Facebook #1 for Driving Website Traffic; YouTube #1 for Engagement

Two new reports from Shareaholic, a leading content sharing web tool development company, finds that Facebook far outpaces other social media sites when it comes to driving traffic to websites but YouTube is #1 for driving the most engaged traffic.

The 1st Quarter 2014 edition of the Shareaholic Social Media Traffic Report is based on data collected from more than 300,000 websites and examines eight social media platforms referred to those websites from December 2013 through March 2014.  Here are the findings:

Key takeaways from this report:

  • Facebook drove almost one-quarter (21.25%) of the overall traffic websites received in March.  Clearly, Facebook users have made it a habit to click on links in their feeds, so marketers should be sure to include those in their posts.
  • Pinterest’s share of traffic referrals grew an astounding 48% from December to March, making it the second largest referrer.
  • The lowest ranked referrer sites were YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn.

While social site referrals help marketers when it comes to organic traffic, it is also important for marketers to factor in engagement – what people do on your site once they reach it.  And another Shareaholic study shows an almost inverted hierarchy for social media sites that provide engaged social referrals:

YouTube is the champion when it comes to driving the most engaged traffic back to your website.  Google+ and LinkedIn also rank high for bringing engaged traffic – the people most likely to stay on your site after they reach it via these social media sites.

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On-Demand Seminar:  How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients

According to recent research…

58 million adults looked for an attorney in the past year

76% of them referred to the internet at some point in their search

While most law firms already have a website, the majority of them don’t produce new cases on a regular basis. Why?

Because they are doing it all wrong!

This seminar will teach you how to do it right.

National Law Review Magazine editor Larry Bodine and Stephen Fairley join forces to deliver a compelling on-demand seminar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients; access this seminar now to learn:

  • 3 specific strategies that can immediately improve your website conversions
  • What elements you should and should not include on your website
  • How to effectively reach the 65% of consumers who like to gather information about their legal issue long before ever contacting an attorney
  • Ways to leverage top online attorney directories to control your online presence
  • Case studies on how top attorneys are using social media to attract more paying clients
  • Best practices for blogging and why Google loves them so much
  • The fastest ways to get to the top of Google

Click on this link now to receive the How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients seminar.

How to Generate Great Ideas for Blog Posts

No matter how much you may enjoy writing, the fact is that all of us get stuck at some time when it comes to coming up with a good idea for a blog post. 

For example, today I am stuck for a good idea for this post – so I did some searching for how to come up with a good blog post idea and found this infographic from copyblogger.com that gives some great tips for getting yourself unstuck (like I am now). 

The next time you are stuck for a blog post idea, refer to this idea “cheat sheet” and let the inspiration flow!

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FREE Webinar Tomorrow: Learn to Increase Your Online Exposure!

Hundreds of top law firms write new blog content every month, but most of their posts are never read by their top prospects! 

What can you do so prospects want to continually read your blog posts?

On Thursday, April 24, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, LawMarketing.com Editor-in-Chief Cindy Greenway will present a free webinar on 7 Tips to Creating Blog Content That Makes Prospects Want to Read! ... And 3 Tips to Get More Exposure Online.

In this fast paced 60-minute webinar, you will discover:

  • How to create a no-fail content marketing plan for your law practice that can run without you
  • 3 tips to brainstorming key topics to write about, specifically for your target
  • 4 ways to repurpose your blog content and gain additional visibility
  • Where to find help writing blog content when you get overwhelmed
  • How to get your staff involved in supporting your content marketing strategy

Sign up for this FREE webinar and learn specific step-by-step guidance on how to easily create and implement a solid content marketing plan for your law firm.

5 Tips to Help Attorneys Generate Leads Through Speaking Engagements

I am a big believer in public speaking as a lead generation tool.  I do lots of it, and have gotten some great clients from it.  And you can, too, if you follow these five tips:

Make an offer they can’t refuse.  Don’t charge a fee or honorarium for your speaking services.  Instead, ask the sponsoring organization for a copy of the attendee list or request permission to add a few comments about your firm’s services and capabilities during your talk.

Provide great content.  Put some real meat on the bones of your presentation. Even if you feel like you are “giving something away for nothing”, the truth is that giving people the information they want and need will entice them even more to come to you as the expert to help them solve a problem or navigate a legal issue.  I always educate my audience about how they can actually do what we do – and find that most attorneys would rather have it done for them!

Tap into referral partners.  If you have a few referral partners you work with regularly and refer clients back and forth, offer to speak to a group of their clients on a legal topic of interest to them.  This helps you both while giving you exposure to a greater number of potential clients.

Make a plan for following up.  Before you speak, have a plan in place for following up with attendees.  If the sponsoring organization won’t share a contact list, then solicit contact information from the podium, offering attendees a copy of your presentation or a free report about the topic you just spoke about in exchange for their business cards.

Make it easy to contact you.  You’ll probably find that some people are reluctant to approach you after your presentation to discuss a potentially personal legal matter.  Make it easy for them to get in touch with you afterwards by having a pile of your business cards they can pick up as they leave, and have your contact information – phone and email – as a closing slide that stays up as you take questions at the end of your talk.

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New! Free Report! The 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days: The 2nd Key – Public Speaking

One of the biggest builders of credibility and an important key in becoming a recognized expert is speaking on your area of law practice at local or regional events.

So why doesn’t every attorney do it?

What we hear from many attorneys that we work with is that they’d rather jump out of an airplane without a parachute than speak in public.

But if you do it right, you can generate business as well as enhance your reputation as a solid and recognized expert.

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

  • How to make sure you’re speaking in front of the right people
  • Different approaches to conquer your fear of public speaking
  • How much information to share with your audience
  • How to follow-up in order to generate business
  • …And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on The 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days: The 2nd Key – Public Speaking.

The Solo and Small Firm Perspective on the Goal of Social Media

Last week Kevin O’Keefe (@kevinokeefe) and I had an interesting discussion on Twitter about the goal of social media for law firms. Nancy Myrland (@NancyMyrland) and Jabez LeBret (@jabezlebret) graciously joined in. Then Kevin posted a good article summarizing our discussion and explaining his perspective that the ultimate goal of social media for lawyers should be to build relationships. I disagree with this perspective.  

Since it's a little difficult to fully articulate one’s thinking on any topic in 140 characters, I thought a follow up post was in order. Kevin’s article was very thoughtful, but I believe it is wrong in several of its conclusions. I believe two of the reasons why he takes his positions come from his background as a litigator and his current work as CEO of LexBlog.

From an outsider’s perspective, it seems like most of LexBlog’s clients are attorneys in mid to large law firms, some of them in the largest law firms in the nation. Indeed, reading LexBlog’s client list is similar to a “Who’s Who” in the legal industry. The majority of our clients are small law firms with 2-25 attorneys in them. The pressure on attorneys in many larger law firms is, “If I don’t bring in new clients, I won't make partner some day.” The pressure on our clients is, “If I don’t bring in new clients, I don’t make payroll,” or, “If this marketing doesn’t pay off soon, we won't be able to afford a family vacation this year.” They can't afford to “join a country club or coach youth sports” with the hope that it some day might result in a new client. They need a specific plan of action that directly results in more and better leads.

In addition, many attorneys in those larger firms are corporate attorneys who work with large clients. Industry recognition and credibility are of utmost import to them. About half of my clients are consumer attorneys (personal injury, criminal defense, family law, estate planning, SSDI, and workers’ compensation) who are more concerned about their current cash flow.

From my client’s perspective, the goal of social media is lead generation and business development, pure and simple. How you get there is by building targeted relationships, providing solid content, and consistently adding value. At my company, The Rainmaker Institute®, we specialize in working with attorneys and regularly receive 100-250 new leads every month just from our efforts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. That’s the point!

We don’t use social media because it makes us feel good or because we want to impress our peers or provide free marketing advice to attorneys. We do it for the express purpose of generating new leads and ultimately new clients! The way we achieve that goal is:

  • By providing excellent content on legal marketing every day of the week
  • By connecting with attorneys in our target market
  • By engaging with others in the legal industry on topics of interest to us
  • By liking posts by our clients so they know we are thinking of them
  • By commenting on posts made by prospective clients so we can better engage with them
  • By inviting interested prospects to visit our blog or website to download a free report or sign up for one of our free webinars
  • By nurturing those relationships with regular, targeted communication

Both Kevin and I would agree that selling on social media is not helpful and will usually result in turning people off rather than attracting them to you. Where we part ways is on the next step to take. Based on his article, I believe Kevin would say once he has developed the relationship on social media that’s as far as he will go. If the person wants his help they can always look him up. I take it one step further and use the opportunity to directly invite the person to:

Back when I lived in Chicago, I had a very well-connected business partner. He had deep roots in the business community and was formerly the CEO of a multi-million dollar business. In fact, the primary reason I brought him into my company was specifically because of his knowledge and his connections. I ultimately found out that those connections did very little in landing us new business because he saw relationships as the end goal, not new clients.

While some may be tempted to misread me and believe I am being manipulative of my relationships, I can assure you that would be missing my point. I have relationships specifically focused on friendship (both on and off of social media). I have relationships specifically focused on mentoring others and being mentored, but I am clear in my goal with the relationships I develop via social media on behalf of my company—it's for the purpose of developing new business or referral partners.  

“The best lawyers get their work via relationships and word of mouth. Always have and aways [sic] will. The Internet and social media did not change that,” wrote O’Keefe in his blog post. Really? I could not disagree more! Outside of rural America, there has been no more powerful force in transforming how attorneys get clients than the Internet and more recently social media.  For many small law firms the Internet is the great equalizer. They cannot compete on television with the mega-firms and their 7-figure budgets and they certainly can't afford to wait 5 years for a relationship to evolve into a new client. They are looking for the most direct route to reach and connect with clients who are looking for an attorney right now.

Many of the best lawyers do not get most of their work from relationships and word of mouth. It is outdated and inefficient views like this that keep attorneys from fully achieving the potential of social media. By the way, just because some attorneys get some of their business from word of mouth does not disprove the rule. Exceptions actually go to prove the rule. The sheer number of attorneys out there today, especially in consumer law, make it virtually impossible to just grow organically by word of mouth. You must be much more proactive and intentional about your business development efforts than just sitting back and letting your work speak for itself.

The Internet and online marketing (including social media) are the fastest growing ways consumer attorneys are finding new clients. Perhaps this is not true of AmLaw 200 attorneys, but it is why more and more small to mid-sized law firms are turning to the Internet and social media as a cost effective tool to grow their business. How do I know this? Because of my experience working with over 10,000 attorneys nationwide and because social media is the #1 topic I get asked to speak on by State Bar Associations. It is also one of the fastest growing parts of our “done for you” marketing services that we offer law firms.

For the majority of attorneys in small to mid-sized law firms, online lead generation and lead conversion has dramaticaly changed over the last decade. Perhaps it's time for the rest of the legal industry to catch up. 

Happy Easter to You & Your Peeps!

 

Learn to Increase Your Online Exposure at April 24 Free LawMarketing.com Webinar

You probably already know that content marketing is a top strategy to attracting and building relationships with new leads. Consumers are turning to the Internet like never before to research answers to legal questions BEFORE they even consider calling an attorney or scheduling a consultation.

Hundreds of top law firms write new blog content every month, but most of their posts are never read by their top prospects! 

What can you do so prospects want to continually read your blog posts?

On Thursday, April 24, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, LawMarketing.com Editor-in-Chief Cindy Greenway will present a free webinar on 7 Tips to Creating Blog Content That Makes Prospects Want to Read! ... And 3 Tips to Get More Exposure Online.

In this fast paced 60-minute webinar, you will discover:

  • How to create a no-fail content marketing plan for your law practice that can run without you
  • 3 tips to brainstorming key topics to write about, specifically for your target
  • 4 ways to repurpose your blog content and gain additional visibility
  • Where to find help writing blog content when you get overwhelmed
  • How to get your staff involved in supporting your content marketing strategy

Sign up for this FREE webinar and learn specific step-by-step guidance on how to easily create and implement a solid content marketing plan for your law firm.

The 6 Keys to Effective Legal Marketing

Successful legal marketing programs can be boiled down to six key components; maximizing your expertise at each of these will enable you to build the law firm you’ve always wanted and one that will enable you to lead the kind of life you want. 

Here are those six keys:

Expert Positioning: Media and Market Specialization. To differentiate yourself from your competitors, you should develop an expertise and begin positioning yourself as that recognized expert, by using the media (online and offline) and by targeting a specific practice niche.

Create Your Success Team. Every successful attorney recognizes the importance of having a quality team that supports their success. You should consider who you need on your team, how to find them, and how to train them to help you grow and prosper.

Automate Your Marketing System. To free up your time and your staff’s time and to ensure that your marketing is ongoing, it’s important to automate all that you can through the use of technology and the Internet.

Building Your Platform. Your “platform” is the number of people you communicate with on a regular basis (prospects, clients, and referrals sources). There are several proven methods for increasing the size of both.

Referral Relationships and Networking. There are several different strategies to find referral sources and a process for actively cultivating those resources.

Action Orientation. Knowledge without action is just knowledge -- nice to have, but ineffective in helping you achieve that lifestyle law practice you desire. So you need to put this knowledge into action and the sooner, the better.

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Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

At The Rainmaker Institute, we define a “7 figure lifestyle law firm” as one that allows you to have the lifestyle that you want to live!

It’s more than just money or achieving a million dollars in revenue.

It’s about creating a lifestyle where you do what you love and building a business around your core values and interests.

In this recording of an interview between Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, and nationally recognized attorney John Bisnar, Stephen asks John to share with us some of the secrets he has used to create a law firm that allows him to go into the office only one day a week and take, on average, 3 to 4 months of vacation every year - all the while managing a very successful, multi-million dollar law firm!

You will receive either a CD or MP3 recording, plus we will email you a pdf transcript of the interview.

This interview will help you discover:

  • The difference between a law practice and a business
  • How to identify superstar employees to help you run your business
  • The difference between an Office Manager and a Business Manager
  • The 7 essential systems your firm must have & how to implement them
  • How to micromanage the client experience
  • Critical keys to success
  • And much more!

Click this link now to order Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

Avvo Gets $37.5M to Fund New Product Development, International Expansion

Avvo, the online legal directory and lawyer rating website, has attracted $37.5 million in venture capital funding that it says will be used to develop new products and expand to international markets.

Avvo introduced its attorney rating program in 2006 and has become the gold standard of legal directories, rating more than 97% of U.S. attorneys.  Avvo says that six million consumers visit its site each month, making it the go-to place for consumer research on attorneys as well.  (If you’re wondering how this compares with Martindale-Hubbell, see my Feb. 25 post on Are Martindale-Hubbell and Lawyers.com Dead? Why Every Martindale Client Should Care.)

According to Avvo, the site is the largest legal forum for consumers to get answers to their legal questions, with more than 5 million questions on the site with a 99% answer rate.  Avvo says that over 160,000 attorneys currently participate on the site.

Avvo founder and CEO Mark Britton says that Avvo’s business model is far different from sites like LegalZoom that seek to take attorneys out of the equation.  Instead, he says that Avvo believes that consumers actually want a lawyer and their mission is to provide products that make navigating the legal profession as easy as possible for consumers while helping attorneys get more business.

Coatue Management provided the new funding, with additional investment from existing investors Benchmark Capital, Ignition Partners and DAG Ventures.   With the new capital infusion, total funding in Avvo is now $60.5 million.

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On-Demand Seminar: How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients

After paying your employees, the most costly part of your law firm is Lead Generation.

This year your law firm will spend almost 10 times as much generating new leads as it does servicing existing clients!

Generating leads for your law firm is very expensive, yet a common complaint of many attorneys is that they “need more leads.”

Lead conversion is the most overlooked area at most law firms and it has the potential to save you tens of thousands of dollars this year!

How? By helping you convert more of those costly leads into more paying clients!

Get this on-demand seminar to learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • A proven system for converting more leads into paying clients

You can watch the How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients seminar at your convenience by clicking here now.

Top 3 Reasons Attorneys Fail to Grow Their Practices & What You Can Do to Succeed

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 10,000 attorneys over the years, I’ve come to find 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.

2.  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.

3.  Lack of systems. There are several simple systems attorneys can use to create a “lifestyle law firm”—a firm that supports the lifestyle you want to lead, rather than one that dominates your life.

These “lacks” can be overcome so that you can create that lifestyle law practice you desire.  Many of our clients are proof of that.

Isn't it about time you started growing your practice, instead of struggling just to get by?

If you are continually asking yourself, "What are the most effective ways to bring in new clients?", then you need to get yourself to a Rainmaker Retreat, where we will teach you a proven system that will bring you several new clients every month.

Learn our proven system at the Rainmaker Retreat, our 2-day marketing boot camp, at our next session in San Antonio, TX  on Friday, April 25 & Saturday, April 26. 

Right now, we are offering a special $200 discount for the San Antonio Rainmaker Retreat.  Just use the special code SAN when you register online.

I guarantee these two days will transform your practice.

Free LawMarketing.com Webinar on Creating Engaging Blog Content & Getting More Exposure Online

Hundreds of top law firms write new blog content every month, but most of their posts are never read by their top prospects! 

What can you do so prospects want to continually read your blog posts?

You probably already know that content marketing is a top strategy to attracting and building relationships with new leads. Consumers are turning to the Internet like never before to research answers to legal questions BEFORE they even consider calling an attorney or scheduling a consultation.

On Thursday, April 24, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, LawMarketing.com Editor-in-Chief Cindy Greenway will present a free webinar on 7 Tips to Creating Blog Content That Makes Prospects Want to Read! ... And 3 Tips to Get More Exposure Online.

In this fast paced 60-minute webinar, you will discover:

  • How to create a no-fail content marketing plan for your law practice that can run without you
  • 3 tips to brainstorming key topics to write about, specifically for your target
  • 4 ways to repurpose your blog content and gain additional visibility
  • Where to find help writing blog content when you get overwhelmed
  • How to get your staff involved in supporting your content marketing strategy

Sign up for this FREE webinar and learn specific step-by-step guidance on how to easily create and implement a solid content marketing plan for your law firm.

5 Tips for Fixing Your LinkedIn Profile

I see a lot of attorney profiles on LinkedIn, since I connect with many of our clients and those who have attended our Rainmaker Retreat. And what I see mostly is room for improvement.

LinkedIn has become the de facto online Rolodex for keeping up with contacts and referral sources, and is a must for B2B law firms seeking ways to connect with prospects. So why wouldn’t you do your best to put your best foot forward at all times?

Here are 5 tips for fixing your LinkedIn profile:

1. Assess your goals. Why are you on LinkedIn? If it’s to market your firm, then you need to be sure your profile page reflects everything your firm is about, and that starts with loading it with great keywords to attract the broadest possible audience.

2. Kill the clutter. If you have basically uploaded your resume and it reflects all the jobs you’ve held since college, kill the entries that have nothing to do with what you do now.

3. Be personable. Add some flair so people know you as a person. People hire people, not profiles.

4. Include your photo. If you don’t have a photo uploaded yet, do it. A photo acts as your logo; a bad one does nothing for you and a missing one tells people you don’t care. Your photo should reflect who you are as a professional, so skip the vacation photo.

5. Get recommendations. Testimonials are irresistible to read, and tell people visiting your page what it’s like to work with you.

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New On Demand Webinar:  How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn

The Rainmaker Institute’s business development specialist Alec Borenstein is featured on this online webinar that is now available on demand:  From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn.

Most attorneys already have a profile on LinkedIn, but very few know how to effectively use it to build a powerful referral network. With over 238 million professionals on LinkedIn, it has become one of the easiest ways to rapidly identify strategic contacts and build relationships with them!

In this advanced, information-packed 60-minute webinar you’ll learn:

  • How to generate targeted connections using LinkedIn
  • How to join and create LinkedIn groups to target your key referral sources and clients
  • Tools to land 2-4 lunches every month with your connections and referral partners
  • What to say during these meetings to ensure prospects remember you
  • How to follow up after your LinkedIn lunch

Click on this link now to access the one-hour webinar, From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn.

What is a "Lifestyle" Law Firm?

Do you have a 'lifestyle' law firm?

My short video explains what that means:

Every attorney that I have ever met wants one, but not everyone knows how to achieve it.

I do! I have worked with over 10,000 attorneys and have shown them the exact color-by-the-numbers system that has helped create 7-8 figure law firms.

Now it's your turn to attend a Rainmaker Retreat this month in San Antonio and get it too.

Click the link below to hear other attorneys tell you in their own words about their experience at the Rainmaker Retreat. You will also see the dates and locations of upcoming retreats and how you can get registered to attend.

www.RainmakerRetreat.com/free-legal-marketing-dvd/

I'd like to help you achieve a 'lifestyle' law firm. Join me and other like-minded attorneys at the next Rainmaker Retreat where you will get the tools and system to make this a reality. 

5 Ways to Prove Your Law Firm is the Best Choice

I talk a lot about the importance of differentiating your firm by focusing your marketing efforts on communicating your unique competitive advantage – the benefits a client gets from working with you, the value you provide, the results you’ve gotten for past clients and the creative solutions you employ to solve legal issues.

Once you’ve got your UCA down cold, you can then go about spreading the good word.  Here are some effective ways to do that:

Testimonials. If it’s not barred by your state bar, then testimonials on your website are a good way to verify that people who have used your services are happy with the outcome. It is even better to have testimonials on your behalf on third-party websites like Avvo, Yelp! or Google.

Social proof. Being visible on social networks and having a good crop of followers lets those considering your services get more comfortable with the idea of hiring you – we have a strong herd mentality, and like to know we’re not alone.

Case studies. Posting relevant case studies to your website and your blog that are written for the average person (not another lawyer) can be very effective.

Videos. Populating your website and blog with videos that give prospects a feel for what it would be like to do business with you is another good way to showcase your skills.

Third-party endorsements. If you’ve been profiled in an article or interviewed in the media, post those interviews and articles on your website.

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FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

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

  • Why you must have a blog in order to stay relevant
  • 3 keys to successful blogging
  • 7 Guidelines for achieving ROI
  • Your 3 choices for managing your blog and social media efforts
  • And much more!

Click now for your FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal.

Law Firm Marketing Seminar Coming to San Antonio on April 25-26

The Rainmaker Retreat, a two-day law firm marketing seminar that focuses on the unique challenges facing small law firms and attorneys in mid-sized practices, will be held in San Antonio, Texas, on April 25 & 26 at the Courtyard San Antonio Riverwalk.

Each Rainmaker Retreat session focuses on the unique challenges facing small law firms and attorneys in mid-sized practices, providing advanced hands-on training for lead generation, legal marketing automation, and Internet and social media marketing strategies specifically designed to help attorneys generate more and better referrals for their law firm, and convert more prospects into paying clients.

“The Rainmaker’s lead conversion system is unlike any other conversion process I have ever seen,” said Patrick Wright, a family law solo practitioner from Dallas.  “If I didn’t attend the Rainmaker Retreat, I would have never learned this system. I would recommend this retreat to any attorney who wants to beat their competition and gain more clients.”

At each Rainmaker Retreat, we dive deep into how to market your law firm using 65 proven low cost and no cost strategies, how to leverage technology to attract and follow up with prospects, ways to generate more referrals from former clients, and low cost tools and methods to better manage their business development efforts.

The San Antonio Rainmaker Retreat is open to all attorneys and law firm staff and will be held all day Friday and Saturday, April 25-26, 2014.

An added bonus is that this Rainmaker Retreat is being held during the annual San Antonio River Walk Arts and Crafts Show, so there will be plenty of entertainment just outside your hotel when you finish your daily sessions!

For more information and to register online, visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 888-588-5891.

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FREE Online Seminar:  Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

Join Stephen Fairley for a free 60-minute legal marketing webinar: Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan, where you will learn...

A proven legal marketing system that has helped 10,000 attorneys convert more prospects into paying clients.

Step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

Effective strategies to win clients in today's hyper-competitive online focused marketplace.

Creating a marketing plan for your law firm is the first step in building a foundation for a profitable future.  During this complimentary webinar, learn:

  • How to target market to get your ideal client 
  • Why your firm is not getting more referrals and how to change it
 
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
 
  • Effective online and offline marketing strategies
 
  • How to create a financial plan to fund your marketing budget
 
  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
 
  • 4 ways to create a unique competitive advantage
 
  • What is critical to have in place for today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

Stephen will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

There are several sessions of this free webinar scheduled; you can choose what works best for you from the drop-down menu when you click on the following link to register online for our FREE Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan online seminar.

What You Need to Know About Marketing to Older Americans

If the target market for your legal services includes older Americans – those 65+ -- you will be interested in a new study out from Pew Internet Research on Older Adults and Technology Use that was released late last week.

Today, nearly 60% of Americans over the age of 65 go online, a six percent increase over one year ago.   Not surprisingly, older Americans continue to lag behind younger Americans when it comes to embracing technology:

However, the fact is that they are embracing it – 71% of older Internet users say they go online every day and 27% participate on social media networks. 

The study found that older Americans differ from the general population in terms of the devices they own.  While a majority of younger American adults own smartphones, for those 65+,  tablets and e-book readers surpass smartphone ownership.

When looking at the group of older Americans who use the Internet, certain demographic factors for this population stand out:

  • 74% of those aged 65-69 go online
  • 90% of online seniors have an annual household income of $75,000 or higher
  • 87% of online seniors have a college degree
  • More senior men than women are online (55% vs. 45%)

The research revealed that once seniors are online, the Internet quickly becomes a part of their daily lives.  Like other Americans, the most frequent use of the Internet is for email – which makes an e-newsletter an attractive tool for attorneys seeking to market to this older, richer and more educated demographic.

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FREE REPORT:  8 Reasons Small Firms & Solos Should Publish an E-newsletter PLUS 3 Steps to Get Started

In less than a few hours a month, you can produce an effective electronic newsletter, also known as an “E-newsletter.”

An E-newsletter is a customized electronic newsletter that is commonly used in business, but rarely in the field of law. If you are truly interested in the long-term success and sustainability of your practice, you need to learn how to leverage technology and the Internet to build it.

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

  • The cost benefits of an e-newsletter
  • How to incorporate your e-newsletter with your social networking
  • How an e-newsletter supports your marketing efforts
  • How to get started right away with your e-newsletter
  • And much, much more!

To get your free report now, click here.

New Online Platform Connects Small Businesses with Attorneys

A new online platform that helps small businesses find attorneys was profiled today in the New York Times

Priori Legal, which started up last September, is the brainchild of two Yale Law School classmates inspired by the work they did in legal clinics that exposed them to an unmet need: affordable legal help for small business owners.

What makes Priori Legal different from online directories or legal services websites is that it vets attorneys and makes recommendations based on a small business owner’s specific legal needs.  To be able to offer services on the site, attorneys must fill out a comprehensive online application and submit to reference checks and interviews with Priori Legal staff.

Attorneys that offer their services on Priori Legal must agreed to discount their regular fees by 25% and provide prospective clients with a free half-hour consultation as well as information on pricing for expenses like filing fees and deadlines for delivering the work. 

Priori encourages attorneys to provide both hourly and fixed fee packages, and handles all the back office administration work, including invoicing and fee collection.   Clients pay Priori 10% of the attorney’s fees for use of the network.

Based in Manhattan, Priori Legal currently has more than 100 New York attorneys on the site and a few from other states as it seeks to expand its network nationwide.  It says it has already served hundreds of clients in New York state.

Attorneys currently participating in the network range from solo practitioners to those in firms of fewer than 50 attorneys.  Priori Legal says that 85% of potential clients who take the free half hour consultation go on to hire the attorney.

The site’s founders -- Basha Frost Rubin and Mirra Levitt – say that the site fills a need that small businesses have for transparency when it comes to legal fees.  They note that many small business owners are reluctant to retain counsel because they have no idea what it will cost and fear that a simple question could end up costing thousands of dollars.  Yet, competent legal advice can make a real difference in whether a small business is successful or not.

Priori Legal also features a blog with submissions from its network of attorneys.  For more information, visit www.priorilegal.com.

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On-Demand Seminar: How to Make Flat Fee Billing Work for Your Law Firm

Lee Rosen is one of America’s top divorce attorneys and practice management specialists who transformed his practice from relying on hourly billing to charging flat fee prices.

In Stephen Fairley’s one-hour interview with Lee, he explains in detail how he set out to fix his cash flow several years ago and in doing so he fundamentally changed his practice – for the better!

As a direct result of his “radical” decision to switch to flat fee billing (which many of his colleagues told him couldn’t be done), his revenues have never been higher, his profit margins are larger, and he’s building a lifestyle law firm!

Listen in as Lee and Stephen focus on hot topics like:

  • Why your clients will love flat fee billing
  • How to use flat fee pricing as a major differentiating factor
  • The inherent conflict of charging by the hour
  • Specific steps on how to position it with clients
  • Which practice areas can benefit from flat fee billing
  • Real world case study for consumer law attorneys
  • Practical considerations for litigation-based practices
  • How to improve your cash flow using flat fees
  • Best practices when implementing flat fee billing
  • 3 quick and easy ways to get started
  • Potential pitfalls to avoid when setting up your system

To access this exciting one-hour interview with Lee Rosen, click on this link:  How to Make Flat Fee Billing Work for Your Law Firm

5 Steps to Use Social Media Effectively for Business Development

One of the best reasons for attorneys to use social media is that it is a very cost effective business development tool. Here are 5 steps you can take to harness the effectiveness of social media for your law firm marketing efforts:

1. Set up a targeted landing page. Your landing page is separate from – but can be connected to – your website. It should feature content that addresses the specific needs of your target market and have one compelling call-to-action that gets them to connect with you.

2. On the landing page offer them something of value.  Offer visitors a free special report, audio CD or white paper on a topic of interest to them.  Again, it must address a specific need of your target market.

3. Drive traffic to your landing page by promoting it via your social media outlets. You can announce your free special report on your Facebook fan page, post a Tweet or promote by including the link to your LinkedIn account.

4. Visitors to your landing page can only obtain your valuable information if they give you their contact information (name, phone and email address) and by agreeing to opt into your database and be contacted by your law firm for further follow-up.

5. Use their contact information to follow up with them. When you connect with visitors to your landing page, you qualify them to see if they are a good prospect for you and then offer them a complimentary consultation, if that's part of your business model.

At The Rainmaker Institute, we have successfully used this exact process with attorneys across the country for almost a decade.  During this time we have generated thousands of qualified leads, for our company directly from our social media efforts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter!  

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

With over 238 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn has quickly become THE ‘go to’ business-to-business directory and the most popular social networking platform dedicated to professional business development.

To ignore it is the proverbial equivalent of sticking your head in the sand.

Learning how to use LinkedIn to your biggest advantage takes time and effort, but it is time well spent.

If you are new to LinkedIn, it can be confusing, much like any new software that you need to learn to grow your business.

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

  • What LinkedIn can help you accomplish
  • Valuable LinkedIn features that can increase the power of your network
  • Smart ways top attorneys use LinkedIn
  • What your profile needs in order to be effective
  • How to make people want to know more about you
  • And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn.

Content Marketing for Attorneys: How to Keep Feeding the Beast

Content marketing is a critical component of a comprehensive law firm marketing program, and there are many avenues you can use to spread your content to potential clients, including your website, blog, online directories like Avvo and JDSupra, and social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+.

With all these venues craving constant content feeds, how do marketing-savvy attorneys feed the beast? Here are some tips:

1. Plan ahead. Brainstorm a list of topics that would appeal to your target audience (start with answers to their top 20 questions). Reviewing your website analytics to see what pages of your site are getting the most visits can also help stimulate ideas. Dig up speeches and presentations you’ve made over the last few years and repurpose those for articles, press releases and blog posts. Subscribe to blogs and news feeds that cover your practice area for ideas.

2. Make it interesting. Nielsen research shows that most people spend about a minute on any given web page, so strive to make your content easily digestible in that timeframe. Use short paragraphs and subheads to keep readers’ attention. Punch it up with references to current events or pop culture to make your content timely. Include client success stories (not using real names, of course).

3. Optimize your content. Be sure to optimize your content for search by including your keywords and keyword phrases in your title, subheads and image file names.

4. Socialize.  Promote your videos, posts, articles, press releases and other content on all your social network channels – not only on your own Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter page, but also through submissions to the discussion pages of groups you’ve joined. 

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Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

At The Rainmaker Institute, we define a “7 figure lifestyle law firm” as one that allows you to have the lifestyle that you want to live!

It’s more than just money or achieving a million dollars in revenue.

It’s about creating a lifestyle where you do what you love and building a business around your core values and interests.

In this recording of an interview between Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, and nationally recognized attorney John Bisnar, Stephen asks John to share with us some of the secrets he has used to create a law firm that allows him to go into the office only one day a week and take, on average, 3 to 4 months of vacation every year - all the while managing a very successful, multi-million dollar law firm!

You will receive either a CD or MP3 recording, plus we will email you a pdf transcript of the interview.

This interview will help you discover:

  • The difference between a law practice and a business
  • How to identify superstar employees to help you run your business
  • The difference between an Office Manager and a Business Manager
  • The 7 essential systems your firm must have & how to implement them
  • How to micromanage the client experience
  • Critical keys to success
  • And much more!

Click this link now to order Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

How to Inspire Prospects To Contact You

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

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

A great call to action works when it:

  • Triggers an emotional reaction;
  • Shows exactly how to make a purchase;
  • Creates a sense of urgency to make the purchase;
  • Provides an incentive or offer that is too good to pass up.

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

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

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

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

On your social networking sites. Facebook and Twitter are great vehicles for reaching prospects and testing a variety of calls to action to see what works best for your practice area. 

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FREE Law Firm Marketing Strategy Session with a Rainmaker Advisor

Having an Internet presence is a must for attorneys who want to effectively market and grow their firms. 

It should be no secret that the Internet is one of the most cost effective lead sources for attorneys today. Even if a portion of your client base includes referrals, you can be sure that they are checking you out on the Web before they give you a call.

But how do you know you are going about it the right way?

Please give us a call at 888-588-5891 or click here to sign up for a free one-on-one Strategy Session with a Rainmaker Advisor who will listen to your specific marketing challenges. 

The Rainmaker Advisors are hand-picked and trained to identify marketing strategies that you can implement to grow your practice.

New ALM Report Says Small Firms Investing in Big Marketing

A new report from ALM Legal Intelligence entitled, Small Firms, Big Marketing reveals that small and mid-sized law firms (40-200 attorneys) have upped their investments in marketing because of a belief that effective marketing is mandatory for a firm to succeed.

The survey was commissioned by J. Johnson Executive Search, Inc., and relies on data collected from 90 small and midsized firms in the U.S – 42% of responses were from firms with 40-75 attorneys and 58% were from firms of more than 76 attorneys.

Some key findings from the survey:

  • 90% of responding firms said they had a dedicated marketing team in place
  • 75% said marketing was critical to winning new business
  • 54% use marketing for research and client feedback
  • Marketing is key not only for obtaining new clients but also for retaining existing clients
  • 75% of firm management says marketing is a critical piece in winning new business
  • Spending on outsourced marketing functions increased 44% in 2013 and is expected to rise in 2014

Firms justify their investment in marketing in the following ways:

The firms surveyed found these 10 marketing tactics to be the most effective for their firms:

The full report is available free for download here.

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FREE Online Seminar:  Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

Join Stephen Fairley for a free 60-minute legal marketing webinar: Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan, where you will learn...

A proven legal marketing system that has helped 10,000 attorneys convert more prospects into paying clients.

Step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

Effective strategies to win clients in today's hyper-competitive online focused marketplace.

Creating a marketing plan for your law firm is the first step in building a foundation for a profitable future.  During this complimentary webinar, learn:

  • How to target market to get your ideal client 
  • Why your firm is not getting more referrals and how to change it
 
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
 
  • Effective online and offline marketing strategies
 
  • How to create a financial plan to fund your marketing budget
 
  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
 
  • 4 ways to create a unique competitive advantage
 
  • What is critical to have in place for today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

Stephen will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

There are several sessions of this free webinar scheduled; you can choose what works best for you from the drop-down menu when you click on the following link to register online for our FREE Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan online seminar.

Tweet Success: 7 Tips to Master Twitter

If you are still trying to wrap your head around how to use Twitter, here are 7 tips that can take you from newbie to master quickly:

1.  Take a different approach to a trending topic.  The most effective tweets are those that provide a unique take on something that is already trending on Twitter.  After you sign in to your Twitter feed, click on the Discover link at the top right to see what is trending right now (David Letterman’s retirement is today’s big topic).  You can customize Trends for your geographical area by clicking Change in your Trends box.

2.  Optimize your Twitter profile.  Use a photo and remember that Twitter followers tend to follow a person, not a company. 

3.  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.

4.  Use lots of photos and video.  These get more attention on Twitter.

5.  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.

6.  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. 

7.  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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New Free Report: How to Position Yourself as A Specialist, Not a Generalist

If you are taking every piece of legal business that comes your way with no regard for developing a specialization, you are killing your business.

Why?

Being a generalist makes it much harder to get referrals. If you are a generalist, other attorneys who might otherwise send referrals your way see you as a competitor!

When someone has a referral to give, they want to give it to someone who specializes in the kind of problem or situation that the referral needs. You want to specialize because it creates more credibility and more loyalty.

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

  • 4 ways to position yourself as a specialist
  • Benefits of specializing
  • What to do about cases that don’t fit in your specialty
  • How other attorneys have successfully specialized
  • …And much, much more!

Click here now to receive the latest free report in our 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days series: The 4th Key-Position Yourself as A Specialist, Not a Generalist.

Lead Generation for Lawyers: How to Discover the Sources of Your Best Quality Leads

When you sign a new client, do you know the path that led them to you? 

If not, then how can you hope to repeat your successes in getting new clients if you don’t know what you are doing right?

By examining the ways that new clients come to you, you will be able to unveil the lead generation strategies that are – and are not – working for your firm as well as reveal referral sources you probably weren’t’ even aware that you had.

Take these steps to discover the sources of your best quality leads:

Ask at intake.  When someone calls your office, one of the first questions your staff should be asking is how they found you.  If the answer is they discovered you on the Internet, ask them what search terms they used.  If they saw an ad, ask them where.  If they say that someone referred them, ask them who.  

Track each lead.  Create a spreadsheet that lists all your leads and how they came to you.  You want to be able to see quickly the pattern that emerges on what is working for you and what you need to change.

Track each touch.  On your lead generation spreadsheet, track each touch with a prospect and specify the method – i.e., phone call, email, letter, etc. 

Scrutinize the data.  Examine your spreadsheet to see which activities are generating the best quality leads for you as well as the ones that aren’t working (no one is responding or the wrong prospects are being attracted).

Track your investment.  Track the cost – money and time – for each of your lead generation activities so you can get a handle on the ROI for each one.

Get feedback.  Ask your clients to provide you with feedback on your services and if they would be willing to be a referral source for you.

After taking these steps, you should be able to see what you’re doing right and be able to put your time and money against those lead generation efforts that are bringing you your best quality leads.

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On-Demand Seminar: How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients

After paying your employees, the most costly part of your law firm is Lead Generation.

This year your law firm will spend almost 10 times as much generating new leads as it does servicing existing clients!

Generating leads for your law firm is very expensive, yet a common complaint of many attorneys is that they “need more leads.”

Lead Conversion is the most overlooked area at most law firms and it has the potential to save you tens of thousands of dollars this year!

How? By helping you convert more of those costly leads into more paying clients!

Get this on-demand seminar to learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • A proven system for converting more leads into paying clients

You can watch the How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients seminar at your convenience by clicking here now.

Top 3 Legal Marketing Questions from the NYC Rainmaker Retreat

Our March Rainmaker Retreat in New York City last week raised three great questions about legal marketing that apply to all attorneys; here they are with my answers:

1.  Why is stating something like “we focus on quality” not a powerful unique competitive advantage (UCA)?

The reason this statement fails to differentiate your firm is because no individual goes out and looks for an attorney who doesn’t offer quality services. Stating the firm focuses on quality services, years of experience, free consultations or customer service are all things that people looking to hire an attorney consider standard and expect a firm to offer.

A perfect example of an industry that has not caught on to the idea of really differentiating is the banking industry. I bet you have driven down the highway and seen a bank billboard that states “FREE CHECKING.” This is a total waste of money -- nearly everyone “expects” free checking because all banks offer it and it’s a standard. Years ago this was a unique competitive advantage and now it’s not.

Don’t fall into the “me too” category where you claim to offer or be just like all the other attorneys out there. If you do this, you will be viewed as a commodity and commodities are always purchased on price.

A few easy ways to do this is to focus your unique competitive advantage around:

Benefits: What benefits do individuals receive when working with you or the firm?

90% of all our estate plans are written and finalized in 90 days

Value: What value do individuals receive when working with you or the firm?

We have successfully negotiated with 1,000 insurance companies to ensure our clients get the most money possible

Results: Highlight the results you have gotten for past clients.

We have successfully protected over $100 million of assets in the last 5 years (use numbers when possible)

Solutions: Talk about creative solutions the firm has used to solve legal issues.

2.  Why can’t I list many practice areas on my website?  Won’t I miss the opportunity to get more clients?

This is a question we get all the time. Attorneys and many other professionals have the same knee-jerk reaction when I say that focusing on a niche is key if you want to build a lifestyle law firm and build more credibility in your community.

They believe if they “specialize” they will lose revenue!

But the truth is people don’t want to work with a generalist.

Think about it, if your son or daughter had cancer would you take him/her to a general family doctor? NO!!! You would find the best pediatric oncologist in order to ensure your child got the best treatment possible.

The same principle applies for attorneys. From a prospect’s position, their legal matter is the most grave and unique legal situation that ever existed and they will only trust an individual who “specializes” in the area of law they need help with.

Of course it is OK to have more than one practice area (and if you work for a large firm there will be more), but when you market you must present yourself as an attorney who focuses on a “niche” -- two to three at the most.

Remember this: “Niches lead to riches!”

That being said, please remember you can pick a niche that is too small! So be conscious when you decide on your niche.

Lastly, if you tell people you can help them with any legal matter, you shoot potential referral sources in the foot because they now believe you are a competitor!

3.  So if I use social media I’ll start getting clients?

The goal of social media is not to directly sign up clients, although this can happen, but I caution you not to believe this is typical and standard.

The goal of social media is to engage with individuals in meaningful ways and drive them off the social media platform to your website or blog.

It is then the job of your website/blog to continue to move the visitor to the next step.

Regardless if that is calling the firm to set an appointment, to download a free report or to sign up for an e-newsletter, it is the role of your website/blog.

Too many individuals use social media platforms to sell, sell, sell. We have all experienced this before and it is very off-putting. You must educate and engage with your prospects in a way that is meaningful to them on these platforms and drive them to your website/blog where you continue to educate them, set yourself apart from all the other attorneys and gain credibility.

Marketing is a long term process and it is a big mistake to believe you will set up a Facebook fan page, a Twitter profile, a LinkedIn account, a YouTube channel today and get a flood of calls tomorrow.

The Rainmaker Institute gets a large percentage of our monthly leads from social media platforms, but it did not happen overnight. We had to be patient and consistent. Had we given up simply because we did not see a return immediately, we would now be missing out on thousands of leads every year.

The return of your dollars and time only comes after you use socially media persistently, consistently, effectively and correctly.

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Early Bird Pricing for San Antonio Rainmaker Retreat Ends April 6

When it comes to marketing your law firm, do you wish you could just say, "there's an app for that"?

We don't have an app, but we do have a good solution.

It's called the Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day marketing boot camp.

Click Here to learn more about our upcoming retreats:

San Antonio, TX

Friday, April 25 & Saturday, April 26

Las Vegas, NV

Friday, May 30 & Saturday, May 31

The Rainmaker Retreat is where we teach lawyers how they can increase the number of clients they have, doubling their income and yet working less.

But don't take my word for it, listen to one of your colleagues who attended a Rainmaker Retreat:

"Even though my firm is ahead of the average law firm with respect to tech-savvy techniques, the Rainmaker Retreat offered cutting edge tips to launch our marketing strategies to all new levels." - Jo-Ann, Esq.

We strictly limit the number of people for each event so that everyone gets personal attention in a more intimate environment.

If you register for the San Antonio Rainmaker Retreat by this Sunday, April 6, you will qualify for the Early Bird discount: $200 off!

Learn more by calling 888-588-5891 or at www.RainmakerRetreat.com

How B2B Law Firms Can Develop a Great Referral Network

Building a great referral network begins by identifying the people who already have a relationship with the people you want as clients. 

For example, if you target small business owners, you would look for those who already have a relationship with small business owners. These could be accountants, financial planners, local bankers, CPA’s, commercial real estate agents, etc.

So how do you build a referral network with them?

One of our clients developed his referral network by sending out a letter to 75-80 targeted professionals that basically said:

“Hello, I’m Jack Smith with XYZ Law Firm.  We know that competition for professional service advisors is getting more and more intense with more people entering the field.  We are building a cross referral network with other trusted advisors who are experts in their field.

Over the last 15 years we’ve been practicing law, we have really focused our practice on working with small business owners and high net worth individuals on estate planning, wills and trusts and asset protection.

Through a series of breakfast meetings and private meetings at our office, we’re going to build a cross referral network with a limited number of other professionals who are committed to growing their practice and sending cross referrals.

We’re not looking for any kind of a fee for facilitating this network, but we would like to officially invite you to check it out and see if this is something you’d like to support.

For more information, give us a call at this number or visit our website to learn more about our practice.”

From this mailing, our client got a group of about 25 going.  They get together about once a month and send referrals to each other on a regular basis.

Existing clients are also a good source for you and your referral partners.  If you partner with a CPA or financial planner, each of you would send a letter out to your respective client databases offering a free consultation on behalf of the other as an added benefit of being a valued client.



Co-sponsoring an event or a seminar series is another excellent way to build relationships with strategic referral partners.  Technology makes it easy and inexpensive for an attorney and another professional to host a webinar or teleseminar on topics of interest to small business owners. 

Your local bank branch is another source waiting to be tapped.  Offer your services as an expert speaker for a small business seminar that the bank could host – they do all the work in setting it up and getting an audience.  You now have a room full of prospective clients and all you had to spend was some time preparing your remarks.

Professionals are always looking for good strategic referral partners.  You can ensure that you’re a good partner by educating them about who you are, what you do, the kind of clients you target and the great service you provide.  Reciprocity is the key:  to get referrals, you have to give them, too.

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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 Fairley unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

  • How to determine the best source for your referrals
  • How to explain your ideal target market to a referral source
  • How to get referrals from other attorneys
  • Whether online directories are a good referral source
  • How to network effectively
  • And much, much more!

Click now for your free report on 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice.

3 Steps to Help You Stop Competing on Price

The last economic downturn had a sobering effect on legal pricing; add to that the proliferation of online legal services and many attorneys are facing a fee dilemma of epidemic proportions.

Even with those things that are beyond your control, you need to realize that the basis of most legal pricing problems comes down to chasing the wrong prospects.  And that is something you can control.

Casting a wide net for clients without applying any targeting criteria is dangerous because sometimes it works. The clients you get by doing this are inevitably those that will pound you on price and beat up on your staff as well. 

If you choose to compete only on price, your fees have exactly one way to go:  down.

So how can you target the right client that will allow you to charge what you’re worth? Here are three quick steps:

Create an ideal client profile -- Think in terms of age, profession, gender, education, interests, marital status, family size, hobbies, and lifestyle. If you’ve had clients you consider ideal, what did they share in common that made them an ideal client for you?

Communicate your target – Educate everyone in your firm as well as your referral sources about what an ideal client is for your practice.

Have a qualifying process – Before you sign on a new client, put them through a qualifying process that educates them about how you work, what they can expect, how you charge and what is expected of them. If they balk, they’re not a good fit.

Once you start attracting your ideal client, you’ll be able to charge what you are worth and stop worrying about competing on price.

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How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear

Your price is too high! I can’t afford that.”

“Why should I hire you? I think I can handle this by myself.”

Have you heard any of these objections lately?

How did you respond?

What are the most effective ways to overcome these objections?

How do top Rainmakers reply?

If you’re like many attorneys you hear these objections every day…yet you aren’t sure your responses are effective. We can help you change that!

Over the course of this pre-recorded 60-minute webinar you will discover:

  • The top 5 biggest objections attorneys hear and how to overcome them
  • An easy 2-step process to effectively turn a “No” into a “Yes”
  • How to answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”
  • The #1 reason you are not converting more prospects into paying clients
  • How to get past “price” and uncover the prospect’s true objection

Click on this link now to access the How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear webinar now.

Lead Conversion: How Fast is Your Follow-Up?

Those of you who have already attended a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing intensive workshop, are familiar with the importance of fast follow-up when it comes to lead conversion. 

Stephen Fairley often cites a study that shows leads can go from hot to cold is just five minutes.  In addition, a study on the lifespan of sales leads conducted by the Harvard Business Review found that leads contacted within one hour are 7 times more likely to be converted than if the contact was two hours later – and 60 times more likely to be converted than if the contact was 24 hours later.

Fast follow-up is a real stumbling block, especially for solos and small firms that usually rely on attorneys to return a call or email inquiry.  This is the first mistake.  NEVER have an attorney responsible for following up!  You may want to, you may intend to, but it rarely happens because of your workload. 

So what to do?  Automate the process!  You simply cannot be consistently good at lead conversion unless you have a process in place that sends your prospect an immediate message responding to their inquiry. 

Every contingency can be planned for in advance with an automatic response system.  A prospect calls in, a staff member gets an email address, enters it into the system, and that person is immediately sent an email.  That email can encourage them to set an appointment, educate them further about your firm, include some testimonials from other clients, offer a free consultation, or whatever you want to happen next.

The same process can be put in place for leads that you capture through your website, blog or social media pages. 

You also implement a drip email campaign that guides your prospects along the path to becoming a client.  If they miss their initial appointment, this triggers a series of emails encouraging them to reschedule.  If they don’t sign with you after the initial meeting, another series of emails prods them to take that step. 

All of this can be done without any intervention by busy attorneys.  We have implemented many lead generation email campaigns for law firms across the country that has yielded substantial increases in their lead conversion rates.

If you want to learn more about this process, we offer a free marketing strategy session for attorneys – see below for details.

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FREE Law Firm Marketing Strategy Session with a Rainmaker Advisor

Want to discover proven marketing strategies that top law firms are using right now to generate more leads and referrals and convert them into paying clients?

Don’t understand social media or have time for it, but know that your law firm marketing program desperately needs to include it?

Please give us a call at 888-588-5891 or click here to sign up for a free one-on-one Strategy Session with a Rainmaker Advisor who will listen to your specific marketing challenges. 

The Rainmaker Advisors are handpicked and trained to identify marketing strategies that you can implement to grow your practice.

8 Tips to Help Your Law Firm Stand Out in Local Search

The majority of people who need a lawyer look for one that is close to where they live.  This is why local search is so important when it comes to marketing your law firm online.  Here are 8 tips you can deploy to ensure your firm shows up well in local search results:

1.  Find the right keywords.  You must use the same keywords people use when they search online.  If you are a divorce attorney in Des Moines, then your main keywords should be: divorce attorney des moines.  Also divorce lawyer des moines.  Research and use the right keywords for your target market.

2.  Optimize your website and content with local terms.  Your website should feature your full company name, address, phone number and a geo sitemap to help search engines find you.  Your content should also reference your geographic location, but don’t overdo it – loading your content with keywords is a big no-no these days.

3.  List your firm on Google Places for Business and Google+ Local

4.  List your firm on local directories.  Tip #3 covers Google, but you also need to get your firm listed on Yahoo Local, Bing and review sites like Yelp and other review websites.

5.  Be sure listings are consistent.  Use a consistent firm name, address and phone wherever these appear online – on your website, your social media profiles, your blog, etc.

6.  Get reviews.  Reviews of local businesses are becoming increasingly important in search results, so if you’ve made a client happy with your service, ask them to submit a review or testimonial saying why they loved doing business with you.  One thing you should never do is fake a review or testimonial. If they sound too glowing or like you wrote them, it will do much more harm than good. 

7.  Optimize your social network profiles.  Every social media site that your law firm is on should include the firm’s name, address, phone and a link to your website.  Remember to keep it consistent across all networks.

8.  Optimize for mobile.  Be sure your firm website is fully optimized for mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.

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Get More Proven Legal Marketing Strategies FREE from The Rainmaker Institute

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

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

What is Content Marketing and How Can You Master It?

Content marketing is the latest buzzword for what we at the Rainmaker Institute have been teaching for years:  creating and sharing content (words, pictures, videos) to aid in client acquisition.

And while you may be brilliant at crafting legal arguments to win a point, there is an art to crafting content that speaks to people in need of your services and attracting them to your firm.

A recent article on Entrepreneur.com took some words of wisdom from five top content marketers that provide some insight on how to excel at content marketing:

1.  Over-invest in high quality content.  There is seemingly no limit to the amount of legal content on the Internet these days, and the proliferation of this content means yours has to be better to get attention.  So stop doing what everyone else is doing and look for ways to stand out with landing pages, interactive infographics, videos and other attention-grabbers.

2.  Include SEO best practices.  Hone in on the keywords that are driving traffic to your website right now and dig deeper for keywords you aren’t targeting yet that have potential to attract more visitors.  Then use these to build high quality content around.

3.  Be a great storyteller.  In a hyper-competitive market for a reader’s attention, it’s the great stories that get read and shared.  Have a great hook to pull those readers in, and be sure your story has a satisfying end that is worthy of the build-up.

4.  Deliver data in new ways.  Humans are visual beings, so if you can deliver your data visually in an engaging way – through an online slide show or interactive visualization – you are likely to see better results than if you just convey your messaging in words.

5.  Answer your prospects’ questions.  Don’t beat your head against a wall trying to come up with great ideas for content.  Instead, look to your clients and answer their top 10, 20 or 30 questions.  By doing this, you can position yourself as an authority and provide information your potential clients are actually seeking.

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New! Free Report: Building a Lifestyle Law Firm: Keeping Your Perspective (Part 1)

Marketing and business development are only tools to help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

They are some of the most effective tools you can use to attract more and better referrals to your law firm – which ultimate leads to increased revenue.

So how do you use marketing to create a Lifestyle Law Firm-- one that enables you to do what you want, when you want to do it and is the key to financial independence for attorneys?

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

  • How to build a business that supports the life you want to live
  • How to leverage your time, talent and expertise for a massive return on investment (ROI)
  • Marketing efforts to never delegate or outsource to someone else
  • And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on Building a Lifestyle Law Firm: Keeping Your Perspective (Part 1).

How To Differentiate Your Law Firm Online

The legal profession as a whole is slow to adapt to new technologies, and it really wasn’t that long ago that lawyers could stand out online simply by having a basic website.  However, that is no longer the case in 2014. 

So how do you build a credible online reputation for your firm while differentiating yourself from competitors?  Here are some tips:

Zero in on your ideal clients. Don't make the common mistake of trying to be everything to everyone. People don't want to work with a generalist; they want a specialist because, to them, they have a very specific need.

Give website visitors a reason to visit you. Offer an incentive for paying you a visit.  Most firms already offer a free consultation, so that’s a given these days.  What more can you offer?  A free report?  A robust FAQ section that provides education on specific legal issues that goes beyond the obvious?  You may even want to think about partnering with another local business to offer something of value – just make sure it is something that appeals to your target market.

Landing pages for each practice area. Again, focus is key here. For example, a personal injury lawyer may have a practice specific landing page for: pedestrian accidents, construction accidents, dog bites, and automobile accidents.

Create content that speaks your target’s language. Writing for your target market online is not the same as writing a legal brief.  Hire a professional copywriter who has experience writing for law firms.

Submit articles to online directories. Post helpful articles on legal directory sites like Avvo and JD Supra, sites that spend much more than you are ever likely to invest to drive traffic to their sites.  Use their marketing muscle to expose your expertise to potential clients.

Blog!  Adding a blog to your website not only helps you with SEO (since you are adding fresh content to your site regularly), but it also helps visitors to your site gain insight into how you practice and your level of expertise.

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NEW “Rainmaker Retreat: Unplugged”
DVD Set Now Available!

The 6 DVD set is a live recording of the Rainmaker Retreat, a 2-day legal marketing intensive led by legal marketing expert Stephen Fairley that covers over 65 proven online and offline marketing and business development strategies for law firms.

You will discover:

  • Lead Generation Techniques: how to generate more leads from the Internet, social media and blogs.
  • Lead Conversion Techniques: a proven system to track incoming leads and improve your conversion rates to turn more of those prospects into paying clients.
  • Client Retention Techniques: specific tools to double your referrals and to help you with “Building a Lifestyle Law Firm®”
  • Engaging activities to help you identify your ideal target market so you can powerfully market to them.
  • Over 65 PROVEN online and offline legal marketing strategies.

Click here now to order Rainmaker Retreat: Unplugged.

How to Choose the Right Social Media Networks for Your Law Practice

One of the most common questions I get from attorneys is how to identify the right social media networks for their practices.  Frankly, it’s not that hard.

The most important thing in identifying the right social media platform is to know your target market.   If you don’t know that, then any marketing you are doing anywhere is just a shot in the dark. 

Once you know the characteristics of your market, you can then focus on the social media networks that do the best job of reaching that audience.  Here are demographic breakdowns on the most popular social networks from the Pew Reseach Center from their 2013 Social Media Report:

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

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

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FREE Online Seminar:  Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

Join Stephen Fairley for a free 60-minute legal marketing webinar: Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan, where you will learn...

A proven legal marketing system that has helped 10,000 attorneys convert more prospects into paying clients.

Step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

Effective strategies to win clients in today's hyper-competitive online focused marketplace.

Creating a marketing plan for your law firm is the first step in building a foundation for a profitable future.  During this complimentary webinar, learn:

  • How to target market to get your ideal client 
  • Why your firm is not getting more referrals and how to change it
 
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
 
  • Effective online and offline marketing strategies
 
  • How to create a financial plan to fund your marketing budget
 
  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
 
  • 4 ways to create a unique competitive advantage
 
  • What is critical to have in place for today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

Stephen will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

There are several sessions of this free webinar scheduled; you can choose what works best for you from the drop-down menu when you click on the following link to register online for our FREE Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan online seminar.

Improving Your Law Firm's Internet Lead Conversion Rates [VIDEO]

A couple of days ago I was interviewed again by LawMarketing.com Editor-in-Chief Cindy Greenway in our continuing series on lead generation and lead conversion strategies for lawyers.

If you haven’t watched the first two interviews, I suggest you do that now – here and here.

What I recently discovered from a study done of more than two million Internet-generated leads will shock most of you:  this study found that the length of time that an Internet-generated lead (email, sign-up, live chat, request for info from a website) went from hot to cold was 5 minutes.

That’s right.  Only five minutes!

What this means is, if you don’t have an automated process already in place to respond immediately to your Internet leads, you lose your best opportunity for converting that lead into a client.

How do I know this?  That same study found that companies with an automated process in place to respond quickly to these leads increased their lead conversion rates a whopping 300%

Another way to up your conversion rate?  Don’t have an attorney follow up!  I know you want to, you intend to, but the fact is,  you usually don’t.  Have a dedicated staff person follow up and set that appointment, and make sure they call back more than once if they don’t make a connection the first time.

Here’s my full interview with Cindy:

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On-Demand Seminar:  How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients

According to recent research…

58 million adults looked for an attorney in the past year

76% of them referred to the Internet at some point in their search

While most law firms already have a website, the majority of them don’t produce new cases on a regular basis. Why?

Because they are doing it all wrong!

This seminar will teach you how to do it right.

National Law Review Magazine editor Larry Bodine and Stephen Fairley join forces to deliver a compelling on-demand seminar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients; access this seminar now to learn:

  • 3 specific strategies that can immediately improve your website conversions
  • What elements you should and should not include on your website
  • How to effectively reach the 65% of consumers who like to gather information about their legal issue long before ever contacting an attorney
  • Ways to leverage top online attorney directories to control your online presence
  • Case studies on how top attorneys are using social media to attract more paying clients
  • Best practices for blogging and why Google loves them so much
  • The fastest ways to get to the top of Google

Click on this link now to receive the How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients seminar.

Are You Overlooking a Great Social Media Marketing Tool?

Many law firms have a LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profile and the savvy firms are actually publishing some great content and engaging with audiences of prospects and referral sources.  When someone Googles your firm, those social media sites are likely to be among the first results that pop up.

But remember, people buy from people they know, like and trust.  So it’s even likelier that instead of Googling the name of your firm, they could be searching under one of your attorney’s names or another person at your firm.

And that brings us to an often overlooked social media marketing tool: your employees!

No matter what the roles of the people at your firm, all employees should be mindful of how they are representing your firm online.  While you can’t really dictate what they should put on their profiles, you can encourage them to:

Create quality profiles.  Hopefully your employees are proud of where they work, so letting them know how they can help the firm by maintaining a high quality profile on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks makes sense.  Offer them consistent language to use in their profiles that reflect your firm’s branding strategy, and ask them to include links to your firm website and blog.  Have them post professional photos, especially on LinkedIn.

Share valuable content.  You and your employees should always be engaging your connections with valuable content, whether that is a position paper from your firm or something relevant to your clients and prospects from a third party source. 

Keep building your networks.  When you take on a new client, ask to connect with them online.  Do the same with referral sources and prospects, but be sure you actually know them.  Relevance matters when it comes to your connections, even more than size.

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Proven Strategies to Win More Clients for Family Law, Personal Injury and Estate Planning Attorneys

Does this sound like you?

You spend thousands of dollars and countless hours trying to generate more business for your law firm. And still you end up with less business than you hoped. You’ve put “get more clients” at the top of your list, but have no time to do anything about it.

If someone calls your office and doesn’t make an appointment, what happens to them?

What if they don’t show up for the appointment?

What if they show up and don’t retain you?

What if they want to retain you and you never hear from them again?

If you answered, “I don’t know” or “We leave a message,” then this on-demand seminar is for you. Register online to receive the Proven Strategies to Win More Clients seminar, where you will learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • 3 steps for turning more leads into appointments
  • 5 ways to increase your “show up” rates
  • 4 ways to get more appointments to sign up this week
  • What to do when a prospect doesn’t sign up at the initial consultation

Lead Conversion is one of the most overlooked areas at consumer law firms. You spend tens of thousands of dollars every year trying to generate more leads…yet virtually nothing to ensure you convert the maximum amount of those leads into paying clients!

Lead conversion is the 5-stage process of converting more prospects into paying clients and turning more browsers into buyers. Over the last decade, The Rainmaker Institute has become a national leader in assisting consumer law firms to rapidly and dramatically increase their conversion rates.

We have worked with all types of consumer law firms to help them double and even triple their conversion rates within 3-6 months.

If you want to double your revenues this year there are 2 ways you can do it: either double the amount of leads you get each month or double your conversion rates!

Click here now for this on-demand seminar and discover how attorneys just like you are doubling their revenues by converting more of their costly leads into more paying clients!

What's In a Name? Maybe a New Client. 7 Tips for Remembering Names

A famous quote has it that, “The sweetest sound to anyone's ears is the sound of his own name.” Funny that people who quote this don’t know the name of the person who said it:  Robert C. Lee, an author of books for children and young adults.

It’s often quoted because it’s true.  We all want to be memorable.  And it’s important to remember the names of those you meet at networking events since they could be potential new clients.

Here, from Entrepreneur.com, are 7 tips to help you better remember the names of those you meet:

1.  Pay attention.  This sounds silly, but often we meet someone and pay little attention to his or her name.  Maybe you’re introduced to a group all at once, or someone introduces themselves and then jumps right to the conversation.  Try as hard as you can to listen to the name of the person you just met.

2.  Say the name out loud as soon as possible.  Repeat the name to yourself and then say it out loud to the person you just met: “It’s nice to meet you, Shelley.”  Then repeat the name to yourself again.  After your conversation, use their name again: “I look forward to hearing from you, Shelley.”

3.  Make a comment on the name.  “Do you spell ‘Shelley’ with a ‘y’ or an ‘I’?”

4.  Associate the name with something meaningful.  If you know someone else named Shelley, tie them together in your mind by picturing them standing next to each other.

5.  Form an association.  If Shelley is short, remember short Shelley.  Bob Brown has brown hair. 

6.  Keep looking at the person’s card or nametag.  As you speak with the person, glance at their nametag or business card as you chat.  This will help you associate the name with the face.  After the conversation is over, make some quick notes on the back of the business card.

7.   Get the app.  Yes, there is an app for helping you remember names:  Namerick.

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FREE Report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Drive the Snakes Out of Your Social Media Marketing

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and legend has it that this 5th century Irish missionary and bishop drove all the snakes out of Ireland after they attacked him while he was undertaking a 40-day fast.

However, this interesting legend has largely been disproved by modern-day science that shows Ireland most probably never had any snakes in the first place!

If your social media marketing program is not performing to your standards, perhaps it’s time for you to drive out a few snakes.  These mistakes can be poisonous to any social media plan:

No social media brand guidelines.  Have you established guidelines for how your law firm brand will be controlled online?  You need to determine who will be responsible for updating, posting and monitoring all your social media platforms, how often you will post, what kind of content you will post, the types of images to be used and a distinct voice for your brand online.

No engagement.  Do you broadcast your social media messages rather than engage directly with your friends and followers?  Social media is a conversation, and if it’s all one-way (your way), no one will be compelled to follow you.

No schedule.  You need to create a regular schedule for your posts and stick to it.  Social media is a habit, and if you don’t feed this habit, your followers are likely to forget about you.

No strategy.  You need to establish social media goals and use those to drive your messaging, rather than relying on a “spur of the moment” posting strategy.

No response.  You should respond to everyone who asks you a question or posts a comment, and you should do it quickly.  This is another reason it is imperative to have a designated person actively monitoring the social media networks where you are active.

No tracking.  There should be business reasons why you are participating in social media, and you should be tracking against these goals to see if you are reaching your desired outcome.  Remember a key rule of marketing in any medium: if it matters, it should be measured.

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New On Demand Webinar:  How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn

The Rainmaker Institute’s business development specialist Alec Borenstein is featured on this online webinar that is now available on demand:  From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn.

Most attorneys already have a profile on LinkedIn, but very few know how to effectively use it to build a powerful referral network. With over 238 million professionals on LinkedIn, it has become one of the easiest ways to rapidly identify strategic contacts and build relationships with them!

In this advanced, information-packed 60-minute webinar you’ll learn:

  • How to generate targeted connections using LinkedIn
  • How to join and create LinkedIn groups to target your key referral sources and clients
  • Tools to land 2-4 lunches every month with your connections and referral partners
  • What to say during these meetings to ensure prospects remember you
  • How to follow up after your LinkedIn lunch

Click on this link now to access the one-hour webinar, From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn.

 

Google+ Best Practices for Business

Did you know that Google+ is now the second largest social network?  Yep, only Facebook is bigger. 

This, coupled with the fact that those actively involved in Google+ perform better in Google search, is the reason you need to integrate Google+ into your social media marketing for your law firm.

LawMarketing.com put on a really interesting seminar last week on how lawyers can use Google+ to market their firms and gave away a book written by two attorneys that has gotten rave reviews on Amazon:  Google+ for Lawyers.  You can download it to your Kindle or other reader for only 3 bucks.

The infographic below from Milestone Internet also has some basic tips on best practices for using Google+ for your business:

How to Use Google+ for Business

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FREE Law Firm Marketing Strategy Session with a Rainmaker Advisor

Having an online presence is a must for attorneys who want to effectively market and grow their firms. 

It should be no secret that the Internet is one of the most cost effective lead sources for attorneys today. Even if a portion of your client base includes referrals, you can be sure that they are checking you out on the Web before they give you a call.

But how do you know you are going about it the right way?

Please give us a call at 888-588-5891 or click here to sign up for a free one-on-one Strategy Session with a Rainmaker Advisor who will listen to your specific marketing challenges. 

The Rainmaker Advisors are handpicked and trained to identify marketing strategies that you can implement to grow your practice.

The #1 Way to Stay Top of Mind With Referral Sources & Clients

As I wrote yesterday, staying connected with referral sources and clients you want to hire you again and again is imperative.  In my experience over the past decade of working with more than 10,00 attorneys, I’ve found one simple solution that will help you achieve this goal without much effort or expense on your part:

A Simple Solution – Newsletters

One of the easiest, and most overlooked, tools in your arsenal is creating and distributing a monthly newsletter. This is an easy way for you to reach out to your entire network at the same time and to keep your name and your firm in their mind.

Firstly, when I say newsletter, I mean an electronic newsletter. Like all contact in today’s age, newsletters have gone digital. This is an obvious solution for several reasons:

No Print Costs – Since this is a digital only product, you can send it out to a never-ending list of contacts (just make sure they opt-in). There is no cost associated with the digital format.

It Establishes a Dialogue – When someone receives something in print, they need to take a few extra steps to contact the advertiser. With the Internet, consumers are able to respond instantaneously to digital communications. Most email marketing companies make it easy to provide links to email and social media. The easier you make it for a contact to share information, the more likely they will share it.

It’s Easy to Track – With email marketing companies like Constant Contact and Vertical Response, they will make tracking your effectiveness simple. They know who opened your email, who opted out, who clicked through. It’s an easy way for you to find out if the newsletter is working.

Keeping Them Informed – With a newsletter, you can include information about other marketing highlights you want to share. Did someone just get an award? Did a case just settle? Did someone new join the firm? Consider doing a profile on a different employee each month. It’s another way for your contacts to feel more connected to the firm.

Keep in Touch – Use the newsletter to keep in touch with former clients. It will reinforce the positive impression you had on them and ensure that you are top of mind if a new issue arises. The more people you have on the list, the further your reach. There is a direct correlation between the size of your contact database and the size of your bank account. Make sure that you have a system in place to capture all contacts – prospects, clients, referrals, leads, etc.

Educate Your Clients – If you handled my divorce, then I may not think of you when it comes time to hire an estate planning attorney. That isn’t my fault though, it’s yours. I didn’t know that you are also an estate planning attorney. When I think about you, I think divorce. Make sure that this doesn’t happen to you. Your past, current and future clients and referral sources need to know about all your practice areas. A newsletter is a good way for them to learn that you are knowledgeable on more than one topic. Don’t let them put you in a box.

By sharing pertinent information with your network of contacts, you will ensure that you are at the top of their mind. The more valuable and relevant you make the information, the more positively they will think of you and your firm. By giving them information that is relevant to their legal needs or industry, then they will see you as a constant asset to them. It is a long road of small interactions, but by focusing on creating a solid relationship with your network you will benefit in the end.

There are a growing number of skeptics in the marketing world, who question the effectiveness of email marketing. Whenever a law firm comes to me and tells me that they’ve issued newsletters, but pigeonholed them as ineffective, I know they’re doing something wrong.

Here are 4 cardinal mistakes that you need to avoid:

1.  Not sending the newsletter frequently enough – an annual newsletter isn’t enough;

2.  Your newsletter is too long – people are busy, get to the point;

3.  Not checking the effectiveness of the newsletter; and

4.  The worst sin of all, running promotional, uninformative content.

The benefits are obvious and the risks nearly non-existent. I highly recommend you start your monthly e-newsletter campaign as soon as possible.

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FREE REPORT:  8 Reasons Small Firms & Solos Should Publish an E-newsletter PLUS 3 Steps to Get Started

In less than a few hours a month, you can produce an effective electronic newsletter, also known as an “E-newsletter.”

An E-newsletter is a customized electronic newsletter that is commonly used in business, but rarely in the field of law. If you are truly interested in the long-term success and sustainability of your practice, you need to learn how to leverage technology and the Internet to build it.

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

The cost benefits of an e-newsletter

  • How to incorporate your e-newsletter with your social networking
  • How an e-newsletter supports your marketing efforts
  • How to get started right away with your e-newsletter
  • And much, much more!

To get your free report now, click here.

Getting Referrals & Repeats: How to Stay Connected to Your Network

Intuitively, we all know that when we’re off the radar, we’re not on our clients’ minds. At the same time, every attorney knows that referrals and returning clients are some of their strongest sources of business. So, how do you stay connected? How do you stay on their radar?

I will begin with a well-known marketing principle – the Law of 7 Touches. Under this theory of thought, it takes seven meaningful touches to make a lasting impression on someone. In today’s marketplace of over access to everything, we may, in fact, need more than seven touches.

Look at Twitter – it is a constant stream of updating statuses. One tweet is irrelevant 10 minutes – or in some cases one minute – later. The world – and your prospect – has moved on to the next latest blurb. In this overly saturated world, the marketing world has accepted that this number is now somewhere around 12.

Defining Meaningful

So what differentiates between a meaningful touch and a normal, entirely unremarkable touch? Running through a networking event and talking at everyone for a moment is not sufficient. You need to make a lasting positive impression at least 12 times to remain relevant in the eyes of your prospective client or prospective referral source.

Here are some easy and meaningful ways to reach out to your network:

  • Host a seminar and invite contacts to attend.
  • Call up your former clients and check in with them; see how they’re doing.
  • Attend a local networking event and make a point to listen to other attorneys.
  • Attend a networking event in the industry you serve – ask attendees questions about their needs, their concerns, etc.
  • Schedule lunch with an old referral contact and catch up.
  • If you see some information on a topic of interest to a client or colleague, forward it on.

Tomorrow I’ll discuss the one easiest, most cost effective way that attorneys can stay in touch with your network.

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On-Demand Seminar: How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients

After paying your employees, the most costly part of your law firm is Lead Generation.

This year your law firm will spend almost 10 times as much generating new leads as it does servicing existing clients!

Generating leads for your law firm is very expensive, yet a common complaint of many attorneys is that they “need more leads.”

Lead Conversion is the most overlooked area at most law firms and it has the potential to save you tens of thousands of dollars this year!

How? By helping you convert more of those costly leads into more paying clients!

Get this on-demand seminar to learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • A proven system for converting more leads into paying clients

You can watch the How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients seminar at your convenience by clicking here now

3 Steps to Build Your Legal Brand Online

For most attorneys, reputation is everything.  Back in the day, attorneys gained their reputations primarily through word-of-mouth and personal interaction.  Today, building a reputation must contain an online element since this is where most people gather and interact in the 21st century.

Here are three steps that will help you build your legal brand online:

1.  Own your niche.  To own a niche online, you have to produce rich content and share it constantly.  And it is much easier to build your brand in a select niche than it is to stand out in a huge market like “attorneys”.   Like Stephen always says, “it’s the niches that lead to riches.”  Even online, it’s important for you to focus on your geographic region so you are able to niche your practice in an area that can provide living, breathing clients for your practice.

2.  Nurture your contacts.  Once you’ve started to build an online audience, it’s important for you to focus effort on nurturing them.  Find the places online where your target market is hanging out, then go there and connect with them.  LinkedIn Groups are great for identifying captive audiences of potential followers and referral sources.  Use that rich content you are providing online to help the members of your groups solve their problems.

3.  Engage.  When people post a comment to a blog post or online article, take the time to engage with them.  Take your current contact list – the people you already know – and find them online, then engage with them there – friend on Facebook, follow on Twitter, endorse on LinkedIn.  If you give a speech or attend a conference, be sure to collect business cards from the people you meet there and start interacting with those new contacts online.

These steps will take some time and effort on your part, but the rewards in terms of referrals and leads will be well worth it.

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How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear

Your price is too high! I can’t afford that.”

“Why should I hire you? I think I can handle this by myself.”

Have you heard any of these objections lately?

How did you respond?

What are the most effective ways to overcome these objections?

How do top Rainmakers reply?

If you’re like many attorneys you hear these objections every day…yet you aren’t sure your responses are effective. We can help you change that!

Over the course of this pre-recorded 60-minute webinar you will discover:

  • The top 5 biggest objections attorneys hear and how to overcome them
  • An easy 2-step process to effectively turn a “No” into a “Yes”
  • How to answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”
  • The #1 reason you are not converting more prospects into paying clients
  • How to get past “price” and uncover the prospect’s true objection

Click on this link now to access the How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear webinar now.

Happy 25th Anniversary to the Internet!

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Internet, and a new Pew Research report on Internet usage in the U.S. has just been released to coincide with the occasion.

A bit of background:  the World Wide Web was first proposed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee on March 12, 1989, in a paper he wrote about an information management system that eventually evolved into the architectural and conceptual structure for the Internet.  He released computer code for the new system on Christmas Day in 1990 – what a gift!

It was just 19 years ago that only about 14% of Americans used the Internet; today that number is 87% overall.  Here is the breakdown for Internet usage among American adults by important demographic groups:

In just 25 years, the Internet has caused a fundamental shift in how we communicate and do business.  Just think of the way we find information:  we no longer use dictionaries or phone books or really anything in print, we just Google it.  And this has brought a revolution to the legal profession in the way you market your services.

Truly understanding all the new avenues that the Internet provides your business is my business.  I write this blog to provide attorneys with tons of free legal marketing information, and I teach how to apply that knowledge at our monthly Rainmaker Retreat law firm marketing seminars across the country.

We just added a new date for April in San Antonio; here are the current upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions:

March 27-28, 2014 – New York City

April 25-26, 2014 – San Antonio, TX

For more information or to register online, visit www.rainmakerretreat.com or call us at 888-588-5891.  Early registrants get special discounts.

10 Steps to Double Your Referrals From Other Attorneys

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of addressing the 2014 National Trial Lawyers Summit in Miami on the topic of lead generation and conversion. 

Of course, one of the topics of great interest to a room full of attorneys is how to get referrals from other attorneys!  Although I didn’t go into great deal on that subject that day, I did subsequently author an article for the National Trial Lawyers website on a proven 10-step process attorneys can use to double their referrals from other attorneys.

Unfortunately, too many attorneys rely on random referrals -- referrals that may or may not come – as opposed to methodically generating new files with referrals.

Developing a referral relationship is a continuing, two-way process. It can't just be you asking your legal peers for referrals. It requires regular contact and you showing as much concern for their business as you are asking them to show for yours. Most referral sources will only send you referrals if they know will offer a referral fee and make referrals back to them.

You can use this proven 10-step step system to create a referral network of other attorneys:

1. Identify your best possible referral sources.

Start with other attorneys with whom you don't directly compete and non-attorneys who are in position to refer you (medical professionals, chiropractors or auto repair shops). Continue with litigators in other firms -- look for attorneys in high volume practice areas such as bankruptcy, social security disability insurance law and workers comp attorneys. Also include litigators who are conflicted out of a case, smaller firms that don't have the bandwidth to handle major catastrophic injuries cases, family law attorneys and criminal defense lawyers.

2. Advertise your interest in receiving referrals.

Make it easy for a referring lawyer with a million-dollar file to know about you. It makes sense to follow the example of hundreds of lawyers nationwide that advertise in magazines and websites for lawyers, such as The Trial Lawyer. To attract the cases you want to:

  • Demonstrate your expertise by listing examples of your jury awards and settlements.
  • Spell out the kind of cases you seek, whether it's class actions, product liability or mass tort cases.
  • Display rankings and accolades you have earned.
  • Emphasize that you appreciatively pay referral fees.

3. Market like a specialist.

For the rest of the article visit the National Trial Lawyers website.

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Get More Proven Legal Marketing Strategies FREE Every Month!

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

This month, Stephen Fairley details how attorneys can leverage LinkedIn to attract prospects in 10 easy-to-follow steps. 

Every issue of the Rainmaker Report is full of legal marketing information you can put to use right away and share with your staff to maximize the effectiveness of your law firm marketing efforts. 

Click here now to subscribe to The Rainmaker Institute Law Firm Marketing Newsletter.

Take Timing Into Consideration With Your Email Marketing

Experian Marketing Services recently released its 2013 Q4 Email Benchmark Report that showed a continuing trend from previous reports on how timing your email marketing can have a real impact on response rates.

The report looked at two variables:  time of day and day of the week.  Regarding time of day, the report found that emails sent during off-peak hours, when email volume is typically at its lowest, results in better response rates.  This chart provides an in-depth look into that phenomenon:

If you look at an email inbox as another marketing medium where you have others competing for the recipient’s attention, then it makes perfect sense that you will get noticed if there is less competition for your message.  According to Experian, then, the best times to send would be between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.  Emails sent between 8 p.m. and midnight enjoyed the highest open rate, unique click rate, transaction rate and revenue per email. 

Looking at days of the week, Experian found that emails sent on weekends performed best in terms of open and click rates:

The Experian report did include disclaimers about the data, noting that it is retrospective and not a controlled study – and that individual results may vary when it comes to timing data.  What this means is that these findings are not a substitute for doing your own email marketing testing to see when your unique audience responds best to your emails. 

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FREE REPORT:  8 Reasons Small Firms & Solos Should Publish an E-newsletter PLUS 3 Steps to Get Started

In less than a few hours a month, you can produce an effective electronic newsletter, also known as an “E-newsletter.”

An E-newsletter is a customized electronic newsletter that is commonly used in business, but rarely in the field of law. If you are truly interested in the long-term success and sustainability of your practice, you need to learn how to leverage technology and the Internet to build it.

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

  • The cost benefits of an e-newsletter
  • How to incorporate your e-newsletter with your social networking
  • How an e-newsletter supports your marketing efforts
  • How to get started right away with your e-newsletter
  • And much, much more!

To get your free report now, click here.

How to Help Your Law Firm Spring Forward

Did you remember to “spring forward” today?  Most of the U.S. set their clocks one hour ahead to go on daylight saving time except for those of us here in Arizona where I live and also in Hawaii.  You won’t get that hour back until November 2.

When it comes to marketing your law firm, are you losing time?  Maybe you’ve gotten a late start on social media marketing, or are still playing catch-up when it comes to implementing the latest Internet marketing and lead generation practices. 

There is a way to catch up by attending a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing seminar that focuses on the unique problems facing small law firms and attorneys in mid-sized practices.  Each Rainmaker Retreat session provides advanced hands-on training for lead generation, legal marketing automation, and Internet and social media marketing strategies specifically designed to help attorneys generate more and better referrals for their law firm, and convert more prospects into paying clients.

The majority of our clients are firms with 2 to 25 attorneys, and we know that cash flow is a major factor in almost all your decisions.  At each Rainmaker Retreat, we dive deep into how to market your law firm using 65 proven low cost and no cost marketing strategies, how to leverage social media to attract more clients and build your business, as well as practical tips for converting more prospects into paying clients. We focus on low cost and no cost tools and methods to better manage and grow a small law firm.

We have two upcoming sessions in March and April:

March 27-28, 2014 – New York City

April 25-26, 2014 – San Antonio, TX

For more information or to register online, visit www.rainmakerretreat.com or call us at 888-588-5891.  Early registrants get special discounts – the Early Bird discount for the NYC Rainmaker Retreat ends at midnight ET tonight!

FREE March 12 LawMarketiing.com Seminar on Using Google + to Market Your Law Firm

On Wednesday, March, 12 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, join LawMarketing.com Editor-in-Chief Cindy Greenway and AttorneyRankings.com president Chris Dreyer for a free one-hour teleseminar on the Top 5 Ways to Market Your Practice & Improve Your Brand Recognition With Google+.

Many attorneys have confessed that they are confused by Google+ and how it can benefit their law firm, but with more than 350 million monthly users, you can no longer afford to ignore it.  If you need only one reason to pay attention, then be aware that strong Google+ users often rank better in Google search.

During this teleseminar, you will learn:

  • How law firms are benefiting from Google+ TODAY and how you’re missing out if you’re not using Google+
  • Where to easily locate and build relationships with top influencers within your niche on Google+
  • 3 top methods to increase engagement on Google+ (and gain more visibility than your competition)
  • When to participate in Shared Circle Campaigns and how they help you effectively market your practice.
  • How to leverage each of your law firm's attorneys on Google+ so you can gain even more exposure online for your law firm

In addition, you will receive a copy of the "Google+ For Lawyers Handbook" that will include the basics to getting started with Google+.

Click on this link to register online for the Top 5 Ways to Market Your Practice & Improve Your Brand Recognition With Google+on Wednesday, March, 12 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

How to Write Blog Posts People Actually Want to Read

The purpose of having a blog is to foster an online dialogue with prospects, clients and referral sources so that when they need someone who does what you do, they will think of your first.  Drawing people into your conversation requires you to often step outside your comfort zone, since most attorneys write the way they were trained to do in law school.

But when it comes to writing blog posts that people actually want to read, that just doesn’t cut it.

The most important thing to remember when writing for those who don’t practice law for a living is to be authentic.  And the best way to do this is to write the way you talk.  As you sit down to craft a new post, imagine you are talking to a friend who needs your guidance on a legal issue.  Use the same words you use in your everyday life.  Forget the grammar rules and write your draft, then go back over it to correct any glaring grammatical errors. 

The infographic below, courtesy of Copyblogger.com, outlines the other essentials for writing blog posts.  Print it off and keep a copy by your computer to refer to as you write.  Following these simple guidelines will have you authoring a compelling, lead-generating blog in no time.

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FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

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

  • Why you must have a blog in order to stay relevant
  • 3 keys to successful blogging
  • 7 Guidelines for achieving ROI
  • Your 3 choices for managing your blog and social media efforts
  • And much more!

Click now for your FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal.

Gender Diversity Found Lacking in Latest Am Law 200 Partnership Class

According to a recent article at The Am Law Daily, just 30 percent of the 493 new partners named by 51 Am Law 200 firms at the beginning of this year are female – down from 24 percent in 2013 and 32 percent in 2012.

In five of the firms, not one female lawyer received a promotion to partner.  Two of the firms – Locke Lord and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher – categorized their all-male partnership class as an “anomaly” and said they were committed to gender equality.  Two other firms -- Edwards Wildman Palmer and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan – refused to discuss the matter with The Am Law Daily and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton did not respond.

Jaffe PR, which provides public relations services to law firms, had a post on its blog yesterday on how PR can help law firms boost their gender diversity profile.  Jaffe recommends that firms committed to demonstrating gender diversity should conduct an audit to determine their firm’s “PR diversity ratio”. 

The audit should collect data on the firm’s media quotes, speaking engagements and thought leadership efforts (articles, blogs, etc.) and then parse that data by gender, practice area and industry groups.  This will provide management with the firm’s PR diversity profile.

If the profile points up the need for improvement, firms should use these insights as a base for structuring a PR program aimed at boosting their PR diversity profile.  This may require some investment in media and public speaking training as well as additional efforts toward professional networking.  

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New Free Report! The 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days: Key #1-Press Releases

One of the best ways to get you on the road to becoming a recognized expert is through the use of press releases.

A press release is simply a short announcement about your law firm that may be of interest to the public or news media.

A press release that not only targets the audience you want to reach, but intrigues the editor and/or publisher, will gain free media coverage that surpasses any response you could hope to gain from any of your company’s paid advertising campaigns.

In addition, Google search engines love press releases! 

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

  • What constitutes an effective press release
  • Ideas for press release content
  • How to format your press release
  • Where to submit your press release
  • Best days to send out your press release
  • …And much, much more!

Click on the following link to get your free report on The 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days: Key #1-Press Releases.

3 Steps to Getting Your Content Noticed Online

Probably one of the most frustrating things for law firms that invest time and money into content marketing is not seeing results...and by that I mean, immediate results. 

First of all, thinking that you can create content and then just sit back and watch while hundreds of prospects thirsty for this information will flock to you is just crazy.  Even if you have written outstanding, original content – and published consistently – there is no guarantee that you will see good results unless you put in the work to push it out there in front of folks.

Here are three steps you can employ to get your content noticed online:

Keep building your network.  When it comes to sales, the mantra is “ABC – Always Be Closing”.  But when it comes to content marketing, the mantra is “ABB – Always Be Building” – as in building your content library and your network of publishing outlets.  These publishers include other outlets that attract the same profile of readers as your target market and can be social media sites like LinkedIn, other bloggers in your space and online publications that are willing to publish you.  For example, my content is regularly published at the National Law Review site, on Avvo, on the Attorney at Law Magazine website and more attorney-focused websites.  This is a great way for you to get found online.

Make it easy to share.  Beyond putting share buttons on your website and blog, there are other ways to make your content easier to share by others.  These can include the formatting of your articles or posts to make them more reader friendly, including images that grab attention, creating infographics that tell your story, etc. 

Be unique.  Just like you have to differentiate your practice to rise above competitors, you also need to differentiate your content to do the same.  Don’t make the same point that everyone else is making – take a stand, be unique, adopt a different voice to attract an audience for your content.

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NEW “Rainmaker Retreat: Unplugged”
DVD Set Now Available!

The 6 DVD set is a live recording of the Rainmaker Retreat, a 2-day legal marketing intensive led by legal marketing expert Stephen Fairley that covers over 65 proven online and offline marketing and business development strategies for law firms.

You will discover:

  • Lead Generation Techniques: how to generate more leads from the Internet, social media and blogs.
  • Lead Conversion Techniques: a proven system to track incoming leads and improve your conversion rates to turn more of those prospects into paying clients.
  • Client Retention Techniques: specific tools to double your referrals and to help you with “Building a Lifestyle Law Firm®”
  • Engaging activities to help you identify your ideal target market so you can powerfully market to them.
  • Over 65 PROVEN online and offline legal marketing strategies.

Click here now to order Rainmaker Retreat: Unplugged.

What Clients Are Really Judging You On - And What You Can Do to Shine

Last month, an article at Forbes.com written by Micah Solomon, who counsels companies on client relationship management issues, made attorneys who read it do a double-take.  Here’s how it started out:

I’ve got a bit of a reality check for my friends in the legal industry:

Your law firm’s unlikely to build a loyal client base solely through your legal accomplishments and results.

It certainly got my attention since this is something I’ve been saying for years and am still met with blank stares when I tell lawyers that your competition is not the law firm down the street, it’s Amazon or Zappos or any other business that has taught consumers what to expect when it comes to best-in-class for customer service.

You see, clients don’t really understand the law, so they don’t really know how to judge if an attorney is good at practicing law.  Instead, they are judging you on the intangibles, and comparing you not to other attorneys but to other experiences they have had as a customer.

As covered in the Forbes piece, here are five tips for law firms on how to build client loyalty through exceptional service:

1.  Fast delivery.  The law is often a plodding thing, but clients don’t really understand that.  They expect you to produce what they need quickly, so if something is going to take a week or so, then tell them that.  It’s up to you to manage expectations.  Give them a date and stick to it.

2.  Benchmark against the best in service.  Don’t make the mistake of benchmarking your service delivery against other law firms; that won’t cut it these days.  Instead, benchmark yourself against the best in service-intensive sectors like hospitality, financial services, etc.  Do you make it easy to do business with you online?  If not, you have an easy, technology-based way to differentiate yourself immediately.

3.  Take your client’s side in service disputes.  It can be hard to drop a courtroom mindset when dealing with clients, but you must.  You need to apologize for lapses in service and show empathy, no matter who is at fault.  Your staff needs to adopt this approach as well.

4.  Scale your rates reasonably.  If you’re charging clients several hundred dollars an hour for mundane tasks like proofreading, find a way to get that down.  Your bills should explain all charges – and you should explain your fees in plain English upfront.  And don’t charge clients for lunches or lattes you would have had on your own anyway – those are the things they will likely remember the longest about their experience with your firm.

5.  Remember that every client defines service differently.  Every client is unique and wants to be treated as such.  Get to know your clients personally so you can anticipate their needs and hire people who are naturally empathetic so your clients will feel that you do truly care for them as an individual, not just a case number.

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Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

At The Rainmaker Institute, we define a “7-figure lifestyle law firm” as one that allows you to have the lifestyle that you want to live!

It’s more than just money or achieving a million dollars in revenue.

It’s about creating a lifestyle where you do what you love and building a business around your core values and interests.

In this recording of an interview between Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, and nationally recognized attorney John Bisnar, Stephen asks John to share with us some of the secrets he has used to create a law firm that allows him to go into the office only one day a week and take, on average, 3 to 4 months of vacation every year - all the while managing a very successful, multi-million dollar law firm!

You will receive either a CD or MP3 recording, plus we will email you a pdf transcript of the interview.

This interview will help you discover:

  • The difference between a law practice and a business
  • How to identify superstar employees to help you run your business
  • The difference between an Office Manager and a Business Manager
  • The 7 essential systems your firm must have & how to implement them
  • How to micromanage the client experience
  • Critical keys to success
  • And much more!

Click this link now to order Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

3 Great Legal Marketing Tips for Solos and Small Firms

Our Rainmaker Retreat in Miami earlier this month yielded several good questions from attendees during the Q&A session.  As is my habit, I will share some of these with our blog audience so you can benefit as well:

How do I decide whom to connect with on LinkedIn?

One of the most important things when it comes to LinkedIn is to have at least 500 connections. After you hit 501 connections, your profile will specify you as a “power user.”

If you think about your own psychology, you would most likely feel more inclined to connect with someone who has many connections versus few. Essentially we believe this person is more of an influencer. Regardless if this is true or not, it’s our perceptions that create reality.

The same is true when people consider connecting with you. So when you first become active on LinkedIn, I would advise you to be less restrictive about whom you connect with. After you hit the 500 mark, you can be far more picky about who you connect with.

Why do most solo attorneys hit a ceiling in regard to gross revenue?

The reason most solo attorneys can’t exceed $250,000 in gross revenues a year simply boils down to capacity issues. There are only so many hours in a week and weeks in a year. When you are the CEO, the attorney, the accountant, the marketer and wear several other hats in order to keep your business going, at some point you run out of time and effectiveness and you can’t bring in more revenue.

Without building a team and investing in them and a variety of necessary systems, your income will always directly be tied to the number of hours you can dedicate to work on a weekly basis.

A great friend of mine who is very successful with his legal practice says, “You can’t save your way to a multi-million dollar law firm, you have to spend your way to it.”

Essentially that means if you want to build a 7-figure lifestyle law firm, you must invest in people and systems in order to leverage time and grow beyond your own production capabilities.

What are some easy ways I can grow my email list?

A few great and easy ways to grow your list are:

1. Find ways to speak and present. Each time you do, make sure you collect the names and email address of everyone at the events. If for some reason the organizer will not give you this information, do a give-away during your presentation. In order for individuals to be eligible to receive your give-away, they must give you their business card or their name, number and email.

2. Every time you go to a networking event and collect business cards make sure these individuals are added to your database or e-newsletter list. Don’t worry, if someone gives you’re their information they are implicitly stating you can send them information. If for some reason they don’t want it, there is always the opportunity for them to unsubscribe or to ask to stop receiving the information.

3. Offer a freemium. On your website you can send people a free report (filled with information that is important and meaningful to them) in exchange for their contact information. For example you can send them an article titled “Top 6 questions to ask a criminal defense attorney before hiring” as soon as they give you their info. You can have this automated so you or someone else is not personally responsible for sending out the article, but it goes automatically after your system gets their info.

4. Any time you send out an e-newsletter, encourage those who receive it to forward it on to anyone they know who can also benefit from the information.

5. Have a “e-newsletter” opt-in form on your website so people who visit your site can opt-in to receive your e-newsletter. 

One way you can really benefit yourself and your firm this year is to attend a Rainmaker Retreat.  Our next session will be March 27-28 in New York City and we've also added a session on April 25-26 in San Antonio, TX.

To learn more or register online, visit www.rainmakerretreat.com

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5 Easy Steps to Create Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

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

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

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

Click here to download, and start using these proven strategies today!

How Female Attorneys Can Take a Leadership Role in Their Law Firms

Generally speaking, I’ve found that women are superior relationship builders and excel at staying connected with their communities.  I believe that female attorneys do have innate abilities that can help them do a better job of attracting and retaining clients than most male attorneys – a key asset in rising in the ranks within a law firm.

This new LawMarketing.com video interview explores how female attorneys can establish themselves as a leader in their law firms.  LawMarketing.com editor Cindy Greenway talked to Kimberly Rice at KLA Marketing, a legal marketing firm that specializes in working with female lawyers, who shares a few tips on strategies female attorneys can use to assume a leadership role within their firms:

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

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

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

The Brave New World of Legal Services [INFOGRAPHIC]

No lawyer – unless he or she has been practicing under a rock the last decade -- can argue that the delivery of legal services is changing. 

This infographic, based on data collected by Online-Paralegal-Degree.org from the New York Times, Altman Weil and other sources, demonstrates how technology and changing consumer habits has impacted the legal profession today and how it will continue to do so in the future:

The Future of Law
Source: Online-Paralegal-Degree.org

We make it our business to teach attorneys practicing as solos or in small law firms to recognize and embrace the change and use it to their advantage for lead generation and practice management.  We do this primarily through our monthly Rainmaker Retreat law firm marketing seminars; the next one is scheduled for March 27-28 in New York City.

Here is just a small sample of the actionable methods you will learn at the Rainmaker Retreat:

Specific strategies highly successful attorneys are using right now on the Internet and with social media to attract hundreds of people to their websites and blogs every month, convert them to paying clients, and keep them coming back and sending a steady stream of referrals!

Dozens of ways to drastically reduce the cost of your marketing campaigns and still get more clients than you might believe possible.

How to implement low cost marketing tools and systems that let you control your practice – instead of your practice controlling you!

Experience why 35 of the largest State and local Bar Associations have sponsored our events. With our 100% Money Back Guarantee, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain by attending a Rainmaker Retreat.

To register online, visit www.rainmakerretreat.com or call us at 888-588-5891.  We offer an Early Bird discount that can save you 15% off the regular registration fee!

5 Reasons Why You Need to Hire a Professional Writer

Great copywriting for blogs, websites and other online content takes more than just a way with words.  Writers who do this for a living know things like the importance of creating compelling calls-to-action, optimizing for search, using formats that draw readers in using things like bullet points and lists, and other tricks of the trade.

Some lawyers love to write, and if you are one of those, then there’s a resource I’d like to recommend to you right now:  Copyblogger.com.  You will find lots of tips there for applying the techniques used by professional copywriters to create great content for the Web. 

But there are scenarios that should compel you to call in a pro; here are 5 of them:

1.  You’re not a good writer.  Good writers love to write, but if you’re not in that group, there are plenty of people out there for you to hire or partner with in creating great content for your law firm.  Yes, we do this for our attorney clients.  There are also some great freelancers on Elance.com and other online job boards.  Or maybe someone at your firm has this hidden talent.  Find it, invest in it, and reap the benefits.

2.  You don’t have the time.  You went to law school to practice law, right?  Creating content for blogs, social media and websites takes consistent effort and the investment of someone’s time, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be your time. 

3.  You need expertise you don’t have.  If you’re not up to speed on the latest SEO practices for online content, you need to either educate yourself or find a good writer with this expertise.  Maybe you can write blogs, but you need help with your e-newsletter or free reports – this calls for a specialist with a particular skill set for creating content that will entice prospects.

4.  You can’t see the forest for the trees.  Most attorneys are great at writing...for other attorneys.  You’re too close to your subject and lose sight of the importance of writing for your target market.  

5.  It’s too important.  If you’re convinced of the importance of having the best possible messaging going out to your prospects and clients, and building your online reputation, leaving the development of that content to chance is a sure way to screw up.  Bad copy can kill your credibility.

Whether you do it in-house or hire a professional writer, remember that you are always in charge of your messaging.  Your writer should be your marketing partner, understand your firm and your target market as well as the legal ethical standards you are held to, and maintain your high standards.  Even if you are not doing the actual work, the final responsibility for your legal marketing rests with you.

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Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

At The Rainmaker Institute, we define a “7 figure lifestyle law firm” as one that allows you to have the lifestyle that you want to live!

It’s more than just money or achieving a million dollars in revenue.

It’s about creating a lifestyle where you do what you love and building a business around your core values and interests.

In this recording of an interview between Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, and nationally recognized attorney John Bisnar, Stephen asks John to share with us some of the secrets he has used to create a law firm that allows him to go into the office only one day a week and take, on average, 3 to 4 months of vacation every year - all the while managing a very successful, multi-million dollar law firm!

You will receive either a CD or MP3 recording, plus we will email you a pdf transcript of the interview.

This interview will help you discover:

  • The difference between a law practice and a business
  • How to identify superstar employees to help you run your business
  • The difference between an Office Manager and a Business Manager
  • The 7 essential systems your firm must have & how to implement them
  • How to micromanage the client experience
  • Critical keys to success
  • And much more!

Click this link now to order Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

New Social Network for Attorneys Now Online

A new social network for attorneys – Foxwordy – has now launched and is offering any lawyer who is “an innovator and influencer in the legal industry” a free three-month membership to what its founder is calling an “invitation-only private social-networking platform brings together relevant top-tier legal colleagues to efficiently collaborate in real-time.”

Forbes ran a story on the Foxwordy launch today, and it appears that this new site is aimed at creating a new attorney-to-attorney referral platform.  Foxwordy founder Monica Zent said that the site provides a way for attorneys to gain a peer validated reputation and encourages collaborations that would normally happen via the phone, in person or by email.

Some of the site’s features include:

  • Real-time collaboration with other lawyers working on common issues
  • Ability for attorneys to share best practices and language for legal documents
  • Listing of job opportunities similar to LinkedIn

Zent says there are currently 1,000 members on the website that is now out of beta.  The network will not be available to the public; it is designed solely as a website for attorneys to share information and collaborate, and membership is by invitation only.  You provide your name and email address on the home page to request an invitation.  

It was unclear on the site how you are vetted for membership; since the site’s revenue model is based on subscriptions alone ($10 per month), I was guessing that the bar isn’t set too high.  And I was proven right after I had one of my non-attorney staff members enter her name and Gmail address, and she received a congratulatory email minutes later on her acceptance.

I’d be interested to hear from attorneys who sign up and participate on this new social network for lawyers – what are you finding of most value for your practice from this new social media tool?

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FREE Report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Save Time and Money by Automating Your Lead Conversion Process

I’ve known Ken Hardison, a North Carolina personal injury attorney and president of the Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing and Management Association, for years and have even spoken at several of his annual events.

Ken is one of the few attorneys I know with a really good grasp on how to market a law firm, and no matter what kind of law you practice, you can learn from him as well.  One of his recent blog posts discussed the importance of automating your lead capture and conversion process, and that subject is worthy of my time and attention today – not just because we implement lots of these programs for attorneys, but because it’s something that tends to get lost in the legal marketing mix and can really benefit your firm.

Most of the solos and small firms we know have a finite amount of time to dedicate to legal marketing, so having a process in place that nurtures a lead along the path to becoming a client is a great benefit. 

As Ken notes in his recent post, one of the best ways to capture leads is through education marketing.  Offering a free report on your website in exchange for a prospect’s email address is a true win-win:  it’s a great way to capture those leads that may not be ready to pick up the phone or send an email and your prospect gets a free guide that helps them understand their legal issue better.

So here is how the process goes when you automate it correctly:

-  Prospect visits your website and enters their email address to get your free guide

-  Your auto-responder system emails them the guide and a few tasty tidbits about your firm

-  An automated drip email campaign begins where your prospect is sent pre-written emails according to a schedule you establish in your system that educates them more about your firm, the steps they should take next, testimonials from previous clients, a free consultation offer, etc.  

The goal is to lead the prospect along the buying path and get them to do what you want – call, set an appointment, etc.  And it’s all done automatically, with no intervention from you or your staff needed until the prospect calls and your regular intake process begins.

We also use the same system to nurture qualified leads until they become clients, sending a series of emails to prospects that miss an appointment or fail to hire you after the initial consultation.

Want to learn more?  Take advantage of my offer now for a free marketing strategy session – see below for details.

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FREE Law Firm Marketing Strategy Session with a Rainmaker Advisor

Want to discover proven marketing strategies that top law firms are using right now to generate more leads and referrals and convert them into paying clients?

Don’t understand social media or have time for it, but know that your law firm marketing program desperately needs to include it?

Please give us a call at 888-588-5891 or click here to sign up for a free one-on-one Strategy Session with a Rainmaker Advisor who will listen to your specific marketing challenges. 

The Rainmaker Advisors are handpicked and trained to identify marketing strategies that you can implement to grow your practice.

Are Martindale-Hubbell and Lawyers.com Dead? Why Every Martindale Client Should Care

In August 2013, LexisNexis and Internet Brands, a California-based new media company that also owns Nolo, announced the formation of a joint venture that merged the assets of the LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® Internet marketing solutions business and the Lawyers.com consumer website with Internet Brands’ existing online marketing services for lawyers through its Nolo legal division.

Internet Brands, which started as CarsDirect.com, creates lead generation websites in nine vertical markets: Automotive, Careers, Health, Home, Legal, Lending, Licensing, Shopping and Travel.  It is owned by Hellman & Friedman, a private equity firm, and is publicly traded on the NASDAQ exchange under the INET symbol.

Legal marketing insiders were naturally curious about what this “joint venture” would mean for the established and well-regarded Martindale-Hubbell ratings system and for Lawyers.com, a major consumer law site which at one time had four million unique visitors per month, and which also provided a well-known website development and SEO services to thousands of attorneys nationwide.

Have Martindale-Hubbell and Lawyers.com really been “shut down”?

Then in October 2013, a big axe fell when LexisNexis announced that 205 people who had previously worked for Martindale-Hubbell and Lawyers.com were being let go.  Although there was no formal announcement by either JV partner, Law Technology News reported on the layoffs and quoted an email from LexisNexis Legal & Profession CEO Michael Walsh saying that, “Going forward, these roles will be carried out by the El Segundo-based Internet Brands team in California.” However, no one has been able to confirm if any additional employees were hired by Internet Brands to perform the thousands of monthly tasks required by Martindale or Lawyers.com clients.

For the thousands of law firms that have contracts with Martindale and Lawyers.com, there are several critical questions that remain unanswered:

  • What has happened to the thousands of law firms who have monthly website and SEO contracts? Is any work actually being done on their sites?
  • How is Internet Brands producing the SEO, social media, or blogging content for the thousands of loyal law firms who continue to pay for these services every month when everyone who did the work was fired?
  • How do changes get made to attorney’s websites when the New Jersey building where all the workers who did this work is currently sitting empty and on the market?
  • Why should law firms continue to pay for a listing on Martindale when nothing is being done to drive traffic to the website?

A quick check of the Internet Brands website earlier this month showed it didn’t mention either Martindale-Hubbell or Lawyers.com! This made us even more curious about the future of these established brands. We reached out to Internet Brands to request an interview and within days of our call, both brands suddenly appeared on their website. 

We spoke with Rod Stoddard, president of the Martindale-Hubbell joint venture, who said that most of the laid off LexisNexis employees that served Martindale-Hubbell and Lawyers.com were “shared services” employees that LexisNexis found they no longer needed, citing the layoffs as a reorganization effort within LexisNexis.

Who remains to do the work?

Stoddard also said that more than 350 people from LexisNexis moved to the joint venture and that “everything is the same, we are only trying to make it better.”  However, that directly contradicts what we heard from several former Martindale / Lawyers.com employees who are now looking for jobs. They couldn’t name anyone who had “moved over” to the joint venture. Furthermore, there are reports that Martindale is not taking on any new web contracts which would lead us to believe that nothing is “the same.”

Stoddard noted that the deal (which seems more like a buy-out than a joint venture) closed in November 2013, and that it is still “early days.” He said Internet Brands is very good at technology and Internet marketing, and the plan is to grow both the Martindale-Hubbell and Lawyers.com brands. From the outside, this sounds like corporate spin as there are no signs of life at either website and the blog at Lawyers.com—which was responsible for the majority of the traffic to the site -- has not been updated since October 31, 2013, when everyone was laid off!

What will happen to Martindale clients?

Based on their history, it is more likely that Internet Brands will probably discontinue the original website and SEO services offered and turn Martindale and Lawyers.com into a pay-per-lead service, just like they did with the revered publisher Nolo.

Stoddard also said that the joint venture is in the process of rolling out a different technology platform to make service and fulfillment better and to streamline the ratings process for attorneys and make it more relevant for consumers.  He also said that all current client websites were being audited for improvements.

Whether or not the Martindale-Hubbell and Lawyers.com brands will survive long-term is in doubt, as are the contracts that they have with thousands of law firms throughout the country. Meanwhile, the concern by attorneys who are paying every month for content, social media and SEO for their Martindale / Lawyers.com website grows. 

 

 

3 Ways to Improve Your Website Right Now

How long has it been since you updated your website?  If it’s been a year or more, then it’s time to take another look at how you can improve it to better serve prospects coming to your site for information.

Here are three things you should look at to improve your law firm website:

Design – humans are visual beings, and how your website looks is critical in conveying the message you want people to remember about your firm.  People respond better to visual information – and remember it longer – than plain text.  So if you site is heavy on text and short on compelling visuals, you need to change that.

Video – again, remember the visual.  Research says that 90% of the information transmitted to the human brain is visual.  Research on retail websites by Internet Retailer showed that 85% of visitors were more likely to make a purchase after watching a video.  Plus, video allows you to communicate your firm’s attributes directly to a prospect and gives them a real feel for how you do business.

Navigation – no one has the patience to wade through a series of links to get to the information they want, so your site needs to serve it up immediately through easy navigation.  If the information your visitors are seeking is not immediately apparent, they will go somewhere else.  Scour your site’s analytics to see if people are abandoning your pages – this means they are not finding what they came for. 

We’re hosting a free webinar tomorrow on how you can improve your website to generate more leads – see below for the details.

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FREE Feb. 25 Webinar:  10 Ways to Double Your Internet & Website Leads

How many leads are you getting from your website or blog each month?  It should be enough to justify the investment you made, and the number should also be growing with time. 

Most law firms have a website, but many have made the common mistake of treating their site Next Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, we will host a free one-hour online seminar on 10 Ways to Double Your Internet & Website Leads, where you will discover what top-ranking law firms are doing to get and keep high search engine visibility, resulting in more robust visitor engagement and qualified leads.

During this information-packed 60 minutes, you will learn:

  • How one law firm went from signing 4 cases to 25 cases per month!
  • The reality of SEO post-Panda, post-Penguin, and post-Hummingbird
  • What it really takes to outrank your competition
  • The 4 major keys to obtaining local search visibility
  • How making these 3 simple, no-cost changes to your website and content can triple your ROI
  • Industry averages for cost per case from your firm’s website

You will see both “before” and “after” examples of top attorney websites, learn what improvements you can make to your own site and how you can improve your organic search rankings and conversion rates.

The webinar on 10 Ways to Double Your Internet & Website Leads will be conducted by ConsultWebs.com, a firm that has built and optimized hundreds of law firm websites around the nation.  Consultwebs.com uses proven long-term strategies to optimize law firm websites for search engines so they will appear on the first page of Google results for a wide range of relevant search queries. They engineer designs that put the right information in front of your Web visitors at the right time to compel them to inquire for a consultation.

Click here now to register for this FREE one-hour seminar.  If the time doesn’t work for you, go ahead and register anyway and we’ll send you a recording of this webinar in its entirety to watch at your convenience, for free.

The Decline of BigLaw: Good News for Smaller Firms?

Larry Bodine, the former editor of Lawyers.com, recently spoke with LawMarketing.com editor-in-chief Cindy Greenway, about a LexisNexis/Counsellink research report, Enterprise Legal Management Trends Report that he says contains good news for small law firms:

 The takeaway from this is that there is now some quantifiable research that shows law firms with less than 50 lawyers are the ones growing at the expense of the larger firms.  Both Larry and I have felt that this was the case for awhile now, but it’s good to see the numbers bear this out.

This means that there may be a new market out there for those of you who thought you couldn’t compete before, as more companies turn to smaller firms for the flexibility they offer with their legal services.

Crafting a marketing strategy to go after this new market is something you can learn by attending a Rainmaker Retreat.  We have two sessions scheduled over the next couple of months:

  • Feb. 28 – March 1, 2014 – Miami, FL
  • March 27-28, 2014 – New York, NY

Rainmaker Retreats are focused on marketing and lead generation for small firms and solos, teaching proven strategies for attracting new clients using contemporary Internet and social media marketing practices.

To learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat, visit www.rainmakerretreat.com or call us at 888-588-5891.

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FREE Online Seminar:  Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

Join Stephen Fairley for a free 60-minute legal marketing webinar: Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan, where you will learn...

A proven legal marketing system that has helped 10,000 attorneys convert more prospects into paying clients.

Step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

Effective strategies to win clients in today's hyper-competitive online focused marketplace.

Creating a marketing plan for your law firm is the first step in building a foundation for a profitable future.  During this complimentary webinar, learn:

  • How to target market to get your ideal client 
  • Why your firm is not getting more referrals and how to change it
 
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
 
  • Effective online and offline marketing strategies
 
  • How to create a financial plan to fund your marketing budget
 
  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
 
  • 4 ways to create a unique competitive advantage
 
  • What is critical to have in place for today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

Stephen will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

There are several sessions of this free webinar scheduled; you can choose what works best for you from the drop-down menu when you click on the following link to register online for our FREE Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan online seminar.

10 Steps to Leverage LinkedIn for Your Law Firm

Last weekend, I wrote about a Hinge Marketing report that surveyed 1,000 purchasers of professional services – including legal – to determine how prospects check out professional providers as prologue to making a decision.  One of the more interesting details is that 705 of those surveyed said they go to LinkedIn to check out a professional they are considering hiring.

So naturally it would follow that law firms could stand to benefit from having a robust LinkedIn presence.  Here are 10 steps on ways you can leverage LinkedIn for your law firm:

1.  Make sure firm partners and associates have full and complete profiles.

2.  Share the right information at the right time – mornings are the best time to post to LinkedIn and be sure to add links to your site and calls-to-action in each post.

3.  Add a LinkedIn share button to your firm website.

4.  Detail specifics about your areas of practice with keywords your prospects would use to find you online.

5.  Participate in LinkedIn groups that appeal to your clients.

6.  Create LinkedIn groups for your clients.

7.  Use LinkedIn’s legal app

8.  Use LinkedIn’s mobile app

9.  Follow your competitors to see what they’re doing on LinkedIn

10.  Be sure all your employees connect with each other on LinkedIn; one of them could have a connection that would make a great client for you.

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

With over 238 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn has quickly become THE ‘go to’ business-to-business directory and the most popular social networking platform dedicated to professional business development.

To ignore it is the proverbial equivalent of sticking your head in the sand.

Learning how to use LinkedIn to your biggest advantage takes time and effort, but it is time well spent.

If you are new to LinkedIn, it can be confusing, much like any new software that you need to learn to grow your business.

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

  • What LinkedIn can help you accomplish
  • Valuable LinkedIn features that can increase the power of your network
  • Smart ways top attorneys use LinkedIn
  • What your profile needs in order to be effective
  • How to make people want to know more about you
  • And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn.

FREE Feb. 25 Webinar: 10 Ways to Double Your Internet & Website Leads

How many leads are you getting from your website or blog each month?  It should be enough to justify the investment you made, and the number should also be growing with time. 

Most law firms have a website, but many have made the common mistake of treating their site like an online brochure.  I have posted this graphic in the past that is a tongue-in-cheek visual of most law firm websites from Matt Homann’s the [non]billable hour blog:

Next Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, we will host a free one-hour online seminar on 10 Ways to Double Your Internet & Website Leads, where you will discover what top-ranking law firms are doing to get and keep high search engine visibility, resulting in more robust visitor engagement and qualified leads.

During this information-packed 60 minutes, you will learn:

  • How one law firm went from signing 4 cases to 25 cases per month!
  • The reality of SEO post-Panda, post-Penguin, and post-Hummingbird
  • What it really takes to outrank your competition
  • The 4 major keys to obtaining local search visibility
  • How making these 3 simple, no-cost changes to your website and content can triple your ROI
  • Industry averages for cost per case from your firm’s website

You will see both “before” and “after” examples of top attorney websites, learn what improvements you can make to your own site and how you can improve your organic search rankings and conversion rates.

The webinar on 10 Ways to Double Your Internet & Website Leads will be conducted by ConsultWebs.com, a firm that has built and optimized hundreds of law firm websites around the nation. 

Consultwebs.com uses proven long-term strategies to optimize law firm websites for search engines so they will appear on the first page of Google results for a wide range of relevant search queries. They engineer designs that put the right information in front of your website visitors at the right time to compel them to inquire for a consultation.

Click here now to register for this FREE one-hour seminar.  If the time doesn’t work for you, go ahead and register anyway and we’ll send you a recording of this webinar in its entirety to watch at your convenience, for free.

10 Google Analytics Categories You Should be Scrutinizing

There are 10 free Google Analytics tools you should be using to measure how effectively your website or blog is performing to reach your marketing goals.  Google Analytics generates detailed statistics about your website’s traffic and details on visitors that you can use to see what is working on your site and, more importantly, what’s not.  And it’s free!

Here are 10 categories within Google Analytics that you should be scrutinizing:

Audience location – your target market has a geographical definition; this will tell you if you are reaching them.

Audience engagement – measures how much time each visitor to your site spends on a particular page or pages.  You use this to ensure you are keeping their attention.

Mobile traffic – knowing how many visitors are trying to access your site from a mobile device is important to gauge their experience, especially if your site is not optimized for mobile.

Traffic sources – this tells you how people are finding your site, so you can measure the effectiveness of other online methods you are using to drive traffic to your site, like social media or email marketing.

Social media traffic – provides more in-depth reporting on traffic that comes to you directly from your social media efforts so you can see what’s working or not.

Site content trends – measures the performance of each of your site pages over time, so you can tell what is resonating with your audience.

Bounce rates – tells you what pages visitors are abandoning immediately so you can re-evaluate the content of that page.

Site search – if you have a search function on your site, this metric tells you the terms people are searching for on your site.  If they aren’t finding what they’re looking for, you need to add it.

Events – this user engagement metric shows activity from visitors as they scroll through a page on your site, and can provide insight into the best placement on your pages for calls-to-action.

Funnel visualization – are visitors to your site following the path you want them to take?  This metric will tell you either yes or no.

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On-Demand Seminar: Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm

We are now providing one of our most popular seminars – Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm – in an on-demand format, so you can watch and learn at your convenience, as many times as you wish.

Over the last decade we have helped over 10,000 attorneys market and grow their business. During this time we have identified many of the key characteristics of highly successful law firms.

One of the more consistent ones is that they track specific numbers and key indicators that give them instant insight into how their law firm is performing on a weekly and monthly basis.

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.

In this fast paced seminar, you 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 “paralysis by analysis” 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 seminar! 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 seminar is a “can’t miss” event!

We 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!

To get this on-demand seminar, click on this link: Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm

What's Your WOM Rating? A Great One Will Deliver More Clients

Forget your AV rating or Avvo score – what’s your WOM rating?

WOM stands for “Word of Mouth” and that – coupled with client referrals -- is the single best marketing tool for small business, according to data extracted from a series of Bank of America Small Business Owner Reports:

If you are unaware of how clients really feel about their experience with your firm, you are missing a juicy piece of low-hanging fruit that could boost your referral rates and bring new clients in your door without much effort on your part.

So how do you identify your best client referral sources?  A client satisfaction survey is a great way to get feedback that will help you identify good potential referral sources as well as improve upon areas of your firm you probably weren’t even aware needed improvement. 

There are free survey services out there (SurveyMonkey.com) that can help you implement a quick email survey among your current client database.  If you use an email marketing service like Constant Contact, these also have survey forms you can use to perform the same function.  No matter what tool 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 where we need the most improvement?
  • 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 some ways we could better serve you?
  • Would you recommend us to your friends or colleagues?
  • Are there any other comments, suggestions, complaints, or concerns you would like to let us know about?

I also recommend that you implement an “exit interview” process after each case or legal matter is concluded; this can allow you to address any issues with your client that could prevent a negative review either online or via word-of-mouth.

Once you have gathered a list of good potential client referral sources, you need to educate them on what your ideal client looks like.  If you practice more than one area of the law, make them aware of all your practice areas.  Then incentivize them to refer you by offering a free consultation to anyone they send your way and thank them with a small gift (Starbucks or Amazon.com gift card) for remembering you.

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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 Fairley unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

  • How to determine the best source for your referrals
  • How to explain your ideal target market to a referral source
  • How to get referrals from other attorneys
  • Whether online directories are a good referral source
  • How to network effectively
  • And much, much more!

Click now for your free report on 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice.

How a Smartphone App Aims to Replace Attorneys

A smartphone app that allows users to create, sign and send legally binding documents is the latest tech tool developed to shake up the delivery of legal services.  And its name, aptly enough, is Shake.

Shake is the brainchild of Abe Geiger, an entrepreneur who found that standard contracts were too cumbersome and complicated to meet the needs of today’s business world, even though he has access to all the free legal advice he needs (his wife is an attorney).

As with so many other inventions, Shake started with the thought that, “There has to be a better way.”

With some Silicon Valley VC funding, Geiger and his team set out on their mission, which is posted on their website:

Our mission is to make the law accessible, understandable and affordable for consumers and small businesses. We want to empower our users to share ideas, goods, and services without the fear of being stiffed for a freelance gig or putting their business at risk.

Geiger said he believes that change in the legal industry will be driven by small businesses and consumers, not by lawyers and law firms.  He says that the legal market is huge, inefficient, underserved by technology and begging for change.

Sounds like he has more than one reason to shake things up.

Carolyn Elefant, who blogs about solos and small firms at MyShingle.com, wrote recently in an Above the Law post that the app won’t displace real lawyers because the people who want to use an app or a website for their legal documents are not likely to hire an attorney anyway.  I tend to agree.

I also agree with Geiger’s assertion that people are looking for more technology-based solutions for their legal problems, even if that “problem” is only a freelance contract or a NDA. 

What attorneys should take away from this is that the market is moving toward technology much faster than most lawyers are, and making technology solutions available to clients – something as simple as downloadable documents off a secure website – is the new way your clients are defining good customer service.

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

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

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

Nielsen Report on Digital Consumer: All Social, All the Time

Nielsen has just released a report called The Digital Consumer that examines how Americans are consuming content across multiple digital devices.

According to Nielsen, a majority of U.S. households now feature multiple devices – high definition TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones – and Americans spend an average of 60 hours per week consuming content on these devices.

Other highlights from the report:

Daily social media use is now standard practice – 64% of social media users visit sites at least once a day, and almost half (47%) access those sites on smartphones.

Hispanics are higher than average content consumers on smartphones, and spend more time consuming online videos than the national average.

Americans own an average of four digital devices.

Time spent consuming online content has decreased on computers and TVs, and increased on PCs and smartphones:

Americans spend an average of 6 ½ hours per month on Facebook vs. only 18 minutes per month on LinkedIn and 36 minutes per month on Twitter.

86% of smartphone and tablet owners use those devices while watching TV at the same time; a majority of those use these mobile devices to surf the Web.

This Nielsen report demonstrates a major shift in how content is consumed online, moving away from PCs and toward mobile devices.  Here are six savvy mobile marketing practices you should be considering as part of your law firm marketing strategy:

Have a mobile-optimized website.   If your website is not optimized for viewing on a mobile device, you are losing more prospects every day as the majority of smartphone owners use their mobile devices for local search for products and services. 

Make messaging relevant. Don’t ever send a message to a prospect or client without a good reason. Email from firms need to be useful and relevant, not random and annoying.

Keep on top of technology. Changes in technology can have a significant effect on your customer base. Firms that use advanced technology stay ahead of competitors.

Give sharing options. Make sure you include social media sharing buttons on all your mobile messages as well as an option for recipients to share via email. This will help you spread the word about your firm or promotional offer.

Use texting. Texting is now widespread enough to be considered a new marketing medium. Communicating with clients via text allows you to share time-sensitive material with prospects and current customers.

Use email. Be sure your emails are mobile friendly, include direct clicks to your phone number and include links to mobile-optimized websites. A majority of mobile users check email more often on their mobile device that they do on a PC.

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How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear

Your price is too high! I can’t afford that.”

“Why should I hire you? I think I can handle this by myself.”

Have you heard any of these objections lately?

How did you respond?

What are the most effective ways to overcome these objections?

How do top Rainmakers reply?

If you’re like many attorneys you hear these objections every day…yet you aren’t sure your responses are effective. We can help you change that!

Over the course of this pre-recorded 60-minute webinar you will discover:

  • The top 5 biggest objections attorneys hear and how to overcome them
  • An easy 2-step process to effectively turn a “No” into a “Yes”
  • How to answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”
  • The #1 reason you are not converting more prospects into paying clients
  • How to get past “price” and uncover the prospect’s true objection

Click on this link now to access the How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear webinar now.

How to Build the Perfect LinkedIn Profile

In yesterday’s post, I talked about a new report from Hinge Marketing that showed 70% of those surveyed about how they do research on a professional services provider used LinkedIn as a key tool.

So what happens when prospects visit your LinkedIn profile?  Are you one of the 50+% that don’t have a full profile, or never update it?  If so, then study the infographic below to learn how to complete your LinkedIn profile so it impresses your prospects, and then get our free report on how you can make the most of LinkedIn (see below).

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

With over 238 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn has quickly become THE ‘go to’ business-to-business directory and the most popular social networking platform dedicated to professional business development.

To ignore it is the proverbial equivalent of sticking your head in the sand.

Learning how to use LinkedIn to your biggest advantage takes time and effort, but it is time well spent.

If you are new to LinkedIn, it can be confusing, much like any new software that you need to learn to grow your business.

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

  • What LinkedIn can help you accomplish
  • Valuable LinkedIn features that can increase the power of your network
  • Smart ways top attorneys use LinkedIn
  • What your profile needs in order to be effective
  • How to make people want to know more about you
  • And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn.

New Study Reveals How Prospects Are Checking You Out

A new study by Hinge Marketing surveyed 1,000 purchasers of professional services – including legal – to determine how prospects check out professional providers as prologue to making a decision.

This chart gives the details:

Note that less than 1% said they don’t check you out.  Which means just about everyone looking for professional services does some sort of online or peer research prior to making the decision to hire.

The most common way that prospects check you out is to look at your website.  What is your current site telling them about you?  Are you addressing the problems your prospects have up front?  Or do you talk about yourself – your great office, your smart lawyers, etc.?

People buy emotionally and justify logically.  Your website must appeal to their emotions, showing empathy for their problems and providing information on how you can solve these problems for them. 

Prospects look for three things:  Benefits, Value and Results.  Address all three and you will have convinced them that you are the one they need to hire for their legal issue.

Note that Google search and social media also rank high as tools prospects are using to check you out.  Google yourself to get an idea of what they are seeing; if it’s not much then you need to pay some attention to repairing and monitoring your online reputation.

The Hinge Marketing report found that the 70% of those surveyed use LinkedIn to check out a prospective professional services provider.  Since LinkedIn is the go-to social network for business, this only makes sense.  How’s your LinkedIn profile looking?  Do you have recommendations from other clients or peers?  Do you have a video on your profile page?  Is there a good photo of you?  If not, get busy!

This study is just one more indicator (of many) that attorneys need to pay as much attention to their online reputation as their offline reputation.  If you’re not paying attention, you’ll be paying the price.

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On-Demand Seminar:  How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients

According to recent research…

58 million adults looked for an attorney in the past year

76% of them referred to the Internet at some point in their search

While most law firms already have a website, the majority of them don’t produce new cases on a regular basis. Why?

Because they are doing it all wrong!

This seminar will teach you how to do it right.

National Law Review Magazine editor Larry Bodine and Stephen Fairley join forces to deliver a compelling on-demand seminar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients; access this seminar now to learn:

  • 3 specific strategies that can immediately improve your website conversions
  • What elements you should and should not include on your website
  • How to effectively reach the 65% of consumers who like to gather information about their legal issue long before ever contacting an attorney
  • Ways to leverage top online attorney directories to control your online presence
  • Case studies on how top attorneys are using social media to attract more paying clients
  • Best practices for blogging and why Google loves them so much
  • The fastest ways to get to the top of Google

Click on this link now to receive the How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients seminar.

Why You Oughta Be in Pictures: Using Video in Legal Marketing

Americans are nuts about video!  And if you are not using online videos to market your law firm and yourself, you are missing a big opportunity to connect with prospects.

Don’t believe it?  Check out this short video full of stats that demonstrate the pervasiveness – and persuasiveness – of video today:


Use these simple guidelines to make a highly effective online video for use in your law firm marketing efforts:

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.

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.

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. 

Use annotation and notes. On YouTube you can add notes or annotate your video with key points of emphasis that will appear as people are watching.  Not only does this help you deliver your message succinctly, it also provides content for Google to index to improve your search ranking.

Include keywords and tags.  Be sure to load your description with keywords and include links back to your website.

Include your contact information within your video. The goal of your online video 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’s wasted effort.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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On-Demand Seminar: How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients

After paying your employees, the most costly part of your law firm is Lead Generation.

This year your law firm will spend almost 10 times as much generating new leads as it does servicing existing clients!

Generating leads for your law firm is very expensive, yet a common complaint of many attorneys is that they “need more leads.”

Lead Conversion is the most overlooked area at most law firms and it has the potential to save you tens of thousands of dollars this year!

How? By helping you convert more of those costly leads into more paying clients!

Get this on-demand seminar to learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • A proven system for converting more leads into paying clients

You can watch the How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients seminar at your convenience by clicking here now.

10 Questions to Help Attorneys Identify Your Target Market

When it comes to marketing your law firm (or anything else, for that matter), your very first step is identifying your target market.  If you don’t do that, nothing else you do will matter. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7.  How am I going to sell my services?  Different marketing methods appeal to different demographics.

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

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

10.  Are there options to expand my target market?  This will largely depend on your practice area, but one way to expand your target market is by creating a niche within your practice area.  For example, we know an estate planning attorney who creating a very lucrative sub-specialty in asset protection for doctors and lawyers.

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Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

At The Rainmaker Institute, we define a “7 figure lifestyle law firm” as one that allows you to have the lifestyle that you want to live!

It’s more than just money or achieving a million dollars in revenue.

It’s about creating a lifestyle where you do what you love and building a business around your core values and interests.

In this recording of an interview between Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, and nationally recognized attorney John Bisnar, Stephen asks John to share with us some of the secrets he has used to create a law firm that allows him to go into the office only one day a week and take, on average, 3 to 4 months of vacation every year - all the while managing a very successful, multi-million dollar law firm!

You will receive either a CD or MP3 recording, plus we will email you a pdf transcript of the interview.

This interview will help you discover:

  • The difference between a law practice and a business
  • How to identify superstar employees to help you run your business
  • The difference between an Office Manager and a Business Manager
  • The 7 essential systems your firm must have & how to implement them
  • How to micromanage the client experience
  • Critical keys to success
  • And much more!

Click this link now to order Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

4 Steps to Creating a Successful Law Firm Blog

If you are truly vested in increasing your online presence, then you probably have either started a blog or have plans to do so (hopefully soon).  Here are four steps that will help you develop a successful blog for your law firm:

1.  Set your goals.  Why do you want a blog?  Most attorneys who have blogs realize the contribution they can make to extending your expertise, helping your SEO, providing a forum to engage with prospects and providing relevant content to spread to social media networks and other areas of influence.  Before you start a blog, you need to establish goals that align with your overall business objectives. 

2.  Know your target market.  The main reason prospects would visit your blog is because they need to be better educated about the subjects involving your area of practice.  You can’t keep prospects engaged without knowing what they really want, so a clear understanding of the problems your target market faces and speaking to them about those problems in clear, concise language makes you a valuable resource.

3.  Create original, relevant content.  This is the hard part for most attorneys – what to say.  I often tell lawyers to make a list of the most frequently asked questions they get from clients and write about that.  Provide solutions.  Weigh in on popular topics that have a legal twist – like estate planning mistakes celebrities make, IP implications of the “Dumb Starbucks” pop-up coffee shop – just search Google News for trending topics.

4.  Create efficiencies.  Take blog content from past presentations, make a video or repurpose other content for your blog.  Create an editorial calendar and map topics a month or so out.  Have other experts in your firm or your network contribute content.  You can even outsource your blogging if you are careful to choose the right person or company to comply with your standards for content and legal ethics.

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FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

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

  • Why you must have a blog in order to stay relevant
  • 3 keys to successful blogging
  • 7 Guidelines for achieving ROI
  • Your 3 choices for managing your blog and social media efforts
  • And much more!

Click now for your FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal.

How to Market to the Wealthy Online

Nielsen recently released a report on the online habits of wealthy Americans, which are defined by Nielsen as follows:

  • Investment assets of between $250,000 - $1 million
  • Median annual household income of $87,500
  • 66% are over the age of 55
  • Suburban empty nesters
  • Primarily Caucasian; above average likelihood to be Asian
  • Work in finance, management, have their own business, or retired
  • Avid readers, online and print

Approximately 12% of Americans fit into this category, and are attractive prospects for most law firms since they have the ability to pay and can appreciate the value of personal legal services.

Nielsen segregated the Mass Affluent audience into two groups – those still working and the retired wealthy.  This chart illustrates the top online activities undertaken by each group, which is key to understanding how to market to them online:

Both groups skew heavier than normal for recreation pursuits online, so it is no surprise that the fastest growing demographic group for social media networks is in the 55+ age group.  Mass affluents are also heavy news consumers online, so you may want to consider the use of press releases as part of your legal marketing strategy.

Members of both categories of mass affluents skew higher than normal for investigating financial and healthcare information online, which provides a good opportunity for legal practices that specialize in areas like estate planning to target this group with relevant messaging. 

Whatever your practice area, it is critical that you identify and segment your target audiences when developing your legal marketing strategies in order to maximize your return on your marketing investment and attract qualified prospects.

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FREE Online Seminar:  Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

Join Stephen Fairley for a free 60-minute legal marketing webinar: Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan, where you will learn...

  • A proven legal marketing system that has helped 10,000 attorneys convert more prospects into paying clients.
  • Step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.
  • Effective strategies to win clients in today's hyper-competitive online focused marketplace.

Creating a marketing plan for your law firm is the first step in building a foundation for a profitable future.  During this complimentary webinar, learn:

  • How to target market to get your ideal client 
  • Why your firm is not getting more referrals and how to change it
 
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
 
  • Effective online and offline marketing strategies
 
  • How to create a financial plan to fund your marketing budget
 
  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
 
  • 4 ways to create a unique competitive advantage
 
  • What is critical to have in place for today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

Stephen will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

There are several sessions of this free webinar scheduled; you can choose what works best for you from the drop-down menu when you click on the following link to register online for our FREE Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan online seminar.

Email Marketing Study Touts Personalization as Key to Increasing Open Rates

 A 2013 email marketing study by Experian Marketing Services released last week shows that personalizing emails can increase open rates by 29% and click rates by 41% over nonpersonalized emails.

This latest research echoes earlier studies by MailerMailer and MailChimp showing that personalizing emails drives higher response rates.

The impact of personalization in the Experian study showed variances by industry:

In addition, Experian noted several emerging trends when it comes to email marketing, including:

Popup windows:  marketers using pop-up windows to collect email addresses from visitors grew 107% in 2013 vs. 2013, with a total of 45% of marketers saying they used this tactic.

Responsive design:  the use of responsive design – which allows an email to be read on multiple platforms, including mobile – more that doubled in 2013 from the previous year.

Social network promotion:  marketers using email to promote their social networks increased significantly in 2013.

The Experian study recommended several proven tactics for email marketing:

Segmentation by activity – using past activity data to segment email campaigns increases open and click rates.

Activity triggers – emails sent to visitors that have abandoned a shopping cart or browsed a specific page increase response rates.

Opt-in emails – sending opt-in confirmation emails result in 3.3 times higher click rates.

E-receipts – sending an e-receipt with up-sell or cross-sell opportunities enjoy the highest click and transaction rates.

Lastly, recipients who are loyal to a specific brand are much more likely to engage with that brand and respond to emails.  Making sure your email list is populated with those who have opted in to receive your emails or have already had a positive experience with your firm will make it much more likely that your emails will fall on receptive ears.

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New Free Report! The 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days: The 2nd Key – Public Speaking

One of the biggest builders of credibility and an important key in becoming a recognized expert is speaking on your area of law practice at local or regional events.

So why doesn’t every attorney do it?

What we hear from many attorneys that we work with is that they’d rather jump out of an airplane without a parachute than speak in public.

But if you do it right, you can generate business as well as enhance your reputation as a solid and recognized expert.

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

  • How to make sure you’re speaking in front of the right people
  • Different approaches to conquer your fear of public speaking
  • How much information to share with your audience
  • How to follow-up in order to generate business
  • …And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on The 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days: The 2nd Key – Public Speaking.

6 Customer Service Strategies to Convert Prospects and Retain Clients (2 of 2)

This is the second part of my customer service strategies post this weekend; check yesterday’s post first if you missed it.

4.  Check In With the Client AFTER the Purchase. Within two minutes after Kern left my luggage in the room I received a call from Kay.

―Hello, Mr. Fairley, this is Kay at the front desk. I just wanted to call and make sure everything is to your satisfaction.

―Thanks Kay. The room looks great, but the light in the hallway entrance just as you step in the door doesn’t work.

―Sorry about that Mr. Fairley. Are you planning on going out anytime this evening? ―Yes, I actually have dinner with a client at 6pm.

―Great. I’ll send the engineer up at 6:30pm so they don’t disturb you. Do you already have dinner reservations or would you like some assistance with that?

―No thanks. We already have a reservation.

5.  Find ways to be flexible. It’s not always easy to be flexible in the legal industry, but if there’s a way you can accommodate your client’s needs or wishes I recommend you go out of your way to do so. For example, instead of requiring full payment up front offer three flexible payment plans. Instead of requiring payment by cash or check, sign up so you can accept credit cards. If possible, offer appointments to busy clients after hours or during the weekend. Not everyone finds it easy to take off a couple hours during the day to meet with an attorney. I know a few attorneys who work with high net worth clients who offer to come to the client’s house instead of making them drive to their office. Clients appreciate your flexibility.

6.  Train Your Staff to Be a Master of Details. We’ve all heard that the devil is in the details. I remember the first time my estate planning attorney sent my wife and I a draft of our new estate plan. Talk about a disaster! According to his documents my wife and I were of a different ethnicity, had different last names from each other, and had three kids we didn’t know anything about! After I turned to my wife and asked if there was anything she needed to tell me about her past, I sent off a very terse email to my attorney explaining the problems. I know many estate plans are based off boilerplate language and often done by software programs, but he or his staff obviously did not even check the documents nor did they remember to remove his other client’s names and identifying information!

I’m a huge fan of checklists. They can be wonderful for training staff and decreasing potential mistakes and omissions. What are the major systems that need to have a checklist put into place? Here are a couple of ideas for your checklists:

  • Double check to verify client name, phone and address is correct.
  • Double check spelling of clients first and last name is correct.
  • Have payment terms, options and conditions been clearly explained to the client and have they signed something in writing explaining these terms?
  • Is the amount correct on the invoice?
  • Is the invoice itemized and detailed enough so the client can easily understand it?
  • If there is an unusual charge is there a letter explaining what the fee is and why it was assessed?
  • Did you include the list of documents the client must bring back to our office?
  • Are all deadlines clearly stated so the client can write them down?
  • Are the penalties or consequences for missing a deadline clearly stated so there is no excuse if the client misses an important one?
  • Does the client know who to contact if they cannot reach the attorney? Is their contact information clearly given?

Does focusing on the client experience count where it matters most—in client retention and revenues? Yes and yes. John Bisnar reported some time ago that it has allowed him to retain 97% of all personal injury cases that walk in his door.

Before he started focusing on the client experience he would get a lot of ―qualifying questions like: Have you ever handled this kind of case before? How many people have you worked with who had this kind of problem? Can I talk to some of your past clients about the results you achieved for them?

“Now, the most frequent question we get is, will you take my case,” says John. Now that’s a question every attorney wants to hear.

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New On Demand Webinar:  How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn

The Rainmaker Institute’s business development specialist Alec Borenstein is featured on this online webinar that is now available on demand:  From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn.

Most attorneys already have a profile on LinkedIn, but very few know how to effectively use it to build a powerful referral network. With over 238 million professionals on LinkedIn, it has become one of the easiest ways to rapidly identify strategic contacts and build relationships with them!

In this advanced, information-packed 60-minute webinar you’ll learn:

  • How to generate targeted connections using LinkedIn
  • How to join and create LinkedIn groups to target your key referral sources and clients
  • Tools to land 2-4 lunches every month with your connections and referral partners
  • What to say during these meetings to ensure prospects remember you
  • How to follow up after your LinkedIn lunch

Click on this link now to access the one-hour webinar, From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn.

6 Customer Service Strategies to Convert Prospects and Retain Clients (1 of 2)

I do a lot of traveling, speaking at bar associations, meetings with clients and holding our two day Rainmaker Retreat legal marketing seminars across the country. Like many road warriors, I have found many benefits to upgrading my hotel experience.

I usually stay at Hyatt or Omni hotels when I can due to their consistently excellent service, but recently I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton® in downtown Los Angeles. Talk about reaching for the next level! As a somewhat demanding business traveler, I found they certainly went above and beyond my expectations.

Today’s consumer of legal services has more choices than ever before. They vote with their feet. Believe it or not, the majority of decisions on who to continue doing business with are not strictly or primarily financial (the Ritz was sold out all three nights I stayed with them and I’m certain there were cheaper choices available).

How you and your staff treat people and how you make them feel makes a big difference in whether they do business with you at all or will return and do business with you later. Recognize that savvy consumers do not compare you to other law firms. They compare you to the customer service they received at every other company they have recently done business with.

During my stay at the Ritz, I discovered several keys to their customer service that can be applied to your law firm in helping you fix your customer service or reach for the next level.

1.  Systematize the Process. To excel at customer service you must systematize the entire process and train your staff to follow it. At the Ritz I used the valet service to park my rental. When I got out of the car, the valet asked me my name, wrote it on the ticket, and handed me a receipt. After my luggage was removed from the trunk he escorted me inside and introduced me to the Valet Manager, who immediately greeted me:

Good afternoon Mr. Fairley. Welcome to the Ritz Carlton. We are here to serve you. If you should need anything during your stay here, please let us know. There are several excellent plays in town and we would be glad to reserve some tickets for you or perhaps you would prefer a dinner reservation at one of the fine restaurants in the area. Also, we have a complimentary car service that’s available to take you anywhere within 3-4 miles of the hotel from 7-10am every day and 5-8pm each evening. We can also pick you up when you are finished. Do you have any questions, Mr. Fairley? Ok, then let me introduce you to Kay who will check you in.

He walked me over to Kay, who introduced herself and handed me an envelope with my name typed on the outside.  She said that the hotel manager would also like to extend his greetings. The entire check in process was less than two minutes including upgrading me to the 25th floor.

Kay then introduced me to Kern, who said:

Good afternoon Mr. Fairley. I’m Kern and I’ll be escorting you to your room along with your luggage. Is there anything else I can assist you with before we head upstairs?

What amazed me was not how polite the staff was --I expected that – but the use of my name, because other than the valet, I never told anyone else my name. As part of the customer service system he passed it up the line so each person could greet me by name as they met me. That left a very positive impression!

2.  Micromanage the Client Experience. John Bisnar is one of my long-term clients who is truly gifted at achieving excellence in customer service. He is a personal injury and auto defect attorney in southern California who, I believe, coined the term “micromanaging the client experience.” It is a philosophy that drives everything his law firm does.

Let me give you just one example: filling out forms. No one I know truly enjoys filling out forms, but almost every law firm makes a poor first impression on new prospects by handing them a wad of forms as soon as they walk in the door.

At Bisnar’s office, prospects never fill out forms. They meet with a Client Intake Specialist‖ who asks about their situation, qualifies the prospect and fills out the form for them. John and his staff have analyzed every contact a prospect or client has with the firm and has structured the experience to maximize the client experience. In a practice area as competitive as personal injury it’s difficult to stand out. You can’t really even compete on price (not that I encourage you to). Yet John’s firm has consistently grown every year since he started focusing on micromanaging the client experience.

3.  Know Your Clients By Name. Psychology tells us that the sweetest sound a person can ever hear is the sound of his or her own name. During the check in process at the Ritz, I counted as each person used my name at least twice. It made the whole experience more pleasant and welcoming. I’m sure the repetition also helps them to recall many of the guest’s names. Does your receptionist greet your clients by name? Do you even know each of your clients by name?

I’ll write about the other 3 customer service strategies tomorrow so check back here.

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

Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process.  Stephen Fairley unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

  • How to determine the best source for your referrals
  • How to explain your ideal target market to a referral source
  • How to get referrals from other attorneys
  • Whether online directories are a good referral source
  • How to network effectively
  • And much, much more!

Click now for your free report on 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice.

Jamie Casino Super Bowl Ad: Legal Marketing at Its Best? Or Worst?

Unless you live in Savannah, GA, you missed Savannah personal injury attorney Jamie Casino’s Super Bowl ad that ran locally during halftime.  Or maybe you have seen it, since it has been blowing up all over the Internet since Sunday.

Words simply cannot describe it, so you have to watch it:

So the question you may ask is, is that the best injury lawyer ad ever...or the worst?  My answer is an unequivocal: both.

First, the best.  This ad has already gotten 5 million views on YouTube and lots of marketing blogs are writing about it, including the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, the Huffington Post and AdWeek.  So that’s millions of more eyes on Jamie Casino’s ad.  Whatever he spent (and remember it was a local buy, not national, which would have cost him $16 million for 2 minutes), he got his money’s worth when it comes to visibility. 

Now, one could argue that national exposure like this is simply vanity marketing, since his website says that he is only licensed to practice in Georgia.  He’s not going to represent a Phoenix or Miami or New York client. 

But vanity or not, you can’t deny that potential clients in Savannah who saw the ad will remember the name “Casino” if they ever need an injury lawyer.  He’s done a great job of branding himself in a hugely memorable way and stayed true to that brand already established by a number of hammer-smashing TV spots he has already run in Savannah.

And if by chance someone forgets his name, all they have to do is Google “Savannah lawyer Super Bowl ad” and there he is.  So his brand exposure has given him big-time and long-term visibility.

Now, the worst.  People commenting on the ad online (maybe other attorneys?) say the bombastic, in-your-face, metal music screaming spot is a perfect illustration of stereotypical bad injury law advertising.  Lots of people cringe when they see these ads, and that would include lots of other attorneys who prefer a more low-key approach.  So, yes, the ad does reinforce that stereotype.

And there is another cringeworthy factor: using a loved one’s tragic death to sell your legal services.

But overall, I would say that the Jamie Casino Super Bowl ad is a big win for the guy.  As for other lawyers who hate it, I am sure he couldn’t care less.

I have always encouraged attorneys to take the path less traveled when it comes to marketing their law firms.  I would certainly never have to teach that lesson to Jamie Casino.  He gets it.

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Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers

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

More than 10,000 attorneys from law firms all over the country have experienced powerful results from attending the Becoming A Rainmaker seminar. It has been sponsored by more than 22 of the largest state and local bar associations.

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

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

Click to order Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers.

Google Sticks a Fork in Guest Blogging for SEO

Last month, Google’s Matt Cutts, who heads up the search engine giant’s webspam team, wrote this on the Google Webmaster blog:

So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a link building strategy.

So should you halt your guest blogging efforts?  Well, in a word, no.  Because SEO is not the only reason you guest blog – either on other blogs, or hosting guests on your own blog.  Which is why Cutts later updated his original post to say this:

It seems like most people are getting the spirit of what I was trying to say, but I’ll add a bit more context. I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future.

Guest blogging used to be ONE way to develop quality links back to your own website or blog. Unfortunately, those trying to game the system with low quality content have made it – as Cutts says – a spammy practice.  Those that use guest blogging as their sole source of link building will now be out of luck and may even be penalized. 

But I would still recommend guest blogging as a way for attorneys to spread their authority to other audiences that may not have otherwise been engaged by your own blog or website.  It can also still be a great way for you to improve the visibility of your firm and, when shared on social media, can help your SEO efforts from that standpoint.

As this blog post and other recent developments at Google demonstrate, you can’t go wrong when it comes to SEO if you pay attention to these 3 things:

1.  Designing a website that provides users with a superb experience – from the way they navigate the site to the information they find there.

2.  Developing high quality, relevant content for your area of practice that people want to read to help them solve the problems they would hire you for, populated with relevant keywords.

3.  Being an active participant on social media networks that your prospects and clients frequent, sharing all that great content you’ve developed for your website and your blog and engaging online with your target market.

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On-Demand Seminar:  How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients

According to recent research…

58 million adults looked for an attorney in the past year

76% of them referred to the internet at some point in their search

While most law firms already have a website, the majority of them don’t produce new cases on a regular basis. Why?

Because they are doing it all wrong!

This seminar will teach you how to do it right.

Former Lawyers.com editor-in-chief Larry Bodine and Stephen Fairley join forces to deliver a compelling on-demand seminar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients; access this seminar now to learn:

  • 3 specific strategies that can immediately improve your website conversions
  • What elements you should and should not include on your website
  • How to effectively reach the 65% of consumers who like to gather information about their legal issue long before ever contacting an attorney
  • Ways to leverage top online attorney directories to control your online presence
  • Case studies on how top attorneys are using social media to attract more paying clients
  • Best practices for blogging and why Google loves them so much
  • The fastest ways to get to the top of Google

Click on this link now to receive the How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients seminar.

LawMarketing.com Video: Understanding the 5 Stages of Lead Conversion

Lead conversion is the single most effective tool you can use to have a record-breaking year.

In a previous video interview with Cindy Greenway at LawMarketing.com, I shared the 3 major areas that every law firm needs to focus on:

  1. Lead generation
  2. Lead conversion
  3. Client retention

Lead generation is the second most expensive thing a law firm will spend on other than payroll and office space and it's getting more expensive. It will cost law firms more this year to get the same amount of leads than it did last year.

In this video, we focus on lead conversion and why attorneys need to understand the 5 Stages of Lead Conversion:

Here's a quick summary of the stages we covered:

Stage #1: Number of leads at the top of the funnel. You need to be able to track how many leads are coming -- via phone, via your website -- all areas.

Stage #2: How many leads turn into appointments. Law firms needs to track how many leads turn into appointments -- how many come in via phone, via the website, etc. The biggest mistake and time waster is to try to convert someone over the phone -- get them into the office and you'll have a higher chance of converting them into a paying client.

Stage #3: How many appointments show up? Track this information -- it's important.

Stage #4: How many people signed up to be a client at the consultation - before they walked out the door?

Stage #5: How many people signed up to be a client AFTER they left the office from a consultation?

In an upcoming video, Cindy and I will talk about tips to support lead conversion so you can convert as many leads as possible into paying clients.

Go here to sign up for the LawMarketing.com free newsletter so you can get more valuable legal marketing information delivered to your inbox every week. 

LinkedIn Intros New Tool: How You're Connected

Last week, LinkedIn introduced a new visual tool that shows you exactly how you may be connected to someone who could be a great prospect or referral source for your law firm.

This is what it looks like:

This new degree of transparency allows you to see who in your existing network may already be connected to someone or some company you want to get to know better.  It also shows you how they know each other so you can make an informed decision on the best contact to help you with that introduction.

Visuals are playing an increasingly important role in how we portray ourselves successfully online and are a great way to engage with prospects.  You now have the capability to upload your videos or a slide deck from your latest presentation to your LinkedIn profile, so don’t waste this powerful persuasion method by failing to include visuals on your page.

Whatever you are doing online these days all goes toward building your professional brand, and there is no better place to do this for lawyers than on LinkedIn.   Learning how to use LinkedIn to your biggest advantage takes time and effort, but it is time well spent.

If you are new to LinkedIn, it can be confusing, which is why we’ve developed a free report on How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn.

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

  • What LinkedIn can help you accomplish
  • Valuable LinkedIn features that can increase the power of your network
  • Smart ways top attorneys use LinkedIn
  • What your profile needs in order to be effective
  • How to make people want to know more about you
  • And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn.

5 Steps to Setting Marketing Goals That Actually Deliver Results

Your first step in developing a legal marketing plan is to set goals.  But if the goals you set won’t deliver the results you want, you probably set the wrong goals in the first place.

So how do you go about setting the right goals?  Take these 5 steps:

1.  Make them SMART goals.  SMART is an acronym for:

Specific.  Don’t just say, “increase leads” – instead, the goal should state specifics, like: “Get 50 qualified leads per month using social media, blogging and email marketing.”  You can’t measure generalities.

Measurable.  If you’ve been specific about your goals, you should then be measuring them and making adjustments if something isn’t working.

Attainable.  Your goals should be realistically attainable.

Relevant.  Tie your goals to your target market to ensure they are relevant.  For example, if your target market is business, you shouldn’t be wasting your efforts in social media on Instagram or Pinterest.

Timely.  Setting a timeframe to achieve your goals to help with measurement and keep you focused on achieving them.

2.   Align marketing goals with business goals.  Your marketing goals should support your revenue goals for your firm each year. 

3.  Have a written plan.  If your goals are not written down in the form of a plan that details how you will reach each goal, then what you have are wishes, not goals.

4.  Make them easy to digest.  A goal of 100 new leads a week is not only unrealistic, it can be defeat the purpose of having goals altogether because it’s just too big a bite to take all at once.  Break down your goals into bite-size bits – if they still seem too large, you need to readjust your expectations and develop goals you can actually achieve.

5.  Measure.  Consistently track your goals to measure what is working and what’s not working so you can make necessary adjustments throughout the year.  Not measuring your goals is just as bad as not having any in the first place.

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How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear

Your price is too high! I can’t afford that.”

“Why should I hire you? I think I can handle this by myself.”

Have you heard any of these objections lately?

How did you respond?

What are the most effective ways to overcome these objections?

How do top Rainmakers reply?

If you’re like many attorneys you hear these objections every day…yet you aren’t sure your responses are effective. We can help you change that!

Over the course of this pre-recorded 60-minute webinar you will discover:

  • The top 5 biggest objections attorneys hear and how to overcome them
  • An easy 2-step process to effectively turn a “No” into a “Yes”
  • How to answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”
  • The #1 reason you are not converting more prospects into paying clients
  • How to get past “price” and uncover the prospect’s true objection

Click on this link now to access the How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear webinar now.

To Win at Legal Marketing, Know Who Is On The Other Side of the Ball

It’s Super Bowl Sunday!  You know, I believe that legal marketing is as competitive as any sport.  A well-prepared coach will know the facts about his opponent.  A well-prepared trial attorney will not only study their case, but also their opponent.

Marketing your law firm consists of quite a bit of information gathering; learning about top competitors is one of the first steps.

Below is a list of ideas you can use to become acquainted with your competitors to gain an important edge in your legal marketing efforts:

Review and analyze their website and social media profiles. You will be surprised what a law firm will reveal on their website and social networks.  Be sure to look up their individual attorneys on LinkedIn and other social networks.

Enlist a friend's help to interview their associates as a potential client. Be prepared with a list of questions before they place the actual call. Choose questions that will reveal important data about the competition. A simple telephone call can produce a wealth of information about the competition’s law firm marketing techniques.

Ask them to mail you some information about their law firm. The type of legal marketing material they send out will speak volumes about who they are and how they conduct business.

Sign-up for their e-newsletter (using your personal email address, of course).

Use Google to further bolster your law marketing strategic planning. Type in the keywords and phrases someone would use to find your practice area. For example, "LA personal injury lawyer" or "Real Estate Attorney Chicago" or "Estate Planning Lawyer in Manhattan".  Study the top 10 websites that come up. These are your most aggressive online competitors because they didn't get there by mistake.

Search to see how 'visible' they are.  Create a Google Alert for each of your competitors so you can receive news feeds about them as they happen.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to investigate as much as possible. Your successful competitors are no doubt learning about you too if they are using the best legal marketing techniques.

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FREE Report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources

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

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

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

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

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

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

50 Astounding Facts About Mobile Marketing

Jamie Turner, the founder of 60SecondMarketer.com, and Jeanne Hopkins at HubSpot recently compiled 50 Amazing Facts About Mobile Marketing and shared those with the world via SlideShare.

In case you missed it – or even had a remaining shred of doubt in your mind how important it is to optimize all your online properties for mobile -- here’s the show:

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Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

At The Rainmaker Institute, we define a “7 figure lifestyle law firm” as one that allows you to have the lifestyle that you want to live!

It’s more than just money or achieving a million dollars in revenue.

It’s about creating a lifestyle where you do what you love and building a business around your core values and interests.

In this recording of an interview between Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, and nationally recognized attorney John Bisnar, Stephen asks John to share with us some of the secrets he has used to create a law firm that allows him to go into the office only one day a week and take, on average, 3 to 4 months of vacation every year - all the while managing a very successful, multi-million dollar law firm!

You will receive either a CD or MP3 recording, plus we will email you a pdf transcript of the interview.

This interview will help you discover:

  • The difference between a law practice and a business
  • How to identify superstar employees to help you run your business
  • The difference between an Office Manager and a Business Manager
  • The 7 essential systems your firm must have & how to implement them
  • How to micromanage the client experience
  • Critical keys to success
  • And much more!

Click this link now to order Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

 

Why You Need to Integrate Video Into Your Legal Marketing Mix

According to the Pew Internet Project, 78% of adult Internet users watch videos online – on YouTube, their smartphones and on social media networks.  That’s almost everyone.

In fact, videos are one of the best ways to convert prospects into paying clients. We are visual beings and when we see someone talking on video we see their expressions, hear their tonality and can begin to feel a shared reality with the person we are looking to do business with.

People buy emotionally and justify logically, so the more emotion you can conjure on your website with videos the better.

You do not need to spend a fortune getting these done. An iPhone or simple Flip Camera will do the trick. The most important things to remember are:

1.  Make sure the audio is clear (while people will watch a less-than-perfect visual, they will NOT tolerate poor audio quality).

2.  Stand up when you record the video, you exude more energy and personality that way.

3.  Each video should be no more than 3 minutes (recording frequently asked questions is a great place to start).

4.  Be enthusiastic and compassionate in your videos -- people do business with people they know, like and trust.

Video also helps your SEO – you do know that Google owns YouTube, right?

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

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

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

What 95% of Law Firms Are Doing Wrong (and How You Can Fix It)

We have been doing a lot of secret shopper calls recently. Each time we do an event – like last weekend’s Rainmaker Retreat -- we have attorneys who say or think “my firm is different,” so we decided to put that excuse to rest by calling firms and secret shopping them and then reporting our findings.

Unfortunately, we’ve found that 95% of all the firms we are calling are doing a poor job at compelling Jessica, the caller, to do business with that firm or attorney.

A few things that will dramatically improve that initial call experience for a caller include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fixing this is not a tough task.  You just need to put a process in place that works for you and train your people to follow that process!  Sometimes the simplest fixes can provide compelling results – I know that this is one of those times.

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Last Chance!  Rainmaker Retreat Unplugged DVD Set 50% Off Until Feb. 1

Of all the seminars and speeches and presentations I have made to attorney groups throughout the past 12 years, nothing has proven to be more impactful than our two-day legal marketing seminar, the Rainmaker Retreat.

We schedule a session every month around the country and spend two intensive days teaching the principles and strategies of what works when it comes to legal marketing for small law firms and solo practitioners.

But I get that not everyone can leave his or her practice to attend a seminar.  Which is why we recorded a live session recently and created a six-CD set that we’re calling Rainmaker Retreat Unplugged.

Watching Rainmaker Retreat Unplugged on your own schedule will still provide you with an incredible opportunity to learn:

  • Over 65 proven online and offline legal marketing and business development strategies tailored specifically for small firms and solos;
  • Lead generation techniques that will teach you how to generate more leads from your website, social media and blogs;
  • Proven strategies for converting leads to clients and ways to increase your conversion rate so you don’t have to spend so much time and money generating new leads;
  • Ways you can double your referrals over the next 90 days.

Order your copy of Rainmaker Retreat Unplugged online by midnight ET on Friday, Jan. 31 and receive this incredible legal marketing tool for 50% off the regular price.

How to Handle A Negative Online Review

At a recent Rainmaker Retreat, we had an attorney who had gotten his first negative review online.  Naturally, he was upset about it.  But after being able to set his personal feelings aside, he realized it was important that he respond the right way.

So he asked during the group session, how do I handle a negative review?

We find that one of the biggest reasons attorneys are hesitant to get involved with social media and online review sites is that they are afraid they will get a negative review. Let me share something with you: you will always have someone who is not happy with your services, but to avoid using a powerful platform altogether because you are fearful that someone will give you a negative review doesn’t make sense.

The question is NOT if you will get a negative review but WHEN you will.

The way to successfully handle a negative review is first, to have as many positive reviews as possible. Think about it, the last time you went to order something on Amazon, did the product have both positive and negative reviews? Of course!

But you still purchased it right? Why? Because innately we all know that no matter what product or service is sold, there will always be someone who is not happy. So as long as we see more positive reviews than negative ones, we usually still invest in the product or service.

The second way to effectively handle a negative review is to recognize that it is just feedback. Maybe there is a blind spot in your firm that you are not aware of and by asking people to review you and give their honest feedback, you have the opportunity to grow, learn and improve the client experience. Although the experience can be painful, it is necessary if you really want to wow the client and build a lifestyle law firm.

If someone reviews you negatively on an open platform, don’t ignore it, address it quickly and professionally. Let the individual know you are sorry they are not happy and will do everything in your power to make it right. Let them know that although you have worked with 100s of clients who are happy with your services, to hear that there is even just one who is unhappy upsets and concerns you.

We were fortunate enough to get a rave review from business litigation attorney James Thomas, partner in the Atlanta law firm of Ichter Thomas, LLC, who attended our Rainmaker Retreat.  Here is what he had to say about his experience:

If you want to experience a truly different legal marketing seminar that will help you generate more leads and convert them into paying clients this year, then come to one of our Rainmaker Retreats.  Our next session will be May 30-31 in Las Vegas.

Click on the links above for more information or call 888-588-5891.

Improve Your Networking Prowess at LawMarketing.com Free Webinar Jan. 28

Are you a star at networking events?   Or do you struggle to find things to say?  Have a tough time engaging in conversations with strangers?  Find you just can’t get those important follow-up meetings that are the reason you go to networking events in the first place?

If so, then you probably should check out this free online webinar tomorrow (Tuesday, Jan. 28) at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PTSuccessful Icebreaking Strategies for Networking & Business Meetings for Lawyers.

This webinar is being led by Nancy Fox, the author of Networking Like a Fox and president of The Business Fox, a business advisory firm.  She will teach you how to:

  • Excel at breaking the ice with new connections
  • Develop engaging conversation while learning how to listen for business opportunities
  • Engage your new connections after the networking event
  • Get plenty of follow-up meetings with new contacts
  • And much more!

Sign up online for the free webinar, Successful Icebreaking Strategies for Networking & Business Meetings for Lawyers at 1 p.m. ET/ 10 a.m. PT tomorrow, Jan. 28.  If the time doesn’t work for you, register anyway and LawMarketing.com will send you a free recording of the entire webinar.

While you’re on the LawMarketing.com website, sign up for their weekly newsletter that is full of legal marketing tips you can put to use right away for your 2014 marketing program.

The 3 Worst Things You Can Do to Your Law Firm

In my work with more than 10,000 attorneys over the past 12 years, I have found that there are a number of things they are doing wrong that harm their firms – many of which they are totally unaware of. 

However, it has been my experience that there are three especially bad things you can do that can doom the future of your firm.  These are:

1.  Unwillingness to market.  There are thousands of new attorneys each year and many of them are younger and much more savvy when it comes to Internet marketing and using technology to help run their firms.   

2.  Not recognizing that attorneys are not your only competitors.  There are non-attorney competitors out there too that you need to find out how to out-market and out-sell.  The proliferation of online legal services like LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer has forever changed the way consumers access legal services.  It has become more important than ever that you are able to let prospects know exactly how and why you are different, and what kind of value you are able to provide – and you must do it online, where they are looking for your services.

3.  Thinking that if you are a “great lawyer” you will build a successful firm.  Unfortunately, this is not as important as it used to be. Often the firms that can market and sell the best are the ones that people hire, even if their quality of work is not the best. It’s about perception and making sure your firm is visible in the online marketing space.

Thankfully, none of these bad habits is irreparable.  A little self-awareness of what you are doing wrong and then taking the necessary steps to educate yourself – or hire someone who can help you – is all it takes to level the playing field.

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New On Demand Webinar:  How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn

The Rainmaker Institute’s business development specialist Alec Borenstein is featured on this online webinar that is now available on demand:  From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn.

Most attorneys already have a profile on LinkedIn, but very few know how to effectively use it to build a powerful referral network. With over 238 million professionals on LinkedIn, it has become one of the easiest ways to rapidly identify strategic contacts and build relationships with them!

In this advanced, information-packed 60-minute webinar you’ll learn:

  • How to generate targeted connections using LinkedIn
  • How to join and create LinkedIn groups to target your key referral sources and clients
  • Tools to land 2-4 lunches every month with your connections and referral partners
  • What to say during these meetings to ensure prospects remember you
  • How to follow up after your LinkedIn lunch

Click on this link now to access the one-hour webinar, From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn.

More of What Attorneys Are Learning About Legal Marketing at the Rainmaker Retreat

We’re still in Las Vegas for the second day of our 2-day legal marketing seminar, the Rainmaker Retreat, which is designed specially for solo practitioners and small firms to give you the tools you need to compete effectively in this hyper-competitive legal services market.

Here, as promised, are some more Q & A’s from the Rainmaker Retreat:

In general do you think normal advertising strategies are effective?

I will never say general advertising doesn’t work. But what I will say is that for most of you in the room, it is too expensive and too ineffective to pursue these types of strategies. You are going up against big dogs that probably have a bigger monthly marketing budget than your firm makes in an entire year. My aim is to teach you gorilla marketing so you can get into the marketing game, get a great return on investment and grow your firm without having to be a big-name, nationwide firm.

Why is it important to identify my ideal client?

  • You can refine your marketing language (makes your efforts more effective)
  • Referral sources know what type of prospect to send you
  • Everyone in your firm is clear on your vision
  • You can easily sort through prospects and not waste time on ones who are not ideal

How do I identify my ideal client?

  • Take a look at the past clients you’ve worked with that you’ve enjoyed and who have made you money.
  • Take an inventory of the demographics of those past clients.
  • Ask an average person (non-attorney) how they would search for an attorney who does what you do.

What are the best social media channels for me to focus on if I’m a business to business attorney?

LinkedIn and Facebook

What are the best social media channels for me to focus on if I’m a business to consumer attorney?

Facebook, a blog and Twitter

What are the top social media sites I should be concerned with as an attorney?

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, JDSupra, Avvo, a blog and YouTube

What is the most important component of social media campaigns?

You have to have unique and relevant content to push out to all your social media platforms, so the heartbeat of your effort must be a blog that you update the content on nearly every day (in fact, 7 days a week would be best). You then take information off this blog and push it to your other social media platform sites. If you don’t do this, you are missing the boat.

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Free Rainmaker Retreat Preview DVD Now Available

Wondering what it’s really like to attend the Rainmaker Retreat?  Get the insider’s view from attorneys who have already attended our two-day legal marketing seminar by ordering your free Rainmaker Retreat Preview DVD.

The DVD also includes a sneak preview of a Rainmaker Retreat that gives you:

  • Over 65 proven strategies to build a 7-figure law firm
  • How to triple your referral sources in 90 days
  • 10 techniques for dominating your competition online
  • How to create a 6 month marketing plan
  • How to transform your website into a client generating machine
  • Ways to promote your law firm to 150,000 people for $200
  • Using blogs and social media to build an internet empire
  • How an attorney doubled his revenues in 12 months
  • 7 proven ways to generate repeat business

Just click on this link to order your copy of the free Rainmaker Retreat Preview DVD or watch it live on your computer right now.

What Attorneys Are Learning at the Rainmaker Retreat Right Now

I am in Las Vegas with several members of my TRI team and a great group of attorneys and staff at our January Rainmaker Retreat

The feedback we get from attendees is that they not only enjoy what we have to teach but also from learning from each other.  To spread that around a little, I’m going to post some of the questions (with my answers) from lawyers attending the Rainmaker Retreat.

Here’s what’s on their minds today:

Q:  How exactly do prospects search for an attorney online?

A:  There are four major ways that consumers search for attorneys online:

Vanity Search -- practice area plus the word attorney or lawyer. These searches cost the most to rank for and do not have the best conversion rates.

Geographical search -- people search by city NOT County or State). Get specific to improve your rankings.

Social Media search -- using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms because it is a means to get a referral from a trusted source (peers, friends, connections, fans, etc.

Long tail search -- using lots of terms to find what they want. Not expensive on pay-per-click and has a high conversion rate b/c vanity searches generally mean the person is still in the research phase where someone who uses a long tail search is ready to take action.

Q:  When is the appropriate time to educate a client on who an ideal referral would be?

A:  From the moment they retain you. Educate them all the time on this. Because out of sight is out of mind. No one will actively go out of their way to build your business, it is up to you to proactively ask for referrals and educate clients on what an ideal referral is so they feel inclined to do so.

Q.  What are best practices for answering AVVO questions?

A:  Answering questions on Avvo is a great way to prospect for leads, but you have to do it right:

  • Answer questions quickly
  • Answer questions thoroughly
  • Bonus points are given to those attorney who answer 1st and who answer questions best
  • Give valuable information when answering the question
  • Answer questions you have the credibility to answer
  • Provide a meaningful answer; do not blatantly say “you need an attorney call me” over and over again on multiple questions because Avvo does not look kindly on this type of answer since it is not helpful for the consumer

I’ll post more tomorrow from our Rainmaker Retreat in Las Vegas.  Better yet, why don’t you join us for a future session and get all your questions about legal marketing answered and set your firm up for a great 2014?  Here are dates for upcoming Retreats:

Feb. 28-March 1, 2014 – Miami, FL

March 27-28, 2014 – New York City

Click on the links above for more information or call 888-588-5891.

Why Legal Marketers Need to Get Obsessed with Social Media

Even though I have been talking to lawyers about social media for several years, I am still amazed how much pushback I get from attorneys who swear their prospects and clients are not on social media.

Excuse me?  The only way your clients would not be on social media (as a group) is if they are dogs or cats or some other nonhuman species. 

What I have come to realize is that attorneys who don’t “believe” in social media are really just afraid of what they don’t understand.  These are usually people who themselves are not on social media, so they don’t think any of their clients are there either. 

Please remember, you are not your client.

One of the leading voices on all things Internet, the Search Engine Journal, recently produced the infographic below that charts the growth of social media.  Looks across all the age groups and you will see that participation continues to grow, and is really picking up among the older demographic (45-54 and 55-64).  For many, it has become an obsession.

Deny all you want, social media is not going away.  So you can either embrace it and reap the benefits or continue to ignore it and keep placing those good old Yellow Pages ads.  There are so many resources out there for you to explore and learn how to harness social media for marketing your law firm – our Rainmaker Retreat is but one – that you can quickly alleviate your fear through knowledge.

Make 2014 the year you do something really great to grow your law firm.

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Rainmaker Retreat Unplugged DVD Set 50% Off!

Of all the seminars and speeches and presentations I have made to attorney groups throughout the past 12 years, nothing has proven to be more impactful than our two-day legal marketing seminar, the Rainmaker Retreat.

We schedule a session every month around the country and spend two intensive days teaching the principles and strategies of what works when it comes to legal marketing for small law firms and solo practitioners.

But I get that not everyone can leave his or her practice to attend a seminar.  Which is why we recorded a live session recently and created a six-CD set that we’re calling Rainmaker Retreat Unplugged.

Watching Rainmaker Retreat Unplugged on your own schedule will still provide you with an incredible opportunity to learn:

  • Over 65 proven online and offline legal marketing and business development strategies tailored specifically for small firms and solos;
  • Lead generation techniques that will teach you how to generate more leads from your website, social media and blogs;
  • Proven strategies for converting leads to clients and ways to increase your conversion rate so you don’t have to spend so much time and money generating new leads;
  • Ways you can double your referrals over the next 90 days.

Order your copy of Rainmaker Retreat Unplugged online by midnight ET on Friday, Jan. 31 and receive this incredible legal marketing tool for 50% off the regular price.

Lead Conversion Lessons from the National Trial Lawyers Summit

On Monday I had the honor of speaking at the 2014 National Trial Lawyers Summit in Miami about a topic that should be at the top of every law firm’s marketing list:  lead conversion.  This is a skill that is woefully overlooked by most legal marketers, who instead focus 99% of their efforts and money on lead generation.

But why would you spend money on lead generation if you’re not doing anything to actually convert those leads into paying clients? 

The problem is, most lawyers believe they are great when it comes to lead conversion.  I get that no attorney wants to admit he or she doesn’t know how to close a deal, but that is not what lead conversion is all about. 

Lead conversion doesn’t begin when you are trying to close a sale, it begins the moment someone initiates contact with you.

And I can illustrate perfectly why most law firms simply stink at lead conversion. 

Not to shame any of the firms present at the National Trial Lawyers Summit, but during the weeks leading up to my presentation I had my staff call 126 of the firms that would be attending the Miami Summit.  I shared these results during my talk:

  • Only 40 of the 126 firms identified the name of the firm when we called.  The rest answered, ”Law Office” or “Law Firm”.
  • 70% did not ask our staff for any contact information
  • 90 firms left our staff on hold for at least two minutes
  • When our staff left their contact information for a call back, 52% of the firms never called back
  • When our staff asked for the firm’s website address, 33% misspelled it
  • When our staff asked why they should hire the firm, the responses were:
    • 23%  “We have a lot of experience”
    • 21%  “We care about our clients”
    • 17%   “I’m not sure”

Other interesting responses ranged from “I’m not at liberty to say” (intake person) to a partner who remarked, “I’m not going to say why we are different!”

I’ve performed similar call campaigns prior to our monthly Rainmaker Retreats, calling the offices of attendees and I have to tell you, the results are not that different.  Most of you do not have a proper lead conversion process in place that begins when someone calls or emails and your staff is poorly trained to boot!

As I related to my National Trial Lawyers Summit audience, there are 7 critical components to any lead conversion system and they must all be working in concert if you are to have any real success in converting your leads:

  1. A system that tracks where all your leads come from
  2. Customized for the way you do business
  3. Measures how many of your leads turn into appointments and how many convert into clients
  4. Automated follow up process so you never lose a lead
  5. Systems to help you convert more prospects into retentions
  6. Must include ongoing training for your staff
  7. Must include consulting on best practices in lead conversion

If you really want to make your lead generation efforts pay dividends, you simply must become better at lead conversion.  It is probably one of the least expensive yet most financially rewarding things you can do to boost your revenues in 2014.

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FREE Online Seminar:  Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

Join Stephen Fairley for a free 60-minute legal marketing webinar: Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan, where you will learn...

A proven legal marketing system that has helped 10,000 attorneys convert more prospects into paying clients.

Step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

Effective strategies to win clients in today's hyper-competitive online focused marketplace.

Creating a marketing plan for your law firm is the first step in building a foundation for a profitable future.  During this complimentary webinar, learn:

  • How to target market to get your ideal client 
  • Why your firm is not getting more referrals and how to change it
 
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
 
  • Effective online and offline marketing strategies
 
  • How to create a financial plan to fund your marketing budget
 
  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
 
  • 4 ways to create a unique competitive advantage
 
  • What is critical to have in place for today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

Stephen will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

There are several sessions of this free webinar scheduled; you can choose what works best for you from the drop-down menu when you click on the following link to register online for our FREE Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan online seminar.

5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve SEO

Yesterday in my post about how email marketing beats social media for client acquisition, I shared this chart from McKinsey & Co. consumer research:

You will note that the #1 channel for client acquisition is organic search.  And you can’t improve your organic search ranking without paying attention to SEO (search engine optimization). 

Thankfully for small firms and solos, SEO best practices have evolved past backlinking and coding to strategies that you have more control over – content marketing and social media participation.  Here are 5 things every law firm can do right now to improve SEO:

Optimize your law firm website.  You may want to hand this off to the experts, but you can actually do it yourself if you are willing to tinker under the hood a bit.  In fact, Moz has posted an excellent resource called The Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet 2.0, a free download that covers everything that needs to be done to properly optimize a website. 

Blog.  Search engines crave fresh, relevant, compelling content and reward you with a better ranking if you provide it. 

Guest blog.  Having guests post on your blog and vice versa exposes you to a wider audience and gets others to do some of the heavy lifting for you in promoting your content.

Social media participation.  Use your social media network to promote and distribute your blog content.  This provides important social signals back to your website that are important when it comes to SEO. 

Monitor online reputation.  Online reviews are also becoming more important for SEO, so it’s critical that you Google yourself and your firm on a regular basis to monitor what is being said about you online.  Be sure to let happy clients know how much you would appreciate their recommendation online.

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On-Demand Seminar: Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm

We are now providing one of our most popular seminars – Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm – in an on-demand format, so you can watch and learn at your convenience, as many times as you wish.

Over the last decade we have helped over 10,000 attorneys market and grow their business. During this time we have identified many of the key characteristics of highly successful law firms.

One of the more consistent ones is that they track specific numbers and key indicators that give them instant insight into how their law firm is performing on a weekly and monthly basis.

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.

In this fast paced seminar, you 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 “paralysis by analysis” 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 seminar! 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 seminar is a “can’t miss” event!

We 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!

To get this on-demand seminar, click on this link: Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm

Email Beats Social Media When It Comes to Client Acquisition

McKinsey & Co. recently posted an article on their Insights page about something we’ve known for a long time:  email works better than social media when it comes to getting new clients:

Of course it does.  Email, done right, is you having a one-to-one opportunity with your prospects.  And when I say done right, I mean you have a good list of people who want to hear what you have to say and you have segmented that list down to the gnat’s eyebrow when it comes to what they need from you.

Oh yes, it’s work.  It’s always easier to send out a mass email blast and hope that someone bites.  But you are doing your marketing efforts a disservice – and, worse, inconveniencing your prospects – by sending messages that have no relevance to them.

In their research, McKinsey found that having customized landing pages for your email offers can increase conversion rates by more than 25%.  What is a customized landing page?  Say you are offering your prospects a free report in your monthly e-newsletter.  When they click on the link, they are taken to a web page that goes into a little more detail about what is in the free report, and has a few boxes to capture their name and email address. 

Here is a sample of one of our Rainmaker Institute free report landing pages.

McKinsey also noted 2013 eMarketer.com research that found nearly 45% of all marketing emails are now opened on a mobile device.  If your landing page is not optimized for mobile, you have lost an opportunity to engage your prospect (maybe forever, as Google reports 61% of users who can’t access a mobile page will not return – and 40% visit a competitor’s website instead!).

So don’t neglect your email marketing as you integrate other tactics like social media into your legal marketing program.  Email still has a lot to give when you do it right.

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

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

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

LawMarketing.com Video: Google Trends for Law Firm Marketing

LawMarketing.com editor Cindy Greenway recently sat down with Nic Mayne, founder and owner of Mayne Marketing, to discuss the latest Google trends that impact law firm marketing.

As we all know, Google is constantly changing and refining the way it serves up search results based on hundreds of different factors.  It keeps moving further away from what used to be a gold standard – keywords – and more toward relevant content that will allow it to better serve up what people are actually searching for.

As Nic explains, conversational search is becoming more important and what that means for legal marketers is that your content must be packed with valuable information that provides a real benefit to the reader.  Listen as Nic explains:

LawMarketing.com has several informative law firm marketing videos posted on their own YouTube channel right now.   I encourage you to visit the site and also to sign up for their weekly newsletter that is full of legal marketing tips you can put to use right away for your 2014 marketing program.

Top 10 Best Practices for Law Firm Blogs

There are a number of excellent reasons you should be blogging – to demonstrate your expertise in your field of practice, to brand your firm, to differentiate yourself from competitors, to attract prospects and to boost your SEO with fresh content. 

If you are not seeing the results you want, then you need to be sure you are blogging effectively.  Here are the top 10 best practices for your law firm blog:

1.  Publish consistently.  You can’t build an audience without constantly feeding your blog with quality content.  If you find yourself falling behind, then now is a good time to establish an editorial calendar to help you plan ahead.

2.  Focus on your prospect.  People who seek legal advice have a problem they need solved.  Focus on that problem and provide valuable content to address your prospect’s needs.

3.  Create great titles.  You won’t get many readers if you don’t have an enticing headline. 

4.  Include images.  Images are another way to attract attention for your blog posts.

5.  Include a call-to-action.   What do you want your prospects to do after reading your blog?  Sign up for a newsletter?  Download a free report?  Experiment with different CTAs and use those that help you increase your conversion rate.

6.  Optimize your blog posts.  Keywords are still important to include in your posts, but remember that you are writing for a human being, not a search engine.  You’ll be penalized by loading a post with too many keywords and you won’t impress the prospects you are trying to attract.

7.  Respond to comments.  One of the key reasons you should be blogging is to engage with prospects, so if someone takes the time to post a comment on your blog, be sure you comment back in a timely manner.

8.  Share on social media.  Every one of your posts should be shared on all your social networks to extend your reach.

9.  Build relationships with other bloggers.  Identify other bloggers who are experts in your field, comment on their posts and invite them to post on your blog.  Hopefully they will reciprocate.

10.  Create great content.  If you’re not a good writer, then you will need to outsource this task.  Just be sure that the person you engage understands what you do and has experience in writing for attorneys.   

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FREE Online Seminar:  Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

Join Stephen Fairley for a free 60-minute legal marketing webinar: Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan, where you will learn...

A proven legal marketing system that has helped 10,000 attorneys convert more prospects into paying clients.

Step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

Effective strategies to win clients in today's hyper-competitive online focused marketplace.

Creating a marketing plan for your law firm is the first step in building a foundation for a profitable future.  During this complimentary webinar, learn:

  • How to target market to get your ideal client 
  • Why your firm is not getting more referrals and how to change it
 
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
 
  • Effective online and offline marketing strategies
 
  • How to create a financial plan to fund your marketing budget
 
  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
 
  • 4 ways to create a unique competitive advantage
 
  • What is critical to have in place for today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

Stephen will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

There are several sessions of this free webinar scheduled; you can choose what works best for you from the drop-down menu when you click on the following link to register online for our FREE Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan online seminar.

Taking the Angler's Approach to Marketing Your Law Firm

I love to fish.  If I am taking time off, it will most likely be with a rod in my hand and a heart full of anticipation for the ancient dance of man vs. fish.

Which is why I loved a recent article in the UK’s Law Society Gazette that examined the parallels between legal marketing and fly-fishing by Sue Bramall, who runs a legal marketing company across the pond and obviously knows her way around a fly rod and a fast moving stream.

I’ll sum up her points here about taking the angler’s approach to marketing your legal services:

Find the right time.  The bait doesn’t matter if the fish aren’t feeding.  Understand what triggers a prospect’s need for your services.

Find the right place.  When you fish a familiar body of water, you know the spots where you are most likely to catch a fish.  Once you understand your target market, you will be able to identify the best venues (online and offline) to find them. 

Choose the right lure.  Not every fish is attracted by the same lure and not every client will be attracted by the same marketing tactic.  Knowing your target market means knowing which marketing tools to use to reel them in.

Anticipate a feeding frenzy.  Sometimes new laws or regulations will trigger a feeding frenzy for your services.  Be ready by anticipating and preparing the right solution.

Drop a line.  You will never catch anything if you don’t put a line in the water.  Done is better than perfect when it comes to law firm marketing.

Set the hook.  When you feel a tug on the line, you set the hook or your fish is gone.  Don’t fail to respond in a timely manner to inquiries.

Be patient.  All anglers know the feeling of being skunked at one time or another.  You may go a long time before you get that trophy catch, but having the patience to persevere will eventually get you there.

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Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

At The Rainmaker Institute, we define a “7 figure lifestyle law firm” as one that allows you to have the lifestyle that you want to live!

It’s more than just money or achieving a million dollars in revenue.

It’s about creating a lifestyle where you do what you love and building a business around your core values and interests.

In this recording of an interview between Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, and nationally recognized attorney John Bisnar, Stephen asks John to share with us some of the secrets he has used to create a law firm that allows him to go into the office only one day a week and take, on average, 3 to 4 months of vacation every year - all the while managing a very successful, multi-million dollar law firm!

You will receive either a CD or MP3 recording, plus we will email you a pdf transcript of the interview.

This interview will help you discover:

  • The difference between a law practice and a business
  • How to identify superstar employees to help you run your business
  • The difference between an Office Manager and a Business Manager
  • The 7 essential systems your firm must have & how to implement them
  • How to micromanage the client experience
  • Critical keys to success
  • And much more!

Click this link now to order Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

Plug Into Proven Legal Marketing Strategies with Rainmaker Retreat Unplugged

Of all the seminars and speeches and presentations I have made to attorney groups throughout the past 12 years, nothing has proven to be more impactful than our two-day legal marketing seminar, the Rainmaker Retreat.

We schedule a session every month around the country and spend two intensive days teaching the principles and strategies of what works when it comes to legal marketing for small law firms and solo practitioners.

But I get that not everyone can leave their practice to attend a seminar.  Which is why we recorded a live session recently and created a six-CD set that we’re calling Rainmaker Retreat Unplugged.

Of course, nothing replaces the experience of being at a Rainmaker Retreat in person, since group participation and learning from peers is also part of the success of this program.  We have three sessions on the schedule right now if you can get away:

Jan. 24-25, 2014 – Las Vegas, NV

Feb. 28-Mar.1, 2014 – Miami, FL

Mar. 27-28, 2014 -- New York City

But if you can’t make one of these seminars, then consider getting your firm a copy of Rainmaker Retreat Unplugged, which we are offering at 50% off during the month of January.

Watching Rainmaker Retreat Unplugged on your own schedule will still provide you with an incredible opportunity to learn:

  • Over 65 proven online and offline legal marketing and business development strategies tailored specifically for small firms and solos;
  • Lead generation techniques that will teach you how to generate more leads from your website, social media and blogs;
  • Proven strategies for converting leads to clients and ways to increase your conversion rate so you don’t have to spend so much time and money generating new leads;
  • Ways you can double your referrals over the next 90 days.

Order your copy of Rainmaker Retreat Unplugged online by midnight ET on Friday, Jan. 31 and receive this incredible legal marketing tool for 50% off the regular price.

Let's make 2014 the year you do something really great to grow your law firm.

 

7 Email Marketing Myths Debunked

Email marketing firm Alchemy Worx routinely scrubs its client data to improve email marketing performance.  The company recently outlined 7 myths about email marketing that are still ubiquitous today, but that really need to be rethought since the company’s own user research, as well as statistics from Direct Marketing Association research, show that often just the opposite is true.

Here are those 7 myths:

1.  Consumers get too many branded emails.  In fact, research shows that 60% of consumers say they receive less than six emails a day from trusted brands.

2.  Timing isn’t everything.  85% of email opens occur within two days of receiving an email, so don’t get caught up in thinking your email needs to be sent on a certain day at a certain time.

3.  “Inactive users” should be culled from your list after six months.  Actually, 20% of your annual openers do so after being inactive for six months.

4.  Consumers mark most branded emails as spam.  Less than one subscriber in every 2,000 will mark an email as spam.

5.  The more email a brand sends, the more they are ignored.  Actually, if you send four emails a month instead of just one, this actually doubles the number of consumers who will open one or more of your emails.

6.  You get better results with short subject lines.  It depends on how you define results.  Research shows that email subject lines with under 60 characters increases opens, but subject lines of more than 70 characters increases the number of clicks received.

7.  Email goes to a spam folder because of subject lines.  According to an analysis of 540 billion emails, spam keywords like “free” have little or no effect on whether they will end up in the junk folder.

The latest McKinsey research, which Lawyers.com editor-in-chief Larry Bodine reported about on his blog last week, shows that email marketing is still a highly effective way to acquire new clients.

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money!

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

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

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

Click here to download this free report, and start using these proven strategies today!

12 Reasons to Create Law Firm Press Releases

My company and many of the law firms I have worked with have had fantastic results with press releases. I have literally issued a press release at 9:00 a.m. and by 5:00 p.m. the release is already indexed by Google and is coming up in the top 10 or 20 positions, so this is very effective.

I recommend that you write at least one press release per month. If you are a growing practice, then I recommend that you write up to two, three, or four a month depending on how many you can get out.

If you’re looking for things to write about in hopes of gaining media coverage while improving your SEO through the use of press releases, you can’t do better than these reasons to write and distribute a press release to the media.

Write a press release to:

1.  Gain media exposure in hopes to increase…

  • exposure or public knowledge about your firm
  • practice areas
  • a positive image

2.  Promote a specific...

  • person
  • service
  • event
  • idea
  • contest

3.  Fundraiser

4.  Inform the public about...

  • an aspect of your law firm that is unique and stands out from the crowd
  • a new development in an ongoing project
  • a new project or unusual case

5. Start a campaign using your law firm’s services to...

  • help save or promote a cause
  • create an awareness about something important

6. Attract an audience to attend a...

  • speaking engagement
  • book signing
  • conference

7. Educate your audience – people who would likely need the services of your law firm...

  • do’s and don’ts in your industry
  • the “best of” or “worst of” lists

8.  Update the media or set the media straight about something they reported on

9.  Tie your law firm in with current news topics

10.  Showcase a particular unique service or event within your law firm

11.  Tie your product or service into a holiday theme

12.  Get answers to a law firm client survey, like what small business owners see as the greatest legal challenges, etc.

Whatever you do, don’t just say to yourself that these are good ideas but you don’t have time to get involved now. The key to improving your practice and developing the law firm of your dreams isn’t just knowledge; it’s knowledge accompanied by action. 

 

How to Talk Your Way Into Becoming a Recognized Expert, Part 2 of 2

I speak to bar associations big and small all over the country every year, and I can’t remember ever not having attorneys seek me out after the event to ask me how I could help them. In fact, some of my biggest clients have come to me that way. So I feel confident in telling you that nearly every time you speak, if you do it right, you can generate business as well as enhance your reputation as a recognized expert in your field of practice.

Of course, doing it right means following up.  In fact, the number one reason why people who speak at events don’t get the results they are after is because of their follow up -- or more precisely, their lack thereof.

You must develop your follow up strategy before you speak. So what kind of follow up works? Let me give you an example of what I am talking about.

Let’s say you want to follow up your presentation with a series of emails. So you would send out email #1 within 24 hours after the seminar, thank them for attending and perhaps even offer a free gift or a free report. The free gift could be a free half hour consultation where you will give them an assessment of their case or how you could help them. Or you might offer them a free audio CD.

If you choose to follow up by telephone, this is something you yourself should not be doing. It is something to outsource to your staff, but essentially they would be doing the same thing as in the email, thanking them for coming and offering a free consultation.

If you use this kind of strategy every time you speak, you will get much better results from your presentations – building your reputation as a recognized expert and getting new clients at the same time. 

How to Talk Your Way Into Becoming a Recognized Expert, Part 1 of 2

For those of you who have done some speaking in seminars and presentations, you know that sometimes you are doing great, you have the rapt attention of the audience and it goes really well. Other times, it may feel as if you bombed, you just weren’t making a connection.

One of the reasons why that may happen is because you didn’t have the right group. If an organization asks you to speak, you need to make sure you are in front of the right people. Find out:

  • The number of people expected to attend
  • The demographic profile of the audience
  • A list of topics from previous presentations

The more you know about the group, the better you will be able to tailor your presentation, and you must avoid speaking to the wrong groups!

You should also remember that there are many different forms of speaking engagements. You could speak at a private client-only seminar where you invite a few of your clients or the clients of a referral partner. Or you could be part of a moderated panel discussion.

You can also utilize current technologies to host an online webinar or web conference where your PowerPoint presentation is what is seen on screen and you talk to your audience via a bridge conference call.

Next, your subject matter has to be educational. People do not want to hear legal jargon, they want practical, useful information without a sales pitch.  Now, I can hear most of you thinking that you don’t want to give away the store! I don’t want to give so much information that they can just go do it themselves!

Look, there MAY be some who would try to do that, but they are not your clients! You want to target the people who have the money to hire an attorney so that they don’t have to do it themselves. You don’t want the tire kickers or the do-it-yourself crowd because they will beat you up on your price anyway.

You have to make sure you are targeting the right audience. And if you give a good, educational presentation, the right people will seek you out after the seminar to ask questions, plus in most cases you will be able to get the attendees’ contact information so that you can be ready to contact them later. If it is not you who is sponsoring the presentation, ask them to capture the attendees’ email addresses whenever possible, because as you will see in tomorrow’s post, follow up is the secret ingredient.

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Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers

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

More than 10,000 attorneys from law firms all over the country have experienced powerful results from attending the Becoming A Rainmaker seminar. It has been sponsored by more than 22 of the largest state and local bar associations.

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

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

Click to order Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers.

What Is Lead Conversion? Why Should You Care?

I had the opportunity recently to be interviewed by LawMarketing.com editor-in-chief Cindy Greenway on a topic of great importance when it comes to increasing your law firm revenues: lead conversion.

I tell all the attendees of our Rainmaker Retreat that you can boil down the secret to making more money this year to 3 things; doing just one will result in a substantial increase in your revenues.  You can either:

  1. Double your number of leads
  2. Double your rates
  3. Double your conversion rates, which means converting more leads into clients

The first step in any effective lead conversion strategy is to define what a lead is, then make sure everyone in your firm is on the same page when it comes to that definition.  At the Rainmaker Institute, we define a lead as:

  • Someone who has never done business with you before.
  • Someone who expresses an interest in your services.
  • Everyone who contacts your firm.

An effective lead conversion program depends on two things:  (1) a process and (2) a system for tracking the effectiveness of that process. 

To understand how to establish this process, you need to understand that there are essentially five stages of the lead conversion process that require intervention and follow-up at every stage:

1.  The number of leads that come into your firm.

2.  The number of leads that make appointments.

3.  The number of appointments who actually show up for a consultation.

4.  The number of appointments who sign up for your legal services at the initial consultation.

5.  The number of appointments who sign up at some later time after the initial consultation.

The way you follow up during each stage will determine how quickly and effectively you are able to move someone along from becoming a lead to a paying client.  The most effective follow-up tools include phone calls, a regular schedule of emails that help move them along the decision-making process, and e-newsletters that keep you top-of-mind. 

Here is the video from my first interview on the subject of lead conversion with Cindy at LawMarketing.com; we have others in this series planned for the near future, which I will share here as well:

Go here to sign up for the LawMarketing.com free newsletter so you can get more valuable legal marketing information delivered to your inbox every week. 

3 Surefire Ways to Fail at Social Media Marketing

A Search Engine Journal article recently took marketing agencies to task for failing clients in three major ways when it comes to social media marketing, providing some cautionary tales for law firm marketers.

At the Rainmaker Institute, we have spent the last decade working hard to provide legitimate social media marketing strategies to more than 10,000 attorneys nationwide and it always pains me to see law firms hire help that hurts instead. 

Just like many things in life, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things when it comes to social media.  And since the landscape is ever changing, marketers that don’t keep on top of the latest trends can do themselves and the clients they serve no small harm when they do it wrong.

The three surefire ways to fail at social media marketing include:

Set it and forget it.  Social media is just that:  social!  Which means you have to participate.  Just like you wouldn’t attend a networking function and sit in a corner saying nothing to no one, you can’t just throw up a page on Facebook or LinkedIn and call it a day.  At the Rainmaker Institute, we add new content to our social media pages and blog every day, respond to those who make a comment and always strive to engage our followers in a conversation.  This is what it’s all about.  If you just have a social media page for your law firm that is devoid of relevant, recent content, you are NOT engaged in social media marketing.  In fact, you are basically telling prospects you have nothing to say.

Post and hope.  As I’ve always said, hope is not a business strategy.  Simply putting up a post on your social media pages and hoping for the best means you have no goal for your social media marketing.  And with no goal, you have no program.   

Lack of meaningful goals.  The purpose of any marketing program is to deliver measurable results, whether that measurement is in terms of increased leads, sales or even improved SEO.  Too often, marketers fall in love with their number of “likes” and “+1s” without discerning if these really add anything to the bottom line.  We see social media as a means to an end, not as an end in and of itself – and the end should be more leads delivered through engaging on these forums.  It takes time and effort, but don’t most good things in life?

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New!  FREE Report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social Media Demographic Profiles Help Attorneys Find Their Prospects

The Pew Research Center recently released its Social Media Update 2013 and included in the findings were clear demographic profiles of who is frequenting the five major social networks, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Reporting on these findings, MarketingCharts.com released this chart that details those demographic profiles:

Based on its survey of more than 1,800 U.S. adults, the Pew Social Media Update reports that 73% of online adults use at least one social media site, with Facebook the clear choice (71%), followed by LinkedIn (22%), Pinterest (21%), Twitter (18%) and Instagram (17%). 

In addition, Pew reports that 42% of online adults use two or more social networks and 36% of online adults stick to just one social media site.  Here are some additional highlights by social network:

Facebook

By far the largest preferred social network, Facebook has shown a significant increase in usage by online adults over the age of 65.  Pew reports that 45% of this age group now uses Facebook, an increase of 10% from the prior year, and that 63% of Facebook users visit the site every day.

Since Facebook is the proverbial 800 lb. gorilla when it comes to social media, it has a place in every law firm’s social media marketing strategy.  However, with the most growth occurring in the baby boomer demographic, it makes sense for attorneys whose practice areas target this age group – especially estate planning and family law (currently, more seniors are divorcing than any other age group) practitioners.

LinkedIn

One key finding from the Pew report is that LinkedIn is the only social media site whose usage among those over the age of 50 is greater than those aged 18-29.  As noted in the demographic profile chart above, LinkedIn also skews male, college educated and higher income.  According to Pew, 13% of LinkedIn users visit the site daily, while 34% use it every week.

Twitter

Pew reports that Twitter usage grew about 2% in 2013, and is a social media platform that is particularly popular among younger adults (18-29) and African-Americans.  Pew says that 46% of Twitter users visit the site every day.

Pinterest

If your practice targets higher income women, then you should be looking for ways to leverage Pinterest – a site whose users share content by “pinning” images, videos and other content to a pinboard -- to promote your practice.  Pew found that 33% of online women frequent Pinterest, compared with just 8% of men. 

So what would attorneys “pin”?  Not pleadings or office photos or the courtroom, but rather things that are of interest to you as a person – your hobbies or collections, for example.  This is simply another opportunity to network.

Instagram

Instagram, the photo and video sharing site, saw its usage among young adults (18-29) grow almost 10% last year and usage among African-Americans grew 11%.  If you are a younger attorney whose practice targets younger adults, then you should consider Instagram.  The Pew research shows that 57% of Instagram users pay daily visits to the site.

While attorneys do not need to be on every social media network, you do need to choose at least one – and your choice should lie with where your target market can be found.

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

With over 238 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn has quickly become THE ‘go to’ business-to-business directory and the most popular social networking platform dedicated to professional business development.

To ignore it is the proverbial equivalent of sticking your head in the sand.

Learning how to use LinkedIn to your biggest advantage takes time and effort, but it is time well spent.

If you are new to LinkedIn, it can be confusing, much like any new software that you need to learn to grow your business.

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

  • What LinkedIn can help you accomplish
  • Valuable LinkedIn features that can increase the power of your network
  • Smart ways top attorneys use LinkedIn
  • What your profile needs in order to be effective
  • How to make people want to know more about you
  • And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn.

How to Attract Prospects with an Infographic

Infographics are a great way to get traffic to your website and more hits from social media.  I ran across the infographic below that I wanted to share as a compelling example of how a law firm can put together some great information about their practice area that most prospects would find very interesting.   

There are a number of free or low-cost tools out there you can use to create an infographic for your law firm.  Check out this article from The Moz Blog on 10 tools for creating infographics for a review of the most popular options.

9 Steps to Develop a Social Media Strategy for Your Law Firm

If you have not yet focused any of your legal marketing efforts on social media, you are already behind the times.

Don’t let another year go by without utilizing powerful social media marketing strategies to attract prospects and improve your search engine ranking results.  Here are 9 steps to create a social media strategy for your law firm:

Mission.  Whether you want to generate more leads or merely enhance your brand in the social media world, you must first set your goals.  Be specific.

Market.  Define your target market and then research their habits, needs and social media activities. 

Message.  Craft the message that will best appeal to the needs of your target market and find the keywords that reinforce that message.

Media.  Decide which social networks are best for attracting followers and readers who are in  your target market.

Medium.  Decide what kind of content will help you reach your target – blogs, videos, photos, etc.

Mix.  Mix in your social media marketing with your current marketing efforts, adding links to your website, blog, e-newsletters, etc.

Management.  Decide who will be responsible for posting , how often you will post, who will manage replies and other management tasks so your social media marketing campaign doesn’t flounder.

Measurement.  Measure your stats to see if your audience is growing and what messages and strategies are paying off for you.  Then do more to build on that success.

Money.  Budget for your social media marketing effort and measure your ROI.  If you need to hire outside help, that costs money. 

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FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

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

  • Why you must have a blog in order to stay relevant
  • 3 keys to successful blogging
  • 7 Guidelines for achieving ROI
  • Your 3 choices for managing your blog and social media efforts
  • And much more!

Click now for your FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal.

How Any Attorney Can Become a Rainmaker & Build a Profitable Practice

At The Rainmaker Institute, we have worked with and trained over 10,000 attorneys all across the country, the majority of which are attorneys who own and manage small and medium sized law firms.

We understand the challenges you face on a daily basis. Not only are you the lawyer, but also the marketing department, the bookkeeper, and the human resources manager. Like most attorneys I know, you didn’t go to law school to become a marketing guru or an expert at operating a business! I get it.

But a business is what you have and if you don’t place enough emphasis on marketing and business development, you will not have any clients to practice law on. You may have found yourself in private practice, running a business but without a road map. The Rainmaker Retreat will help to level the playing field and allow you to compete against and consistently win clients away from larger firms with huge advertising budgets!

Here is just a small sample of the actionable methods you will learn at the Rainmaker Retreat:

Specific strategies highly successful attorneys are using right now on the Internet and with social media to attract hundreds of people to their websites and blogs every month, convert them to paying clients, and keep them coming back and sending a steady stream of referrals!

Dozens of ways to drastically reduce the cost of your marketing campaigns and still get more clients than you might believe possible.

How to implement low cost marketing tools and systems that let you control your practice – instead of your practice controlling you!

Experience why 35 of the largest State and local Bar Associations have sponsored our events. With our 100% Money Back Guarantee, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain by attending a Rainmaker Retreat.

We have sessions scheduled for the first two months of 2014:

January 24 & 25, 2014 – Las Vegas, NV

February 28 & March 1, 2014 – Miami, FL

To register online, visit www.rainmakerretreat.com or call us at 888-588-5891.  We offer an Early Bird discount that can save you 15% off the regular registration fee!

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FREE Online Seminar:  Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

Join Stephen Fairley for a free 60-minute legal marketing webinar: Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan, where you will learn...

A proven legal marketing system that has helped 10,000 attorneys convert more prospects into paying clients.

Step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

Effective strategies to win clients in today's hyper-competitive online focused marketplace.

Creating a marketing plan for your law firm is the first step in building a foundation for a profitable future.  During this complimentary webinar, learn:

  • How to target market to get your ideal client 
  • Why your firm is not getting more referrals and how to change it
 
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
 
  • Effective online and offline marketing strategies
 
  • How to create a financial plan to fund your marketing budget
 
  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
 
  • 4 ways to create a unique competitive advantage
 
  • What is critical to have in place for today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

Stephen will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

There are several sessions of this free webinar scheduled; you can choose what works best for you from the drop-down menu when you click on the following link to register online for our FREE Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan online seminar.

Make Content Marketing a Priority in 2014

If there’s one area where attorneys can excel, it’s creating content.  Your knowledge and experience are useful not only in the court room, but can also be turned into a highly successful legal marketing strategy that can reap big rewards in terms of new client prospects.

Here are some tips for good content marketing practices:

1.  Plan ahead.  Brainstorm a list of topics that would appeal to your target audience.  Review your website analytics to see what pages of your site are getting the most visits, which can help stimulate ideas.  Dig up speeches and presentations you’ve made over the last few years and repurpose those for articles, press releases and blog posts.  Subscribe to blogs and news feeds that cover your practice area for ideas.

2.  Make it interesting.  Nielsen research shows that most people spend about a minute on any given web page, so strive to make your content easily digestible in that timeframe.  Use short paragraphs and subheads to keep readers’ attention.  Punch it up with references to current events or pop culture to make your content timely.  Include client success stories (not using real names, of course).

3. Optimize your content.  Be sure to optimize your content for search by including your keywords and keyword phrases in your title, subheads and image file names. 

4.  Create backlinks.  Sprinkle your content with links back to your website, blog, social media profiles or previous posts to create backlinks, which help boost your search engine ranking.  Comment on other articles, blogs or forums with links back to a relevant post you’ve written, but be sure your comment adds value or it may be viewed as spam. 

5.  Go social.  Promote your videos, posts, articles, press releases and other content on all your social network channels – not only on your own Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter page, but also through submissions to the discussion pages of groups you’ve joined.  

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

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

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

Ask These 3 Questions to Transform Your Legal Practice in 2014

You may have spent some time over the holiday break evaluating what worked and what didn’t for your legal practice in 2013.  Any successful business owner knows they always need to be doing something of value that will contribute to the success of their organization.

As you begin looking forward to 2014, ask yourself 3 simple questions that can get you on the right path to transforming your practice this year:

1.  What is the outcome I want?

Keeping in mind the end game will help stop you from focusing too much on the bumps along the road.  Getting distracted by problems instead of focusing on solutions keeps you stuck where you are.

2.  What stands in the way?

Identifying obstacles and then finding ways to eliminate, avoid or neutralize those obstacles is fundamental to business success. 

3.  Who has figured it out already?

Successful people learn not only from their own mistakes, but also from the mistakes of others.  They also learn from the success of others, a fundamental approach we have used in teaching more than 10,000 attorneys the successful practice of law firm marketing at our Rainmaker Retreat two-day legal marketing seminar.

Our first Rainmaker Retreat of 2014 is scheduled for Jan. 24 & 25 in Las Vegas at the Aria Resort and Casino.  You can save 45% right now by taking advantage of our Early Bird registration; register online at www.rainmakerretreat.com or call 888-588-5891.

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Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

At The Rainmaker Institute, we define a “7 figure lifestyle law firm” as one that allows you to have the lifestyle that you want to live!

It’s more than just money or achieving a million dollars in revenue.

It’s about creating a lifestyle where you do what you love and building a business around your core values and interests.

In this recording of an interview between Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, and nationally recognized attorney John Bisnar, Stephen asks John to share with us some of the secrets he has used to create a law firm that allows him to go into the office only one day a week and take, on average, 3 to 4 months of vacation every year - all the while managing a very successful, multi-million dollar law firm!

You will receive either a CD or MP3 recording, plus we will email you a pdf transcript of the interview.

This interview will help you discover:

  • The difference between a law practice and a business
  • How to identify superstar employees to help you run your business
  • The difference between an Office Manager and a Business Manager
  • The 7 essential systems your firm must have & how to implement them
  • How to micromanage the client experience
  • Critical keys to success
  • And much more!

Click this link now to order Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

A New Year's Gift for Our Attorney Friends and Fans

As we close out the old year and ring in the new, it's time to take stock of a lot of things, and one of them should be your law firm.

One of things that all attorneys should be thinking about is how to make 2014 your most successful year ever. To build and create a 'lifestyle' law firm, one that is professionally satisfying, but allows you the time to do what is important to you; to live a self directed life with plenty of money to do it with.

The Rainmaker Retreat, our highly successful 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, has been the catalyst for hundreds of attorneys to re-invent their law firm and create automatic systems that consistently deliver a steady stream of new leads and clients. 

My Rainmaker In A Box, Volume 1 is a consistent best seller at the Rainmaker Institute. It's 4 DVDs and a data DVD that pulls back the curtain of our closely guarded Rainmaker marketing system with color-by-the-numbers systems you can use now to rapidly get new leads and clients. We sell a boatload of these every year for $397.

This DVD set is a quick-start guide to the best marketing strategies used by our top clients, filled with the secrets to building a referral-based practice, powerful on-line marketing strategies, and an 8 step system to creating your law firm marketing plan.

It's yours FREE when you register for the next Rainmaker Retreat.

For dates and locations, please click the link below:

www.RainmakerRetreat.com/Events

We only have a limited quantity of the free gifts, so please act now as they will all be gone soon.

All of us at The Rainmaker Institute wish you and yours a joyous holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you at the Rainmaker Retreat.

Happy New Year!

The 12 Days of Legal Marketing Infographics (12 of 12)

I am taking some time off over the holidays and hope you are too.  We all need some time away to refresh our brains and prepare ourselves for the challenges of a new business year. 

While I’m away, I thought I would share 12 of my favorite infographics from this blog in 2013.  Each one of them can help you improve your legal marketing in 2014.

Everyone at the Rainmaker Institute joins me in wishing you the happiest of holidays and a most prosperous New Year!

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

Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process.  Stephen Fairley unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

  • How to determine the best source for your referrals
  • How to explain your ideal target market to a referral source
  • How to get referrals from other attorneys
  • Whether online directories are a good referral source
  • How to network effectively
  • And much, much more!

 

Click now for your free report on 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice.

The 12 Days of Legal Marketing Infographics (11 of 12)

I am taking some time off over the holidays and hope you are too.  We all need some time away to refresh our brains and prepare ourselves for the challenges of a new business year. 

While I’m away, I thought I would share 12 of my favorite infographics from this blog in 2013.  Each one of them can help you improve your legal marketing in 2014.

Everyone at the Rainmaker Institute joins me in wishing you the happiest of holidays and a most prosperous New Year!

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A Holiday Gift for Our Attorney Friends and Fans

As we get ready to close out the year, it's time to take stock of a lot of things, and one of them should be your law firm.

One of things that all attorneys should be thinking about is how to make 2014 your most successful year ever. To build and create a 'lifestyle' law firm, one that is professionally satisfying, but allows you the time to do what is important to you; to live a self directed life with plenty of money to do it with.

The Rainmaker Retreat, our highly successful 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, has been the catalyst for hundreds of attorneys to re-invent their law firm and create automatic systems that consistently deliver a steady stream of new leads and clients. 

My Rainmaker In A Box, Volume 1 is a consistent best seller at the Rainmaker Institute. It's 4 DVDs and a data DVD that pulls back the curtain of our closely guarded Rainmaker marketing system with color-by-the-numbers systems you can use now to rapidly get new leads and clients. We sell a boatload of these every year for $397.

This DVD set is a quick-start guide to the best marketing strategies used by our top clients, filled with the secrets to building a referral-based practice, powerful on-line marketing strategies, and an 8 step system to creating your law firm marketing plan.

It's yours FREE when you register for the next Rainmaker Retreat.

For dates and locations, please click the link below:

www.RainmakerRetreat.com/Events

We only have a limited quantity of the free gifts, so please act now as they will all be gone soon.

All of us at The Rainmaker Institute wish you and yours a joyous holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you at the Rainmaker Retreat.

 

Happy Holidays!

The 12 Days of Legal Marketing Infographics (9 of 12)

I am taking some time off over the holidays and hope you are too.  We all need some time away to refresh our brains and prepare ourselves for the challenges of a new business year. 

While I’m away, I thought I would share 12 of my favorite infographics from this blog in 2013.  Each one of them can help you improve your legal marketing in 2014.

Everyone at the Rainmaker Institute joins me in wishing you the happiest of holidays and a most prosperous New Year!

The 12 Days of Legal Marketing Infographics (10 of 12)

I am taking some time off over the holidays and hope you are too.  We all need some time away to refresh our brains and prepare ourselves for the challenges of a new business year. 

While I’m away, I thought I would share 12 of my favorite infographics from this blog in 2013.  Each one of them can help you improve your legal marketing in 2014.

Everyone at the Rainmaker Institute joins me in wishing you the happiest of holidays and a most prosperous New Year!

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.

 

The 12 Days of Legal Marketing Infographics (8 of 12)

I am taking some time off over the holidays and hope you are too.  We all need some time away to refresh our brains and prepare ourselves for the challenges of a new business year. 

While I’m away, I thought I would share 12 of my favorite infographics from this blog in 2013.  Each one of them can help you improve your legal marketing in 2014.

Everyone at the Rainmaker Institute joins me in wishing you the happiest of holidays and a most prosperous New Year!

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

With over 238 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn has quickly become THE ‘go to’ business-to-business directory and the most popular social networking platform dedicated to professional business development.

To ignore it is the proverbial equivalent of sticking your head in the sand.

Learning how to use LinkedIn to your biggest advantage takes time and effort, but it is time well spent.

If you are new to LinkedIn, it can be confusing, much like any new software that you need to learn to grow your business.

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

  • What LinkedIn can help you accomplish
  • Valuable LinkedIn features that can increase the power of your network
  • Smart ways top attorneys use LinkedIn
  • What your profile needs in order to be effective
  • How to make people want to know more about you
  • And much, much more!

 

Click here now to receive your free report on How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn.

The 12 Days of Legal Marketing Infographics (4 of 12)

I am taking some time off over the holidays and hope you are too.  We all need some time away to refresh our brains and prepare ourselves for the challenges of a new business year. 

While I’m away, I thought I would share 12 of my favorite infographics from this blog in 2013.  Each one of them can help you improve your legal marketing in 2014.

Everyone at the Rainmaker Institute joins me in wishing you the happiest of holidays and a most prosperous New Year!

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A Holiday Gift for Our Attorney Friends and Fans

As we get ready to close out the year, it's time to take stock of a lot of things, and one of them should be your law firm.

One of things that all attorneys should be thinking about is how to make 2014 your most successful year ever. To build and create a 'lifestyle' law firm, one that is professionally satisfying, but allows you the time to do what is important to you; to live a self directed life with plenty of money to do it with.

The Rainmaker Retreat, our highly successful 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, has been the catalyst for hundreds of attorneys to re-invent their law firm and create automatic systems that consistently deliver a steady stream of new leads and clients. 

My Rainmaker In A Box, Volume 1 is a consistent best seller at the Rainmaker Institute. It's 4 DVDs and a data DVD that pulls back the curtain of our closely guarded Rainmaker marketing system with color-by-the-numbers systems you can use now to rapidly get new leads and clients. We sell a boatload of these every year for $397.

This DVD set is a quick-start guide to the best marketing strategies used by our top clients, filled with the secrets to building a referral-based practice, powerful on-line marketing strategies, and an 8 step system to creating your law firm marketing plan.

It's yours FREE when you register for the next Rainmaker Retreat.

For dates and locations, please click the link below:

www.RainmakerRetreat.com/Events

We only have a limited quantity of the free gifts, so please act now as they will all be gone soon.

All of us at The Rainmaker Institute wish you and yours a joyous holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you at the Rainmaker Retreat.

Happy Holidays!

The 12 Days of Legal Marketing Infographics (7 of 12)

I am taking some time off over the holidays and hope you are too.  We all need some time away to refresh our brains and prepare ourselves for the challenges of a new business year. 

While I’m away, I thought I would share 12 of my favorite infographics from this blog in 2013.  Each one of them can help you improve your legal marketing in 2014.

Everyone at the Rainmaker Institute joins me in wishing you the happiest of holidays and a most prosperous New Year!

The 12 Days of Legal Marketing Infographics (6 of 12)

I am taking some time off over the holidays and hope you are too.  We all need some time away to refresh our brains and prepare ourselves for the challenges of a new business year. 

While I’m away, I thought I would share 12 of my favorite infographics from this blog in 2013.  Each one of them can help you improve your legal marketing in 2014.

Everyone at the Rainmaker Institute joins me in wishing you the happiest of holidays and a most prosperous New Year!

FREE REPORT:  8 Reasons Small Firms & Solos Should Publish an E-newsletter PLUS 3 Steps to Get Started

In less than a few hours a month, you can produce an effective electronic newsletter, also known as an “E-newsletter.”

An E-newsletter is a customized electronic newsletter that is commonly used in business, but rarely in the field of law. If you are truly interested in the long-term success and sustainability of your practice, you need to learn how to leverage technology and the Internet to build it.

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

  • The cost benefits of an e-newsletter
  • How to incorporate your e-newsletter with your social networking
  • How an e-newsletter supports your marketing efforts
  • How to get started right away with your e-newsletter
  • And much, much more!

 

To get your free report now, click here.

The 12 Days of Legal Marketing Infographics (5 of 12)

I am taking some time off over the holidays and hope you are too.  We all need some time away to refresh our brains and prepare ourselves for the challenges of a new business year. 

While I’m away, I thought I would share 12 of my favorite infographics from this blog in 2013.  Each one of them can help you improve your legal marketing in 2014.

Everyone at the Rainmaker Institute joins me in wishing you the happiest of holidays and a most prosperous New Year!

Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers

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

More than 10,000 attorneys from law firms all over the country have experienced powerful results from attending the Becoming A Rainmaker seminar. It has been sponsored by more than 22 of the largest state and local bar associations.

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

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

 

Click to order Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers.

The 12 Days of Legal Marketing Infographics (3 of 12)

I am taking some time off over the holidays and hope you are too.  We all need some time away to refresh our brains and prepare ourselves for the challenges of a new business year. 

While I’m away, I thought I would share 12 of my favorite infographics from this blog in 2013.  Each one of them can help you improve your legal marketing in 2014.

Everyone at the Rainmaker Institute joins me in wishing you the happiest of holidays and a most prosperous New Year!

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Get More Proven Legal Marketing Strategies FREE from The Rainmaker Institute

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

 

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

The 12 Days of Legal Marketing Infographics (2 of 12)

I am taking some time off over the holidays and hope you are too.  We all need some time away to refresh our brains and prepare ourselves for the challenges of a new business year. 

While I’m away, I thought I would share 12 of my favorite infographics from this blog in 2013.  Each one of them can help you improve your legal marketing in 2014.

Everyone at the Rainmaker Institute joins me in wishing you the happiest of holidays and a most prosperous New Year! 

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New Free Report: How to Position Yourself as A Specialist, Not a Generalist

If you are taking every piece of legal business that comes your way with no regard for developing a specialization, you are killing your business.

Why?

Being a generalist makes it much harder to get referrals. If you are a generalist, other attorneys who might otherwise send referrals your way see you as a competitor!

When someone has a referral to give, they want to give it to someone who specializes in the kind of problem or situation that the referral needs. You want to specialize because it creates more credibility and more loyalty.

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

  • 4 ways to position yourself as a specialist
  • Benefits of specializing
  • What to do about cases that don’t fit in your specialty
  • How other attorneys have successfully specialized
  • …And much, much more!

 

Click here now to receive the latest free report in our 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days series: The 4th Key-Position Yourself as A Specialist, Not a Generalist.

The 12 Days of Legal Marketing Infographics (1 of 12)

I am taking some time off over the holidays and hope you are too.  We all need some time away to refresh our brains and prepare ourselves for the challenges of a new business year. 

While I’m away, I thought I would share 12 of my favorite infographics from this blog in 2013.  Each one of them can help you improve your legal marketing in 2014.

Everyone at the Rainmaker Institute joins me in wishing you the happiest of holidays and a most prosperous New Year!

A Holiday Gift for Our Attorney Friends and Fans

As we get ready to close out the year, it's time to take stock of a lot of things, and one of them should be your law firm.

One of things that all attorneys should be thinking about is how to make 2014 your most successful year ever. To build and create a 'lifestyle' law firm, one that is professionally satisfying, but allows you the time to do what is important to you; to live a self directed life with plenty of money to do it with.

The Rainmaker Retreat, our highly successful 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, has been the catalyst for hundreds of attorneys to re-invent their law firm and create automatic systems that consistently deliver a steady stream of new leads and clients. 

My Rainmaker In A Box, Volume 1 is a consistent best seller at the Rainmaker Institute. It's 4 DVDs and a data DVD that pulls back the curtain of our closely guarded Rainmaker marketing system with color-by-the-numbers systems you can use now to rapidly get new leads and clients. We sell a boatload of these every year for $397.

This DVD set is a quick-start guide to the best marketing strategies used by our top clients, filled with the secrets to building a referral-based practice, powerful on-line marketing strategies, and an 8 step system to creating your law firm marketing plan.

It's yours FREE when you register for the next Rainmaker Retreat.

For dates and locations, please click the link below:

www.RainmakerRetreat.com/Events

We only have a limited quantity of the free gifts, so please act now as they will all be gone soon.

All of us at The Rainmaker Institute wish you and yours a joyous holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you at the Rainmaker Retreat.

Happy Holidays!

How to Build a Law Firm Website That Turns Prospects Into Clients

Getting prospects to hire you begins with establishing trust. Since recent research has shown that most people use online searches to look for an attorney, having a website that helps you build that trust is crucial.

Here are some tips on how to use your law firm website to build trust with prospects:

Third-party support. Use testimonials, articles and links to publications and news sites that mention your firm to build credibility.

Show your office. Add photos of your office or building and be sure to include your physical address on your home page.

Highlight personnel. Include photos and bios of your attorneys and support personnel to show prospects who they’ll be dealing with.

Easy to contact. Make it easy to contact you by including a contact form on each page of your website.

Professional design. With so many low-cost web hosting sites with professional design templates available today, there is no reason you cannot have a professional-looking website.

Easy to use. Make it easy to navigate your website rather than trying to impress with lots of flash design.

Update content. Keep your content fresh and relevant. This is especially important for your blog, which includes posting dates. An out-of-date blog says, “We’re out of business.”

Avoid errors. Make sure all the content on your blog is error-free and that you don’t have any broken links.

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money!

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

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

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

Click here to download, and start using these proven strategies today!

5 Ways to Turn Clients Into Referral Sources

Many attorneys I speak with would love to have a magic wand that would turn clients into good referral sources. Unfortunately, I am fresh out of magic wands but I do have a 5-step process you can use to turn clients into referrals:

1. Be easy to do business with. Automation is great for many functions, but it should always be viewed as to the impact it has on the experience your clients have with your firm. 

2. Over-educate. Prepare a new client intake package that educates new clients on every aspect of your business. 

3. Over-deliver. Over-deliver not only in the services you provide, but by keeping in touch with all your clients. Many attorneys focus on getting new clients to the detriment of keeping contact with existing or old clients. Remember who got you to where you already are.

4. Get feedback. Client satisfaction surveys are wonderful ways to get feedback that will help you improve upon areas of your firm you probably weren’t even aware needed improvement. There are many free survey services out there that can help you implement a quick email survey; use these to ask clients about your services and give them the chance to be heard. They will appreciate and remember it.

5. Say thank you. Make it a habit to send personal thank you notes or make calls to clients whose business you value.

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NEW “Rainmaker Retreat: Unplugged”
DVD Set Now Available!

The 6 DVD set is a live recording of the Rainmaker Retreat, a 2-day legal marketing intensive led by legal marketing expert Stephen Fairley that covers over 65 proven online and offline marketing and business development strategies for law firms.

You will discover:

  • Lead Generation Techniques: how to generate more leads from the Internet, social media and blogs.
  • Lead Conversion Techniques: a proven system to track incoming leads and improve your conversion rates to turn more of those prospects into paying clients.
  • Client Retention Techniques: specific tools to double your referrals and to help you with “Building a Lifestyle Law Firm®”
  • Engaging activities to help you identify your ideal target market so you can powerfully market to them.
  • Over 65 PROVEN online and offline legal marketing strategies.

Click here now to order Rainmaker Retreat: Unplugged.

How to Create Great Content for Your Blog

At our Rainmaker Retreat two-day legal marketing seminar, I talk about how everything you do on the Internet starts with a great blog. Create a blog, post to it regularly with great content, then link your posts to your social media profiles and pages, and watch your traffic and search results improve.

Most attorneys find blogging to be cumbersome because of lack of time and lack of ideas for content. One of the best ways to hurdle both of these stumbling blocks is to create an editorial calendar for your blog. Here’s how:

Create a template. Use a calendar template or an Excel spreadsheet, whatever works for you. Decide how many times per week you will be posting (3-5 times is best) and try to plan at least 30 days out.

Research content. Take your top keywords and create Google alerts for each one. This will funnel news items on these keywords directly to your inbox. Bookmark leading blogs in your practice area at www.justia.com. Scour legal directory sites like JDSupra and Avvo to see what kind of content is trending for your practice area. Check out www.lawprofessorblogs.com and www.lexmonitor.com for practice area-specific blogs to mine for content.

Schedule content. Fill your calendar with specifics for each posting day, including your topic, potential title and your keywords. Populate your calendar with special events and holidays you could use to theme relevant posts. If you’re publishing a special report or e-book, schedule posts to promote those. Leaving a few holes is fine, and will allow you to capitalize on newsworthy items – your calendar is a flexible tool, not something written in stone.

Now you’re halfway to creating a thriving law firm blog that will help you generate more traffic for your website and leads for your practice. The other half of the equation is, of course, actually writing the content. And if you can’t find time for that, we can certainly help!

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FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

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

  • Why you must have a blog in order to stay relevant
  • 3 keys to successful blogging
  • 7 Guidelines for achieving ROI
  • Your 3 choices for managing your blog and social media efforts
  • And much more!

Click now for your FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal.

The True Cost of an Attorney

How many times have you felt you had to justify your fees to a client?  Most attorneys face this on a regular basis and many stumble for just the right way to explain to clients why they charge what they do.

The infographic below from UpCounsel may provide you with some good fodder the next time someone asks you to explain your legal fees:

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Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

At The Rainmaker Institute, we define a “7 figure lifestyle law firm” as one that allows you to have the lifestyle that you want to live!

It’s more than just money or achieving a million dollars in revenue.

It’s about creating a lifestyle where you do what you love and building a business around your core values and interests.

In this recording of an interview between Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, and nationally recognized attorney John Bisnar, Stephen asks John to share with us some of the secrets he has used to create a law firm that allows him to go into the office only one day a week and take, on average, 3 to 4 months of vacation every year - all the while managing a very successful, multi-million dollar law firm!

You will receive either a CD or MP3 recording, plus we will email you a pdf transcript of the interview.

This interview will help you discover:

  • The difference between a law practice and a business
  • How to identify superstar employees to help you run your business
  • The difference between an Office Manager and a Business Manager
  • The 7 essential systems your firm must have & how to implement them
  • How to micromanage the client experience
  • Critical keys to success
  • And much more!

Click this link now to order Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

4 Steps to Improve Your SEO Now

1.  Content is king. Low quality content – article spinning and output from cheap content farms – will not only do your website no good, it will get you penalized by Google. Bad content really is yesterday’s news, and that is great news for those of us who spend a lot of time producing stuff that people really like to read.

2.  Content isn’t just words. A good mix of shareable content – sharp articles, videos, infographics, interesting photos and social media posting --- all counts in driving traffic to your website and getting some Google love. 

3.  SEO is no one-trick pony. Good SEO practices today consist of great content, link and citation building, site optimization strategies, social media participation and mining your date for insights. 

4.  Establish authority. Sites with great content that people visit time and again to get information on subjects of interest to them establishes those sites as authorities, which Google sees as a primary ranking factor. If you are not a great writer, hire one. But many attorneys are great writers, so this bodes well if you will make the effort to contribute regularly to your blog or website. Just remember your target market and go easy on the legal jargon. 

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money!

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

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

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

Click here to download, and start using these proven strategies today!

Google+ for Lawyers: How to Get Started

Attorneys need to claim their law firm marketing turf on Google+ business pages for two key reasons:

Google+ is now the #2 social media site with over 540 million monthly active users, and has grown 58% in the last six months alone.

Google is fully integrating Google+ with search results...so if you’re not on Google+, think about what that means for your SEO.  In fact, it has been reported that Google+1’s (which are analogous to Facebook “likes”) are now the #2 search-ranking factor.

Setting up a Google+ business page for your law practice could not be easier – seriously, it takes just a few minutes. Here are 5 steps to set up your Google+ business page:

1. If you already have a personal Gmail account, do NOT use that address – instead, create a new Gmail account that other people who may be administering your Google+ page can access. For example, ABCLaw@gmail.com.

2. With your Gmail address, go to http://www.google.com/+/business/ to create your page – just follow the Google+ wizard, which will give you classification options for your practice.

3. Populate your Profile with your logo and a tagline if you have one.

4. Optimize your Page with bios, photos, links and other content (like from your blog) so when you promote it there is something to interest people.

5. Promote your Page to contacts and your other social networks. One of the great features of Google+ is Circles, which allows you to group your followers are you wish – so if you practice more than one area of law, you can segment by interest and market to them accordingly.

Google+ is here to stay, so get a jump on competitors who may not be as savvy as you are when it comes to realizing the importance of social media networking and start generating leads.

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NEW “Rainmaker Retreat: Unplugged”
DVD Set Now Available!

The 6 DVD set is a live recording of the Rainmaker Retreat, a 2-day legal marketing intensive led by legal marketing expert Stephen Fairley that covers over 65 proven online and offline marketing and business development strategies for law firms.

You will discover:

  • Lead Generation Techniques: how to generate more leads from the Internet, social media and blogs.
  • Lead Conversion Techniques: a proven system to track incoming leads and improve your conversion rates to turn more of those prospects into paying clients.
  • Client Retention Techniques: specific tools to double your referrals and to help you with “Building a Lifestyle Law Firm®”
  • Engaging activities to help you identify your ideal target market so you can powerfully market to them.
  • Over 65 PROVEN online and offline legal marketing strategies.

Click here now to order Rainmaker Retreat: Unplugged.

What Attorneys Want to Know About Legal Marketing

Our last Rainmaker Retreat legal marketing seminar for 2013 was held last weekend in Los Angeles.  We got several questions that may be top-of-mind for you as well when it comes to marketing your law firm, so I thought I would share some of those here:

I don’t want to put myself on social media because of the potential for getting a negative review.

We hear this concern a lot. But the truth is, reviews are critical. If you went to Amazon to buy a product and you didn’t see any reviews, your gut reaction is probably not a positive one. Think about the last time you did purchase something on Amazon; there were probably a mix of both positive and negative reviews, but you still purchased the product.

So long as the majority of your reviews are positive, a negative review every so often is bound to happen. If you truly care about offering the best client experience possible to those who hire you, don’t you want to know when someone is not satisfied? Unfortunately, many people will not tell you directly that they are unhappy -- when you give them a platform to voice their experience with you, you can begin to uncover some of the areas in your law firm that need improvement.

Often if you reach out to the upset individual, your gesture will go a long way. We’ve even had clients who told us when they reached out, the individual was so impressed that the firm didn’t just sweep it under the rug that they ended up either removing the negative review or adding to it and telling people what a turnaround the firm caused by not ignoring the issue.

I’ve hired people to write blogs for me but I spend more time editing them than I would if I wrote them myself.

Everyone in this room has one word in common: perfectionist. For most attorneys this is true. And this trait can be powerful and really help you succeed. But when it comes to marketing, I want you to remember this: Done is better than perfect.

There is no such thing as a perfect blog post, or website, or e-newsletter or video. The point is to get relevant and valuable information out to your prospects, clients and referral partners. Think about how valuable your time is. Do you charge $150, $200, $300 or more per hour? It does not make sense to spend an hour or so of your time writing a post when you can hire someone to do it for you for far less. And it also doesn’t make sense for you to edit and wordsmith the article the individual writes for an hour or more because your time is too valuable.

Of course, it is important to have valid and correct information in the article and to communicate in an educated and compelling way, but you have to let go of this notion of perfection. You are, in most cases, not writing to other attorneys who are going to be judging the article in a way you are, so loosen up a bit and just recognize people want to navigate their legal situation easily. Often how you would write an article -- because you eat, live, sleep and breathe your practice area -- will not translate well to the general public looking to find a solution to their problem.

Why is it so important for me to identify my ideal target market? Don’t I shrink my potential client pool when I do that?

We have many attorneys who are fearful of going after a niche because they think they will lose out on a ton of business. But you must think about it differently. Society is so bombarded with advertising and marketing these days that we have become rather numb to it. Mass marketing messages such as “if you need a divorce hire me” no longer work because the message is drowned out by the thousands of others firms and attorneys yelling that from the rooftop.

However, if you truly learn who your ideal client is -- such as their age, gender, martial status, education level, assets, income, home owner or renter -- you begin to position yourself in a way that you can craft a message that these individuals connect with and feel is 100% geared to them. Think about the last time you spoke to someone who really seemed to understand your situation. You felt cared for, understood, and chances are if they were selling something, you felt more inclined to buy that product or service simply because you felt a connection and believed this product, individual or service would alleviate your problem and offer a solution.

Lastly, if you know who your ideal target market is, you won’t waste time and money trying to go after people who don’t need you or who would never hire you. 

We have two Rainmaker Retreat sessions scheduled so far for 2014:

Jan. 24 & 25, 2014 – Las Vegas, NV

Feb. 28 & March 1, 2014 – Miami, FL

To get more information or register for one of these sessions online, visit www.rainmakerretreat.com or call 888-588-5891.

3 Proven Strategies to Build a Better Law Firm in the New Year

As we head into 2014, here are some strategies to keep in mind that will help you build a better law firm in the New Year:

Done is better than perfect. Is it more important to have a solid strategy or to execute an imperfect plan? My response may surprise you. Attorneys are notorious for over-planning everything. This becomes a fatal mistake when it comes to marketing.   Your marketing plan should only be focused on what actions you are going to take in the next 90 days. You should be able to easily write it down on one page. Keep it simple and focus on consistently taking action!

Be a contrarian. Many of our best Rainmaker marketing strategies are based on contrarian thinking. I often tell my clients to look at what their competitors are doing and do the opposite! Not because their competitors are dumb or intentionally doing it "wrong," but because following the herd is the single most common action taken by attorneys in their marketing, especially on the internet. Don't follow the crowd with your marketing; instead, do the opposite.

Eliminate obstacles. What is blocking you from achieving the financial success you deserve? A bad partnership?   A partner or associate or key team member who is distracted and depressed?  No passion for your clientele? Lack of automated systems to run your marketing?  No system for following up with leads and prospects? Now is the time to get rid of the dead weight! It's easy to overlook faults when times are good, but they can kill you when times are tough. When you identify a weak link, remove it!

While you're at it, make every attorney and staff member commit to returning every single phone call and email the same day it is received. I'm convinced benign neglect of prospects, clients and referral sources is a major reason why many attorneys are struggling in their business.  

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

With over 238 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn has quickly become THE ‘go to’ business-to-business directory and the most popular social networking platform dedicated to professional business development.

To ignore it is the proverbial equivalent of sticking your head in the sand.

Learning how to use LinkedIn to your biggest advantage takes time and effort, but it is time well spent.

If you are new to LinkedIn, it can be confusing, much like any new software that you need to learn to grow your business.

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

  • What LinkedIn can help you accomplish
  • Valuable LinkedIn features that can increase the power of your network
  • Smart ways top attorneys use LinkedIn
  • What your profile needs in order to be effective
  • How to make people want to know more about you
  • And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn.

Law Firm Marketing Trends for 2014

Will the law firm marketing trends you have applied to date work in 2014? According to Nic Mayne of Mayne Marketing, attorneys will need to change up their marketing strategies with a focus on interaction, user generated content on a law firm blog as well as social media, plus implementing a solid strategy for Google+ - now a must have for attorneys. 



In this LawMarketing.com interview, Nic shares additional details that will help lawyers apply stronger tactics that will better connect them with potential clients. 

Check out this video and also additional articles Nic has written on LawMarketing.com:

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Dec. 11 LawMarketing.com Webinar: Profiting with Mobile Marketing

Did you know that 3 out of 4 clients go online to find a lawyer and many of them are turning away from PCs and turning instead to portable devices to research, validate and select an attorney?

Will these consumers find you when they search on the small screen?  Will they find a well designed mobile website or a difficult to navigate website that was designed for a PC?   

On Wednesday, December 11, at 1pm ET / 10am PT, Larry Bodine, former Editor-in-Chief of Lawyers.com, joins LawMarketing.com for a complimentary webinar on the topic of Profiting With Mobile Marketing.  

Join Larry and LawMarketing.com Editor-in-Chief Cindy Greenway to learn:

  • Compelling reasons to have a mobile website for your law firm
  • How mobile websites differ from regular websites
  • What IS and is NOT mobile-friendly
  • Creating a mobile site on the fly
  • Responsive design vs. mobile first

Larry will also offer specific advice and illustrate the new mobile marketing rules with a case study. 

Click here to learn more and to register for this webinar. 

Law Firm Goal-Setting for 2014

One secret of highly successful attorneys is that they make time to plan for the future. December is the perfect time to evaluate achievements, set new goals and work on your law firm marketing plan.

Here are some of the areas for you to focus on:

Financial goals for your business --Don’t just focus on the money; focus on how you will get there.  If your average client spends $5,000 with you, you will need 100 clients to break $500,000 this year. That works out to about 2 new clients per week.  Unless you want a high volume law practice, you will need to develop a way to up-sell new clients into higher-end services.

Practice Area Goals -- How many new estate plans do you want to do in the next 90  days?  How many new trials are you willing to take on this year?

Marketing Goals --All the top law firms in the country recognize the importance of marketing and business development.  You need to set measurable marketing goals. “I will meet with 4 new referral sources every month.” How are you going to meet them?  Who is going to set those meetings up?  Who will do the follow up?

Strategic Business Goals-- This is where you start to think big about your practice.  Challenge yourself: how can you come up with another $100,000 this year? How can you go from your current five referral sources to 30 in the next six months?

Personal Goals --Perhaps you need to schedule a vacation for yourself every quarter.  Maybe you have an idea for a new business venture.  What place does your family, friends or significant other hold in your life?

Taking time now to plan for the future will help ensure your law firm has a profitable future.

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From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn

On Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, The Rainmaker Institute’s business development specialist Alec Borenstein will be presenting a new online webinar:  From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn.

Most attorneys already have a profile on LinkedIn, but very few know how to effectively use it to build a powerful referral network. With over 238 million professionals on LinkedIn, it has become one of the easiest ways to rapidly identify strategic contacts and build relationships with them!

In this advanced, information-packed 60-minute webinar you’ll discover:

  • How to generate targeted connections using LinkedIn
  • How to join and create LinkedIn groups to target your key referral sources and clients
  • Tools to land 2-4 lunches every month with your connections and referral partners
  • What to say during these meetings to ensure prospects remember you
  • How to follow up after your LinkedIn lunch

Click on this link now to register online for the one-hour webinar, From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn on Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.

5 Things You Need to Educate Your Referral Sources About Now

One of the biggest mistakes that any professional who relies on referrals as a source of new clients tends to make is not educating their referral sources. 

It does you no good to ask someone to refer you if they have no idea what it is you are looking for in a new client. Here are the top 5 things your referral sources need to know:

1. What your ideal client looks like.You need to answer this question very specifically – i.e., “My ideal client is a high net worth individual ($1 million or more in assets) in their 40s who owns their own business.”

2. Why someone should hire you.I have written frequently about your UCA – unique competitive advantage. (See my previous post on How to Create Your Unique Competitive Advantage for 2013.) Be sure your referral source understands the precise reasons why you are better than your competitors.

3. What problems you solve. By helping your referral source understand the problems that you solve for your clients, they will know what to listen for in daily conversations and be able to recommend you to someone who mentions having a problem you solve.

4. How you follow up. Your referral source needs to feel comfortable that you will follow up promptly and professionally with the people they send your way.

5. Why referrals are important to you. Let your source know that you rely on referrals as a way to build your business and how much you will appreciate their referring people to you.

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FREE REPORT:  8 Reasons Small Firms & Solos Should Publish an E-newsletter PLUS 3 Steps to Get Started

In less than a few hours a month, you can produce an effective electronic newsletter, also known as an “E-newsletter.”

An E-newsletter is a customized electronic newsletter that is commonly used in business, but rarely in the field of law. If you are truly interested in the long-term success and sustainability of your practice, you need to learn how to leverage technology and the Internet to build it.

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

  • The cost benefits of an e-newsletter
  • How to incorporate your e-newsletter with your social networking
  • How an e-newsletter supports your marketing efforts
  • How to get started right away with your e-newsletter
  • And much, much more!

To get your free report now, click here.

Join Me on 12/12 for Free Avvo Webinar on 12 Critical Numbers That Determine The Success Or Failure Of Your Law Firm

On Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, I will be leading an Avvo webinar on the 12 Critical Numbers That Determine The Success Or Failure Of Your Law FirmThe live webinar, sponsored by Avvo at no cost to attorneys, is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

For more than a decade of working with over 10,000 attorneys nationwide, I have found top law firms track and measure specific numbers and key indicators that give them instant insight into how their law firm is performing on a weekly and monthly basis. 



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 determine whether they are on track to achieve their financial goals or if they need to retool and refocus their marketing and business development efforts.

During this webinar, 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!  Learn:

  • How to identify the 12 key metrics your law firm needs to track and measure 

  • How to set up a system to identify these numbers
  • The 5 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 “paralysis by analysis” and being overwhelmed by too much data
  • Delegating roles and responsibility to your staff 

  • Using software to track your KPIs

Click on this link now to register online for the free Avvo webinar on the 12 Critical Numbers That Determine The Success Or Failure Of Your Law Firm on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

The Benefits of Press Releases for Marketing Your Law Firm

Press releases may sound like old-school marketing for many law firms, but while they tend to get overshadowed these days by other, newer strategies, there are still good reasons for law firms to issue press releases.  Here are 5 of those reasons:

1. Quick dissemination of information and online access for media.  Getting your press release picked up by as many publications or websites as possible is your main objective and Hubspot research shows that timing plays an important role. Your release is more likely to receive maximum viewership online if it is released over the weekend; media views spike during the weekend as well.

2. Helps build links. Coverage spurred by press releases tends to create inbound links back to your website. Be sure to include your primary keywords in the release.

3. Makes it easier for journalists to cover you.  Having all the information you want media to know in one place makes it easier for journalists to cover you. Include company information as well as presentations and relevant research data with your releases.

4. Puts you in charge of your messaging. Press releases provide a way for you to disseminate a unified message to everyone – journalists, clients, prospects, bloggers, social media, etc. Other content creators can draw upon one message: yours.

5. Provides content for other channels.   A press release provides content for your other law firm marketing channels, including your website, your blog and your social media networks. According to HubSpot, including photos and videos increases engagement significantly – a bump of 18% for photos and 55% for videos.

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New Free Report! The 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days: Key #1-Press Releases

One of the best ways to get you on the road to becoming a recognized expert is through the use of press releases.

A press release is simply a short announcement about your law firm that may be of interest to the public or news media.

A press release that not only targets the audience you want to reach, but intrigues the editor and/or publisher, will gain free media coverage that surpasses any response you could hope to gain from any of your company’s paid advertising campaigns.

In addition, Google search engines love press releases! 

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

  • What constitutes an effective press release
  • Ideas for press release content
  • How to format your press release
  • Where to submit your press release
  • Best days to send out your press release
  • …And much, much more!

Click on the following link to get your free report on The 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days: Key #1-Press Releases.

The Awesome Things Blogging Can Do for Your Law Firm

For many attorneys, blogging is like eating vegetables....we know they are really good for us, but we just can’t seem to get all worked up about them. 

But if eating vegetables was the best possible way to get your law firm coffers to overflow status, I bet you’d be digging into a plate of them every day.

And so it is with blogging, which is one of the best possible ways for you to dramatically increase your lead flow, improve your firm website’s SEO and traffic count, and build a sterling reputation online – all of which should lead to a healthier bottom line for your firm. 

Check out the many awesome things that blogging can do for your law firm by reviewing the infographic below from writtent.com, and get started!

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New!  FREE Report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources

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

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

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

  • Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:
  • How to identify the referral sources who have relationships with the people you want as clients.
  • How to start the relationship
  • How to build a referral network
  • How to make your referral network successful
  • …And much, much more!

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

Dec. 11 LawMarketing.com Webinar: Profiting with Mobile Marketing

Did you know that 3 out of 4 clients go online to find a lawyer and many of them are turning away from PCs and turning instead to portable devices to research, validate and select an attorney?

Will these consumers find you when they search on the small screen?  Will they find a well designed mobile website or a difficult to navigate website that was designed for a PC?   

On Wednesday, December 11, at 1pm ET / 10am PT, Larry Bodine, former Editor-in-Chief of Lawyers.com, joins LawMarketing.com for a complimentary webinar on the topic of Profiting With Mobile Marketing.  

Join Larry and LawMarketing.com Editor-in-Chief Cindy Greenway to learn:

  • Compelling reasons to have a mobile website for your law firm
  • How mobile websites differ from regular websites
  • What IS and is NOT mobile-friendly
  • Creating a mobile site on the fly
  • Responsive design vs. mobile first

Larry will also offer specific advice and illustrate the new mobile marketing rules with a case study. 

Click here to learn more and to register for this webinar. 

From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn

On Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, my colleague Alec Borenstein will be presenting a new online webinar:  From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn.

Most attorneys already have a profile on LinkedIn, but very few know how to effectively use it to build a powerful referral network. With over 238 million professionals on LinkedIn, it has become one of the easiest ways to rapidly identify strategic contacts and build relationships with them!

In this advanced, information-packed 60-minute webinar you’ll discover:

  • How to generate targeted connections using LinkedIn
  • How to join and create LinkedIn groups to target your key referral sources and clients
  • Tools to land 2-4 lunches every month with your connections and referral partners
  • What to say during these meetings to ensure prospects remember you
  • How to follow up after your LinkedIn lunch

Click on this link now to register online for the one-hour webinar, From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn on Tuesday, Dec. 17 at at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.

About Alec Borenstein

Alec Borenstein, Esq. joined The Rainmaker Institute after achieving success as a small-firm litigation attorney where he learned how to grow a business from the ground up while ensuring each individual in the organization was committed to the growth of the firm. He continues to manage New York City properties valued over $10 million, an experience that consistently teaches him how to anticipate market trends and grow businesses.

Most recently, Alec has been working with attorneys in all aspects of systematization and business development, helping them create successful referral and client conversion systems. He is also a professional speaker on a variety of business development topics and has published articles in the New Jersey Law Journal and Law Practice Today.

Cyber Monday Special: 50% OFF Rainmaker in a Box Vol. 2

Today we’re getting into the Cyber Monday frenzy by providing our fans and followers a special offer good now through midnight ET tonight:

50% OFF our best-selling Rainmaker in a Box, Volume 2 DVD set that includes powerful marketing strategies that you can employ to quickly make it 'rain' new leads and clients. 

Rainmaker in a Box, Volume 2 includes:

8 Proven Steps for More & Better Referrals

Discover the proven step-by-step system used to double your referrals from current and former clients and how to build a network of strategic referral partners. Top attorneys have used this exact system to double their referrals in 6 months or less!

7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Law Firm

Watch and learn as I walk you through the specific strategies top lawyers are using to increase their revenues in this tough economy-and it doesn’t include reducing their fees!

6 Keys to Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media

Social media has emerged as the fastest way to build a massive platform of prospects! I pull back the curtain and let you in on little known secrets of how attorneys are generating dozens of leads every month from social media.

5 Core Components for Highly Successful Websites & Blogs

My interview with nationally recognized personal injury attorney John Bisnar on how his law firm uses search engine optimization and internet marketing to drive tens of thousands of unique visitors every month to his 30 websites and 10 blogs. Discover proven techniques for converting website visitors into paying clients.

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

Click here now to take advantage of this special 50% OFF promotion, good only through midnight ET, Dec. 2, 2013.

Rainmaker Retreat Q&A: What Attorneys Need to Know About Referrals, Testimonials, Social Media, Online Marketing and More (3 of 3)

At every Rainmaker Retreat – our two-day law firm marketing intensive – I answer a lot of questions that are top-of-mind for attorneys across the country.  And it’s probably more than likely what is on the minds of those attorneys is on your mind as well.  

I’ve compiled some of the most common questions from our 2013 Rainmaker Retreats and my answers below:

How should I handle quoting a fee?

There are a few approaches to this and you will have to see what works best for you depending on your practice area and geographical region. However, setting appropriate expectations and being transparent is key. If you ever use the phrase “it depends” in your answer, that automatically needs to be followed up with “and the biggest factors it depends on are….”

Make sure to know several factors that impact your fees. For example, if you are a divorce attorney, some of the common circumstances that will make a case’s price increase are:

  1. If kids are involved
  2. If there are multiple real estate properties
  3. If the divorce is contested
  4. If there is a business asset

Know the factors that impact your case fees and articulate that clearly to those you are talking to about pricing.

How, when I am working on litigation, do I continue to grow my business when my head is down and I’m working on a case and solely focused on it? 

You have to put systems in place that work for you in engaging prospects without you having to do all the work. If you don’t have a systematic approach, you work hard with your head down and then once you are done with that case, you look up and say, “Where is my next client?” This is not a situation you want to find yourself in. You need a system in the background that runs the machine. Don’t get trapped in the cycle of owning a practice versus owning a business.

What are some ways to differentiate myself?

Talk about the benefits of working with you, the value you provide, the solutions you provide, the results you get. Create a category of one. Position yourself as an expert by using numbers – clients served, $’s of assets protected, cases won, etc. Focus on managing the client experience.

Why would I get on social media, particularly Facebook?

The first rule of fishing is “go where the fish are.” The second rule is, go where there are not a lot of other people fishing. Three in four people are on Facebook; it has enormous market penetration and you must have a presence on it. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are your client.  Just because you don’t actively participate on Facebook or other social media platforms don’t mean your clients and prospects aren’t!   Very few law firms are aggressively going after these platforms; it’s an opportunity to get ahead of the curve. Plus, search engines now rank social media pages, so it’s very important for SEO.

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To Say Thanks, We’re Giving...50% OFF Rainmaker in a Box Vol. 2

We’re giving thanks by providing our fans and followers a special offer good now through midnight ET on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013:

50% OFF our best-selling Rainmaker in a Box, Volume 2 DVD set that includes powerful marketing strategies that you can employ to quickly make it 'rain' new leads and clients. 

Rainmaker in a Box, Volume 2 includes:

8 Proven Steps for More & Better Referrals

Discover the proven step-by-step system used to double your referrals from current and former clients and how to build a network of strategic referral partners. Top attorneys have used this exact system to double their referrals in 6 months or less!

7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Law Firm

Watch and learn as I walk you through the specific strategies top lawyers are using to increase their revenues in this tough economy-and it doesn’t include reducing their fees!

6 Keys to Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media

Social media has emerged as the fastest way to build a massive platform of prospects! I pull back the curtain and let you in on little known secrets of how attorneys are generating dozens of leads every month from social media.

5 Core Components for Highly Successful Websites & Blogs

My interview with nationally recognized personal injury attorney John Bisnar on how his law firm uses search engine optimization and internet marketing to drive tens of thousands of unique visitors every month to his 30 websites and 10 blogs. Discover proven techniques for converting website visitors into paying clients.

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

Click here now to take advantage of this special 50% OFF promotion, good only through Monday at midnight ET, Dec. 2, 2013.

Rainmaker Retreat Q&A: What Attorneys Need to Know About Referrals, Testimonials, Social Media, Online Marketing and More (2 of 3)

At every Rainmaker Retreat – our two-day law firm marketing intensive – I answer a lot of questions that are top-of-mind for attorneys across the country.  And it’s probably more than likely what is on the minds of those attorneys is on your mind as well.  

I’ve compiled some of the most common questions from our 2013 Rainmaker Retreats and my answers below:

Why does it seem like my prospects only care about price?

If prospects only care about price, that means they believe you or your services are a commodity. And commodities are sold on price. You are most likely trying to be the shiniest apple in the barrel of apples…you must become the orange in the sea of apples so people understand why and how you are different and why paying a premium makes sense.

My firm is small; how can I compete against bigger firms on the Internet?

One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that all the big firms are engaging in the right kind of online marketing. Many big firms throw lots of money at Internet marketing but their dollars and time are not being used as effectively as they could be. Another misconception is that you are competing against the “big firms” and not the “small firms.”

The truth is many large firms are too big and move too slowly to react to constantly changing Internet marketing strategies. So being a smaller firm puts you in the perfect position to get on the Internet and start to make a name for yourself because you can make changes quickly.

The most important thing to do is to get in the game, do the right things and you will see your Internet presence grow steadily. But if you continue to sit back and watch you will never grow your online presence.

Can’t I do this all myself instead of outsourcing?

Doing it yourself is always an option. There is a lot of really valuable and great information out there where you can learn what needs to be done in order to successfully market your firm. But the hard reality is you went to school to practice law and chances are that is your unique gift.

We have seen dozens of our clients start out with the idea that they were going to do it for themselves. Most of the time, they start out strong, doing the right things in the right amount but as soon as they practice gets busier or grows, their time is divided and they no longer have time to dedicate to doing the social media or blogging or e-newsletter activities.

The reason you hire a company like The Rainmaker Institute is because our core competency is online marketing for attorneys. Do what you do best and outsource or delegate the rest. That is the most effective use of your time and money.

How do ethics play into social media?

The same ethics rules apply online and offline. However, with the exception of direct solicitation and making blatant self-promoting statements, educating prospects and those who follow you online and social media platforms is perfectly OK. Of course, you must be mindful of what you put out there, but writing blogs and doing social media updates about new laws and other type of educational information is perfectly acceptable and very valuable to those who are looking to hire an attorney.

Should I only focus on online marketing?

You never want to put all your eggs in one basket. This holds true with marketing. Not only do you need to diversify your marketing strategies online, you also need to utilize some effective offline marketing strategies too. Things like weekly networking, giving educational seminars and meeting with referral sources, to name a few, are outstanding offline marketing strategies that are highly effective in creating a comprehensive marketing strategy.

That said, if you want to successfully grow your legal firm, you must be on the Internet and give people the opportunity to find your firm and engage with you on multiple platforms so you can build trust, credibility and rapport with prospects and referral partners.

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FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

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

  • Why you must have a blog in order to stay relevant
  • 3 keys to successful blogging
  • 7 Guidelines for achieving ROI
  • Your 3 choices for managing your blog and social media efforts
  • And much more!

 

Click now for your FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal.

Rainmaker Retreat Q&A: What Attorneys Need to Know About Referrals, Testimonials, Social Media, Online Marketing and More (1 of 3)

At every Rainmaker Retreat – our two-day law firm marketing intensive – I answer a lot of questions that are top-of-mind for attorneys across the country.  And it’s probably more than likely what is on the minds of those attorneys is on your mind as well.  

I’ve compiled some of the most common questions from our 2013 Rainmaker Retreats and my answers below:

Why am I not getting referrals?

There are three primary reasons attorneys don’t get referrals:

  1. Your referral sources are not adequately educated about what you do
  2. Lack of client communication
  3. You are probably not asking for them

What’s a good way to get people to give me a testimonial?

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

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

You also need to make it easy for people to give you a testimonial. Let your client know why a testimonial is important for you! Make it part of your process, like an exit interview.  Guide the prospect with questions so you can get strong testimonials. Position the testimonials as “before” and “after” scenarios. These are powerful.

Also, if you squirm at just the thought of asking for a testimonial, then don’t be the one to ask. Have your administrative assistant or paralegal or associate do the asking as part of your closing-the-case process.

When should I ask for testimonials?

  • Right after the client is retained
  • Any time the client says thank you
  • Any time there is a “win” for the client
  • After the case/matter is handled

What are a few major systems I should have in my law firm in regards to managing client experience?

1.     Intake system (what documents clients need to bring in, sign, initial, etc.). If the process is easy and systematized, the prospect will pick up on that and feel more comfortable about hiring you.

2.     Follow up system (If a prospect doesn’t hire you how frequently and persistently do you follow up? When you meet someone at a networking event that can refer you clients, how frequently and persistently do you follow up?) Improves the client experience because they see you follow up and care.

3.     Create a policy and procedure manual (so you are not held hostage by staff or find yourself totally crippled if someone leaves, gets sick or is no longer available). Improves client experience because each time they come in or call, the experience, language used, etc. is consistent.

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New Free Report: How to Position Yourself as A Specialist, Not a Generalist

If you are taking every piece of legal business that comes your way with no regard for developing a specialization, you are killing your business.

Why?

Being a generalist makes it much harder to get referrals. If you are a generalist, other attorneys who might otherwise send referrals your way see you as a competitor!

When someone has a referral to give, they want to give it to someone who specializes in the kind of problem or situation that the referral needs. You want to specialize because it creates more credibility and more loyalty.

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

  • 4 ways to position yourself as a specialist
  • Benefits of specializing
  • What to do about cases that don’t fit in your specialty
  • How other attorneys have successfully specialized
  • …And much, much more!

 Click here now to receive the latest free report in our 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days series: The 4th Key-Position Yourself as A Specialist, Not a Generalist.

To Say Thanks, We're Giving...50% OFF Rainmaker in a Box Vol. 2!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We’re giving thanks by providing our fans and followers a special offer good now through midnight ET on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013:

50% OFF our best-selling Rainmaker in a Box, Volume 2 DVD set that includes powerful marketing strategies that you can employ to quickly make it 'rain' new leads and clients. 

Rainmaker in a Box, Volume 2 includes:

8 Proven Steps for More & Better Referrals

Discover the proven step-by-step system used to double your referrals from current and former clients and how to build a network of strategic referral partners. Top attorneys have used this exact system to double their referrals in 6 months or less!

7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Law Firm

Watch and learn as I walk you through the specific strategies top lawyers are using to increase their revenues in this tough economy-and it doesn’t include reducing their fees!

6 Keys to Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media

Social media has emerged as the fastest way to build a massive platform of prospects! I pull back the curtain and let you in on little known secrets of how attorneys are generating dozens of leads every month from social media.

5 Core Components for Highly Successful Websites & Blogs

My interview with nationally recognized personal injury attorney John Bisnar on how his law firm uses search engine optimization and internet marketing to drive tens of thousands of unique visitors every month to his 30 websites and 10 blogs. Discover proven techniques for converting website visitors into paying clients.

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

Click here now to take advantage of this special 50% OFF promotion, good only through Monday at midnight ET, Dec. 2, 2013.

Share Your Content at INeedAGoodLawyerNow.com

We know that the majority of consumers search for lawyers online.   That’s why it’s critical today for attorneys share valuable and informational legal information to consumers online. 

INeedAGoodLawyerNow.com was developed specifically to help attorneys expand the reach of their valuable content, increase their visibility, credibility and search rankings, while also generating more traffic to law firm websites and inquiries from potential clients.

All you need is a law firm blog with consistent new content, and INeedAGoodLawyerNow.com will take care of the rest.  A snippet of your posts will be pulled into the INeedAGoodLawyerNow.com website, with a link to your law firm website so consumers can read more and learn about your practice.  Plus your contact information will be posted in the Attorney Directory.  

Here’s how you benefit when you sign up as a contributing attorney (depending on the option selected):

  • your name, your firm and your content will get in front of thousands of consumers who need your help
  • your online visibility and credibility in your area of practice will increase significantly as a result of having your content on an authority website
  • your online visibility will be further enhanced by social media exposure via Twitter and Facebook
  • you will experience increased search rankings, traffic to your website and the opportunity to engage with leads who are interested in your services
  • your content will be featured in the legal news weekly e-newsletter sent to subscribing consumers who need your help
  • your blog and content will be further leveraged online, giving even more return on the time you took to research and write
  • your contact information will be featured in the lawyer listings, noting you as a first-rate attorney to contact for more information on your practice area

Click on this link to get started and get in front of the consumers who need your legal help.

Los Angeles Legal Marketing Seminar Scheduled for Dec. 6-7

The final 2013 Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing seminar, will be held Dec. 6-7, 2013, at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles.

“Attorneys are very naïve if they think that you can't get clients off the Internet or that online marketing isn't important,” says Jeff Matsen, a nationally recognized estate planning and business transactional attorney and founding partner of Wealth Strategies Counsel and Matsen Voorhees Law in Orange County, Calif.  “We have one client that we received purely off the Internet that is the president of one of the top 15 companies in the world. He saw my website that Stephen helped me design, and we went from there.

“If you want a terrific experience, attend Stephen's presentation. Even if you don't do anything else, do that.  You'll get some ideas there and some enthusiasm and perspective that will make it well worth your while. Obviously, if you want to go further with The Rainmaker Institute, then your practice will grow and develop more, but at least go and listen to Stephen, and hear his presentation. It's terrific.”

Each Rainmaker Retreat session focuses on the unique problems facing small law firms and attorneys in mid-sized practices, providing advanced hands-on training for lead generation, legal marketing automation, and Internet and social media marketing strategies specifically designed to help attorneys generate more and better referrals for their law firm, and convert more prospects into paying clients.

The majority of our clients are firms with 2 to 25 attorneys, and we know that cash flow is a major factor in almost all their decisions.  At each Rainmaker Retreat, we dive deep into how to market your law firm using 65 proven low cost and no cost marketing strategies, how to leverage social media to attract more clients and build your business, as well as practical tips for converting more prospects into paying clients. We focus on low cost and no cost tools and methods to better manage and grow a small law firm.

The Los Angeles Rainmaker Retreat is open to all attorneys and law firm staff and will be held all day Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7, 2013.

For more information and to register online, visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 888-588-5891.

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FREE Online Seminar:  Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

When business slows down over the holidays, it’s the perfect time to start planning for how to make next year your most profitable ever.

And you can start this planning process by joining Stephen Fairley for a free 60-minute legal marketing webinar: Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan, where you will learn...

A proven legal marketing system that has helped 10,000 attorneys convert more prospects into paying clients.

Step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

Effective strategies to win clients in today's hyper-competitive online focused marketplace.

Creating a marketing plan for your law firm is the first step in building a foundation for a profitable future.  During this complimentary webinar, learn:

  • How to target market to get your ideal client 
  • Why your firm is not getting more referrals and how to change it
 
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
 
  • Effective online and offline marketing strategies
 
  • How to create a financial plan to fund your marketing budget
 
  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
 
  • 4 ways to create a unique competitive advantage
 
  • What is critical to have in place for today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

Stephen will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

There are several sessions of this free webinar scheduled; you can choose what works best for you from the drop-down menu when you click on the following link to register online for our FREE Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan online seminar.

Ramp Up Your Content Marketing with LinkedIn Showcase Pages

Last week, business social networking giant LinkedIn rolled out Showcase Pages, which it describes as:

“...dedicated pages that allow companies to highlight different aspects of their business and build relationships with the right community.  Whether it’s a brand, a business unit, or an initiative, following a Showcase Page will provide you the updates you are most interested in.”

Showcase Pages are different from Company Pages in that they allow companies to further segment their audiences on LinkedIn.  If your firm has different practice areas, you can create a Showcase Page for each area to attract more targeted prospects.

It’s easy to get started.  Click “Edit” on your Company Page and choose “Create a Showcase Page.”  Then start sharing content.  Here is a link with more information about LinkedIn Showcase Pages.

You can create up to 10 Showcase Pages for your Company Page.  LinkedIn has also supplied a full suite of analytics so you can track how your Showcase Page is performing.

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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.

How to Establish Your Online Authority via Author Rank

If you are doing what you should be doing when it comes to legal marketing, then you are pumping a lot of content out on the web via blogs, websites and social media to help yourself attract prospects and gain authority online.  You are building what is becoming known as your Author Rank.

Right now, your content is ranked on its relevance and how many people find it useful (measured by shares, likes, +1’s, etc.).  However, many SEO experts are guessing that Author Rank will be an important ranking metric in the near future.

One of the most important things you can do to help establish your Author Rank is to have a Google+ profile and link your content to it to establish what Google calls “authorship”.  Doing this allows your name and profile photo to be included in search results for the content you produce. 

Click on this link to learn more about setting yourself up as an author on Google+.

The infographic below outlines what you need to be doing to build Author Rank, thus building your authority online:

The Author Rank Building Machine #verticalmeasures #Infographic #Authorrank
Data Graphic by Vertical Measures

 

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On-Demand Seminar: How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients

After paying your employees, the most costly part of your law firm is Lead Generation.

This year your law firm will spend almost 10 times as much generating new leads as it does servicing existing clients!

Generating leads for your law firm is very expensive, yet a common complaint of many attorneys is that they “need more leads.”

Lead Conversion is the most overlooked area at most law firms and it has the potential to save you tens of thousands of dollars this year!

How? By helping you convert more of those costly leads into more paying clients!

Get this on-demand seminar to learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • A proven system for converting more leads into paying clients

You can watch the How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients seminar at your convenience by clicking here now.

How to Improve the Client Experience

Before our last Rainmaker Retreat, I had one of my associates call the offices of each attorney attending our two-day legal marketing seminar.  The idea was to gauge the first contact experience and when we presented the results, eyes started popping.

I know many of you think your firm is different and that you do really great at customer service, but it’s just not true. A few things you can do immediately so the first impression is better for those contacting your firm:

1. Don’t just pick up the phone and say, “ABC Law Firm, please hold”.

2. Make sure to ask for the person’s name and treat them like a human, not potential revenue.

3. When you say you will do something, do it. My associate was told multiple times she would be sent information through email and never was. This erodes trust and doesn’t make your prospect think you will actually do what you say you will, when you say you will.

4. Reach out to your clients once a month even if there is no update on their case so they know you are still working on it. This is particularly important with personal injury cases. Each week or month simply send an email and give the client an update so they don’t feel forgotten.

We spend a lot of time during each Rainmaker Retreat talking about ways to micromanage the client experience.  This is because once you get it right, you will start converting prospects and getting repeat business like crazy.

Don’t just take my word for it.  Here is a note we received from Mike D., a NYC criminal defense attorney who attended our last Rainmaker Retreat:

“I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the seminar.  It was hands down the best legal marketing seminar that I've ever attended!  Stephen and the entire staff were extraordinary.  I was literally hanging on every single word that you uttered.  You guys went above and beyond my wildest expectations.  I can't say enough good things about my experience!”

There is one more Rainmaker Retreat session scheduled for this year – Dec. 6 & 7 in Los Angeles.  We have also scheduled the first session for 2014 for Jan. 24-25 in Las Vegas. 

For more information and to register online, visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 888-588-5891.

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Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

At The Rainmaker Institute, we define a “7 figure lifestyle law firm” as one that allows you to have the lifestyle that you want to live!

It’s more than just money or achieving a million dollars in revenue.

It’s about creating a lifestyle where you do what you love and building a business around your core values and interests.

In this recording of an interview between Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, and nationally recognized attorney John Bisnar, Stephen asks John to share with us some of the secrets he has used to create a law firm that allows him to go into the office only one day a week and take, on average, 3 to 4 months of vacation every year - all the while managing a very successful, multi-million dollar law firm!

You will receive either a CD or MP3 recording, plus we will email you a pdf transcript of the interview.

This interview will help you discover:

  • The difference between a law practice and a business
  • How to identify superstar employees to help you run your business
  • The difference between an Office Manager and a Business Manager
  • The 7 essential systems your firm must have & how to implement them
  • How to micromanage the client experience
  • Critical keys to success
  • And much more!

Click this link now to order Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

10 Tips For Making Your Law Firm Stand Out on Google+

A recent post at LawMarketing.com provided 10 tips for lawyers to get more visibility on Google+, sharing a good infographic (see below) originally posted by Denise Wakeman.

As we have mentioned here many times, participating on social media can really help boost your ranking in search results as well as build your authority online.  While more and more attorneys are participating on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, there are still not that many who have taken advantage of Google+ -- which means more opportunity for those of you who are early adopters to reap the benefits.

LawMarketing.com is a great resource for legal marketing, with actionable articles from a wide range of nationally recognized marketers just waiting for you to access.  I encourage you to click on this link to sign up for their free newsletter so you can get this valuable information delivered to your inbox every week.

More Americans Turning to Social Media to Get Their News Fix

A new study from the Pew Research Journalism Project examines how many social network users depend on those sites for their news consumption. 

Here are the social media networks that rank as news sources:

Some of you may be wondering about Reddit, which is a source for what is popular in real time on the Internet.  People post a link to a story and there are up and down arrows that appear next to it.  Users vote on how interesting it is to them; the most popular appear at the top of the feed.  It’s news via community.

OK, so what does this mean for legal marketing?  If you examine the general profile of the social media news consumer below, you will see that they skew older (30-64) and upper income ($75K+). 

Digging a little deeper into the demographic data, note that Facebook skews more female while LinkedIn news consumers tend to be male.  Reviewing this data closely with your ideal target client in mind will help point you toward the best social media network for posting news your prospects can use.

The fact that Americans are becoming more accustomed to consuming their news online would also seem to indicate that there are opportunities for attorneys who maintain a news-filled blog to have their content read and shared across many different platforms.

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FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

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

  • Why you must have a blog in order to stay relevant
  • 3 keys to successful blogging
  • 7 Guidelines for achieving ROI
  • Your 3 choices for managing your blog and social media efforts
  • And much more!

Click now for your FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal.

What Attorneys Are Asking - and Saying - About The Rainmaker Retreat

Our latest two-day legal marketing seminar, The Rainmaker Retreat, was held in NYC last weekend and brought out several things that are on attorneys’ minds when it comes to legal marketing:

With Google’s recent update, what is really key if you want your site to rank?

Goggle is placing more and more emphasis on content and social media signals. The law firms and attorneys who blog consistently with fresh, relevant and unique content become authoritative in Google’s eyes. It’s not enough to blog once a week. If you truly want to be recognized as a leader from Google’s perspective so they rank your site high, you need to be blogging 3-5 times a week.

In addition, Google not only cares what platforms you are on (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Avvo, Google+), it also cares how active you are on those platforms and how engaged your viewers are. Do they like your posts, do they “re-tweet” your tweets, do they watch and share your videos? It all plays an important role in your firm’s website rankings.

I don’t get any business off LinkedIn.  Do you have any suggestions on how to make the platform more effective for me?

I see attorneys make this mistake a lot. They simply set up a profile and do nothing with it and then are shocked when they don’t get business. You have to build a strong profile. Put your entire resume in there, list all your awards and education, give endorsements and recommendations and then ask for them in return.

Join groups and contribute in a meaningful way. Start your own groups and moderate appropriately. The most important thing is to be active on the platform, use it to give out valuable and helpful information to those you want to do business with or those you want to send you business. Lastly, reach out to potential referral sources and ask them to meet up for lunch. At the end of the day, you can’t replace face-to-face and building rapport with someone with an in-person meeting. It takes time and effort, but LinkedIn is a very powerful platform when used correctly.

Here is what some of the attorneys who attended our Rainmaker Retreat in New York had to say about their experiences:

“Stephen is very knowledgeable and generous with his time and resources.  I am leaving with tremendous ideas that I am sure will increase my client base.” -Emily, Personal Injury, Partner, New York, NY

“This seminar was incredibly helpful.  I am excited about the information presented and the unleashed potential that will be transformative for my practice. - Aimee, Business Estate Planning, Partner, Washington, DC

“An awesome program.  Stephen has developed ground breaking, state of the art techniques to grow a practice.  I’ll definitely be back.”- James, Litigation, Partner, New York City, NY

There is one more Rainmaker Retreat session scheduled for this year – Dec. 6 & 7 in Los Angeles.  We have also scheduled the first session for 2014 for Jan. 24-25 in Las Vegas. 

For more information and to register online, visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 888-588-5891.

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FREE Online Seminar:  Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

When business slows down over the holidays, it’s the perfect time to start planning for how to make next year your most profitable ever.

And you can start this planning process by joining Stephen Fairley for a free 60-minute legal marketing webinar: Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan, where you will learn...

  • A proven legal marketing system that has helped 10,000 attorneys convert more prospects into paying clients.
  • Step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.
  • Effective strategies to win clients in today's hyper-competitive online focused marketplace.

Creating a marketing plan for your law firm is the first step in building a foundation for a profitable future.  During this complimentary webinar, learn:

  • How to target market to get your ideal client 
  • Why your firm is not getting more referrals and how to change it
 
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
 
  • Effective online and offline marketing strategies
 
  • How to create a financial plan to fund your marketing budget
 
  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
 
  • 4 ways to create a unique competitive advantage
 
  • What is critical to have in place for today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

Stephen will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.

There are several sessions of this free webinar scheduled; you can choose what works best for you from the drop-down menu when you click on the following link to register online for our FREE Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan online seminar.

Most Effective Ways to Get Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the most effective ways to grow your email list, which was based on the latest Audience Growth Survey from ExactTarget, a digital marketing company.

The survey also provided feedback from more than 400 marketers on the tactics that worked best for attracting Facebook fans and Twitter followers.

According to the data, the two most used tactics for Facebook were not considered by marketers to be the most effective.  In fact, some of the highest rated tactics in terms of effectiveness have the lowest user numbers, including:

  • Sponsored Stories/Facebook Ads
  • Facebook Display Ads
  • Offering FAQs and how-tos
  • Answering customer questions

Here is a chart that summarizes the most used/most effective Facebook tactics:

The findings for Twitter tactics were similar to those for Facebook in that the most used were not the most effective in attracting followers.  Here is the data on Twitter tactics:

This survey points up the necessity of examining your tactics to determine if they are actually working to support your marketing goals.  Just doing something for the sake of doing it is a waste of your time and money.  With built-in metrics available for social media networks, there is no excuse for not measuring the effectiveness of your efforts and discarding the things that clearly don’t work for you.

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Get More Proven Legal Marketing Strategies FREE from The Rainmaker Institute

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

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

Improve Your Legal Marketing with Client Satisfaction Surveys

The end of the year is a perfect opportunity to conduct a client satisfaction survey, which are an information gold mine that helps you understand what your clients think 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.

Most people are accustomed to taking online satisfaction surveys, which is an expeditious and inexpensive way to conduct customer satisfaction research. It also doesn’t intrude on your client’s time too much. 

Most of the email marketing services have this functionality, so if you are already using Constant Contact or iContact, it is simple to design a survey and send it out to your contact list. You can also use a surveying resource like SurveyMonkey.com that essentially does the same thing. 

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 where we need the most improvement?
  • 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 some ways we could better serve you?
  • Would you recommend us to your friends or colleagues?
  • Are there any other comments, suggestions, complaints, or concerns you would like to voice?

You can also use a survey with current and former clients as a “keep in touch” technique. For example, if you have had an e-newsletter program in place for awhile, create a survey asking your list if they are satisfied with the content, frequency and format, if they have suggestions for future content or other improvements. 

You may learn a lot through this short query that will help you improve your marketing efforts by learning what your clients value most.

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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 Fairley unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

  • How to determine the best source for your referrals
  • How to explain your ideal target market to a referral source
  • How to get referrals from other attorneys
  • Whether online directories are a good referral source
  • How to network effectively
  • And much, much more!

Click now for your free report on 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice.

What's Ahead for Legal Marketing in 2014?

WebDAM, a web-based digital asset management company, took the time to gather data from industry experts and leading sources on digital marketing to create the infographic below, which illustrates the trends and statistics they believe will drive marketing in 2014.

Of primary interest to attorneys looking to strengthen their marketing program next year:

  • 78% of marketing executives think custom content is the future of marketing (Google agrees!)
  • B2B companies say blogs generate 67% more leads than those that don’t blog
  • Marketers are finding actual, money-paying clients on LinkedIn and Facebook
  • Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing (89%)
  • Inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads than traditional outbound marketing

 

 

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On-Demand Seminar: How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients

After paying your employees, the most costly part of your law firm is Lead Generation.

This year your law firm will spend almost 10 times as much generating new leads as it does servicing existing clients!

Generating leads for your law firm is very expensive, yet a common complaint of many attorneys is that they “need more leads.”

Lead Conversion is the most overlooked area at most law firms and it has the potential to save you tens of thousands of dollars this year!

How? By helping you convert more of those costly leads into more paying clients!

Get this on-demand seminar to learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • A proven system for converting more leads into paying clients

You can watch the How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients seminar at your convenience by clicking here now.

 
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How Lawyers Can Leverage LinkedIn to Build Their Practice, Part 2 of 2

Continuing from yesterday’s post, here are5 more tips for leveraging LinkedIn to build your client and referral base:

5. Include All Your Web Links. You can add up to three links to your firm’s websites. There are default settings, but these are also customizable. So instead of www.TheRainmakerInstitute.com, I customized it to say “law firm marketing experts”, but it still links to my website. This is another place where you should use your keywords like: “Scottsdale bankruptcy attorney” or “Chicago divorce lawyer” and link it to your website, blog or even your Facebook fan page.

6. Make Your Profile Public. Remember, it's called “social media” for a reason—you need to be social. Be sure to make your LinkedIn profile “public”, which means all the information you put in it is available to search engines to make it easier for people to find and connect with you.

7. Don’t Use The Same Copy For Your Summary As Your Bio. The summary is not a place to talk about all the things you have done in your life. This is the place to position yourself as the go-to attorney in your particular practice area and geographical region.

8. Use LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn Groups can be a very effective way to increase your visibility among niche audiences, like your target market. It takes a little while to get used to how this works. I recommend you start by ‘listening’ before diving in. There are some places you should start with, such as alumni groups and groups in the industry segments you follow. We run several LinkedIn groups you can join for free including: Phoenix Arizona Attorneys, Personal Injury Attorney Network and the Rainmaker Law Firm Marketing Group. Simply log into your LinkedIn account and search under groups. Once you understand how groups work, start your own focusing on your target market or potential referral sources (like CPAs, financial advisors or business brokers).

9. Add LinkedIn To Your Email Signature. Most attorneys put their contact information in their email signature; add a link to your LinkedIn account. Here's mine: http://Rainmaker.MyLinkInvitation.com. I would welcome the opportunity to connect with you on LinkedIn.

As soon as you start networking with LinkedIn, you increase your chances of reaching new clients and referral partners. However, be prepared, and be willing to work at it. This is not something you can “set and forget”.

If you’re not into social media or can't make the commitment to put in the time and effort to network in several sites at the same time, this is the ONE social media site you should focus on. You may not see it at first, but with the combined use of the strategies and tips I have shared here, you will start to see your online network mature over time, leading to more prospects and referral partner relationships.

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New! Free Report! The 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days: The 2nd Key – Public Speaking

One of the biggest builders of credibility and an important key in becoming a recognized expert is speaking on your area of law practice at local or regional events.

So why doesn’t every attorney do it?

What we hear from many attorneys that we work with is that they’d rather jump out of an airplane without a parachute than speak in public.

But if you do it right, you can generate business as well as enhance your reputation as a solid and recognized expert.

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

  • How to make sure you’re speaking in front of the right people
  • Different approaches to conquer your fear of public speaking
  • How much information to share with your audience
  • How to follow-up in order to generate business
  • …And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on The 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days: The 2nd Key – Public Speaking.

 
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How Lawyers Can Leverage LinkedIn to Build Their Practice, Part 1 of 2

I think we can all agree that building long-term, meaningful and influential relationships is foundational to a successful legal practice. People don’t hire law firms; they hire an attorney. The more people you connect with, the more opportunities you have to build meaningful relationships, and the more potential clients you can generate.

With over 225 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn has quickly become THE ‘go to’ business-to-business directory and the most popular social networking platform dedicated to professional business development.

Here are some of the top tips from attorneys who have used LinkedIn to their advantage and know they have gained new clients from its smart use:

1. Complete Your Profile! You must commit to do this. You can’t ever hope to get the benefits without this. Put in as much information about yourself as you can. Use the same keywords and phrases prospects would use to search for an attorney in your practice area on Google. Sometimes just where you went to college or law school can drive business or referrals to your firm. I know plenty of attorneys who have generated referrals because they went to the same school as someone else on LinkedIn, or grew up in the same hometown. Creating a shared reality with a prospect can be a powerful step toward acquiring their business. Also, certain applications with LinkedIn require that your profile be at least 50 – 75% complete in order to benefit from them.

2. Upload A Photo. Don’t be shy here. Don’t think about whether it’s right or wrong, just do it. A profile with no picture is a bad thing. LinkedIn is a social network for business professionals so your photo should convey that. Stay away from the photo of you on the golf course or holding a glass of wine. If you don’t have a professional headshot, they are available from any photography business for a nominal fee.

3. Use The Headline Below Your Profile To Make People Want to Know More.

When you set up your profile, LinkedIn uses your name, title or position as your headline, but you can edit this to make it more powerful. Try to think of your headline as your professional tagline. You have the opportunity to describe the type of attorney you are and the type of work you are currently doing. Do not make the mistake of listing more than two areas of law here, as you want to appear as a specialist. Specialists generate more referrals than generalists. Remember the phrase, “jack of all trades, master of none!”

4. Use The “Sharebox” Often. If you want to see the social power of LinkedIn, this is where you will find it. This area of LinkedIn allows you to add a brief update of what you are doing, any new professional certifications you have received, interesting cases or any other information you feel comfortable sharing. This is not a ‘chat’ site; it is for information that is professionally relevant.

In tomorrow’s post, I will share 5 more tips for leveraging LinkedIn to build your client and referral base.

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Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers

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

More than 10,000 attorneys from law firms all over the country have experienced powerful results from attending the Becoming A Rainmaker seminar. It has been sponsored by more than 22 of the largest state and local bar associations.

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

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

Click to order Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers.

 
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4 Sources of Inspiration for Your Blog Posts

Although the average person may find it hard to believe any lawyer would have a hard time finding something to say, this is definitely not the case for anyone who blogs – lawyers included.

At our two-day legal marketing seminar, The Rainmaker Retreat, I see many attorneys get excited once they truly understand the benefits of blogging.  But most have the same stumbling block:  what to say.

Here are four sources of information you can use to get inspired for writing blog posts:

Internet searches and alerts.  Do a search for your area of practice on Google News and you will get a ton of the latest articles on what is happening worldwide.  Set an alert to notify you by email or RSS feed when new articles appear.  Do the same on the Google Blogs search and you’ll see what other attorneys in your field are blogging about – just be sure to borrow ideas, not the actual content.

News feeds.  Google no longer has a news feed function, but there are several services that do for free.  One of the most popular is Feedly.com – there’s also Newsvibe, NewsBlur and DiggReader.  These are content aggregators that allow you to get feeds from news sources and other blogs.  They serve up a headline and a little bit of text, which makes scanning them quickly easy.

Hashtags:  Hashtags (#) used to be just for Twitter, but they have become popular on all the social media networks – Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ -- and allow you to learn what is being said in real time in your practice area.

Your content.  Repurposing content is common so look at any past articles, press releases or other content you have published for blog ideas.  Review some of your past posts to see if there is an idea you can expand upon or update.

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FREE REPORT:  8 Reasons Small Firms & Solos Should Publish an E-newsletter PLUS 3 Steps to Get Started

In less than a few hours a month, you can produce an effective electronic newsletter, also known as an “E-newsletter.”

An E-newsletter is a customized electronic newsletter that is commonly used in business, but rarely in the field of law. If you are truly interested in the long-term success and sustainability of your practice, you need to learn how to leverage technol