The True Cost of an Attorney

How many times have you felt you had to justify your fees to a client?  Most attorneys face this on a regular basis and many stumble for just the right way to explain to clients why they charge what they do.

The infographic below from UpCounsel may provide you with some good fodder the next time someone asks you to explain your legal fees:

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

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

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

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

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

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

This interview will help you discover:

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

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

Should You Ever Give a Client the Boot?

A recent post at LawMarketing.com entitled, Is It Time To Fire Some Of Your Law Firm Clients? Is a good read for attorneys who have ever wondered if they should fire a client...and I am guessing that would be most of you.

A bad client can drag you and your entire firm down, both emotionally and financially. According to the post, there are 3 clear signs when it’s time to fire a client:

1. You find yourself avoiding any contact with the client.

2. Client demands are totally unreasonable and unattainable.

3. The client does not respond when you need them to provide important information.

Of course, getting a bad client happens to all of us, but if you find yourself with more than you can handle, you are obviously doing something wrong when it comes to prospecting for new clients. 

To avoid having a bad client in the first place, you need to focus on profiling your ideal client, then going after them with your law firm marketing efforts. Train yourself and your staff to do a better job of qualifying prospects and having a more specific approach to your client intake process. Manage client expectations from the beginning, and be sure you can deliver on them. If you don’t, you’re doomed to more bad clients that will suck all the joy out of your life and your practice.

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

 

New Republic Big Law Exposé=Lord of the Flies Redux

Big law, medium law and small law are all abuzz about the New Republic article on The Last Days of Big Law by senior editor Noam Scheiber. It’s a lengthy look into how Big Law partners and associates have evolved into skilled carnivores whose rise to the top depends on the number of bodies they can pile up to break through to equity partner status. 

Or, as the article illustrates: 

As demeaning as life can be for a partner these days, it’s altogether soul-crushing for an associate...One Mayer Brown partner named Mike Mascia was sufficiently scarred by the struggles he endured as a younger lawyer that he has since become famous around the New York office for his advice to junior colleagues. Your best hope at landing clients, Mascia says, is to attach yourself to an aging partner and “steal his clients when he retires.”

So why would any sensible human being want to be at Big Law? The “generous salary, the esteem of one’s neighbors, work that was more intellectual than purely commercial” is yesterday’s business model. 

Today’s business model?

“Stable” is not the way anyone would describe a legal career today. In the past decade, twelve major firms with more than 1,000 partners between them have collapsed entirely.

There are currently between 150 and 250 firms in the United States that can claim membership in the club known as Big Law, the group of historically profitable firms that cater to the country’s largest corporations. The overwhelming majority of these still operate according to a business model that assumes, at least implicitly, that clients will insist upon the best legal talent instead of the best bargain for legal talent. That assumption has become rickety. Within the next decade or so, according to one common hypothesis, there will be at most 20 to 25 firms that can operate this way— the firms whose clients have so many billions of dollars riding on their legal work that they can truly spend without limit. The other 200 firms will have to reinvent themselves or disappear.

The Big Law paradigm has shifted and I’ve found that among our client group of solos and small firms, many who survived did so by taking their career fates into their own hands...the only safe place to be in law these days.

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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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

The 3 Key Areas Every Law Firm Needs to Focus On

At our Rainmaker Retreat in Orlando last weekend, we spent some time talking about the three key areas that every law firm needs to focus on:

Lead Generation: more people in the pipeline, more prospects, more leads.

Lead Conversion: turning more browsers into buyers.

Client Retention: creating a long-time and meaningful relationship with your clients so you get repeat referrals and repeat clients.

Of course, the one question I always seem to get is: Which is the most important?

The answer is, they are all important, but the one thing I hear most from attorneys is “I need more leads.”

In some cases, this is 100% true. But often, a law firm really has a conversion issue or a retention issue that is preventing the firm from growing or being successful. So growing and strengthening all three of these areas is ideal.

While most law firm marketers are focused on lead generation, overlooking conversion and retention is a costly mistake.  Lead generation is the most expensive of the three, so it makes sense that if you can convert a higher percentage of your prospects, you can improve revenue without having to pay to get more leads. 

And if you can enhance client retention, additional revenue will come in through repeat business from happy clients or a steady stream of referrals from past clients who were satisfied with the work you performed.

So, in essence, what we are talking about here is the proverbial three-legged stool. Take away one leg, and you’re on the floor.

If you’d like to learn more about lead generation, lead conversion and client retention, attend a Rainmaker Retreat.  

We have two upcoming sessions:

October 26-27, 2012 – Scottsdale, AZ

November 16-17, 2012 – New York City, NY

You can still get in on our Early Bird Discount for our upcoming Rainmaker Retreats, so be sure to register now to receive the $200 discount. 

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.

 

Do Law Schools Really Teach Lawyers How to Be Lawyers?

An opinion piece in The National Law Journal by a third-year law student echoes what I’ve been saying for years: law schools are great at teaching their students how to think like lawyers, but fail miserably at teaching them how to actually be lawyers.

The article comments on the ABA’s Standards Review Committee’s proposal to require law schools to provide greater transparency when it comes to providing a clear picture of the value of a law degree.  The author argues that many law schools paint a far rosier picture than what the cold reality is once law school graduates hit the streets looking for work.  He writes:

"The ABA's proposal is an adaptation of performance measurement — a management technique often used to transform private and public organizations. At its core, performance measurement is about using data to demand accountability and drive innovation.

"For the first time, law schools would have a potent incentive to reduce tuition and accelerate the so-far glacial movement to incorporate practical skills into legal education. By accurately measuring employment outcomes, schools will for the first time confront an unambiguous basis for evaluating their activities. And schools that perform poorly on the measure of job placement will face increased pressure to re-evaluate their educational model."

I have been teaching law firm marketing and business management to attorneys for years through state and local bar associations and our own Rainmaker Institute programs, including the Rainmaker Retreat.  In a vast majority of these sessions, at least one attorney will always ask me why they don’t teach these principles in law school.  

Apparently, more and more attorneys are finding their voices when it comes to demanding more of the legal academy, which they accuse of being disconnected from the actual practice of law.  With crushing debt loads, more and more law school graduates are finding it difficult at best to “learn on the job” what they actually need to know to start and sustain a successful legal career.

Where is your voice on this issue?  I’d be interested in hearing your comments.

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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. 


 

 

Sign up now to receive our complimentary
monthly newsletter, the Rainmaker Report.

 
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Use "Opt Out" to Create List of Highly Motivated Clients & Prospects

Developing a robust marketing email list should be at the core of your law firm marketing effort to build credible, long-lasting, relationships with your clients.

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

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

The value of “Opt Out” -- allowing prospects on your law firm marketing distribution list to leave your list at any time and for any reason they like – is that it helps you reach your goal of creating a highly motivated core list of clients and prospects more quickly.

Of course, there are many law firm marketing planners who believe that openly allowing prospects to leave their list only encourages them to do so.

And that may be true.

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

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

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

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

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

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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 7,000 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

To order yours now, click here.
 

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

Law Firm Marketing: Become a Rainmaker and Take Your Practice to the Next Level

Our extremely popular Rainmaker Retreats are back this fall in three cities. Over 7,000 attorneys from hundreds of law firms across the country have discovered how to generate more referrals and find new clients fast by applying our proven Rainmaker System. The Rainmaker Retreat teaches you our proven Rainmaker System for building your business and taking it to the level you desired when you started your practice.

Over the next two months we will be in:

  • New Brunswick, NJ on October 8-9, 2010       
  • Scottsdale, AZ on October 22-23, 2010   
  • San Francisco, CA on November 5-6, 2010   

You won’t want to miss the information shared or the interaction with your fellow attorneys. The Rainmaker Retreat is designed for solo attorneys and those in small practices who do not have the marketing resources of the larger firms. It is a working retreat that will help you:

  • Create a written 90-day master marketing plan for your firm
  • Discover your Unique Competitive Advantage
  • Have a written plan for improving your Internet presence
  • Outline either an article or produce a professional press release to submit online
  • Create a letter of introduction to potential Strategic Referral Partners

Some of the topics covered in each Rainmaker Retreat include:

  • Achieving Expert Status as an Attorney
  • Building a Strategic Referral Network
  • Creating Credibility in Your Practice Area
  • Secrets of Highly Successful Attorneys
  • Social Media for Small Law Firms
  • Leveraging Technology: Beating the Big Firms on the Internet
  • Generating More Clients Using the Power of Speaking
  • Advanced Technology Tactics for Small Law Firms and Solo Practitioners

If you are still unsure about attending a Rainmaker Retreat, I encourage you to join one of our FREE Preview Calls on:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
1-2pm Pacific | 2-3pm Mountain | 3-4pm Central | 4-5pm Eastern

Tuesday, September 28, 2010
11am-12pm Pacific | 12-1pm Mountain | 1-2pm Central | 2-3pm Eastern

Wednesday, October 6, 2010
1-2pm Pacific | 2-3pm Mountain | 3-4pm Central | 4-5pm Eastern

These free, one-hour calls will give you a taste of what you will learn during a Rainmaker Retreat. Click here to register for a Preview Call.

Early-bird registration for the Rainmaker Retreat is still available for a limited time. A special VIP registration is also available for attorneys looking for more personalized attention. We also offer special discounts for two or more people attending from the same firm.

Registration information is available by visiting the Rainmaker Retreat website, www.RainmakerRetreat.com or by calling 888-588-5891.

Note:  If you enjoy this blog, please vote for us at the ABA Journal Top 100 Blogs site:  http://www.abajournal.com/blawgs/blawg100_submit/. Voting ends October 1.  Thank you!

 

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

Law Firm Marketing: Citi Survey Says Differentiation Key to Increasing Market Share

The 2010 Midyear Law Firm Financial Trends Report by Citi Private Bank, which provides financial services to U.S. and UK law firms, is out and the bottom line appears to be that expenses have been cut about as much as they can, so law firms now need to turn their focus to increasing top-line revenue.

First, some of the key findings as reported by 187 U.S. law firms (87 AmLaw 100 firms, 50 Second 100 firms and 50 other firms) for the first six months of 2010:

  • Revenue was flat
  • Demand was down domestically, but up slightly (2 percent) for global firms
  • Expenses were down, primarily because of head count reductions
  • Productivity was up about 4 percent
  • Contribution per lawyer was up almost 20 percent
  • Billing rates were up about 4 percent

Parsing the data at The American Lawyer, Citi analysts wrote (emphasis is mine):

Unfortunately, demand for legal services remains soft, and that is unlikely to change any time soon. So the only way firms can grow their revenue is at someone else’s expense. Firms have to be more strategic about how to increase their share of a smaller pie--specifically, by differentiating themselves from competitors.

And they conclude with this:

Some argue that the market really hasn't changed at all and once demand picks up again, firms will simply revert to their traditional business model. Indeed, that’s what happened after the recession in the early 1990s. But thanks to technology and globalization, the legal services market in 2010 doesn't resemble the market in 1991 in any way, shape, or form. Even if overall demand picks up, the entry of new, lower-cost service providers and the willingness of clients to diversify their service-provider portfolio have caused an unprecedented shift in the market. The nimbleness with which firms address this shift will separate the winners from the losers.

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.
  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.
  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.  An online presence today means not only a website, but also immersion in Social Media – blogs, video, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Avvo and more.

If you enjoy this blog, please vote for us at the ABA Journal Top 100 Blogs site:  http://www.abajournal.com/blawgs/blawg100_submit/. Voting ends October 1.  Thank you!

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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 to promote your law firm to over 100,000 people for less than $100
  • The 1 item you must absolutely have to create a Million Dollar Law Practice (hint: Not having this will almost guarantee your failure!)
  • 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.

 

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Law Firm Marketing Boot Camp: Scottsdale Rainmaker Retreat October 22-23

If you’re a small law firm or solo practice with big growth plans, then you need to attend our Rainmaker Retreat law firm marketing boot camp in Scottsdale on October 22-23, where in just two days you will learn:

  • 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

More than 7,000 attorneys nationwide have discovered the secrets to building a lifestyle law practice through effective law firm marketing that is providing them with significantly greater income and the time to enjoy it all.

But don’t take our word for it; here’s some verbatim feedback from attorneys who attended our last two Rainmaker Retreat law firm marketing boot camps:

“The Rainmaker Retreat opened my eyes to the fact that I can work smarter, not harder, and make more money while doing it. Best of all, I learned step by step how to make it happen.”- Karla Hewitt, Esq.

“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 am starting a new firm. I shudder to think what mistakes I might have made had I not done the retreat.”- Steve Rensch, Partner

“Potential to rebuild entire firm with what I learned over the past 2 days.”- Thomas Nowland, Partner

“I was absolutely shocked at how much I learned. Anyone who implements the strategies Stephen suggested will have more work than they can handle.”- Pierre Domercq, Associate

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 Scottsdale 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 today to reserve your place at the Rainmaker Retreat in Scottsdale at the outstanding Millennium Resort at Scottsdale McCormick Ranch – the discounted room rate expires on September 22, so be sure you sign up by then. 

October is the perfect time to visit Scottsdale and the McCormick Ranch Golf Club has two superb 18-hole championship golf courses, so come mix business with a little leisure!

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Exclusive Rainmaker Retreat Preview Call – 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 7,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then register now for our one-hour complimentary teleseminar.

Hosted by Rainmaker Institute CEO Stephen Fairley, this teleseminar will give you a preview of the valuable material that is taught at our 2-day Rainmaker Retreat legal marketing boot camp.

Sign up now for one of these upcoming one-hour teleseminars:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010
11am-12pm Pacific | 12-1pm Mountain | 1-2pm Central | 2-3pm Eastern

Tuesday, September 14, 2010
11am-12pm Pacific | 12-1pm Mountain | 1-2pm Central | 2-3pm Eastern

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
1-2pm Pacific | 2-3pm Mountain | 3-4pm Central | 4-5pm Eastern

Join us and learn why the Rainmaker Retreat is the one law firm marketing boot camp you cannot afford to miss!
 

 

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For Email Marketing you can trust

Law Firm Marketing: The Fortune is in the Follow-Up

If you are like many attorneys, you have tried many things to market your law firm. Marketing for lawyers often includes giving seminars and presentations, going to networking events, writing articles, talking to old law school buddies, meeting with potential referral sources, building law firm websites, and sending out holiday cards to remind clients of who you are.

When marketing your law firm, there are four different groups of people you come into contact with, and which group they fall into will usually tell you how you should follow up with them. It is important to understand the differences between each group:

Leads are people or companies who are unqualified and may or may not need your services or even be able to afford your services. Leads come from a presentation you make to a local trade group, by visiting your law firm website, or perhaps sending you a question in an email.

Prospects are people who have some level of qualification. They have either expressed a need for your services or they fall into a category that you believe has a high likelihood of needing your services. The major differences between leads and prospects are two-fold: you know who they are and you have a good reason to believe they need your services.

Clients are the third group you need to follow up with. A client is someone who has paid you money. Do not confuse prospects with clients. If someone hasn’t signed an agreement and paid you money yet, they are not your client.

Referrals are the last group you need to follow up with as part of your law firm marketing plan. They may be current referral sources, former referral sources (they haven't sent you any new leads or prospects in the last 12 months), or prospective referral sources.

I have coached and trained over 7,000 lawyers in virtually every practice area. The difference between financially successful attorneys and struggling attorneys is often found in their follow-up.

Top attorneys clearly understand “the fortune is in the follow up”. They plan ahead and lay out a clear game plan for following up with every person they connect with.

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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

Legal Marketing Masterminds: What Happens in Vegas...Makes Money!

I am in Las Vegas today with the Bisnar Rainmaker Mastermind Group at the Trump Hotel – I mean, where else would a group of entrepreneurial legal marketing gurus meet to plot industry-leading growth strategies?

The Bisnar Rainmaker Mastermind Group is an exclusive group of non-competing attorneys and law firm marketing experts, who:

  • Share proven methods about how to multiply their practice
  • Have a passion to play a bigger game
  • Are dedicated to increasing the profits, not just the revenues, of their law firms
  • Desire to create an automated legal marketing system
  • Desire to systematize our law firms so they can have a lifestyle law firm
  • Know one of the secrets to success is to build a team of superstars
  • Are committed to investing 3-5 hours every week to working on their business
  • Want to move fast and see dynamic results in their business and their life
  • Dedicate themselves to growing their law firm at least 30% every year

The group is led by me and nationally recognized personal injury and auto defect liability attorney John Bisnar, founder and managing partner of Bisnar | Chase in Orange County, CA.  He is nationally recognized as an expert in Internet marketing for law firms and each year his law firm generates hundreds of qualified clients from his 40+ websites.  John’s Internet marketing efforts have resulted in building a multi-million dollar law firm, which is one of the fastest growing firms in the country.

The Bisnar Rainmaker Mastermind Group is a success oriented, team-minded retreat where attorneys have the opportunity to learn in the company of other top attorneys where to find the necessary resources, tap into creative ideas and apply the skills they need to transform their current practice. 

We meet three times a year, usually in L.A., Phoenix and Vegas, for an intense, all-day strategy session.  Membership in our group is by invitation only; prospective members fill out an application and are interviewed by John and me.  The group is geographically and practice-specific as well as non-competitive.

Members have unrestricted access to both of us, as well as all the group members for brainstorming, high-level networking, business development techniques, goal setting, and refocusing on creating a lifestyle law firm.

There are a ton of other benefits as well – too many to list here – so you can read more about us here.

If you are interested in being considered for membership in the Bisnar Rainmaker Mastermind Group, email me: Stephen@therainmakerinstitute.com.

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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

4 Tips to Generate Clients and Referrals Through Speaking and Seminars

A very powerful law firm marketing strategy to generate more clients is to hold educational seminars or speak at events.  Here are some tips to help ensure that the time you commit to this endeavor pays off for you in terms of new clients and/or referrals.

Tip #1: Always Speak to Decision Makers
Make sure you get in front of the right group (people who either can refer you clients or who are highly likely to need, want and be able to afford your services) by asking about:

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

Tip #2: Educate Your Audience
Make your talk educational. Don’t stand up there and spout legal jargon and legal theory or sections and codes because that’s not what people want. They want practical, useful information.

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

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

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

Tip # 3: Get Attendees' Contact Information
Have a plan for obtaining the attendees’ contact information both before and after your presentation. You want to get it before so that you can get ready to follow-up with them, but also after your presentation just in case somebody shows up at the door. If you can’t get the contact information from the conference organizer, do a giveaway for a prize and have them pass their business cards to the front or have them email you their contact information to get a free copy of the handout or PowerPoint slides.

Tip # 4: The Fortune is in the Follow-up
The number one reason why lawyers don’t get results is because they don’t have a written follow-up system. You must develop a follow up strategy before the talk.

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

Email #1 would be sent within 24 hours post-seminar. It would be a thank you email with an offer for a free consultation, special report or audio CD.  Phone Call #1 would be made by your staff and would be made within 24 hours post-seminar. The call would be to thank them for attending and make the same free offer that’s made in the email. Your letter would be sent out the next day (they should receive it within 3 days if they are local.) and the letter would repeat what you have written in the email. All of this would happen in the first 24 hours after the seminar.

Some of you will question if that’s too aggressive. It’s not. It demonstrates a high level of professionalism and commitment to your attendees. We give dozens of law firm marketing seminars every year and this works.

Email #2 is sent 3 to 5 days after the event. Remind them about the seminar they attended and invite them to sign-up for a consultation for your newsletter. Email #3 might offer a brief tip about the topic you spoke about: top 10 tips or recommended resources, etc. Every person should be contacted by at least three phone calls before you stop trying to reach them. Every attendee should receive at least 5-7 emails and 1-2 letters from your law firm.

If you follow this script, you will attract both new clients and referrals from an audience that has been impressed by your knowledge, how you articulate it and the thoroughness of your follow-through.  You’ll be the attorney they want to do business with, I promise.

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Phoenix Attorneys:  Learn About Social Media at July 21 Legal Networking Group

Join us on Wednesday, July 21, when Stephen will address a meeting of the Phoenix Legal Networking Group on Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media for Lawyers: Facebook and Twitter. 
You will learn:

  • Why Facebook is the 800 pound gorilla on the Internet
  • Who is using Facebook (this will surprise you)
  • What kind of practice areas are getting clients from Facebook
  • How to get started fast
  • Why Twitter is growing so fast
  • How to leverage Twitter to drive traffic to your blog or website
  • Top tips for using social media in your legal marketing strategy

The event will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21 at Monti’s, 100 S. Mill Ave. in Tempe.  Cost is only $20 per person.

To register for this seminar, co-hosted by FindLaw, Attorney at Law Magazine and The Rainmaker Institute, click here.

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

The 5 Biggest Advertising Mistakes Lawyers Make

Advertising is important to the marketing of your law firm, but not all advertising is equally effective. In these competitive times, you cannot afford to waste your resources making any advertising mistakes, so I’m going to share with you “The 5 Biggest Advertising Mistakes Lawyers Make” so you can avoid them – and prosper.

1. Most ads are not meaningful. In just one day, your prospective client sees more than 5,000 ads, so your ad must be unique enough to catch attention.

2. Mass advertising is expensive. When you advertise, you need to obey the Law of 7 Touches. It takes exposing your ad to your prospective client 7 times before he or she is willing to do business with you. So you have a tremendous up-front cost. Added to that, you should expect to receive, in revenue, a minimum of 5 times of what you spend.

3. Ads are not effective in encouraging people to “take action.” And that’s what counts: the action your prospect takes to do business with you. Without that, your money and time is wasted.

4. Most law firms lack follow-up systems. You may have designed a great ad, it’s precisely targeted and people respond. But then, nothing happens. Nothing happens because you lack a system to follow up with the leads that come from your ad campaign. And the money is in the follow-up.

5. No tracking of real results. This is just as bad as not having a follow-up system. Without tracking real results, you have no idea what works and what doesn’t. And that means you’re likely burning through cash without much to show for it.

Don't want to make any more mistakes with your law firm marketing? Then you need to attend my 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, The Rainmaker Retreat.

Time is running out to take advantage of our Early Bird special for the Los Angeles Rainmaker Retreat on July 30-31.  Register by July 23 and save $200!

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

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Exclusive Rainmaker Retreat Preview Call – 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 7,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then register now for our one-hour complimentary teleseminar.

Hosted by Rainmaker Institute CEO Stephen Fairley, this teleseminar will give you a preview of the valuable material that is taught at our 2-day Rainmaker Retreat as well as teach you:

  • How to Avoid the Most Deadly Marketing Mistakes Attorneys make
  • 3 powerful strategies you must put into action in your practice immediately
  • How to set yourself apart from your major competitors
  • Secrets top attorneys are using to generate more referrals right now
  • How attorneys are winning even in this economy by implementing this proven 8-step system

Sign up now for one of these upcoming one-hour teleseminars:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010
11am-12pm Pacific | 12-1pm Mountain | 1-2pm Central | 2-3pm Eastern

Tuesday, July 27, 2010
1-2pm Pacific | 2-3pm Mountain | 3-4pm Central | 4-5pm Eastern

Join us and learn why the Rainmaker Retreat is the one law firm marketing boot camp you cannot afford to miss!

 

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

Breaking Legal Marketing News: LinkedIn Partners with JD Supra to Launch New Legal App

Woke up this morning to some great news from my friends at JD Supra – great for them, great for those of us who believe in the power of social media when it comes to legal marketing.

Last night LinkedIn launched its Legal Updates application powered by JD Supra content, calling it the “World's Largest Legal Content Distribution Network.”

The Legal Updates application distributes a feed of expert commentary and guidance as well as legal news tailored to the professional interests of LinkedIn members.  Currently, Legal Updates is the only application for distribution of professional legal content and information available on LinkedIn. 

It is free to LinkedIn members (which currently number 70 million) and is available now at http://bit.ly/c8JRjh.

As you may know, LinkedIn is the dominant social networking site for professionals, and has been extremely selective in making outside applications available on its network.  For instance, the iPhone has more than 200,000 apps available, while LinkedIn has only 16 that come from trusted names like Google, Amazon and Twitter. 

JD Supra's Legal Updates application is widely seen as a game-changer for how lawyers will use LinkedIn to market their expertise (the current installation rate for the application is about one every minute since it went live overnight).

JD Supra's Legal Updates application gives legal professionals a compelling platform to communicate their expertise not only to their own list of LinkedIn contacts but beyond to LinkedIn's entire network of 70 million professionals across a range of fields, including Insurance, Banking, Tech, Real Estate, HR, and more.

LinkedIn's 70 million members can receive custom-tailored, fully editable content feeds based on their industry and areas of interest.  Real estate professionals get updates on real estate law; HR professionals get updates on HR law, etc.

To read more about this exciting legal marketing opportunity, click here for the announcement press release.

You can also learn more by signing up for an online demo of the new app on Wednesday, July 22 at 1 p.m. ET.  To register, visit http://bit.ly/9NOeuL

Can’t wait?  To watch an instructional how-to video, visit http://bit.ly/bDvX2x.  That’s where I’ll be with my morning coffee.

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Learn All About the Latest Legal Marketing Trends & Tools at a Rainmaker Retreat

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.

 

Legal Marketing: How to Create An Effective Positioning Statement

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

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

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

Unique – it must clearly differentiate you from your competitors and your other areas of practice

Positive – it must create a positive image in the clients mind.

Memorable – While your clients certainly do not have to know or recall the specific words you use to describe your unique position, the key ideas should come through loud and clear.

Use these 5 steps to create your law firm marketing positioning statement:

Step 1: Know and Understand Your Competition

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

Step 2: Know How the Top 3 Position Themselves

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

Step 3: Know Their Strengths and Weaknesses

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

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

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

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

Step 5: Articulate Your Position in Two Sentences or Less

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

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

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Free Ebook: Top 10 Marketing Mistakes Attorneys Make & How to Avoid Them

In working with thousands of attorneys over the years, Stephen has found there are 10 common mistakes they make that can kill their business. In this practical ebook, you will find an overview of each practice-killing pitfall along with specific recommendations for how you can avoid falling prey to these mistakes.

You will discover:

  • How targeting the wrong market is the biggest mistake you can make and why it will destroy your business
  • The 3 problems with depending on passive marketing strategies and how to ‘activate’ your marketing
  • The #1 myth that’s killing your small business
  • 3 easy ways you continually test all your major marketing efforts
  • Why networking works well for some people and not at all for most others
  • Why outsourcing can be the best thing for your business

This ebook-- a $47 value -- is available for instant download by clicking here.

Law Firm Marketing Blogs: A Highly Effective Legal Marketing Tool

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

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

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

Technorati, the top blog search engine, was indexing over 126 million blogs as of December 2009.  Two years ago, there were only about 1,800 to 2,200 blogs written by lawyers.  Law.com now indexes over 23,000 legal blogs.

Have you seen the huge opportunity here?  Or are you still on the sidelines waiting to see if blogging is a fad?

The problem arises when you begin blogging without a clear law firm marketing strategy behind you.

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

But to make it the highly effective medium you need it to be, your law firm marketing and promotion strategy should include:

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

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

Take our Twitter Poll:  If you’re an attorney, we want your feedback!  Click here (or go to http://twitter.polldaddy.com/done/3364850) to let us know what business development topics you’re most interested in right now.

*************************************************************************************
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 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

Law Firm Marketing: Dispelling the Most Common Myths About Referrals

Attorneys know when it comes to law firm marketing, referrals are the best way of finding new clients, but there are 4 common myths I would like to dispel about referrals:

Myth 1. Clients are the best source of referrals. This surprises a lot of attorneys when I tell them this is a myth. Clients are simply the most obvious source of referrals, not often the best source.

There are simply too many variables you cannot control when trying to get more referrals from clients:

  • Do clients know all the different services your law firm offers?
  • Can they accurately explain who your ideal law firm clients are?
  • Are they able to give a clear and compelling reason why someone should hire you?
  • Will they remember you when they meet someone who needs your services?
  • Did they just receive a large bill from you and don’t feel especially “good” about your law firm at this moment?

Myth 2. Most legal referrals come from other attorneys. Actually, studies show that only about 25% of an established legal professional's practice comes from referrals from other attorneys, so logically about 75% of your law firm clients will come from other sources (this may vary greatly by practice area).

A simple marketing tip is to set up an easy tracking system as part of your client intake file and then review on a quarterly basis to identify where those leads came from. There are also some legal software products that can be customized to track that information automatically.

Myth 3. Online legal directories can produce a lot of referrals fast. There is some indication that consumers are starting to use online legal directories as a screening mechanism and they may even view attorneys who are listed in the directory as “more qualified” than attorneys who are not, but this is far from conclusive.

Generally speaking, local and state bar directories are more effective, but most non-bar-affiliated online directories have become the equivalent of online yellow pages and do not offer any more benefits than advertising in a telephone book.

Myth 4. Formal networking is a great way to get more referrals. Over the years of helping thousands of attorneys build million+ dollar practices, we have found that formal networking events (like trade shows and chamber of commerce, etc.) work exceptionally well for a select group of attorneys— and not at all for most legal professionals. Here are a few reasons why:

(1) Attending the wrong kind of group—one filled with peers, not prospects. Unless your target market is another attorney, I can't recommend spending much of your valuable marketing time hanging around other lawyers. Go where your prospects are, especially the decision makers, not the gatekeepers.

(2) Going to a networking event to find new clients is like going to a bar looking for your soul mate. While it may happen, the odds are stacked against you. The best way to look at a formal networking event is to go there for two reasons: first, to build relationships with potential referral sources (people you have identified that have a direct connection with your target market) and second, to find out how you can be a referral source to other professional service providers.

(3) Lack of a follow-up plan. When you find a potential referral source, you have about 48 hours to follow up with them or they will likely forget about you. Have a plan for calling them, emailing them, or both the day after the event for the purpose of determining if they are interested in getting together face to face.

So what is the best source of referrals?  Strategic Referral Partners (SRPs) are the best source of new referrals. SRPs are people who already have a relationship with or already do business with the people you want to reach.

How to cultivate those SRPs is something we teach at every Rainmaker Retreat.  Not just theories, but actionable strategies so you can start building your SRP network the minute you get home.

**********************************************************************
Looking for more Rainmaker Institute wisdom?

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


 

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

Law Firm Marketing Boot Camp: San Francisco Rainmaker Retreat This Weekend

The weather forecast for San Francisco this weekend is “abundant sunshine”. 

And the forecast for this weekend’s San Francisco Rainmaker Retreat is “abundant legal marketing strategies you can implement next week”!

If you’re a partner in a small law firm or are on your own and want to grow your practice while enjoying the lifestyle you deserve, you owe it to yourself to check out the Rainmaker Retreat where you will learn:

  • 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

Did you read Phoenix bankruptcy attorney Joe McDaniel’s blog about our last Rainmaker Retreat?  If not, click here.  He tells it like it is.  A week later, he added another post that rightly detailed his already substantial marketing savvy and what he did on his own to earn a Martindale Visibility Index ranking of #4 out of 5,813 Phoenix lawyers.  He also added this:

“...with the knowledge that they lavished on my class at the Rainmaker Retreat, I fully anticipate that I will be able to double my practice, with a substantial increase in levels of client satisfaction among the clients who retain my firm.”

The Rainmaker Retreat 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 San Francisco 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 today to reserve your place at the next Rainmaker Retreat in San Francisco on June 18-19.

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Preview Call for San Francisco Rainmaker Retreat Tomorrow – Hop On!

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 6,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then register now for a one-hour complimentary teleseminar on Wed., June 16.

Hosted by Rainmaker Institute CEO Stephen Fairley, this teleseminar will give you a preview of the valuable material that will be taught at our 2-day Rainmaker Retreat in San Francisco this Friday and Saturday – June 18 & 19 – at The State Bar of California, 180 Howard Street.

Sign up now for this one-hour teleseminar tomorrow:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
11am-12pm Pacific | 12-1pm Mountain | 1-2pm Central | 2-3pm Eastern

Join us and learn why the Rainmaker Retreat is the one law firm marketing boot camp you cannot afford to miss!
 

 

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

Email Lists: Build Them and They Will Come

Email marketing is a great way to keep current clients informed about your practice as well as a great way to introduce your legal services to prospects. 

The first step in a successful email marketing campaign is to build a good list.  Here are some tips on building an email list for marketing your practice:

Home Page Sign-up
Have an area on the home page of your website dedicated solely to enticing people to sign up for something.  Having a regular newsletter to send is always a good idea, but you can also ask people to sign up for information on legal developments or offer a monthly free consultation.  Whatever it is, it needs to be of value to your customers, not just to you.

Ask to Add
When you attend networking events, meetings or trade shows – wherever you are likely to meet potential new clients or are gathering business cards – ask those you meet if you can add them to your mailing list, to send them a newsletter or special offers. 

Association Lists
If you are a member of any trade or community organizations, ask if you can have access to their membership list.  Many offer membership lists to members for free; some are available for a fee.

Reciprocal plugs
Find other newsletters that you think your customers would enjoy and ask if they’ll promote your newsletter if you do the same for them. 

Buy a List
There are quite a few online resources that offer lists for sale sorted by zip code, demographics, income, lifestyle interests, buying behavior, etc.   You can purchase a really targeted list based on your ideal client profile and use it to test a variety of promotions or special offers.

Building an email list that will help you drive traffic to your website is an integral part of a well-rounded online law firm marketing program, and one of the many helpful tools you’ll learn about at any of our Rainmaker Retreats.

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Want more actionable legal marketing strategies? 

We took all of our legal marketing expertise and boxed it up, just for you!  The Rainmaker in a Box five DVD set includes:

  • 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

Get yourself an early Father's Day gift that will keep giving for years to come!  Order this information-packed set here.

 
 

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

Phoenix Legal Networking Group Meeting on June 23 to Learn About Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media

On Wednesday, June 23, I will address a meeting of the Phoenix Legal Networking Group, an assembly of solo and small firm attorneys looking to effectively market their law firms and grow their business.

My topic will be Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media: Using LinkedIn and Avvo to Generate New Clients (Part 1).  Social media is all the rage right now, but many attorneys are understandably skeptical.  And most don’t even know how to get started.

Join us on June 23 and discover:

  • 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.

You won’t find this kind of information and opportunity at this price anywhere.   Make an investment in your firm’s future and join your fellow legal marketers for this invaluable presentation. The information shared and the networking opportunity can open doors that will allow you take your firm to the next level.

To register for this seminar, co-hosted by FindLaw, Attorney at Law Magazine and The Rainmaker Institute, click here.

******************************************************************************
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. We recommend you print these and take notes on them as you watch the 4 intense DVDs.

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

5 Proven Ways to Renew, Restore and Revive Your Practice in Today's Economy-4 of 5

There’s a huge myth out there that press releases are really only for big law firms and that’s just not true. In fact, this is probably one area where the little guys can beat out the big guys because just having more money doesn’t mean a hill of beans when it comes to press releases.

I had a solo practitioner client who wrote about identity theft for his very first press release, and had over 100,000 people click on his release. (The website that we use actually tracks how many people click on your link to read your press release.)

He got an opportunity to speak to a Fortune 500 company that had him come in and talk to all their employees about how to protect themselves against identity theft and he got a lot of clients off that. That was his very first press release. Now that doesn’t happen every time. That’s certainly an anomaly, but it does happen.

Who reads press releases? Journalists are big consumers of press releases. Remember, they’re looking for 6-8 stories and they’re looking for leads. They’re looking for ideas. They’re looking for experts ands there is an art to writing a press release, which we talk extensively about at the Rainmaker Retreat.

Google also loves press releases. For those of you who have spent any time or money trying to get your website to the top of the search engines, this is a phenomenal way to get your website out there. 

I have literally issued a press release at 9 a.m. and by 5 p.m., I am on the first page of Google for my specific keyword.  Search engines love press releases, and on that press release is of course a link back to my website which drives more traffic and prospects.

A great distribution resource is PRweb.com -- you can create an account for free and they have good teaching tools about how to write and format your release.  You can choose from four price options, from $80 to $360, depending on your distribution druthers.

ATTENTION ARIZONA BAR MEMBERS:  The Rainmaker Institute will be exhibiting at the Arizona State Bar Annual Convention this week at the Renaissance Hotel & Spa.  Please stop by our booth to learn more about our proven system for finding more and better clients, including strategies that Rainmakers are using in this recession to land higher paying clients.

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Exclusive Rainmaker Retreat Preview Call – 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 6,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then register now for our one-hour complimentary teleseminar.

Sign up now for one of these upcoming one-hour teleseminars:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010
3-4pm Pacific | 4-5pm Mountain | 5-6pm Central | 6-7pm Eastern

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
11am-12pm Pacific | 12-1pm Mountain | 1-2pm Central | 2-3pm Eastern

The call will give you a preview of the valuable material that is taught at our 2-day Rainmaker Retreat.   Join us and learn why the Rainmaker Retreat is the one law firm marketing boot camp you cannot afford to miss!


 

5 Proven Ways to Renew, Restore and Revive Your Practice in Today's Economy-1 of 5

Many of you have probably tried the traditional ways that attorneys use to get more clients. You belong to the Chamber of Commerce. You advertise in the Yellow Pages. You tried radio and it probably flopped pretty seriously.  And you hope for the random referral.

We’ve studied over 2,500 rainmakers to find out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to building a financially successful law practice.  What we’ve discovered is that successful rainmakers do not rely on random referrals to build their practice. Instead, they use a systematic approach. They find what works for them and they do it over and over again.

There are specific steps you can take to reduce the amount of randomness to practice development.

#1 – The Ezine

One way you can renew, restore, and revive your practice is actually very simple. You can do it in less than an hour a month, but in order for it to be effective you have to do it consistently.  It’s what we call an Ezine, or electronic newsletter.

Electronic newsletters have been around the Internet industry for several years now but they’re still relatively new in the legal industry. There are probably less than 5% of all attorneys who send out any kind of an electronic newsletter. And one of the really powerful things about this is how quickly and easily you can set up and maintain an Ezine program.

The key to winning online is to connect with your prospective target market or best prospects over and over and over again. We call it the frequency and the consistency model. Statistics show that it takes a minimum of seven touches before most of your best prospects are going to look up long enough to say, “Who are you and what can you do for me?” because we’re all being bombarded with so much information now.

Ezines are great for law firm marketing because they:

  • Are inexpensive and easy to produce
  • Support targeted messaging to different target audiences
  • Have tracking capability so you can see how many people opened your email and clicked through to your website
  • Are easy to forward or print, so the recipient can actually widen your prospect base for you
  • Allow your clients and prospects to communicate directly with you by replying to your Ezine

Ezines are designed to be short, informational and actionable.  The fact that they are also inexpensive to produce and distribute makes them one of the cornerstones of an effective and systematic law firm marketing program.

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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

To order this information-packed set click here.


 

Law Firm Marketing: Do You YouTube?

Last week, YouTube celebrated its fifth anniversary and announced that it is now serving more than 2 billion videos per day.  Yes, that’s billion, with a “b”.  Every day.  Is there a place for YouTube in your law firm marketing program?  2 billion times, yes.

When we build a client’s website, we always add video features.  We know, lawyers love words.  But your potential clients love video, and hosting your video clips on YouTube is an excellent way to state your case to those potential clients as well as improve your search engine ranking.

Plus, it’s easy and economical to do. So whether or not you have video features on your website, you can create a YouTube channel for your practice that will do double duty for you, persuading potential clients why they should hire you, and boosting your Google ranking.  Here’s how:

Pick your specialty.  You’ve heard me say it before, but it bears repeating:  one of the biggest legal marketing mistakes attorneys make is generalization.  You need to promote yourself as a specialist (in the marketing sense) – you’re a divorce lawyer, or a car accident attorney, or an estate planning lawyer.  Choose 3-4 topics within your area of specialization and develop informational talking points (no more than 3-4 minutes each) that potential clients will find useful.  And remember, you are not shooting a commercial – make it short and informational.

Shoot your videos.  Your clips do not need to be Hollywood-quality productions.  You can get a Flip HD Video camcorder for around $200 and have one of your staff shoot the videos of you in your office or conference room.  The Flip has a built-in USB connection so you can upload each clip to your computer, edit it, and create a file for YouTube.

Set up your channel.  Isn’t the 21st century great?   With YouTube, you can create your own TV channel.  The website will walk you through the process, including uploading and tagging your video.  Be SURE you title and tag your video with your keywords (i.e., “Atlanta divorce lawyer”) so you feed those search engines.  You will also need to add a description – be as specific as possible and load up on those keywords.

Promote your channel.  Add your YouTube channel URL to all your social media pages – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. – as well as to your email signature.  Have everyone in your practice add it to their social media and electronic signatures as well.  You can also search for relevant videos on YouTube and post a video reply linking your channel to those relevant videos.  And, of course, embed the clips into your website and link to your YouTube channel from there.

After five years, YouTube is no longer just for skateboarding dogs and sleepy babies...it’s a great social media tool for your law firm marketing arsenal that can help you with SEO and attracting new clients.

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money

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

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

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

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!


 

Legal Marketing: Six Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert-Fourth in a Series

Disclaimer: When I use the word “expert” or “specialist” in this series, I’m not talking in the legal or ethical sense, but in the marketing sense where the goal is to get media and/or prospects to perceive you as an expert or specialist.

The fourth legal marketing strategy for building credibility and becoming a recognized expert is Starting a Blog.

A blog is an online journal that is kept up to date with fresh content on a regular basis, and is a great low-cost alternative for solo practitioners or small firms that don’t have websites.  If you do have a website, blogs are a great addition because Google likes blogs as much as it likes press releases.  And blogs are updated much more frequently than websites, which means that when you add new content on your blog, Google is going to find that and it’s going to index it.  And that means you’re going to come up on search engines more frequently than if you just had a website.

Blogs are easy to start and easy to update.  Two of the most popular blogging platforms are Wordpress.com and Blogger.com.  Both of these sites do a good job of walking you through the blogging process and a basic blog is free.

For blog content, consider these sources:

  • Your articles
  • Your press releases
  • Commentary on legal issues
  • Commentary on local news items

Repurposing your existing content like press releases and articles is one of the easiest ways to add content to your blog.  An article is typically 500 to 700 words, a press release is usually 300 to 400 words, and a blog is usually 100 to 300 words.  Take the content from your article, cut it in half, and writes two press releases about it. Then take the content from each one of those two press releases, cut those in half and you have four blog posts.

We recommend posting a new blog at least four times a month. Some people post a lot more than that, but you should do at least a minimum of four times a month.  Any time an interesting topic comes up, you can write a blog post about it. You can even train your staff to do it for you.

There are many different ways to use a blog to drive highly qualified traffic to your website.   Start out simple.  But the important thing is to start!

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Looking for more proven tactics from The Rainmaker Institute?

Then subscribe to our FREE monthly e-newsletter. One click of your mouse will take you to our site where you can see the current issue and subscribe to our complimentary monthly e-newsletter that will be delivered to your inbox.  Each issue is chock-full of legal marketing information you can put to use right away. I think you will find the information in every newsletter something you will want to share with your staff to maximize the effectiveness of your legal marketing plan.

 

Phoenix Legal Marketing Network Group

Last week over 20 attorneys from small and solo practices around Phoenix met for the launching of our first ever Phoenix Legal Marketing Network Group.

This group will be meeting on a monthly basis and is co-sponsored by The Rainmaker Institute, Alex Morris of FindLaw, and Ken Minniti of Target Market Media and the Publisher of Attorney At Law Magazine—Phoenix Edition.

We met for 2 hours in Scottsdale near the airport. The first hour was all about networking with your fellow professionals. Reconnecting with colleagues and making new acquaintances.

During the second hour, yours truly gave a seminar on “7 Keys to Recession Proof Your Law Firm,” designed to help attorneys look at their law firm as a business, not just a practice.

One of the core concepts to having a successful law firm is understanding that “the People run your systems and the Systems run your law firm.” The problem with most law firms is that they are being run by people and do not have any real systems in place. We identified 7 critical systems every law firm needs, including:

  • A Cash Flow System
  • A Marketing System
  • A Lead Generation System
  • A Client Conversion and Retention System
  • A Work Flow System
  • A Management System and
  • A Key Performance Indicators System

Another main topic was the importance of hiring and retaining “Superstars” on your team. As a Partner in your law firm, you simply cannot afford to have anything less than a Superstar in every position at your firm. This is especially true during these difficult economic times.

What's different about this networking group from others?

First and foremost, it's for attorneys
. While attorneys from all size law firms are welcome, it is specifically designed to help lawyers in small and solo practices to connect with one another and share referrals.

Second, there is an educational component at each event. Not MCLE or about substantive matters of law, but about how to build your business, make more money, generate more referrals, and run your practice like a business.

We invite all local Arizona attorneys to join us each month. Upcoming topics will include:

  • How to double your referral network in 6 months
  • Using social media marketing to generate leads
  • Practical ways to run your law firm like a business
  • Generate more and better referrals
  • Lessons from 7 figure attorneys
  • Automating your online marketing efforts
  • Increase your revenues and improve your receivables
  • Take consistent action to build your business
  • How to fix your follow-up with every prospect, client and referral source
  • Tools to increase referrals from CPAs, CFPs and other attorneys
  • Learn cutting edge Internet marketing strategies
  • Apply practical tips and techniques to create a lifestyle law firm

The next session is on Wednesday, June 23 -- if you would like to be notified of specifics for this meeting as well as future dates, please go to http://www.therainmakerretreat.com/network and sign up by clicking the box “Can't Make It, Send Me Future Dates.”

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Legal Marketing: Six Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert - Third in a Series

Disclaimer: When I use the word “expert” or “specialist” in this series, I’m not talking in the legal or ethical sense, but in the marketing sense where the goal is to get media and/or prospects to perceive you as an expert or specialist.

The third legal marketing strategy for building credibility and becoming a recognized expert is Submitting Articles Online.

Many of you have written articles for your state or local bar association or some other newsletter that’s heavy on the technical jargon. However, for these online legal marketing articles, you want to craft brief, information education-based pieces that are typically 400-700 words in length.

There are literally hundreds of websites that will publish your articles online for free.  All you have to do is submit them.  The top sites include EzineArticles.com, GoArticles.com, ArticleDashboard.com, ArticlesBase.com, Buzzle.com and more.  If you do a Google search for “article directories”, you’ll get many more. 

You can also sign up for a service to do it for you for a small monthly fee – DistributeYourArticles.com and ContentCrooner.com (formerly ArticleMarketer.com) are two sites that distribute your content to their network.

When writing your articles you want to be sure you:

  • Ensure the article is a good fit for the site you’re submitting it to;
  • Write for a specific audience – don’t make it generic;
  • Keep it short and concise but with some good information;
  • Add a short bio and call to action at the end of the article – the call to action can be something like, “For a free consultation or to receive our free special report, email us or give us a call.”

Once you start submitting your articles, you’ll soon see them published all over the place. One website will publish your article, and then 10 other websites will come along and take that same content and publish it on their website.  These sites all have reciprocal agreements that say they can’t change the content of the article, so your bio and contact information will remain intact.

Combined with press releases, article submissions can be a powerful legal marketing tool. If you type my name into Google, you’ll see that I come up with about 800,000 mentions. A great majority of that is because of the articles and press releases that we’ve submitted over time that have accumulated and produced a snowball effect. This is not a happy accident – it’s a solid marketing strategy that has been well executed.

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Go to Camp This Summer!  Get in on the 2-Day Marketing Boot Camp for Small Law Firms
 
If you're struggling to build your legal practice or want to learn a proven law firm marketing system that has helped attorneys discover how to generate more referrals and find new clients fast, then you owe it to yourself to check out a Rainmaker Retreat this summer:

May 21-22, 2010    Scottsdale, AZ
June 18-19, 2010    San Francisco, CA
July 16-17, 2010    Las Vegas, NV
July 30-31, 2010    Los Angeles, CA

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. Yes, we know you are skeptical (we wouldn't have it any other way).   So instead of us telling you how these 2 days will transform your business, we will let our clients do the telling.
 
Click here to order your complimentary DVD right now.
 

Marketing For Lawyers - Mistakes Attorneys Make--and How to Avoid Them, Mistake #5

MARKETING MISTAKE 5:
NOT TESTING AND RETESTING YOUR LAW FIRM MARKETING EFFORTS

Not testing your marketing efforts is like going through an entire jury trial but neglecting to hear the verdict. Here's a great little litmus test to apply to your lawyer marketing efforts:

 

If you can't measure it, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

 

I recommend you try to measure your every marketing effort and if you can't measure it, you probably shouldn’t be doing it because you can never be sure about your results other than basing them on a feeling or your intuition.

 

In marketing for attorneys - Every marketing effort you make should have at least one to two things you are testing. For example:

 

Let's say you own an accounting firm and you want to do some direct mailings. You decide as part of your marketing plan to send out 1000 postcards to prospects on your mailing list to invite them to contact you.

 

Develop two postcards with two different headlines:

 

Postcard 1 says: “Every year most small business owners overpay 22% on their federal taxes due to errors made by their accountant. Call today for your FREE report on 10 common mistakes accountants make that cost you money.”

 

Postcard 2 says: “Last year the IRS conducted audits on 425,729 small businesses that cost the average owner 276 hours of their time and $9, 223 in legal and accounting fees. Call today to receive your free 75 question checklist and how to audit-proof your business in 5 easy

steps.”

 

Then divide your mailing list into two groups of 500 each and track the results by putting a different code word on the bottom of each group of postcards. When prospects contact you to receive their free report ask them for the code word to track which headline produces better results.

You can use a similar strategy for many different marketing tactics. For example, if you're offering a discount for your product in a newspaper ad—try offering a percent off the retail price for two months, then try offering a specific dollar amount off for two months and track the results. Or if you use email and law firm Internet marketing strategies, create two different landing pages on your law firm websites with two different offers and see which one “pulls in” more prospects to your email list.

 

Always look for ways you can test your efforts, but don’t introduce too many variables at once because if you're trying to measure three or more variables you can never be sure which one is responsible for the results.

 

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Step your law firm marketing strategy into high gear. Register for your private consultation today. A Private Consultation is just the beginning to what could be one of the best decisions you have ever made for your practices and yourself! Here are 3 ways to register for your Private Consultation:

When you register by email or online someone will contact you within 24 hours to set up your appointment.