How to Plan for a More Profitable 2014

It’s hard to believe that there are only 7 weeks left in the year.  When business slows down over the holidays, it’s the perfect time to start planning for how to make next year your most profitable ever.

And you can start this planning process by joining me for a free 60-minute legal marketing webinar: Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan, where you will learn...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Law Firm Marketing: Study Says More Than Half of Web Users Read Blogs

In a new report on the influence of blogs, eMarketer found that in 2010, 51 percent of Internet users in the U.S. -- over 91 million – read blogs, and projects that usage to go to 60 percent (150 million) in four years. 

Folks, that’s a lot of folks.

The report finds that while social networks like Facebook and Twitter continue to be more popular, blogs hold a unique position in the online media landscape because they have become an accepted source of information. 

Like social media networks, blogging enables you to widen the circle of people you engage with for little or no cost to you except time.  When used properly, it becomes a clear, consistent voice for your practice. It entices prospects, referral sources, colleagues, clients and thought leaders to engage you in dialogue.

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

Blogging is your forum to connect with the community at large and to make it clear that you are an expert in your field.

To make your blog a highly effective medium for your law firm marketing program, your blogging 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 create a blog that will enhance your overall law firm marketing efforts.

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money

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

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

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

There are two versions: one for Attorneys in Solo Practice and one for Attorneys in a Small Firm.  You can download them now free!  Go here to download, and start using these proven strategies today!


 

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For Email Marketing you can trust

Law Firm Marketing: Are You Communicating Your Unique Competitive Advantage?

A couple of days ago I posted a blog about how differentiation is the key to increasing market share.

Differentiation begins with creating your Unique Competitive Advantage (UCA) – the answer to your target client’s question, “Why should I hire you?” 

With so many choices today, your law firm marketing strategy must clearly differentiate you and your law firm.

To create a Unique Competitive Advantage (UCA) for your law firm marketing plan, there are a number of different areas you can choose to focus on:

  • Benefits: What are the benefits of working with your firm as compared to others? What do you do that other firms refuse to do to better serve your clients?
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • 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 lawyer.” What is different about your partners than those in other firms?
  • 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?
  • Industry Specific Specialty: Position your partners as leading experts in a specific industry, not as generalists. To be a generalist for most attorneys is the “kiss of death.” Go deeper, not broader. Have industry specific marketing materials and collateral.
  • Client 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?
  • 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?
  • 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 give you the tools you need to stand out from the competition.

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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 USPs (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.

 

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For Email Marketing you can trust

Law Firm Marketing: Key to Influencing In-House Counsel Hiring Decisions

A tip of the hat to Kevin at LexBlog’s Real Lawyers Have Blogs for bringing this new study to our attention: the Corporate Counsel New Media Engagement Survey conducted by American Lawyer Media, Greentarget and The Zeughauser Group.

This insightful survey polled a group of corporate counsel across the U.S. on their use of and reliance on social media. 

Of particular interest is how In-house counsel ranked the following activities “most important” for helping them to vet and research outside counsel for potential hire:

  1. Recommendations from sources you trust: 73 percent
  2. Articles and speeches the lawyer has authored: 38 percent
  3. Bios on the firm’s Web site: 30 percent
  4. Blogs published by lawyers: 27 percent
  5. Rankings and directories: 25 percent
  6. Twitter feeds from lawyers: 22 percent
  7. Endorsements and connections on LinkedIn: 18 percent
  8. Quotes by lawyers in relevant media outlets: 15 percent

If this all sounds strangely familiar, it’s because ALL of these activities are what we cover step-by-step at every Rainmaker Retreat!  For example, here are some of the subjects covered during our two-day law firm marketing boot camp and how they correlate to the above ranked activities:

  • A Step-by-Step Approach to Create Dozens of Strategic Referral Partners in less than 6 months (#1)
  • Submitting Articles Online to Increase Your Website Rank (#2)
  • 4 Ways to use Speaking to Attract More Clients (#2)
  • How to Change Your Website from just an Online Brochure to a Marketing Machine (#3)
  • Using Blogs to Increase Your Website Rankings and Find More Clients (#4)
  • Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media for Lawyers (#5, #6 and #7)
  • Where to Find and How to Create Positive Media Coverage (#8)

We have three Rainmaker Retreat events on the calendar for the rest of this year:

October 8-9, 2010        New Brunswick, NJ

October 22-23, 2010    Scottsdale, AZ

November 5-6, 2010    San Francisco, CA

Don’t let another year go by without learning the strategies that will get you hired!

Click here to register or call 888-588-5891 to learn even more about our two-day law firm marketing boot camp.

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Register Now for NJSBA Becoming a Rainmaker Series Oct. 5-7

The information-packed Becoming a Rainmaker seminar is coming to New Jersey, October 5, 6 & 7, 2010 in a series of presentations sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Bergen County Bar Association, Burlington County Bar Association, and the Morris County Bar Association.

These 2-hour seminars show small and solo practice attorneys how they can take charge of their practice and begin to build the business they have always wanted.  The Becoming a Rainmaker seminar has been sponsored by 22 of the largest state and local bar associations in the country, and teaches the proven Rainmaker Marketing System, which has helped more than 7,000 attorneys find more and better clients and establish a law firm marketing system for generating more referrals.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010, 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.

Burlington County Bar Association

Burlington County Court House, 49 Rancocas Rd., Mount Holly, NJ

Click here to register.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.

Morris County Bar Association

Old Court House, Washington and Court Streets, Morristown, NJ

Click here to register.

Thursday, October 7, 2010, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.

Bergen County Bar Association

George W. Newman Law Building, 15 Bergen St., Hackensack, NJ

Click here to register.

Admission to each presentation is $77 for Bar Association members and $97 for nonmembers.

For more information, call 888-816-8935 or email info@therainmakerinstitute.com.
 

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For Email Marketing you can trust

Law Firm Marketing: Social Networking Use Doubles for Older Adults

The latest boom in social networking use is happening among baby boomers and seniors, according to the latest research by Pew Internet and American Life Project.  Here are the latest stats from the research:

  • Social networking use among Internet users age 50+ nearly doubled—from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010.
  • Between April 2009 and May 2010, social networking use among Internet users ages 50-64 grew by 88%--from 25% to 47%.
  • During the same period, use among those ages 65+ grew 100%--from 13% to 26%.

Researchers said that the reasons more older Americans are flocking to social networks like Facebook and Twitter is to reconnect with people from their past, form support networks for new career ventures or other life changes and to communicate better with children and grandchildren. 

If you target people over the age of 50 with your legal marketing, this research should give you added impetus to ensure that social media marketing is part of your law firm marketing program.

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Phoenix Legal Networking Group: Learn How to Double Your Referrals in 6 Months or Less at our September 16 Meeting

At the September 16 Phoenix Legal Networking Group meeting, Stephen Fairley will make a presentation on How to Double Your Referrals in 6 Months or Less.  Join us this Thursday and discover:

  • The proven 8-step system used by hundreds of top attorneys to generate more and better referrals fast
  • How to identify who the best referral sources are for you (and they usually aren't other attorneys)
  • The #1 reason why you're not getting more referrals
  • The best ways to meet potential referral sources
  • 5 effective ways to follow up with referral sources

The event will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, September 16 at Monti’s, 100 S. Mill Ave. in Tempe.

Cost is $20 per person if you register by September 14, $30 if you register by September 15 or $35 on the day of the event.  This covers drinks, hors d’oeurves, the networking event and the workshop.

To register for the September 16 networking and legal marketing event, co-hosted by FindLaw, Attorney at Law Magazine and The Rainmaker Institute, visit http://www.therainmakerretreat.com/network/ or call 888-816-8935.
 

Enter your email to receive our complimentary monthly newsletter, the Rainmaker Report.
For Email Marketing you can trust

Social Media a Must for Law Firm Marketing Plans

Here’s some notable news that may not have made it across your desktop during the busy work week:

Facebook Tops Google in Where We Spend Our Time Online

According to comScore, a leading digital marketing research company, U.S. web users are spending more time on Facebook than Google, YouTube or any other site on the Internet.  Socializing now trumps searching online as comScore reports that we spend almost 10 percent of our online time at Facebook

Nielsen Shows Us How We Spend Time Online

Americans spend nearly a quarter of their time online on social networking sites and blogs, up from 15.8 percent just a year ago (43 percent increase) according to research released last month from The Nielsen Company. According to the data, Americans spend 36 percent of their online time communicating and networking on social networking sites like Facebook, blogs, personal email and instant messaging.  Here’s the Nielsen chart:

No doubt about it, our online lives – including those of your potential clients – are spent engaging in social networking activities.  So if your law firm marketing plan doesn’t have a robust social media component, you are courting irrelevance.

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Are you looking for specific marketing strategies you can use in your law firm?

Then order the Rainmaker in a Box 5-DVD set!  Some of the information and strategies you will learn include:

  • The 5 Immutable Secrets to Building a 7 Figure Law Practice
  • Secrets of Building a Referral-based Law Practice for Busy Practitioners
  • The Top 6 Most Powerful Online Marketing Strategies for Attorneys
  • Action, Accountability and Next Steps

This program also includes a data DVD which includes PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations.
To order this information-packed set click here.



 

Enter your email to receive our complimentary monthly newsletter, the Rainmaker Report.
For Email Marketing you can trust

Have Our 2-Day Legal Marketing Boot Camp Delivered to Your Door

Today I’m in Los Angeles at our Rainmaker Retreat – one of two back-to-back legal marketing boot camps that I’ll be conducting this weekend in L.A. and next weekend in Las Vegas.   Then I’ll be relaxing the rest of August after hosting four very successful retreats over the past two months!

If you want to get in on our final legal marketing boot camp of the summer at the Mirage in Las Vegas next weekend (Aug. 6-7), there is still time, and you can register online.

If you are unable to join us in Las Vegas, there is no reason to miss out on the invaluable legal marketing information we will be sharing with attorneys from around the country.   Such information will consist of valuable legal marketing tips to expand on your law firm marketing campaign. If you can’t come to us and learn all there is to know about legal marketing, then we will bring the Rainmaker Retreat to you.

You can own “Rainmaker Retreat Live” when you purchase the 6 audio compact disk set, which is accompanied by a downloadable PDF 70-page Legal Marketing Manual. Experience the Rainmaker Retreat on your schedule, at your own pace. You will be inspired, motivated and provided information on legal marketing with the guidance to make your practice all that you know it can be.

This live recording of our highly successful two-day legal marketing seminar features:

  • More than 22 proven legal marketing strategies to attract more and better clients
  • How to create powerful relationships with over 30 new Referral Sources in the next 90 days
  • 5 Ways to automate your legal marketing using technology and the internet
  • 7 ways to find more clients fast and how to select the best ones for you
  • 2 ways to promote your firm to 100,000 people for only $100
  • 6 secrets top Rainmakers use to dominate their competition

Many of the most successful attorneys we know pop a CD into their CD-drive and listen to “Rainmaker Retreat Live” during their daily commute. Discover how you can build a successful law firm practice using the legal marketing strategies that you will learn on your drive!

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Free CD:  Insider Small Law Firm Marketing Practices

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

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

To obtain your free CD, click here now.
 

7 Legal Marketing Tools You Can Use to Find New Clients

When it comes to finding new clients, there are really only 7 legal marketing tools you should use to find them. Most successful attorneys don’t use all of them -- they experiment and find the ones that consistently produce the most results.  Then they focus all of their time, energy, and resources on those proven strategies.

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

Before I get to the 7 tools that will help you find new clients, I must add this caveat:

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

Here are the 7 legal marketing tools for finding new clients :

  1. Referrals: from strategic partners, existing and former clients, friends, family members, other lawyers, legal referral sources, and business association.
  2. Speaking and Seminars: formal presentations, workshops, seminars, speaking for associations and organizations.
  3. Formal/Informal Networking: connecting with centers of influence, professional associations, chambers of commerce, clubs, trade association meetings, or formal lead groups.
  4. An Online Presence: websites, article marketing, blogs, pay-per-click, ezines, auto responders, newsletters, and opt-in lists.
  5. Press Releases & Media Placement: online press releases, writing articles or columns for local newspapers, trade magazines, professional journals, offering an advice column, being a content expert for the media, television, radio, trade association magazines, or newspaper interviews.
  6. Promotional Events: participating in trade shows, sponsoring a public event like a marathon, participating in a charity event, sending out partnership announcements, or having an “open house” to publicize your new offices.
  7. Advertising: in the Yellow Pages, newspapers, magazines, or trade journals, email campaigns, ads in business directories, or on radio or TV, and Internet–based ads.

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

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

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

Get your complimentary copy online here.

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

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

Enter your email to receive our complimentary monthly newsletter, the Rainmaker Report.
For Email Marketing you can trust

Law Firm Marketing: How to Manage Your IOLTA Account

I want to give you something extremely valuable today.

I want to give you something that will help you run your law firm without mistakes. Did you know that law firm management mistakes are the root cause of more than 54% of Bar grievances filed?

It's something my friend Rjon Robins has never released before to anyone but his exclusive law firm training graduates.

It's something you will start using all the time and it's all yours right now, completely complimentary.

How to Manage Your IOLTA Account:
https://education.infusionsoft.com/go/IOLTA/RAINMAKER

In the video, he'll be showing you everything you need to do in order to make sure your firm is set up right.

Here’s a direct message from Rjon:

When the goal of a law firm is to Bill More Hours as opposed to generate more profit, all kinds of things get screwed up.  Beginning with the values of the lawyers who work for the firm.

In the old days, the "profit" of a law firm was a function of value being delivered to clients.

It wasn't measured by the number of hours.

Because how long something takes to do, is usually in inverse proportion to the resulting value to the client.  Do you want your dinner to arrive in 5 minutes or in an hour?  Which has more value to you?

Unless you're a defendant trying to stall the system, typically, the longer something takes, the LESS it should cost.  At least from the client's perspective.

And since clients are the ones paying the bill they DO get a vote on this.

Loss of Love & Profit From The Practice Of Law

What happens is that when a law firm is focused on billable hours, and then holds partnership out as a carrot to motivate the production of more hours, the end result is a loss of love for the practice of law.

And the only lawyers who THINK they want that, are the lawyers who don't understand the business-side of the law firm well enough to fully appreciate what they're getting themselves into when they accept this equation.

Sadly, MOST lawyers don't really understand the business-side of the legal industry very well. And it's not their fault!

Because after all, what did they teach any of us in law school about the business-side of "owning" a law firm?  Nothing!  Actually it's worse than nothing.

Most lawyers actually get very BAD advice in law school about the business side of a law firm.

The bad advice most of us received may have ranged from the merely misguided: "just do your work and someone else will take care of that" all the way to the downright DESTRUCTIVE "this is a noble profession and so you shouldn't concern yourself with making a profit at it."

Shouldn't concern yourself with making a profit at it?  But profit is a function of value!

So if a lawyer isn't waking up every day with his or her mind on how to generate a profit for the law firm it's our clients who are suffering isn't it?

Because they don't care about "buying" hours.  They want solutions!  And all things being equal, our clients want their solutions delivered to them sooner rather than later.

And here's where it gets REALLY UGLY...

When you're NOT thinking about making a profit, you're typically not thinking about the things that lead to making a profit either.

And one of those things that has a direct connection to how profitable our law firms are is how our IOLTA client property trust accounts are set-up and managed.

Of course, if no one ever told you that your law firm should be profitable, and the more the better because profit is a function of value to clients;

That is to say if all you ever heard about was billing hours...

Then chances are no one likely ever taught you how and why your law firm's IOLTA client property trust account can and SHOULD be used as a PROFITABLE law firm management tool.

And that far from being something that intimidates you, your IOLTA Client Property Trust Accounts should be tools of empowerment that contribute to your being the best lawyer you can be.  And having the most fun at the practice of law and delivering the most VALUE to your clients and yes, all of that is very profitable too.

Again, here’s the link to Rjon Robins’ complimentary video series on How to Manage Your IOLTA Account:  https://education.infusionsoft.com/go/IOLTA/RAINMAKER

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Are you looking for specific marketing strategies you can use in your law firm?

Then order the Rainmaker in a Box 5-DVD set!

Some of the information and strategies you will learn include:

  • The 5 Immutable Secrets to Building a 7 Figure Law Practice
  • Secrets of Building a Referral-based Law Practice for Busy Practitioners
  • The Top 6 Most Powerful Online Marketing Strategies for Attorneys
  • Action, Accountability and Next Steps

This program also includes a data DVD which includes all 4 PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations.
To order this information-packed set click here.

 

Enter your email to receive our complimentary monthly newsletter, the Rainmaker Report.
For Email Marketing you can trust

How to Avoid Legal Marketing Mistakes Many Attorneys Make

Did you know… 

  • There are more than 1.2 million attorneys in the United States. 
  • 30,000 new ones graduate every year. 
  • 85% of all attorneys end up in a small law firm with fewer than 50 attorneys. 
  • The size of the U.S. legal industry is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars annually.  

Yet the majority of attorneys continue to struggle to create a financially successful practice.  Why? 

We have found the common denominator of attorneys who struggle with practice building is that they believe the best use of their time is to practice law. You are not in the business of practicing law. You are in the business of building relationships (also known as marketing) so that you can practice law. 

A lot of my clients say, “But Stephen, I don’t have time to market my practice.” My reply is always the same, “Either take time now on a consistent basis or you will have plenty of time later when your client base dries up.” 

Building a successful practice isn’t magic or rocket science, but it is work and it does take a lot of time, energy and money. Every attorney who starts a new practice fully intends to succeed; yet according to research, more than 50% of them still fail.

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

Discover:

  • How to avoid 2 common practice-killing pitfalls
  • How to position yourself as a specialist
  • Why most advertising is a waste of your money
  • Ways to avoid common practice-killing pitfalls

The e-book is free; see below for details.

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

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

Get your complimentary copy online here.

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

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

Enter your email to receive our complimentary monthly newsletter, the Rainmaker Report.
For Email Marketing you can trust

Law Firm Marketing: 8 Steps to Increase Your Online Visibility

These days, no one puts up a website and expects potential clients to come flocking to it.  Most savvy law firm marketers know you have to do things that drive traffic to the site. 

Just like litigation, online law firm marketing is all about strategy and execution.

There are a number of things you can do to increase your online visibility, thereby improving your chances of having potential clients find you.

Here are some steps to improve your online presence using a variety of different online marketing channels, including articles, ezines, press releases and blogs.

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

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

Step #3: Submit that article online.

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

Step #5: Submit that press release online.

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

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

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

This law firm marketing tip – and many others – is a small sampling of what you will learn at The Rainmaker Retreat. See below for details on the next one.

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More Rainmaker Retreat Dates

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

  • July 30-31, 2010        Los Angeles, CA
  • August 6-7, 2010       Las Vegas, NV
  • October 8-9, 2010     New Brunswick, NJ

Register today to reserve your space and begin to chart the course to an incredibly successful future.

These two-day, power-packed events have been designed to assist small law firms and solo practitioners to grow their practices through learning and implementing Rainmaker’s proven law firm marketing strategies. More than 7,000 attorneys are already employing our law firm marketing techniques and reaping the benefits.

Register now and take advantage of the Early Bird special pricing -- a $200 discount!

Law Firm Marketing: How to Build a Solid, Responsive Mailing List

I have posted previously about the need to build trust with potential clients by first building a relationship with them.

There are several marketing channels you can use to build those relationships.

Some, like Twitter, are designed to create a two-way dialog so you can engage your potential client base in online conversations that help you understand their needs better. Others, like legal blogs, help position you as an expert (in the marketing, not the legal, sense).

Each plays a role in your law firm marketing strategy.

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

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

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

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

  • Insert a newsletter sign-up form on the most highly trafficked pages of your web site, including a brief summary of the benefits of receiving no-cost, ongoing legal information they can use.
  • When you have a speaking engagement, provide a sign-up sheet for your “complimentary” newsletter. This technique has a very high response rate because the audience is already interested in your area of the law. They also see you as an expert, whose legal counsel they could benefit by.
  • Partner with other professionals who serve a client base similar to yours. For example, if your area of practice is estate planning, financial planners or brokerage houses might have a target client similar to yours.  Once you locate these “list partners”, you can insert your offer for a free trial newsletter into their outgoing communications to that client base (and they can do the same with yours).  In that way, you are getting permission from the recipient prior to sending your law firm marketing newsletter – which is much more effective than purchasing a list.

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

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

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money

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

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

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

There are two versions: one for Attorneys in Solo Practice and one for Attorneys in a Small Firm.  You can download them now free!  Go here to download, and start using these proven strategies today!
 
 

Enter your email to receive our complimentary monthly newsletter, the Rainmaker Report.
For Email Marketing you can trust

3 Steps to Building Rewarding Referrals

I was recently coaching a law firm partner at a small east coast law firm who was lamenting how slow new business has become in the past few months. As we talked, I asked him, “What have you done in the past 3 months to build relationships with potential referral partners?”

He mentioned going to lunch a few times and speaking with a couple of people over the phone when they made a referral to him. I asked him to open up his Outlook contact database; there were more than 200 non-client contacts in it including: accountants, financial planners, angel investors, business brokers, and private investment bankers.

Here's the 3 steps I shared with him to develop the relationships in his “golden Rolodex.”

Step 1: Take an Active, not Passive, Role

There is an old saying “A man who has friends must show himself to be friendly.”

Don’t wait for someone to take the initiative and contact you— be the first to reach out. In the last few years we have coached & trained more than 7,000 attorneys and found the top Rainmakers are the lawyers who make at least 3-4 contacts with potential referral sources every week.

Action Step: Take 2 minutes and scan your contact database. Select 12-15 names of potential or current referral sources and send them an email or better yet, pick up the phone and call them with an invitation for lunch or coffee. Set up 3 face-to-face meetings per week for the next month.

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

Step 2: Increase Frequency of Contact

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

Collect articles and websites that might be of interest to your referral sources. Keep them in a separate folder (Referral Articles). Once a month pull one out and forward it with a brief note (“I thought you might enjoy this article.”). Email a copy of the article to all of your referral sources.

One of my clients built his network of strategic referral sources from less than 5 to more than 300 in 2 years using just this simple technique to stay in front of his referral sources on a frequent basis. He now has a multi-million dollar practice.

Step 3: Focus on Serving Not Selling

When you meet with potential referral sources, don’t make the mistake of dominating the conversation. You are there to listen and learn about them, not hear yourself talk! Any attempt to “sell” them on your services will be a complete waste.

Look for ways you can serve them and their clients by connecting them with other resources or pointing them in the right direction regarding a legal issue. Ask a lot of questions about their business. For example:

  • How did you first get started in your line of work?
  • What are some of the major trends in your industry?
  • What kinds of challenges do you face?
  • What do you like best/worst about your job?
  • And here's the most important question: How will I know if I'm talking to someone who's a good referral for you?

Educate them about your Ideal Target Market and how you can benefit their clients only after you have carefully listened to them.

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, not selling them a service.


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More Rainmaker Retreat Dates

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

July 30-31, 2010        Los Angeles, CA

August 6-7, 2010       Las Vegas, NV

October 8-9, 2010     New Brunswick, NJ

We would like to send you a DVD of your colleagues (and even your competitors) describing their experiences at our 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat.

Click here to order your complimentary DVD right now.

 

 

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3 Ways for Your Law Firm to Stand Out From the Competition

One of the questions our clients struggle the most with when it comes to marketing their law firm is “How do I differentiate my law firm from my competition?”

In Practice Made Perfect, our 90-day business development program for attorneys, we cover 10 specific ways to differentiate your services. Here are 3 of them:

1.  Create a micro niche. In these days of hyper-specialization, it’s NOT about “mass marketing.” It’s about “micro marketing”—creating a micro niche that best positions you as a specialist. If you developed a tumor on your brain, you would go to an oncologist specializing in neurosurgery, not a general practitioner.

It’s the same way with law firm marketing. You must position yourself as a specialist, not a generalist.

One way to do this is by focusing on a very defined niche. For example an intellectual property attorney could say, “I concentrate on helping inventors and owners of small software development companies in Los Angeles with less than $1 million in revenues protect their intellectual property and develop creative ways to generate multiple revenue streams from their invention.”

Creating a micro niche, or focused target market is critical to your success as a small law firm.

2. Focus on solutions and results. Too many attorneys try to sell their legal services. Attendees at my Rainmaker Retreat 2 day law firm marketing boot camp program are surprised when I tell them that people don’t buy legal services! People buy solutions to their problems. They buy results, not your services.

When meeting with a prospective client, emphasize the benefits you offer to clients and the value you bring through your specific expertise with their kind of legal problem. Discuss the results you have achieved for other clients, but be careful not to overstep the ethical boundaries or promise results based on someone else’s case. There's an old adage “Facts tell. Stories sell.” While your colleagues may be thrilled to know all about how you found a loophole for your client, don’t forget to meet the needs of your client by focusing on the solution.

3. Build an online presence. The Internet has changed everything when it comes to law firm marketing and how consumers select law firms. Many attorneys either don’t realize or aren’t willing to admit that most savvy individuals will check them out online before they ever finalizing their decision. 

In fact, current research shows that 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations; only 14% trust advertising.  An online presence today means not only a website, but also immersion in Social Media – blogs, video, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Avvo and more. 

As another old adage goes: Fish where the fish are.

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Phoenix Attorneys:  Learn About Social Media at June 23 Legal Networking Group

Join us next Wednesday, June 23, when Stephen Fairley will address a meeting of the Phoenix Legal Networking Group about integrating social media into a law firm marketing program.  Learn:

  • Practical tips for attorneys just getting started on social media
  • Case studies from law firms currently using social media
  • Why social media is a fundamental shift in our communication method
  • What's working and what's not for law firms
  • How to start tracking your results
  • 8 steps to get started with LinkedIn
  • How any attorney can use Avvo to get more business
  • Ways to quickly boost your Avvo score

 

The event will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 23 at Monti’s, 100 S. Mill Ave. in Tempe.  Cost is only $15 per person. 

To register, click here.  The Phoenix Legal Networking Group is sponsored by FindLaw, Attorney at Law Magazine and The Rainmaker Institute.

Enter your email to receive our complimentary monthly newsletter, the Rainmaker Report.
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Marketing For Lawyers - Mistakes Attorneys Make--and How to Avoid Them, Mistake #3

MARKETING MISTAKE 3:
USING PASSIVE MARKETING VERSUS ACTIVE MARKETING

 

One of the mistakes I talk about in my book, Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers, is using passive versus active marketing strategies in Law Firm Marketing.

 

Passive marketing is when you wait for your prospective clients to come to you—like placing an advertisement in the newspaper or waiting for a referral to walk in the door.

 

Active marketing is when you go out and find those prospective clients—like giving a presentation or formal networking.

 

PASSIVE MARKETING STRATEGIES may include: Sending out direct mail letters, postcards, or flyers announcing my company, new services, or law firm websites.  Researching area associations I can speak to.  Refining my Unique Competitive Advantage. (UCA).  Waiting for referrals to come in.  Writing or reworking the firm’s brochure.

           

ACTIVE MARKETING STRATEGIES may include: Making a follow-up call to everyone I sent the direct mail pieces to until I reach them and ask them to attend or sign up.   Calling a list of ten organizations a month and inquiring about speaking opportunities. Sharing my UCA with potential referral sources in a 1-1, face-to-face setting.   Conducting a phone survey of leading experts in my target markets industry and interviewing them on a specific topic. Handing the brochure out to hot prospects I meet at a networking event and following up with them via phone & email within 24 hours.

 

What's wrong with using Passive Marketing Strategies in your law firm marketing plan?

 

There is nothing wrong with using Passive Marketing Strategies. Passive Strategies are not necessarily better than Active Strategies; however, as a law firm marketing consultant here are two common problems I frequently encounter with the attorneys I coach and offer legal marketing services to:

 

1.  First, attorneys have a much greater tendency to use passive rather than active strategies. As I said, one is not better than the other. The key to success is using a powerful combination of both.

 

Take a look at your 12-month law firm marketing plans and ask yourself, does it contain a balance between the passive and active strategies or am I favoring one or the other?

 

2. Passive strategies tend to take a lot longer to produce results—which is fine if you have lots of time to make money and generate revenues, but if you're hurting for cash flow right now or want to quickly ramp up your revenues, you really need to use Active Marketing Strategies more frequently.

 

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Why every single law firm should have a blog...   Spend 60 minutes with us on August 5th and learn how blogging will really make a difference in your practice.  Click here to learn How to attend this Session and Receive Your Digital Audio Clip...