to Referral Relationships, Take an Active Role.

There is a Jewish saying “A man who has friends must show himself to be friendly.” Don’t wait for someone to take the initiative and contact you—be the first to reach out. In the last few years, we have coached and trained thousands of attorneys and the ones who are the best rainmakers are the ones who make at least 3-4 contacts with potential referral sources every week.

Law firm marketing action step: Take 2 minutes and scan your contact list. Select 15 to 20 names of potential or current referral sources and send them an email or, better yet, pick up the phone and call them with an invitation for lunch or coffee. Set a goal of having three face-to-face meetings per week for the next month.

Here’s a sample script: “It’s been a while since we’ve connected. I was wondering what your schedule looks like for the next week. I’d like to get together with you for lunch or coffee, just to catch up—my treat. Let me know what dates would work better for you.”

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To find out more ways technology can be harnessed to free your life, attend the “Get a Life” conference in Chicago May 27th and 28th. Sponsored by Total Attorneys Practice Management Association, this conference is designed to help attorneys in small or solo law practices grow their businesses while achieving a balanced lifestyle. Register today at: www.totalpma.org and click on the banner to your right to access more information!

 

Legal Marketing Expert's Article Mentioned in ABA Publication

 

Law firm internet marketing expert Aviva Cuyler, in her article “Small Marketing Steps with Big Impact” that appeared in the American Bar Association’s online publication GP Solo, mentioned my article “10 Steps to Create Your Law Firm Marketing Plan.”

Although I am certainly honored by her mention, I’m mostly excited about the opportunity to help more attorneys in small and solo law practices to succeed in these challenging times.

Today, more than ever, attorneys must understand and implement sound legal marketing strategies to survive, let alone to thrive. And one of the very first strategies you must implement is to create a law firm marketing plan. My article will help walk you through the process, giving you a good foundation.

So get started now . . . get started on building that lifestyle law practice that you deserve. And I wish you much success.

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To find out more ways to grow your practice while still having a life, attend the “Get a Life” conference in Chicago May 27th and 28th. Sponsored by Total Attorneys Practice Management Association, this conference is designed to help attorneys in small or solo law practices grow their businesses while achieving a balanced lifestyle. Register today at: www.totalpma.org and click on the banner to your right to access more information!

 

Sometimes Your Legal Marketing Strategy Requires Sacrificing Sacred Cows

 

These days, nothing is sacred, especially as it relates to law firm marketing in tough economic times. As an attorney who wants to grow your legal practice, you need to be willing to sacrifice those sacred cows. Here are just few questions that will help you prepare them for the pyre:

  • Can you provide the same level of services at a lower cost?
  • How price-sensitive is your target market?
  • How can you structure payments to better fit the new financial realities?
  • What parts of your practice make the most profits?
  • Should you expand your practice areas or get rid of one?
  • Should you really hire another associate or paralegal or could you outsource that need to a part-time contractor for half the price?

By no means is this an exhaustive list; I’m sure you could come up with many other ideas in the same vein. My point, however, is this: Business – and our economic climate – have changed so dramatically that it is far past the time, as Tom Peters has said, to “think outside the box.” Now, we must be willing to “destroy that box” if we want to survive, let alone thrive, today.

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To find out more ways to grow your practice while still having a life, attend the “Get a Life” conference in Chicago May 27th and 28th. Sponsored by Total Attorneys Practice Management Association, this conference is designed to help attorneys in small or solo law practices grow their businesses while achieving a balanced lifestyle. Register today at: www.totalpma.org and click on the banner to your right to access more information!

 

Effective Law Firm Marketing Depends Upon Technology: 5 Tech Tips to Boost Your Practice

 

For law firm marketing to be effective, it’s a given that you need to harness the power of technology. By doing so, not only will you lower your costs but also you’ll improve your legal marketing results many times over. Here are 5 tips to help you get started:

  1. Instead of using a large office suite with onerous monthly payments, use a virtual office or rent one by the hour. HQ.com and Regus.com are two popular options.
  1. Consider hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) instead of a full-time, onsite one. I have used VA’s for several years now with much success.
  1. Use an electronic newsletter (e-zine) instead of a print one to reduce costs. We recommend www.ConstantContact.com
  1. Instead of hiring a fulltime receptionist at $15 to $25 per hour, use a virtual receptionist (www.CallRuby.com has packages from under $200 per month.)
  1. If you have to fly to meet with clients face-to-face, try using www.Skype.com and a webcam instead. Although it’s not exactly the same, the quality of the video is amazing these days, plus Skype is free. A good webcam costs $75 to $150 (half the price of a plan ticket.) Send your client a webcam as a gift. Set-up takes less than 10 minutes.

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To find out more ways technology can be harnessed to free your life, attend the “Get a Life” conference in Chicago May 27th and 28th. Sponsored by Total Attorneys Practice Management Association, this conference is designed to help attorneys in small or solo law practices grow their businesses while achieving a balanced lifestyle. Register today at: www.totalpma.org, plus click on the banner to your right to access more information!

 

Legal Marketing Strategies and Practice Management Advice Presented at Conference

 

Helping attorneys to improve their law firm marketing while achieving the lifestyles they deserve has been my passion for more than 6 years now. On May 27 and 28th, I’ll be taking that message to Chicago at the “Get a Life” conference presented by Total Attorneys Practice Management Association. To register, click here! To access more information about the event, click on the banner to your left!

If you’re a partner at a small law firm, a solo practitioner or an attorney who just wants to lead a more balanced life, you should attend this conference.

In addition to myself, there are many other well-known names in law firm marketing, including Gerry Riskin, Larry Bodine and Allison Shields.

On Wednesday I’ll be speaking on The Five Immutable Secrets to Building a Seven Figure Law Practice While Staying Sane and on Thursday I’ll be speaking on Technology Enabled Services to Improve Your Life.

So plan to attend. Just go to Total Attorneys to register.

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Do you want to double your law practice, increase client referrals and make more money in these challenging economics times? Then subscribe to The Rainmaker Advisor Journal. To get your free trial copy, go to: www.therainmakeradvisor.com

 

Internet Marketing for Lawyers Includes Press Releases: 10 Top Reasons to Send Them

 

 

Here are 10 top ten reasons to send out press releases:

1)     Accomplishments

i) Winning political office.

ii) Leadership positions in professional organizations.

iii) Additional professional education.

2)     Appearances at major events

i) Participant or speaker at a state, national international conference.

ii) (Caveat: as long as it demonstrates the capabilities or the capabilities of your firm you especially want to promote; i.e. – that meets your marketing objectives.)

3)     Appointment to a board or committee

i) Corporate.

ii) Non-profit.

iii) Civic.

4)     Articles by or about you

i) (Caveat: as long as it demonstrates the capabilities or the capabilities of your firm you especially want to promote; i.e. – that meets your marketing objectives.)

5)     Awards you are receiving

i) Professional.

ii) Civic.

iii) Non-profit.

6)     Books you have written

i) (Caveat: as long as it demonstrates the capabilities or the capabilities of your firm you especially want to promote; i.e. – that meets your marketing objectives.)

7)     Books you are mentioned in

i) (Caveat: as long as it demonstrates the capabilities or the capabilities of your firm you especially want to promote; i.e. – that meets your marketing objectives.)

8)     Community classes you are sponsoring

i) (Caveat: as long as it demonstrates the capabilities or the capabilities of your firm you especially want to promote; i.e. – that meets your marketing objectives.)

9)     Contest you are sponsoring

i) (Caveat: as long as it demonstrates the capabilities or the capabilities of your firm you especially want to promote; i.e. – that meets your marketing objectives.)

10) Contributions to charities, donations, scholarships

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Do you want to double your law practice, increase client referrals and make more money in these challenging economics times? Then subscribe to The Rainmaker Advisor Journal. To get your free trial copy, go to: www.therainmakeradvisor.com

 

 

Internet Marketing for Lawyers Includes Press Releases: 3 Key Questions Answered

 

One vital component of effective law firm Internet marketing is the press release. Today I will answer three key questions regarding press releases and Friday I’ll discuss the top 10 reasons for sending press releases.

What Can a Press Release Do?

A press release is a great public relations tool that can do many things. For example, it can: help you improve your ranking on search engines; get added traffic to your website; provide information to your target market and inform the community of your accomplishments and charitable work.

Is a Press Release Considered “Marketing?”

In and of itself, it is not marketing; however, it can assist you in your marketing, provided that you are very strategic about the press releases you send out. For press releases to be the most effective for you, they must meet at least one of your marketing objectives.

Where Can I Send My Press Releases?

You can send your press release the traditional way: directly to members of the media. There are many media listing resources (like Bacon’s) that will list members of a wide variety of media (print, radio, TV, etc.) with their address and contact information, such as an email address or fax number.

But doing this manually – or even using a software version of Bacon’s – still takes a lot of time.

A better way to send out your press release is through an online service such as PRWeb or Business Wire. Journalists, bloggers, and others read press releases online sent through these and many other online services. This is a great advantage over manually finding the contact information for each and every journalist.

Another advantage of this approach is that journalists and others do read releases online that are sent through the Internet by these services.

Lastly, properly writing a press release for online submission by using keywords to “search optimize” the release helps boost the rankings of your website, blog and other aspects of your online presence. That means that people – your potential clients – can find you when they’re ready to hire an attorney.

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If you think . . . you can’t make more money and have the time to enjoy your life . . . you’ve never been to a Rainmaker Retreat. If you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to attend a 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.

 

Legal Marketing Strategies: 4 Tips to Generate Clients Using Speaking and Seminars - Tip #4

 

A very powerful law firm marketing strategy to generate more clients is to hold educational seminars or speak at events. Throughout this week, and into Monday of the next, I’ll be discussing 4 tips to help you effectively use this strategy.

Today I’ll discuss Tip # 4: The Fortune is in the Follow-up

The number one reason why lawyers don’t get results is because they don’t have a written follow-up system. You must develop a follow up strategy before the talk.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say your follow-up strategy is a series of emails, phone calls and maybe a letter or postcard. Your follow-up system would include 4 emails, 3 phone calls and 1 letter.

Email I would be sent within 24 hours post-seminar. It would be a thank you email with an offer for a free consultation, special report of audio CD phone Call 1 would be made by your staff and would be made within 24 hours past-seminar. The call would be to thank them for attending and make the same free offer. That’s made in the email. Your letter would be sent out the next day (They should receive it within 3 days if they are local.) and the letter would repeat what you have written in the email. All of this would happen in the first 24 hours after the seminar. Some of you will question if that’s too aggressive. It’s not. It demonstrates a high level of professionalism and commitment to your attendees. We give dozens of law firm marketing seminars every year and this works.

Email 2 is sent 3 to 5 days after the event. Remind them about the seminar they attended and invite them to sign-u for a consultation for your newsletter. Email 3 might offer a brief tip about the topic you spoke about: top 10 tips or recommended resources, etc. Every person should be followed –up with at least three phone calls before you stop trying to reach them. Every attendee should receive at least 5-78 emails and 1-2 letters from your law firm.

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We of The Rainmaker Institute have partnered with more than a dozen state and local bar associations and other trade organizations to bring you a professionally-designed, statistically-valid survey.

Through it, we hope to answer questions such as:

*Current challenges and obstacles to growth faced by small law firms.

*Specific strategies used by top attorneys to build their practices.

*Statistically-valid data on what variables are most critical in determining a law firm’s success.

But to do that, we need you. So please take the survey by going to www.rainmakersurvey.com

 

Legal Marketing Strategies: 4 Tips to Generate Clients Using Speaking and Seminars - Tip #3

Today I’ll discuss Tip # 3: Get Attendees Contact Information

 

Have a plan for obtaining the attendees; contact information both before and after your presentation. You want to get it before so that you can get ready to follow-up with them, but also after your presentation just in case somebody shows up at the door. If you can’t get the contact information from the conference organizer, do a giveaway for a prize and have them pass their business cards to the front or have them email you their contact information to get a free copy of the handout or PowerPoint slides.

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Where can get practical, proven and results-producing law firm marketing help in one place? In the Rainmaker Advisor Journal. To get your free trial copy, go to: www.therainmakeradvisor.com

 

Legal Marketing Strategies: 4 Tips to Generate Clients Using Speaking and Seminars - Tip #2

A very powerful law firm marketing strategy to generate more clients is to hold educational seminars or speak at events. Throughout this week, and into Monday of the next, I’ll be discussing 4 tips to help you effectively use this strategy.

Today I’ll discuss Tip #2: Educate Your Audience

In talking to your audience, you should make your talk educational. Don’t stand up there and spout legal jargon and legal theory or sections and codes because that’s not what people want. They want practical, useful information.

So give them lots of practical, useful information that will help them. You may say, “Well, I don’t want to give away the store. I don’t want to give them so much information that they can do it themselves.” Please understand, if you could give them enough information where they could do it themselves, the people who actually would do it for themselves are not your clients.

You want to target the people who have the money to hire an attorney and don’t want to do it for themselves. You don’t want to hire tire kickers or “do it yourselfers” because all they’re going to do is try to get your lowest price. I actually follow the opposite principle. I purposefully try to overwhelm my audience with practical, useful information when I give a seminar on law firm marketing. Why? Because I want them to walk out of the room with so many great ideas that they don’t know where to start so they will turn to me and hire my company to implement the law firm marketing plan for them.

You must recognize that not everyone in the audience is in your target market and you need to qualify them as much as they qualify you. You need to ensure that they need you, they want you and they can afford you. If you don’t want to attract “Yellow Page Clients” then don’t charge Yellow Page prices.

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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

 

Legal Marketing Strategies: 4 Tips to Generate Clients Using Speaking and Seminars - Tip #1

A very powerful law firm marketing strategy to generate more clients is to hold educational seminars or speak at events. Throughout this week, and into Monday of the next, I’ll be discussing 4 tips to help you effectively use this strategy.

Today I’ll discuss Tip #1: Always Speak to Decision Makers

The first important tip is to always speak to the right group. Make sure you get in front of the right group (people who either can refer you clients or who are highly likely to need, want and be able to afford your services) by asking about:

  • What is the average attendance?
  • What is your average attendee like? Their job title? Description? Age? Decision maker?
  • What percent of your usual attendees are decision makers?
  • What kinds of topics have had the best turnout?
  • Who has recently spoken to your group and what did they speak about?

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Do you want to double your law practice, increase client referrals and make more money in these challenging economics times? Then subscribe to The Rainmaker Advisor Journal. To get your free trial copy, go to: www.therainmakeradvisor.com

 

Law Firm Marketing Success Tip: 4 Excellent Resources for Creating Your Fully-automated Follow-up System

 

The key to enhancing your credibility as an expert, and building relationships online is to connect consistently with your potential clients. Remember, statistics show that it takes a minimum of 7 contacts to enroll a new client. 

The best way to ensure consistent follow-up with those clients while saving your precious time is to automate that system by using autoresponders and online newsletters, also known as “ezines.” 

Here are some resources to get your started: 


Autoresponders

Two of the resources I recommend are: www.GetResponse.com and www.Aweber.com


Newsletters/ezines

For newsletters, I recommend:    www.ConstantContact.com and www.VerticalResponse.com


A Bonus for You

If you want to see what a popular legal online newsletter looks like, go to: http://newsletters.findlaw.com/nl/

To your success!

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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

 

Law Firm Marketing Success Tip: 5 Components of a Successful Blog

 

Having your own blog is vital to effective law firm Internet marketing. To have a successful blog, there are 5 components you must keep in mind:

  1. Highly-targeted, well-branded.
  2. Provides quality content that solves your prospects’ challenges.
  3. Publish your blog constantly and consistently: 2 to 4 times per week.
  4. Write in relation to the most popular current events.
  5. Register your blog in directories and promote actively. (A top blog directory: www.masternewesmedia.org/rss/top55)

To start creating your own blog, here are some resources: www.blogger.com; www.typepad.com; and www.wordpress.com

For a professionally-designed blog, we highly recommend the firm: www.LawFirmMediaGroup.com. They specialize in working with law firms to create, design and optimize websites and blogs that will not only get highly-ranked but also attract qualified clients.

Here’s to your law firm marketing success!

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Would you like to know more about getting increasing your referrals? Then come to Los Angeles April 24 & 25th to attend The Rainmaker Referral Intensive. For more information and to register, please call 888-588-5891.

 

Law Firm Marketing Made Successful: The Law of 7

 

Law firm marketing can be made successful. Notice I said “successful,” not easy. The truth is, when done correctly, law firm marketing is a complex endeavor that requires diligence, consistency and commitment. Only then is there a good chance that it will be successful, too.

Consider the following statistics regarding contact with prospective clients:

  • 48% of lawyers give-up after the first contact.
  • 25% give up after the second contact.
  • 12% give-up after the third contact.
  • 5% give-up after the fourth contact.

In other words, 9 out of 10 prospective clients are never followed-up with more than 4 times.

This amounts to leaving money on the table. Why? Because legal marketing statistics also show that it takes an average of 7 contacts to enroll a new client. This is “The Law of 7.”

If you want your law firm marketing to be successful, you must obey “The Law of 7.”

You’re probably thinking right now, “I know I should connect frequently and consistently with my prospective clients, but don’t have the time.”

True. That’s why you should also connect automatically with those clients. It’s essential you leverage the power of technology to build relationships with your prospects.

Then what you need is a strategy and a process that leverages the most recent advancements in technology (autoresponders, social media, blogs, for example) to simplify and automate your marketing efforts, building rock solid, long-term relationships and helping you earn more, work less and spend time doing what you love to do.

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Do you want a step-by-step system to get more referrals? Then come to Los Angeles April 24 & 25th to attend The Rainmaker Referral Intensive. For more information and to register, please call 888-588-5891.

 

Law Firm Internet Marketing Strategy: 3 Ways to Build Your Million Dollar List (Part 3 of 3)

 

In Monday’s post, I outlined 3 law firm Internet marketing strategies to build your million dollar list:

Strategy #1: Build.

Strategy #2: Borrow.

Strategy #3: Buy.

The law firm Internet marketing strategies we’ve covered so far are Strategy #1: Build and Strategy #2: Borrow. Today we’ll discuss Strategy #3: Buy

In law firm Internet marketing, a very effective tool to build your million dollar list is buying “Pay Per Click” Internet advertising.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Open an account with $5, $10, or $20.
  2. Select your keywords.
  3. Write your ad.
  4. Prospective clients start coming to your website.

When done correctly, you get to Step # 4 very quickly. And compared to banner ads, link exchanges, buying space in e-zines, waiting weeks or months for your search engine listings to show up, Google AdWords is certainly much faster. It’s an attorney’s dream come true.

When using GoogleAdWords, it’s critical to the success of your law firm marketing efforts to select the right keywords and to write the ad using only 2 or 3 lines. So to help get you started, I suggest two online video courses:

How to use GoogleAdwords in your law firm marketing:

            Virtualpracticebuilder.com/googleadwords

How to select the right keywords:

            Virtualpracticebuilder.com

You’ll get a lot of information to better understand GoogleAdwords and how to use them with the most effect and greatest law firm marketing results. Plus, both resources are free.

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Do you want a step-by-step system to get more referrals? Then come to Los Angeles April 24 & 25th to attend The Rainmaker Referral Intensive. For more information and to register, please call 888-588-5891.

 

Law Firm Internet Marketing Strategy: 3 Ways to Build Your Million Dollar List (Part 1 of 3)

 

This week I’ll be discussing using three law firm Internet marketing strategies to build your million dollar list:

Strategy #1: Build.

Strategy #2: Borrow.

Strategy #3: Buy.

The law firm Internet marketing strategy today is Strategy #1: Build.

When it comes to Internet marketing for lawyers, one of the easiest ways to build your list is through article marketing.

This is how it works:

  • You write an article in your area of expertise, solving a problem your prospective client has.
  • People find your article on the Internet because it’s “search engine optimized” (SEO’d).
  • They read your article.
  • They respond by signing up for your newsletter, contacting you for a consult or sending you their contact information – whatever it is you want them to do.
  • You are now building your million dollar list.

That’s article marketing in a nutshell. Here are the steps you should take:

  • Write 2-4 articles each month. (Remember, frequency and consistency is key.)
  • Focus your article on a theme. Edgy, controversial, already being tossed about in the media.
  • To make it search engine optimized, add your keywords (wordtracker.com).
  • Write like a marketer:

Clearly identify your target market.
Describe a primary challenge or problem they are experiencing.
Provide a realistic and simple solution to their challenge.
Write a “call to action.” Tell them what you want them to do: sign-up for a newsletter, contact you for a consult, give you their contact information, etc.

  • Use an automated submission service to publish your articles to thousands of hungry editors. (articlemarketer.com; isnare.com; submityourarticle.com)
  • Test and track your success. (google.com/alerts)

In my next post, I’ll discuss law firm Internet marketing Strategy #2: Borrow.

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Do you want a step-by-step system to get more referrals? Then come to Los Angeles April 24 & 25th to attend The Rainmaker Referral Intensive. For more information and to register, please call 888-588-5891.

 

 

To Niche or Not to Niche: An Essential Question in Law Firm Marketing

 

To niche or not to niche? When it comes to legal marketing strategies, there are different schools of thought on this topic. You may be “pro-niche” or you may be “no-niche.” Or you may be a combination of both, like me.

Why Niche Your Practice?

It’s certainly helpful to concentrate your law firm marketing efforts in a particular area. This does not limit you; rather, it helps you better focus your efforts. The benefits of niching your practice include:

  • Targeted legal marketing materials.
  • A clearly-stated Unique Competitive Advantage, (UCA), or elevator speech. (Just a reminder: selecting a niche doesn’t mean that you can never work with clients outside that niche.)
  • Improves your name recognition and branding.
  • Makes you more memorable to people you meet.
  • Increases your chances of getting referrals.

How to Determine a Niche

(Refer back to your answers to the law firm marketing exercises in my last 2 posts and look for overlaps between what you have to offer and what your clients need. Brainstorm possible target markets or niche names.)

Why Be Flexible About a Niche?

Your ideal client profile may change over time. In addition to building confidence and experience, this will help you determine who you enjoy working with and who you don’t. You’ll discover which practice areas energize you and which ones drain you. (It’s much easier to apply legal marketing strategies to potential clients whom you’d enjoy working with and in practice areas that energize you.)

During this experimental phase, you may want to remain open to possible target markets. It’s important to pay attention to the types of clients who come your way.

What Types of Clients Are Most Commonly Referred to You?

When you get inquiries from prospective clients, what’s drawing them to you and your services? Keep track of your clients and see if they don’t begin to naturally fall into one or more groups. You may find that you attract clients you can learn from or who can learn from you. Their situations may mirror your current or recent challenges. Becoming aware of these commonalities is a way to let your niche find you, helping you develop your law firm marketing.

Only One Niche?

It’s fine to have more than one specialty or niche. Often attorneys have a bread and butter niche – a segment that can afford to pay them well and another one, perhaps for starving artists, whom they love working with but who pay scholarship rates. Sometimes it’s helpful to test the waters to see if there’s a demand for your specialty. You can continue working with an established clientele as you determine whether or not to branch out into a new practice area. Remember, nothing is set in stone. You can always rename your business, print new business cards and update a website. That’s the beauty of legal marketing.

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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

 

To Make Your Legal Marketing Easier, Use These 9 Keys to Identify Your Ideal Client

 

Now that you have a better understanding of what it is that you, as an attorney, uniquely do, it’s time for the next step in legal marketing strategies: identifying your ideal client.

Not all clients are created equal, especially when it comes to law firm marketing. Neither you nor your firm can be all things to all people. Nor should you ever try.

There are clients whom you’re uniquely qualified to help, clients who can afford your fees and clients who can bring you repeat business. If you’re to effectively conduct law firm marketing, you need to know who your ideal client is.

Below I’ve listed 9 keys to help you determine your ideal client. Now I suggest that you should answer these questions as specifically as you can. Ask yourself, “If I had my druthers, what would I most like to focus on with my clients and what kinds of clients seem like a perfect match for me?”

Here are the 9 keys:

  1. Who’s your ideal client? (Think in terms of age, profession, gender, education, interests, marital status, family size, hobbies, and lifestyle.)
  2. Who can afford your fees? How much can they afford? What’s your value to them?
  3. Who could be a good long-term, repeat client?
  4. What qualities, characteristics and values do they have?
  5. What are you helping them accomplish?
  6. What are their issues, challenges or pain?
  7. What is it like working with them?
  8. Who could be a good source of referrals for these ideal clients?
  9. Who is NOT your ideal client?

I strongly suggest that you spend some time thinking about these questions and answering them as carefully, as specifically, as you can. When you do take the time, you’ll have laid a strong foundation for all your legal marketing strategies.

In my next post, I’ll discuss niching your practice.

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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

 

8 Questions for Developing Your Brand to Improve Your Law Firm Marketing

 

Usually when most attorneys think of their law firms and their legal practices, the word “brand” doesn’t readily come to mind. But it should. And here’s why.

Developing your unique brand is essential for effective law firm marketing because prospective clients:

  • Have many, many attorneys in your practice area and geographic area to choose from.
  • Believe all attorneys are equal.
  • Want to know why they should select you for their attorney.

So the more clearly you can define yourself and your practice, the easier it will be to convey that through your law firm marketing materials; the easier it will be to attract more clients; and the easier it will be to grow your practice.

To help you begin branding your law firm and your legal practice, here are 8 questions for you to answer: (If you find these difficult to answer, ask them of the people you trust. Often they’ll see aspects you’ll take for granted, because these aspects come so naturally to you.)

  1. Who are you? (Think in terms of roles, values, personal qualities and who you are in relation to others.)
  2. What are your natural gifts and strengths?
  3. What have you experienced in your life and career?
  4. What specialized training have you received?
  5. In what areas are you already well-connected?
  6. In what areas do you feel uniquely qualified to serve your clients?
  7. Where are you perceived as an expert?
  8. How do you bring out the best in others?

Although these questions may seem rather simple on the surface, they are designed to help you dig deeply into what makes you and your practice unique. Once you have a clearer idea of what makes you and your practice unique, then the next step – identifying clients – will come even easier.

In my next post, I’ll discuss 9 keys you can use to identify your ideal client.

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Do you want to grow your law practice, increase client referrals and make more money in these challenging economics times? Then subscribe to The Rainmaker Advisor Journal. To get your free trial copy, go to: www.therainmakeradvisor.com

 

Use These Strategies to Get Better Legal Marketing Results from Speaking Venues

As you’re actively considering using speaking venues in your law firm marketing, there are strategies you need to apply before, during and after the event if you want your legal marketing to produce results. Here are these strategies:

Legal Marketing Strategy:  Before Your Presentation

  • Get attendees’ contact information.


Legal Marketing Strategy:  During Your Presentation

  • Have a drawing for a “giveaway.” Then have attendees submit their business cards to participate. (This is especially effective If the organizers won’t give you attendees contact information.)
  • Announce that you’ll be giving away a special report to anyone who emails you after the event.
  • Give away something at the end of your presentation (like a CD) to anyone who gives you their business card.


Legal Marketing Strategy:  After Your Presentation
Create and implement a follow-up strategy. Here’s an example:

  • Email #1:  (Within 24 hours) Thanks for attending and give a free offer.
  • Phone call:  (Within 48 hours) Thanks for attending and giving a free offer.
  • Letter 1:  (Within 48 hours) Repeat of Email #1
  • Email #2:  (3 days later) Invite for a consultation and sign-up for your newsletter.
  • Email #3:  (within 7 days after event) Offer brief tip about the topic.
  • Phone call #2: Reiterate free offer (special report or tip sheet) and ask if they are interested in an individual consultation.
  • Email #4:  Ask some questions to help them determine next steps, how they will take action based on your talk.
  • Email #5:  Invite for a consultation or promote next upcoming event.
  • Email #6:  Monthly newsletter/ezine.


Before you give your presentation, make sure to outline these law firm marketing strategies and to implement them at the appropriate stage. Do that, and you increase your chances for successfully adding new clients to your law firm’s roster.

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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

Your Law Firm Marketing Success in Speaking at Events Depends on These 13 Factors

Speaking at regular events—like annual conferences—is an effective law firm marketing strategy to attract new clients. However, there are many factors to keep in mind when considering speaking at these events as one of your legal marketing strategies. Here are 13 of them:

1) Find out the average size of attendance.

2) Determine the demographics of the group.

3) Find out what are the common interests among members.

4) Ask what topics have been covered before.

5) Find out if the group is interested in current or “hot” topics.

6) Ask who will be introducing you at the event.

7) Find out if you can have the attendees’ full contact information (name, phone, email).

8) Get permission to contact the attendees after the event.

9) Find out if you can offer a “give-away” during your presentation. (CD, book, special report).

10) Ask if the organization will publish your article in their newsletter or ezine before the event.

11) If there is a trade show attached to your speaking engagement, try to barter a booth in return for your speaking.

12) Find out who are the other scheduled speakers and their topics.

13) Know where you are in the schedule, what precedes and follows your talk. Be aware, for example, that the worst times to speak are early in the morning, right after lunch, right before or after dinner, Friday afternoon, Monday morning or as the last speaker at the event. Conversely, the best times to speak are mid-morning, from 2 to 5 PM, as the conference opener or as the keynote speaker.

As you work on your law firm marketing, do keep in mind speaking at regular events. These can be great sources of new clients.

In my next post, I’ll discuss strategies to get better legal marketing results from speaking venues.

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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

7 Speaking Venues to Consider Adding to Your Legal Marketing Mix

One very effective law firm marketing technique to find new clients is using speaking venues. There are many different speaking venues to consider, depending upon your experience, skills and abilities. Here are 7 to consider:

1) Be the moderator of a panel (either a panel of 3-5 of the partners in your firm or of 3-5 different professionals.)

2) Be the expert on a panel discussion.

3) Give a teleseminar (over a conference or bridge line.)

4) Create small, private, client-only seminars.

5) Participate in a joint venture with an organization or company who serves a similar market. These organizations or companies can include small community banks, groups of financial planners, chambers of commerce, networking groups, accounting firms, business consultants, psychologists, chiropractic groups, employee benefits companies.

6) Give a presentation or keynote to a trade association. (Fact to consider:  there are 135,000 trade associations in the United States, according to the Encyclopedia of Associations.)

7) Give a public seminar. (These are usually free; however, you may be able to charge since you’re a business.)

As you are creating your legal marketing program, consider using speaking venues to attract new clients.

In my next post, you’ll learn 13 factors that affect the law firm marketing success of speaking venues.

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Do you want to double your law practice, increase client referrals and make more money in these challenging economics times? Then subscribe to The Rainmaker Advisor Journal. To get your free trial copy, go to:  www.therainmakeradvisor.com

6 Public Relations Tips

“Public relations” is technically defined as the “management function of creating and sustaining mutually-beneficial relationships between an organization and its target audience.” 

Public relations is a subset of marketing. However, public relations is different than marketing because the goal in public relations is to create relationships while marketing’s goal is to help with the exchange of money for a good or service.

So you can’t expect public relations to directly result in turning a potential client into a client. However, public relations is an important tool in any legal marketing toolbox.

Here are 6 tips to get you started with your public relations:

1. Write an article for a legal publication.
2. Write an article for an industry trade publication.|
3. Write an article for your local newspaper.
4. Work with a public relations expert.
5. Send out 2-3 press releases every month.

6. Start a blog.

 

6 Simple Steps to Building Your Million Dollar Mailing List

 

The key to your online success rests in the quality, responsiveness and size of your mailing.  Here are 6 steps to building that million dollar mailing list:

1. Write 2-4 articles a month. Remember, frequency and consistency is the key.

2. Use a focused theme. It can be edgy, controversial, already being spoken about in the media.

3. Add your keywords. One online source is wordtracker.com

4. Use the marketing syntax. “Marketing syntax” means that you need to clearly identify your target market; describe a primary challenge or problem they are experiencing; provide a realistic and simple solution to their challenge; and include a “call to action.” (What would you like them to do next? Sign-up for your newsletter, send their contact info, schedule a consult, etc.?)

5. Use an automated submission service to publish your articles to thousands of hungry editors. Some services include: articlemarketer.com; isnare.com; submityourarticle.com

6. Test and track your success. An easy way to do that is to use Google alerts.

 (This law firm marketing tip – and many others – I present at the 2-day law firm marketing boot camp called “The Rainmaker Retreat.” To attend my next one, see below.)

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Tough times call for tough action. This is especially true today in small law firm marketing, when the competition is fierce, the client dollars tight and your bottom line precious. Get battle-ready now with a two-day marketing boot camp called the Rainmaker Retreat. You’ll learn valuable information and practical steps to take to better market your small or solo law practice. The next Rainmaker Retreat is scheduled for Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.

 

8 Steps to Leverage Your Online Marketing Efforts

 

As in anything you do to market your law firm, you need to be strategic and deliberate about it. For example, you can’t just throw up a website – no matter how good a website it is – and expect potential clients to come flocking to your home page.

You need to do things to increase your online visibility, improving your chances of having those potential clients find you. 

Here are some steps to improve your online presence using articles, ezines, press releases and blogs.

Step #1: Define a topic area germane to your practice and your target market.

Step #2: Write a 400- 750 word article about that topic.

Step #3: Submit that article online.

Step #4: Create a press release from that article, discussing that topic.

Step #5: Submit that press release online.

Step #6: Use a part of that article in your ezine and link to it online. (100 to 300 words)

Step #7: Then take that article and develop a blog post from it. (100 to 300 words)

Step #8: Submit a second press release announcing the article you just published based on the original topic in Step #1.

(This law firm marketing tip – and many others – I present at The Rainmaker Retreat. See below for details on the next one.)

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If you think . . . you can’t make more money and have the time to enjoy your life . . . you’ve never been to a Rainmaker Retreat. If you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to attend a 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. The next Rainmaker Retreat is scheduled for Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.

 

7 Proven Strategies to Find New Clients

 

When it comes to finding new clients, there are really only 7 ways to find them. Most successful attorneys don’t use all of them They experiment and find the 2 or 3 that consistently produce the most results and focus all of their time, energy, and resources on those.

Which strategies you select depends on who your target market is and what’s allowable in your location. Some of the strategies and techniques covered in this section will not work or may only work if you are targeting a particular population.

Before I get to those 7 steps, I must add some caveats.

You are personally responsible for seeking specific legal advice regarding your local and state regulations and ethics codes. Every state has different rules and regulations regarding marketing, advertising, and what is and is not allowed. Depending upon your practice area and state code of professional ethics, some of the strategies discussed in this post may not be allowed in your area.

Here are the 7 steps:

1. Referrals: from strategic partners, existing and former clients, friends, family members, other lawyers, legal referral sources, and business association.

2. Speaking and Seminars: formal presentations, workshops, seminars, speaking for associations and organizations.

3. Formal/Informal Networking: connecting with centers of influence, professional associations, chambers of commerce, clubs, trade association meetings, or formal lead groups.

4. An Online Presence: websites, article marketing, blogs, pay-per-click, ezines, auto responders, newsletters, and opt-in lists.

5. Press Releases & Media Placement: online press releases, writing articles or columns for local newspapers, trade magazines, professional journals, offering an advice column, being a content expert for the media, television, radio, trade association magazines, or newspaper interviews.

6. Promotional Events: participating in trade shows, sponsoring a public event like a marathon, participating in a charity event, sending out partnership announcements, or having an “open house” to publicize your new offices.

7. Advertising: in the yellow pages, newspapers, magazines, or trade journals, fax or email campaigns, ads in business directories, or on radio or TV, and Internet –based ads.

After you’ve considered your state’s regulations and your ethics’ code, consider how you can use some of these tactics in your marketing to find new clients.

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If you think . . . you can’t make more money and have the time to enjoy your life . . . you’ve never been to a Rainmaker Retreat. If you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to attend a 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. The next Rainmaker Retreat is scheduled for Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call .

 

Want To Know How You Can Make More With Less? Specialize!

 

In these challenging times, it’s very tempting to want to serve everyone, everywhere, never turning down any client, frantically trying to build your client base with whoever walks through your door.

But that is counterproductive. To make more, you must do less.

Do less? Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? But I ask you to stop and think, just for a moment.

When you’re trying to be everything to everyone you end up being nothing to no one. And in your prospective clients’ minds, you become one of the many, many lawyers out there, a big legal blur. And if that’s the case, how are you going to attract any attention, much less attract clients you can serve?

The answer: specialize. Now I’m talking more than focusing on an area of law, more than earning a specialist certification through your bar association, although both of these are important.

What I’m talking about serving a specific niche (woman’s divorce attorney) or even a niche within a niche (woman’s divorce attorney emphasizing child custody).

The 8 Benefits to Positioning Yourself as a Specialist:

  1. Significantly higher rate of referrals.
  2. Can charge higher rates.
  3. More opportunities to offer them more expensive services.
  4. Better client retention.
  5. Not perceived as a commodity.
  6. Value is based primarily on credibility and expertise.
  7. Better positioned to get positive media coverage.
  8. Easier to dominate your niche.

With all of these benefits, it pays to spend time carefully defining what “specialization” means to you. Certainly, it must make sense from your experience, training and if there’s a need out there. For example, I know of some law firms that do real estate law are now adding “loan modification” to their offerings. That’s the specialization I’m talking about.

So the next time you’re tempted to take the next client who walks through your door because he has a pulse and is breathing, think: I must specialize.

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Are you trapped into working more and more, while enjoying your life less and less? There is a way out.  It’s called the 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 so you can better market your small or solo law practice. The next Rainmaker Retreat is scheduled for Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.

 

Is It Being "Pushy?" Or Being "Persistent?"

 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had attorneys come in and say, “I just gave this great presentation to my target market, and it was just fantastic. I talked to dozens of people afterwards and it was great. I got a bunch of business cards and a bunch of contact information.”

But the attorney never follows up on those people Many attorneys would say they don’t want to seem ‘pushy,’ or they don’t want to “bother” the other person.

The truth is, those excited people you spoke to are probably wondering why they haven’t heard form you. They expect to hear from you. And you can believe if they don’t want to be bothered, they’ll let you know.

To succeed in marketing your small or solo law firm, you must be persistent. It’s a numbers’ game, where you have to get in front of X number of people in order to get X number of prospects, then follow-up with these prospects X number of times to get a client. This goes against the grain of traditional legal advertising, but remember that traditional advertising no longer works.

And don’t give up and take a passive approach to building your practice. A passive approach is like waiting for the phone to ring, waiting for a knock on the door or waiting for a referral to come in.

Like it or not, to survive, attorneys have to get in the game. On average, it requires 6 to 8 follow-up attempts to get in front of a prospect, even a prospect who is interested in what you are offering. So in building your practice, you must take an active approach to marketing.

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If you think . . . you can’t make more money and have the time to enjoy your life . . . you’ve never been to a Rainmaker Retreat. If you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to attend a 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. The next Rainmaker Retreat is scheduled for Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.

 

Want to Grab Your Prospect's Attention? Answer These 3 Key Questions

When faced with the task of writing about your small or solo law firm to prospective clients, it’s easy to fall into the trap of telling all and everything you do, how many years you’ve practiced, how many cases you’ve won, etc., etc. ad nauseum.

But by doing so you’ve just broken the #1 Rule of Marketing: Answering your prospect’s questions: “What’s in it for me?” “Why should I care?” And the result of breaking this #1 Rule is you’ve just created ineffective, crowing prose, not marketing copy.

To write effective marketing copy, you need to effectively answer your prospect’s questions. You need to get inside your prospect’s head.  So to help you do that, here are 3 questions you should answer:

  1. How do your clients describe their problems?
  2. How do your clients describe their pain?
  3. What are your clients’ obstacles or challenges?

Now, it helps to reflect upon these questions and answer them for yourself. However, what you also need to do is to ask your clients. Then listen to them answer those questions in their own words.

And use those words in your marketing copy.

Chances are, if your clients think and speak like that, then more prospective clients also think and speak like that. And by talking their language, you’ll grab their attention.

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Are you trapped into working more and more, while enjoying your life less and less? There is a way out.  It’s called the 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 so you can better market your small or solo law practice. The next Rainmaker Retreat is scheduled for Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.

3 Tips for Creating a Strong "Call to Action"

 

You’ve worked hard in writing the best marketing copy out. You made sure you had a strong headline. You were careful to stress benefits potential clients would receive when they hired you. You even added some key facts to buttress your claims.

Congratulations, counselor. You’ve just made a very compelling case in the court of marketing. But you forgot to do one little thing. You forgot to tell the reader of your copy what you want her or him to do.

You forgot the “call to action.”

You see, it isn’t enough to lay out a compelling case, as important as such is. You’ve also got to tell your prospective client what you want him or her to do with this information. How you want that prospective client to act.

A “call to action” falls into two main categories, the “statement” and the “offer.”

The statement is something like: “Please contact XYZ Law Firm to find out more about pursuing your personal injury case.” This invites your prospective client to contact you for information.

The offer is something like: “For your FREE report on the “5 Deadly Mistakes Accident Victims Make in Reporting a Claim,” contact XYZ Law Firm.” This invites your prospective client to contact you to receive something.

For either of these two categories, there are three tips to help you make that call to action strong:

  1. You can replace the word “free” with the word “complimentary.” No matter which way you say it, you must make clear that this is a no-obligation offer.
  1. Clearly telling your prospective client what you want her or him to do lessens that person’s confusion and makes it more likely that he or she will act on your information.
  1. Not only must you clearly state what you want, but you must be specific in what you want. The sentence “XYZ Law Firm offers free consultations to discuss your personal injury case” leaves the reader saying “That’s nice. But so what? What’s in it for me?” That’s because this sentence is a statement, not a call to action. It doesn’t ask anyone to do anything. To turn that sentence into a call for action, you would write something like” If you’ve been injured, take advantage of our free consultation to find out more about how XYZ Law Firm works to protect your rights.”

So the next time you write some exceptional marketing prose, whether it’s for your website, a brochure or an ad, don’t forget your “call to action.”

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Tough times call for tough action. This is especially true today in small law firm marketing, when the competition is fierce, the client dollars tight and your bottom line precious. Get battle-ready now with a two-day marketing boot camp called the Rainmaker Retreat. You’ll learn valuable information and practical steps to take to better market your small or solo law practice. The next Rainmaker Retreat is scheduled for Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.

 

5 Steps to Help You Keep Your Focus

 

We all know how tough it is out there these days, so I’m not going to belabor the point. Instead, I’m going to give you 5 tips that will help keep you focused and moving forward. Here they are:

  1. Focus on the positive. I recommend making a list of all the good things that happen to you each day and keep it posted near your computer as a constant reminder that not everything is bad.
  1. Focus on what you can control, instead of what you cannot control. You cannot control the global markets, the investment banks or the economy. You can only control your actions so create an action plan of what steps you are going to take to keep moving forward. Have a heart-to-heart talk with every attorney in your firm and require them to submit 3 specific steps they will take in the next 90 days to generate more business for your firm.
  1. Focus on improving client satisfaction and retention. Send out a client satisfaction survey; all up your top 10 clients and take them to lunch; stay connected with your current and former clients—ask them what challenges they are facing and how you can assist them. Perhaps you can introduce them to a banking colleague for a much needed business line of credit or a real estate broker who can help them sublease some office space.
  1. Focus on implementing your marketing plan. When this economic crisis is over, you will find some firms have just barely managed to survive, while others have grown significantly. The difference is when everyone else was pulling back, some firms saw this as the perfect opportunity to expand their marketing and increase their efforts. Which path will you follow?
  1. Focus on connecting with referral sources. Go through your Rolodex and reconnect with every single person who sent you a referral in the last 24 months and start meeting with them in person.

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You’ll learn valuable information and practical steps to take to better market your small or solo law practice when you attend a Rainmaker Retreat, a two-day marketing boot camp for small and solo law firms. So if you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to attend a Rainmaker Retreat. The next Rainmaker Retreat is scheduled for Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.

 

A Simple Follow-up System for Business Cards

 

Here’s an easy follow-up system for something we all collect—and often do nothing with—other people’s business cards:

Create an Excel spreadsheet. In the first column, place the event name. Follow in the other columns with:

  • The name of the individual.
  • Their email address.
  • Their telephone number.
  • Why you want to follow-up.
  • When you should follow up.

Then every single time after attending a networking event, the first time you’re back in the office, go directly to your Excel sheet. Complete the fields with your new information. Do not read your email, make a phone call, or begin any other task until you have filled out your Excel spreadsheet.

Keep the business cards as well, and make little notes on the back to refresh your memory. For example, say, “hot prospect,” “call after January,” “put on my newsletter list,” or “follow-up with name of referral.”

And then, the hard part—follow-up. Once you’ve followed-up, note the date and time of the follow-up and some brief notes on your conversation in the Excel spreadsheet. 

This is so easy to do and helps you keep track of every individual you meet. Every day, or once a week, open up your spreadsheet and start filling in the list. Before you know it, you will have an effective and useful system that you soon will discover you cannot live without. 

Keeping track of all this information helps you to avoid excuses, like “I can’t find their business card” and offers extremely easy access and organization. You might also consider purchasing a business card file case to hold all the cards in the same place, too.

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You’ll learn valuable information and practical steps to take to better market your small or solo law practice when you attend a Rainmaker Retreat, a two-day marketing boot camp for small and solo law firms. So if you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to attend a Rainmaker Retreat. The next Rainmaker Retreat is scheduled for Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call .

 

Why Market Your Law Firm?

 

Letters on KeyboardWhy do so many attorneys fail at marketing their practices? It all comes down to one simple truth: with a product, the customer can see it, touch it, taste it or feel it. The senses combine to help the customer decide to make the purchase.

But what does the customer have to go on when purchasing a service? Generally speaking, only your words in various forms of advertising, and the words of your satisfied clients.

Specifically speaking, a service purchase cannot be fully evaluated until after the service has been performed. Unfortunately for the consumer, there are no money-back guarantees on legal representation.

Once you understand these differences, you are in a better position to develop the kinds of marketing strategies that work.

Do not falsely assume the client will use rational parameters to evaluate your services before purchasing. The client is as likely to pick you because of your office décor as any other rational reason.

The average client is ill-equipped to use your credentials, education and experience to evaluate your suitability, mostly because the average client does not see a difference from one lawyer to the next.

Statistics show there are more than a million practicing attorneys in the U.S. alone with 30,000 or 40,000 new law school graduates every single year. The field is becoming intensely competitive and will continue on that path, and consumers are likely to carry on as they always have, choosing attorneys for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with skill.

Therefore, it is very important to effectively market your services in ways that are actually related to the way your typical prospect buys your services. The way a typical client arrives at the decision to hand over a retainer is probably far different than you think.

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You’ll learn valuable information and practical steps to truly market your law practice – and more -- when you attend a Rainmaker Retreat, a two-day marketing boot camp for small and solo law firms. So if you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to attend a Rainmaker Retreat. The next Rainmaker Retreats are scheduled for Friday, February 20th through Saturday, February 21st, in Los Angeles and Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.

 

Boycotting the Recession

 

Calm Winter DayWell, it’s official. We’ve been in a recession for at least the last 12 months. The media has been harping that it’s the worst we’ve seen since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. I’ve had many conversations with clients all across the country and I know many of you are hurting.

Now, I’m not one to stick my head in the sand and ignore world events; however, if it’s all the same to you, I’m going to sit this recession out.

Why? Because most economists will tell you that a recession is as much psychological as it is financial. Therefore, I’m boycotting the recession.

How? Well, here’s how I’m doing it. And I invite you to join me.

  • Don’t make major decisions based upon your emotion. During this stressful time, it’s easy to do so. Therefore, talk to a trusted advisor or mentor and ask for their advice before you make that final decision on major issues.
  • Don’t cut back on your level of customer service—increase it. Think of this as your unique competitive advantage.
  • Continue to invest in marketing. Done properly, marketing is not an expense; it’s an investment. And since your competitors are holding back, then this is the perfect time to continue your marketing to help you pull past those competitors.
  • Call all your best clients every month. Check in with them to see how things are going and how you can help. They’ll appreciate being able to talk business owner to business owner.
  • Take care of yourself. Last, but not least, make sure you’re taking care of yourself—get plenty of rest and balanced nutrition and take time out just for yourself, to recharge your own batteries.

Follow these tips and you’ll not only be helping me boycott this recession, but you’ll be doing your practice—and yourself—a world of good.

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You’ll learn valuable information and practical steps to truly market your law practice – and more -- when you attend a Rainmaker Retreat, a two-day marketing boot camp for small and solo law firms. So if you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to attend a Rainmaker Retreat. The next Rainmaker Retreats are scheduled for Friday, February 20th through Saturday, February 21st, in Los Angeles and Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891

Take Part in the Best Practices Survey (Part 3 of 3)

 Because local and state bar associations play such vital roles in the advancement of the legal profession, we of The Rainmaker Institute have a unique opportunity for these organizations:

Become a sponsor of The Rainmaker Institute 2009 National Survey of Best Practices in Small Law Firm Marketing.

Already, a dozen or more state and local bar associations have taken advantage of this opportunity, organizations including the Indiana and Minnesota State Bar Associations and some local bar associations in Arizona and New York.

For their sponsorship, state and local bar associations receive some added benefits, including special access to survey information not available to anyone else.

What does sponsorship cost?

Sponsorship costs nothing – absolutely nothing. All we ask is that participating state and local bar associations promote this survey among their members.

To find out more about the added benefits of sponsorship or to become a sponsor, please email Beth Mitchell at: beth@therainmakerinstitute.com

P.S. – Attorneys: Have you taken The Rainmaker Institute 2009 National Survey of Best Practices in Small Law Firm Marketing? If you haven’t, please do. It will only take about 7-10 minutes of your time. Go to: www.rainmakersurvey.com

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You’ll learn valuable information and practical steps to take to better market your small or solo law practice when you attend a Rainmaker Retreat, a two-day marketing boot camp for small and solo law firms. So if you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to attend a Rainmaker Retreat. The next Rainmaker Retreats are scheduled for Friday, February 20th through Saturday, February 21st, in Los Angeles and Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.

 

Take Part in the Best Practices Survey (Part 2 of 3)

 

Have you taken The Rainmaker Institute 2009 National Survey of Best Practices in Small Law Firm Marketing?

If you haven’t, please do. It will only take about 7-10 minutes of your time.

Go to: www.rainmakersurvey.com

When you take it, not only are you contributing to a law firm marketing best practices knowledge base in areas including:

  • Current challenges and obstacles to growth faced by small firms.
  • Specific strategies used by top attorneys to build their practices.
  • Statistically-valid data on the critical variables in determining a law firm’s achievement.

but also you do receive some added benefits. They include:

  • An Executive Summary of the findings, including analysis of the entire data sample.
  • A white paper highlighting “Best Practices” to help you implement proven business development strategies.
  • Exclusive access to 3 conference calls after the survey to discuss key findings and specific action steps you can apply to generate more clients during this difficult economic time.

So I encourage you to take the survey by going to: www.rainmakersurvey.com

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You’ll learn valuable information and practical steps to take to better market your small or solo law practice when you attend a Rainmaker Retreat, a two-day marketing boot camp for small and solo law firms. So if you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to attend a Rainmaker Retreat. The next Rainmaker Retreats are scheduled for Friday, February 20th through Saturday, February 21st, in Los Angeles and Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.

 

Take Part in the Best Practices Survey (Part 1 of 3)

 

When it comes to law firm marketing, have you ever wondered:

  • What your competition is doing?
  • If you could be employing better, faster, more cost-effective legal marketing strategies?
  • What combination of law firm marketing strategies will help you increase your client base?

If you ever asked these—and other—questions about law firm marketing, now’s the time to get answers.

How? By participating in the largest legal marketing survey ever conducted. We of The Rainmaker Institute have partnered with more than a dozen state and local bar associations and other trade organizations to bring you this professionally-designed, statistically-valid survey.

Through it, we hope to answer questions such as:

  • Current challenges and obstacles to growth faced by small law firms.
  • Specific strategies used by top attorneys to build their practices.
  • Statistically-valid data on what variables are most critical in determining a law firm’s success.

But to do that, we need you. So please take the survey by going to www.rainmakersurvey.com

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You’ll learn valuable information and practical steps to take to better market your small or solo law practice when you attend a Rainmaker Retreat, a two-day marketing boot camp for small and solo law firms. So if you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to attend a Rainmaker Retreat. The next Rainmaker Retreats are scheduled for Friday, February 20th through Saturday, February 21st, in Los Angeles and Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call .

 

Position Yourself as an Expert: How (Part 2 of 2)

 

Silver LiningShort of being cited as an expert on TV, however, there are other tactics you can do. Here are a few:

  • PRLeads.com

      You can sign-up online at a company like www.PRLeads.com and, for about $100, make yourself available as an expert in a specific field.

      PRLeads sends out queries stating they need expert opinions. PR Leads will allow you to choose certain categories such as “legal expert” or “legal Industry,” and the next time a journalist needs a quote in that specialty, you might be invited to be interviewed. For the 10 or 15 minutes it  takes to create a profile for yourself, that’s a pretty darn good return on investment.

  • Yearbook.com

      www.yearbook.com is another “paid for” service where you can be listed as an expert. This book is sent out to more than 65,000 journalists all over the country, and journalists use the book to find experts to interview on various topics related to, not only the legal industry, but also other industries.

Marketing your business is an ongoing project, not a once-and-done event. By getting a firm grip on your target market, speaking to that market with the right combination of online and offline marketing solutions, and making sure you stay in touch regularly, your business will continue to grow, whether it’s spring, summer, fall or winter.

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You’ll learn valuable information and practical steps to take on establishing yourself as an expert– and more -- when you attend a Rainmaker Retreat, a two-day marketing boot camp for small and solo law firms. So if you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to attend a Rainmaker Retreat. The next Rainmaker Retreats are scheduled for Friday, February 20th through Saturday, February 21st, in Los Angeles and Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.

 

Position Yourself as an Expert: Why (Part 1 of 2)

Platinum MicrophoneWith your ezine going well, it’s time to turn your attention to using the power of the media to highlight your accomplishments and to create a more visible platform for your firm.


Here are 3 benefits of using the power of the media as part of your marketing strategy:

  1. It imparts credibility. When a reporter writes an article on you, this is known as “third party endorsement” and is perceived by potential clients as more credible than an ad placed by you with the same information.

  2. Positions you as the expert.  This goes along with point #1, imparting credibility. So your goal is to seek out journalists covering stories related to corporate America or events where you have the opportunity to leverage and establish yourself as the authority. Journalists often cite three experts. Regardless of the topic, one expert is on the left, another is on the right and one offers a general answer to the effect that “more research is needed before an opinion can be formed.”

  3. Adds another “touch.” Marketing research has shown that it takes an average of 7 times (or 7 “touches) until a potential client does business with you. By using the media, this can be on of your “touches” with the added benefit of it not costing you a dime, unlike advertising.

Using media as part of your marketing mix plays a huge role in your success. Remember, it’s crucial to “touch” your clients and prospects consistently to ensure they think of you when the need for legal representation arises.

In my next blog post, I’ll give you specific ways you can get media attention.

 

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You’ll learn valuable information and practical steps to take on creating your own ezine – and more -- when you attend a Rainmaker Retreat, a two-day marketing boot camp for small and solo law firms. So if you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to attend a Rainmaker Retreat. The next Rainmaker Retreats are scheduled for Friday, February 20th through Saturday, February 21st, in Los Angeles and Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to:  www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.

Test, Track & Do It All Over Again

Once you have your system down pat, your next step is to make sure you are tracking everything you are doing.

Most online newsletter creation software will allow you to track how many ezines were sent out via email; how many were actually opened; how many readers took a second action (like clicking through to your website); how quickly after delivery your email was opened and other factors that will help you gauge your success.

 

Testing your market and tracking your results is crucial, and not a step you want to ignore.

 

Overall, remember the five-to-one rule: you want to achieve five times the return on investment that you would make in your marketing. When you consider you will spend less than $50 a month, it’s not hard to imagine how quickly you will reach that number to get the best bang for your buck with a limited amount of time, energy, and money.

 

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You’ll learn valuable information and practical steps to take on creating your own ezine – and more -- when you attend a Rainmaker Retreat, a two-day marketing boot camp for small and solo law firms. So if you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to attend a Rainmaker Retreat. The next Rainmaker Retreats are scheduled for Friday, February 20th through Saturday, February 21st, in Los Angeles and Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.

Growing Your Mailing List

Before you begin creating your newsletter, think carefully about who is going to be reading it. What are their needs? What are their problems? What are their challenges? How can you make their lives easier and more enjoyable?

Where do you find the answers to these key questions? Well, if you have a website, are generating traffic (visitors) to your website, and capturing their names and email addresses via an opt-in or another conversion method, you have already begun to build your list.

 

Every single website visitor must be accounted for, because every visitor to your website is a potential customer. It’s very important that your website provides several different means for visitors to provide basic contact information so you can add their names to your list and grow the list over time.

 

After all, if you do not have much of a list, why produce an ezine? Your ezine is designed to connect with your clients and prospects via your list, so building your list is actually your first step.

 

And don’t worry about snapping your already stretched budget, either. With so many terrific newsletter management programs available, you can reach a list of thousands every month for under $50.00.

 

The one we recommend is www.constantcontact.com. It’s an excellent resource, allowing you to produce professional-looking newsletters at an affordable price.

 

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You’ll learn valuable information and practical steps to take on creating your own ezine – and more, when you attend a Rainmaker Retreat, a two-day marketing boot camp for small and solo law firms. So if you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to attend a Rainmaker Retreat. The next Rainmaker Retreats are scheduled for Friday, February 20th through Saturday, February 21st, in Los Angeles and Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th in Las Vegas. Register early and receive $200.00 off your registration fee and $800.00 worth of bonuses. To register or for more information, go to: www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 1-888-588-5891.

 

 

 

The Key to Online Success

The key to connecting powerfully with current clients and winning new clients online is frequency and consistency.

Numerous marketing studies have shown that it takes a minimum of seven ‘touches’ or contacts from your company to a client or prospect—whether an email, phone call, piece of mailed advertising—before most of your best prospects will stop what they’re doing long enough to say, “Who are you and what can you do for me?”

 

The entire world is bombarded with advertising messages, as many as 5,000 each day. All of us suffer from information overload, because there’s just so much information now. We can’t possibly absorb every individual message the first, or even the second, time we hear it.

 

The key to success, then, is communicating with your clients and prospects multiple times, frequently, consistently, and then developing systems, like the ezine, that can be automated and simplified so you just need to devote only one hour a month to keeping in touch with the people you most want to do business with.

The Anatomy of an Ezine

Thinking about creating an ezine? You should. And the sooner you do it, the sooner you can build better relationships with your current clients and help invigorate your referral process, for starters.

But if thinking about creating your own ezine has got you thinking about writing the next War and Peace, stop! Ezines are most effective when they are brief.

 

For an effective ezine, all you need is: 

  • No more than 1,000 words, total.
  • Several interesting, timely topics.
  • Killer headlines. 

That’s it. And that’s the anatomy of the ezine.

Law Firm Development: Are You on Target for 2009?

For many law firms, business slows during the holidays. And that makes it a perfect time to review your law practice.

Start by Asking 3 Questions

 

  1. Am I on target with my goals?
  2. Are my numbers lining up? (Examine your overhead, major expenditures, profit margins, etc.)
  3. Am I creating a business that supports and enhances the lifestyle I want to lead?

 

Create an Action Plan

 

After you’ve collected the data and done a bit of reflection as these 3 questions require, you’re only half-done. You now need to create an action plan. To help you with this, here are a few questions to answer and suggestions to guide you:

 

On Your Goals

 

If I’m on target with my goals, is there something I can do differently to make those goals happen sooner? What are these things I can do? If I’m not on target with my goals, what’s preventing me?

 

On Your Numbers

 

Do the numbers look good? Could they look better? How? What actions should I take? (i.e, “improving law firm marketing,” “cutting costs,”)

 

On Lifestyle

 

If I am creating a business that supports the lifestyle I want to lead, is there something that could be improved even more? What are those items? If I am not creating a business that supports the lifestyle I want to lead, what are the obstacles?

 

Action Plan

 

Now take a look at each category. List what you came up with. For example, under “goals,” depending upon how you answered the question, you could have listed either 1) Things you could do to make the achievement of those goals happen sooner, or 2) Obstacles in the way of your achieving your goals.

 

After you’ve listed all the respective items in their categories, then rank them from “Urgently Need to Address;” “Need to Address Soon” “Nice to Address But Not Essential.” And congratulations! You just created your blueprint for a better law practice in the coming year.

 

A Better 2009 Is Now Yours

 

By taking a little time at the end of the year to review your law practice, you’ll position yourself for an even better start to the New Year. Plus, by taking this simple step now, you’re already ahead of the competition, since most won’t be using the holidays to review their own law practices.

 

So . . what are you waiting for? Now’s the time to review your law practice and get a step closer to all that you deserve.

Three Reasons to Operate Nationally, and Five Steps to Develop an Effective Law Firm Internet Marketing to Get You There

If there is one thing law firm Internet marketing can do for virtually any quality law firm, it is to give you access to more of the cases you prefer and more clients of the caliber you desire.

 

The reason why goes beyond the vast reach law firm Internet marketing provides.

 

Certainly, by marketing your law firm nationally rather than locally, you reach a large pool of potential clients.

 

But logic would say that, the competition for clients several states away would be tighter than the competition in your locale.

However, if you execute this law firm Internet marketing strategy correctly, you may just find media opportunities are easier to get, competition is smaller than you thought, and new clients are easier to attract.

 

The reason this is so is due to several factors.

 

Greater opportunity for niche services: If you choose your area of specialization carefully, you can define a corner of the legal market that clients are searching for but cannot find locally.

 

The Mystery of Distance: In essence this strategy leverages the perception in clients’ minds that the further they have to travel (even it is only via the Internet) to get the service they need, the more valuable it is.

 

You can see this principle in mind when you order French wine instead of California wine, or a Swiss watch over an American-made watch.

 

National, trade and Internet media have less law firm competition: Consider that there may hundreds of other law firms trying to get articles and ads listed in visible places in your local media.

 

Interestingly, there are less law firms operating at the national level. So opportunities to get an article placed in national newspapers, client trade publications and Internet article directories as part of your law firm Internet marketing approach are much easier to do.

 

Five Steps to Take to Develop National Presence and a Winning Law Firm Internet Marketing Approach

 

To take advantage of those forces and opportunities, there are five steps you should take:

  1. Identify the niche you would like to serve – What particular legal services will you provide. What expertise do you have that makes you unique?  
  2. Identify your target clientele – What business are they in? What is the size of the business? What portion of the country are they in (this may be the entire country or you may realize that your area of specialization demands that you focus in a geographic region)?
  3. Create a list of mediums where you promote your firm – Gather lists of trade associations and publications your target clients use, and referral sources in various areas of the country. Identify national media to advertise in or contribute articles to. Collect law firm Internet marketing article directories and law firm Internet marketing social media sites.
  4. Develop marketing messages and materials that clearly define your unique value proposition.
  5. Build a web site as a base camp for all other law firm Internet marketing activity. This is where clients will go to find out more about your firm after reading about you in the newspaper or hearing about you from a trusted source.

Do these things, and you will be on your way to building a strong national resence and law firm Internet marketing brand.

Is Innovation Overtaking the Law Profession and Law Firm Marketing?

This month, The American Lawyer published an article called The Change Agenda: A Long Time Coming.  In it, Eric Press considers four factors he believes may push the legal profession into an era of change.

Those four factors are:

  • The Legal Services Act passed in the UK that opens up law firms to outside investors, and promises to introduce new ideas and new business models as a result. 
  • Customers becoming more vocal and more organized in demanding more from law firms. Press used the value challenge issued by the Association of Corporate Counsel as one example of this phenomenon.
  • New technology, including Web 2.0, that enables automation and outsourcing of some standard services, which may put price pressure on US firms.
  • The mindset and savvy of the latest generation of lawyers, who are less willing to put in many years in hope of becoming partner someday.

Interestingly, much of what Press says isn’t far from the assertions made by Richard Susskind in his book The End of Lawyers (I wrote about Susskind’s ideas in last month’s blog ‘A New Era in Law Firm Marketing’).

What that means to law firm marketing and business models

With so many voices beginning to see and say the same things, it may be time to examine law firm models and law firm marketing strategies to take advantage of opportunities and innovation that are converging on the legal profession.

 Consider the success of Axiom Legal, a "new-model law firm” that is more responsive to in-house, corporate legal departments. Press says, “Axiom is the sort of innovation that adds a concrete example to the talk at conferences, in articles, and occasionally at client meetings.”

So as you consider the future of your law firm, marketing, innovation and business models should be top of mind.

Law Firm Marketing: How to Increase Referrals and Fortify Your Practice

As an attorney today, you know your reputation and your skill as an attorney are highly important to the success of your practice.

However, to build a thriving practice impervious to ebbs in the economy, client referrals are of the utmost importance. They should play a key role in your law firm marketing approach.

Interestingly, many attorneys fall short when it comes to cultivating referral sources as part of their law firm marketing efforts.  

Below are six proven steps you can take in your law firm marketing and referral strategy to build a large referral base and to catalyze multiple, repeat referrals from each contact.

All are designed to keep your name and your reputation top of mind with your contacts and to reward and recognize them appropriately to encourage referrals short-term and long-term as part of your overall law firm marketing strategy.

1.       Get Contacts Thinking Referral: Don’t assume your contacts are thinking about referrals for you. Let them know your practice relies on referrals and how much you would appreciate them passing your name along.

2.       Immediate Appreciation: When a contact does refer you, call or send a message thank you note the very same day you.  

3.       Reward: Within the next 48 hours, send your referral source a small gift of appreciation such as a business card holder, a gift card to a popular coffee shop or book store.

4.       Recognition: Once you’ve successfully scheduled a meeting with the new, potential client, e-mail your referral source to let them know you have scheduled that meeting and that you will update them again.

5.       Reward and Recognition 2: When the referral becomes a new client, send a “level 2 gift” to your referral source. A level 2 gift should be substantial and meaningful. Something your referral source will really value. However, be aware of dollar-amount gift limits your referrals are able to accept. Some excellent online resources that specialize in business gifts just right for law firm marketing referral gifts are MyBusinessGiftsBrookstone and eCorporate Gifts.

Also, be sure to include a personal note that tells your referral source the positive outcome of their recommendation. 

6.       Stay Top of Mind: Even when your referral sources haven’t referred, stay top of mind. Send a note to your contacts 1-2 times per year to your entire contact list thanking them for past and future referrals.

 

Implement these six simple steps, and you will see a sharp increase in referrals while adding to the positive reputation you strive for in your law firm marketing efforts.

The Value of "Opt In" to your Law Firm Marketing Strategy

In my last post, I talked about the value of “Opt Out” in law firm marketing. Its value in law firm marketing is in narrowing your prospective client list to a tight, highly-motivated group of prospects.

Today, I want to tell you a bit about the value of “Opt In”.

As the name implies, it is in many ways the opposite of Opt In. However, the end goal from a law firm marketing perspective is much the same – to create a list of highly-motivated candidates for your legal services.

To illustrate, let’s first take another look at opt out. In essence, opt out gives the individuals on your list the ability to leave your list whenever they like.

The reason opt out is a “must” is in list building and law firm marketing is because your list is made up of people who have gotten there for reasons other than to receive ongoing communication from you.

  • Some have given their contact information in exchange for a free report
  • Others may have gotten their through a partner list or from a master list at an event where you were one of several speakers
  • Still others got their by referral

The point is the contacts may or may not be on your law firm marketing list because they want more information from you. . . .Hence the value of Opt Out.

How Opt In Works
“Opt In” lists on the other hand, make it abundantly clear to the prospect that he will receive this information from you.

In fact, the premise is that your newsletter or ezine or weekly tips are so uniquely valuable that the prospect will seek out to join your list.

Your law firm marketing methods for attracting these prospects may be similar to that of an Opt Out law firm marketing approach. For example, you may gather prospect names from an event where you speak. In this case, though, you must tell up front precisely what they are signing up for.

Once they sign up, send an e-mail follow messaging to confirm they want to receive this information.

Once the prospective client says yes twice, you must deliver valuable, one-of-a-kind information and legal insights they can’t get anywhere else.

When you are able to deliver, you are very likely to have a list that (though smaller than an opt out list) is much more loyal and highly responsive.
 

How to Use "Opt Out" to Narrow Law Firm Marketing Prospects into Highly Motivated Clients

If you’ve visited this blog before, you are very likely to have seen several law firm marketing blogs about how to build credible, long-lasting, relationships with your clients.

While there are many, many law firm marketing tools you can use to build those relationships, what is at the core of it all is “The List”.

 

In essence, whether you in the beginning stages of building your law firm marketing prospect list or the mid-to-late stages in which you’re seeing clients from that list choose you again and again. . . . the key is to build, cultivate and vet the list on an ongoing basis.

 

This is why.

 

Recall that the overall law firm marketing goal, of your list is to cultivate relationships that move the prospect to become a client.

 

So with that rather drawn out introduction in mind, today I’d like to talk about the value of “Opt Out”. . . .

 

Opt out simply allowing prospects on your law firm marketing distribution list the to leave your list at any time and for any reason they like.

 

While on the face, that statement seems obvious, there are many law firm marketing planners who believe deep down that openly allowing prospects to leave their list only encourages more to leave.

 

And that may be true.

 

The question is – why would you want to keep sending free legal information to an individual who doesn’t want it, won’t use it and isn’t interested in your services?

 

On the other hand, if by allowing those individuals to leave your list, you are actually increasing the health of your list.

 

You are refining it into a tighter, healthier, more highly focused, highly motivate group of individuals who are interested in what you have to say and the services you have to offer.

 

In Sum

Don’t hide the “Opt out” box in fine print at the bottom of your newsletters or bury it in text in your e-mail tips or create a long, convoluted process for them to remove their name.

 

Display the opt out box prominently along with a succinct message that spells out what they will be missing – insightful answers to their most pressing legal questions at no cost.

 

Look for my next law firm marketing blog where I will discuss the value of “Opt In”.

What Free Reports Can Do for Your Law Firm Internet Marketing Structure

 Have you considered writing a free report but never really taken the next step? If so, you’re not alone.

Many attorneys I’ve worked with have heard that free reports are an important piece to their law firm Internet marketing structure.

But they aren’t sure how or why they are important.

The real value of a free report in law firm Internet marketing is in its role as an “ethical bribe”. In essence, you ask potential clients to give you some information about themselves in exchange for some truly valuable legal information.

 

That information you are asking for is their contact information. And that is a key first step in beginning a trust-building relationship with them.

 

Once you have the prospective clients contact information (and some added credibility), the next phase of your law firm Internet marketing plan can begin (more about this later).  

 

But first, you need to make sure your report is worth the valuable information the prospective client has just given you.

 

Here are four proven elements to a well-crafted free report in your law firm Internet marketing structure:

 

  1. Addresses issues that the individual really cares about – Remember, your clients may not care about legal precedents, but they are very likely to care about to save money during divorce proceedings.
  1. Uses regular laymen’s language – If they are being completely honest, most people would tell you they prefer to read USA Today over the New York Times. While the NYT is a serious paper for serious people, USA today is interesting at the individual level, and it’s written in an easy-to-read format.
  1. Builds credibility for your law firm – Don’t miss this opportunity to share client quotes or real life results you’ve gained for your clients.
  1. Perhaps the most important, element to your law firm Internet marketing plan is to include a worthy call to action – By the end of the report, the prospective client should be interested enough to take a next step toward you. Whether that is going to your web site for more information, or signing up for your newsletter.

In sum, the free report can be an indispensible law firm Internet marketing tool. Its real value to your law firm Internet marketing structure is as the first step in connecting with new clients. If used correctly, it earns you both contact information and credibility.

 

And don’t forget to include that all-valuable call to action. If your prospective client doesn’t take that next step, your report hasn’t completely done its job in your law firm Internet marketing scheme.

 

 

 

 

Find Out What's "Old" About Social Media and Law Firm Marketing

I’ve been in the business of law firm marketing and business development long enough to know that the tools involved in law firm marketing change over time.

In recent years, the rate of change has multiplied due in large part to the rate at which technology is evolving. But also due to the rate at which clients accept (or drive) that change.

 

I’ve written extensively about the social media phenomenon – its growing impact on law firm marketing practices, and on law firm business models.

 

But the point that should not be missed among the technology jargon is that social media has its roots in relationship building.

 

The “phenomenon” of social media is not so much about the differences between Twitter and LinkedIn and Facebook. It’s about their similarities.

 

Each is a means to reach out to potential clients in order to understand what clients are concerned about. And they are a force that empowers clients to insist on law firms who listen to their needs and interests – and respond.

 

The point is this.

 

If your partners and existing clients are not ready for the current wave of law firm marketing tools, you need not force that particular issue.

 

Your energy is much better spent emphasizing the more fundamental principle that clients of all generations (from Baby Boomers to Millennials) are more and more choosing law firms that know their business and personal concerns, and understand their challenges and opportunities.

 

Successful firms of the future will invest in law firm marketing tools of many kinds to gain that knowledge and to respond in a timely, thoughtful manner. 

Two Things You Must Know about Blogging and Law Firm Internet Marketing

There has been a lot written about blogging and how it relates to your law firm Internet marketing efforts. Some of it focused the importance of “backlinks” and Search Engine Optimizaton. Some of it about creating a consistent, visible voice for your law firm Internet marketing brand.

But there are two things you may not know that are very, very important when it comes to creating a successful, law firm Internet marketing blog – that gets read!

 

The first is that consistency is key.

 

If one of the most (if not “the most”) valuable roles of blogs is to create links back to your law firm’s web site, the action that makes that happen is writing regularly. When you post regularly, you train your audience – both readers and search engines – to come visit your blog site habitually.

 

And both generate traffic and a pool of potential clients for your law firm.  

 

The second thing you should know, but probably haven’t heard, is that the focus of your blog should be on something you feel passionate about (and that may or may not be your area of practice). This may sound silly, but the point is actually quite logical.

 

If you must write regularly about a topic (and by “regularly”, I mean 2-3 times per week), it had better be a topic that you really care about. Because if you don’t really care, the process of writing 2-3 times a week will become a chore. Not only will you be tempted to quit within a month or two, your readers will be tempted to quit too.

 

Your blog simply will not get read.

 

In the end, 50% of your objective will go unmet.

 

If you are considering adding a blog to your existing law firm Internet marketing plan, remember these simple principles. Write regularly. Write about something you feel passionate about.

 

You will stand the greatest chance of meeting two of your top law firm Internet marketing objectives – attracting search engines and creating loyal readers.

Five Steps to Effective Law Firm Marketing Positioning

In my last posting, we discussed the importance of creating effective positioning in your law firm marketing strategy.

Today, you will see a proven, five-step process you can use to formulate a solid positioning statement.

Not to be confused with a unique selling proposition for your entire firm, a positioning statement is specific to a particular area of practice, such as estate planning, product defect or personal injury law.

The goal of an effective positioning statement in your law firm marketing strategy is to clearly define what perception you want to instill in your clients’ minds when they think of how your law firm practices a particular area of law.

In the end, your law firm marketing positioning statement must be . . . .

  • Unique – it must clearly differentiate you from your competitors and your other areas of practice
  • Positive – it must create a positive image in the clients mind.
  • Memorable – While your clients certainly do not have to know or recall the specific words you use to describe your unique position, the key ideas should come through loud and clear.

Steps to creating your law firm marketing positioning statement:

Step 1: Know and Understand Your Competition

  • Names of law firms
  • Names of their partners
  • Which services they do and do not provide
  • How much they charge (per hour, any retainer size)
  •  Who they target with their legal marketing efforts
  •  Approximate annual revenues
  • Which law firm marketing techniques they use to find clients
  •  
  • Growth strategies

Step 2: Know How the Top Three Position Themselves

Are they. . . .

  • Elite
  • Inexpensive
  • The biggest firm in the region, in the field
  • Highly-specialized
  • Bi-lingual

Step 3: Know Their Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Do they have a reputation for settling out of court or do they litigate more often than your firm does?
  • What is their win-loss record?
  •  What do they do better than you do?
  • What do they not do well?
  • Where are they vulnerable?

Step 4: Identify What is Unique About Your Area of Practice Relative to the Competition

Once you know your competition very, very well, the next step is to use that information to clarify how you are

  • Different
  • Better
  • Faster
  •  More responsive
  •  More experienced
  • Smarter

Step 5: Articulate Your Position in Two Sentences or Less

When you are able to clarify your law firm marketing position in a concise manner, it is easier for you, your associates to remember it, articulate it, emulate it and use it to guide your law firm marketing messages.

That is where the greatest value comes. The result is a consistent, clear voice that guides your interaction with clients and your law firm marketing efforts.

Why Positioning in Law Firm Marketing Matters

Positioning is one of those little-known and less understood law firm marketing ingredients that can make a very big difference in the success of your law firm marketing approach.

But only if it is done well.

 

Positioning gets its name from the role it plays in law firm marketing. In essence, positioning is the unique place your firm carves out for itself in your area of practice.

 

  • It is the perception your firm wants to instill in the client’s mind.
  • It defines how your services are different from and how they are like the competition
  • It spells out what place you hold in the competitive landscape.

In essence it defines how you practice your particular area of law and why clients should choose you (by the way, you can have more than one positioning statement if your firm practices more than one area of law).

 

The biggest mistake law firm’s make with positioning

As I mentioned above, positioning is only valuable to your law firm marketing strategy if it is done well.

 

All too often, positioning in law firm marketing is used to make your firm look, sound and act like every other law firm in your field of practice.

 

Like many business people, attorneys sometimes think there is only one “right” way to position themselves in the minds of clients.

 

The problem is if you look, sound and act like every other firm, you give clients no reason to choose you. In fact, if all firms were exactly alike, there would be no reason to choose at all. One firm would be the same as the next.

 

One has only to look in the window of the nearest vending machine to see that positioning of what seem like very similar products can make all the difference.

 

Who doesn’t see a difference between Coke and Pepsi? In fact, they are nearly identical products, but the perception we have of them is very different.

 

The truth is that there are unique reasons why clients should choose your firm.

  • Perhaps it is because you specialize in a little-served niche that no one else serves.
  • Perhaps yours is a personal injury firm with long-standing connections to the automotive industry that enable you to settle sooner and for a higher amount.
  • Perhaps you serve as an elder care advocacy firm and you make a point of getting to know your clients on a personal level.

In each of those cases, there was something unique about the firm that would be meaningful to the end client. And that is the point.

 

If you want to up-level the message you deliver about your firm and increase the return on your law firm marketing investment, spend some time clarifying your law firm marketing positioning.

 

In my next blog, I will share some proven questions to help you define your positioning.

Three Ways to Listen that Will Transform Your Law Firm, Marketing and Your Thinking

While perusing some blog posts by others in the law firm marketing and business growth business, I ran across this quote from Marianne (a consumer of legal services, as she defines herself), who had this to say.

“I have never ‘met’ the lawyer who looked at their business through a ‘client service’ window or felt the need to try an innovative approach or solution.”

An overstatement to be sure. But the point is that Marianne’s perception is indicative of a larger perception by would-be clients of the legal profession – that attorneys as a group are generally not attuned to what clients really want from a law firm.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, there are outside forces acting upon the legal profession in much the way they have acted on other sectors (such as high technology, manufacturing and even tax services).

Those forces will undoubtedly drive down fees for the average law firm and reduce client numbers (also for the average law firm) and increase the need for effective law firm marketing.

So the challenge is to become an exceptional law firm, that is impervious to economic downturns and fee pressure from low cost centers in developing countries. The way to accomplish that is by listening. . . .

  • Listening to clients past, present and future in order to understand precisely what they need, and therefore what you can do that no other law firm is doing to earn their trust and their business
  • Listening to your staff because that is where you will find some of the most innovative ideas about how to test your business thinking, transform old-style law firm marketing techniques and to increase profits
  • Listening to other businesses outside the legal profession – particularly how they market themselves. It is there among fast, agile, hungry entrepreneurs that you will find really outstanding ideas that you can apply to your own law firm marketing approach.


Whether you are currently feeling the sting of price pressure or thinning client lists or you simply want to become one of the elite firms in the nation, try these simple steps.

Respond to what you hear and apply what you learn to your business processes and systems and to your law firm marketing plans.
 

Social Media Rules: A Good Investment for Law Firm Marketing

 

How many times have you heard attorneys either inside your practice or in someone else’s say that social media just doesn’t work?

I would agree with these attorneys, and add just two words.  

Social media “used badly” doesn’t work.

In much the same way drivers who don’t follow the rules of the road get into accidents and collect tickets, lawyers who don’t follow the rules of social media will not get the response to their law firm marketing efforts they seek.

However, when you take the time to understand the rules (some of them written some of them simply understood by the community), you open yourself and your firm up to the immense power of these law firm marketing tools.

There is a long list of social media to choose from, to be sure. Some of the most notable are . . . .

·         Facebook and LinkedIn – two different approaches to building personal networks

·         Digg –  an innovative approach to customer-selected news networking

·         Twitter and Jaiku – offer something new called “microblogs” in which members can log in to view and participate in a wide array of topics and comments

 

In each case, you will get the best law firm marketing results when you. . .

·         Engage with other members by asking and answering questions

·         Watch and “listen” carefully to what is on the minds of potential clients

·         Offer thoughtful insights and sound legal advice at no cost

·         Refer clients back to your own site only after building trust

 

The value of social media to the consumer in many ways mirrors the value to your law firm marketing strategy. Consumers get free information from a trusted source, and you become the credible trusted source for them.

 

Ultimately, they will turn to you when they are ready to engage council – not because you have solicited their business – but because they see you as an empathetic, expert whose council they have come to rely on.   

 

When you become impatient, and attempt to turn forum participants into paying clients immediately, you break their trust, and ultimately lose the law firm marketing value of social media.

 

 

In Sum

As you enter the world of social media, remember what the real law firm marketing goal is – to build trust among consumers and credibility for your firm. Clients will choose you only after you accomplish those goals.

 

You can also connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter. Here's how:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/StephenFairley Send me an invitation to connect. Mention you saw my blog post.

http://twitter.com/stephenfairley Sign up for a free twitter account and then just click on the “Follow” button to start “following me” and get regular updates on what I'm up to.

Find Out Why the Next Five Years May Mean "The End of Lawyers?" Or a New Era in Technology, Efficiency and Law Firm Marketing

“While other sectors have struggled, lawyers have endured and prospered unstoppably,” said Richard Susskind, the author of The End of Lawyers?, in an interview with Am Law Daily.

But that is all about to change.

According to Susskind, there is a fundamental transformation occurring in the legal profession that will drive fees downward and push legal services overseas.

There will also be less available work, as clients share legal information and costs on subjects such as standards and compliance.

If what Susskind says is true, how can US law firms respond?

There are several ways individual attorneys and law firms can respond – all of which have to do with embracing change rather than trying to prevent it.  

The first thing attorneys must do is to acknowledge the role technology plays in the world. Networking sites, directories, social media, search engines are not just law firm marketing mediums.

They are desirable alternatives for clients who want fast, low cost legal information.They should be used as part of a creative law firm marketing strategy to reach out to and attract new clients, and to listen to what is on the minds of consumers at large.  

Increasing brand visibility via other law firm marketing means such as blogs, article marketing, etc. is also key.

Law firm marketing is not the only response, however. Firms will need to consider ways to use technology to increase efficiency and to automate in order to lower costs and increase responsiveness. Knowledge management capabilities, for example, can be used to enable attorneys and paralegals to perform research and analysis more quickly and more precisely.

Susskind contends that call centers, online legal services and outsourcing will play a key role in law firms of the future.

In fact, says Susskind, “The Big Four tax firms have already shown how complex professional work can be outsourced to India and other low cost centers.”

As you ponder the future of your law firm – marketing, technology and innovative, new business models that include outsourcing, online capabilities and efficiency should be at the top of your list of considerations.

Stephen Fairley

LinkedIn: A Top Networking and Law Firm Marketing Opportunity?

In a recent survey focused on LinkedIn users, two key statistics stood out that are highly important to law firm marketing.

  1. Nearly 60% of active LinkedIn users are executives (or consultants), whose personal income is greater than $100K, and (perhaps most importantly), they are the decision-makers in their organizations.

Those executives with a personal annual income of $200K to $350K were seven times more likely (than those who made less) to have more than 150 LinkedIn connections.

  1. Approximately 6.6 million of the active LinkedIn members (or 22% of its overall active population), belong to a category called “Late Adopters”, who have reluctantly joined the networking site.

And lawyers (along with teachers, medical professionals and accountants) make up a large part of this reticent population.  

From a law firm marketing perspective, these statistics point to an incredible opportunity to increase contacts with executive-level decision makers.

On the one hand, a lucrative market is available via this Internet-based networking forum – with top earning executives being the most likely to participate at a high rate, and to include a long list of colleagues in their network.

On the other, there is a void in attorney representation – a void savvy law firm marketing professionals will quickly step into.

In sum, if you want to increase your connections with top earning professionals, who make hiring and legal consulting decisions for their organizations, consider including LinkedIn as part of your law firm marketing approach.

When you do, you can find me there, as well http://www.linkedin.com/in/StephenFairley .

Send me an invitation to connect. Mention you saw my blog post.

Top Three Questions to Ask a Law Firm Internet Marketing and Optimization Firm

 

 

 

 

 

In the last blog, we reviewed some of the basics of search engine optimization and its role in law firm Internet marketing.

 The purpose of that information was to help make you a more informed consumer when it comes to optimizing your web site.

  

In this post, I’ve listed three questions you should ask potential law firm Internet marketing providers, and the answers you should look for.

  1. How long have you been performing search engine optimization? The answer should be three years or more. While three years of experience may sound like a short time to an attorney, search engine optimization (or SEO) is still relatively new. Three years is a reasonable amount of experience, provided they have a verifiable client list to support their claim.
  2. What are the first 3-4 things you would do to optimize my site? Organizing your site’s information should be in the provider’s top four. The information should be organized in a “site plan” that outlines in what order your pages will appear and how they link to one another. As good site plan is usually based on a pyramid structure with your home page at the top, and supporting pages listed below.

Creating a “backlink” strategy designed to increase your popularity with search engines should also be in their top four.

  1. How long will the work take? If the work will take more than two months, consider another candidate. An experienced law firm Internet marketing agency should be able to have a functional site up within eight weeks of start date.

In sum, use this information to ensure that your law firm Internet marketing provider has the experience and expertise needed to optimize your site and ultimately to land your site on the top or second page of search results.

Law Firm Internet Marketing: Solving the Mystery behind Search Engine Optimization

When you hear the words law firm Internet marketing, you are almost certain to hear the term “search engine optimization”. But what does it mean? 

More importantly, how does it affect your law firm Internet marketing efforts?

 

Put simply search engine optimization is the most basic tool used by law firm Internet marketers and web masters to increase the amount of traffic to your web site.

 

The first thing you should know about SEO is that your Web site must appeal to both people and search engines. If you remember to keep these two in balance, not only will potential clients come to your site, they are more likely to spend time there learning about why your firm is the best choice to meet their legal needs.

 

Below you will find the basic, working information you need in order to choose a law firm Internet marketing provider who can really help you.

 

Search Engine Spiders: A well-designed web site will appeal to search engine “spiders”. Search engine spiders (also known as web crawlers, web robots, and more) are the part of the search engine (such as Google or Yahoo!) that crawls the Internet in search of Web sites that match the “search words and phrases” that someone has typed into the search box.

 

If your site is a good match for the viewers search terms, your site will appear in that person’s search results.

 

What Search Engines Look for: Different search engines look for different things. Some things they all have in common is that they like popular, well-organized sites that make it easy to find the search words and phrases. Search engines like:

  • To find several instances of the exact keyword phrase it is looking for – optimally, the exact keyword phrase should appear 2 to 5 times per 100 words.
  • Bulleted lists
  • Bolded headings
  • Links from outside source into your site
  • Links from your site to outside sources
  • Very often, they like “metatags” and “alt tags” (key words in the “code” of your site)

Those are the basics regarding how search engine optimization works with your law firm Internet marketing approach.

 

To learn more about optimization and law firm Internet marketing where I will share the top three questions you should ask a law firm Internet marketing provider before making your selection.

 

Law Firm Marketing Campaigns: What We Can Learn from the Presidential Election

The election is over, and we have a new president-elect. There are several lessons we can take from these campaigns.

Perhaps the most important one (related to law firm marketing) is the importance of tracking your campaign results.

Dating back to the primaries, results-tracking played a key role.

More than one analyst has said that Hillary Clinton’s campaign team may have botched her chances because they did not break down and track the number of electoral votes needed to secure the democratic nomination.

The point is that if you don’t set targets and track your progress in a campaign (whether a political campaign or a law firm marketing campaign), you are likely to miss your goal.

Obama’s campaign team did that and more. As a result they found innovative ways to get the votes they needed.

They then tracked there response rate day by day, precinct by precinct, electoral vote by electoral vote.

How can you apply these methods to your own law firm marketing campaign?

By using these simple tools . . .

  • Landing pages – when you run an advertisement (as part of your law firm marketing approach), whether in a printed magazine or on the Web, provide a unique URL to a unique landing page.

In this way your web master can track how many people went to that specific page, how much time they spent their. He can even track how many of those individuals contacted you as a result of coming to your landing page.

  • 800 numbers – in much the same way you can provide unique URLs for potentials clients to type into their web browser, you can provide an 800 number that is assigned only to particular ad.
  • e-Mail marketing tools – There is a long list of e-mail marketing providers, such as aWeber, Constant Contact and iContact. Each enables you to track how many messages went out, how many recipients of your e-mail opened the message, and how many took action as a result of reading your message.

By using these simple tracking methods, you will be able to see which advertisements in which media are performing well and which ones aren’t.

You will know where your law firm marketing investments are paying off, and where you should de-invest or adjust tactics.

Ultimately, you will have the critical data you need to run a winning law firm marketing campaign.
 

Law Firm Internet Marketing: How to Create a Marketing Mix that Works

With all the law firm Internet marketing options available to you today, it can be difficult to determine which ones to implement.

It can vbe equally difficult to decide what mixture of different advertising and marketing media will give you the best response rate.

In past blogs, we’ve discussed the different roles the various law firm Internet marketing mediums play. There are several, such as newsletters and blogs, that are typically very good investments.

There several others, such as social media, Google Adwords and even offline advertising that may give you an even greater return.

How do you decide which law firm Internet marketing mediums to invest in, and which to leave for your competition?

Below are a three key things to consider when deciding which law firm Internet marketing tactics to use:

  • The habits of your target clientele – If your target client is aged 18 to 35, it is likely they rely heavily on social media to communicate and to get their information. Your advertising and outreach marketing efforts should leverage those habits.
  • Your area of practice – Much the way the habits of your clientele influence your marketing mediums, your area of practice should influence your choices and the way you deliver your message.

If your area of practice is estate planning, for example, you would do well to advertise in more traditional media such as senior’s magazines (both electronic and print).

  • Your competition – If your competitors are all using Google Adwords and targeting the same keywords, you may want to refocus your law firm Internet marketing in an area less crowded. Or find a way to differentiate yourself among all the others.


To learn more about how to create a law firm Internet marketing mix that works for your firm, look for my next blog about tracking law firm Internet Marketing success rates.
 

When it Comes to Business Growth and Law Firm Marketing - Choose Profitability

A recent posting on Market Watch said, “If it isn’t a recession, it sure feels like one.”

It does not matter what financial analysts label the current economy. What matters is that credit is more difficult to get, new clients may be harder to find and existing clients may be slower to pay.

Yet it is still possible to flourish today.

The key is to make choices that make sense (whether in business growth or law firm marketing efforts).

Below are some choices I recommend.

Choose profitability. There are times to set aside profitability in order to invest in the growth of your law firm. And there are times (like today) when you need to maintain cash flows.

If you cannot grow AND increase profitability at the same time, choose profitability.

Focus on profitability. Ensuring that your firm survives (and perhaps flourishes) in down times means you may need for deemphasize less profitable parts of the “business” of your firm.

To do that, consider the following questions:

  • What areas of practice are the most profitable? Deemphasize those that are less revenue-rich.
  • Which are your highest margin clients? Is it time to pass on those clients who require a great deal of resources but deliver little in revenue and referrals?
  • Review outgoing expenses – services, law firm marketing tactics, personnel. Those that do not increase profitability may need to be cut or replaced.

Invest in law firm marketing, but only the sort of law firm marketing from which you can see a solid line between action and income.

To do that, track the response rate you get from individual law firm marketing activities, and then choose wisely.

For example, if you invest your law firm marketing dollars in law firm directories, track the number of new clients and associated revenue you gained via this medium.

If the answer is “very few new clients” or the revenue from them does not warrant the investment made, it may be time to reduce your participation or replace that law firm marketing tactic with another.

The bottom line
Those business growth and law firm marketing activities that are not paying off should either be modified to increase the margin, reduced to a minimum allowable level or replaced with another provider or tactic.
 

Build a Strong Foundation for Your Law Firm Marketing Efforts with these Proven List Building Techniques

 

We’ve talked in previous blogs about the need to build trust with potential clients by first building a relationship with them.

 

There several law firm marketing mediums you can use to build those relationships.

 

Some like Twitter, are designed to create a two-way dialogue so you can engage your potential client base in online conversations that help you understand their needs better. Others, like legal blogs, help present you as an expert.

 

Each plays a role in your law firm marketing strategy.

 

But when it comes to reaching out to potential clients on an ongoing basis, few can match the success rate of newsletters.

 

However, before you can engage clients through law firm marketing newsletters, you must first be able to find them.  

That brings us to one of the foundational tools of law firm marketing – list building.

 

There are list services such as iContact and TouchSource from whom you can purchase names, e-mail addresses and home addresses that match your demographic

However, I do not recommend them for law firm marketing.

 

Because the client’s choice in legal council 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 your most highly trafficked pages of your web site. Include a brief summary of the benefits of receiving no-cost, ongoing legal information they can use.

·         When you speak publically, 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. They also see you as an expert, whose legal council they could benefit by.

·         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 lists, be sure to make it visible and easy for recipients of your newsletter to unsubscribe. It does you no good to contact someone regularly, who does not want your information.

 

On the other hand, making it clear they may cancel at any time sends the message that you care about them and they can trust you.

 

Include these list-building tactics in your law firm marketing strategy, and you will be well on your way to building a solid, highly responsive list of clients.

Law Firm Internet Marketing Tips: Five Proven Ways to Create a Effective and Impactful Online Video

In the last blog, we discussed the value of video to your law firm Internet marketing plan and how it enables you to stand out from the competition.  

There is more to online video than simply adding it to your law firm Internet marketing efforts.

Like many things, if video is done well, it can have a significant, positive impact on your law firm Internet marketing – by attracting clients and increasing visibility.

Done poorly, however, and online video can hurt your credibility, sidetrack your law firm Internet marketing goals, and even detour clients from choosing you.

With that in mind, below are five simple tips to help you make a highly-effective online video for use in your law firm Internet marketing efforts.

  1. Use real people, using real words. One of the biggest mistakes attorneys make is using video the way they use PowerPoint. Stringing together static images accompanied by a faceless voice on audio is not an effective use of online video. While this may get seen by some potential clients, it is not nearly as valuable as giving them a chance to see your face and hear your sincere words.
  2. Create a well-thought out script designed to persuade potential client to call you. To accomplish that, ask yourself what makes your law firm different from, and better than, your competition – and then build your script around those key points.
  3. Focus on the viewer, not yourself. It is easy to get caught in the trap of thinking potential clients want to hear about all of your qualifications. The real truth is they want a law firm that understands their problems, and knows how to solve them. Your script should describe some of the problems clearly, and then explain how  you can solve them.  
  4. Use side bars to emphasize key points. The time to use still images in your online video is in a sidebar comes in the form of clear, concise messages that emphasize your most important points – such as key statistics related to your area of law. You can see a very good example of excellent use of sidebars in the Law Offices of Fern Trevino video. 
  5. Include your contact information 2-3 times within your video. The objective of your online video (as part of your law firm Internet marketing) is to persuade potential clients to call you. Yet no matter how well-crafted your video is, if those clients do not know how to reach you, it goes for naught.

With that in mind, “say” it once within the video, usually at the end, and “write” it at least  once in full screen, at the beginning and the end, like the Laura Margulies & Associates LLC, Maryland Bankruptcy Lawyer video.

By including it at the beginning, return viewers can quickly get your contact information without wading through the entire video again.

 

In Sum: Apply these proven methods to your online video, and you will be certain to enhance your visibility, your credibility and your law firm Internet marketing effectiveness.

 

"Lead the Field" with Video in Your Law Firm Internet Marketing Plan

 

Earl Nightingale, author of the best-seller Lead the Field, once said “The secret to being successful in any business is to look around you and observe what everyone else is doing. . . .and then do the opposite.”

Those words certainly hold true in law firm Internet marketing. The point of them is to remind you that you must find a way to make your law firm Internet marketing approach stand out from the rest.

Frankly speaking, if your firm looks and sounds like every other firm in your city, state and field of practice, you give potential clients no reason to remember you or call you when they are in need of legal council.

The question is how can you make your law firm stand out from the rest, when virtually every attorney in the country has a web site and/or some affiliation with a law firm directory?

The answer may be simpler than you think.

Online video is a highly underused form of law firm Internet marketing that promises a big return. Whether you place your video on the homepage of your web site, or upload it to YouTube (a free online video-sharing platform), the benefits of a well-crafted video are undeniable.

Video adds value to your law firm Internet marketing approach in three ways:

  • It engages the viewer immediately and convinces them to stay awhile and listen to your message
  • It provides the viewer (aka potential client) with a chance to hear the authority in your voice, to see the sincerity in your face, and ultimately to get to know you, trust you and choose you
  • It enables you to tell the client precisely what makes you the better choice in legal support over your competitors

If you are looking for a way to “lead the field”, make online video a part of your law firm Internet marketing strategy.

In my next blog, I will provide tips on how to create an effective video like these from the Law Offices of Fern Trevino, The Dolan Law Firm, as well as my own video for the Rainmaker Institute.

 

Why Newsletters Should be Part of your Law Firm Marketing Strategy

There are many reasons to build strong relationships with current and potential clients. As discussed in previous blogs, your current client base may just be the best law firm marketing tool you have. When clients have a good experience with your firm, not only are they more likely to return to you the next time they need legal advice, they are more likely to refer new business to you.

What is the role of newsletters in your law firm marketing stratagem?

They are one the most productive, proven law firm marketing methods for maintaining existing relationships, forging new ones, and capturing new clients.  

Here are the top three reasons why newsletters work, and why they should be a mainstay within your law firm marketing strategy.

  • Forging Relationships: Statistics show that the higher the income level, the more likely people are to choose attorneys based on referral from someone they trust. If your “desired clients” (the clients you want more of) are those impervious to economic downturn, then cultivating relationships with existing clients of affluence is key. Reaching out to them through a well-crafted newsletter (as part of your law firm marketing plan) is a low-cost, consistent way to accomplish your goal.
  • Building Trust: Regardless of income level or the state of the economy, virtually all people realize that choosing legal council is an important decision. It can also be a deeply personal one, as in many instances clients may share private and financial information, health records, personal wishes and beliefs with their attorney. For those reasons, building trust should be an important part of your law firm marketing approach, and newsletters can help build that trust in a consistent, non-intrusive way.
  • Staying Top of Mind: The third and final reason to make newsletters a part of your law firm marketing strategy addresses the reality that on average less than 3% of potential clients become buying clients the first time they meet you. However, if you consistently touch them (as mentioned above) with a non-intrusive newsletter that provides them with sound, reliable information they can use, the chances that they will choose you when they are ready to hire an attorney increase significantly.

If you have not yet begun a newsletter to current and potential clients, it might just be time to start. You will be adding a consistent, low-cost relationship-building tactic to your law firm marketing strategy that will help increase your practice in good economic times and bad. 

 

Law Firm Directories: Should they be Part of Your Law Firm Marketing Approach?

If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you know its purpose is to help keep attorneys and law firms informed about current trends in law firm marketing. More specifically, its purpose is to discuss what works and what does not work when it comes to law firm marketing.

With that in mind, today’s topic is law firm directories. And should they be part of your law firm marketing approach?

What is interesting is that when I ask attorneys in private practice why they use directories (such as Chambers, Findlaw, and Martindale-Hubbell) as part of their law firm marketing strategy, I often hear words like “time-honored”, “credibility” and “investment”.

The question I feel compelled to ask, however, is “What return do you get on that law firm marketing investment?”  

According to a survey by Acritas Resarch in 2007, less than 3% of in-house corporate legal departments select law firms for their outsourced work based on law directories. Peter Columbus, director of Business Development for Kay Scholer, had this to say about law directories. “When I go to client offices, I don’t see any lawyer directories on their shelves. I don't think any corporation chooses a law firm based on a paid directory listing. 

 While a posting at What About Clients had this to say about Martindale-Hubbell:

 Martindale-Hubbell is no joke. It has a fine, time-honored and even classy reputation, and a history of good work and real utility in the profession. Our firm, Hull McGuire, has actively and earnestly participated in the M-H ratings processes for years; we are happy with the ratings our lawyers received. But, in good times or bad times, the current cost to list firm attorneys for any size firm, with or without multiple offices, is prohibitive and should be resisted on principle given other alternatives.

In Sum

As you consider whether to participate in one or more of the 950+ law firm directories and rankings, be sure to ask yourself what the return is on your law firm marketing investment.

If the cost is high and the return is low (less than 3% as Acritas Research reports), your law firm marketing dollar may be better spent in other areas. 

Law Firm Internet Marketing: Look Back to Move Forward in a Down Economy

What is the role of law firm Internet marketing in a down economy?

We’ve all felt the tremor cast around the world by the current downturn in the financial markets. Who can help but wonder how these events will affect our own lives and practices?

More to the point, many attorneys and whole law firms are concerned about how they will weather the prospect of less work (as clients slow legal action in order to conserve cash), loss of clients through mergers and acquisitions, etc.

The real question is, can law firm Internet marketing be the answer, or is it a cost we cannot afford?

According to Dale Carnegie, in his best selling book How to Win Friends and Influence People, 15% of financial success comes from technical (or legal) knowledge and 85% comes from effective human relationships. In essence, nothing gets done, nothing gets purchased, no business gets transacted without human beings connecting with one another.

In strained financial times, clients, referring attorneys and thought leaders are even more selective about what law firms and which individual attorneys they choose to do business with. Trust, respect and friendly connection all play a role in why people choose one lawyer over another.

Law firm Internet marketing can help forge those connections. Blogs, social media, Web sites and article marketing are all components of law firm Internet marketing that work together to touch, connect with and cajole your target audience to choose your firm.

What’s more, because of the pervasive nature of the Internet itself, you reach a larger audience than any other form of marketing aimed at building relationships can. And in so doing, you multiply your potential for gaining new clients and getting referrals.

In sum, law firm Internet Marketing should be a key component of your strategy during these economic times.

Those practices that commit to build and maintain customer relationships by leveraging the pervasive power of law firm Internet marketing will continue to grow while others merely hope to survive.

Filling the Legal Blog Void: A Low Risk, High Return form of Law Firm Internet Marketing

Recently, I wrote about the opportunity weblogs (blogs) present for lawyers and law firm internet marketing. Out of approximately 133 MILLION blogs Technorati (the No. 1 blog search engine) indexes, only 2,200 are written by lawyers.

The reasons for the scarcity of legal blogs matters little. Certainly, all attorneys and law firms, who understand the importance of law firm internet marketing in the Internet age, find themselves making tough choices.  They must decide how they will invest their time and money for the best possible gain, while continuing to practice law.

Law firm internet marketing has a void, and legal blogs could be worth considering as part of your business growth strategy.

With little competition and prospects made up of potential clients, thought leaders and referral sources are hungry for the information about your particular niche of the law. Blogs are a low cost, low risk, high-return choice in law firm internet marketing.

As proof that there are compelling blogs being produced, read and commented on regularly, below are a couple of favorites to check out:

  • The Legal Underground is one of the highest traffic-producing blog sites out there
  • MyShingle.com written by Carolyn Elefant for small and solo law firms
  • Lexblog.com specialized in creating high end blogs for law firms. They did a great job creating this blog!
  • Favorites from the Legal Underground Archives An eclectic collection of reader and blogger favorites, this collection illustrates the range of topics that are of interest to readers – more importantly, that pull readers into a dialogue (a key to law firm internet marketing).

As you consider whether weblogs should be a key component of your law firm’s internet marketing strategy, review the blogs above. Happy blogging.

Law Firm Marketing Blogs: A Highly Effective, Vastly Misunderstood Legal Marketing Tool

There is no denying the value of blogging when it comes to law firm marketing.

When used properly, it becomes a clear, consistent voice for your practice. It entices prospects, referral sources, colleagues, clients and thought leaders to engage you in dialogue.

It keeps you top of mind. It builds visibility among your target clients. Ultimately, it earns you more of the kind of client you most desire.

What is a blog, you ask? According to Wikipedia, a blog is a form of website, “usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.”

Technorati, the top blog search engine, is indexing over 112.8 million blogs as of June 2008. Yet, Kevin O’Keefe of Lexblog fame recently stated at the June Small and Solo Conference co-sponsored by The Rainmaker Institute and the Los Angeles County Bar that there are only about 1,800 to 2,200 blogs written by lawyers.

Do you see the huge opportunity here?

The problem arises when you begin blogging without a clear law firm marketing strategy behind you.

Blogging should be a part of, but not your entire law firm marketing strategy. It is your forum to connect with the community at large and to make it clear that you are an expert in your field.

But to make it the highly effective medium you need it to be, your law firm marketing and promotion strategy should include:

  • A topic list designed to engage your target audience
  • A list of social media (such as Facebook and Twitter) to promote it
  • A list and schedule for article marketing services to add visibility and to feed it to reporters and thought leaders
  • An up to date blog that you write articles for at least 2 to 4 times per week 
  • A search engine optimization formula to increase your page rank

When you have all these things in place, you will be well on your way to creating a blog that will enhance your overall law firm marketing efforts.

Your Law Firm, Internet Marketing, and Domains: Don't Make this Costly Mistake

How can your law firm, internet marketing, and a domain name add up to one expensive error?

In the age of the Internet, domain names are king. Like valuable real estate on the corner of a busy intersection in downtown Manhattan, your domain name is the address clients (and would-be clients) use to find you on the Internet.

So as you might expect, using some or all of your law firm’s name as your Internet address (aka domain name) makes good sense. And law firm internet marketing becomes easier too because finding you is as simple as a Google search.

The problem arises when someone else purchases and registers your law firm’s name for their own purposes. That is what happened to Gable & Gotwals, Inc. d/b/a when Dave Jackson secured the domain name “GableGotwals”.

While Jackson was not a competitor (he is using the domain for another business type altogether), the problem is no less expensive for Gable & Gotwals. The firm has been in practice for 65 years. They have letterhead and some marketing material that displays their name. And more importantly, they must have a long list of clients who know them by that name.

However, they do not have a registered trademark for the “GableGotwals” brand.

With law firm internet marketing now a key component of any thriving practice, that omission is a costly one. The complaint and subsequent ruling from the National Arbitration Forum was as follows "Other than Complainant’s assertions, there is no other evidence indicating that the GABLEGOTWALS mark has acquired secondary meaning or source identity in commerce, and use alone is not sufficient to prove this assertion."

The result is a costly one indeed, and not only in near-term law firm internet marketing. The cost will come in lost opportunity for years to come, as potential client referrals are lost simply because the client cannot easily find “GableGotwals” in their Google search.

If you want to protect your practice and enhance your law firm Internet marketing all at once, register your name with the Federal Trademark Office or better yet, go to a trusted colleague who practices intellectual property and have them do it for you.

Be sure to register several variations of your name, including .com, .net and .org extensions and any misspellings you can think of.

Domain names are only $10 per year at www.godaddy.com, one of the top registrars. It only takes 5 minutes to set up your account.

In a future blog post we will give you some tips for selecting a great domain name and how to use it to get more and better traffic to your website.
 

Marketing a Law Firm is About Forging Connections

When it comes to social media, there is a long list of choices. The two I will talk about today, offer unique opportunities when it comes to marketing a law firm.

 

The first, Linked-In, is the Internet version of a massive networking event. And we all know that marketing a law firm is about personal connections.

 

Linked-in enables you to forge those connections in much the way you did a few years ago over cigars in a Martini bar. One colleague introduces you to another as a potential referral source, a potential client, an employer or employee.

  

The introduction is made, trust is built and connections are forged. What more could you ask for in an online tool for marketing a law firm?

 

The answer may come from Twitter. A scaled down, incredibly simple social media forum, Twitter enables you to locate colleagues and consumers. And more importantly, it in enables them to find you.

 

People who are interested in:

·        Your brand of law

·        What you have to say about legal issues

·        What your firm stands for

·        and more. . . .

 

When it comes to marketing a law firm, Twitter’s value comes from the way it enables you to engage your client base in frank discussions about what matters to them. And that is where the best marketing comes from – real, two-way dialogue. Where clients feel heard.

 

In essence, Twitter makes marketing a law firm what it can be at its very best – a business that listens and responds to its customers.

 

Those are two of the top social media for marketing a law firm. Linked-in is about forging connections and building trust through friendly introduction. Twitter is about engaging your client base in direct, two-way dialogue that helps define who you are and what your law firm brand is about. 

You can also connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter. Here's how:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/StephenFairley Send me an invitation to connect. Mention you saw my blog post.

http://twitter.com/stephenfairley Sign up for a free twitter account and then just click on the “Follow” button to start “following me” and get regular updates on what I'm up to.

Stay Current with Law Firm Marketing

For many a law firm, marketing is an after-thought. It is something to consider only after the business of serving your clients is finished. However, the real truth is that for firms that want to increase in size or that want to choose the clientele they serve, law firm marketing is essential.

I spoke recently with John Bisnar, principle for one of the top personal injury firms in the country and founder of www.bisnarchase.com. And he said the turning point for his practice was when he and his partner restructured their business model to make law firm marketing a focus all its own.   

The trouble is that law firm marketing changes at a pace most people (attorneys included) are not aware of. Marketing strategies that worked five or more years ago may not give you the same return today. In fact, they may not give any return at all.

Social media is a great example of that phenomenon.

Where five years ago, the term didn’t even exist, today the likes of social networking sites LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are not so much common place – as they are the places where some of the best law firm marketing happens.

There are forums where lawyers can engage each other and potential clients one on one. They are place where you can see firsthand what your client base is concerned about, and what you can do to address those concerns.

There are also forums that can be leveraged to promote your firm, to attract precisely the kind of clients you desire, and even to increase the popularity of your web site.

In sum, law firm marketing must have a focus all its own if you want to increase the size of your firm. It must also keep pace with trends in marketing, such as social media. In my next blog, I will discuss some of the top social media available today.

You can also connect with me on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Here's how:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/StephenFairley Send me an invitation to connect. Mention you saw my blog post.

http://www.new.facebook.com/people/Stephen_Fairley/515660911 Send me a friend request.

http://twitter.com/stephenfairley Sign up for a free twitter account and then start “following me”

Taking Advantage of Videos for Law Firm Marketing

More businesses and service providers utilizing websites for their marketing endeavors are taking advantage of the video options to help personalize their messages. Video creation for use in law firm marketing strategies is beneficial in a number of ways. Using video helps portray personality, emphasis, and passion into your business. Law firm marketing experts believe that one of the greatest benefits of all marketing endeavors is to be able to connect with an audience.

Video formats offer those interested in expanding their law firm marketing strategies are found throughout the Internet and can increase visibility, interest, and visitors to your website. In most cases, videos created for attorneys by law firm marketing teams are very effective when placed on websites, as well as other video sites such as Google Video and YouTube.

 

The Internet offers the ability of attorneys and law firm marketing experts to convey emotion and compassion into words that compel attention. Law firm marketing endeavors that utilize video must take care not to seem pushy or aggressive, and to avoid the hard and fast sales pitch at all costs. Instead, marketing experts suggest that attorneys and law firms emphasize potential clients and their needs, and how you, the attorney, can help them solve their problems or difficulties. When it comes to law firm marketing, attorneys must stay in tune and in step with advancements and technologies, and video marketing has become the wave of the future for law firm marketing success in the 21st century.

Legal Marketing Tips: It's All about Keywords and Tails

When it comes to increasing legal marketing, and most specifically search engine marketing on the Internet, most attorneys and law firms are more than aware that keywords and keyword phrases are an essential aspect of optimizing website content, blogs, newsletters and articles. However, many aren't aware of the legal marketing term called "Long Tail" searches, which can really enhance the odds of generating traffic to your website.

A Long Tail search is one that is unique and not used often for search methods, but one that is very precise in its intent. Legal marketing teams know that there are some people who will type in specifically what they're looking for, such as, "Portland Oregon restraining order laws" or some such. Therefore, legal marketing teams have seen a trend of searches performed in such a manner on the Internet.

 

It's important to choose keywords that are specific to your legal marketing endeavors experience and expertise. However, in order to enhance the chances of search engine spiders as well as visitors to see your website, legal marketing professionals encourage attorneys and law firm marketing teams to create search terms that will cast a larger net for individuals seeking specific services. Rather than requiring users to sort through the broad range of results that typically occur with browser search terms, tweak keyword phrases to catch those users.

 

Legal marketing professionals suggest finding what makes your attorney's office or law firm unique and brainstorm as list of those services and characteristics. That list will be the start of your online legal marketing plan and will be your targeted keywords and tails. 

Watch Your Step with Your Attorney Marketing Strategies

Many people believe that anything goes when it comes to attorney marketing strategies on the Internet. So many people have attorney marketing websites, blogs, forums, and discussion groups, that it may seem impossible for watchdogs to notice when something isn't quite right. Not so. Unfortunately, www.Findlaw.com, a leading attorney marketing website, found that out the hard way and has gotten its hands slapped by (allegedly) trying to sell Internet links to boost its traffic.

Pamela McLean states at the www.Law.com blog, Google temporarily dropped Findlaw's rankings because of the scandal. However, says John Shaughnessy, spokesman for Findlaw, changes were made that "eliminated the conflict with Google's rules by placing computer code on some links that prevented them from counting his votes to increase search results."

 

Kevin O'Keefe, president of LexBlog has also commented on the incident. Attorney marketing professionals are reminded that website content and web logs are classified by Google according to their relevant and useful information, and frown upon ads or promotions that are not beneficial to potential users. Google determines page rank by how many individuals visit a page as well as the inbound links from other websites to specific pages and other criteria, among which selling links is not included. Such links are not to be sold by attorney marketing teams in an effort to increase a webpage ranking.

 

Everyone wants to get ahead when it comes to attorney marketing strategies, but Findlaw's reputation may have been permanently damaged by this attorney marketing approach.

Don't Get Left Behind in Law Firm Marketing Strategies: Get Linked!

When it comes to law firm marketing these days, social networking and networks are some of the best tools that law firms and attorneys can rely on. These law firm marketing strategies help generate clients, referrals, and commonalities. Social marketing websites such as the popular MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn are serving as valuable law firm marketing tools in the 21st century. Because of their enormous potential and popularity, marketing teams are continuously encouraging law firm marketing strategies and tactics that utilize their benefits.

Social networking media sites enable users to establish profiles that are able to highlight expertise as well as interest groups that attract potential clients focused on specific needs. According to Oliver Picher, president of Visible Influence and recent speaker at the Delaware Valley Law Firm Marketing Group event, state that nearly 50% of attorneys and their staffs maintain an active LinkedIn account these days. Law firm marketing must keep up with changing times and expectations, and as such, users should develop profiles on social networking websites to keep law firm marketing strategies ahead of more 'traditional' competition.

 

The key behind law firm marketing is to get noticed, and social marketing websites such as My Space, Facebook and LinkedIn can be found in major search engines such as Yahoo and Google. Picher also states that effective networking and law firm marketing through such resources offers attorneys and law firms "virtual referrals". When it comes to law firm marketing these days, don't get left behind: get linked, and establish profiles to social networking websites for increased visibility, visitors, and to attract potential clients.

The Pros and Cons of Law Firm Marketing Blogs

Blogs are one of the best ways to generate interest in your law firm, but they may also prove to be more time intensive than they're worth. When it comes to law firm marketing, experts caution individuals from engaging in utilizing law firm marketing blogs unless they have the time and dedication to remain committed to the task of continuously updating information, posts, and responses to comments.  Darren Olivier, director of Bowman Gilfillan, a premier South African law firm states that blogs are, "An excellent informal tool to communicate with clients and develop a firm's profile."

Legalbrief Today also mentions the benefits of blogging. However, law firm marketing teams and experts should be forewarned that it is easy to libel people on blogs. While law firm marketing online may be cheaper than traditional print methodologies, it also brings with it its own set of problems. Law firm marketing professionals are well aware that millions of blogs are created on the Internet on a weekly basis. Competition is fierce. In order to increase content visibility, law firm marketing teams are required to post to blogs three to five times per week in order to maintain constant turnover of new information.

 

Law firm marketing teams are also aware of the fact that many attorneys are unable to spend adequate amounts of time responding to comments posted on blogs. Because of this, more attorneys and law firms are hiring law firm marketing teams to specialize in online law firm marketing strategies that utilize and maintain blogs for them.

Attorney Marketing: Blogging Isn't Just for Kids Anymore

When it comes to attorney marketing tools, blogging has presented itself as the premier opportunity in the 21st century to spread the word and generate interest in a multitude of business deals, and that goes for law firms and attorney websites too. In recent years, blogs have surpassed "high school and college students sharing experiences content" to incorporate attorney marketing endeavors. A key element to Internet marketing endeavors has included the use and enormous potential of blogging to reach vast audiences. Attorney marketing experts believe that blogging is one of the most essential methods used today to generate content, clients, and interest in the legal field.

One blogging website, Technorati, typically tracks over 100 million blogs on a daily basis. According to Valerie Miller's own blog, blogging and online communities pays off in huge dividends. This goes for attorney marketingplans, law firms and professionals. Everyone is blogging these days. If you don't have a blog, attorneys and law firms may be considered old-fashioned and out-of-touch with today's consumers. Attorney marketing professionals suggest that every attorney website has a link to his or her own blog.

 

Blogging is one of the most successful, and simple, attorney marketing methods used today. Blogging helps attorney marketing increase interest and popularity in content and potential click-backs to attorney or law firm websites. Effective attorney marketing strategy means placing relevant and useful, informative content on websites, blogs, newsletters, and any other types of printed matter disseminated to the public at large.

Law Firm Marketing Connections

Law firm marketing professionals are well aware of the importance of networking when it comes to marketing your attorney website or law firm. Unfortunately, many people think that you have to have a special college degree in business in order to benefit from marketing. This is not the case. Law firm marketing experts know and understand that the basic focus of marketing is to get the word out about a particular service or business. In that aspect, social networking is one of the fastest and most effective law firm marketing tools available today.

Certain guidelines in networking should be understood. Law firm marketing experts caution attorneys or law firm personnel against contacting anyone and everyone just to "reach out and touch someone."  Choosing your relationships wisely and avoiding the fast or hard sell is the key to successful law firm marketing.  According to Thom Singer, "When you meet new people, do not sell them on your product or services; instead, learn about them."

 

This advice is followed up by another law firm marketing expert, Kevin O’Keefe, “Some lawyers are seeing value in social networking." Law firm marketing experts realize the value not only of legal social networking websites, but popular social networking websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. When it comes to law firm marketing, the rules constantly change. What was "out" yesterday is "in" tomorrow. Keep up on social networking blog sites, and don't underestimate the power of the mouse.

Social Networking: a Vital Ingredient for Legal Marketing

Facebook, Friendster, and MySpace aren't just for high school or college students these days. As a matter of fact, social networking sites have grown in popularity among corporate organizations and industries. When it comes to legal marketing, finding the best way to deliver a message is essential. Legal marketing involves reaching out to communities and all age groups. It is not the time to practice exclusivity.

A recent law firm marketing article published benefits provided by social networking websites and compares the difference in benefits between legal marketing websites for lawyers only and those are that are open to different interests and age groups. One website, called Legal OnRamp provides a vast range of services and content for legal professionals. The only problem is that membership is by invitation only. Users who log on to this website may request an invitation, where legal marketing for corporate lawyers, law students and educators, and professional resources are available.

 

However, it also benefits legal marketing teams to take advantage of more common social networking websites, including LinkedIn. With more than 20 million professionals, LinkedIn connects networks of people involved in like industries. The benefits of doing so enhances visibility, and encourages real socializing that spreads word of mouth faster than legal marketing teams could possibly imagine. Cross platforms utilized by legal marketing teams ensure productive networking for lawyers, law firms, and consumers. Bottom line: don't underestimate the power of social networking websites in legal marketing strategies.

Legal Marketing is not What it Used to Be

At one time, lawyers tried to gain more business based on their own merits and the way that they were respected in the community. Those days are gone. Now, legal marketing has changed the way that lawyers represent themselves to the public. Law firms are starting to get more and more solicitations asking attorneys to compete for a spot on the “best” list, another tactic for law firm marketing.

Any lawyer will admit that the face of legal marketing has changed, and it is now more important than ever for attorneys to carve their names in the minds of the public and find a way to stand out against the other lawyers.Without the right kind of legal marketing, that is not possible.

Unlike the days of placing an advertisement in the Yellow Pages, legal marketing now consists of:

  • Making it on a list for top lawyers
  • Gaining recognition in a lawyer’s Who’s Who
  • Having placement in magazines

Legal marketing has turned into a popularity contest. In order for a lawyer to stay on the top of his game, he needs to be popular with not only the public, but with other lawyers as well.

Legal marketing has changed, and so have lawyers. At one time, lawyers had the job of learning the law and following it. Now, they also have the job being a local celebrity.

Those who fail to take part in the legal marketing of today fall behind and do not get the clients they need to keep their business afloat. Therefore, lawyers have resigned themselves to the fact that they are going to have to embrace their new found celebrity status.

Page Ranking: How It Can Effect Legal Marketing

Recently, news about FindLaw’s page rank scandal has generated uproar with the online public.Page ranking is an essential part of legal marketing and search engine optimization which helps generate increased online visibility. The higher a legal website appears on Google or on other search engines, the more noticed it becomes to searchers.

According to Google, one of the taboos in search engine optimization is buying or selling links that bypass page ranking systems and guidelines for search results. Creating quality inbound links is essential to the reputation and value of website content.  Law firm marketing experts understand this concept.  Google explains that buying and selling links is fine for advertising purposes. Charging others for links is unacceptable in Google's eyes, and may result in a damaged reputation. FindLaw, one of the highest-ranked legal marketing websites and resource sites on the Internet, has apparently broken these rules.

FindLaw has received widespread criticism upon the discovery of this practice, which was initiated by attorney and lawyer websites. Legal marketing experts frown upon such practices because it damages the reputation for many online businesses.  Legal marketing consultants should never suggest clients to purchase links such as these.When following a legal marketing plan, never purchase links just because the website has a high page rank. 

Do not take a chance of damaging your online reputation!  Make a promise to yourself today that you will learn the proper and most effective legal marketing strategies.

Search Engine Optimization and Law Firm Marketing: the Right Way and the Wrong Way

Lawyers, attorneys, and law firms need to be aware of how they market. There is a right way and a wrong way to perform search engine optimization and law firm marketing. Links purchased for advertising are acceptable as long as they are designated for the sole purpose of law firm marketing. Unfortunately, Findlaw has been caught buying and selling links that directly violate Google Webmaster guidelines. This may negatively affect legal websites or law firm marketing 'professionals' who have purchased the hardcode links from Findlaw.

Findlaw is a leading legal resource portal  for services that provide law information and resources for law firm marketing. What exactly did Findlaw do that was so wrong? Basically, they sent unsolicited e-mails to both lawyers and search engine optimization professionals selling a search engine marketing program (SEM). For a fee, law firms could receive coded links to help increase search engine rankings. In addition, law firms trying to get a jump on law firm marketing results and who received such services were also "allowed to submit up to five articles to be placed" within Findlaw's website with an additional five links.

Selling links is against Google's Webmaster guidelines. Such practices are considered link spamming, which doesn't help law firm marketing in the least. The reputation of Findlaw and the websites that purchased such links may suffer. When engaging in law firm marketing techniques, do the right thing. Know the rules and follow them!
 

Why Your Attorney Marketing Requires a Website

Attorney marketing experts agree, there are only two types of law firms (when in comes to how they market their services):

  1. Those that have a website
  2. Those that are left behind

If you think that view is overly-simplistic, you might want to think again. After all, your local dry cleaning store and dog groomers probably have a website. As a professional in attorney marketing, shouldn’t you too? If you don’t have a website, you run the risk of being perceived as unprofessional or as a fly-by-night operation and that is not a chance you can afford to take.

You don’t have to have a big, splashy website; you just need to have one if you expect your attorney marketing efforts to succeed.   Your online presence will be greatly enhanced just by having an attorney marketing plan, period.  

If this is your first attorney marketing website, keep it simple (to begin with; you can get into more detail as time goes on):

  • Think of your website as a tool in your attorney marketing “tool kit”
  • Think of it as a brochure of sorts; spelling out the key components of what you have to offer
  • Remember, your attorney marketing website is an excellent place for you to direct referral sources and clients

If you’re up for the challenge, you can easily develop a basic website yourself. The most important advice: make sure it is professional; check for spelling, grammar, correct phone numbers, typos, etc. Recent software advances will make it easy and expensive for you to develop your attorney marketing website.