Demystifying the Supreme Court, John Oliver Style

The U.S. Supreme Court has a longstanding ban on cameras inside its courtroom, which is apparently a pet peeve of John Oliver, the British comedian who hosts his own weekly news show on HBO called “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”

As Oliver notes during his five-minute rant on the high court camera ban, “What happens in the Supreme Court is way too important not to pay attention to.” He says that the current use of audio and courtroom sketches that he finds profoundly dull prevent people from being interesting in following Supreme Court arguments that could have a profound affect on their lives.

Oliver’s solution is to make it interesting and his way of doing that are quite unique.  See for yourself:

So what can you take away from this (besides a good laugh)?  To engage people, you need to make what you are doing interesting.  When it comes to your website, video is a much better choice than static pictures (usually stock photos that have nothing to do with your practice) and words.

And don’t be afraid of using a little levity when it’s appropriate.  Humor is one of the best ways to interest people in getting to know you better. 

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FREE Webinar Tomorrow, Oct. 23:  7 Tips to Finding Speaking Opportunities

How would you like to have one to two speaking engagements scheduled in your calendar each month?

Imagine how many people in your local community you could meet, how many would learn to trust you and contact you first with their legal questions ... and how your practice could grow as a result!

If you'd like to learn how to find speaking opportunities but have no idea where to start, I invite you to join Cindy Greenway, Editor-in-Chief at LawMarketing.com for 7 Tips to Finding Speaking Opportunities, a free webinar on Thursday, October 23. 

In this fast paced ­30-minute webinar, you will discover:

3 mistakes attorneys make when it comes to finding and securing speaking opportunities

3 ways you can use social media to increase your chances of being the first to know about potential opportunities

7 tools and tips that you can implement immediately to keep informed about upcoming events that serve your target market

Simply click here to learn more and to reserve your spot.  Everyone who registers will receive a free copy of the recording to watch at his or her convenience.

Clip This Now: Local Search How-To Guide

Yesterday, I posted on Local Search: Getting Prospects to Discover You.  This is a critical tool for legal marketing SEO and too many firms are unaware of the importance local search plays in how prospects find them on the Internet.

And today I ran across an incredible infographic from OptiLocal that is a brilliant “cheat sheet” on the steps you can take to dominate local search in your area.  I have posted it below and urge you to clip this graphic and get it in the hands of the person or people responsible for your law firm website SEO. 

Since some of it is a little difficult to read -- and it is really packed with useful information -- I am providing the most important text from the infographic that provides the exact steps you should be taking as your optimize your website for local search:

Google+ Local Page Optimization

  • Verify your local page.
  • Have your company profile 100% complete.
  • Use your exact Business Name (as shown on your website).
  • Create a detailed company description.
  • Make sure that the NAP (Name Address Phone) on your local page is consistent with the NAP on your company website (All of the web mentions of your business should be NAP consistent).
  • Have a physical address in the city you want to rank for.
  • If you list a mailbox or suite number, place it in Address Line 2.
  • If you are a lawyer, you can create separate practitioner’s local pages from the official company local page with your distinct phone number and working hours.
  • Departments within businesses, universities, hospitals, and government buildings can also have a separate local page if they have a separate phone line.
  • Select every relevant category you find for your business.
  • If you have a single location – link to the home page of your website.
  • If you have multiple locations – link to the location-specific page on your website.
  • Claim and delete all duplicate local pages of your business.
  • Encourage your customers to leave you local page reviews.
  • Regularly update your local page with images, videos, etc.
  • Report to Google spammy local pages in your industry to clear unfair competition.
  • Use a local phone number instead of a call center number.

Citations

  • Ensure NAP consistency between your citations, local page and website.
  • Select high quality sources for your citations.
  • Select niche specific (relevant to your industry) websites.
  • Select area specific (relevant to your service location) websites.
  • Claim and edit all citations of your business that have a wrong NAP.
  • Remove all duplicate citations of your business from the (major) data aggregators.
  • Select the most relevant business category when listing your company.
  • Before you create new citation on a website, check if your business has not already been listed there.
  • Add as much useful info when creating your citations as possible (add images, videos, company descriptions, etc.).
  • Check where your high-ranking competitors are listed and follow their lead.

Reviews

  • Encourage your clients to post a review on your Google local page.
  • Check which of the websites that host your business citations welcome customer reviews and encourage your clients to review your business there.
  • After completing a project, don’t forget to ask your client for a review.
  • Print out special handouts with visuals on how your customers could leave a review and where.
  • Try to attract top reviewers in your niche to review your business.
  • Reply to your reviews even if negative. Stay in touch with your customers.

On-Site Optimization

  • Ensure NAP consistency with your local listing and citations.
  • Create location specific pages.
  • Create unique content for your multiple service locations.
  • Describe specific local sights, attractions, history, festivals, events, etc.
  • Use local reviews as local specific content.
  • Write about your local company team.
  • Include contact details, directions, working hours, where to park.
  • Include photos and mention the specific location in their file names and alt attributes.
  • Embed a Google map associated with your local page on your location landing page or on your Contact us page (if you have a single location).
  • Optimize your site content, title tags, meta tags and urls for the specific location (if you cover several locations do not optimize for all of the locations throughout your website, but focus on the most profitable one instead).
  • Use schema.org to mark up your NAP, hours of operation, reviews.
  • Use location and a keyword in your location landing pages.

Inbound Link Profile

  • Get included in your local industry associations, business chamber, etc.
  • Pursue inbound links from bloggers who write about local news, events, etc.
  • Research your top competitors’ inbound links and borrow link ideas from them.

 

How to Write a Bio That Brings You Business

As Lee Rosen noted in a recent blog post titled, Turn Your Lawyer Bio Upside Down, attorney bios are notoriously boring.  Most of them read like a resume rather than tell a story about who you are as a person and an attorney -- which means you are missing a big opportunity to entice prospects to pick up the phone or shoot you an email.

Everyone wants to do business with someone they like or have something in common with, but you can’t meet every possible prospect in person -- your bio can go a long way in convincing those folks to reach out to you.

Here are some tips for crafting an intriguing bio:

First, introduce yourself.  Say who you are and what you do.  For example: Bob Jones, also known as the “defender of the little guy,” is a bankruptcy attorney in Phoenix.

Share your story.  Relate your personal and professional mission and how the situations you encountered over your life have shaped who you are today.  When appropriate, include some anecdotes about your family.  Example:  I come from a long line of lawyers in my family, and their example of helping people inspired me to continue the tradition.

Include a photo.  The photo illustrating this post was taken outside an attorney’s office near Charleston, SC.  This attorney practices criminal law and his “sign” leaves no doubt that he is a fierce advocate for his clients!  Plus, he clearly has a sense of humor.

Share hobbies and charity work.  Show that you have a life outside your office and that you can be empathetic to the plight of others because you are an active volunteer or support local charities.

Write like you speak.  Using a conversational tone in your bio helps the reader feel as if they are having a conversation with you in person.  Keep it professional, but lighten up on the use of legal jargon or big words, which can alienate the reader.

Throw in some personality.  Use colorful (not off-color) words and humor to entertain your reader.

Give readers who land on your bio page online something interesting to read that encourages them to connect with you offline.

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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, How to Position Yourself as A Specialist, Not a Generalist.

Solo Discovers Power of Video When Phones Won't Stop Ringing

Solo practitioner Suzanne Meehle who blogs at Solo Practice University has an exciting story to relate about her use of video in marketing her law firm.

In exchange for helping a local film studio set up an LLC, Suzanne had a number of videos of herself produced that feature her sitting in her office while a friend interviews her on basic business law topics.  (You can see them here.)

She set up a channel for herself at YouTube (“YouTube makes it easy,” she reports) and linked her videos back to her website. 

And here’s what happened after she did that:

In the first week, traffic to her website increased 62%.

Page views on her website increased 30% (visitors didn’t just watch the videos, they stayed on her site and visited other pages).

Her phone has not stopped ringing and she is thinking about making her part-time assistant full-time.

Her inbox is filling up with emails from people who have filled out the form on her Contact Us page.

She is not only getting prospects, she is getting actual clients -- and, oh happy day, her referrals have increased as well because her referral sources are now better educated on what she offers.

Here are some of her tips for making videos that connect with prospects:

  • Look professional -- wear a suit.
  • Clean up your office so the viewer can’t see piles of stuff on your desk or credenza.
  • Prepare what you are going to say but don’t read from a script.
  • Produce at least one video that says what you do, but use the rest to provide actual educational content (she did 8 videos on different subjects like tax, employment law, IP, business formation and business planning).
  • If you don’t have access to a local studio, hire a freelance professional in your area -- you can find them at Elance.com or Guru.com.
  • Post your videos on your website and create your own YouTube channel with links back to your site to help your SEO.

Good stuff, Suzanne.  Congratulations on using what works and reaping the benefits!

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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.

Legal marketing experts 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.

6 Steps to Get Your Law Firm to Stand Out Online

It wasn’t that long ago that a law firm could stand out online just for the sole reason that it had a website. 

Today, law firm websites are ubiquitous, so they are no longer a differentiating factor.  You’re going to have to dig a little deeper to set yourself apart online, especially since the majority of people looking for lawyers are doing the early part of their searches on the Web.

Here are six steps to differentiating your law firm online:

1.  Pinpoint your ideal target market.  Try to be as specific as possible in narrowing your target market down by demographics and personal profiles.  This is key to your success in any kind of marketing, because if you fail to do this, nothing else you do will matter.  You don’t want to waste time marketing to everyone, because no one is looking for a generalist these days.  People have specific problems (to them) and want a specialist to help solve them.

2.  Create a landing page for different practice areas.  This is especially critical for consumer attorneys (personal injury, family law, criminal defense, etc.) since you want to focus on the specific things people are searching for online.  Someone in a car accident is more likely to search for “car accident attorney” than “personal injury attorney”.  The most successful PI attorneys we know have separate landing pages for car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, brain injuries, etc.

3.  Give something away.  People love to get something for free, and it doesn’t have to cost you a dime.  You want people to provide you with their email address and name and in return, you provide them with something of value.  Think about the top 10 questions you get from clients and create a free download with the answers.

4.  Create relevant, interesting content.  No one is going to remain on your website, or visit you more than once, if they find boring content that is heavy on the legalese.  You must write simply and concisely, using laymen’s language.  And you need to keep adding relevant content to your site to keep readers coming back.

5.   Create a blog.  A blog on your website is one of the best tools in your online marketing arsenal to keep and attract readers.  Plus, since you are always adding fresh content, a blog helps your site rank better in search.  A blog also allows you to humanize your law firm so prospects get a good idea of what it would be like to do business with you.

6.  Optimize for mobile.  More people are using smart phones and tablets to view websites than they use a desktop or laptop these days, so your website must absolutely be optimized for mobile viewing.  Even though the iPhone 6 has a bigger screen, people are still not going to want to try to manipulate your site on their screens to get the information they need.  Get a mobile website, or better yet, use responsive web design on your main site so it is seen in its best light no matter what device people are using.

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FREE Webinar Tomorrow: How to Get Quoted in the Media on a Shoestring Budget

Join 30-year public relations veteran Jana Schilder and LawMarketing.com’s Editor in Chief Cindy Greenway at tomorrow's free webinar "How to Get Quoted In The Media On A Shoestring Budget".

If you want to get quoted by the media and grow your reputation as an attorney, attend this live, free webinar on Tuesday, September 23 at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern.  

Here's a taste of what will be covered:

  • How to introduce yourself to the media to start a strong and long-lasting relationship
  • How to easily find publications that will eagerly accept an article you wrote
  • How to leverage satellite radio:  hundreds of shows need guest experts

You can register online now for the How to Get Quoted in the Media on a Shoestring Budget webinar on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.  If you cannot attend, register anyway to receive the free recording of the webinar in its entirety.

Why Good Website Design Matters

Good website design is based on a number of factors, many of which have to do with taking into account the human factor since you are, obviously, building a site to be viewed by humans.  And most humans:

  • Don’t want to wait for a page to load
  • React differently to different color schemes
  • Scan a website instead of read it in detail
  • Need to feel trust before doing business with someone they don’t already know

Scores of studies have been done on the design details that matter to human beings.  This infographic from Red Website Design aggregates some of that data and boils it down to five key areas of focus for implementing good website design that leads to good user experiences:

Why a Blog Should be the Center of Your Online Marketing Strategy

Did you know that you could hang just about everything you do on the Internet (marketing-wise) to a great blog? 

A blog is the best way for lawyers to establish their credibility and build an online reputation that will help draw potential clients to you. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create a blog on your website
  2. Post to it 3-5 times per week with relevant, original content
  3. Link your blog posts to your social media profiles and pages
  4. 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. Just as you would plot your strategy for a brief or trial presentation, blogging is most effective for lawyers who plan ahead:

Create a calendar. You can create a separate calendar in Outlook or whatever email service you use or even print off a calendar template, whatever works for you. Take 15 minutes at a time that works best for you to devote your full attention to plotting out your blog topics.

Create a topic list. 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 ideas.

Schedule your topics.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.

The other half of the equation is, of course, actually writing the content. There’s a free webinar tomorrow that can help you with this task -- see below for details.

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FREE Webinar TOMORROW:  How to Create New, Fresh & Relevant Blog Content

Do you struggle with creating new, fresh, relevant content for your blog?  

You know it's important to consistently post to your blog, but you don't know what to write about, how to best share your content and how you can better leverage it.

Stop struggling with creating new, fresh and relevant content.  Join Cindy Greenway, Editor-in-Chief at LawMarketing.com, on Thursday, July 10 at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT for a FREE webinar and discover:

  • How to create a no-fail content marketing plan for your law practice that can run without
  • 3 tips to brainstorming key topics to write about, specifically for your target
  • 4 ways to re purpose 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

Register online now for this free webinar and learn easy to implement steps that will allow you to create new content your prospects want to read.  

The Complete List of Google Ranking Factors

While most of our clients would rather watch paint dry than delve into all the information out there on Google’s algorithm, I do know a few attorneys who love to dig into the technical details to understand what will help their websites earn that all-important first page search ranking.  So this post is for them.

Digital marketing agency Single Grain and SEO company Backlinko scoured the web for mentions of Google ranking factors, then aggregated all their results in the nifty info graphic you can find here.

Just a cursory review gives you an idea of the complexity of SEO practice today. Brian Dean, Backlinko founder, provides his input on the 10 most important ranking factors:

  1. Keyword in the beginning of your title tag.
  2. Length of content (pages with more than 1500 words rank highest)
  3. Page loading speed
  4. Prominence and positioning of keywords
  5. Authority of your page (determined by links to and from)
  6. Domain authority
  7. Relevancy of your links
  8. How much time visitors spend on your page
  9. Responsive web design (optimized for mobile)
  10. Original content

Take a few minutes to read through all the ranking factors and I’ll bet you can find at least 5 things you can do right now to improve your SEO.

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NEW FREE REPORT:  How to Tap Into One of the Most Cost Effective Marketing Tools for Law Firms & 4 Steps to Get Started Today

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:

  • 10 reasons an e-newsletter is necessary to your legal marketing strategy
  • 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

Click on the following link to receive your free report on How to Tap Into One of the Most Cost Effective Marketing Tools for Law Firms & 4 Steps to Get Started Today.

 

Is Your Website Costing You Money or Making You Money?

If you’ve been practicing law for more than 10 years, you probably hated the first time you had to create a website.  Chances are that it was too expensive, took too long to develop and probably doesn’t even have half the functionality that today’s sites do.

If your site is still hobbling along on its original legs, it’s time to chuck it.  If it’s been even a couple of years since your site was overhauled, you need to give some serious thought to an update.  North Carolina attorney and legal marketer Lee Rosen gives several reasons for updating a website over on his Divorce Discourse blog today:

Dated design.  If you’re still wearing wide ties and lapels, you’re probably fine with your old website, but designs change and an old website just makes you look out of touch.

Nothing to share.  Social shares are online currency, so if you site has no way to share your content -- or worse, no interesting content to share -- that needs to change.

No blog.  There’s no better way to speak to prospects’ pain than a blog, where you can discuss problems relevant to them and offer solutions.  This brings you leads.  No blog, less leads.

Not optimized for mobile.  If your site doesn’t incorporate responsive web design -- where it displays your content in the right format to users on desktops and mobile devices -- you are not prepared to serve the majority of consumers who now use smartphones or tablets to go online.

Inflexible.  If you have to go through other people outside your firm to make updates to your site’s content, you’re wasting money.  Get a content management system that allows you to make changes any time you want or need to do so.

Content is all about you.  If your website content reads like your resume, you are turning off prospects right and left.  They don’t care about you; they care about what benefits, value and results they will gain by hiring you.

Now I’ll add a few of my own:

Content isn’t just words.  People respond to videos and photos.  Having videos on your website that shows people just who you are and what you know is imperative today, both for attracting clients and for ranking better in search.

Navigation.  Is it easy to get around your website?  Or are you sending people on a wild goose chase to find what they want?  Your site needs to be easy to navigate or people will leave.

Calls-to-action.  If you’re not giving people something to do on your site -- download a free report, sign up for a free newsletter -- you’re missing a golden opportunity to collect email addresses so you can keep the conversation going.  Your site should be sprinkled with obvious calls-to-action.

Your website is the face of your firm in a very competitive marketplace, so if it’s showing its age, it’s time for a facelift. 

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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.

10 Google Analytics Categories You Need to Review to Judge Your Website's Performance

There are 10 Google Analytics categories you should be reviewing to judge how effectively your website or blog is performing against your marketing objectives.  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.  Plus, it’s free!

There are 10 categories within Google Analytics that you should be reviewing at least monthly:

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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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 Stay on the Right Side of Copyright Law When Using Images for Your Blog or Website

Images are a must these days for populating blogs and websites.  Not only do they attract attention for your content, they also help you rank better in search. 

Plus, humans are visual beings, so since you are writing for people, choosing a killer image to illustrate your words will help your content get enjoyed and shared.

This infographic from WhoIsHostingThis.com provides all the information you need to know when it comes to choosing images that won’t infringe on an existing copyright and what kind of licenses you should be aware of when choosing an image for your posts:

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FREE REPORT: How Law Firms Use Blogging to Get More Leads, Increase Website Traffic & Become an Industry Thought Leader

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. In 2013, inbound marketing firm Hubspot released a report based on a marketing benchmark study of 7,000 companies and found that when it comes to blogging:

Companies that blog 15+ times per month get five times more traffic than firms with no blog.

B2B companies that blog at least twice a month get 70% more leads from their websites than firms with no blog.

Companies that increase their blogging from 3-5 times per month to 5-8 times per month almost double their leads.

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

  • 7 ways that blogging can help your law practice
  • How to create your blog strategy
  • 10 ways to build an audience for your blog
  • 4 sources of information for writing blog posts
  • And much more!

Click now for your FREE REPORT: How Law Firms Use Blogging to Get More Leads, Increase Website Traffic & Become an Industry Thought Leader.

Google Says Size Doesn't Matter When It Comes to Search Results

If you are a small firm or solo, you have probably felt the frustration of battling against a bigger firm – their sheer size (and sizeable marketing budget) may seem to you an unfair advantage in the legal marketplace.

Last week, Google said that size doesn’t really matter, at least when it comes to the size of a website and search results.  Answering a question on the Google Webmaster blog, engineer Matt Cutts said that larger websites do not automatically rank higher on Google than small sites.

In fact, he said that smaller sites that are agile, dynamic, with a quick response time and frequent content updates can rank higher than the bigger sites.  The key differentiator is superior content and focusing intently on the user experience.

Cutts’ tip for small firms and solos is to concentrate on a small topic area and cover that topic really, really well – in other words, be a specialist and create stellar content that is relevant to users searching for that topic.  This will make you an expert in Google’s eyes.  And that’s how niches can lead to riches when it comes to SEO!

Here are three ways that solos and small firms can capitalize on their online agility:

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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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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 (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.

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!

New Website Launches to Help Consumers Find Legal Help: INeedAGoodLawyerNow.com

LawMarketing.com, the premier online source for attorney marketing and business development, has launched a new website to educate consumers on legal issues with information provided by attorneys in a variety of practice areas.

The new website -- INeedAGoodLawyerNow.com – gives consumers information on the latest legal trends in all areas of the law, including bankruptcy, business law, criminal law, divorce, DUI/DWI, employment, estate planning, family law, foreclosure, immigration, personal injury, real estate and more.

INeedAGoodLawyerNow.com is not an attorney referral service and does not provide legal advice.  Instead, the site publishes content by attorneys nationwide on legal topics of interest to consumers that need to learn more about a specific legal issue or trend.

Attorneys interested in contributing content to INeedAGoodLawyerNow.com can do so by subscribing to LawMarketing.com’s article and content marketing membership.  There are four levels of membership for attorneys; depending on the level selected, a member’s content and law firm profile information will be published to the INeedAGoodLawyerNow.com website and shared on social media networks.

The INeedAGoodLawyerNow.com site is administered by Cindy Greenway, editor in chief at LawMarketing.com.  For more information, email Cindy@LawMarketing.com or visit INeedAGoodLawyerNow.com.

 
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5 Ways to Boost Your SEO Right Now

Yesterday I posted an interview that originally appeared on LawMarketing.com about the latest Google Penguin update and what it may or may not have done to affect legal websites.

John Jantsch over at the Duct Tape Marketing blog had a good post last week about the 5 ways you can boost your SEO right away, taking into consideration the latest Google search engine update:

1. Boost your social share. Google is giving a lot more juice to social share signals, so add the Google +1 and Facebook Like or Share buttons at the top of each page of your website or blog.

2. Use larger embedded images. This can help your blog posts you put on Facebook get shared more, and sharing is the name of the game right now. Facebook recently redesigned their posts to make images a lot more prominent; the new standard for images is 600 x 1200 pixels.

3. Zero in on long tail keywords. In a competitive category like law, going after the long tail keywords that people use to search for your services will help your SEO. Jantsch recommends using Long Tail Pro, a keyword research tool that is easy to use and inexpensive.

4. Use micro data with rich snippets. If you use WordPress for your blog or website, be sure to add the micro data plugin. Micro data is HTML code used by search engines to identify categories of text and Google uses it to understand website pages better. You can learn more about this on Google’s Webmaster blog.

5. Build relationships with authorities for your category. Just like it is important to build a good referral network offline, it has become increasingly important for you to do it online – it’s just known as building authority relationships. Find authors in your practice area that rank high in search and find ways to connect with them to foster a value-added relationship.

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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 prequalified 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, 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.

 

Ouch! Did Your Legal Website Get Penalized by Penguin?

Penguin was the latest algorithm update to Google’s search engine, and many businesses are concerned that their websites may have been penalized by this update earlier this month. 

So how can you tell if your legal website was affected negatively by the Penguin update?

LawMarketing.com’s editor Cindy Greenway recently interviewed Chris Dreyer of AttorneyRankings.org on the update and how you can ensure your website complies with the latest Google quality guidelines:

LawMarketing.com is offering a free report, 15 Strategies to Increase Google Rank, Control Online Reputation and Maximize Content.   Just click on the link to get yours today.

 

10 Free Keyword Research Tools + How to Use Them

An old friend – Google’s free Adwords Keyword tool – has gone off the grid for good, leaving in its place the new Keyword Planner. The Planner is a little more detailed, but still fairly easy to use and still free.

A recent post at the GroTraffic.com blog had a list of 10 free keyword research tools you will find useful, as well as a good infographic that provides step-by-step instructions on how to conduct keyword research:

Mergewords – especially useful for creating long tail keyword phrases which are critical to your SEO efforts.

Wordstream – will give you up to 30 free keyword results; after that, you have to subscribe.

SEMRush – the first 10 results are free; a subscription is required for more. Data analysis and keyword performance info is also offered on the site.

SEOBook – this site has a free keyword tool that requires free registration to access.

Keyword Eye – if you are more visually oriented, this site is for you.

KGen – if you use Firefox as your browser, this tool is available as an add-on and will rank keywords on any given website.

Bing Keyword Research Tool – part of the Bing Webmaster Tools.

Keyword Spy – lets you evaluate competitive websites for keywords they use.

Thesaurus.com – this website gives you synonyms for your keywords.

Ubersuggest – suggestion tool for more keyword ideas.

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New Free Report: Position Yourself as A Specialist, Not a Generalist

Being a generalist is one of the deadly mistakes that attorneys can make!

Why?

First of all, it makes it much harder to get referrals. If you are a generalist, a jack-of-all-trades, what do sources of referrals 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 has. 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.

 

How to Optimize Your Law Firm Website for Mobile (for Free)

A recent LawMarketing.com post shared an infographic that shows what your mobile optimized website should look like (see below). It also compiled some pretty compelling reasons why your law firm website needs to be optimized for mobile, including:

  • 99% of smartphone owners use their mobile browser at least once a day
  • 95% of mobile users use their devices for local searches (including looking for a local lawyer!)
  • 48% of mobile users feel that you do not care about them if your site is not mobile friendly

There is a website that will optimize your existing website for mobile for free. You can find it at http://mobilizingusa.com/. The service is provided by New York-based bMobilized, which says it has already optimized more than two million websites for free.

They also offer a premium version for mobile websites that will let you add plug-ins – for example, you can add a function that allows people to tap your phone number to call you, or add a geo-location plug-in that lets people find you quickly and easily.

One caveat: if you try the free service, be sure to check your mobilized site to make sure all the information has transferred successfully. If it doesn’t, you might want to invest a little money in a customized version. 

LawMarketing.com is offering a free report, 15 Strategies to Increase Google Rank, Control Online Reputation and Maximize Content.   Just click on the link to get yours today.

 

6 Reasons Why Video Belongs In Your Legal Marketing Mix

Here’s a statistic that is hard to wrap your head around: more than 4 billion videos are viewed on YouTube every day

YouTube also says that more than 6 billion hours are watched each month – one hour for every person on Earth.

Video is a great way for attorneys to connect with prospects on your law firm website and demonstrate expertise in your field of practice. 

Beyond the YouTube stats that demonstrate virtually everyone is viewing video online, here are 6 more reasons why video belongs in your legal marketing mix:

1. Better search results. According to Forrester Research, videos are 53x more likely than traditional websites to be found on the first page of Google search results.

2. Better retention. Forrester Research found that people retain 58% more with both visual and auditory stimulation.

3. More traffic. Forrester Research reports that over 60% of all web traffic comes from online video.

4. More likely to buy. People who view a video are 64% more likely to purchase (comScore).

5. Found in the C-Suite. 65% of senior executives say they have visited a vendor website after watching a video. 59% say they prefer video to text. (Forbes’ Video in the C-Suite).

6. More likely to be shared. Video has the best potential to be shared and go viral compared with other media.

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

Newly released! 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!

***For Blog Readers, Facebook Friends, Twitter Followers and LinkedIn Connections – we are offering you a $50 discount for Volume 2 and a $100 discount for both Volume 1 and Volume 2 because of your social media presence with The Rainmaker Institute.

Click here now to order!

 

How to Build a Website That Helps Clients and Converts Prospects

Why does anyone visit a law firm’s website? Usually, it’s because they have a problem or a need they need help with solving, and think they will need an attorney to provide that help.   In other words: they need help!

So why do so many law firms have sites that look like they were built for other attorneys? There is too much legal jargon, intimidating off-putting photos or self-congratulatory puffery that does not speak at all to prospects and their pain.

Your website is your online office, a place that prospects and clients should be able to visit to get the information they need without having to wade through a bunch of nonessential stuff. Here are some things your online office needs to provide:

Answers to FAQs. If you have practiced law for more than a year, then you should be aware of what your clients want to know. Your site needs to have a robust Frequently Asked Questions area where people can come and learn about what they specifically want to know. 

For example, people involved in an accident want to know how much their case is worth. People who are in financial trouble want to know if they will lose their home if they file bankruptcy. People who are getting a divorce want to know who is entitled to what. And all people want to know how much your services cost.

Naturally, there are some questions you cannot answer without knowing more specifics about their case – but you still need to address it, cite some examples if applicable and let them know you will give them the best possible answer when you meet in person.

The legal process. Clients and prospects also want to know about the legal process – i.e., will they have to go to court? How often will they meet with you? What kind of information do you need from them about their case? Have your website educate them about the legal process in clear, layperson language.

Attorney profiles. Use the attorney profile page as a way to let prospects really get to know and engage with each lawyer in your firm. Don’t just put up a resume. Your goal is to humanize each attorney so clients and prospects feel comfortable revealing themselves to him or her. Add video. Always include a photo or two. 

Testimonials. Attorneys allowed to use third party testimonials on their websites need to be proactive in getting those client testimonials and posting them on a regular basis. People are more comfortable choosing an attorney who has good recommendations, even when they come from people they don’t know personally. 

Remember that your law firm website is not going to do a darn thing for you unless it does something for your prospects and clients.

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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

 

7 Steps to Create a Lead-Generating Website

It is estimated that 95% of law firms already have a website (I'm not sure what the other five percent are holding out for...perhaps they still think the internet is a fad), but too few attorneys are consistently generating quality leads from their online presence because they lack great content.

Google has made it increasingly difficult to rank high without putting a lot of quality content on your website. One of the best ways to do so is via a blog, which allows you to add unique, high quality content every day to your website.

The infographic below from ReachLocal.com provides 7 essential ingredients you must have in your website to help you land more leads:

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New!  FREE Report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources

Who wouldn’t want a referral driven business?

Your marketing would cost you far less, and the people referred to you would be predisposed to do business with you if you were recommended by someone they trust.

Building relationships with the kind of people most likely to give you referrals is a very powerful tool if you do it the right way.

Referrals are far more likely to retain you than almost any other source of new clients you have.

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.

 

Sign Up Now for ATLAS Lawyers Seminar Sept. 25-27 in Fort Lauderdale

I will be a featured speaker at the ATLAS Lawyers Become Limitless: Legal Marketing and Management Seminar on September 25-27, 2013 at the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Founded in 2008, ATLAS Lawyers brings practicing lawyers together to discuss not only how to get business but how to handle the work. ATLAS brings some of the most forward-thinking speakers to educate attorneys and law firm staff on how to best market a legal practice, more effectively manage employees, cutting-edge topics for small law firms, and other critical facets of the business of practicing law.

The group has no membership fees, and the only charge to attend our seminars is the cost of your meals. If you are not satisfied or your questions are not answered, they will give you back your money guaranteed! 

“Our goal is for you to meet with other attorneys who are constantly striving to improve their law practice,” says ATLAS founder J. Christopher Munley, the managing partner of leading Pennsylvania personal injury law firm Munley Law. “We want you to pick up tips from others and share your own secrets to success so that everyone in attendance can go home and grow their practice. At every one of our seminars, our attendees leave feeling energized and excited about the possibilities for developing their client pool and improving their practice structure.”

I will speak on 5 Ways to Leverage the Power of Blogging and Social Media to Get More Referrals and Generate More Leads, where I will share with seminar attendees:

  • The 3 biggest mistakes attorneys make when it comes to blogging and social media
  • The secrets of blogging that make it work
  • What it really takes to generate leads from your blog
  • How to integrate social media into your content marketing efforts
  • How to use the Rainmaker Social Media Blueprint™
  • Best practices top attorneys are using
  • Driving targeted traffic to your blog & website using social media

To register for the ATLAS Lawyers seminar, visit www.atlaslawyers.com/reg-attendees.html.

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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.

 

63% of Us Access the Internet via Our Mobile Phones

According to a new report released yesterday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, almost two-thirds of American cell phone owners go online using their mobile phones – a 100% increase from 2009:

The study conducted in April and May of this year shows that demographic profile of cell phone Internet usage skews younger, mirroring that of smartphone ownership. In addition, consumers who use their cells to access the Internet are more likely to have a college degree, income above $75,000 and be an urban or suburban resident:

But younger consumers aren’t the only ones using mobile phones to access the Web – the report found that usage among cell owners aged 50-64 increased 15% in the past year, from 36% in 2012 to 51% in 2013.

Interestingly, the report found that 34% of consumers using their mobile phones to access the Internet said they mostly use their cell phone rather than any other device like a desktop or laptop computer.

This mass migration to mobile for Internet access means that the successful delivery of legal marketing content to mobile devices is directly impacted by the optimization of your website, landing pages and e-newsletters for mobile. It is no longer a question of if you should optimize for mobile, it’s now just a question of when.

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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.

 

Google Ranking Factors for Achieving Best Search Results

Earlier this summer, Searchmetrics released a report on the ranking factors that are most highly associated with Google search results

I wrote a post about it in July at Social Signals Rank Highest for Best Google Search Results.

I just ran across an infographic that provides additional detail from this important study and believe it’s worth a share here:

2013 SEO Ranking Factors

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Sept. 18 Online Seminar: 6 Powerful Steps to Find More Clients & Close More Business

Every prospect you encounter goes through an internal decision making process before they decide to hire you.

You can either be a passive participant in this process (and lose them to a competitor) or you can become a guide and lead them through the logical process of earning their business and closing the deal.

Consciously taking the prospect through a powerful 6-step process can systematically lead them to decide that hiring you is the best choice they can make.

Join us on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT for this powerful webinar where you will discover:

  • A 6-step process to generate more revenue and referrals
  • How to identify your perfect clients
  • Ways to better position your services in a compelling way that demands higher fees than your competitors
  • When and how to get testimonials and how to use them effectively
  • 3 bulletproof closing techniques

If the timing of this webinar doesn’t work for you, don’t worry – go ahead and register online and you will receive a recording of the full online seminar so you can listen and learn at your convenience.

Click here to register online now for the 6 Powerful Steps to Find More Clients & Close More Business online seminar on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.

 

Learn to Harness the Power of Video at LexisNexis Webinar on Sept. 25

Every month, 75 million people watch online videos. When consumers want an engaging visual experience, they turn to video. Video is expressive and allows for a real connection. It’s a vehicle for showcasing your law firm’s personality and credibility to potential clients, and a complement to your overall marketing strategy.



In this complimentary one-hour webinar presented by LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® you’ll learn best practices for creating and sharing your own law firm video.

How can your firm benefit from a video? Videos can:


  • Demonstrate your credibility and personality

  • Help attract new clients and grow your business

  • Deliver return-on-investment within a flexible budget 



Join presenters Larry Bodine, Editor-in-Chief of Lawyers.com and martindale.com, and Samantha Miller, Vice President of Product for LexisNexis® Web Visibility Solutions, who will teach you:

  • The value of video for your law firm

  • Why video speaks volumes in attracting clients

  • How to create a law firm video

  • Which videos make the most impact with consumers

  • Video social sharing (YouTube®, Vimeo®, etc.)



Click here to register online for this complimentary LexisNexis webinar, Harness the Power of Video for Your Law Firm.

 

How to Create Content That Google Likes

A recent HubSpot blog post noted that there are 2 million unique blog posts published every day – a huge amount of new content streaming onto the Web. So how can you compete effectively to ensure that your content gets the Google thumbs-up for the terms your prospects are using to find the legal services you offer?

While Google’s ever-changing search algorithm is always a closely guarded secret, Google has published guidelines for best practices and their instructions for creating quality content that will help you rise in the search ranks are fairly simple:

Write for people, not for search engines.

Don’t try to trick anyone. Use original content.

Be helpful to your readers.

Learn how to differentiate your site so it stands out from your competitors – what will people find unique, valuable and engaging about your site?

You can educate yourself more on Google’s guidelines for creating a website that will help them find, index and rank your site by visiting the Google Webmaster Guidelines page.

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New!  FREE Report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources

Who wouldn’t want a referral driven business?

Your marketing would cost you far less, and the people referred to you would be predisposed to do business with you if you were recommended by someone they trust.

Building relationships with the kind of people most likely to give you referrals is a very powerful tool if you do it the right way.

Referrals are far more likely to retain you than almost any other source of new clients you have.

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.

 

Sept. 12 LawMarketing.com Webinar: 5 Must-Haves Your Website Needs to Convert Visitors to Prospects

Are you aware that you have all of 6 seconds to connect and make an impression with a visitor to your website? Although attorneys as a group are historically slow to adapt to new technologies, I’d venture to say just about every lawyer today has a website.

But is your website working for you or against you?

Join Cindy Greenway, editor in chief at LawMarketing.com, and Tanner Jones, marketing director for Consultwebs.com, for a free webinar next Thursday, Sept. 12 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT on 5 Must Haves For Your Website Conversion Tool Kit.

During this complimentary webinar, you will learn:

  • Five top items you MUST have on your website to convert visitors to prospects
  • How to design for human eyes:  ensuring you are approachable
  • Proven ways to maximize your website conversions
  • Which data is worth tracking and how it impacts your bottom line
  • The top conversion tools that are critical for today's Web browsers

If the timing of this webinar doesn’t work for you, don’t worry – go ahead and register online and you will receive an audio recording of the full webinar so you can listen and learn at your convenience.

Click here to register online now for the 5 Must Haves For Your Website Conversion Tool Kit webinar on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, compliments of LawMarketing.com.

 

Could Your Law Firm Be the Target of a Spear Phishing Attack?

According to a recent post at LawMarketing.com, law firms are now a prime target for hackers using a method called “spear phishing,” which is gathering information about a specific company or individual and using their unique email addresses to distribute malware to that company’s or person’s computer.

As the post notes, spear phishing emails are “designed to look like they are sent from a trusted source, like a colleague or client, however once the links or attachments in these emails are opened, they infect the user’s computer with dangerous malware. Even the most security conscious AMLaw 100 firms are falling victim to spear phishing. In 2011, an estimated 80 major law firms in the U.S. were hacked.”

Read the rest of post entitled, Growing Threat of Spear Phishing Attacks On Law Firms on the LawMarketing.com site to educate yourself about this growing threat.

And while you’re at it, click on this link for an informative LawMarketing.com free report on 15 Strategies for Attorneys to Increase Google Rank, Control Online Reputations and Maximize Content.

 

5 Tips to Create a Lead-Generating Legal Website

Websites are an essential part of a law firm's success when it comes to reaching and converting prospective clients. If you don't market your law firm, few will know you exist. Your law firm relies on quality prospects and returning clients.

Here are 5 tips to creating a lead-generating legal website:

1. Key in on your Ideal Target Market (ITM) - Once you clearly define your target market, clearly communicate it on your website. Otherwise, you will waste time and energy on low quality prospects.

2. Write in your prospect’s language - Potential clients will quickly look elsewhere if they have to sift through your copy to find something that makes sense to them.  

You only have about thirty seconds before a potential client decides to either keep reading or move onto the next website.  Clearly identify your target market, and address these 3 basic topics in your copy:

  1. Identify your target markets most painful problem
  2. Provide your solution to their problem
  3. Give them the next step by including your call to action

3. Have a professional design your website - Stay away from having people you know develop your website. Setting aside that this scenario could potentially damage a good relationship, it could be professionally harmful as well.   

You may rationalize that it will save you money or that you are helping a friend by giving them the business--but odds are that you will be paying a professional to either build an entirely new site, or, if you are fortunate, fix your well-meaning friend’s mistakes.  

Hire a professional, preferably one that has experience in legal marketing.  

4. Have a plan to drive traffic - Your goal is to drive TONS of highly targeted traffic to your website. Here are a few ways to ensure you do:

Use the right keywords - Your goal is to have qualified prospects visit your law firm's website. Those people will be searching by typing in familiar words or phrases for what they need information on. These words or phrases are called keywords. You will want to include these keywords in your content, so that your website will be one that pulls you up on the ranking page. 

Link a Blog to your site - create a blog that is updated 5 days a week and link it back to your website. This will ensure that you have fresh, new content constantly filtering to your website - and helps ensure that you are ranked on the first page of Google. Request your free report on "How To Use Blogs As A Secret Weapon In Your Online Arsenal".

5. Include a call to action or a way to capture website visitor's contact information - Using free giveaways, offering special reports, e-books, assessments, or a mini course to attract new visitors and move them to the next level is crucial.  

Get creative. Offer a newsletter subscription, or take an article you have previously written and repurpose it as a free report.  Make your offer clear and compelling.

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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.

 

How to Use Content for Effective Link Building

One of the top factors in determining your ranking in search lies in effective link building. Google has long recognized – and penalized – sites that try to game the system with irrelevant backlinks – the focus now is on quality, not quantity.

A recent post at ContentCrossroads.com provides these 5 tips for creating quality backlinks using content:

Capitalize on opportunities -- comment on hot topics in the news or build content around important events or dates.

Build editorial links – establish a network of bloggers that are natural allies with your firm and your website.

Feature video and infographics – create videos with tips or a Q&A that address problems your target audience faces as well as interesting infographics that others will want to share.

Create case studies – develop case studies that describe a common challenge, then describe the solution and results.

Make comments – comment on popular blogs in your area of expertise. To find them, perform a Google Blog search.

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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.

 

Proven Strategies to Boost Website Traffic

There are a number of different strategies you can employ –both on your website and off it – to increase both the quality and quantity of traffic to your site. After all, you need both to do what your website is there to do in the first place: encourage visitors to engage with, and hopefully hire, you. 

BestWebHostingGeek.com has aggregated a number of proven strategies you can deploy that will increase the daily traffic flow to your website, blog or social media page into one handy infographic. All of them aim to do what you should already be striving to do: increase the quality of your site. 

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Seminar on Key Performance Indicators: Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm Now Available On-Demand

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 register online for this on-demand seminar, click on this link: Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm.

 

Social Signals Rank Highest for Best Google Search Results

A new study from Searchmetrics shows that of 44 ranking factors, social signals account for 7 of the top 8 most highly associated with Google search results,  The chart below shows the ranking importance for the top 22:

The top findings from the Searchmetrics Ranking Factors-Rank Correlation Study show the following SEO trends for 2013:

  • Keyword domains and keyword links are not nearly as relevant as in the past
  • Social signals directly correlate with better rankings
  • Good content continues to be key
  • The number of backlinks continues to be of high importance
  • On-page technology (URL length, keywords in page titles, page descriptions, H1 and H2 tags, etc.) is still an important basic

This latest study makes it clear that you can no longer ignore social media if you are interested in showing up in Google search results. 

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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.

 

How Website Analytics Can Boost Your Lead Generation Rates

Is your website operating to maximum efficiency? Do people who come to your site stay or do they jump off after the home page? 

Do you know what your “bounce rate” is?

If someone visits only one page on your site and then leaves, that’s a “bounce”. They haven’t found what they are looking for, or for some reason decided to abandon the site without doing any further investigating.

Bounces are bad for business.

So how do you know what the bounce rate is for your site? Most websites have reporting tools already built in, but in case yours doesn’t, here’s a freebie: Google Analytics

Google Analytics will provide you with insights into your website traffic that will help you improve your marketing effectiveness – for free! It’s a simple sign-up process, they furnish you with a bit of code to tag your pages with, and then your free monitoring and reporting system is in place.

What you learn from being bounced.

If you have a high bounce rate – 60% or more – then something is probably wrong with your home page or landing page. People are leaving because their needs are not being met…but how do you know what changes to make?

It depends on where your traffic is coming from. 

If you have a high bounce rate from your PPC or paid search campaign, there is obviously a disconnect between the ad or the keywords you used and your landing page. 

Maybe the keywords you’ve chosen to use are not really working for you and your content is therefore not relevant to site visitors. The Google Analytics tool provides you with data on your site’s keyword bounce and conversion rates.

If you suspect your keywords could use some improvement, use the Content Experiments tool in Google Analytics to help you determine whether or not you have the right keywords. You can also use this tool to learn what changes to your site can drive the most conversions. And that means sales.

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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 Build a Lifestyle Law Firm, Part 7 of 7

Every good Marketing Action Plan includes measurable goals or results you want to achieve. For example:

  • Increase new inquiries about our services by 10 people per month or
  • Generate 2 new client referrals every month or
  • Build relationships with 6 new CPAs in the next 6 months or
  • Send out a firm newsletter 12 times this year or
  • Hold a series of client-only seminars at our office 4 times this year and have an average of 10 people attend each one

We've all heard the principle that you cannot manage what you cannot measure. Here's another one: tasks that are measured are more likely to be completed! Have a clear process in place to measure their results. Be sure they know what your expectations are ahead of time and then hold them accountable for the results and for meeting the deadlines you both have agreed upon.

How are you going to reward them? It may be enough for some staff members to be paid whatever you are currently paying them in order to motivate them enough to help you implement your marketing efforts, but you may want to consider rewarding them or giving them performance bonuses based on the results. Be careful here as you are all well aware that you cannot ethically fee split with a non-attorney. However, you can performance bonus an employee.

Don't be afraid of being creative with your rewards. It doesn't just have to be a cash reward. For example, one of my staff prefers paid time off over a cash reward so every time she achieves one of the goals we set for her, she gets some paid time off. Another person may prefer two round trip plane tickets or a weekend vacation when a major milestone is achieved. 

One of the good things about running a small business is that rewards can be different for each person based on what motivates them to consistently put forth their best efforts. With every bonus program you want to be sure that you are rewarding the right behavior and the behavior makes the firm money.  

One of my bankruptcy clients gave a $10-$15 bonus for each appointment that was set by a staff member. Within a short period of time the number of his appointments doubled, but his "no show" rate skyrocketed. 

Why? He was rewarding his staff for the wrong behavior! It's not the number of appointments that matter as much as the number of appointments that show up to the initial consultation! When we changed the focus of the reward, more appointments started showing up, which resulted in more clients signing up with the firm and increasing the revenues.

In general, I am in favor of having your staff assist in the implementation of the firm's business development efforts, but you want to carefully assess your marketing needs and your internal resources before you turn over your entire Marketing Action Plan to them. 

Unfortunately, I have encountered far too many attorneys who attend one of our two-day legal marketing intensives (www.RainmakerRetreat.com) only to go back to their firm and dump everything in the lap of an already overworked assistant who has no experience with legal marketing, and expect them to perform a marketing miracle! Talk about being disappointed.

Basic legal marketing skills are tough to master for someone who has never had direct experience. I have been a serious student of marketing for the past 13 years and for the last 10 years I've been focused exclusively on working with over 9,000 attorneys on how to implement the best practices in law firm marketing and I'm still learning new things! 

In my experience working with law firms, without a clear plan in place, simply delegating business development to existing staff members often means it just doesn't get done.

If you want to explore your options of outsourcing some of your marketing, please contact one of our qualified Rainmaker Advisors for a complimentary strategy session to find out what may be a good solution for your unique situation.  You can reach them by calling 888-588-5891 or by filling out this form.

To access each post in this 7-part series, click on the links below:

How to Build a Lifestyle Law Firm, Part 1

How to Build a Lifestyle Law Firm, Part 2

How to Build a Lifestyle Law Firm, Part 3

How to Build a Lifestyle Law Firm, Part 4

How to Build a Lifestyle Law Firm, Part 5

How to Build a Lifestyle Law Firm, Part 6

How to Build a Lifestyle Law Firm, Part 6 of 7

When it comes to delegating business development efforts to your staff, your only choices may be to ask a paralegal, your assistant or even a receptionist to support you.

If this sounds like your situation, here are some critical questions to ask to help you decide on which staff member is in the best position to support your business development efforts or whether you need to go to "Plan B":

What is their level of interest in marketing? When you talk to your staff member about growing the firm and helping out with business development efforts, do they show a sense of excitement or do they suddenly come up with lots of reasons (read "excuses") as to why they can't do it at this time? 

On a scale of 1 to 10, what's their level of interest in helping you with marketing? Seriously consider someone else if their self-reported interest level is less than an 8 or 9. I learned a long time ago in business, you can't push a rope.

What is their availability on a weekly basis? One of the keys to successful marketing is consistency. The best results from blogging are seen when your law firm's blog is updated at least 4-6 times every week with unique content. That takes consistency. 

Are you planning on removing something from the staff member's current list of responsibilities in order to give them more time to dedicate to marketing or are you simply going to pile it on top of everything else they are working on and then expect them to "work harder?" 

Without knowing the specifics of your situation, I cannot give you a correct answer nor can I counsel you on whether your staff member is working as hard as they can or if they can truly take on more work. However, you need to take their availability into consideration before you ask them to assist on a regular basis with marketing. 

You need someone who is going to be consistently dedicated to promoting your law firm. Do they have the personality for marketing? There is no "correct" personality to have in order to be successful in marketing. There are successful introverts and extroverts, but you need to take into consideration the type of marketing you will be doing and if that person has the right personality for it. 

For example, if you need someone who primarily will be overseeing a marketing project, then you need someone who has good project management skills and a lot of attention to detail. If your primary marketing efforts revolve around building relationships with other professionals and your clients are CEOs and owners of companies, than you want someone who has great relationship building skills who can easily build rapport with strong, confident executives.

What's your assessment of their skill set? There are several critical skills sets proven to be invaluable in leading your marketing efforts: project management, copywriting, editing, public relations, social media, knowledge of search engine optimization strategies, graphic design, best practices in Internet marketing, referral development, relationship building, and account management, just to name a few. 

Obviously, it's rare to find someone who has more than a few of these critical skill sets, but depending on your marketing plan, some of these skills may be more important to you than others. Be sure to evaluate which skills they have versus which ones you will likely need so the two of you aren't disappointed when expectations aren't met.

Click here for the final post in this series.

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On-Demand Seminar: 8 Keys To Turn Website Browsers Into Buyers & Dominate Your Competition

Over 95% of law firms already have a website, but most of them never get any business from it. If this sounds like your law firm, then this seminar is a must for you.

Tune in to this on-demand web seminar to learn how small to mid-sized law firms from around the country are transforming lackluster websites into revenue-generating machines!

If you can’t remember the last time you generated a lead from your website, then you owe it to yourself to attend. If you're tired of your competition getting all the highly qualified leads online, this online seminar will teach you what you need to know to dominate them.

You will discover:

  • Top strategies to quickly increase your online conversion rate
  • How to create trust with your website’s visitors
  • Specific tools you can use to encourage your visitors to pick up the phone and call you
  • The biggest mistakes law firm websites make and how to avoid them
  • How to differentiate your website from your competition

Get access to the seminar now by clicking on this link: 8 Keys To Turn Website Browsers Into Buyers & Dominate Your Competition

 

How to Use Your Law Firm Website to Build Trust with Prospects

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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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.

 

LexBlog Report: Blogging Now the Norm at AmLaw 200 Firms

The LexBlog Network has released its fifth annual State of the AmLaw 200 Blogosphere report, which finds that blogs are now the norm rather than the exception among AmLaw 200 firms.

Among the findings for 2012:

78% of AmLaw 200 firms have one or more blogs, an increase of 297% since 2007.

The 156 AmLaw 200 firms that blog produce an average of four blogs per firm.

Firms with blogs improved their gross revenues at a greater rate than firms without blogs.

Blogs on employment law dominate among AmLaw 200 blogs.

Firms without blogs slipped almost a full spot in revenue rankings on average.

This graphic from the report illustrates the dramatic increase in AmLaw 200 firm blogs:

As the report notes, law firms appear to have caught up with other professions in using blogs and social media for marketing purposes and law firms that blog “are no longer perceived as being ahead of the curve; instead, those without blogs are now the outliers.”

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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.

 

April 18 Online Seminar: 7 Strategies for a 7-Figure Law Firm

If you’re like many of the attorneys I speak with every week:

You’ve been practicing over 10 years, you own a small firm with a handful of staff, you work hard month after month, but you never seem to get ahead.

You’ve tried all the traditional methods of marketing your law firm, but so far nothing seems to work very well.

You have goals, dreams and ambitions, but after all these years you’re still struggling to break or consistently break the million dollar mark…and every once in awhile you wonder if it’s really worth it all.

I need to tell you from one business owner to another -- the skills that helped you build a good 6-figure practice are not the same skills you will need to build a great 7-figure business.

So if you’re tired of beating your head against the wall and you’re ready to take a fresh look at how to break out of the negative cycle you’re stuck in, then you really owe it to yourself to attend our newest online seminar, 7 Strategies for a 7-Figure Law Firm, on Thursday, April 18 at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET.

Join us and discover:

  • What it really takes to build a 7-figure law firm-no hype and no B.S.
  • Insider tips from managing partners running multimillion dollar firms
  • How to position yourself as a recognized expert and attract higher quality clients
  • 3 biggest reasons why you’re not getting more referrals and how to overcome these hurdles
  • The 2 things every Million Dollar Law Firm has in place (you will never achieve 7 figure revenues without both of these)
  • 2 key metrics you must measure every month if you want to grow your law firm

Register here for the April 18 online seminar and discover how attorneys just like you are using this information to build 7-figure law firms.

If the time doesn’t work for you, register anyway and we’ll send you the recording of the full online seminar to watch at your convenience.

 

How to Get More Shares on Facebook

When it comes to marketing your law firm on Facebook, sharing is not just a good thing, it’s the key to making this social media network work for your practice.

So how do you get more shares? This infographic does a good job of aggregating the latest tips on how to get your followers on Facebook to pass your wisdom around:

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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.

 

10 Email Marketing Tips for Law Firm Marketers

Despite all our focus on social media, email marketing still remains the #1 way to reach clients and prospects with a branded message. According to the latest Pew Internet & American Life Project report, email remains the top use of the Internet across all age groups.

If you don’t already have a regular email marketing campaign in place – like a monthly e-newsletter – here are some tips on creating an effective law firm marketing email marketing program:

1. Build a good list at every opportunity – when you get a new client, from your website or blog, or via social media. Give away a free report on a topic of interest to your ideal client to collect email addresses.

2. Only send emails to people who have agreed to receive them. Include an opt-out option in every email you send.

3. Be sure your content is always relevant to your audience and always include one clear call-to-action.

4. Send your email on a consistent basis – a monthly e-newsletter is a perfect example.

5. Email marketing studies show that the best times for sending B2B emails is Tuesday through Thursday between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

6. The best times for sending B2C emails is Tuesday through Thursday between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. or on the weekend. 

7. Keep the “from” name consistent – use your name or the name of your firm.

8. Use clear, concise subject lines that make it clear what your email is about. Don’t get too creative – studies show that open rates are much better for straightforward subject lines.

9. Be sure to include both a text and an HTML version of your e-newsletter to ensure all your recipients can see it.

10. Do not use ALL CAPS or exclamation marks in your emails as these trigger spam filters.

Everyone’s attention span is getting shorter as multiple mediums for messaging continue to grow. A significant percentage of us now read emails on our smartphones or tablets, so be sure you use an email delivery service like Constant Contact or iContact (two of many) that will help ensure your messages are delivered appropriately.

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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.

 

Barriers to Social Media Adoption by Law Firms

I’m in Dallas today at our Rainmaker Retreat law firm marketing seminar, where a lot of our discussions center on the use of social media by law firms.

Last month, I participated in the LegalTech New York 2013 panel — "Taming the Wild West of Social Media: The Secrets of Social Media Success in the Legal Profession".

During the discussion, my fellow panelist, Larry Bodine (editor-in-chief of Lawyers.com and martindale.com), and I were asked to identify the primary barriers to social media adoption in law firms.

Here’s a video outtake of our answers:

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FREE Seminar: How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle

When it comes to law firm marketing, it is truly a jungle out there! Mastering social media, SEO and Internet marketing strategies – and making sure your efforts align with legal marketing rules – can give even the most eager attorney pause.

In his new one-hour seminar, Stephen Fairley 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. You will 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 today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

This FREE seminar will also give you a preview of the 65 different marketing techniques and strategies taught at our 2-day legal marketing boot camp.

Click on this link to register now for the FREE How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungleseminar.

 

How to Boost Your SEO with Social Search

If you want to obtain higher rankings for your website and blog on Google, Bing and other search engines, there are some things you should be doing online to optimize your sites for social search:

Add original, high quality content to your blog and other social media networks.  As I’ve said many times, Google loves fresh content!  However, it’s not enough for it just to be fresh – it also needs to be original and relevant, and you need to post frequently, at least 3-5 times a week.

Add social sharing to all your online activities.  Adding a “Share” capability to your E-newsletters, website, blog and social networking profiles will help boost your visibility in social search.

Establish a Google+ Profile.  Set up a Google+ profile and create links to all your social content.  You’ll need a profile on Google in order to use the new Google+1 button, which is Google’s answer to the Facebook “Like” button.

Use videos and photos.  Video and photo files are more likely to be shared online than text, so be sure your website, blog and social pages contain lots of these files.

Understand the importance of the now.  Google has decided that real-time information is more relevant and rewards content posted on real-time networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn with higher search rankings.  If you are a Twitter user, activate your Twitter Location and use social check-ins on Facebook.

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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!

 

Improve Email Click-Through Rates with Social Share Buttons

A new study from GetResponse shows that emails including social share buttons have a click-through rate (CTR) that is 158% higher than those that do not. 

This infographic illustrates the results from the new GetResponse survey:

While the evidence clearly shows a propensity for email recipients to share on social networks, the GetResponse study says that only 29% of email marketers include social share buttons in their emails.

As Mom always said, it’s good to share!

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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.

 

The Rise of Alternative Fee Arrangements

This post at LawMarketing.com sheds light on a hot topic right now: the legal billing system and the rise of alternative fee arrangements:

Law firms are under increasing pressure from clients to reduce costs and justify expenditures, and alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) are rising to the challenge. While AFAs aren’t exactly a new concept to the legal industry (personal legal services have been offering them for years), they are now becoming more prevalent in new practice areas, such as corporate law and litigation work.

It’s a major shift for a profession that has historically been married to the billable hour. If we go all the way back to 1958, it was the American Bar Association’s Special Committee on Economics of Law Practice that first recommended the billable hour approach, which was widely adopted and deeply entrenched in the legal industry for decades.

But the Global Financial Crisis brought with it significant changes for everyone, including law firms, which have responded in a resounding way. Budget conscious clients now have an endless array of options; fixed fee, phased fee, collared fee, value fee, holdback, blended rate, contingent fee, for just about any legal service.

According to a 2010 survey by Altman Weil, 95% of law firms now have some kind of alternative fee arrangement in place. Yet according to a whitepaper from Jaffe PR that same year, clients – not law firms – are spearheading the use of AFAs. So is the legal industry really ready to embrace the AFA model?

As a virtual data room provider used by law firms to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, Firmex takes a great interest in the AFA conversation. They’ve brought together a series of research findings to help paint a clearer picture of what impact AFAs are having on the legal industry:

NOTE: Go sign up for this great free report on LawMarketing.com’s home page: 15 Strategies for Attorneys to Increase Google Rank, Control Online Reputations and Maximize Content.

 

If You Want to Say You're a Great Lawyer in Florida, You Gotta Prove It

Although today is April Fool’s Day, the latest ruling on lawyer advertising handed down by the Florida Supreme Court is no joke.

Well, actually, it kinda is. But not in the way you’re thinking.

Florida has long held the crown for some of the most convoluted and outdated advertising regulations for attorneys. So convoluted and outdated that even the FTC – hardly a bastion of liberal thinking – has stated that Florida’s attorney advertising regulations work against consumers getting good information about available legal services and don’t necessarily comply with the constitutional sniff test when it comes to free speech.

In a divided opinion, the Florida Supreme Court issued its own marching orders last week to the Florida Bar concerning lawyer advertising rules. In its order, the Court says that all advertising (including websites) that contains information about past results or testimonials must be “objectively verifiable.” 

Which means if you want to tout your successes, I suppose you will need to cite each case you won (but you’ll have to get the client’s permission first). Oh, and then there is this clear-as-mud instruction from the Court:

“...general statements such as, "I have successfully represented clients," or "I have won numerous appellate cases," may or may not be sufficiently objectively verifiable. For example, a lawyer may interpret the words "successful" or "won" in a manner different from the average prospective client. In a criminal law context, the lawyer may interpret the word "successful" to mean a conviction to a lesser charge or a lower sentence than recommended by the prosecutor, while the average prospective client likely would interpret the words "successful" or "won" to mean an acquittal.”

If this makes you emotional, then you need to simmer down, because emotion by attorneys engaged in marketing their practices will not be tolerated in Florida:

“A lawyer may not engage in unduly manipulative or intrusive advertisements. An advertisement is unduly manipulative if it: (a) uses an image, sound, video or dramatization in a manner that is designed to solicit legal employment by appealing to a prospective client's emotions rather than to a rational evaluation of a lawyer's suitability to represent the prospective client.”

And, as if to prove it is ruling via rear-view mirror, the Court even precludes lawyers from soliciting clients via telegraph...yet says nothing about social media.

So there goes all those job opportunities for telegraph operators in Florida!

If you’d like another take on this, read Josh King’s weekend post on Avvo:  Florida Whiffs (Again) on Attorney Advertising Regulation.

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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.  

 

Happy Easter!

Easter Island was named by its first European visitor, Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who landed on the island on Easter Sunday in 1722. 

One of the most remote islands in the world, Easter Island is located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean and is most famous for its 887 monumental statues called moai, which were created by the early Rapa Nui people who inhabited the island in the 1st century.

Everyone here at The Rainmaker Institute joins me in wishing all of you a Happy Easter -- and hopefully many happy discoveries in the months ahead for your law practice.

How to Optimize Your Online Content in 7 Simple Steps

Content marketing is an especially effective way for attorneys to demonstrate expertise and gain trust from prospects in a cost-effective manner – it’s the sweet spot for solos and small firms who can’t compete on budget alone.

Doing a good job of optimizing your online content to make it easier to find when prospects search for your services on the Internet is a critical component of a successful content marketing strategy. 

This infographic provides information on how to do this in 7 simple steps:

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On-Demand Seminar: The 5 Best Strategies to Beat Your Competition in 2013

Are you tired of seeing other attorneys land all the good clients?

Have you noticed how tough it’s become to market your law firm?

Are you ready to do something to make this a bigger & better year?

Knowing which legal marketing strategies are working in today’s economy gives you a huge advantage. Implementing the correct business development strategies allows you to spend less money and get better results faster!

Access this one-hour seminar on The 5 Best Strategies to Beat Your Competition in 2013 to discover:

  • Why you can’t afford to dismiss social media any longer (Google is forcing you to use it)
  • 3 major ways to triple your website traffic in the next 90 days
  • How to use online tools to generate more offline referrals
  • 3 keys all the best law firms are using to turn more website browsers into buyers
  • 2 critical numbers you must track every month to measure your success
  • Specific ways to jump-start your marketing efforts fast…even if you’ve stumbled before

Last year many of our clients experienced their best year ever! How is that possible when we are in the midst of the biggest recession our generation has ever faced?

It’s simple, they developed a game plan based on best practices and proven strategies and then they consistently took massive action! Notice I said it was “simple” not “easy.” The only “easy button” I have is sitting right beside my magic wand (I’ve found both of them work about the same).

There is no “easy” way to build a million dollar book of business, but if you’re willing to do the work we can show you the right path to take.

Click on this link now to access The 5 Best Strategies to Beat Your Competition in 2013 seminar.

 

How to Use Your Blog as the Hub of Your Internet Marketing Program

In our Rainmaker Retreat two-day law firm marketing boot camp, 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 three months 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 marketing 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.

 

5 Ways to Spread the Influence of Your Law Firm Blog

A client dropped me a note the other day asking how they could expand the reach of their law firm blog. Since this is a question I hear often, I thought I would share my response to a greater universe:

1.     Use social media. Posting snippets and links to your blog posts on Facebook and LinkedIn are great ways to increase the number of people who see your posts. You can have individual attorneys go into their profiles and post snippets with a link back to your blog. On LinkedIn you can post this information into individual groups to drive a lot of traffic back to your blog.

2.     Send out a monthly newsletter. In your newsletter, include links to a few of your recent blog posts. At The Rainmaker Institute, we send out a fully custom newsletter at the beginning of each month to all our current and former clients as well as referral sources. A couple of weeks later, we send out a second newsletter with links to 3-4 of our top blog posts.

3.     Press releases. If you have a really good topic or a major industry story/scoop, consider doing a press release about it. A press release can drive thousands of visitors to your blog in a matter of days.

4.     Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO can assist your blog in ranking higher for relevant key terms. Most people start their online experience with a search engine like Google. Getting to the first page of Google for your firm’s relevant key terms (like “Irvine estate planning attorney” or “Boston trademark attorney”) can increase your traffic by thousands of visitors per month. Listing your blog URL on all major legal directories can be a great source of traffic as well.

5.     Post on other major legal websites. The four major sites we recommend are: JDSupra.com, Lawyers.com, LawMarketing.com, and NatLawReview.com. These sites use content marketing and SEO to drive traffic to their websites that then feature your articles, thus driving traffic to your blog and increasing your online profile.

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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 8,000 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.

 

How to Measure Your Social Media ROI

However you choose to measure social media, it is imperative that you have a success metric in mind before you begin. Without some sort of benchmark, determining your ROI is impossible. 

Here are 7 steps to master the measurement of social media ROI:

1. Establish clear marketing goals for your product or brand, and then identify social measurements that directly support those objectives.

2. Organize your measurements and metrics in a logical framework.

3. Take a long-term outlook with social media interactions and measurements. It's a commitment, not a campaign.

4. If hard ROI metrics are difficult to track directly, consider a range of softer metrics that can be linked back to desired business outcomes. (See my previous post on 10 Ways Social Media Could Be Benefitting Your Law Firm.)

5. Determine a dollar value for clients who choose to opt in and engage with your brand via social networks.

6. In your ROI calculations, don't overlook the value of cost savings that can result from ongoing social listening and tracking.

7. Build the technological capabilities to measure your prospects’ complete digital footprint in real time.

One of the hardest ones for most attorneys to grasp is #3 - it's a commitment, not a campaign.  Building a social media presence takes time.  You can't expect to throw up a few blog posts and have prospects knocking down your doors.  Create content that is relevant to your targeted prospect, keep pumping it out there, and they will come.

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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.

 

Billing Lawsuit Another Black Eye for Legal Profession

In yesterday’s New York Times DealBook column was an exposé of sorts on a lawsuit filed against DLA Piper by disgruntled client Adam Victor, CEO of TransGas Development Systems, for legal bill inflation after the law firm sued Victor for nonpayment.

The particularly damning bits were extracts from emails of DLA Piper associates, including these gems:

I hear we are already 200k over our estimate — that’s Team DLA Piper!”

“Now Vince has random people working full time on random research projects in standard ‘churn that bill, baby!’ mode. That bill shall know no limits.”

The arrogance dripping from these emails is enough to make even the most jaded lawyer cringe in embarrassment.

Even more cringeworthy are the number of comments this post has already generated in 24 hours: more than 400! And 99% of those are lawyer-bashing commentary.

A few months ago I interviewed Lee Rosen, 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 our interview, Lee explained 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!

If you’d like to watch and learn from my interview with Lee Rosen, click on this link: How to Make Flat Fee Billing Work for Your Law Firm

 

Lawyers in Love: The Secret to Happiness in Practicing the Law

Florida attorney Brian Tannebaum is a regular contributor to the Above the Law blog and had a great post last week about finding the fun and happiness in the practice of law. It’s recommended reading from where I sit.

Tannebaum’s premise is that to love what you do, you need to derive your satisfaction from the satisfaction your clients get from your work. Makes sense. I don’t think I’ve ever met a lawyer that loves the mechanics of the law; most of the successful attorneys I know love what they are able to do with their talent to help clients. 

Sure, we all love the win. But the win is hollow unless it furthers a client’s goals, rights a wrong, reverses an injustice. It’s the human side of the law that attracts most lawyers to the work.

Conversely, what sours most attorneys on the law is having no control on the outcome – being a clog in the Big Law machine. And helping lawyers out of this rut is what I love most about my job.

Most attorneys want to work for themselves and their clients. Those are the attorneys we love to work with and help -- the solos and small firms that need just a little boost in their marketing efforts to see real success. 

If you are down on the practice of law because you are stuck in a job producing paperwork instead of solving problems for clients, then Tannebaum says there’s not much he can advise you to do except opt for some pro bono work where you can actually help someone.

If you want to get unstuck and love the law again, then learning how to create a lifestyle law firm may be just the thing for you. 

In that case, I invite you to attend a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing intensive seminar that has helped more than 8,000 attorneys successfully market their practices through practical and effective legal marketing techniques.

Here are the dates for upcoming sessions:

  • April 5-6, 2013 – Dallas, TX
  • May 3-4, 2013 – Scottsdale, AZ
  • May 31-June 1, 2013 – New York City
  • July 19-20, 2013 – San Diego, CA
  • August 16-17, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV
  • September 20-21, 2013 – San Francisco, CA

Go to www.rainmakerretreat.com or call 888-588-5891 to register now. 

 

How to Handle Your Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day

If there is one common complaint I hear from attorneys when I am speaking to a group about social media, it’s the time demands that mastering this important marketing function entails. 

As I always respond, you do have a choice: you can either spend time (yours or a firm employee’s) or money (by hiring it out). 

Of course, ignoring it all together is also a choice. But it’s a bad one.

I got this infographic in my inbox the other day from Pardot that shows how you can whittle your time investment in social media down to 30 minutes a day. That is, IF you do the work beforehand in identifying your target market and zeroing in on the social media channels they frequent. 

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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!

Register online 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!

 

 

LawMarketing.com Great How-To Resource For Legal Marketers

Have you checked out LawMarketing.com yet? If not, you’re missing out on some great information that can help you put your legal marketing efforts into hyper-drive.

Here’s a sample of the latest articles and videos from their home page:

Law Firm Marketing Tips to Leveraging Web Content – Video

Attorneys Are Falling Victim To These Common SEO Mistakes

Is Mobile in Your Briefcase?

How To Create A LinkedIn Profile To Get Clients

Ethics for Online Legal Marketing – Free Webinar Recording

LawMarketing.com is an online marketing resource for attorneys and legal marketers that was originally launched in 1997, and has now relaunched with a wider focus on the business side of legal practice management and an expanded editorial team. I am proud to be a part of that new editorial team, along with the site’s founder, Larry Bodine, editor-in-chief of Lawyers.com.

LawMarketing.com is being curated by a former Rainmaker Institute associate, Cindy Greenway. She has recruited some of the top minds in legal marketing and practice management to help lawyers create and manage a highly profitable lifestyle law firm. 

Check it out, bookmark it and visit often: www.LawMarketing.com

And don’t forget to sign up for the great free report on the home page: 15 Strategies for Attorneys to Increase Google Rank, Control Online Reputations and Maximize Content.

 

4 Game-Changing Ways Social Media Works for Lawyers

Earlier this week, I wrote about the 10 Ways Social Media Could Be Benefitting Your Law Firm, which were above and beyond the more tangible reasons attorneys invest in social media. Here are four game-changers that social media provides lawyers who participate:

Directly impacts your organic search results – search engines now rank social media presence higher in organic search results. When someone likes your Facebook page or retweets a post on Twitter, it tells the search engine that your site has authority for that subject. The more people who interact with you on social media, the better you show up in organic search results.

Allows you to control your image online – as stated above, Google and other search engines are ranking social media presence higher. By actively participating in social media, you maintain control over your online image and help establish your expertise in your area of practice.

Distributes your content – your blog and website content gets a lot more traction when you retweet or repost on social media sites. This gets your content into the hands of people who may be your target audience – and if they like it or retweet it, it also goes to their spheres of social media influence, people may not know you yet – thereby extending your reach to potential new business.

Gives you clout and visibility – even if you don’t think your target market is on social media, other people of importance to your practice – colleagues, potential business partners, industry thought leaders – probably are. Social media allows you to make connections that can help build your practice, especially if your competitors are conspicuous by their absence.

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

Newly released! 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!

***For Blog Readers, Facebook Friends, Twitter Followers and LinkedIn Connections – we are offering you a $50 discount for Volume 2 and a $100 discount for both Volume 1 and Volume 2 because of your social media presence with The Rainmaker Institute.

Click here now to order!

 

Asked and Answered: A Q&A from the Rainmaker Retreat

I like to give our blog readers a download every now and then from our monthly Rainmaker Retreat sessions since it’s probably more than likely what is on the minds of the attorneys who attend is on your minds as well. 

Here are some of the Q&As from our Newport Beach Rainmaker Retreat last weekend:

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 can I incrementally increase the value of the personal injury cases I get?

There is no one perfect strategy to increase the value of your cases, but there are several strategies that can work.

First, take the best outcome you’ve ever had with the biggest case you’ve ever taken on and market that story over and over again. It will help you leverage the perception that you are the type of firm and attorney who can and does handle “bigger cases.” 

It’s also powerful to network with the firms/attorneys that take really big cases, because the truth is they come across cases all the time that are not a good fit for their firm or that don’t make sense financially for the firm to take on.

For example, if a huge law firm only deals with cases that have a million or more at stake, if a case comes in that is worth $150,000, they will need to refer it out. You could be that firm/attorney they refer to.

If I’m a business-to-business attorney what are the two best social media platforms for me to be on?

According to recent data, business-to-business companies who engage prospects, clients and referral partners through blogs and LinkedIn generate potential clients.  Social media is constantly changing, but if you are a business-to-business attorney, it’s key to have a blog and a LinkedIn account. However, you can’t just have an account and a blog and not actively use them or use them incorrectly.

There are rules of engagement for social media. If used correctly, they can grow a big following for you and drive those individuals to your website, which can then move the prospect further along the decision-making process. If used incorrectly, it can be a totally ineffective strategy that wastes your time, energy and money.

Here’s some direct feedback from last weekend’s Rainmaker Retreat attendees:

“I attended the Retreat in 2009. The techniques I implemented transformed my practice. I returned for updates and wasn’t disappointed. If you want completely substantive, cutting-edge marketing knowledge for your firm, this is the seminar to attend.” – R. Boulgourjian, Real Estate/Bankruptcy Attorney, Glendale, CA

“Focus, focus, focus! Stephen Fairley’s Rainmaker Retreat taught how to focus on taking law practices to a much higher profitable and satisfying level. I highly recommend it.” – B. Dennis, Estate Planning Attorney, Newport Beach, CA

“Invaluable program! If I am able to implement even a fraction of what I learned at this seminar, I believe it will transform my practice. Well worth my investment of time and money!” – T. Kirby, Family Law/Bankruptcy Attorney, Mesa, AZ

Here are our upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions:

  • April 5-6, 2013 – Dallas, TX
  • May 3-4, 2013 – Scottsdale, AZ
  • May 31-June 1, 2013 – New York City
  • July 19-20, 2013 – San Diego, CA
  • August 16-17, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV
  • September 20-21, 2013 – San Francisco, CA

Go to www.rainmakerretreat.com or call 888-588-5891 to register now. 

 

How to Run Your Law Firm From Your Smartphone

Isn’t technology great? There are so many superb business management applications available today – many for free – that it is entirely possible for one to manage their business from a smartphone, freeing you up for more revenue-generating activities.

The infographic below from Entrepreneur details the top sellers in six critical business management categories -- financial management, file storage, document editing, communication, customer support and monetary transactions – with information on what you need to implement them and how much they cost.

If you don’t currently accept credit cards because you don’t have a system in place, you can now do it cheaply and easily via your smartphone and a free card reader from Square or other similar vendors. 

Technology makes it easier than ever to work smart. Embrace it.

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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.

 

How to Use Your Law Firm Blog to Generate Leads

Attorneys are compensated (generally speaking) for their expertise in solving problems. Breaking off little bits of that expertise and posting it on your law firm marketing blog is creating something of value, for which you hope to be compensated for one day (via new clients, industry recognition, etc.).

Which is why it is important that your law firm marketing blog have a strategy behind it and a way to measure results. Your time is money, so you really shouldn’t be wasting either, right? 

Here are some tips on building a blog that can deliver qualified leads for your firm:

Address the interests of your target market. If you’ve been practicing law for awhile, you should already know the problems that face your target market. Each problem becomes a database of ideas from which to draw your blog subject matter. Sprinkle your posts with your insights and experience and you create something of value to potential clients.

Add other voices. Many of the most popular blogs have multiple authors. If you have partners and associates, ask them to contribute. If it’s just you, seek out other experts --- perhaps strategic referral partners like CPAs, accountants, bankers, etc. – who would be willing to contribute to your blog. If you view your blog as a publication for the benefit of your target market, you begin to see more possibilities for adding valuable content from others.

Include social sharing. In order to grow your law firm marketing blog, you need others to help spread the word, and social sharing is how you enable that process. Be sure your blog has embedded social sharing buttons that let your readers share your posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites.

Capture email addresses. Email is still the #1 marketing tool for lead generation and will help you nurture repeat visitors to your law firm marketing blog. We have a standalone email sign-up form on our blog encouraging visitors to sign up for our monthly email newsletter and you should, too.

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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 Ways Social Media Could Be Benefitting Your Law Firm

When it comes to marketing, I believe in measuring everything. The conundrum many marketers have when it comes to social media is how to measure it since social media delivers as many if not more intangibles than it does tangible things like clicks, likes and visits.

If your law firm is already participating in social media, you may want to consider these 10 ways that your firm could already be benefitting:

1. Brand building. Since social media is your unfiltered voice, you have a great opportunity to build your brand.

2. Community. Social media is all about cultivating a community and engaging in a dialogue with prospects and clients who will tell you what they need and want from your firm. This is a great way to gather meaningful market research.

3. Exposure. I talk about the Law of 7 all the time – it takes a minimum of 7 exposures for a prospect to decide to make a purchase. Social media gives you a number of different avenues for getting repeat exposure.

4. Authority. Social media helps you establish authority in your area of practice.

5. Influence. As you build your authority, your influence grows – and the larger the audience, the greater the influence.

6. Traffic. Social media drives traffic to your website or blog, giving you an opportunity to gather contact information so you can engage directly with prospects.

7. Relevance. Prospects and clients are already checking to see if you are represented in social media whether or not you realize it. You risk being viewed as behind the times if you are not engaging them on major social media sites.

8. Mindshare. You will probably never know how you are affecting people on social media, but you can bet you won’t have any chance of gaining mindshare if you don’t engage at all.

9. One-up your competitors. There are lots of lawyers who are still not participating in social media, which provides you with a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

10. Big wins. If a social media contact refers you on a big case or you get a call from a major media outlet to comment on something you’ve posted, that’s a big win. They don’t happen often, but when they do, they make your social media investment incredibly worthwhile.

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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.  

 

Converting Leads Into Paying Clients Isn't Luck. Here's How to Do It

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Do you need the luck of the Irish to find quality leads? Does it seem equally hard to convert your prospects into paying clients? Then you’ll benefit from our on-demand video 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

Click on this link to receive my How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients video seminar now.

 

Are You Making Any of These Mistakes on Your Law Firm Website?

A new study out from SMB DigitalScape has revealed that 25% of small and medium-sized businesses have major deficiencies in their websites that make it difficult or impossible for people to find them online.

Here’s a look at those mistakes:

A word to the wise: check your websites now to be sure you aren’t committing any of these obvious mistakes that could impact your ability to generate leads from your firm’s website.

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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 Stand Out from Your Competition

I’m in Newport Beach today at our March Rainmaker Retreat, where a roomful of attorneys has gathered to learn about the latest trends in law firm marketing and how to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Are you wondering how you distinguish yourself from your competition and stand out in the vast legal landscape? It will take you two days to find out: attend a Rainmaker Retreat. 

Here is some feedback from past attendees:

“If you are not doing this stuff, thanks! Because I am scooping your client prospects!”
- Peter Brewer, Esq. (CA)

“This course should be part of the law school curriculum for every school in the nation!”
- Andrew Cho, Esq. (CA)

“I flew across country to get here. I would have walked. This is an utterly fabulous program.”- Tom Hartmann, Esq. (NJ)

In fact, more than 8,000 attorneys are already employing our law firm marketing techniques and reaping the benefits.

Among the many things you will take away from this event:

  • Step-by-step guidance in finding the best, most strategic referral partners
  • How to cut costs by eliminating ineffective law firm marketing strategies
  • Create a ‘Master Plan’ to guide your firm’s growth through marketing for lawyers
  • How to focus your time, energy and dollars on the most effective law firm marketing techniques designed specifically for small and solo law firms
  • Five proven strategies to get more attention, command more respect and charge higher fees
  • Leveraging the Internet to create the most “buzz” for your firm
  • How to create a steady stream of new referrals using law firm marketing techniques
  • Learn to set your firm apart from your competitors

Each day is filled with sessions (with built-in Action Steps and Action Groups) to guide you in putting these law firm marketing strategies into practice immediately. You will leave with a specific plan – uniquely suited to you and your firm – that will help you to create a successful and highly satisfying legal practice!

Register now for our Dallas Rainmaker Retreat on April 5 & 6 or any of our upcoming events scheduled monthly through September.

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FREE Seminar: How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle

When it comes to law firm marketing, it is truly a jungle out there! Mastering social media, SEO and Internet marketing strategies – and making sure your efforts align with legal marketing rules – can give even the most eager attorney pause.

In his new one-hour seminar, Stephen Fairley 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. You will 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 today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

This FREE seminar will also give you a preview of the 65 different marketing techniques and strategies taught at our 2-day legal marketing boot camp.

Click on this link to register now for the FREE How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungleseminar.

 

Ghastly or Great? New Service Allows Law Firm Clients to View Billing in Real-Time

A Forbes blog today unveiled a new tool that is being hailed as a great innovation in providing law firm clients transparency when it comes to their legal bills and strengthening the client-attorney relationship.

But I can also hear many gasps of horror out there.

The service is called Viewabill and works pretty much like any other real-time running tab application. Viewabill’s founders figured that if you can view your bills instantly for your cell phone and your credit card, why shouldn’t you be able to view a running tab for your hourly service providers?

Viewabill is aimed at all hourly service providers, not just attorneys – although that was the first market the developers thought of since one of them was frustrated about not being able to know what the legal expenses were running for his apparel company until he got a bill. 

Before going to market, they pulled in Alan Dershowitz to see if their application had legs for the legal industry. He was an instant fan:

“I was immediately attracted to it because it seemed like a good way to prevent the loss of trust between client and lawyer. Most arguments between lawyers and clients involve billing. When the client has the ability to view the bill in real-time, he or she can bring problems to the attention of the lawyer at an early stage.”

Viewabill charges a scalable subscription fee to the service provider, so solos can afford the same billing transparency tool as the big firms. 

Viewabill says some firms love the service because it strengthens the client-attorney relationship and helps with realization rates. The company says those lawyers who don’t like it are “slow to change and stuck in their ways.”

Which side are you on?

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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.

 

Blogs Rank Highest for Influencing Purchase/Hire Decisions

Social media ad network Technorati Media just released its 2013 Digital Influence Report, which found that blogs rank higher than other forms of social media in influencing consumer purchase decisions:

This report seems to parallel last year’s In-House Counsel New Media Engagement Survey, which found that 76% of in-house counsel respondents said they attribute at least some level of importance to an attorney's blog when deciding which firm to retain.

So we now have two very credible research reports showing the blogs can directly influence decisions by consumers and outside counsel in making a purchase (hire) decision. 

If you’re not blogging yet, I have no idea what you are waiting for.

If you’re looking for a way to kick start your social media marketing program, including blogging, I suggest you do so by attending one of our upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions. 

Over two days, you will not only learn how to use social media to market your firm, you will leave with a written plan to implement once you get home.

Here are our upcoming Rainmaker Retreat intensive workshops:

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

April 5-6, 2013 – Dallas, TX

May 3-4, 2013 – Scottsdale, AZ

May 31-June 1, 2013 – New York City

July 19-20, 2013 – San Diego, CA

August 16-17, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

September 20-21, 2013 – San Francisco, CA

Go to www.rainmakerretreat.com or call 888-588-5891 to register now. 

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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 8,000 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.

 

How to Beat Embarrassment When Asking for a Referral

We know that many attorneys build a good portion of their practices on referrals – yet, why is it so many feel embarrassed to ask for a referral?

I believe that these attorneys are not looking at referrals in the right way. They see them as asking for a favor, when in fact you should regard it as extending a favor. That’s right. You are not asking to get a favor, you are asking to bestow one.

The secret to getting lots of referrals is to make it about them, not about you. Think about what benefits you offer your referral sources and what problems you may help them solve. When you help someone help a friend, family member or colleague, you have done them a favor. 

Think about how referring you can make your client’s life better, and you will never be embarrassed to ask for a referral again. 

Attorneys who rely on referrals for new clients also have to have a referral mindset. Always look for those moments in your relationships with others to create referrals – when you have won a case for a client, when you have helped someone avoid litigation, when you have provided a referral – all opportunities for you to generate referrals.

You also need to make it as easy as possible for people to refer you. Provide them with a written document that outlines the characteristics of your ideal client. Create white papers or give seminars that solve problems their clients may be experiencing and co-brand them, so your referral source benefits. 

The real secret to feeling comfortable about generating referrals is to think give, not take. And to implement a system that creates a referral environment throughout your organization.

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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.

 

Law Schools Taking a Page From Medical Education Playbook

The New York Times ran an article last week about how a law school in my backyard – Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law – is taking a page from the medical education playbook and opening a “teaching” nonprofit law firm for graduates.

The ASU law school dean, Douglas J. Sylvester, got the idea when he visited the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and observed medical students and graduates gaining experience in the teaching hospitals there. He realized what his school needed was a “teaching hospital” for law school graduates.

As the article notes, Sylvester’s plan is one of a dozen or so efforts across the nation to address two seemingly contradictory needs: law school graduates with no job and people who can’t afford a lawyer. ASU’s nonprofit law firm will take in 30 graduates who will work under seasoned lawyers to provide low-cost legal services to Phoenix residents.

In a unique twist, Arizona recently passed a new law that lets law school students take the Arizona bar exam in their third year of law school rather than after graduation. The school also offers a North American Law degree that allows graduates to practice in the U.S. and Canada.

The incoming ABA president James R. Silkenat noted that one of his top priorities is to establish a “legal job corps” to match people with legal needs with attorneys who need the work, saying that, “There are unmet legal needs because of money and geography that seem to be growing, and the question of how to make use of unemployed recent graduates.”

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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!

Register online 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!

 

How to Create a Lifestyle Law Firm

What is a "lifestyle law firm"?

I define it as a law firm that supports the core values of who you are and allows you to live the life you want and build meaningful relationships with others versus the law firm that drives you, dictates your life, and ends up consuming your every waking moment.

Marketing and business development are only tools to help you achieve your personal and professional goals, but they are some of the most effective tools you can use to attract more and better referrals to your law firm, which leads to increased revenues. 

So how does a busy attorney use marketing to build a business that allows him or her to create a "lifestyle law firm?"

Jerry Lowe, a California bankruptcy attorney (www.thefresnobankruptcyattorney.com), has found that attending a Rainmaker Retreat (he’s been to two!) gives him the focus he needs to build his growing practice into a lifestyle law firm:

If you are looking for a dynamic learning experience that will give you over 65 proven, step-by-step marketing strategies you can easily apply to your law firm marketing, then come to one of our upcoming Rainmaker Retreats:

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

April 5-6, 2013 – Dallas, TX

May 3-4, 2013 – Scottsdale, AZ

May 31-June 1, 2013 – New York City

July 19-20, 2013 – San Diego, CA

August 16-17, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

September 20-21, 2013 – San Francisco, CA

Go to www.rainmakerretreat.com or call 888-588-5891 to register now. 

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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.

 

Using Your Website to Generate Leads? Make It Move!

Yesterday’s post at Law Marketing Blog by Larry Bodine shares the reasons why video is the killer app for improving your website’s Google ranking and how you can add this important functionality to your site:

There is a "killer app" that will greatly improve the likelihood that potential clients will find you in a Google search.  Research confirms that it is online video, and many lawyers have gotten the message. Just pay a visit to the LawyersDotCom channel you YouTube and check out the 500+ lawyer videos.

Video is the No. 1 reason that people go online, according to Pew Internet Research.  Clients and potential clients would rather watch to a two-minute verbal explanation than read a two-page article. "I don't want anything on paper. I don't have an in-box; if I did everything in it would go into trash. I want something that will catch my eye in 30 seconds or less, certainly not a long block of text. I'm more likely to look at a video," said MeMe Rasmussen, VP and Chief Privacy officer of Adobe Systems Inc.

Consider this:

More than 4 billion videos are viewed on YouTube every day.

Video is the easiest way to a first-page ranking on Google. A website with video is 53 times more likely to be found on the first page of Google compared with a website without video, according to Forrester.

Statistics show that having a video on your law firm website increases the chances that a potential client will retain you, and increases the time a visitor spends on your website.

Therefore it is surprising that only 51% of lawyers in firms of 1-5 lawyers say they plan to use video in their online marketing, according to a LexisNexis/Vizibility survey of law firm use of social media. The lack of video on your law firm website is a marketing mistake.

"Lawyers should develop an introductory video that showcases their personality as well as expertise. Post the video on the Web, including YouTube. Our studies have shown that a well-produced video can be a primary factor in a consumer's decision to contact a firm," says my colleague Craig McGuire, Product Marketing Manager, Websites/SEO/SEM at LexisNexis.

A small firm that is harnessing video effectively is Tully Rinckey of Albany, New York.  The firm's videos have been viewed more than 140,000 times - an outstanding result for a law firm. Many are clips from TV news reports in which a station interviewed a lawyer for comment about current events. Chief Marketing Officer Graig Cortelyou has cultivated good relations with local TV producers who give him these videos for free.  The 33-lawyer firm also displays a video on its home page.

 

Tips for a good video

Recording a video is easy and can be done right in your office. An experienced videographer will have the camcorder, lights and lavaliere microphones that are required. I recommend that you do not write a script and read it word-for-word from a teleprompter. All you need are a set of bullet points to follow, as you would use when making a presentation.

Click Here for Information on LexisNexis® Personal Video Production

To create a video that generates new business, follow these tips:

Don't talk about yourself. Clients are more interested in their legal issue than your credentials. Instead, talk about the problems you solve for clients.

Keep your video short: 2-3 minutes tops. Any longer and you'll lose your viewers.

Get to the point in 8 seconds or else viewers will move on.

The more light the better. Do not rely on sunlight or office light, which will produce dark and off-color videos.   

Move when you speak, because video is designed to capture action. Most lawyer videos show someone sitting at a desk, which is boring. Try standing up and gesturing when you speak, which is how you talk to people in person.

Mind the background. What is seen behind you makes a big difference. Do not sit in front of your office window or a lamp, which will put your face into a shadow. There should be no distracting cars or people moving in the background. Get rid of the clutter too.

One thing is clear: video is the future of law firm marketing. Adding video to your website is like getting an audition with a potential client. Don't delay in bringing your website up to date. 

 

How To Ensure Online Reviews Make You, Not Break You

If you think that online reviews have no influence on whether or not a prospect will hire you, you are dead wrong. 

And if you don’t pay attention to them, your practice could die as well.

Consider these latest research findings:

  • 89% of consumers say online reviews are trustworthy
  • 86% of consumers look for online reviews when researching products or services
  • 80% of consumers say negative reviews will dissuade them from making a purchase
  • 85% of consumers say they are more likely to make a purchase if the product or service has favorable online reviews

Google and Yelp! are the two most influential online review websites, and having no reviews is as bad as a negative review:

So how can you get good reviews or offset negative ones? Here are some tips:

Have a website. This sounds simple, but having a website that ranks well in search results will allow prospects to see who you are and give you the ability to control the message.

Ask clients for reviews and tell them where to post. Happy clients are the least likely to post a review, so ask your satisfied clients to go to Google or Yelp! and post give their feedback on your services.

Don’t post fake reviews. Consumers can inevitably sniff out the fake reviews and after that happens, you won’t be trusted.

Monitor your online reputation and respond appropriately. If you get a negative review, respond appropriately online and offline. Acknowledge the review with a reasoned response and then take it offline to attempt a resolution. Be sure to thank those who post positive reviews as well.

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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.  

 

How to Turn Your Law Firm Website Into Your Top Rainmaker

For most solos and small practitioners, the top rainmaker is the person looking back at them in the mirror. However, with the right website, you can generate more qualified leads and count on your closing skills to seal the deal.

Here’s how:

You know that old saw about you never have another chance to make a first impression? In this context, you never have another chance to get a lead unless you capture a prospect’s contact information. 

You can do this in several ways: through email newsletter sign-ups, social media log-in, embedded contact forms, free reports, real time chat and more. We use them all and find some perform better than others.

First, you need to provide an enticing offer for visitors to cough up their contact info. Offer a free report, a no-cost consultation or partner with another local business to offer a discount on a service like a spa visit or the like. You need to make it good.

Secondly, be sure your website has a form that makes it easy for visitors to fill out (not too long!) and that filters queries into your email inbox. There are a number of them available; if you use WordPress, there’s a built-in form for this purpose.

Third, keep track of what offers draw the best response and keep testing. You can use a free tool like BoostSuite that will measure your lead form’s conversion rate. If it’s less than five percent, you need to try something else.

Treat your website visitors like a welcome guest and don’t let them leave empty-handed. Your leads will increase as a result.

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FREE Seminar: How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle

When it comes to law firm marketing, it is truly a jungle out there! Mastering social media, SEO and Internet marketing strategies – and making sure your efforts align with legal marketing rules – can give even the most eager attorney pause.

In his new one-hour seminar, Stephen Fairley 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. You will 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 today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

This FREE seminar will also give you a preview of the 65 different marketing techniques and strategies taught at our 2-day legal marketing boot camp.

Click on this link to register now for the FREE How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungleseminar.

 

How to Create a Lead-Generating Law Firm Newsletter

There are some e-newsletters I look forward to receiving and some that make me look immediately for the “Unsubscribe” link. So why do some email newsletters fail while others succeed? 

Here are some hallmarks of effective e-newsletters:

Proper list segmentation. The newsletters I like know who I am and they feed me the information I want and need. If you have more than one practice area in your law firm, you simply must segment your list. Don’t send out the same information to every email address you have on file. 

Brevity. Face it, these days, everyone is busy. Respect your reader’s time by keeping your content brief and provide links to more lengthy content on your website (improving your SEO!) if they want to take the time to read more. Don’t clutter your e-newsletter with off-topic information or too many different subjects. And present your information in a way that doesn’t sound too self-promotional. Give information that is valuable to the reader and tell them why what you are writing about matters to them.

Good design. A properly designed e-newsletter draws the reader in. It should be clean, concise, have interesting graphics and images and you should keep the same template from month to month so it is recognizable to your subscribers. 

Strong subject lines. You need strong subject lines that immediately grab your readers’ attention. Do not just toss in “March E-Newsletter from ABC Law Firm”! How boring. Even if you spent the time you should in creating compelling content, a weak subject line will get you bounced to the Junk folder.

Single call-to-action. Don’t ask your subscribers to choose among a list of actions you want them to take – choose one strong call-to-action that is a logical extension of your e-newsletter content. 

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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 Mobile Consumer and the Impact on Legal Marketing

Nielsen has released its report on The Mobile Consumer and the insights that matter most to legal marketers are as follows:

  • 94% of Americans have a mobile device
  • 53% of Americans own a smartphone
  • 86% of smartphone users send text messages
  • 75% of smartphone users access email
  • 63% of smartphone users engage in social media networking
  • 82% of smartphone users search the Internet
  • 72% of smartphone users watch video; 31% of those watch at least once a day and 42% watch several times a week

A glimpse into mobile behavior patterns has been provided by comScore’s Mobile Future in Focus Report 2013, which shows how consumers engage different devices during the day:

As the comScore report shows, we are all becoming “digital omnivores,” accessing content through different devices at different times of the day. 

The successful delivery of legal marketing content to mobile devices – smartphones and tablets – is directly impacted by the optimization of your website, landing pages and e-newsletters for mobile. It is no longer a question of if you should do it, it’s now just a question of when.

comScore says that with smartphone penetration now past 50%, the market has entered the “late majority” stage of the technology adoption bell curve:

This means that the media consumption habits of consumers is now substantially different than it was even one year ago, and that new media strategies are required to capture this audience that now numbers more than 80 million Americans.

For more information on mobilizing your legal marketing content, see my previous post on If You Lack a Mobile Website, You're Turning Prospects Away.

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

Newly released! 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!

***For Blog Readers, Facebook Friends, Twitter Followers and LinkedIn Connections – we are offering you a $50 discount for Volume 2 and a $100 discount for both Volume 1 and Volume 2 because of your social media presence with The Rainmaker Institute.

Click here now to order!

 

The #1 Secret to Boosting Client Referrals and Retention

When it comes to communicating with clients, listening is often more important than talking. It is by listening that you learn what clients want, and then you can give it to them. Which makes for more referrals and better client retention.

Here are some important methods you can use to actively listen to clients:

Open feedback. Always offer clients a way to provide feedback, through your website, an online survey and in your e-newsletter campaign. Simply asking for their thoughts is often enough to garner some important insights.

Transactional feedback. If you’re a regular Starbucks customer, you have undoubtedly received a free survey at some point with your receipt. You provide them with some feedback online and you get a free drink for your efforts. What attorneys can learn from this is the importance of asking clients for their thoughts about their experience with your firm after the case is over or at important points along the way. Keep your finger on the pulse of how satisfied they are with how your firm is treating them, and you’ll have a satisfied client.

Social media interaction. Monitor your social media channels to see what people are saying about you. You can search for your firm name on Twitter and Facebook , and you should be regularly monitoring Avvo, FindLaw, Yelp and Google for other comments about your firm.

Client satisfaction surveys. Using formal client satisfaction surveys is another good way to gauge client experiences with your firm. Send one out after each engagement is closed and respond immediately and personally to any negative feedback.

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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 Brand Yourself Online

More than one billion names are searched in Google every day and 94% of those searching never look past the first page of results. Knowing these facts gives you insight into why owning your own brand online is of utmost importance. 

You want the websites you own or control to be the first to pop up in a search. If you don’t own your brand in search, you will be subject to whoever has posted something with your name in it...and that can be a bad, bad thing.

I have spent thousands of hours building my brand online and the effort shows when you search for me on Google. Here is the first page of results when you Google “Stephen Fairley”:

For some tips on building your brand online, check out the infographic below. Better yet, come to a Rainmaker Retreat, where you will get the strategies and tools you need to build and maintain a comprehensive online brand that you can control.

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FREE Seminar: How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle

When it comes to law firm marketing, it is truly a jungle out there! Mastering social media, SEO and Internet marketing strategies – and making sure your efforts align with legal marketing rules – can give even the most eager attorney pause.

In his new one-hour seminar, Stephen Fairley 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. You will 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 today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

This FREE seminar will also give you a preview of the 65 different marketing techniques and strategies taught at our 2-day legal marketing boot camp.

Click on this link to register now for the FREE How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle seminar.

 

How to Turn Client Problems Into Profits

It can be argued that one of the primary reasons why a person or company hires an attorney is to alleviate their "pain." They may use the words "goal," "challenge" "problem" or "issue," but their pain is whatever they are asking your assistance with.

I encourage clients to start actively looking for a prospect’s principal "pain," because when their "pain" becomes too big for them to ignore or too excruciating to handle is the time they call out for help.

Unfortunately, when a person or company is in pain, there are some common problems:

They may not be thinking too clearly and may make irrational decisions (like hiring the wrong lawyer).

They don't use the right terms to describe their pain (they ask for mediation when they really want a divorce lawyer).

They may not see what's really causing their pain (they may focus on the immediate or surface problem and not see the root cause, in which case their pain may resurface in the future).

They may use things or people to conceal the true source of their pain (they may point to the wrong person or company as the source of their pain).

Use this knowledge to increase your effectiveness:

  • You must know how your prospects typically define and describe their "pain."
  • You must talk about the problem using their language.
  • They will feel you listened to them if you ask them a lot of questions about their problem and their pain.
  • Don't waste time describing the process you will use to resolve their pain, instead focus on helping them understand your solution and results.
  • You must give them a sense of hope, that things can get better and you know how to help.
  • You must project confidence in your ability to help.
  • You must listen to them and make them feel understood before they will listen to you.

In order to be successful, you must clearly and consistently state how you and your services can resolve your prospect’s pain. 

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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 Use LinkedIn to Build Your Referral Network

With over 200 million professional members, LinkedIn is a great way to stay on top of what is happening with the people in your networks, as well as a great source of professionals to grow your referral network.

Chances are, many of the professionals you already know are using LinkedIn.

Here’s how to use LinkedIn to build and expand your referral network:

1. Decide why you are using LinkedIn. Do you just want to connect with people you know? Are you building a referral network? Do you want to drive people to your website or blog? 

2. Build out your profile. Take your purpose and craft your profile to reflect that purpose. The key is to compel the people you know and the people who are looking for someone like you to reach out and connect.

3. Connect with the people you know. Use LinkedIn’s built-in Add Connections tool to import your contact lists.

4. Get recommendations. Take advantage of LinkedIn’s built-in Recommendations feature to give and receive testimonials. Third party endorsements carry much more weight than your marketing message alone.

5. Learn the system inside and out. Pay special attention to the search engine next to the People tab. This feature allows you to search your extended network for all the resources you need to be successful. Also, search the Groups Directory. There are thousands of special interest groups inside LinkedIn where you can connect with thought leaders, experts, prospective clients and prospective referral sources.

6. Build your network out strategically. Each connection you make with someone you know grows your overall reach exponentially.

7. Leverage your networks. LinkedIn is a social network with a search engine. Connected individuals can see and search for the people in each other’s networks. You can use those connections for business development and for finding your ideal social target market.

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NEW On-Demand Seminar: Business Development Strategies for Litigators

Business development is especially difficult for litigators, who often work for months on a case and bring it to a successful conclusion, only to find they have a gaping hole of billable time to fill!

Are you or your litigators building the referral network you need to bring in litigation business?

In this new on-demand seminar, nationally recognized business development expert Stephen Fairley and featured guest Larry Bodine, editor-in-chief of Lawyers.com, help you develop a practical plan to grow your litigation practice. Learn:

  • Which strategies you need to put into place in order to obtain repeat business from former clients
  • How to build a referral network to build your practice-even while you are prepping for a trial
  • How to get more referrals from mega-firms who are conflicted out of a case
  • How to identify small firm transactional lawyers who can send you litigation referrals
  • How to focus on the “hottest” areas of practice, as identified by market research
  • Methods our clients use to attract larger clients with bigger cases
  • How to ethically promote your “big wins” to the media and via the Internet
  • How to apply one of the most effective marketing techniques for litigators
  • How to position yourself as an industry expert that attracts highly profitable clients

To get this on-demand seminar, simply click here to access the recording of Business Development Strategies for Litigation Attorneys seminar.

 

How to Make Google Fall in Love with Your Website

Although Valentine’s Day was two weeks ago, I just came across the great infographic below from Content Crossroads that synthesizes in plain English what you should be doing to make Google love your website.

Some of these things you can do yourself right away; some will likely require the help of your IT person or SEO consultant to be sure the architecture of your site is up to snuff. 

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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.

 

Watch What Happens at a Rainmaker Retreat

Do you think you could benefit from attending a Rainmaker Retreat? Let me explain just how you can:

Here are the upcoming dates for this intensive two-day law firm marketing boot camp:

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

April 5-6, 2013 – Dallas, TX

May 3-4, 2013 – Scottsdale, AZ

May 31-June 1, 2013 – New York City

July 19-20, 2013 – San Diego, CA

August 16-17, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

September 20-21, 2013 – San Francisco, CA

Go to www.rainmakerretreat.com or call 888-588-5891 to register now. 

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FREE Seminar: How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle

When it comes to law firm marketing, it is truly a jungle out there! Mastering social media, SEO and Internet marketing strategies – and making sure your efforts align with legal marketing rules – can give even the most eager attorney pause.

In his new one-hour seminar, Stephen Fairley 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. You will 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 today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

This FREE seminar will also give you a preview of the 65 different marketing techniques and strategies taught at our 2-day legal marketing boot camp.

Click on this link to register now for the FREE How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle seminar.

 

The New SEO Rules for Law Firm Marketing

This recent Mashable infographic demonstrates succinctly how the rules have changed when it comes to good SEO practices:

Good content and good SEO are no longer mutually exclusive entities; today, great content is the engine that drives SEO as far as Google is concerned, and since they are the 800-pound gorilla, anyone not complying is wasting their time.

SEOmoz CEO Rand Fishkin has outlined 5 best practices for law firm marketers looking to maximize SEO value through content marketing:

Create content that makes people want to share.

Know the keywords prospects use to search for what you have to offer so you attract quality traffic.

Make sure your blog is on the same domain/subdomain (use XYZlaw.com/blog instead of blog.XYZlaw.com).

Take a position that people can rally around and write about it often.

Keep your content consistent with your brand. If you’re an estate planning attorney, write about estate planning and nothing else.

Fishkin notes that to be successful at the SEO game, you need to deliver a great experience and build a robust online presence. No arguments here.

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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!

 

3 Steps to Use Email Marketing To Generate New Leads

Most businesses use email marketing in a very traditional way – i.e., to encourage existing prospects to become customers, or to market additional products to existing customers. But email marketing can also be a highly effective way to generate entirely new leads if you incorporate these 3 tactics:

Have a good opt-in strategy. You need to be sure the people you are emailing are enjoying what you are sending or they will never buy from you. Make it easy for them to stay or, if they want, to go.

Offer something of value. Whether it’s a free ebook, a downloadable report or even something as simple as a “what to do in case” form they can print out to keep in their car in the event of an accident, sending people something of value makes it more likely they will share it.

Links to pass it on. Be sure you always include social share buttons and a “Forward to a Friend” link to encourage readers to share your information.

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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 Blogs Affect Website Traffic

Inbound marketing firm Hubspot recently released a report based on a marketing benchmark study of 7,000 companies and found that when it comes to blogging:

Companies that blog 15+ times per month get five times more traffic than firms with no blog.

B2B companies that blog just twice a month get 70% more leads than firms with no blog.

Companies that increase their blogging from 3-5 times/month to 5-8 times/month almost double their leads.

Companies that increase their total blog posts from 11-20 to 21-50 per month see a 45% increase in traffic.

There really is no question anymore about how useful a blog can be in driving traffic to your website and generating leads. None. Here are five tips to keep in mind when developing your law firm marketing blog:

Be useful. Posts should be timely, insightful and, above all, useful.

Be real. Don’t use legal jargon unless you are writing for other lawyers.

Be a contrarian. Take a unique stand on a timely subject or challenge convention to get people thinking.

Be personable. Blogging is about connecting with people, and you can’t do that if you don’t let your personality come through.

Satisfy your readership. Write for the person you want to hire you.

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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.  

 

23 Reasons Why Content Marketing Matters

Here are 23 stats that prove the value and power of content marketing for all businesses – including law firm marketing -- courtesy of TMG Custom Media:

1. 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement.

2. 70% say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company.

3. 60% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site.

4. 90% of consumers find custom content useful, and 78% believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them.

5. 9 in 10 organizations market with content.

6. More than 9 in 10 CMOs think that custom content has a positive effect on audience attitudes, strengthening the bond with consumers. 

7. 78% of chief marketing officers think custom media represents the future of marketing.

8. 8 in 10 CMOs believe custom media should be an integral part of a marketing mix.

9. 8 in 10 people prefer receiving information on a company through custom media.

10. 20% of users’ time is spent surfing the Internet on content-led websites.

11. According to 37% of marketing managers, the most important channel for engaging customers is content-led websites.

12. 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads.

13. 82% like reading content from brands when it’s relevant.

14. 57% read content marketing titles at least once a month.

15. 37% visit content marketing websites at least once a month.

16. 68% are likely to spend time reading content from a brand they are interested in.

17. 60% are more likely to be on the lookout for products when looking at content marketing.

18. Content marketing costs less than traditional, outbound marketing. Statistics show that content marketing costs 62% less per lead than outbound marketing.

19. People want to be in control of what information they receive and it’s evident from these statistics:

  • 86% of people skip TV ads
  • 44% of direct mail is never opened
  • 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email that they previously opted into

20. 37% of marketers say blogs are the most valuable content type for marketing.

21. 86% of B2C marketers use content marketing.

22. 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing.

23. Per dollar, content marketing produces three times more leads.

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On-Demand Seminar: The 5 Best Strategies to Beat Your Competition in 2013

Are you tired of seeing other attorneys land all the good clients?

Have you noticed how tough it’s become to market your law firm?

Are you ready to do something to make this a bigger & better year?

Knowing which legal marketing strategies are working in today’s economy gives you a huge advantage. Implementing the correct business development strategies allows you to spend less money and get better results faster!

Access this one-hour seminar on The 5 Best Strategies to Beat Your Competition in 2013 to discover:

  • Why you can’t afford to dismiss social media any longer (Google is forcing you to use it)
  • 3 major ways to triple your website traffic in the next 90 days
  • How to use online tools to generate more offline referrals
  • 3 keys all the best law firms are using to turn more website browsers into buyers
  • 2 critical numbers you must track every month to measure your success
  • Specific ways to jump-start your marketing efforts fast…even if you’ve stumbled before

Last year many of our clients experienced their best year ever! How is that possible when we are in the midst of the biggest recession our generation has ever faced?

It’s simple, they developed a game plan based on best practices and proven strategies and then they consistently took massive action! Notice I said it was “simple” not “easy.” The only “easy button” I have is sitting right beside my magic wand (I’ve found both of them work about the same).

There is no “easy” way to build a million dollar book of business, but if you’re willing to do the work we can show you the right path to take.

Click on this link now to access The 5 Best Strategies to Beat Your Competition in 2013 seminar.

 

22 Ideas to Inspire Creative Blog Posts

A blog is a monster that demands to be fed, but sometimes you just haven’t made it to the store and the cupboard is bare. If you are looking for some inspiration for creating compelling content, hold on to this infographic from Copyblogger.com:

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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 State of SEO in 2013

Just finished reading a great guest post over on the Duct Tape Marketing blog about the latest trends in SEO. Love what this guy has to say about:

Content as 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.

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. 

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. 

Long live great writers. 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 legalese. 

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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 8,000 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.

 

4 Online Strategies to Help Your Law Firm Stand Out from the Crowd

It wasn’t too long ago that attorneys who merely had a website stood out for that reason alone. However, that is no longer the case as more and more law firms are waking up to the incredible power the Internet has to help them attract clients.

So what can you do to stand out online in a way that will bring you more and better clients? Here are 4 ways:

Create a website that zeroes 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. When it comes to marketing your law firm online, focus is critical to your success. 
 

Give website visitors a reason to contact you. Free consultations are no longer enough to attract someone's attention. Why? Because everyone offers them. Instead, offer an incentive for paying you a visit – start with that free consultation, but then partner with another local business to offer something of value for every visit. What divorcing woman couldn’t use a spa treatment?

If you have multiple practice areas, develop a micro-site for each one. Again, focus is key here. For example, a personal injury lawyer may have a practice specific website for: SUV rollovers, construction accidents, dog bites, and automobile accidents. 
 

Have a blog that speaks your target’s language. Writing for the Internet is not the same as writing a legal brief and none of your clients want to wade through that anyway. Having a blog that talks to clients “one-on-one” through insightful writing on subjects that matter to them in terms they can understand will make you stand out and help you start a dialog with prospects.

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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 Tell If Social Media Marketing Will Work for Your Law Firm

The latest report from the Pew Research Center says that 67 percent of adults online currently use social networking sites – an impressive statistic when you consider that less than a decade ago, Pew reported that only 5 percent of adults online were involved in social media.

So what does this mean for your practice and law firm marketing efforts?

Should you step up your social media efforts or jump in if you haven’t already? The answer is, it depends. 

And what it depends upon is your Ideal Target Market (ITM).

Identifying your ITM is absolutely critical to the success of your law firm marketing plan. If you don’t target the right market, nothing else you do will matter. To be successful as a legal marketer and attorney, you have to start with a clear picture of your ITM.

Take a look at the demographic breakdown of who is using social media:

If you are a personal injury attorney or DUI lawyer, you should know that 62 percent of accidents in the U.S. involve drivers who are 18-49. Social media makes sense for you.

If you are a bankruptcy attorney, you should know that the average age of a U.S. bankruptcy filer is 40 (the #1 age category is 35-44). Social media also makes sense for you.

You get the idea. Social media marketing is just one tool in a law firm marketing arsenal at your disposal. If it fits with your ITM, then you should be using it. 

If you don’t know how, then I invite you to attend a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing boot camp where you will leave with a comprehensive marketing plan for your practice that incorporates your ITM and the strategic marketing initiatives you’ll need to reach them. 

Here are the upcoming dates:

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

April 5-6, 2013 – Dallas, TX

May 3-4, 2013 – Scottsdale, AZ

May 31-June 1, 2013 – New York City

July 19-20, 2013 – San Diego, CA

August 16-17, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

September 20-21, 2013 – San Francisco, CA

You can register online at www.RainmakerRetreat.com or by calling 888-588-5891.

 

How to Turn Your Lead Flow From a Trickle to a Torrent

Is your lead flow system delivering a trickle or a torrent? If your law firm marketing system is working well, it should be producing a large number of lead opportunities for you. And what you do with those opportunities is almost as important as generating them.

You need to have specific strategies for increasing the number of leads and tracking them. Legal marketing can do some of the heavy lifting for you on identifying lead prospects. But going from a possible lead to a genuine lead and prospect requires a well-designed system that includes follow through.

You also need a system for tracking all incoming leads and where the leads are in the sales pipeline. Once a lead comes in, someone has to keep track of the lead status so leads do not fall through the cracks. Lost leads are lost opportunities, and are akin to leaving money on the table. They also hurt your reputation with your referral sources if they supplied the referral and you didn’t follow through.

Here are some questions to ask as you think about your lead system:

  • Who sorts the leads to rank them by priority?
  • How do we prioritize leads?
  • Who is responsible for assigning leads to members of the firm for follow up?
  • Who maintains the follow-up system and holds the firm members accountable?

Generating referrals from your legal marketing strategy is the first step in building your business. Converting those leads into clients, and ultimately referral sources, is how you grow your firm into what you envisioned when you began. 

Without a good lead flow system, the likelihood of you maximizing the possibilities of your marketing program is slim. To learn more about lead generation strategies for law firms, see below.

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Seminar for B2C Attorneys: Proven Strategies to Win More Clients

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 seminar is for you. Access this on-demand 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

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!

Access this seminar now and discover how attorneys just like you are doubling their revenues by converting more of their costly leads into more paying clients!

 

The 5 Compelling Truths About Referrals

Truth #1: People Make Referrals to Build Social Capital. Most people enjoy making referrals to their friends and associates as a way of building social capital. If you believe the way you practice law benefits your clients, then you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable about having clients refer you to others who may benefit as well.

Truth #2: Mitigating Risk is Important. All referrals involve risk – if you refer a business and it underperforms, you feel badly that you made that referral. Attorneys who count on referrals for business generation need to take necessary steps to mitigate this risk with communication, education and stellar follow-up.

Truth #3: People Refer Great Experiences. People who have had great experiences with a product or service tend to refer it to their friends and colleagues. Which is why cultivating a culture of great client service is a must for gaining referrals.

Truth #4: Referrals Require Trust. Even if someone raves to a friend about you, that referral is likely to search for you on the Internet. If the referral can’t find good content, reviews or social network participation, they will be less likely to proceed with contacting you.

Truth #5: Referrals Require a System. Attorneys need to create a referral strategy that includes a process for making referrals happen, a way to educate referral sources and a solid follow-up program. Once that is in place, you just need to operate the system.

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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 to Create a Successful Blogging Strategy

Blogs are one of the best ways to get to the top of Google for targeted search results. Google loves fresh content and when done right, a blog is the best way to push fresh content into the search engines.  

In addition, social media research indicates companies with blogs generate 67% more leads than companies that do not have a blog!

There is no denying the value of blogging when it comes to law firm marketing.

Blogs hold a unique position in the online media landscape because they have become an accepted source of information.

When used properly, a blog becomes a clear, consistent voice for your practice. It entices prospects, referral sources, colleagues, clients and thought leaders to engage you in dialogue.

It keeps you top of mind. It builds visibility among your target clients. Ultimately, it earns you more of the kind of client you most desire.

So, are all blogs successful?  No, and I will tell you why- The problem arises when you begin blogging without a clear strategy behind you. 

Blogging should be a part of, but not your entire law firm marketing strategy. It is your forum to connect with the community at large and to make it clear that you are an expert in your field.  But to make it the highly effective medium you need it to be, your law firm marketing and promotion strategy should include:

  • A topic list designed to engage your target audience;
  • A list of social media (such as Facebook and Twitter) to promote it;
  • A list and schedule for article marketing services to add visibility and to feed it to reporters and thought leaders;
  • An up-to-date blog that you write articles for at least 2 to 4 times per week;
  • A search engine optimization formula to increase your page rank.

When you have all these things in place, you will be well on your way to creating a blog that will enhance your overall law firm marketing efforts.

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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.

 

Are You Ready for a Rainmaker Retreat? Here's How to Tell

The Rainmaker Retreat focuses on the unique problems facing small law firms and solo practices.

If you are like many attorneys I know, you have been practicing a while, and your law firm is doing pretty well; but you go to sleep at night with this uneasy feeling that you should be making a lot more money by now and achieving a level of success that still seems to elude you.

Perhaps the current economy has hit you hard, maybe your revenues and profits are falling faster than you want to admit, and you are finding it harder to land qualified clients.

Your overhead is the same, but with revenues being down, you are taking home less now than ever before.

If this sounds like you, then you are ready for the Rainmaker Retreat.

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

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!

We are so confident you will benefit from the Rainmaker Retreat that we offer a 100% money back guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied at the end of the first day, just let us know, turn your materials in and we will refund your money.

You have nothing to lose and so much to gain by attending. 

We have scheduled monthly Rainmaker Retreat sessions through September – sign up for the one nearest you:

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

April 5-6, 2013 – Dallas, TX

May 3-4, 2013 – Scottsdale, AZ

May 31-June 1, 2013 – New York City

July 19-20, 2013 – San Diego, CA

August 16-17, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

September 20-21, 2013 – San Francisco, CA

To register, call 888-588-5891 or visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com.

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FREE Rainmaker Retreat Preview DVD – Learn Before You Go!

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 9,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then click here to receive a free DVD of your colleagues (and even your competitors) describing their experiences at our 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat.

Instead of us telling you how these 2 days will transform your practice, listen to your peers describe their experiences in their own words by clicking here to order your complimentary DVD right now.

 


On Valentine's & Every Other Day, We Love Lawsuits

I ran across this interesting infographic the other day that shows how much we as Americans love lawsuits:

And because we love our readers, see our special offer below. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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

Newly released! 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!

***For Blog Readers, Facebook Friends, Twitter Followers and LinkedIn Connections – we are offering you a $50 discount for Volume 2 and a $100 discount for both Volume 1 and Volume 2 because of your social media presence with The Rainmaker Institute.

Click here now to order!

 

Feb. 20 Webinar for B2C Attorneys: Proven Strategies to Win More Clients

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 webinar is for you. Join us on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 3 p.m. ET/Noon PT for the Proven Strategies to Win More Clients webinar, 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!

Register online for the Feb. 20 webinar and discover how attorneys just like you are doubling their revenues by converting more of their costly leads into more paying clients!

If the time doesn’t work for you, register anyway and we’ll send you the recording of the full webinar to watch at your convenience.

 

 

Top 5 Things Your Referral Sources Need to Know

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 does your ideal client look 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. What should I tell them about why they should hire you? We 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 do 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 do you follow up with people I recommend? Your referral source needs to feel comfortable that you will follow up promptly and professionally with the people they send your way.

5. Why are referrals 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: 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.

 

8 Ways to Use Your Law Firm Website to Turn Browsers Into Buyers

1. Position your firm as a specialist. When people search for attorneys online they have a specific problem (DUI, personal injury, etc) and they are searching for specific answers. If your firm has more than one practice area, the best practice is to have more than one website, especially if they have a very different clientele.

2. Offer free, educational information. Only a small percentage of website visitors are ready to commit to a consultation the first time they visit your website. Providing visitors with educational materials to help them make the best decision is a tried and true technique in Internet marketing. If you are an estate planning attorney, give them a free report on the "Top 10 Questions to Ask Before You Hire an Estate Planning Attorney."

3. Use fitting photos. Almost every legal website makes the mistake of using the same photo of the scales of justice or the courthouse steps. Be sure the pictures on your website are congruent with your message and your perfect client.

4. Give visitors easy ways to connect with you. I'm still astounded at how difficult many websites make it just to find their phone number or an email address that goes directly to an individual versus a "faceless entity." Make it easy for prospects to find all your contact information, even on their cell phone.

5. Create a mobile friendly site. Last year smart phones outsold computers! With slower speeds, smaller screens, the need for more immediate information, and the potential desire to easily call your office directly from their cell, a mobile version of your website is no longer a nicety, it is a necessity!

6. Tell visitors what the next steps are. If you want them to download your free report or call your office for a free consultation, tell them!

7. Use video clips on your website. Video is a proven converter. It gives visitors a way to see you as a real person, to hear in your own words how you can help them, and how you are distinct in your approach.

8. Provide a clear and compelling reason why you are different from your competitors. Online buyers of legal services visit an average of 5 websites prior to moving into the decision making phase. Explain to them in an easy to understand manner how your firm is different from others.

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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.  

 

How to Monitor Your Online Reputation

Reputation is everything for attorneys. A good reputation gets you more clients through referrals; a bad one pretty much dooms your practice. So it’s no surprise that lawyers tend to pay close attention to cultivating a reputation as effective, ethical counselors.

But is all your hard work toward that goal reflected in your online reputation?

What do prospects see when they type your name into a search engine? If it’s not much, that can often be as harmful as something negative.

This infographic provides some tips on monitoring your online reputation:

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

Newly released! 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!

***For Blog Readers, Facebook Friends, Twitter Followers and LinkedIn Connections – we are offering you a $50 discount for Volume 2 and a $100 discount for both Volume 1 and Volume 2 because of your social media presence with The Rainmaker Institute.

Click here now to order!

 

Bankruptcy Lawyer Sees New Business from Participation in Online Legal Advice Forum

My friend Larry Bodine (at right) recently interviewed Orange County bankruptcy attorney David L. Gibbs for his LawMarketing blog about the benefits Gibbs has received from participating on the Lawyers.com Ask a Lawyer forum; here is that interesting interview:

LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell®: Can you tell me about your law practice? Who are your typical clients and how does a new client typically find you?

David L. Gibbs: Our clients are primarily homeowners in our small town in South Orange County, Calif., who experience problems with their homes or other real estate they own. Most of it is residential foreclosure activity. The single biggest driver of our business is word of mouth, because it is such a small community.

But more and more we are receiving leads from online sources, including Lawyers.com and the Ask A Lawyer section on Lawyers.com.

LNMH: How long have you been participating on Ask A Lawyer?

DLG: It's been almost a year.

LNMH: I heard that you've gotten several new clients as a result of your Ask A Lawyer work. Some of the other attorneys I've talked to have told me that lawyers shouldn't expect to get new business from Ask A Lawyer because its primary benefit is search engine optimization. Why do you think you've had success in driving new business where others haven't?

DLG: It's probably a combination of factors: The sheer number of answers I'm providing and the areas of law where I'm posting.

LNMH: What about the other benefits you've seen from your participation? You mentioned the links back to your website.

DLG: I haven't tried to quantify the search engine optimization benefits. I have gone into Google Webmaster Tools, looked at the profile for our website and seen click-thrus from Lawyers.com to our site, so I assume it's working. I just have to think that just being on Lawyers.com and posting frequently is helping drive traffic to our website.

LNMH: How much time do you spend in the average week answering questions on Ask A Lawyer?

DLG: I'm not on there daily, but when I do get on, I usually spend about an hour at a shot, and I do that a couple times a week. So probably two to three hours a week.

LNMH: Are you doing this during office hours or on your own time?

DLG: Mostly during office hours. For example, I'll jump on if I have a half an hour free and don't have time to start something new. Or if it's slow, I'll go onto Lawyers.com and spend an hour or so answering questions.

LNMH: What's the strangest or most memorable question you've ever answered?

DLG: [Laughter]

LNMH: The laugh makes me think there must be one or two.

DLG: There are tons of them. I'd have to say that landlord-tenant law is the most frequent source of weird questions. They're all over the map. It seems that about half of the questions are comical in some respect. Not comical in the sense of making fun of people, but weird stuff happens in that arena. You hear about landlords peeping on their tenants or walking into apartments without any advance notice.

LNMH: Understanding that you probably don't want the competition, would you recommend Ask A Lawyer to a colleague with whom you weren't competing?

DLG: Absolutely. It's a great tool and the fact that it's still free is fantastic.

Ask A Lawyer is a good resource for consumers. And although the search engine optimization benefits are hard to quantify, it can't be a bad thing for attorneys.

LNMH: What advice would you give to other attorneys who want to participate on Ask A Lawyer?

DLG: Limit yourself to areas where you know the law. On other online legal advice forums, I've seen attorneys taking guesses on answers in areas where they don't practice. Don't do that, you look like an idiot. Focus on what you know.

Second, be human. I've seen responses on other online legal advice forums where attorneys seem very condescending and are talking above their audience.

Finally, jump in and get going. It's very easy to do.

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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.

 

ABA New Partner Workshop in Big D Focuses on Building a Lifestyle Law Firm

I’m in Dallas today at the 2013 ABA Midyear Meeting, headlining an all-day ABA New Partner Workshop that instructs attorneys on:

  • How to build a referral-based practice and jumpstart your practice
  • How to double your revenues in 6 months by improving your lead conversion and fixing your follow-up
  • How to build a mid-6 to 7-figure business by applying best practices
  • How to use the power of social media to attract clients and connect with referral sources
  • 5 proven strategies to improve the quality and quantity of your referrals
  • Tips from attorneys who have gone from start-up to 6 figures in 1 year
  • 8 steps to using LinkedIn to build your online presence and connect with other professionals

If the subject matter sounds familiar, it should! It’s what we teach at each of our Rainmaker Retreat 2-day intensive workshops. We have another session coming up next weekend in Orlando (Feb. 15-16) and you still have time to join us by calling 888-588-5891 or registering online at www.RainmakerRetreat.com.

Can’t make it to Orlando? We’ll be in Newport Beach next month on March 15-16 for another Rainmaker Retreat that can help you transform your practice in 2013.

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Stephen Fairley a One Percenter....on LinkedIn!

 

Where to Learn the Nuts and Bolts of Running a Law Practice

David Chaumette of the Houston commercial litigation firm Chaumette, PLLC recently attended one of our Rainmaker Retreat two-day law firm marketing workshops and noted that he learned so much that they don’t teach you in law school:

 

Creating and managing a successful legal services business is what we teach at the Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing intensive workshop.  Here are the dates for upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions in the first quarter:



February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

To register, call 888-588-5891 or visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com.

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FREE Rainmaker Retreat Preview DVD – Learn Before You Go!

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 9,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then click here to receive a free DVD of your colleagues (and even your competitors) describing their experiences at our 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat.

Instead of us telling you how these 2 days will transform your practice, listen to your peers describe their experiences in their own words by clicking here to order your complimentary DVD right now.

 

Is Your Law Firm Making Any of These Mistakes on LinkedIn?

A recent post at Entrepreneur.com picked the brain of LinkedIn’s senior manager of corporate communications to discover some of the common mistakes she sees companies making on LinkedIn every day. Could your law firm be making any of these mistakes?

  1. Not following competitors. 
  2. Firm partners and associates with incomplete profiles.
  3. Not sharing the right information at the right time. Mornings are the best time to post and you should add links and include calls-to-action in your posts.
  4. Your employees are not sharing information with each other. One of them could have a connection in a company whose business you’re trying to land.
  5. No LinkedIn share button on your law firm website to share content.
  6. You don’t list specifics about your areas of practice.
  7. You don’t have any LinkedIn groups for your clients.
  8. You don’t participate in group discussions.
  9. You don’t use the legal apps.
  10. You don’t use the mobile apps.

LinkedIn has hit the 200 million-member mark and continues to grow as the leading B2B social networking site. Many of your current clients and lots of prospects are on LinkedIn and if you’re not using it to connect with them, you are missing a great opportunity to generate quality leads for your law firm.

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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.

 

Twitter Best for B2B Lead Generation?

In the category of “Things that make you go, ‘Really?!?’” comes this latest study from B2B digital marketing software maker Optify that says when it comes to B2B lead generation, Twitter outperforms Facebook and LinkedIn by a staggering 9-to-1 ratio.

Optify’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report extracted data from more than 600 small and medium-sized B2B websites in the U.S. with 100 to 100,000 monthly visits. This infographic highlights the key findings in the report:



2012 B2B Marketing Trends

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On-Demand Webinar: The 5 Best Strategies to Beat Your Competition in 2013

Are you tired of seeing other attorneys land all the good clients?

Have you noticed how tough it’s become to market your law firm?

Are you ready to do something to make this a bigger & better year?

Knowing which legal marketing strategies are working in today’s economy gives you a huge advantage. Implementing the correct business development strategies allows you to spend less money and get better results faster!

View this one-hour webinar on The 5 Best Strategies to Beat Your Competition in 2013 to discover:

  • Why you can’t afford to dismiss social media any longer (Google is forcing you to use it)
  • 3 major ways to triple your website traffic in the next 90 days
  • How to use online tools to generate more offline referrals
  • 3 keys all the best law firms are using to turn more website browsers into buyers
  • 2 critical numbers you must track every month to measure your success
  • Specific ways to jump-start your marketing efforts fast…even if you’ve stumbled before

Last year many of our clients experienced their best year ever! How is that possible when we are in the midst of the biggest recession our generation has ever faced?

It’s simple, they developed a game plan based on best practices and proven strategies and then they consistently took massive action! Notice I said it was “simple” not “easy.” The only “easy button” I have is sitting right beside my magic wand (I’ve found both of them work about the same).

There is no “easy” way to build a million dollar book of business, but if you’re willing to do the work we can show you the right path to take.

Click on this link now to access The 5 Best Strategies to Beat Your Competition in 2013 webinar.

 

Law Firm Blogs: What NOT To Do

This item naturally piqued my interest when I saw the headline late last week at Law.com:

Attorney's blogging prompts ethics complaint

Usually when one of these news items appears, I get emails from attorneys still fighting the social media tide saying something to the effect of, “See! Attorneys who blog are just asking for trouble!”

Well, save your breath. If you read this article, and most others like it, you will see that this particular attorney was using her blog to post scurrilous remarks about the court, judges and other attorneys. 

And this is most definitely wrong on so many levels, including good blogging practices!

The primary purpose for a law firm blog is to gain credibility for your expertise in your chosen field of practice and offer prospects something of value that will encourage them to engage in a conversation with you.

Having a blog associated with your law firm website also boosts the ranking of that site in search engines as a source of ongoing fresh content.

Needless to say, blogs are not a public forum to air grievances about a case you lost or a judgment that didn’t go your way. That would be a demonstration of another kind all together...and not one that puts your firm in a positive light.

To learn how to do blogging right, see my free report offer below.

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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.

 

7 Business Benefits of Google+

Google+ is one of those social media networks that many attorneys are still not sure what to do with...but with more than 500 million members now making it the fastest growing social media site ever, it’s worth your time and attention.

This infographic explains 7 benefits Google+ provides for business:

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Getting to the Top of Google: The Power of Link Building for Lawyers

Getting to the top of Google for any term related to the legal industry is highly competitive! Now you can get a recording of this recent webinar that will tell you how!

Attorneys spend millions of dollars every year on Pay Per Click (PPC) and banner advertisements, trying to drive more traffic to their website. Far too often it comes down to how much money a law firm has to spend on PPC to outbid their competition.

How are small law firms and solo practitioners supposed to compete when attorneys are spending $20 to $100 per click for keywords?

If you’re thinking, “there must be a better way!” then this webinar is for you!

You will discover a little known secret of how hundreds of attorneys are rapidly increasing their website rankings in 90 to 120 days through building targeted links back to their websites.

Join us and discover:

  • What an “inbound link” is and why Google loves them
  • One of the fastest ways to get your website blacklisted by Google (make this mistake at your own peril)
  • Link building on the low down-building links on a shoe string budget
  • The benefits of being at the top of the search engine rankings
  • The ongoing debate between “quality” and “quantity” links
  • Selecting the right keywords to go after with your search engine efforts
  • Which directories are worth paying for…and which ones are not
  • The top 5 questions you must ask before you hire any link building company

When you register, you will receive access to the recording of the webinar. Click on this Getting to the Top of Google link now to get full access to this webinar!

 

WSJ Survey: Small Business Says LinkedIn Works Best

A survey by the Wall Street Journal says that 60% of small business owners believe social media is valuable, and that LinkedIn is the most useful of all the major social networking sites:

The WSJ surveyed 835 small business owners for the survey, and published an article about it earlier this week. The survey found that only 40% of the business owners surveyed had employees dedicated to social media efforts; half said they spend 1-5 hours per week on social media and one-third spend no time at all.

One respondent credits social media for increasing his website traffic from 800 to 12,000 visitors per month in the past two years. He says LinkedIn has been the dominant traffic driver for his B2B business.

Small businesses that benefit from social media have figured out what works and what doesn’t. They have a target audience they know well and know where to find. Not all social media networks will work equally for law firm marketers; you need to create a profile of your ideal client then find out which social media sites they are most likely to be found. Create a concise message and be consistent. Engage with relevant content. And keep at it. 

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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.

 

Law Schools Forced to Rethink Programs After Applications Fall Dramatically

The media and the blogosphere are aflame with commentary on a New York Times article earlier this week that shows law school applications have declined by almost 50% over the past decade.

According to the Times, several law schools are scrambling to reexamine their programs in the light of this new student drought. Maybe it took the lack of warm bodies to finally grab their attention – the old law of supply and demand has finally made its impact felt.

Universities that have been getting fat off the law school hog are now offering tuition discounts, while others are considering dropping their JD programs to two years instead of three or making the third year “more relevant” by providing hands-on training.

With a shrinking job market for attorneys and a plentitude of grads, salaries have fallen off their own fiscal cliff, leaving prospective students to decide (rightly) that bearing a staggering load of debt with no promise of a job is a career dead-ender.

My hope is that law schools struggling to reinvent their programs will consider partnering with their business school counterparts and offer legal students the business and marketing training they need to be relevant in a 21st century law practice. 

With Biglaw continuing to trim their staffs, small firms and solos will likely be the best alternative for new law school grads.   And they won’t succeed unless they can bring some real-world business and marketing savvy to the table.

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On-Demand Webinar: 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 webinar will teach you how to do it right.

Lawyers.com editor-in-chief Larry Bodine and Stephen Fairley join forces to deliver a compelling on-demand webinar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients; access this webinar 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 webinar.

 

Reconnect with Your Top Clients & the Rewards Will Follow

Many of us are so busy trying to find new leads that we forget about the best source - our past clients.  But there is new business from old contacts to be mined; here is how you do it:

Start by identifying your top 10 clients and set up appointments with them face-to-face over the next couple of months. Have an open and honest discussion with them about the state of their business, how the economy/tax law changes/healthcare law changes are affecting them, what actions they are taking as a result, what resources they need and how you can help them.

Perhaps they really need a business loan and you know of a local banker you could introduce them to. Or they may have to let a few employees go and are afraid of being sued. Maybe they need to do some asset protection right away in case their business fails to protect them against creditors.

The idea here is to not wait until they come to you; be proactive and address the issues in an open and honest way. They'll appreciate a listening ear and your legal advice. (And for heaven’s sake, don't bill them for the lunch!)

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Looking for more Rainmaker Revenue-Generating Ideas?

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.

 

Saddest Job Application: Could This Happen to You?

This job application from Craigslist was in a post yesterday on the Above the Law website under the title: Saddest Job Application You’ll Read Today:

How many attorneys can identify with the poster’s lament that he is locked into a “small area with few jobs and an over saturation of lawyers”? I’d venture to guess, a lot.

And unfortunately for this guy and lots of other lawyers like him, law firms are just not in a hiring mode these days. Instead, layoffs are the norm. Those succeeding as solo practitioners are having to find a way to compete just like any other business, using law firm marketing techniques to differentiate themselves and carve out a niche for their services.

The best way to remain employable is to build a thriving book of business, and the best way to do that is learn how to run a legal services business, not just practice law.

Creating and managing a successful legal services business is what we teach at the Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing intensive workshop.  Among the many things attorneys learn there are:

  • Over 65 different marketing techniques that are proven to work in a real world environment.
  • The 5 critical numbers you need to be tracking in your law firm and how to measure your Return On Investment (ROI) for all your marketing efforts.
  • The core concepts of search engine optimization (SEO) and Internet marketing for attorneys and how to create a dominant position on the Internet.
  • Specific tools to automate your marketing system and “fix your follow up” to increase your conversion rates from prospects to paying clients.
  • Advanced Internet marketing strategies for lawyers.
  • A Rainmaker Social Media Blueprint to help you fully leverage Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Avvo and JDSupra to develop new leads.
  • Learning from dozens of real world case studies of how attorneys have gone from a good 6-figure practice to a great “7-figure lifestyle law firm.”
  • How to focus your money on the most effective marketing strategies based on your specific practice area.
  • Creating a written Marketing Action Plan (MAP) that will guide your law firm’s efforts and provide specific goals for your team to achieve in the next 6 months
  • A realistic idea of how much money it will take to effectively market your law firm
  • Building a network of other attorneys across the country who are dedicated to building a 7 figure lifestyle law firm
  • Understanding how to utilize the 7 Rainmaker tools for generating more referrals and repeat business from current and former clients.

Here are the dates for upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions in the first quarter:



February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

To register, call 888-588-5891 or visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com.

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FREE Rainmaker Retreat Preview DVD – Learn Before You Go!

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 9,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then click here to receive a free DVD of your colleagues (and even your competitors) describing their experiences at our 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat.

Instead of us telling you how these 2 days will transform your practice, listen to your peers describe their experiences in their own words by clicking here to order your complimentary DVD right now.

 

Hosting Social Media Panel at LegalTech New York 2013

I am in New York today hosting a featured panel on social media marketing for attorneys at LegalTech New York 2013, the top annual legal technology event on the planet.

Joining me for the session today are Larry Bodine, editor-in-chief of Lawyers.com and martindale.com, as well as LexisNexis chief marketing officer Steve Mann. 

Our topic is Taming the Wild West of Social Media: The Secrets of Social Media Success in the Legal Profession, where we explore:

  • The state of social media in the legal industry today and an update to guide attendees through the year ahead.
  • New and improved social media best practices in specific online channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogging, etc.).
  • The various ethical and legal considerations about which law firms must be aware, including an update of key decisions and guidance issued by various state bar associations.

While it may seem like the Wild West at times, social media does have a very real role to play in both the business and practice of law.

According to the 2012 Attorney Selection Research Study by The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG), 26 percent of American consumers used one of the major social media sites when gathering information about a legal issue and more than one in five (22 percent) said they turned to a social media site to actually find a lawyer they felt might be able to help them with their legal need.

If you were not in our audience today, you can still access this knowledge by attending one of our Rainmaker Retreat law firm marketing boot camp sessions. Here are the dates for upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions in the first quarter of 2013:



February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

To register, call 888-588-5891 or visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com.

 

4 Steps to Attract Qualified Prospects to Your Website

It’s not enough to simply generate lots of traffic for your law firm website; if they’re not the right kind of visitors – the kind who are interested in what you’re selling – simply driving traffic for the sake of numbers is a fool’s errand.

So how to attract the right sort to your site? It takes some discipline and a methodical approach.

Prospect identification

Identifying exactly who your top prospects are for your practice is critical to online success. One of the biggest mistakes attorneys routinely make is targeting the wrong market – typically, a market that is too big for them to adequately reach. Remember, it takes an average of 7 to 10 meaningful “touches” to move someone from knowing nothing about you to being ready to buy from you. Your Ideal Target Market is one you can affordably reach at least 7-10 times before expecting them to utilize your services.

Keyword research

Those prospects for your services will use certain words to search for what they want. Knowing what those words are – and using them throughout your site and social media networking -- is the key to driving targeted traffic to your site.   There are several helpful keyword research tools to help you, including Google Adwords, which is free.

Relevant content

Your keyword-rich content should not only attract and engage your site visitors, it should also lead them to an action -- sign up for a newsletter, call for an appointment, etc. Serving up the right information at the right time adds value to the user experience, helps with the decision-making process and leads to sales. Keeping your content fresh – and this is where a blog on your site can be most useful – not only keeps visitors engaged and returning, but also boosts your search engine rankings.

Social media

Engaging prospects in other online venues, in groups or discussion forums, also provides assistance in attracting targeted web traffic. Establishing yourself as an expert presence in these online venues adds professional credibility and provides you with link building opportunities that help your search engine ranking as well.

Remember that the goal of your legal practice website is to generate interest that leads to engagement, which can only come from attracting the right target audience. It’s not just all about the numbers – it’s about the numbers that translate into dollars.

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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.

Still think blogs are a fad?

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 Facebook Graph Search Differs From Google Search

Confused about how the new Facebook Graph Search will differ from Google Search? Here is a simplistic look:

I would venture to say that this infographic may be a tad harsh with Google – for example, when I Google “best coffee shops” I did get some local listings for coffee shops in my area, but they were just coffee places close to me – not ones that I or anyone whose opinion I care about would necessarily say are the “best” coffee shops. Google also served up some articles from the Huffington Post and other publications for the best coffee shops in Houston and D.C., which I don’t care about.

What Facebook Graph Search is supposed to do for me when I type in “best coffee shops” is show me the places my friends like. That is an endorsement I can use.

See the difference?

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On-Demand Webinar: 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 webinar 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 webinar at your convenience by clicking here now.

 

7 Steps To Building A Strong Brand For Your Law Firm

1. Be noticed. First impressions are lasting ones. Prospects will draw conclusions about the quality of your legal services from your website, your blog, your marketing materials, your business card, your office space and even the way you dress.

2. Be connected. Identify your ideal target market and speak to them directly in everything you do. Be everywhere they are – on social networks, smart phones, community organizations, etc.

3. Be clear. Speak to prospects in a language they can understand; don't overwhelm them with legal jargon. Stay focused on your target market and the messaging that appeals to them.

4. Be obvious. Don't make prospects and potential referral sources guess at what you do. Educate them, making the benefit of doing business with you obvious.

5. Be consistent. Consistency of message makes prospects feel secure and that they can trust you. Make sure your messaging across all marketing platforms is consistent.

6. Be different. Assess your competition and identify areas where you are different and better, then communicate that difference to your target market. Let prospects know exactly why they should choose you.

7. Be direct. Include calls-to-action in your law firm marketing efforts that invite prospects to interact with you. Always remember to ask for the business.

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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!

 

12-Point Checklist For Evaluating Your Law Firm's Facebook Page

It’s not enough to have a Facebook business page for your law firm; you want to be sure you have all the bases covered and are maximizing the opportunities for engagement and exposure.

Luckily, ShortStack has developed a great infographic that enables you to easily evaluate your Facebook business page so it is optimized for full fan engagement:

Note: the 70/20/10 rule mentioned under #8 refers to the type of posts on your page, which should be 70% valuable and relevant content, 20% shared content (others’ ideas and posts) and 10% promotional.

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

Newly released! 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!

***For Blog Readers, Facebook Friends, Twitter Followers and LinkedIn Connections – we are offering you a $50 discount for Volume 2 and a $100 discount for both Volume 1 and Volume 2 because of your social media presence with The Rainmaker Institute.

Click here now to order!

 

Why You Want a Lifestyle Law Firm

At The Rainmaker Institute, we define a “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 millions in revenue.

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

This decision tree chart is a perfect example of why you should strive to have a lifestyle law firm:

It’s by a guy named Rob Pollack, who has his own blog called Rob Complains About Things and apparently works/has worked as an attorney at a Big Law Firm. Hat tip to Rob.

Creating a lifestyle law firm is what we teach at the Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing intensive workshop. Here are the dates for upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions in 2013:



February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

To register, call 888-588-5891 or visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com.

 

Tips on Gathering Client Testimonials

We always keep track of the questions we get from attorneys are our Rainmaker Retreat two-day law firm marketing intensive. First, it gives me an opportunity to stay current on the issues that are top-of-mind with you; second, it allows me to share some more universal Q&As in hopes that our blog readers will benefit as well.

At our Las Vegas Rainmaker Retreat last weekend, one of the questions that seemed to elicit the most note-taking from the audience was:

What’s a good way to get people to give me a testimonial?

Here’s my answer:

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.

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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.  

 

Great Advice for New Lawyers: Embrace 21st Century Technology

Carolyn Elefant, a Washington, DC-based solo practitioner who blogs at MyShingle.com, provides some excellent advice to new lawyers in a recent post entitled: Open Letter To New Lawyer: You Should Be Dragging Me Into The 21st Century Not The Other Way Around

Her words of wisdom are not just applicable to new lawyers, either. 

Apparently Ms. Elefant is seeing lots of law school grads with no social media skills to speak of. This is distressing to her:

At 48 years old, I am old enough to be your mother.  And you should be ashamed of yourself.  Here you are, coming to me for a legal job when you don’t know the first thing about RSS feeds, blogging (reading them, let alone writing them), Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube.  And what’s more, you have no comprehension of the importance of these tools to my practice and seemingly no interest in learning how to use them.

As she notes, newbie lawyers are of minimal use to an established practitioner, who must invest time as well as suffer through periods of trial and error in training the next generation of lawyers. She owns that. 

But to be competitive – to get a job – here’s what she says new lawyers need to offer:

You should be coming to me with a week’s worth of proposed blog posts. You should be streaming out a dozen tweets on industry developments and setting up RSS feeds to share with me – not the other way around.  You should have as robust an online footprint as I do, or more – yet I’ve got thousands of blog posts to your…zero? You should be able to figure out, in a snap, how to use video editing tools if you don’t already and volunteering to create cool informational videos so I can market my firm and generate more business that will support more new hires.

This is a savvy solo who obviously gets what it takes to compete in the legal services arena today. She wonders, as have I, why law schools are lagging behind when it comes to training lawyers how to run a successful practice. 

One of the most troubling aspects of her post is the fact that new lawyers are telling her that law school discourages the use of technology, telling students to stay off Facebook and Twitter for fear of creating an adverse paper trail. Horrible advice! 

So if you’re a new lawyer looking for employment, heed Ms. Elefant’s advice: step up and own 21st century technology. Same goes for the rest of you – every lawyer needs to be hired by someone, and being ignorant of how to reach consumers these days reduces the odds significantly that you will make the cut.

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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.  

 

How to Realize Your Dream of a More Profitable Law Practice in 2013

Today we’re celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and I know that many of you have a dream, too...a dream of building a law firm that allows you to live the life you’ve always wanted to live while doing satisfying work that you enjoy.

The question plaguing most of you is, how?

Start by signing up for my webinar this Thursday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT: The 5 Best Strategies to Beat Your Competition in 2013.

Knowing which legal marketing strategies are working in today’s economy gives you a huge advantage. Implementing the correct business development strategies allows you to spend less money and get better results faster!

Join me on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT for a one-hour webinar where you will discover:

  • Why you can’t afford to dismiss social media any longer (Google is forcing you to use it)
  • 3 major ways to triple your website traffic in the next 90 days
  • How to use online tools to generate more offline referrals
  • 3 keys all the best law firms are using to turn more website browsers into buyers
  • 2 critical numbers you must track every month to measure your success
  • Specific ways to jump-start your marketing efforts fast…even if you’ve stumbled before

Last year many of our clients experienced their best year ever! How is that possible when we are in the midst of the biggest recession our generation has ever faced?

It’s simple, they developed a game plan based on best practices and proven strategies and then they consistently took massive action! Notice I said it was “simple” not “easy.” There is no “easy” way to build a million dollar book of business, but if you’re willing to do the work we can show you the right path to take.

Click on this link to register now for The 5 Best Strategies to Beat Your Competition in 2013 webinar on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. 

All registrants will receive a recording of the webinar to watch at their convenience, so if the scheduled time doesn’t work for you, you can still get this critical knowledge by getting your own copy of the webinar recording.

 

Join Me in Dallas for ABA New Partner Workshop on Feb. 8

I will be in Dallas on Friday, Feb. 8 for an ABA New Partner Workshop at the Infomart Conference Center. The workshop will provide a full day of interactive learning and networking opportunities, and is specifically tailored for:

  • New partners who need to rapidly build up their book of business
  • Attorneys who aspire to become a Partner and want to learn how to generate new clients
  • Attorneys who have launched their own firm and need help finding effective marketing strategies

What you will learn:

  • How to build a referral-based practice and jumpstart your practice
  • How to double your revenues in 6 months by improving your lead conversion and fixing your follow-up
  • How to build a mid-6 to 7-figure business by applying best practices
  • How to use the power of social media to attract clients and connect with referral sources
  • 5 proven strategies to improve the quality and quantity of your referrals
  • Tips from attorneys who have gone from start-up to 6 figures in 1 year
  • 8 steps to using LinkedIn to build your online presence and connect with other professionals

Tickets for the New Partner Workshop are available through 2013 ABA Midyear Meeting registration. There is no registration fee for the Midyear Meeting, however the workshop registration rate is $249.  This rate includes a networking luncheon.

See you in Big D!

 

7 Ways Blogging Can Help Your Law Practice

Many attorneys I speak with feel they should be blogging, but are not really sure why. Here are 7 ways that blogging can help your law practice:

Client engagement. A blog provides the opportunity for you to open a dialogue with prospects and clients, which can lead to powerful business benefits.

SEO. Blogs are the #1 way to add new content to your website, which search engines like Google reward with higher rankings.

Humanizes your firm. Blogs provide you with the opportunity to tell stories (leaving out the real names to protect the innocent, of course), and nothing is better for putting a human face on your firm. Include videos in your blogs to really humanize your firm.

Showcases expertise. Regular blog posts keep your website up to date and relevant, letting prospects know you are on the leading edge of emerging legal trends.

Market segmentation. If your law firm includes more than one practice area, you can segment effectively by creating blogs for each specialty and speak directly to those targeted prospects.

Repurpose content. Your blog posts can be effectively repurposed for free reports, e-books and newsletters.

Build trust. Current research shows that 80% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs.

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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. In a report on the influence of blogs, eMarketer.com found that 51% of Internet users in the U.S. (that’s over 91 million people) read blogs, and they project that usage will go to 60% (150 million) in the next four years!

Still think blogs are a fad?

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.

 

Letting the Dogs Out at a Rainmaker Retreat

In Las Vegas today for our first Rainmaker Retreat of 2013, and we’re letting all the dogs out (so to speak) when it comes to educating attorneys about the law firm marketing strategies that will be essential this year, including:

  • Social media
  • Blogging
  • SEO
  • Email marketing
  • Mobile marketing

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 9,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then click here to receive a free DVD of your colleagues (and even your competitors) describing their experiences at our 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat.

Upcoming dates for the Rainmaker Retreat include:

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

Instead of us telling you how these 2 days will transform your practice, listen to your peers describe their experiences in their own words by clicking here to order your complimentary DVD right now.

 

How to Help Clients Help You Build a More Successful Law Practice

I'm convinced one of the biggest reasons that attorneys don't receive more referrals is because they don't take the time to inform and remind their clients of the various services they offer.  Most clients immediately put their attorney in a box and believe the only service the lawyer offers is the one they used. 

How much business have you lost because your clients simply aren't aware of the various services your firm can provide?

One sure way to increase client referrals is to make certain that your clients can accurately describe your ideal target market.

Your ideal target market is the person or company most likely to hire you initially, repeatedly and at the highest profit margin. With so many attorneys struggling to define their ideal client, it's no wonder your clients don't know who they should refer to you.

Here's a small challenge: ask three of your clients to describe your ideal client and listen to how accurately they respond.

Remember that memory is elusive and just because you wowed them once and they sent you a referral doesn't mean they will ALWAYS remember.  So don't take referral relationships for granted.  Finding a high-quality lawyer is easy and it takes more than quality to make an impression - it takes a relationship.   

Just like any relationship, you need to be connecting with your current and former referral sources every four to six weeks to ensure the health and longevity of the affiliation. 

Rainmakers don't wait for the door to knock or the phone to ring or the referral to come in. They take the initiative, stay in touch, and focus on serving their referral sources. 

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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.

 

Will the New Facebook Search Engine Deliver for Legal Marketers?

Facebook announced yesterday that it is unveiling a new search engine called Graph Search that will allow us to search our social circles for things we want to know about. 

It’s not a Google-type search engine; it doesn’t scour the entire Web for results. It only returns the results that are popular within your circle of friends on Facebook. And that can be pretty compelling, since we tend to care more about what our friends think or recommend than strangers.

For example, you can search for how many of your friends like to play tennis if you’re looking for a new partner, or eat sushi if you’re looking for a great sushi restaurant. Basically, the new search engine takes all the information you have shared or that has been shared with you, and makes it searchable.

So is this a big deal for law firm marketing? 

It could be, if people use it to search for legal services. As I’ve noted before, I’m not sure many people ask for attorney recommendations on Facebook for sensitive issues like divorce or if they’ve been charged with a crime. But they probably do ask for recommendations from friends for other specialties – creating a will, drawing a contract and so on.

Graph Search, which is powered by Bing, focuses on four areas: people, photos, places and interests. This also includes shared content, so if you post free reports and articles on your Facebook Business Page that are being shared, you will more likely turn up in the new Graph Search.  

While we wait to see if “the dogs eat the dog food” (Graph Search is in beta now and you have to sign up for it), you should go ahead and take a leap of faith by ensuring your firm not only has a robust Facebook Business Page, but that it is full of great content that you are actively marketing to your connections.

If you need help setting up your Facebook Business Page, here is a step-by-step video guide courtesy of HubSpot:

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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 WEBINAR: The 5 Best Strategies to Beat Your Competition in 2013

Are you tired of seeing other attorneys land all the good clients?

Have you noticed how tough it’s become to market your law firm?

Are you ready to do something to make this a bigger & better year?

Knowing which legal marketing strategies are working in today’s economy gives you a huge advantage. Implementing the correct business development strategies allows you to spend less money and get better results faster!

Join me on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT for a one-hour webinar where you will discover:

  • Why you can’t afford to dismiss social media any longer (Google is forcing you to use it)
  • 3 major ways to triple your website traffic in the next 90 days
  • How to use online tools to generate more offline referrals
  • 3 keys all the best law firms are using to turn more website browsers into buyers
  • 2 critical numbers you must track every month to measure your success
  • Specific ways to jump-start your marketing efforts fast…even if you’ve stumbled before

Last year many of our clients experienced their best year ever! How is that possible when we are in the midst of the biggest recession our generation has ever faced?

It’s simple, they developed a game plan based on best practices and proven strategies and then they consistently took massive action! Notice I said it was “simple” not “easy.” The only “easy button” I have is sitting right beside my magic wand (I’ve found both of them work about the same).

There is no “easy” way to build a million dollar book of business, but if you’re willing to do the work we can show you the right path to take.

Click on this link to register now for The 5 Best Strategies to Beat Your Competition in 2013 webinar on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. 

All registrants will receive a recording of the webinar to watch at their convenience, so if the time doesn’t work for you, you can still get this critical knowledge by accessing the recording.

 

Top 5 Ways Press Releases Give a Boost to Your Law Firm Marketing

A post at Hubspot today summarized the benefits of press releases for law firm marketing:

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. Including photos and videos increases engagement significantly – a bump of 18% for photos and 55% for videos.

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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.

 

5 Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Law Firm Website

Attracting more visitors to your website allows you to engage more with current and potential clients, which can result in a boost to your bottom line. Use these tactics to create more traffic for your website:

Fresh content – too many companies create websites and then let them languish. You need to add fresh content regularly to not only give people a reason to return to your site, but also to attract search engines, which love fresh content! 

Add video – video clips add interest and a new dimension to your site, and current research shows that sites with video convert more browsers into buyers. Address a problem that your clients have or discuss whatever is of relevance to your target market, and then post it to your site and YouTube for even more views.

SEO – search engine optimization (SEO) is critical to any website. You need to be sure you have included the right keywords that prospective customers use to search for what you sell. If you don’t know anything about SEO, consider hiring a company that specializes in it to boost your rankings and viewership.

Publish – publishing online articles and press releases can help drive traffic to your site. There are a number of web sites that will publish your articles and press releases for free; just be sure to add a link to your site at the end of each piece you publish.

Comment – identify the top blogs in your industry, visit them and comment on relevant posts. This is not a forum for you to sell directly, but indirectly by adding a link to your site or a relevant blog post with your commentary.  

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On-Demand Webinar: 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 webinar will teach you how to do it right.

Lawyers.com editor-in-chief Larry Bodine and Stephen Fairley join forces to deliver a compelling on-demand webinar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients; access this webinar 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 webinar.

 

7 Guidelines for Measuring ROI for Law Firm Social Media Marketing

Although many law firm marketers are still struggling with how to successfully measure their ROI on social media marketing investments, most realize the importance of having a success metric in mind. Without setting a benchmark, it is impossible to determine your ROI.

Here are 7 guidelines for successfully measuring ROI on your social media marketing efforts:

1.  Set clear and defined marketing goals (generate more website traffic, opt ins, leads, etc.) and identify the social measurements that support those goals.

2.  Create a logical framework for your measurements and metrics (exposure, engagement, outcome).

3.  Since social media is about fostering relationships, take a long-term approach – treat your social media marketing as an ongoing commitment, not a campaign.

4.  Don’t be afraid to use “soft” metrics that can be directly linked to your marketing goals.

5.  Determine how much a customer who opts in to your database is worth to you.

6. Don’t overlook the value of cost savings that can result from ongoing social interactions that provide insights and information.

7. Use technology to create the capability to measure your customer’s complete digital footprint, in real time.

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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 Build a Steady Stream of Referrals

If you ask many attorneys where most clients from, they say referrals.  But if you ask them exactly where their referrals come from, you usually get a blank stare in response.

The problem with random referrals is that they are...well, random. You can never count on when you might get one. So how you can go from random referrals to create a referral-based practice?   

Here’s how:

Click here to fill out our short contact form and someone will contact you shortly to answer any questions you may have about the Rainmaker Retreat and how attending our two-day law firm marketing boot camp can help you create a referral-based practice.

Here are the dates for upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions in 2013:



January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV



February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

To register, call 888-588-5891 or visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com.

 

Setting Goals for Your Law Firm in 2013

One secret of highly successful attorneys is that they make time to plan for the future. We recommend meeting at least once per quarter with your senior partners (even if you are the entire partnership) 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 Specific Goals -- How many new estate plans do you want to do in the next 6 months?  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 5 referral sources to 30 in the next 6 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?

Above all, make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. -- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented, and Timed.  A good goal needs to incorporate all of these criteria.

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On-Demand Webinar: 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

 

Resolve to Do Things Differently in 2013

Is your law practice letting you down? Not enough clients? Revenues stagnating or going south? Spending too much time on building frustration rather than building your business?

Then consider this:

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.

I don’t know who said that – it’s been attributed to the likes of Albert Einstein, Henry Ford and Mark Twain – but it is so very true.

The problems you are having can likely be attributed to doing things the same way they’ve always been done. Challenge yourself to break from your past in 2013 and do things differently.

The answer to building a successful law practice that satisfies you both financially and emotionally can be obtained through effective law firm marketing. 

If you don’t have a blog, start one.

If you don’t have a presence on social media, get one.

If your website is old and tired, fix it.

If you have scant prospects, start using email and inbound marketing practices to fill the funnel.

There are abundant resources for you to learn how to effectively do and manage all these strategies. Our Rainmaker Retreat is but one of them. Sign up for a webinar. Attend a workshop. Start reading marketing blogs and learning about all the low-cost ways you can effectively market your practice.

The worst thing that can happen is not failure. It’s doing nothing.

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FREE Webinar: How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle

When it comes to law firm marketing, it is truly a jungle out there! Mastering social media, SEO and Internet marketing strategies – and making sure your efforts align with legal marketing rules – can give even the most eager attorney pause.

In his new one-hour webinar, Stephen Fairley 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. You will 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 today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

This FREE webinar will also give you a preview of the 65 different marketing techniques and strategies taught at our 2-day legal marketing boot camp.

Click on this link to register now for the FREE How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle webinar.

 

Why Law Firm Advertising Doesn't Add Up

Market research firm Lab42 recently completed a study on advertising effectiveness. I wasn't surprised to find the results were that most people don't believe the claims made in ads.

Those of you who follow this blog or who have attended one of our Rainmaker Retreat sessions are aware that I am not a big fan of law firm advertising. One of the biggest reasons I don't think it works for lawyers is because it's not measurable and doesn't allow you to instigate that all important dialogue with prospects. Plus, most advertising is just too expensive for solos and small firms.

And if prospects are already viewing ads with suspicion, why would you spend any money on them?

The graphic below details the results of Lab42's research. Note that ads categorized as serious – the category that most attorney advertising would fall into – are the least likely to make an impression.

Instead of throwing your hard-earned cash away on traditional advertising, consider investing in learning what really works when it comes to law firm marketing by attending a Rainmaker Retreat.

Here are the dates for upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions in 2013:



January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV



February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

To register, call 888-588-5891 or visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com.

 

10 Resolutions Successful People Make and Keep

An article at Forbes.com trending now as one of the most popular is about the 10 resolutions that successful people make and keep. Thought it was worth sharing here:

1. Avoid what matters least. Your time is finite, so while you are making a list of things to do in 2013, make a list of what not to do as well. And then simply don't do them.

2. Do the essentials first. How much time do you spend every day getting sidetracked by email? If we were honest, most of us would probably answer: alot. When you hit the office, take care of your most essential tasks first and then check your email.

3. Focus on people. If you lose sight of what matters to your clients, you will soon lose those clients.

4. Find your purpose. When your career is based on your purpose, you will be both more successful and happier.

5. Support a cause. Research has shown that people involved in furthering worthy causes are generally happier in life. Find a way to support something bigger than yourself or your practice.

6. Give yourself more choices. If you find yourself feeling fearful and trapped by a weak economy or lack of clients, find a way to give yourself more choices. One sure way to conquer fear is by learning. Learning how to attract and keep clients is the main focus of our Rainmaker Retreat; resolve to attend one session in 2013.

7. Find a good partner. A good partner in business is as indispensable as one in marriage. If you don't have someone in your practice whose strengths offset your weaknesses, go find that person.

8. Go outside. Most attorneys like to view themselves as experts, but one problem with being an expert is that it sometimes prevents you from seeing new possibilities. Find other professionals who may be facing some of the same problems you are, and brainstorm some solutions.

9. Complain less, change more. Gandhi advised us to be the change we want to see in the world. Resolving to be the attorney who can solve the problems of prospects will bring new clients to your door.

10. Take time to play. Plan your 2013 vacations now, and let your work fill in the rest of the calendar. This gives you something to look forward to, and helps you maintain a well-rounded life.

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FREE Rainmaker Retreat Preview DVD – Learn Before You Go!

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 8,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then click here to receive a free DVD of your colleagues (and even your competitors) describing their experiences at our 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat.

Upcoming dates for the Rainmaker Retreat include:

January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

Instead of us telling you how these 2 days will transform your practice, listen to your peers describe their experiences in their own words by clicking here to order your complimentary DVD right now.

 

5 Ways to Get More Clients in 2013

1. Make marketing your priority. The primary objective of your business is the marketing of your professional services; your secondary objective is then the delivery of those services. Most attorneys have it backwards.

Simply because you may deliver excellent service and provide enormous value, clients do not automatically knock your doors down.

The key to building a long term, solid practice is the quality and consistency of your marketing much more than the actual delivery of your services. Working on your business is much more important than working in your business.

2. Choose positioning over prospecting. Positioning is building up your reputation so that prospects come to you. Those who position themselves correctly can pick and choose clients, whereas prospectors hustle and struggle to get clients.  Start positioning yourself as the "go-to" person for legal solutions by sharing your valuable knowledge, expertise, and education with prospects.

3. Use education-based marketing to attract new clients. This is the process used by industry leading service professionals to attract and enroll highly qualified prospects by giving them what they want, not by selling or promoting.

The key is to look for opportunities to create and give your information away, which in turn will position you as the expert. As a result, you will create a powerful magnet to pull clients to you.

4. Design, create and give away information products to generate leads. Many highly successful attorneys are avid writers and producers of information products. In terms of positioning, creating an information product will attract highly qualified prospects that view you as an expert in your field, and as a result, will pay top dollar to work with you.

5. Become a specialist, not a generalist. This is a big one. Highly successful attorneys are specialists at one thing. When people think of that one thing, the specialist comes to mind. Prospects who want that one thing will pay top dollar for the specialist.

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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 Tell If You Are a Legal Marketing Dinosaur

If this is familiar to you, you may be a legal marketing dinosaur:

We are well into the 21st century, where outbound marketing practices of the previous century no longer work. DVRs allow consumers to bypass TV ads, satellite radio means there are no more radio ads, most consumers get their news online and Yellow Pages are relegated to the recycling bin as soon as they land on the doorstep.

So how can you become relevant in the 21st century when it comes to law firm marketing?

First, see my post earlier this week on Internet Marketing for Lawyers: What Works in 2013

Then make plans to attend a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing intensive workshop, where you will learn everything you need to know about the tools of contemporary legal marketing: social media, blogging, SEO, email and mobile marketing.

Here are the dates for upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions in 2013:



January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV



February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

To register, call 888-588-5891 or visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com.

 

The Top 10 Things Prospects Hate About Your Law Firm's Website

It’s a new year...when’s the last time you refreshed your website? If you’re like many law firms, the answer is probably that it’s been awhile. When it comes to websites, lawyers tend to “set it and forget it.” This is a grave error.

Examine your site now and see if any of the top 10 things that prospects hate about law firm websites are on yours:

1. Pop-up ads. People hate them. So don’t use them. Instead, have a good call-to-action on every page of your site and create compelling content to get them to do what you want.

2. Generic stock photography. We’ve all used it, but people are savvy to what is fake. Use photos of your real people, not those stock images of good looking models who look like they are all simply delighted by the piece of paper they’re staring at.

3. Legal jargon. Don’t write for other lawyers, write for real people. Tell them how you can solve their problems by telling compelling stories and engage them with thoughtful content.

4. SEO-driven content. Write for people, not search engines. Google’s algorithm is very sophisticated and can detect a page’s relevancy better than you think. 

5. No way to share. Include social share buttons on your pages so people are not frustrated by being unable to share your content.

6. No blog. Prospects want to learn more about the real you when they come to your site, and having a well-written blog lets them in the door. 

7. Boring copy. Create great titles and (yes, I am saying it again) content that is compelling.

8. CTAs with strings attached. Nothing is more frustrating to a prospect than to discover that your call-to-action comes with strings attached. Ever been on a retail site where you are offered 20% off, only to find you have to spend $100 first? Big turn-off.

9. Bad internal links. If you create internal links taking people to irrelevant pages, they will dump you fast. Be sure all your internal links go to the right place.

10. Slow load. Sites that are slow to load are abandoned quickly, and they are also penalized by Google. Don’t let the design interfere with the reason you have a website in the first place – to get prospects to become clients.

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On-Demand Webinar: 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 webinar will teach you how to do it right.

Lawyers.com editor-in-chief Larry Bodine and Stephen Fairley join forces to deliver a compelling on-demand webinar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients; access this webinar 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 webinar.

 

Internet Marketing for Lawyers: What Works in 2013

In my post yesterday, I shared three simple questions that can change your law practice. The third question had to do with learning from successful people and emulating what they are doing right.

The infographic below shows what is working for marketers when it comes to Internet marketing; the top 5 areas for you to focus in 2013 include:

  • Social media
  • Blogging
  • SEO
  • Email marketing
  • Mobile marketing
Effective Internet Marketing

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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 Simple Questions That Can Change Your Law Practice

I spent some time over the holiday break going through little snippets of wisdom I had accumulated over the past year that keep me motivated to always be doing something of value that will contribute to the success of my organization.

One Forbes.com post from last summer by entrepreneur Mike Maddock is a good one to start the New Year on...I’ve added my own spin for these 3 Simple Questions That Can Change Your Law Practice:

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 8,000 attorneys the successful practice of law firm marketing at our Rainmaker Retreat two-day intensive workshop.

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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 Make 2013 the Best Year Ever for Your Law Firm

For attorneys interested in making 2013 the most profitable year ever, we have a New Year's gift for you!

If you sign up for a Rainmaker Retreat by midnight PT tomorrow -- Jan. 1, 2013 -- you will receive a free copy of Rainmaker In a Box Volume 1 ($397 value), a four-DVD set that includes:

The 5 Immutable Secrets to Building a 7 Figure Law Practice: How to create an automated marketing system to transform your law firm from a practice into a business. Stephen has studied best practices in law firm marketing and shares with you the 5 unchanging secrets they use to build a multimillion dollar law firm.

Secrets of Building a Referral-based Law Practice for Busy Practitioners: Every lawyer wants more referrals, yet for many the steps to get there remain an elusive secret. Listen in and watch as Stephen lays out his 8 step proven system to triple your referral sources in 90 days or less!

The Top 6 Most Powerful Online Marketing Strategies for Attorneys: Internet marketing is one of today’s fastest growing and most powerful marketing tools for lawyers. Yet much of how to generate more business and attract more clients online is still a mystery. Watch as Stephen pulls back the veil and walks you through the core concepts and key principles every attorney must understand in order to dominate their competition online and build a powerful Internet presence on a shoe string budget.

Action, Accountability and Next Steps: Knowledge is power. The most difficult part for most attorneys is putting that knowledge into action. In this DVD, you will discover an 8-step system for creating your law firm marketing plan and how to take action immediately.

Here are what two attendees from our Los Angeles Rainmaker Retreat recently had to say about their experience:

“Stephen and his team were superb.  The amount of information is immense and everything is practical.  I am looking forward to transforming my practice.  The Retreat is well worth the time and money.” -- Ryan , CA Personal Injury

I came into the seminar with a lot of questions, and skepticism about lawyer marketing/SEO processes.  I found the Rainmaker Retreat to be very informative and Stephen Fairley very competent and knowledgeable.  I have found what I am looking for to refine my marketing and online presence.” -- Manual, CA DUI Defense

Here are the dates for upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions in 2013:

January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL


Click on this Rainmaker Retreat/Rainmaker In A Box Volume 1 Free Gift link now or call 888-588-5891 to register and receive your free gift!

Attorneys Reveal What They Learned at a Rainmaker Retreat

More than 8,000 attorneys have learned how to build a robust referral network, attract and retain new clients by applying our proven Rainmaker System to their law firm marketing practices. Many of these have done so by attending our two-day law firm marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat.

Here’s what a few of them had to say about their Rainmaker Retreat experience:

“This program is absolutely crucial to any attorney who is not a marketing expert, and would be very helpful to any attorney who is.”
- L. Christopher Rose, Partner

“This seminar taught me to think outside the box and gave specific tools and action plans to attract clients and build my practice. I will start with referrals and automated follow-ups. There is a real 30-day and 90-day action plan.”
- Leonard Schneider, Partner

“I thought I knew this stuff. But after attending a Rainmaker Retreat, I realized I did not. Now I know how it all fits together as a strategy.”
- Elliot Stone, Partner 

“And so, Stephen Fairley, you are my teacher, you are the master of marketing, and I have learned from the Rainmaker Institute that there is no royal road to knowledge -- but you have given me the best roadmap available to market my practice. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
- W.B. Smith, Solo Practitioner

Here’s what you will gain by attending our two-day law firm marketing boot camp:

You will learn how to focus your time, energy, and money on the most effective marketing strategies

You will learn how to better select, train and motivate your other partners and associates to do Rainmaking activities

You will learn where you can ‘cut the fat’ and reduce your costs by eliminating ineffective marketing strategies

You will create a master plan that will guide your firm’s efforts and provide specific goals for your team to achieve in the next 6 and 12 months

You will have a realistic idea of how much money it will take to effectively market your firm

You will see how to use your staff people to delegate parts of the marketing plan to so you can focus on generating more clients for the firm

You will discover dozens of low cost marketing strategies to help you stretch your budget

You will learn how to automate your marketing system to decrease the amount of time you have to spend running it

You will leave with a practical, easy to implement marketing plan for the next 6-12 months

You will see how other attorneys have leveraged technology to beat much bigger firms

You will hear about best practices in legal marketing and gain new insight into what has and has not worked for other attorneys all across the country

You will master the art of marketing on a small budget

Learn how to build and create a 'lifestyle' law firm that is professionally satisfying, but allows you the time to do what is important to you, by attending an upcoming Rainmaker Retreat:

January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

To register, call 888-588-5891 or visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com.

 

 

How to Create Your Unique Competitive Advantage for 2013

A Unique Competitive Advantage (UCA) answers the question, “Why should I hire you?”  With so many competitors and choices today, your law firm marketing strategy must clearly differentiate yourself and your law firm.

There are many ways to create a Unique Competitive Advantage for your 2013 law firm marketing plan; here are 10 of them:

Focus on the Benefits: What are the benefits of working with this firm as compared to others? What do you do that other firms refuse to do to better serve your clients?

Focus on Value: Compare your costs versus how much money you save clients. How have you helped other clients take better advantage of opportunities or avoid liability?

Focus on Results: What are some specific results you have obtained for clients in the past? What is your win/loss record? What do you do to achieve better results than your competitors?

Focus on Solutions: Give an example of a creative solution you found to a client’s problem. How did you come up with it? What happened because of your creative solution?

Focus on the Individual Partners: Remember, people don’t buy legal services from law firms; they buy legal services from attorneys. People don’t say, “Go talk to my law firm,” they say, “Go talk to my attorney.” What is different about your partners than in other firms?

Focus on Service: (not the list of services your firm provides, but how you serve your clients). How do your clients describe the way you treat them?

Focus on a Niche: Position your partners as leading experts in a specific industry, not as generalists. To be a generalist for most attorneys is the “kiss of death.” Go deeper, not broader. Have industry specific marketing materials & collateral.

Focus on Client’s Feedback: What do your best clients say about you? What would they tell someone else about your services and how it has helped them? Do your clients refer other clients to you on a regular basis?

Focus on Credibility: What is your firm known for in the industry? Talk about how your partners are profiled in the media or are industry experts. What are 3 reasons why your prospects should perceive you as a credible expert?

Focus on Visibility: How visible are your partners within an industry? Do they regularly speak at top industry events? Are they a nationally recognized expert? A published author? What happens when prospects type their name into Google?

By developing a strong UCA, your legal marketing plan will be well ahead of your peers and it will give you the tools you need to implement a strong law firm marketing strategy that tells a prospect why they should hire you.

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FREE Rainmaker Retreat Preview DVD – Learn Before You Go!

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 8,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then click here to receive a free DVD of your colleagues (and even your competitors) describing their experiences at our 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat.

Upcoming dates for the Rainmaker Retreat include:

January 18-19, 2013 -- Las Vegas, NV

February 15-16, 2013 -- Orlando, FL

Instead of us telling you how these 2 days will transform your practice, listen to your peers describe their experiences in their own words by clicking

here to order your complimentary DVD right now.


 

Law Firm Marketing Rules for 2013: Out with the Old, In with the New (#5 of 5)

2013 is almost upon us, and one of the things you should shed with the old year is any antiquated ideas you may have about law firm marketing. This week, I am listing five of the most common “old rules” and giving you new legal marketing rules to live by in the new year.

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

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

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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.

 

Law Firm Marketing Rules for 2013: Out with the Old, In with the New (#4 of 5)

2013 is almost upon us, and one of the things you should shed with the old year is any antiquated ideas you may have about law firm marketing. This week, I am listing five of the most common “old rules” and giving you new legal marketing rules to live by in the new year.

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

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

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Register for a 2013 Rainmaker Retreat, Get a $400 Gift Free!

We’re closing out 2012 with an irresistible offer for those who want to kickstart 2013 by attending a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day intensive law firm marketing boot camp. 

If you sign up for a Rainmaker Retreat by midnight PT on Jan. 1, 2013, you will receive a free copy of Rainmaker In a Box Volume 1 ($397 value), a four-DVD set that includes:

The 5 Immutable Secrets to Building a 7 Figure Law Practice: How to create an automated marketing system to transform your law firm from a practice into a business. Stephen has studied best practices in law firm marketing and shares with you the 5 unchanging secrets they use to build a multi-million dollar law firm.

Secrets of Building a Referral-based Law Practice for Busy Practitioners: Every lawyer wants more referrals, yet for many the steps to get there remain an elusive secret. Listen in and watch as Stephen lays out his 8 step proven system to triple your referral sources in 90 days or less!

The Top 6 Most Powerful Online Marketing Strategies for Attorneys: Internet marketing is one of today’s fastest growing and most powerful marketing tools for lawyers. Yet much of how to generate more business and attract more clients online is still a mystery. Watch as Stephen pulls back the veil and walks you through the core concepts and key principles every attorney must understand in order to dominate their competition online and build a powerful Internet presence on a shoe string budget.

Action, Accountability and Next Steps: Knowledge is power. The most difficult part for most attorneys is putting that knowledge into action. In this DVD, you will discover an 8-step system for creating your law firm marketing plan and how to take action immediately.

Here are the dates for upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions in 2013:

January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

Click on this Rainmaker Retreat/Rainmaker In A Box Volume 1 Free Gift link now or call 888-588-5891 to register and receive your free gift!

 

Law Firm Marketing Rules for 2013: Out with the Old, In with the New (#3 of 5)

2013 is almost upon us, and one of the things you should shed with the old year is any antiquated ideas you may have about law firm marketing. This week, I am listing five of the most common “old rules” and giving you new legal marketing rules to live by in the new year.

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

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

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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. In a report on the influence of blogs, eMarketer.com found that 51% of Internet users in the U.S. (that’s over 91 million people) read blogs, and they project that usage will go to 60% (150 million) in the next four years!

Still think blogs are a fad?

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 Rules for 2013: Out with the Old, In with the New (#2 of 5)

2013 is almost upon us, and one of the things you should shed with the old year is any antiquated ideas you may have about law firm marketing. This week, I am listing five of the most common “old rules” and giving you new legal marketing rules to live by in the new year.

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

New Rule #2: Take care of your business first or you won’t be in business to take care of your clients. Too many times lawyers focus solely on their clients without focusing on the bottom line. The result is devastating: not sending out invoices on time; not raising your rates for years; not actively cross-promoting other services your firm offers; and not staying connected with former clients.

Everything rises and falls on leadership. You must be the one to lead the charge in shifting your firm’s culture from one of passivity into action orientation.

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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.  

 

Law Firm Marketing Rules for 2013: Out with the Old, In with the New (#1 of 5)

2013 is almost upon us, and one of the things you should shed with the old year is any antiquated ideas you may have about law firm marketing. This week, I am listing five of the most common “old rules” and giving you new legal marketing rules to live by in the new year.

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

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

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

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On-Demand Webinar: 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 webinar will teach you how to do it right.

Lawyers.com editor-in-chief Larry Bodine and Stephen Fairley join forces to deliver a compelling on-demand webinar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients; access this webinar 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 webinar.


 

Holiday Greetings from The Rainmaker Institute

 

How Buyers of Legal Services Select a Law Firm, Part 3 of 3

Most buyers of professional services start out with a good sense of what they are looking for in an outside firm.

The top 10 criteria the buyers in the study said they used in evaluating and selecting an outside firm include:

There are four takeaways for me from these findings:

1. Demonstration of your expertise matters! There are several ways to show your level of technical expertise prior to even meeting with potential clients, including:

  • Develop highly focused white papers that focus on a specific industry or type of company your firm wants to target.   
  • Give seminars at trade associations.   
  • And at the top of my list, develop a targeted blog that is filled with content.

2. Larger firms do not have an immediate advantage over smaller firms as only 5.6% of buyers chose that as one of their top criteria. If you're in a smaller law firm and you are competing against larger firms be sure to emphasize your availability and flexibility. It will often trump any perceived benefit the larger competitor has due to their size and reach.

3. I was surprised personal relationship was not ranked much higher, perhaps because many of these buyer's companies were larger and have a more detached approach to selecting outside professional service firms. We all recognize the importance of building rapport and relationships with prospects as well as clients, but relationships rarely replace results.

4. The one thing most law firms are most afraid of, pricing themselves out of the market, is actually at the very bottom of the buyer's decision making criteria. Only 4.2% of participants noted price was critical to selecting an outside firm. Hands down, experience and demonstrated expertise were the top things that lead buyers to select one firm over another.

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Register for a 2013 Rainmaker Retreat, Get a $400 Gift Free!

We’re closing out 2012 with an irresistible offer for those who want to kickstart 2013 by attending a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day intensive law firm marketing boot camp. 

If you sign up for a Rainmaker Retreat by midnight PT on Jan. 1, 2013, you will receive a free copy of Rainmaker In a Box Volume 1 ($397 value), a four-DVD set that includes:

The 5 Immutable Secrets to Building a 7 Figure Law Practice: How to create an automated marketing system to transform your law firm from a practice into a business. Stephen has studied best practices in law firm marketing and shares with you the 5 unchanging secrets they use to build a multi-million dollar law firm.

Secrets of Building a Referral-based Law Practice for Busy Practitioners: Every lawyer wants more referrals, yet for many the steps to get there remain an elusive secret. Listen in and watch as Stephen lays out his 8 step proven system to triple your referral sources in 90 days or less!

The Top 6 Most Powerful Online Marketing Strategies for Attorneys: Internet marketing is one of today’s fastest growing and most powerful marketing tools for lawyers. Yet much of how to generate more business and attract more clients online is still a mystery. Watch as Stephen pulls back the veil and walks you through the core concepts and key principles every attorney must understand in order to dominate their competition online and build a powerful Internet presence on a shoe string budget.

Action, Accountability and Next Steps: Knowledge is power. The most difficult part for most attorneys is putting that knowledge into action. In this DVD, you will discover an 8-step system for creating your law firm marketing plan and how to take action immediately.

Here are the dates for upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions in 2013:

January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

Click on this Rainmaker Retreat/Rainmaker In A Box Volume 1 Free Gift link now or call 888-588-5891 to register and receive your free gift!

 

How Buyers of Legal Services Select a Law Firm, Part 2 of 3

A recent study entitled Professional Services: How Buyers Buy sought to answer two critical questions:

What do buyers of professional services really want?

What are the best ways to expand the relationship and get referrals?  

I posted the first four of seven specifics that buyers want yesterday; here are the next three:

They want the actual providers of the services at the initial meeting. Many larger law firms have developed a bad habit of sending in the "big guns" or the top rainmaker for the initial meeting and then passing the work off to lower level lackeys who don't understand the complexities of the situation. 

Companies have figured this out and they don't want to be "passed off" to someone down the line, unless they interview and approve this person ahead of time.
 

Buyers want to be shown that the firm truly wants their business. This is a wide open response, but the way I would apply this is to "fix your follow up." 

One of the main ways I determine if a professional service provider wants my business is how often they follow up with me and how persistent they are.

Here's a lesson you would do well to follow: appoint someone to be in charge of following up with potential buyers and make sure it's not an attorney! 

You should have all the people who attended the initial meeting send a thank you email after the event, but appoint a non-attorney to keep the momentum going. 

In spite of their great intentions, most attorneys do not have good follow up skills. They get busy with billing or meeting with clients or going to court and the ball gets dropped.
 

They wanted assurances that the firm could follow the buyer's processes. Systems are created with a purpose and very few companies become successful without having dozens of systems, processes and procedures that must be followed. 

Assure the buyer that your firm "plays well with others" and will follow their procedures. 

The contrast is striking -- while most professional service firms use impersonal phone calls, mass emails, and other generic forms of marketing, the buyers want a dialogue around solving their problems, not another sales pitch.

This does not mean that phone calls and emails are bad; but it does suggest that your marketing message must be highly targeted, show that you understand their specific challenges, and concisely lay out that you have solutions to their problems.

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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 Buyers of Legal Services Select a Law Firm, Part 1 of 3

The things companies go through in their decision making process are the same ones individuals make when they need to hire a lawyer.

A recent Hinge Marketing study entitled Professional Services: How Buyers Buy sought to answer two critical questions:

What do buyers of professional services really want?

What are the best ways to expand the relationship and get referrals?  

The researchers conducted in-depth and one-on-one interviews with a carefully chosen group of 137 buyers from public, private and governmental agencies.

When asked about how providers of professional serves could do a better job of marketing, buyers painted a very clear picture. Many of the participants said they didn't want to be "sold to."  

They felt they already had a decent understanding of their particular situation, what they really wanted was a credible expert to sit down with them and lay out practical, realistic solutions. "Show me what has worked before" was a very common response.  

There were 7 other specific things buyers focused on with regards to how they could be better marketed to: 

A personalized understanding of their situation is critical. The key take away here is: do your homework! Before targeting a company be sure to understand their current challenges.
 

Do not give them a high pressure sales pitch, it only turns them off. The larger the company, the longer buying decisions take and the more people who must be consulted.
 

They want to see relevant case studies. This was a major selling point to them. Buyers want to see if you have worked with similar situations, what you did to resolve the legal issue, and what the results were.
 

Buyers want to see a detailed solution presented. There is some risk here that they will take your detailed analysis and solution and try to either do it in house or give it to a cheaper competitor, but buyers want to see if you understand all the issues and are able to realistically address them.
 

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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” – o