The Bursting of the Law School Bubble

I received an email recently from a representative of the website Online-Paralegal-Programs.com who thought an infographic they had recently developed would be of interest to our readership.

Entitled The Law School Bubble Has Burst, this infographic (below) shows in vivid detail how law school applications have dropped off a cliff since 2010 and other related facts. As if you needed a reminder what a competitive environment you operate in...

And that environment is not likely to get any less competitive any time soon – as the infographic shows, those who entered law school in 2010 and 2011 represent big numbers, and they will all be looking for a piece of your pie sometime soon.

If you’re not positioned to compete through the use of proven legal marketing strategies, then you can get educated quick by attending a Rainmaker Retreat, where more than 10,000 attorneys nationwide have benefited from learning and implementing the proven marketing and lead conversion strategies we teach. We have three more sessions in 2013:

Oct. 25-26: Chicago, IL (worth 7.25 IL MCLE credits)

Nov. 15-15: New York City

Dec. 6-7: Los Angeles, CA

You can get more information and register online for any of these sessions at RainmakerRetreat.com or by calling 888-588-5891.

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Visit Booth 312 at the California State Bar Annual Convention to Pick Up Your Free Law Firm Marketing DVD!

The Rainmaker Institute will be exhibiting at the State Bar of California Annual Convention today through Sunday (Oct. 10-13) at the McEnery San Jose Convention Hall, Exhibit Hall I.

Visit us in Booth 312, pick our brains about marketing your practice and pick up a complimentary law firm marketing DVD as well.

See you in San Jose!

 

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 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

 

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” – 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!

 

Strategies to Build a Better Law Firm in 2013

As we look toward 2013, here are some strategies to keep in mind that will help you build a better law firm in the new year:

Speed to Market Wins Almost Every Time. Is it more important to have a solid strategy or to execute an imperfect plan? My response may surprise you. Attorneys are notorious for over-planning everything. This becomes a fatal mistake when it comes to marketing.   Your marketing plan should only be focused on what actions you are going to take in the next 90 days. You should be able to easily write it down on one page. Keep it simple and focus on consistently taking action!

Be a Contrarian. Many of our best Rainmaker marketing strategies are based on contrarian thinking. I often tell my clients to look at what their competitors are doing and do the opposite! Not because their competitors are dumb or intentionally doing it "wrong," but because following the herd is the single most common action taken by attorneys in their marketing, especially on the internet. Don't follow the crowd with your marketing; instead, do the opposite.

Eliminate Every Obstacle to Marketing Your Law Firm. What is blocking you from achieving the financial success you deserve? A bad partnership?   A partner or associate or key team member who is distracted and depressed?  No passion for your clientele? Lack of automated systems to run your marketing?  No system for following up with leads and prospects? 

Now is the time to get rid of the dead weight! It's easy to overlook faults when times are good, but they can kill you when times are tough. When you identify a weak link, remove it!

While you're at it, make every attorney and staff member commit to returning every single phone call and email within 24 hours. I'm convinced benign neglect of prospects, clients and referral sources is a major reason why many attorneys are struggling in their business.  

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NEW On-Demand Webinar: 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 webinar, 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 webinar, simply click here to access the recording of Business Development Strategies for Litigation Attorneys webinar.

 

How to Use Google Analytics To Improve Your Law Firm Marketing

What gets measured, gets done.”

This quote is usually attributed to management guru Peter Drucker, and reminds us of the importance of measuring the efficacy of our law firm marketing efforts in order to capitalize on what works and not to waste time on what doesn’t work.

One of the most compelling tools for measuring the effectiveness of what you’re doing online is a tool called Google Analytics. You embed a snippet of code into your law firm website or blog and it provides you with a mountain of great data – for free! Google gives you all the guidance you need to get started using this tool here.

To get the most out of Google Analytics for your law firm marketing efforts, you need to pay close attention to three important areas:

Visits – by examining visits to your sites, you can see how many people are coming to your site, where they are coming from and if they are new or returning visitors. This is a basic metric to tell you if your efforts to drive people to your site are working. It can also tell you if a good number of your visits are coming from tablets or mobile devices, so you can be sure your sites are optimized for those devices.

Activity – here you want to examine Pages per Visit, which tells you how many pages visitors access when they come to your site; Average Time on Site, which tells you how long your visitors stay; and Bounce Rate, which tells you who looked at just one page and left. These metrics will let you know how engaging your site is and if you are holding your visitors’ attention. If you have a low Average Time on Site and a high Bounce Rate, you need to rethink your online strategies because you are attracting low quality web traffic.

Goals – Google Analytics allows you to input your goals for your site for tracking, so if your goal is to get visitors to download a free report, watch a video or sign up for an e-newsletter, you can track exactly how many people did what you wanted them to do. 

 

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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.

 

SEO Essentials for Legal Websites and Blogs

If you are relying on your law firm marketing websites to bring you prosperity in 2013, you cannot just count on luck to make it happen. Those sites will not do you any good if prospects are not finding them – which is why it is critically important that you follow these top SEO essentials for your legal websites and blogs:

Keywords in title tags – title tags are those words that appear in the title bar of web browsers and what generally shows up in search engine results pages. For example, when you open this blog, you will see this title tag: The Rainmaker Blog: Law Firm Marketing and Business Development: The Rainmaker Institute: Stephen Fairley: Professional Legal Marketing. Title tags are coded into your site and should contain the most important keywords relevant to your prospects.

Header tags – these go in your main content, separating thoughts and/or paragraphs with keyword-rich subheads.

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

Content diversity – search engines reward diversity in format and content, so include photos, videos and presentations wherever possible.

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

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

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

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

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

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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!

 

The Cost of Christmas

If you were buying everything from the 12 Days of Christmas song, you would need a little over $25k in your budget (see below) – which should be no problem if you’ve learned the secrets of building a multi-million dollar law firm. 

If you haven’t yet learned those secrets, then check out the recording of my interview with nationally recognized attorney John Bisnar following the infographic.

The Cost of 12 Days of Christmas

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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.

 

Law Firm Marketing: 4 Steps to Achieving Your Goals in 2013

Ideally, your firm has already made plans and set goals for 2013.  I know that those who attended our Rainmaker Retreat in 2012 are fully geared up to achieve your goals and objectives and make the necessary improvements in your practice and life. 

However, many goals made at the start of the year are often forgotten three months into the year.

Here are 4 rules for staying focused and achieving your goals:

1. Ask someone to hold you accountable. Accountability is key when it comes to keeping your commitments. Whether it's your firm partner, an attorney in a different firm, or one of our marketing associates, set up a regular time to meet with someone you trust and who has your best interests at heart and request they help keep you accountable.

Simply knowing that they will ask you about your progress every week can motivate you to stay the course.

2.  Make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. goals. This is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented, and Timed. A good goal needs to incorporate all of these criteria. It is not sufficient to say "I want to be a millionaire." That statement may be measurable, but does not include time frames, it does not lay out a specific game plan for how you will accomplish this goal, and it may not be realistic for you at this point in time. 

An example of a SMART goal is: "I want to meet in person with a minimum of 4 different potential referral sources every month for the next 6 months and ask them to send me business."

3.  Make your goals smaller. While this may seem contradictory at first, we have found that sometimes setting a goal that's so big it feels unreachable actually kills your motivation. Break up your long-term goals into smaller ones that you can reach on a regular basis. 

For example, gaining 50 new clients in the next 12 months may sound overwhelming, but this works out to about 1 per week. If you know that you convert 50% of prospects that come to your legal practice then you only need 2 new people to walk in your door per week in order to achieve your goal.

4.  Focus on the right goals. Whenever I have a client that goes more than 2 weeks without achieving the goal they set, I start asking questions to determine if this is a goal they really feel passionate about.

If there is no commitment to a particular goal, it will be very difficult for most people to devote time to accomplishing it.  Before you commit time, energy and resources to a goal, make sure it is something you truly care about and that will make a noticeable difference in your practice.

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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.

 

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 what two attendees from our Los Angeles Rainmaker Retreat last weekend 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!

 

How to Improve Your Law Firm's Lead Conversion Process

Tracking the cost of converting your leads to clients is what takes you from spending money to making money, which it is the main reason you are in business.

The first step is to work with staff to identify the stages of going from prospect to paying client. Some questions to be considered include:

  • Who is involved in the process?
  • How many steps are there?
  • Who originates the process?
  • Who keeps it moving?
  • Who closes the process?
  • Who tracks the process and prompts those involved?
  • What does each step in the process cost?

Look closely at your process and look for opportunities to shorten the process wherever possible. Look for redundant actions and duplication of staff that can be eliminated. Your goal is to have a lean process that delivers the results you are looking for.

Secondly, identify Cost Per Lead (CPL) and strategies for reducing cost per lead. You cannot do this without the previous step. If you don’t have a handle on your process and its costs, you cannot reduce your cost per lead. Some questions for this step are:

  • How many leads are produced?
  • How much does it cost to obtain a new client?
  • How much revenue does each client bring in?

Once you know your process and the incremental cost of each step, you can then begin to whittle down your costs as you take steps toward making your process more efficient. Look for ways to automate the process or move it online as much as possible – your costs will be much lower when you do and your results will most likely be better.

Legal marketing, like any other business process, needs to be as efficient as possible while still delivering the desired results. These questions will get you started on streamlining and improving your lead conversion 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.  

 

Invest Some Time Tomorrow & Reap the Benefit$ in 2013

Tomorrow, Lawyers.com editor-in-chief Larry Bodine and I will be presenting a webinar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients.

The one-hour webinar starts at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT and will teach you:

  • 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

All it takes is an hour of your time and a little cash ($97) to learn how to reap huge benefits from having a robust online presence in 2013 – a presence that will help you generate more leads and turn prospects into clients.

You’ll also receive a recording of this webinar to watch at your convenience, so if the time doesn’t work for you, you can still register and get this critical information to learn from and share with your firm.

Click on this link to register now for the How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients webinar on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET.

 

For Engaging on Facebook, Pictures Speak Louder Than Words

According to two new studies, posting photos on Facebook greatly increases engagement for your posts.

One study by inbound marketer HubSpot found that photos on Facebook Pages received 53% more Likes and attracted 104% more comments than text posts alone.

Another study by Socialbakers analyzed 90,000 Facebook posts from 24,000 brand pages during the last week of November and found that of the top 10% posts receiving the most Likes and Comments, 89% of those included photos.

HubSpot furnished these tips for how to engage Facebook fans with images; the ones that will apply to attorneys include:

Change up your Facebook cover photo to reflect changes in season or hot topics

Showcase employees to give your firm a face

Feature photos of events you sponsor or attend

Show photos of your partners and associates at work in the community or doing something they like to do, to humanize your profession

In addition, remember to include relevant links with your images – to your blog or your website – that helps you drive traffic and generate leads.

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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 Keep Prospects Engaged Using Your Law Firm Website

Legal websites are a great way to generate leads, but only if you make your law firm website a place qualified leads want to visit repeatedly.

Some law firms make the critical mistake of concentrating their legal marketing efforts on getting prospects to visit - just once. They miss the mark completely if they expect their legal website to be an effective marketing tool without providing compelling reasons for clients to return consistently and repeatedly.

By using your online presence to enhance a prospect’s experience with your firm, you will begin building a strong relationship. One of the easiest ways to do this is by making useful information available via a free special report or eBook. This information can be offered in different formats; posting interesting articles on a regular basis is a sure-fire way to keep clients visiting your legal website.

If you or any member of your firm has written articles or books, you can also use these as legal marketing tools by including a link on your legal website so clients can view or purchase the materials.

Another effective method is to offer free video feeds on your website, specifically addressing issues of importance to prospects. Whatever information you convey to them must be interesting, informative and free of legal jargon.



You should also consider offering a free e-newsletter subscription that will furnish prospects with monthly emails from you that are packed with powerful information that keeps prospects engaged with you.

Successful law firm marketing always relies on one simple principle: make it about the client, not about YOU. 



For more ideas on using your law firm’s website to win clients, attend our webinar later this week, or simply register to receive access to the recording after the live session. Details are below.

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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.

 

 

Law Firm Marketing: Know the 5 Principles That Drive Success

One problem many small law firms and solo practitioners face is how to develop a cost effective marketing plan that will help generate leads without wasting precious time and resources on strategies that don’t work.

Here are 5 principles of law firm marketing that will get you started on developing an effective law firm marketing plan:

People: Identify your target market. Analyze the characteristics of your best and worst clients and determine why they need your services. Look for a niche you can serve.

Product: Pinpoint what services you provide and how you can best present these to your prospects. Put yourself in their shoes. Ensure they know exactly what services they will receive.

Positioning: Study the competition. Learn why you are different from your competition and educate your prospects about why they should hire you and no one else. This convinces clients to do business with you and no one else.

Packaging: This is an important marketing strategy. Project an image that makes people want to work with you. Think about the image that best represents you and creates interest in prospects.

Place: Make sure that a prospective client can find you when they need your services. Build an online presence. Network with other professionals. Give presentations or seminars. Determine which methods work for you when finding new clients. Make your marketing plan an efficient machine.

These 5 principals lay a firm foundation on which to build your law firm marketing plan.  Your next step is to develop a Marketing Action Plan that will lay the foundation for generating leads and converting those leads into paying clients. Want to know how? See below.

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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!

 

How to Develop a Roadmap for Law Firm Marketing Success

No matter how big you dream or how much effort you put into your practice, you will constantly lose your way on the path to success unless you create and follow a well-defined plan.

Now, that's not to say you can't change things along the way. In fact, you should adjust your plan as the markets change, your goals change, and your prospect's needs change. However, by starting out with a road map that will lead you where you want to go, you'll have a solid foundation in place so you can become a successful lawyer.

Here are three things that all your law firm marketing plans must revolve around if you want to reach your dreams:

1. You: If your plans aren't based on what you want to achieve, then you'll have a very difficult time putting in the work that is necessary. Don't worry about what the attorney on the other side of town is doing, find out what you want to accomplish and then figure out the steps that will take you there.

2. Your Prospects: The only way you are going to be successful as a lawyer is if you consistently meet the needs of your key prospects. If you don't understand what they are looking for and where they're searching to find it, then your plans might be leading you in the wrong direction! By doing the proper research, you'll ensure that your marketing plan is leading you toward success.

3. Measurable Goals: A law firm marketing plan is only good if it provides you with a sequential list of measurable goals you want to accomplish. Many professionals recommend setting five-year goals, one-year goals, 90-day goals and monthly goals. If you can't figure out where you are in your marketing plan, then you'll always be sitting at the start. However, if you lay out a strategy that takes you from one step to the next without missing a beat, you'll be heading full-steam towards success.

After you have created the marketing plan that will help you achieve your dreams, you need to review it and keep it refreshed as you go along. If you want to be a successful attorney, you need to go beyond the planning stage and into implementation.

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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.

 

Learning How to Run a Law Firm at the Rainmaker Retreat

I’m in Los Angeles today wrapping up our 2012 Rainmaker Retreat sessions, which one attorney described so succinctly at our New York visit last month: “It’s where I learned that running my law firm is a lot more than just practicing law.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself. 

Tracy Jong, an intellectual property attorney who also attended our New York Rainmaker Retreat, had some great words of wisdom to pass along to anyone considering attending one of our 2013 law firm marketing boot camps:

We’ve already scheduled Rainmaker Retreat sessions for January and February of 2013; it’s a great way to start a new year, learning what you need to know to run a successful practice and get the lifestyle law firm you’ve always dreamed of.

Here are the dates:

January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

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.

 

Lessons for Being a Successful Lawyer Learned at Nordstrom

A guest post at Forbes.com this week entitled How Working As A Stock Girl At Nordstrom Prepared Me For Being A Lawyer had me smiling and nodding my head through the entire piece. 

You should read the whole thing, but I’ll paraphrase here on what Wendy Goffe, a tax and estate planning lawyer from Seattle, learned about being a successful attorney from her days as a stock girl at Nordstrom:

1. Exceptional client service is a competitive advantage. Exceptional client service begins with doing what you say you will do. It becomes a competitive advantage for your firm when it permeates everything – from who you hire, to how employees are trained, to how you run your firm. There is no replacement for a great client experience.

2. Solve problems. People hire lawyers to solve a problem. But everyone’s problems, and their approaches to a solution, differ. You must help them reach their goals using the skills you have by understanding what is important to the client, not on the outcome you necessarily believe is best.

3. Make your office inviting. The minute a prospective client walks in the door, your office environment tells them a story about the level of service they can expect from you. Greet them warmly, offer them a beverage or snack, and for God’s sake, don’t make them wait!

4. Hire and empower great people. Nothing speaks more loudly about your firm than the people that work there. Make every hire a great one, and train your people in how you want your firm represented. Empower them to find solutions for clients and loyalty will follow.

5. Everyone has a different definition of service. This is an important one. We have lots of clients; some want to talk to us every week, and some want their law firm marketing program to run smoothly without their direct involvement. This is why we tailor all our service offerings to each individual client. They are all important, but they are all different. Learn the differences and how you can meet their individual expectations.

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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.

 

Dec. 13 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 live webinar – scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 13 at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET -- will teach you how to do it right.

Having a website is no longer enough to generate new clients. You also need to harness the power of key online strategies including social media, directories and blogs.

What you really need is a website that converts prospects into paying clients, convinces skeptics to call you first, and turns browsers into buyers!

In this fast-paced webinar, I will be joined by Larry Bodine, editor-in-chief at Lawyers.com, and we will teach you:

  • 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

If you already have a website, but you’re frustrated because you are not consistently getting new cases from it, then you owe it to yourself to listen in on this webinar.

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there.

If you’re tired of listening to hype and want to learn from nationally recognized experts who have been in the trenches, then we invite you to join us.

Time doesn’t work for you? All registrants will receive a recording of this webinar to watch at their convenience. 

Click on this link to register now for the How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients webinar on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET.

 

How to Grow Your Law Firm in 2013

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

Start by Asking 3 Questions:

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

Create an Action Plan

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

On Your Goals

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

On Your Numbers

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

On Lifestyle

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

Action Plan

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

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

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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.

 

2012 Nielsen Social Media Report: It's All About Mobile

Nielsen has released its 2012 Social Media Report and says that when it comes to accessing social content today, it’s all about mobile, especially apps.

Compared to 2011, consumers increased their mobile web usage 82% over last year. The report found that people continue to spend more time on social networks than any other category of website – 20% of their time on PCs and 30% of their mobile time is spent on social networks.

Here are the most visited social networks and year-over-year change:

As the Nielsen report notes, social media has fundamentally changed the consumer decision journey. Consumer decisions and behaviors are increasingly driven by the opinions, tastes and preferences of an exponentially larger pool of friends, peers and influencers.

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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 Much Do You Make? (And How You Could Be Making More)

The infographic below illustrates how much the average attorney makes by state – after adjusting for the cost of living, attorneys who practice in Hawaii make the least (but probably enjoy living there the most) and those who practice in Mississippi earn the most.

Surprised? See how you stack up, then keep reading about how you can increase your income from one attorney whose revenues and profit margins skyrocketed after he switched to flat fee billing. My one-hour interview with Lee Rosen is now available as an on-demand webinar (see below!).

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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

 

16 Social Media Stats You Should Know

It’s the end of the year and you know what that means: lists. I’ve been digging through some of the more interesting year-end lists and found the one below of particular interest, as it summarizes all the reasons attorneys should be participating in social media and blogging.

Consider this imposing factoid: The most powerful influence on Google search rankings is now Facebook shares

Or how about this: 81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs.

Check it out:

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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.

 

Report: Digital Media the Key to Reaching the Rich

A study out this week from SEI, Scorpio Partnership and Standard Chartered Private Bank says the wealthy are much more likely to use the Internet, mobile apps and other digital media communications tools.

The study, titled The Futurewealth Report: The Digital World of the Futurewealthy, surveyed 3,477 respondents with an average $1.9 million in assets on their digital habits and found that a majority are early adapters of technology, crediting technology for a valuable role in helping them create and manage their wealth.

The report’s author notes that, “Advisors must embrace and share the passion for technology and digital media tools with these futurewealthy if they want to truly engage and grow relationships with them.”

While the wealthy may be first on board with new technologies, others are not far behind. And attorneys who do not utilize digital communications in their law firm marketing are fast going the way of the dinosaur.

So how do busy attorneys grasp the concepts and strategies of digital marketing? They attend a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day intensive law firm marketing boot camp that is guaranteed to bring more new and qualified clients into your law firm and provide you with everything you need to know to embark on a robust social media and Internet marketing communications program.

Here are the upcoming dates:

December 7-8, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA

January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

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

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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.

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 Rainmaker Retreat Preview DVD right now.

 

VIDEO: Top 4 Reasons Why Social Media Matters

The holy grail of law firm marketing is to build your word-of-mouth referrals, and social media gives attorneys a way to build a massive platform quickly and cost effectively.

Lawyers.com editor-in-chief Larry Bodine and I talk about why social media matters for building a strong law practice during a LexisNexis webinar entitled, “"Join the Conversation: Social Media Strategies for Your Law Firm." Click on the link to download the entire conversation for free.

Here’s an excerpt from that webinar:

When Being Cheap Can Cost You Everything

A post today by Lee Rosen over at his Divorce Discourse blog reminded me again of how many times I have heard attorneys who are just starting out want to compete on price instead of making the effort to differentiate themselves and therefore create true value that people will pay more for.

As Lee notes, while Walmart may sell jewelry, it will never be Tiffany. Once you position yourself as the low-price option, you are stuck there. So if you choose to be the low-cost provider, then plan to remain in that position. But don’t start out with low prices and think once you get established, you can attract the higher end client who pays more.

By not discovering – and marketing – your difference, you are just one of a great many lawyers casting a line in a vast ocean. With nothing to differentiate you, what basis is there for those seeking legal services to make a choice? I’ll tell you: none.

There are 4 ways you can differentiate yourself from your competitors:

Service: labor/employment, complex litigation, immigration, healthcare, IP, etc.

Industry: transportation, construction, energy, real estate, medical, etc.

Geography: LA-based, Southern California, Manhattan, etc.

Specialty Market: privately held companies, Fortune 500, physicians, white collar executives, blue collar construction workers, Spanish-speaking, developers, commercial lenders.

Creating your own market niche for your practice is how you stand above the competition and attract more of your ideal client, helping make your practice more lucrative and your life more enjoyable.

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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.

 

Social Media Marketing for Attorneys: Are Questions the Answer on Facebook?

If you have a social media marketing program for your law firm, you have probably heard that your posts should contain questions to foster engagement.

But the question is, do questions really work for that purpose?

Inbound marketing firm HubSpot studied a large data set of more than 1.2 million Facebook posts and came up with these findings:

Posts with questions garner more comments, but fewer “Likes” and “Shares” – so if you are simply using Facebook to answer questions, you will be missing out on two important components of engagement.

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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!

 

Law Firm Marketing: After the Search, What Next?

As LexisNexis blogger Amy Kovar noted in a post last week on the Attorney Selection Research Study conducted recently, what happens when consumers complete their online research for an attorney?

Here are the findings:

Nearly 6 in 10 consumers (57%) hired an attorney after searching for one online within the past year, which represents over 33 million consumers.

The second-most common outcome (15%) was to proceed on their own.

13% of respondents continued their attorney search.

Fewer than 1 in 10 (8%) of respondents decided not to pursue legal representation.

The final 6% eventually secured a court-appointed attorney.

So not only are consumers searching for an attorney online, they are overwhelmingly following up on the process by actually hiring one.

What more evidence do you need to begin your online law firm marketing program today?

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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 Gifts That Lawyers Love to Get

Short post today; everyone (including me) is exhausted from too much to eat and the shopping frenzy that was Black Friday.

So here for your viewing pleasure are links to two lists of high and low tech gadgets and toys attorneys love to give and to receive:

Jim Calloway’s Holiday Tech Toys from the ABA’s The Digital Edge: Lawyers and Technology

Reid Trautz’s 8th Annual Gift Guide for Lawyers

Enjoy from the comfort of your easy chair!

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NEW On-Demand Webinar: 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 webinar, 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 webinar, simply click here to access the recording of Business Development Strategies for Litigation Attorneys webinar.

 

9 Proven Ways to Get Publicity for Your Law Firm, Part 3 of 3

Write letters to the editor. There are two types of letters that editors love to print. The first one is a letter that comments directly on a story they just ran in their publication. The second kind of letter they love to publish are letters that come down very hard on one side of a controversial topic.

The media loves controversy, and if you have a strong opinion on a controversial law that they might be passing in your community or a controversial topic in your industry, write a letter to the editor about it.

Conduct a survey. The media loves surveys and the great thing about surveys is that they don’t have to be scientific. Now if you’re trying to get into the Harvard Business Review, they will ask if your survey is scientific. But if you’re trying to get into your local daily paper, they probably don’t care if it’s scientific.

For those of you who speak to audiences, slip a simple five or six question survey into the handout and have the audience fill out the survey before or as they’re leaving. Or post a poll on Facebook or your website on a current topic of interest and publish those results.

Build reciprocal links. If you find an influential blogger who you want to get in front of, and a Google Alert has told you that they’ve written about your topic of expertise, you can jump over to their blog and post a comment. That comment will give you a link back to your own website and it will position you as an expert.

Publicity isn’t free. It takes an investment of time to build those relationships. But the payoff for your firm can be invaluable.

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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.

 

9 Proven Ways to Get Publicity for Your Law Firm, Part 2 of 3

Find the reporters. Sign up for a Google Alert to get emailed articles, websites, columns and blogs who are writing on your area of expertise or focus. This is a great way to find out who is out there writing about your topics. If you do a Google Alert, Google will do all the heavy lifting for you.

If you’re trying to get into magazines, pay particular attention to the column in front of the magazine. It’s usually written by the editor. That will tip you off to all kinds of issues that they think are important. It will give you names of freelance writers who are featured in that issue.

Let’s say you’re trying to get on a National Public Radio program. Go to the NPR website and use the search box at the top to plug in your topic and it will bring up a list of programs that NPR has featured on that topic. Many of those programs are archived right at the website.

The smarter you are about the publication you’re pitching, the better you’re going to pitch and the more publicity you’re going to get. Your job is to help make a journalist’s job easy. Once you’re familiar with their publication or program, you can offer story ideas that are a perfect fit.

Identify emerging trends. A great way to make a journalist’s job easy is to tip them off to emerging trends. The media relies on really good sources to tip them off to emerging trends that they can write about. So if you’re starting to see emerging trends in a certain industry and you think it would make a great story and we haven’t seen a lot written about it, tip off a reporter on your media hit list to that trend.

Offer background information.  Newspapers don’t want only one person quoted in the whole story, so if you can hand contact information and names to a reporter who’s interested in your story idea, you’ve just positioned yourself as a golden source.

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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!

 

9 Proven Ways to Get Publicity for Your Law Firm, Part 1 of 3

At The Rainmaker Institute, we mainly serve solo practitioners and small law firms that don’t have a lot of money to invest in marketing, so we are always mindful of using law firm marketing strategies that help get the word out about your firm without breaking the bank.

If you can commit the time, generating publicity for your firm is one of the best things you can do to create awareness and attract new clients. Here’s how:

Be an expert.  Not in the legal sense, but in the marketing sense. The media flock to experts. They put them on the covers of magazines; you see the experts quoted every night on network news programs. Experts have columns in the newspaper. They are sought after for their commentary and background and the media wants to go to experts as soon as there’s a breaking news story.

Create a targeted media list. Target specific media outlets very narrowly. Don’t go after all of them out there because if you’re pitching your message to 5 or 700 media outlets, you’re going to have to go out there with a one-size-fits-all message and that’s not the way to do it. Media people don’t want the same story that everyone else has.

Start by narrowly creating a list of targeted media outlets --your top 25 media hit list.  For those of you who only do business in your own community or in a particular region, you might only have a media hit list with 10 media outlets on it. That just makes your job easier, because it’s all about creating relationships, and if you only have 10 media outlets on your list, that’s very doable. You can form relationships with 10 or 15 people. You can’t form them with 300. So target very narrowly.

Target trade publications. If most of your clients are in a particular industry – or you want to build a client base in a particular industry -- you want to get into the trade publications in that particular industry.  Many of you have business journals or business magazines in your own community and they frequently quote attorneys and do stories on legal issues, so add those to the list 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.  

 

Big Ideas from the Big Apple: NYC Rainmaker Retreat Recap

The aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy were not enough to keep attorneys eager to learn about law firm marketing away from New York City last weekend. We had an outstanding turnout for our two-day legal marketing boot camp; here are some comments from attendees:

Stephanie Taylor, a personal injury and insurance defense attorney from Florida (www.twwlawfirm.com), learned that just being a good lawyer isn’t enough these days:

 

Joe Mitchell, a criminal defense and personal injury attorney from Philadelphia (www.joemitchellattorney.com), talks about how much he learned about what he can implement right away without spending a lot:

 

If you are interested in learning more about law firm marketing, I suggest you attend a Rainmaker Retreat; here are the upcoming dates:

December 7-8, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA

January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

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

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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 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.

 

Top 7 Marketing Habits of Highly Successful Small Businesses: Which Ones Are You Doing?

Forrester Research recently conducted a study on behalf of Act-On, a cloud-based marketing software firm, to examine the habits of successful small business marketers in a tough economy. 

Researchers found there were 7 key factors that differentiated small businesses that outperformed others in a tough economic environment; those include:

1. An emphasis on online over offline marketing strategies;

2. A focus on new business leads and customer lifetime value over customer acquisition cost savings;

3. The execution of highly-optimized, multi-channel campaigns leveraging email, web and social media;

4. Nurturing leads carefully until the time is right rather than trying to sell from the get-go;

5. Collecting the metrics that matter and measuring results in order to iterate and improve;

6. Increasing collaboration between sales and marketing, made easier through quantifiable measures of success;

7. Maintaining -- or even increasing -- marketing budgets during a difficult economy in order to increase business momentum, seize new opportunities, and gain the competitive advantage.

The Act-On white paper based on this research can be found at www.act-on.com/drive.

If you are interested in learning how to integrate these 7 key factors into your law firm marketing program, I suggest you attend a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day marketing boot camp for attorneys. Our program touches on all these factors, with actionable items you can implement today.

Here are the upcoming dates for the Rainmaker Retreat:

December 7-8, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA

January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

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

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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.

 

Take This One Simple Step to Improve Your Practice

Today, the challenge to becoming an exceptional law firm --one that is impervious to economic downturns and fee pressure from online legal services and low cost centers in developing countries – is more intense than ever.

Yet, one of the simplest ways to accomplish that goal is by listening. . .

. . .to clients past, present and future in order to understand precisely what they need, and therefore what you can do that no other law firm is doing to earn their trust and their business

. . .to your staff because that is where you will find some of the most innovative ideas about how to test your business thinking, transform old-style law firm marketing techniques and to increase profits

. . . to other businesses outside the legal profession – particularly how they market themselves. It is there among fast, agile, hungry entrepreneurs that you will find really outstanding ideas that you can apply to your own law firm marketing approach.

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

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

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Getting to the Top of Google: The Power of Link Building for Lawyers On-Demand Webinar

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.

Find out:

  • 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!

 

How to Use Client Satisfaction Surveys to Supercharge Your Law Firm Marketing

Client satisfaction surveys are information gold mines, helping you to understand what your client thinks about how you delivered your service, what you could have improved upon, what they actually gained from your service and what they really need from you.

Although this insight is vital, the benefits to client satisfaction surveys don’t stop there. You can use these insights to improve your law firm marketing.  For example, by better understanding how your clients find services such as yours, you know more specifically how to promote your services to reach similar clients.

Most people are accustomed to taking online satisfaction surveys, which is an expeditious and inexpensive way to conduct customer satisfaction research. It also doesn’t intrude on your client’s time too much. 

Most of the email marketing services have this functionality, so if you are already using Constant Contact or iContact, it is simple to design a survey and send it out to your contact list. You can also use a surveying resource like SurveyMonkey.com that essentially does the same thing. 

No matter what format you use, here are some good questions to ask in your survey:

  • What was your first impression of the firm? Of your attorney?
  • How were you initially treated during your first in-person meeting?
  • What do you believe is our biggest strength?
  • What do you believe is the area where we need the most improvement?
  • Out of the following 5 areas, which ones do you anticipate needing in the next year?
  • Were invoices sent out on a regular basis to you?
  • Were you ever surprised by the amount on an invoice?
  • What are some ways we could better serve you?
  • Would you recommend us to your friends or colleagues?
  • Are there any other comments, suggestions, complaints, or concerns you would like to voice?

You can also use a survey with current and former clients as a “keep in touch” technique. For example, if you have had an e-newsletter program in place for awhile, create a survey asking your list if they are satisfied with the content, frequency and format, if they have suggestions for future content or other improvements. 

You may learn a lot through this short query that will help you improve your marketing efforts by learning what your clients value most.

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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!

 

Where to Learn the Law Firm Marketing Strategies That Work for You

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

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

The habits of your target market – If your target client is aged 18 to 35, it is likely they rely heavily on social media to communicate and to get their information. Your advertising and outreach marketing efforts should leverage those habits.

Your area of practice – Much the way the habits of your clientele influence your marketing mediums, your area of practice should influence your choices and the way you deliver your message. 

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

You can determine the law firm marketing strategies that will work best for your individual practice by attending a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing boot camp for attorneys

We have designed this 2-day intensive workshop to be loaded with practical content. By the end of the Rainmaker Retreat you will:

  • Create a written 90-day Marketing Action Plan (MAP) for your law firm
  • Discover your firm’s Unique Competitive Advantage (UCA)
  • Identify a profile of your Ideal Target Market (ITM)
  • Have written strategies for improving your Internet presence and search engine optimization
  • Develop your own plan for leveraging the power of blogging and social media following the Rainmaker Social Media Blueprint

Our upcoming Rainmaker Retreat dates are as follows:

December 7-8, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA

January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

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

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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.

 

Law Firm Marketing: New Insights Into How We Consume Content

A new online Harris Interactive poll conducted on behalf of nRelate, a content discovery platform, provides new insights into how consumers are searching for and consuming content on the Internet.

Some highlighted results:

92% of U.S. adults read content online, spending more than 7 hours per week looking for content (this is higher among the younger age groups, 18-44);

Americans read 3-4 articles per session and watch 2-3 videos per session, on average (this number is higher among males for both articles and videos);

31%  of online consumers indicate search engines are not the primary sources for finding content (articles and videos);

48% of online consumers say that after reading an article, they are more likely to click on related content (e.g., article, video);

51% of online consumers say they read and click on content pushed to them via email newsletters from brands whose products and services they use.

While researching, users are most likely to click on search results (48 percent), followed by links at the bottom of the article they've just read (28 percent) as opposed to links found on Facebook (8 percent).

When it comes to purchase decisions, consumers say they trust content from a brand's website (44%), an article discovered through a search engine (31%) an expert on a topic (28%), or a mainstream news site (20%) more than they do content posted by a friend on a social network (10%).

76% of online consumers indicate they do not get most of their content recommendations from friends on social networks.

Quality is key, and online consumers indicate quality content has the following attributes:

  • From a source already known in the offline world (60%);

  • Includes images (24%);

  • Includes author image and byline (23%);

  • Includes embedded video (11%)

The takeaway for attorneys is this: the very basics you need to successfully market your law firm today includes:

  • A website
  • A blog
  • A social media presence across all major platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+
  • Participation on lawyer-centric websites like Avvo, JDSupra, Lawyers.com, etc.
  • An email marketing program
  • A search engine optimization (SEO) program for all of the above

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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.

 

Law Firm Marketing: What Business Are You Really In?

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

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

Here are three specific ways you should be doing this: 

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

Creating extraordinary experiences for your clients.  You need to micromanage the client experience—controlling every aspect of how the client experiences your law firm. From how the phone is answered, to greeting them by name as they walk in the door, to minimizing the amount of paperwork you ask them to complete to reserving your conference room with their name on the door, to returning client phone calls and emails consistently and promptly, everything should be focused on creating a positive experience for your clients.

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

You must develop lasting meaningful and influential relationships with your clients because the most expensive thing you can have is a one-time client. The first step is to say connected with them. Regular, non-billable communication with clients is more important than ever in these difficult times. Send out a monthly newsletter or a copy of an interesting article you read (or wrote).

Here’s the rule of thumb: communicate at least 10 times a year with every current and former client. Sit down with your staff or partner and lay out a game plan for how you can build long term, meaningful and influential relationships with your clients.

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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.

 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Avoid Empty Suit Syndrome

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

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

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

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

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

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

The legal services field is becoming intensely competitive and will continue on that path, and consumers are likely to carry on as they always have, choosing attorneys for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with skill.

Therefore, it is very important to effectively market your services in ways that are actually related to the way your typical prospect buys your services.  

According to the LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® Attorney Selection Research Study released in September, 76% of consumers use online resources to search for an attorney. They use search engines, visit online legal forums, use online directories, visit law firm websites and blogs and use social media sites.

So if you’re not there – if you are not effectively marketing your legal services -- you simply do not exist to prospects looking for a lawyer. 

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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.

 

Social Media Metrics Every Law Firm Should be Measuring

To accurately measure social media ROI, you should be using both quantitative and qualitative metrics. Both measurements are important because social media is really about two things: engagement and influence.

Quantitative measurements are those counted in quantity – it’s the “show me the numbers” part of research that can determine how your social media program is performing on the engagement level. There are a number of different quantitative measurements for social media, including:

  • Number of visitors
  • Number of fans, followers
  • Total traffic
  • Search engine rank changes
  • Leads generated
  • Comments posted
  • Sign-ups for e-newsletters or freemiums
  • Reviews

Qualitative measurements are those relating to or concerning quality and measures how your social media program is performing on the influence level. Some of the ways leading law firm marketers are using qualitative measurements for social media include:

  • Increase in communication with prospects and clients
  • Strengthening existing relationships with clients
  • Increase in referral relationships
  • Increase in brand visibility
  • Increase in client retention

As you develop your social media marketing plan, take the time to determine what you want to know.  Your plan should be able to identify all of your target audiences, the key influencers to those audiences, and your effectiveness in reaching them.  You should be able to track the conversion rate of prospects to clients, the response percentage to your marketing messages, and who is responding to your messaging.

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

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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.

 

Easy Guide for Finding Your Target Market on Social Media Sites [INFOGRAPHIC]

The first step in any law firm marketing plan is to identify your ideal target market (if you have not yet taken this step, see my post on Law Firm Marketing: 9 Keys to Discover Your Ideal Target Market).

As I’ve said before, if you don’t target the right market, nothing else you do will matter. Yes, it’s that critical.

For those of you who have a good idea of your ideal target market, this infographic will provide you with some guidance on which social media sites you should focus on:

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NEW On-Demand Webinar: 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