Less Can Mean More When You Niche Your Practice

Very interesting read in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal online about a small financial services firm that discovered fewer clients could mean a much more profitable practice -- and a chance at living a real life outside work.

Two female financial advisors launched their own firm 12 years ago in a Kansas City suburb.  At that time, they admittedly took “anyone who breathed” as clients.  Within four years, they had 600 clients and $33 million in assets under management.

And they were working themselves to death, never taking a vacation and rarely spending time with family.

After one of the partners delivered her baby prematurely, which she blamed on work stress, the partners made a radical decision to niche their practice, paring down the 600-member client list to only their top 30 clients.

They met in person with each of their 30 ideal clients to explain their desire to truly focus their practice on meeting the needs of this top tier, who were all wealthy individuals going through life transitions like marriage, divorce, retirement and the sale of a business. 

All of the clients they wanted to keep embraced their new vision and stayed on, even though the firm raised their fees substantially.  Over the next two years, the partners met with the rest of their clients to explain their new direction.  Most agreed to leave because of the higher fees.  Some even referred new clients to the firm because they were a better fit.

Over the ensuing years, the partners carefully grew their business, taking on qualified referrals from their existing base.  Today, the firm has 110 clients and $150 million in assets under management.

The partners say they have found a comfortable work-life balance, and enjoy getting to spend more time with their clients.  Their advice to other advisors who want to create a dream niche practice:  “Realize you can’t be all things to all people.  Get super clear about whom you want to work with and then take a leap of faith.”

I have been telling attorneys for years that niches lead to riches.  Most lack the courage to take that leap of faith; perhaps this real-life example will inspire you to build that lifestyle law firm you’ve always dreamed of. 

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7 Strategies for a 7-Figure Law Firm

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

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

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

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

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

So if you’re tired of beating your head against the wall and you’re ready to take a fresh look at how to break out of the negative cycle you’re stuck in then you really owe it to yourself to watch this webinar.

Discover:

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

Click on this link now to access the online webinar, 7 Strategies for a 7-Figure Law Firm.

Here's One Banker Who Can Really Help Your Law Firm Grow

Meet Wally Hayes (that’s him on the right), vice president of Bank of America Practice Solutions and one banker who can really help your law firm grow.

If you’ve attended any of our West Coast Rainmaker Retreat sessions, you may have met Wally.  I’ve had him speak a few times, and he’ll be at the Las Vegas Rainmaker Retreat on May 30-31.  I wouldn’t waste your time, or mine, if I didn’t think he had something important to convey to attorneys who may need some financial assistance for things that can contribute to your firm’s viability but that you may not have available cash to fund.

First, a little background:  Bank of America started its Practice Solutions group 18 years ago to provide lending to health care professionals – doctors, dentists and veterinarians.  It turned out to be a great business model for them, so they expanded it three years ago to include attorneys, CPAs and insurance professionals.

Here are the lending products Bank of America Practice Solutions offers for attorneys:

Partnership buy-in program – if you are ready to be a partner in your firm but lack the cash for the buy-in, you can obtain financing for up to 10% ownership in the business (up to $200,000).  BofA offers flexible payment options to fit your firm’s capital distribution schedule, and loan terms can be for up to 10 years.

Express loan program – BofA can lend an attorney up to $75,000 via an express loan application that they can typically turn around within 24 hours.   These funds can be used for marketing expenses, consulting fees, technology hardware, software, or even upgrading office furniture. 

Practice debt consolidation program – attorneys can leverage the equity in their practice to consolidate business-related expenses.  BofA will lend up to 65% of annual revenue to improve cash flow and lower monthly expenditures.

Commercial real estate program – this conventional loan product provides loans up to $5 million for the purchase or refinance of commercial real estate.  This is a 85% loan to value program, so attorneys will need a 15% down payment.  Terms include six months no payment, 12 months interest-only option and a payment schedule of up to 25 years to keep payments affordable.

Line of credit – BofA lends up to 10% of a firm’s previous year’s revenue.  Minimum loan amount is $10,000.

None of these loan products are tied to SBA lending, and they don’t provide loans for firm acquisitions.  Plus, you can’t just walk into your local BofA branch to get one; you’ll need to reach out to Wally via email at wally.hayes@bankofamerica.com or at 614-572-7644.

You can go here to learn more about Bank of America Practice Solutions for attorneys.

Of course, I am most excited about this program’s ability to provide working capital to attorneys and law firms for marketing consulting expenses.  There are so many lawyers we speak with who want to invest in marketing to take their firms to the next level, but don’t always have the cash on hand to do it.  This program is an affordable way to fund your dream of a more profitable practice.  Can’t beat that!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Build a Lifestyle Law Firm, Part 1

How to Build a Lifestyle Law Firm, Part 2

How to Build a Lifestyle Law Firm, Part 3

How to Build a Lifestyle Law Firm, Part 4

How to Build a Lifestyle Law Firm, Part 5

How to Build a Lifestyle Law Firm, Part 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Join us and discover:

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

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

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

 

The Rise of Alternative Fee Arrangements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

 

Happy Easter!

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

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

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

How to Optimize Your Online Content in 7 Simple Steps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

5 Ways to Spread the Influence of Your Law Firm Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers

Based on Stephen’s highly successful seminar series by the same name, this 3-audio CD program covers dozens of practical recommendations and step-by-step sales and marketing techniques for solo practitioners and small law firms.

More than 8,000 attorneys from law firms all over the country have experienced powerful results from attending the Becoming A Rainmaker seminar. It has been sponsored by more than 22 of the largest state and local bar associations.

In this information-packed audio program, you will discover:

  • How to generate more leads by using education-based marketing
  • The relationship between credibility, visibility, tangibility, and consistency
  • How to position your small firm as an industry leader
  • The importance of being perceived as a specialist
  • Why most advertising is a waste of your money
  • What to expect from a Yellow Pages ad
  • The 3 marketing strategies that will produce 80% of your results
  • How to influence the Know, Like and Trust factors
  • Common marketing mistakes lawyers make and how to avoid them
  • How to answer the question, "Why should I buy from you?"
  • Specific ways you can set yourself apart from low-cost lawyers
  • What to do with the 15% of the population that always buys on price
  • Ways to attract your Ideal Target Market
  • The 6 stage sales process you must follow for maximum success

Click to order Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers.

 

Billing Lawsuit Another Black Eye for Legal Profession

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

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

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

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

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

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

A few months ago I interviewed Lee Rosen, one of America’s top divorce attorneys and practice management specialists, who transformed his practice from relying on hourly billing to charging flat fee prices.

In our interview, Lee explained in detail how he set out to fix his cash flow several years ago and in doing so he fundamentally changed his practice – for the better!

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the dates for upcoming sessions:

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

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

 

LawMarketing.com Great How-To Resource For Legal Marketers

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

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

Law Firm Marketing Tips to Leveraging Web Content – Video

Attorneys Are Falling Victim To These Common SEO Mistakes

Is Mobile in Your Briefcase?

How To Create A LinkedIn Profile To Get Clients

Ethics for Online Legal Marketing – Free Webinar Recording

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

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

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

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

 

How to Run Your Law Firm From Your Smartphone

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

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

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

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

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Get More Proven Legal Marketing Strategies FREE from The Rainmaker Institute
One click of your mouse will take you to our website where you can see the current issue and subscribe to our complimentary monthly e-newsletter that will be delivered to your inbox every month. 

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

 

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 Ensure Online Reviews Make You, Not Break You

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

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

Consider these latest research findings:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

 

How to Create a Lead-Generating Law Firm Newsletter

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

Here are some hallmarks of effective e-newsletters:

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

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

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

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

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

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Get More Proven Legal Marketing Strategies FREE from The Rainmaker Institute

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

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

 

How to Brand Yourself Online

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

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

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

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

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

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

In his new one-hour seminar, Stephen Fairley will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues. You will learn:

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

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

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

 

How to Turn Client Problems Into Profits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Use this knowledge to increase your effectiveness:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get this on-demand seminar to learn:

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

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

 

23 Reasons Why Content Marketing Matters

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

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

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

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

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

5. 9 in 10 organizations market with content.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

21. 86% of B2C marketers use content marketing.

22. 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The 5 Compelling Truths About Referrals

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

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

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

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

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

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Free Report: 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys From Building A Referral-Based Practice

Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process.  Stephen Fairley unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Newly released! Rainmaker in a Box: Volume 2 includes:

8 Proven Steps for More & Better Referrals

Discover the proven step-by-step system used to double your referrals from current and former clients and how to build a network of strategic referral partners. Top attorneys have used this exact system to double their referrals in 6 months or less!

7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Law Firm

Watch and learn as I walk you through the specific strategies top lawyers are using to increase their revenues in this tough economy-and it doesn’t include reducing their fees!

6 Keys to Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media

Social media has emerged as the fastest way to build a massive platform of prospects! I pull back the curtain and let you in on little known secrets of how attorneys are generating dozens of leads every month from social media.

5 Core Components for Highly Successful Websites & Blogs

My interview with nationally recognized personal injury attorney John Bisnar on how his law firm uses search engine optimization and internet marketing to drive tens of thousands of unique visitors every month to his 30 websites and 10 blogs. Discover proven techniques for converting website visitors into paying clients.

Data DVD: 
Includes all 4 PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations. We recommend you print all these off and take notes on them as you experience these information-packed DVDs!

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

Click here now to order!

 

Top 5 Things Your Referral Sources Need to Know

One of the biggest mistakes that any professional who relies on referrals as a source of new clients tends to make is not educating their referral sources. 

It does you no good to ask someone to refer you if they have no idea what it is you are looking for in a new client. Here are the top 5 things your referral sources need to know:

1. What does your ideal client look like? You need to answer this question very specifically – i.e., “My ideal client is a high net worth individual ($1 million or more in assets) in their 40s who owns their own business.”

2. What should I tell them about why they should hire you? We have written frequently about your UCA – unique competitive advantage. (See my previous post on How to Create Your Unique Competitive Advantage for 2013.) Be sure your referral source understands the precise reasons why you are better than your competitors.

3. What problems do you solve? By helping your referral source understand the problems that you solve for your clients, they will know what to listen for in daily conversations and be able to recommend you to someone who mentions having a problem you solve.

4. How do you follow up with people I recommend? Your referral source needs to feel comfortable that you will follow up promptly and professionally with the people they send your way.

5. Why are referrals important to you? Let your source know that you rely on referrals as a way to build your business and how much you will appreciate their referring people to you.

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Free Report: 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys From Building A Referral-Based Practice

Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process.  Stephen Fairley unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

DLG: It's been almost a year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DLG: [Laughter]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Get More Proven Legal Marketing Strategies FREE from The Rainmaker Institute
One click of your mouse will take you to our website where you can see the current issue and subscribe to our complimentary monthly e-newsletter that will be delivered to your inbox every month. 

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

 

Law Schools Forced to Rethink Programs After Applications Fall Dramatically

The media and the blogosphere are aflame with commentary on a New York Times article earlier this week that shows law school applications have declined by almost 50% over the past decade.

According to the Times, several law schools are scrambling to reexamine their programs in the light of this new student drought. Maybe it took the lack of warm bodies to finally grab their attention – the old law of supply and demand has finally made its impact felt.

Universities that have been getting fat off the law school hog are now offering tuition discounts, while others are considering dropping their JD programs to two years instead of three or making the third year “more relevant” by providing hands-on training.

With a shrinking job market for attorneys and a plentitude of grads, salaries have fallen off their own fiscal cliff, leaving prospective students to decide (rightly) that bearing a staggering load of debt with no promise of a job is a career dead-ender.

My hope is that law schools struggling to reinvent their programs will consider partnering with their business school counterparts and offer legal students the business and marketing training they need to be relevant in a 21st century law practice. 

With Biglaw continuing to trim their staffs, small firms and solos will likely be the best alternative for new law school grads.   And they won’t succeed unless they can bring some real-world business and marketing savvy to the table.

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

According to recent research…

58 million adults looked for an attorney in the past year

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

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

Because they are doing it all wrong!

This webinar will teach you how to do it right.

Lawyers.com editor-in-chief Larry Bodine and Stephen Fairley join forces to deliver a compelling on-demand webinar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients; access this webinar now to learn:

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

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

 

Reconnect with Your Top Clients & the Rewards Will Follow

Many of us are so busy trying to find new leads that we forget about the best source - our past clients.  But there is new business from old contacts to be mined; here is how you do it:

Start by identifying your top 10 clients and set up appointments with them face-to-face over the next couple of months. Have an open and honest discussion with them about the state of their business, how the economy/tax law changes/healthcare law changes are affecting them, what actions they are taking as a result, what resources they need and how you can help them.

Perhaps they really need a business loan and you know of a local banker you could introduce them to. Or they may have to let a few employees go and are afraid of being sued. Maybe they need to do some asset protection right away in case their business fails to protect them against creditors.

The idea here is to not wait until they come to you; be proactive and address the issues in an open and honest way. They'll appreciate a listening ear and your legal advice. (And for heaven’s sake, don't bill them for the lunch!)

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Looking for more Rainmaker Revenue-Generating Ideas?

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

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

 

7 Steps To Building A Strong Brand For Your Law Firm

1. Be noticed. First impressions are lasting ones. Prospects will draw conclusions about the quality of your legal services from your website, your blog, your marketing materials, your business card, your office space and even the way you dress.

2. Be connected. Identify your ideal target market and speak to them directly in everything you do. Be everywhere they are – on social networks, smart phones, community organizations, etc.

3. Be clear. Speak to prospects in a language they can understand; don't overwhelm them with legal jargon. Stay focused on your target market and the messaging that appeals to them.

4. Be obvious. Don't make prospects and potential referral sources guess at what you do. Educate them, making the benefit of doing business with you obvious.

5. Be consistent. Consistency of message makes prospects feel secure and that they can trust you. Make sure your messaging across all marketing platforms is consistent.

6. Be different. Assess your competition and identify areas where you are different and better, then communicate that difference to your target market. Let prospects know exactly why they should choose you.

7. Be direct. Include calls-to-action in your law firm marketing efforts that invite prospects to interact with you. Always remember to ask for the business.

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money!

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

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

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

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

 

How to Realize Your Dream of a More Profitable Law Practice in 2013

Today we’re celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and I know that many of you have a dream, too...a dream of building a law firm that allows you to live the life you’ve always wanted to live while doing satisfying work that you enjoy.

The question plaguing most of you is, how?

Start by signing up for my webinar this Thursday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT: The 5 Best Strategies to Beat Your Competition in 2013.

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

Join me on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT for a one-hour webinar where you will discover:

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

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

It’s simple, they developed a game plan based on best practices and proven strategies and then they consistently took massive action! Notice I said it was “simple” not “easy.” There is no “easy” way to build a million dollar book of business, but if you’re willing to do the work we can show you the right path to take.

Click on this link to register now for The 5 Best Strategies to Beat Your Competition in 2013 webinar on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. 

All registrants will receive a recording of the webinar to watch at their convenience, so if the scheduled time doesn’t work for you, you can still get this critical knowledge by getting your own copy of the webinar recording.

 

7 Ways Blogging Can Help Your Law Practice

Many attorneys I speak with feel they should be blogging, but are not really sure why. Here are 7 ways that blogging can help your law practice:

Client engagement. A blog provides the opportunity for you to open a dialogue with prospects and clients, which can lead to powerful business benefits.

SEO. Blogs are the #1 way to add new content to your website, which search engines like Google reward with higher rankings.

Humanizes your firm. Blogs provide you with the opportunity to tell stories (leaving out the real names to protect the innocent, of course), and nothing is better for putting a human face on your firm. Include videos in your blogs to really humanize your firm.

Showcases expertise. Regular blog posts keep your website up to date and relevant, letting prospects know you are on the leading edge of emerging legal trends.

Market segmentation. If your law firm includes more than one practice area, you can segment effectively by creating blogs for each specialty and speak directly to those targeted prospects.

Repurpose content. Your blog posts can be effectively repurposed for free reports, e-books and newsletters.

Build trust. Current research shows that 80% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs.

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

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. In a report on the influence of blogs, eMarketer.com found that 51% of Internet users in the U.S. (that’s over 91 million people) read blogs, and they project that usage will go to 60% (150 million) in the next four years!

Still think blogs are a fad?

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

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

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

 

How to Help Clients Help You Build a More Successful Law Practice

I'm convinced one of the biggest reasons that attorneys don't receive more referrals is because they don't take the time to inform and remind their clients of the various services they offer.  Most clients immediately put their attorney in a box and believe the only service the lawyer offers is the one they used. 

How much business have you lost because your clients simply aren't aware of the various services your firm can provide?

One sure way to increase client referrals is to make certain that your clients can accurately describe your ideal target market.

Your ideal target market is the person or company most likely to hire you initially, repeatedly and at the highest profit margin. With so many attorneys struggling to define their ideal client, it's no wonder your clients don't know who they should refer to you.

Here's a small challenge: ask three of your clients to describe your ideal client and listen to how accurately they respond.

Remember that memory is elusive and just because you wowed them once and they sent you a referral doesn't mean they will ALWAYS remember.  So don't take referral relationships for granted.  Finding a high-quality lawyer is easy and it takes more than quality to make an impression - it takes a relationship.   

Just like any relationship, you need to be connecting with your current and former referral sources every four to six weeks to ensure the health and longevity of the affiliation. 

Rainmakers don't wait for the door to knock or the phone to ring or the referral to come in. They take the initiative, stay in touch, and focus on serving their referral sources. 

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Free Report: 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys From Building A Referral-Based Practice

Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process.  Stephen Fairley unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

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

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

 

5 Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Law Firm Website

Attracting more visitors to your website allows you to engage more with current and potential clients, which can result in a boost to your bottom line. Use these tactics to create more traffic for your website:

Fresh content – too many companies create websites and then let them languish. You need to add fresh content regularly to not only give people a reason to return to your site, but also to attract search engines, which love fresh content! 

Add video – video clips add interest and a new dimension to your site, and current research shows that sites with video convert more browsers into buyers. Address a problem that your clients have or discuss whatever is of relevance to your target market, and then post it to your site and YouTube for even more views.

SEO – search engine optimization (SEO) is critical to any website. You need to be sure you have included the right keywords that prospective customers use to search for what you sell. If you don’t know anything about SEO, consider hiring a company that specializes in it to boost your rankings and viewership.

Publish – publishing online articles and press releases can help drive traffic to your site. There are a number of web sites that will publish your articles and press releases for free; just be sure to add a link to your site at the end of each piece you publish.

Comment – identify the top blogs in your industry, visit them and comment on relevant posts. This is not a forum for you to sell directly, but indirectly by adding a link to your site or a relevant blog post with your commentary.  

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

According to recent research…

58 million adults looked for an attorney in the past year

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

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

Because they are doing it all wrong!

This webinar will teach you how to do it right.

Lawyers.com editor-in-chief Larry Bodine and Stephen Fairley join forces to deliver a compelling on-demand webinar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients; access this webinar now to learn:

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

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

 

Setting Goals for Your Law Firm in 2013

One secret of highly successful attorneys is that they make time to plan for the future. We recommend meeting at least once per quarter with your senior partners (even if you are the entire partnership) to evaluate achievements, set new goals and work on your law firm marketing plan.

Here are some of the areas for you to focus on:

Financial goals for your business --Don’t just focus on the money; focus on how you will get there.  If your average client spends $5,000 with you, you will need 100 clients to break $500,000 this year. That works out to about 2 new clients per week.  Unless you want a high volume law practice, you will need to develop a way to up-sell new clients into higher-end services.

Practice Area Specific Goals -- How many new estate plans do you want to do in the next 6 months?  How many new trials are you willing to take on this year?

Marketing Goals --All the top law firms in the country recognize the importance of marketing and business development.  You need to set measurable marketing goals. “I will meet with 4 new referral sources every month.” How are you going to meet them?  Who is going to set those meetings up?  Who will do the follow up?

Strategic Business Goals-- This is where you start to think big about your practice.  Challenge yourself; how can you come up with another $100,000 this year? How can you go from your current 5 referral sources to 30 in the next 6 months?

Personal Goals --Perhaps you need to schedule a vacation for yourself every quarter.  Maybe you have an idea for a new business venture.  What place does your family, friends or significant other hold in your life?

Above all, make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. -- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented, and Timed.  A good goal needs to incorporate all of these criteria.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

10 Resolutions Successful People Make and Keep

An article at Forbes.com trending now as one of the most popular is about the 10 resolutions that successful people make and keep. Thought it was worth sharing here:

1. Avoid what matters least. Your time is finite, so while you are making a list of things to do in 2013, make a list of what not to do as well. And then simply don't do them.

2. Do the essentials first. How much time do you spend every day getting sidetracked by email? If we were honest, most of us would probably answer: alot. When you hit the office, take care of your most essential tasks first and then check your email.

3. Focus on people. If you lose sight of what matters to your clients, you will soon lose those clients.

4. Find your purpose. When your career is based on your purpose, you will be both more successful and happier.

5. Support a cause. Research has shown that people involved in furthering worthy causes are generally happier in life. Find a way to support something bigger than yourself or your practice.

6. Give yourself more choices. If you find yourself feeling fearful and trapped by a weak economy or lack of clients, find a way to give yourself more choices. One sure way to conquer fear is by learning. Learning how to attract and keep clients is the main focus of our Rainmaker Retreat; resolve to attend one session in 2013.

7. Find a good partner. A good partner in business is as indispensable as one in marriage. If you don't have someone in your practice whose strengths offset your weaknesses, go find that person.

8. Go outside. Most attorneys like to view themselves as experts, but one problem with being an expert is that it sometimes prevents you from seeing new possibilities. Find other professionals who may be facing some of the same problems you are, and brainstorm some solutions.

9. Complain less, change more. Gandhi advised us to be the change we want to see in the world. Resolving to be the attorney who can solve the problems of prospects will bring new clients to your door.

10. Take time to play. Plan your 2013 vacations now, and let your work fill in the rest of the calendar. This gives you something to look forward to, and helps you maintain a well-rounded life.

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FREE Rainmaker Retreat Preview DVD – Learn Before You Go!

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 8,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then click here to receive a free DVD of your colleagues (and even your competitors) describing their experiences at our 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat.

Upcoming dates for the Rainmaker Retreat include:

January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

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

 

5 Ways to Get More Clients in 2013

1. Make marketing your priority. The primary objective of your business is the marketing of your professional services; your secondary objective is then the delivery of those services. Most attorneys have it backwards.

Simply because you may deliver excellent service and provide enormous value, clients do not automatically knock your doors down.

The key to building a long term, solid practice is the quality and consistency of your marketing much more than the actual delivery of your services. Working on your business is much more important than working in your business.

2. Choose positioning over prospecting. Positioning is building up your reputation so that prospects come to you. Those who position themselves correctly can pick and choose clients, whereas prospectors hustle and struggle to get clients.  Start positioning yourself as the "go-to" person for legal solutions by sharing your valuable knowledge, expertise, and education with prospects.

3. Use education-based marketing to attract new clients. This is the process used by industry leading service professionals to attract and enroll highly qualified prospects by giving them what they want, not by selling or promoting.

The key is to look for opportunities to create and give your information away, which in turn will position you as the expert. As a result, you will create a powerful magnet to pull clients to you.

4. Design, create and give away information products to generate leads. Many highly successful attorneys are avid writers and producers of information products. In terms of positioning, creating an information product will attract highly qualified prospects that view you as an expert in your field, and as a result, will pay top dollar to work with you.

5. Become a specialist, not a generalist. This is a big one. Highly successful attorneys are specialists at one thing. When people think of that one thing, the specialist comes to mind. Prospects who want that one thing will pay top dollar for the specialist.

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

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

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

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

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

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

This interview will help you discover:

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

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

 

How to Tell If You Are a Legal Marketing Dinosaur

If this is familiar to you, you may be a legal marketing dinosaur:

We are well into the 21st century, where outbound marketing practices of the previous century no longer work. DVRs allow consumers to bypass TV ads, satellite radio means there are no more radio ads, most consumers get their news online and Yellow Pages are relegated to the recycling bin as soon as they land on the doorstep.

So how can you become relevant in the 21st century when it comes to law firm marketing?

First, see my post earlier this week on Internet Marketing for Lawyers: What Works in 2013

Then make plans to attend a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing intensive workshop, where you will learn everything you need to know about the tools of contemporary legal marketing: social media, blogging, SEO, email and mobile marketing.

Here are the dates for upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions in 2013:



January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV



February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

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

 

3 Simple Questions That Can Change Your Law Practice

I spent some time over the holiday break going through little snippets of wisdom I had accumulated over the past year that keep me motivated to always be doing something of value that will contribute to the success of my organization.

One Forbes.com post from last summer by entrepreneur Mike Maddock is a good one to start the New Year on...I’ve added my own spin for these 3 Simple Questions That Can Change Your Law Practice:

1. What is the outcome I want?

Keeping in mind the end game will help stop you from focusing too much on the bumps along the road. Getting distracted by problems instead of focusing on solutions keeps you stuck where you are.

2. What stands in the way?

Identifying obstacles and then finding ways to eliminate, avoid or neutralize those obstacles is fundamental to business success. 

3. Who has figured it out already?

Successful people learn not only from their own mistakes, but also from the mistakes of others. They also learn from the success of others, a fundamental approach we have used in teaching more than 8,000 attorneys the successful practice of law firm marketing at our Rainmaker Retreat two-day intensive workshop.

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Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD Set

The Practice Made Perfect CD set and manual applies Stephen Fairley’s unique High Impact Marketing System to the practice-building challenges faced by solo practitioners and partners at small law firms.  

It includes dozens of specific marketing and sales recommendations that can be easily and quickly applied to your firm, including:

  • The only 7 sure-fire ways to get clients in your door NOW
  • Why advertising doesn’t work for most small law firms
  • The 7 reasons why people don’t buy from you           
  • How to market and sell with USP’s (Unique Selling Proposition)           
  • Using audio logos to attract immediate attention for your business
  • Using low-cost, high impact marketing strategies           
  • Strategies for achieving maximum results from all of your marketing efforts           
  • How to discover your Ideal Target Market
  • 3 critical factors to remember when looking for new clients
  • The NEW sales cycle for professional services
  • How to retain your best clients

Click here to order your Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD set and manual now.

 

Law Firm Marketing Rules for 2013: Out with the Old, In with the New (#5 of 5)

2013 is almost upon us, and one of the things you should shed with the old year is any antiquated ideas you may have about law firm marketing. This week, I am listing five of the most common “old rules” and giving you new legal marketing rules to live by in the new year.

Old Rule #5: Look to your competitors to succeed. In the race to be perceived as equals, small law firms have done their level best to erase the lines between them and their larger brethren. The result is an inability to self-differentiate. Ask two partners, one at a small firm and one at a large firm, what makes each of them unique, and they’ll both likely give you the exact same response.

New Rule #5: Only the specialists will survive. In this new economy, you must clearly stake out your ground: who you are, who you serve, and how you specialize is increasingly vital to your survival. Identify your uniqueness and emphasize it everywhere. Train every person from your partners to the receptionist how to answer the Big Question: “Why should I hire you?”

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

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

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

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

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

To get your free report now, click here.

 

Law Firm Marketing Rules for 2013: Out with the Old, In with the New (#4 of 5)

2013 is almost upon us, and one of the things you should shed with the old year is any antiquated ideas you may have about law firm marketing. This week, I am listing five of the most common “old rules” and giving you new legal marketing rules to live by in the new year.

Old Rule #4: Mediocrity is acceptable . . . as long as associates bill enough hours. Although no one openly states mediocrity is okay, far too many partners tacitly accept it; some believe it’s inevitable. I have head and seen firsthand the devastating effects the wrong office manager or receptionist can have on a small law firm. I have had clients who tolerated mediocre associates only to lose top accounts and lawsuits because of them.

New Rule #4: Superstars are the currency of the new economy. You have a limited number of positions to fill in your firm and you can only afford to retain superstars in every position. If you find a position filled with someone who is “good enough,” either eliminate the person or eliminate the position. You set the standard. You raise the bar. Excellence is the only attitude we allow. “Exceptional” is the “New Normal” in our firm.

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Register for a 2013 Rainmaker Retreat, Get a $400 Gift Free!

We’re closing out 2012 with an irresistible offer for those who want to kickstart 2013 by attending a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day intensive law firm marketing boot camp. 

If you sign up for a Rainmaker Retreat by midnight PT on Jan. 1, 2013, you will receive a free copy of Rainmaker In a Box Volume 1 ($397 value), a four-DVD set that includes:

The 5 Immutable Secrets to Building a 7 Figure Law Practice: How to create an automated marketing system to transform your law firm from a practice into a business. Stephen has studied best practices in law firm marketing and shares with you the 5 unchanging secrets they use to build a multi-million dollar law firm.

Secrets of Building a Referral-based Law Practice for Busy Practitioners: Every lawyer wants more referrals, yet for many the steps to get there remain an elusive secret. Listen in and watch as Stephen lays out his 8 step proven system to triple your referral sources in 90 days or less!

The Top 6 Most Powerful Online Marketing Strategies for Attorneys: Internet marketing is one of today’s fastest growing and most powerful marketing tools for lawyers. Yet much of how to generate more business and attract more clients online is still a mystery. Watch as Stephen pulls back the veil and walks you through the core concepts and key principles every attorney must understand in order to dominate their competition online and build a powerful Internet presence on a shoe string budget.

Action, Accountability and Next Steps: Knowledge is power. The most difficult part for most attorneys is putting that knowledge into action. In this DVD, you will discover an 8-step system for creating your law firm marketing plan and how to take action immediately.

Here are the dates for upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions in 2013:

January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

Click on this Rainmaker Retreat/Rainmaker In A Box Volume 1 Free Gift link now or call 888-588-5891 to register and receive your free gift!

 

Law Firm Marketing Rules for 2013: Out with the Old, In with the New (#1 of 5)

2013 is almost upon us, and one of the things you should shed with the old year is any antiquated ideas you may have about law firm marketing. This week, I am listing five of the most common “old rules” and giving you new legal marketing rules to live by in the new year.

Old Rule #1: More marketing will obtain more results. In the past, all you had to do was throw more money at marketing or advertising and you would see more results. But not any more.

New Rule #1: ROI rules. With the increased competition and level of sophistication in the legal marketing industry, to get ahead you must be faster, smarter, and more effective than your competitors.

Your ability to leverage Internet marketing and automatic parts of your marketing system will allow you to dominate larger firms with bigger budgets; however, every dollar must be accounted for and every effort must be measured for Return On Investment. You cannot afford to be indifferent.

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

According to recent research…

58 million adults looked for an attorney in the past year

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

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

Because they are doing it all wrong!

This webinar will teach you how to do it right.

Lawyers.com editor-in-chief Larry Bodine and Stephen Fairley join forces to deliver a compelling on-demand webinar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients; access this webinar now to learn:

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

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


 

How Buyers of Legal Services Select a Law Firm, Part 3 of 3

Most buyers of professional services start out with a good sense of what they are looking for in an outside firm.

The top 10 criteria the buyers in the study said they used in evaluating and selecting an outside firm include:

There are four takeaways for me from these findings:

1. Demonstration of your expertise matters! There are several ways to show your level of technical expertise prior to even meeting with potential clients, including:

  • Develop highly focused white papers that focus on a specific industry or type of company your firm wants to target.   
  • Give seminars at trade associations.   
  • And at the top of my list, develop a targeted blog that is filled with content.

2. Larger firms do not have an immediate advantage over smaller firms as only 5.6% of buyers chose that as one of their top criteria. If you're in a smaller law firm and you are competing against larger firms be sure to emphasize your availability and flexibility. It will often trump any perceived benefit the larger competitor has due to their size and reach.

3. I was surprised personal relationship was not ranked much higher, perhaps because many of these buyer's companies were larger and have a more detached approach to selecting outside professional service firms. We all recognize the importance of building rapport and relationships with prospects as well as clients, but relationships rarely replace results.

4. The one thing most law firms are most afraid of, pricing themselves out of the market, is actually at the very bottom of the buyer's decision making criteria. Only 4.2% of participants noted price was critical to selecting an outside firm. Hands down, experience and demonstrated expertise were the top things that lead buyers to select one firm over another.

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Register for a 2013 Rainmaker Retreat, Get a $400 Gift Free!

We’re closing out 2012 with an irresistible offer for those who want to kickstart 2013 by attending a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day intensive law firm marketing boot camp. 

If you sign up for a Rainmaker Retreat by midnight PT on Jan. 1, 2013, you will receive a free copy of Rainmaker In a Box Volume 1 ($397 value), a four-DVD set that includes:

The 5 Immutable Secrets to Building a 7 Figure Law Practice: How to create an automated marketing system to transform your law firm from a practice into a business. Stephen has studied best practices in law firm marketing and shares with you the 5 unchanging secrets they use to build a multi-million dollar law firm.

Secrets of Building a Referral-based Law Practice for Busy Practitioners: Every lawyer wants more referrals, yet for many the steps to get there remain an elusive secret. Listen in and watch as Stephen lays out his 8 step proven system to triple your referral sources in 90 days or less!

The Top 6 Most Powerful Online Marketing Strategies for Attorneys: Internet marketing is one of today’s fastest growing and most powerful marketing tools for lawyers. Yet much of how to generate more business and attract more clients online is still a mystery. Watch as Stephen pulls back the veil and walks you through the core concepts and key principles every attorney must understand in order to dominate their competition online and build a powerful Internet presence on a shoe string budget.

Action, Accountability and Next Steps: Knowledge is power. The most difficult part for most attorneys is putting that knowledge into action. In this DVD, you will discover an 8-step system for creating your law firm marketing plan and how to take action immediately.

Here are the dates for upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions in 2013:

January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

Click on this Rainmaker Retreat/Rainmaker In A Box Volume 1 Free Gift link now or call 888-588-5891 to register and receive your free gift!

 

How Buyers of Legal Services Select a Law Firm, Part 2 of 3

A recent study entitled Professional Services: How Buyers Buy sought to answer two critical questions:

What do buyers of professional services really want?

What are the best ways to expand the relationship and get referrals?  

I posted the first four of seven specifics that buyers want yesterday; here are the next three:

They want the actual providers of the services at the initial meeting. Many larger law firms have developed a bad habit of sending in the "big guns" or the top rainmaker for the initial meeting and then passing the work off to lower level lackeys who don't understand the complexities of the situation. 

Companies have figured this out and they don't want to be "passed off" to someone down the line, unless they interview and approve this person ahead of time.
 

Buyers want to be shown that the firm truly wants their business. This is a wide open response, but the way I would apply this is to "fix your follow up." 

One of the main ways I determine if a professional service provider wants my business is how often they follow up with me and how persistent they are.

Here's a lesson you would do well to follow: appoint someone to be in charge of following up with potential buyers and make sure it's not an attorney! 

You should have all the people who attended the initial meeting send a thank you email after the event, but appoint a non-attorney to keep the momentum going. 

In spite of their great intentions, most attorneys do not have good follow up skills. They get busy with billing or meeting with clients or going to court and the ball gets dropped.
 

They wanted assurances that the firm could follow the buyer's processes. Systems are created with a purpose and very few companies become successful without having dozens of systems, processes and procedures that must be followed. 

Assure the buyer that your firm "plays well with others" and will follow their procedures. 

The contrast is striking -- while most professional service firms use impersonal phone calls, mass emails, and other generic forms of marketing, the buyers want a dialogue around solving their problems, not another sales pitch.

This does not mean that phone calls and emails are bad; but it does suggest that your marketing message must be highly targeted, show that you understand their specific challenges, and concisely lay out that you have solutions to their problems.

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

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

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

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

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

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

This interview will help you discover:

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

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

 

How Buyers of Legal Services Select a Law Firm, Part 1 of 3

The things companies go through in their decision making process are the same ones individuals make when they need to hire a lawyer.

A recent Hinge Marketing study entitled Professional Services: How Buyers Buy sought to answer two critical questions:

What do buyers of professional services really want?

What are the best ways to expand the relationship and get referrals?  

The researchers conducted in-depth and one-on-one interviews with a carefully chosen group of 137 buyers from public, private and governmental agencies.

When asked about how providers of professional serves could do a better job of marketing, buyers painted a very clear picture. Many of the participants said they didn't want to be "sold to."  

They felt they already had a decent understanding of their particular situation, what they really wanted was a credible expert to sit down with them and lay out practical, realistic solutions. "Show me what has worked before" was a very common response.  

There were 7 other specific things buyers focused on with regards to how they could be better marketed to: 

A personalized understanding of their situation is critical. The key take away here is: do your homework! Before targeting a company be sure to understand their current challenges.
 

Do not give them a high pressure sales pitch, it only turns them off. The larger the company, the longer buying decisions take and the more people who must be consulted.
 

They want to see relevant case studies. This was a major selling point to them. Buyers want to see if you have worked with similar situations, what you did to resolve the legal issue, and what the results were.
 

Buyers want to see a detailed solution presented. There is some risk here that they will take your detailed analysis and solution and try to either do it in house or give it to a cheaper competitor, but buyers want to see if you understand all the issues and are able to realistically address them.
 

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money!

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

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

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

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

 

Strategies to Build a Better Law Firm in 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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NEW On-Demand Webinar: Business Development Strategies for Litigators

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Cost of Christmas

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

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

The Cost of 12 Days of Christmas

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

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

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

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

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

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

This interview will help you discover:

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

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

 

How to Improve Your Law Firm's Lead Conversion Process

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

 

How to Keep Prospects Engaged Using Your Law Firm Website

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

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

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

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

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



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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get this on-demand webinar to learn:

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

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

 

 

Law Firm Marketing: Know the 5 Principles That Drive Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money!

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

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

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

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

 

How to Develop a Roadmap for Law Firm Marketing Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To get your free report now, click here.

 

Lessons for Being a Successful Lawyer Learned at Nordstrom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. In a report on the influence of blogs, eMarketer.com found that 51% of Internet users in the U.S. (that’s over 91 million people) read blogs, and they project that usage will go to 60% (150 million) in the next four years!

Still think blogs are a fad?

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

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

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

 

How to Grow Your Law Firm in 2013

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

Start by Asking 3 Questions:

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

Create an Action Plan

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

On Your Goals

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

On Your Numbers

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

On Lifestyle

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

Action Plan

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

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

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Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD Set

The Practice Made Perfect CD set and manual applies Stephen Fairley’s unique High Impact Marketing System to the practice-building challenges faced by solo practitioners and partners at small law firms.  

It includes dozens of specific marketing and sales recommendations that can be easily and quickly applied to your firm, including:

  • The only 7 sure-fire ways to get clients in your door NOW
  • Why advertising doesn’t work for most small law firms
  • The 7 reasons why people don’t buy from you           
  • How to market and sell with USP’s (Unique Selling Proposition)           
  • Using audio logos to attract immediate attention for your business
  • Using low-cost, high impact marketing strategies           
  • Strategies for achieving maximum results from all of your marketing efforts           
  • How to discover your Ideal Target Market
  • 3 critical factors to remember when looking for new clients
  • The NEW sales cycle for professional services
  • How to retain your best clients

Click here to order your Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD set and manual now.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

When Being Cheap Can Cost You Everything

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Get More Proven Legal Marketing Strategies FREE from The Rainmaker Institute

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

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

 

The Gifts That Lawyers Love to Get

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

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

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

Reid Trautz’s 8th Annual Gift Guide for Lawyers

Enjoy from the comfort of your easy chair!

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NEW On-Demand Webinar: Business Development Strategies for Litigators

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. In a report on the influence of blogs, eMarketer.com found that 51% of Internet users in the U.S. (that’s over 91 million people) read blogs, and they project that usage will go to 60% (150 million) in the next four years!

Still think blogs are a fad?

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newly released! Rainmaker in a Box: Volume 2 includes:

8 Proven Steps for More & Better Referrals

Discover the proven step-by-step system used to double your referrals from current and former clients and how to build a network of strategic referral partners. Top attorneys have used this exact system to double their referrals in 6 months or less!

7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Law Firm

Watch and learn as I walk you through the specific strategies top lawyers are using to increase their revenues in this tough economy-and it doesn’t include reducing their fees!

6 Keys to Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media

Social media has emerged as the fastest way to build a massive platform of prospects! I pull back the curtain and let you in on little known secrets of how attorneys are generating dozens of leads every month from social media.

5 Core Components for Highly Successful Websites & Blogs

My interview with nationally recognized personal injury attorney John Bisnar on how his law firm uses search engine optimization and internet marketing to drive tens of thousands of unique visitors every month to his 30 websites and 10 blogs. Discover proven techniques for converting website visitors into paying clients.

Data DVD: 
Includes all 4 PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations. We recommend you print all these off and take notes on them as you experience these information-packed DVDs!

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

Click here now to order!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

 

Take This One Simple Step to Improve Your Practice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting to the top of Google for any term related to the legal industry is highly competitive! Now you can get a recording of this recent webinar that will tell you how!

Attorneys spend millions of dollars every year on Pay Per Click (PPC) and banner advertisements, trying to drive more traffic to their website. Far too often it comes down to how much money a law firm has to spend on PPC to outbid their competition.

How are small law firms and solo practitioners supposed to compete when attorneys are spending $20 to $100 per click for keywords?

If you’re thinking, “there must be a better way!” then this webinar is for you!

You will discover a little known secret of how hundreds of attorneys are rapidly increasing their website rankings in 90 to 120 days through building targeted links back to their websites.

Find out:

  • What an “inbound link” is and why Google loves them
  • One of the fastest ways to get your website blacklisted by Google (make this mistake at your own peril)
  • Link building on the low down-building links on a shoe string budget
  • The benefits of being at the top of the search engine rankings
  • The ongoing debate between “quality” and “quantity” links
  • Selecting the right keywords to go after with your search engine efforts
  • Which directories are worth paying for…and which ones are not
  • The top 5 questions you must ask before you hire any link building company

When you register, you will receive access to the recording of the webinar. Click on this Getting to the Top of Google link now!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money!

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our upcoming Rainmaker Retreat dates are as follows:

December 7-8, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA

January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

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

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

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

In his new one-hour webinar, Stephen Fairley will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues. You will learn:

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

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

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

 

Law Firm Marketing: New Insights Into How We Consume Content

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

Some highlighted results:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Includes images (24%);

  • Includes author image and byline (23%);

  • Includes embedded video (11%)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This interview will help you discover:

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

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

 

Law Firm Marketing: What Business Are You Really In?

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

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

Here are three specific ways you should be doing this: 

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

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

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

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

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

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Get More Proven Legal Marketing Strategies FREE from The Rainmaker Institute

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

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

 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Avoid Empty Suit Syndrome

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD Set

The Practice Made Perfect CD set and manual applies Stephen Fairley’s unique High Impact Marketing System to the practice-building challenges faced by solo practitioners and partners at small law firms.  

It includes dozens of specific marketing and sales recommendations that can be easily and quickly applied to your firm, including:

  • The only 7 sure-fire ways to get clients in your door NOW
  • Why advertising doesn’t work for most small law firms
  • The 7 reasons why people don’t buy from you           
  • How to market and sell with USP’s (Unique Selling Proposition)           
  • Using audio logos to attract immediate attention for your business
  • Using low-cost, high impact marketing strategies           
  • Strategies for achieving maximum results from all of your marketing efforts           
  • How to discover your Ideal Target Market
  • 3 critical factors to remember when looking for new clients
  • The NEW sales cycle for professional services
  • How to retain your best clients

Click here to order your Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD set and manual now.

 

Law Firm Marketing Boot Camp: NYC Rainmaker Retreat Next Weekend

If you’re a small law firm with big growth plans, then you need to attend The Rainmaker Retreat, a two-day law firm marketing boot camp 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
  • And much more!

More than 8,000 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 what attendees at last month’s Scottsdale Rainmaker Retreat had to say:

“The Rainmaker Retreat was more than promised and absolutely remarkable. It was truly eye-opening and provided me with a tactical approach for developing my practice.” - Dwayne, Partner, Bankruptcy Law

Very eye-opening. Lots of strategic, hands-on approaches to marketing and growing a law practice. Very inspiring, thought-provoking and practical.” - Paul, Partner, Real Estate Law

“This is the best marketing seminar I have attended in my 14 years of legal practice. I look forward to implementing many of the strategies and watching my practice and revenue grow.” - Stephanie, Partner, Elder Law

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 New York 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 New York on Nov. 16-17, 2012.

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

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. In a report on the influence of blogs, eMarketer.com found that 51% of Internet users in the U.S. (that’s over 91 million people) read blogs, and they project that usage will go to 60% (150 million) in the next four years!

Still think blogs are a fad?

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

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

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

 

Show Your Personality in Your Law Firm Marketing

If a prospect connects with you or downloads your free special report online, they have a reason for doing so...and it's probably NOT because they were sitting bored at their computer late one night.

It's likely because they have a legal problem and they are hoping you can help them solve it.

However, most of them are not ready to sign on the dotted line...at least not yet. You must be persistent in your follow-up with them.

I subscribe to a number of blogs and e-newsletters and learn so much from being on the receiving end. Some come like clockwork – a few have been sending me follow-up emails about once a week or so for years.

How is that possible you ask—well, quite simply it's because they have a “follow-up system” in place that does most of the work for them.

Do these constant emails ever bother me? Nope. Do I read them all? Nope. But they have enough good information that I want to stay on the list; otherwise, I might miss something useful.

You shouldn’t worry about upsetting people by following up with them too frequently. Please! As the saying goes, if you try to please everyone, you will end up pleasing no one. There's always a nice little button at the bottom of each email that I can use to easily opt-out at any time I want.

While I have never met many of the people I follow, I feel like I kind of know them....which is precisely the reason why you should keep in touch with prospects on a consistent basis. When you consistently communicate with prospects and give them practical, relevant information, you build the “know, like and trust” factors that can lead to business for you down the road when they are ready to buy.

Many attorneys make the mistake of being “faceless” to their prospects and clients. Most people don’t want to work with, and will never fully trust, a stuffed shirt hiding behind a fancy suit.

Don’t be afraid to show prospects a little bit of your personality. It can be a great attraction to the kinds of clients you want to work with and a tool for repulsing the kind of prospects you don’t enjoy working with.  

And never stop following up with prospects! As attorneys who attend our 2-day law firm marketing seminar know, you follow up with prospects until they DIE, BUY or UNSUBSCRIBE!

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

Newly released! Rainmaker in a Box: Volume 2 includes:

8 Proven Steps for More & Better Referrals

Discover the proven step-by-step system used to double your referrals from current and former clients and how to build a network of strategic referral partners. Top attorneys have used this exact system to double their referrals in 6 months or less!

7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Law Firm

Watch and learn as I walk you through the specific strategies top lawyers are using to increase their revenues in this tough economy-and it doesn’t include reducing their fees!

6 Keys to Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media

Social media has emerged as the fastest way to build a massive platform of prospects! I pull back the curtain and let you in on little known secrets of how attorneys are generating dozens of leads every month from social media.

5 Core Components for Highly Successful Websites & Blogs

My interview with nationally recognized personal injury attorney John Bisnar on how his law firm uses search engine optimization and internet marketing to drive tens of thousands of unique visitors every month to his 30 websites and 10 blogs. Discover proven techniques for converting website visitors into paying clients.

Data DVD: 
Includes all 4 PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations. We recommend you print all these off and take notes on them as you experience these information-packed DVDs!

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

Click here now to order!

 

How to Use Great Client Service to Gain a Strategic Competitive Advantage for Your Law Firm

An interesting post recently at Kissmetics.com reminded me once again of the importance of managing client expectations

There was a nugget of wisdom I found especially true: Great client service and poor client service are the two extremes that get talked about. Good client service does not.

Face it, service is what you sell. It is your most profoundly important product. Yet so many lawyers are still stuck in the trap of thinking they sell legal knowledge. Do you want to be just one of thousands selling the same product? That is a sure recipe for failure.

It is human nature to have set expectations. When we visit an expensive restaurant, we expect the service and food to be exceptional. When we visit a fast food joint, we just expect our order to be fast, low priced and correct. 

Think about what the average person’s expectation is of a law firm: expensive and slow to respond to any communication except when it comes to sending out the bills. It’s a pretty low standard. So what are you doing to rise above and distinguish yourself?

At our two-day law firm marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat, I spend a good chunk of time talking about how to provide exceptional client service. I use one law firm – Bisnar Chase in Orange County, CA – as a telling case study.

When a potential client visits Bisnar Chase, they are greeted by name and taken to a private conference room that also has their name on the door. They are offered a beverage from a menu of drinks. The attorney they are meeting with greets them promptly and listens intently to their needs; there are no forms to fill out at the initial consultation. Their parking is validated and they are given a bottle of water for the road.

Immediately after the initial consultation, the communication process begins. Regular emails are sent to follow up after they become a client, including educational emails about what they can expect from the legal process. Paralegals have regularly scheduled calls with each client about their case. 

Clients receive birthday cards with a small gift certificate as well as a New Year’s gift. They are sent monthly educational and informational e-newsletters, and after the case is over, exit interviews are conducted to determine how the firm performed to expectation.

The firm also conducts extensive training with its staff on how to close the deal and ask for the business. Performance bonuses are given to employees who sign up clients. No prospect ever leaves that office with any doubt that this firm wants their business!

The next time a prospect walks through your door, take a good look at your firm through their eyes. Then begin setting standards for exceptional client service that will place you far and above your competitors.

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On-Demand Webinar: Lessons From Dewey & LeBoeuf: 5 Biggest Reasons Why Law Firms Fail

With the spectacular announcement of the biggest bankruptcy in law firm history, Dewey & LeBoeuf stunned the legal community. Now comes the work of dissecting what went wrong and how their competitors can avoid a similar fate.

When you order this new on-demand webinar, you will watch nationally recognized law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley interview Donald Scarinci, Managing Partner of Scarinci Hollenbeck, one of the fastest growing mid-sized law firms on the East Coast and a nationally recognized thought leader on law firm management. They discuss:

  • The 5 biggest reasons why law firms fail and how you can avoid a similar fate
  • How fast growing firms can avoid the pitfalls that brought Dewey & LeBoeuf to its knees
  • How Scarinci Hollenbeck went from relying almost entirely on “word of mouth” marketing to being featured in the Wall Street Journal for their cutting edge approach to social media in less than 6 months
  • What Managing Partners and law firm administrators need to know now to compete
  • Marketing and managing your firm in today’s roller coaster economy
  • A “behind the scenes” case study of how Scarinci Hollenbeck has adapted to the new realities
  • Effective tools multi-attorney firms can use to market a variety of partners and practice areas

Order the on-demand webinar on Lessons From Dewey & LeBoeuf: 5 Biggest Reasons Why Law Firms Fail , watch it at your convenience and share it with your partners and associates.

 

How to Generate Leads by Marketing What You Already Know

Education-based marketing is one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of lawyers. There is a vast amount of basic information you know that prospects want. And there are a number of tools available for you to disseminate this information to them, including:

Blogs – Blogs are a great, inexpensive way to disseminate your knowledge quickly – plus, search engines love blogs because they provide fresh content and are usually very search engine friendly.

Online Article Marketing – Research shows that consumers visit sites like Lawyers.com and Avvo to research questions they have on legal issues. Short, education-based articles that are written specifically for your niche will do a great job for you in exposing your practice to prospects. If you can write 500 words on a topic, you can use this simple strategy.

Free Reports -- Think about some of the questions your clients have and put together a short report (three to six pages long), a PowerPoint presentation, or even an audio CD, and offer a free copy to website visitors who give you their contact information. (Remember, if you cannot get visitors to call you directly, the second-best alternative is to persuade them to give you their contact information with permission to contact them.)

This kind of free educational information is a great tool you can use to start building relationships with many people who need your help but aren’t ready to walk in your door. It is not enough simply to offer people a free consultation. Almost every lawyer does that. Take it one step further and give them some great information that will help them think through the issues and challenges they are facing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

This interview will help you discover:

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

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

 

How to Manage Your Law Firm's Lead Conversion and Client Retention Processes

Do you have the right system in place for converting leads into clients, and then from paying clients into staying clients?  

If the answer is no, you’re not alone. Many law firms fail to take a systematic approach to lead conversion and client retention. But you definitely should.

To begin, you should identify any software needs to assist in automating the process. The more you can automate this, the lower your costs will be. Tracking software is readily available at a relatively low cost, compared to the expense of doing it manually. Good client-tracking software can be shared across multiple computers and can generate easily interpreted reports for the firm’s decision makers.

Secondly, try to automate the firm’s follow-up process. Develop follow-up sequences for:

Direct mail – what do you send to prospects and clients? Postcards? Email? Letters? This can be a very labor-intensive process or it can be highly automated. It’s your choice.

Autoresponder emails – Develop a series of email messages to be sent at regularly scheduled intervals that can convey your messaging in a timely manner to your prospects.

Phone calls – Develop a schedule of calls so that they don’t fall through the cracks. Some of the tracking software can automatically place them into your calendar for you.

Thirdly, develop rules of engagement for a sales-driven law firm. Some things to identify from the outset are:

What is being said? - Know your key messages about your firm, as well as information about your prospect’s business and needs.

Who is saying what? – Who are the principal contacts for prospects? Is the task shared or centralized?

How often are prospects contacted? – Staying top-of-mind without being obnoxious is a delicate balance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get this on-demand webinar to learn:

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

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

 

 

10 Tips for Staying in Touch with Referral Sources, Part 2 of 2

Here are the second 5 of 10 tips for staying in touch with your referral sources:

Send them a holiday card, but not on the major holidays like Christmas. Instead, visit www.holidayinsights.com, which lists a lot of minor and just plain fun holidays. 

Set-up a Google alert for a topic of interest to your referral sources. For example, “tax law changes” for CPAs or “Los Angeles commercial real estate market update” for a commercial real estate broker.  (www.google.com/alerts)

Ask them if they would like to receive your monthly newsletter or e-newsletter. Use an email service provider like Constant Contact to manage and send out your monthly electronic newsletter (e-newsletter). Send a copy to your referral sources (with their permission, of course.)

Invite them to connect with you on LinkedIn. This powerful social media tool is a great way to stay connected to referral sources. Be sure to set-up a free account, fill in your profile information, and update your status. You can connect with me at www.LinkedIn.com/in/StephenFairley. Also, be sure to check out the various groups for attorneys you can join. Use the “status update” to keep in front of people.

Invite them to connect with you on Facebook. What started out as a college phenomenon has quickly grown into a marketing tool for small business owners. Set up a profile (it should be more personal and a little less professional than your LinkedIn profile) and start to add friends. “Friend” me at www.facebook.com/fairley.

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

Newly released! Rainmaker in a Box: Volume 2 includes:

8 Proven Steps for More & Better Referrals

Discover the proven step-by-step system used to double your referrals from current and former clients and how to build a network of strategic referral partners. Top attorneys have used this exact system to double their referrals in 6 months or less!

7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Law Firm

Watch and learn as I walk you through the specific strategies top lawyers are using to increase their revenues in this tough economy-and it doesn’t include reducing their fees!

6 Keys to Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media

Social media has emerged as the fastest way to build a massive platform of prospects! I pull back the curtain and let you in on little known secrets of how attorneys are generating dozens of leads every month from social media.

5 Core Components for Highly Successful Websites & Blogs

My interview with nationally recognized personal injury attorney John Bisnar on how his law firm uses search engine optimization and internet marketing to drive tens of thousands of unique visitors every month to his 30 websites and 10 blogs. Discover proven techniques for converting website visitors into paying clients.

Data DVD: 
Includes all 4 PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations. We recommend you print all these off and take notes on them as you experience these information-packed DVDs!

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

Click here now to order!

 

Nielsen Identifies New Target Niche: Mass Affluents

I am in Fort Lauderdale today at the W Hotel to give a presentation to the Atlas Lawyers Group on how to use social media in your law practice. The hotel is splendid, right on the water, with every amenity you could ask for – no doubt the new target niche of Mass Affluents that Nielsen has defined would be right at home here.

Nielsen says that Mass Affluents are households with income producing assets between $250,000 and $1 million (excluding real estate). Almost 13 million homes are classified as Mass Affluent, which is 11 percent of the U.S. household population.

As Nielsen notes:

Mass Affluents are difficult for marketers to reach. They have a distinct lifestyle from the rest of the nation in terms of media consumption, technology adoption, financial attitudes and—most important to financial institutions—preferences for financial products and services. To win over this group, marketers will need to understand how to sub-segment the types of households within this group, as well as develop new products and services, differentiated messages and varied channels to serve them.

Some highlights of the Mass Affluents are:

  • Two-thirds are over 55 years old
  • Most are couples without kids or empty nesters
  • They own their own homes and often live in suburbs
  • They work in Finance, Business and Management careers, or own their own business
  • They are avid readers of newspapers, trade journals, travel and home-related magazines
  • They possess multiple investment accounts including 401K, IRA, CDs and hold a fixed mortgage
  • They are adopters of high-end technology like digital recorders, video game consoles, smartphones and tablet devices
  • They do not think of themselves as rich

If your law firm targets this wealthy subset of American consumers, I suggest you download the full Nielsen report on Mass Affluents (it’s free) that provides useful information on targeting strategies for your law firm marketing plan.

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

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. In a report on the influence of blogs, eMarketer.com found that 51% of Internet users in the U.S. (that’s over 91 million people) read blogs, and they project that usage will go to 60% (150 million) in the next four years!

Still think blogs are a fad?

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

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

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

 

How to Go From Legal Service Supplier to Strategic Partner

Not only is there a process you use to move your prospects through the pipeline, but there is also a process YOU want to move through as you develop a relationship with your client. Many service providers fail to move themselves through this process so they become "stuck" at the bottom level, relegated to being perceived by their client as a supplier or vendor.

The key is to use your knowledge, influence, connections, commitment, results and perceived value to the organization to move up from vendor status to a consistent problem solver, and eventually to the level where clients perceive you as a critical strategic partner.

There are several reasons why moving from vendor status to a critical strategic partner is necessary:

It is critical to building a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with the client.

It will increase your profit margins. As a vendor, you must be very price conscious. When you become critical to their success, they value you and your services more, which allows you to significantly increase your profit margins.

It will assist you in retaining clients and building loyal clients who won't terminate your contract at the first sign of trouble.

It will increase your repeat business. The largest sale you receive from a company is usually not the first one. Often it is not until the 3'd or 4th sale that the client learns to really trust you and give you the big sale with the larger profits.

It enhances your credibility to have long-term, satisfied clients who are willing to provide references and referrals to their colleagues.

It is less stressful, because ultimately vendors are compared and replaced based on price. Critical strategic resources are not compared or replaced.

Learning to move from a vendor to a critical strategic resource is just one of the things attorneys learn when they attend a Rainmaker Retreat.  For more information on our two-day law firm marketing boot camp, visit www.rainmakerretreat.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. 

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Recognize and Replicate Your Ideal Client

How often have you wished that you could clone your ideal client? It’s not science that will get you there, but marketing intelligence that can show you the way to attract and retain more of your ideal client.

First, you need to know exactly who your ideal client is. Ask your accounting person to create a spreadsheet listing each client and their historic profitability.

Second, examine that list carefully to see which of your current or past clients made it a practice to refer business to you.

Third, take that group of profitable, referring clients and see what common characteristics they share. More than just demographics – age, income, zip code – look for commonalities in industry, causes they support, interests they have, shared legal issues, etc.

Now you have what you need to create an ideal client profile. 

Once your ideal client profile is created, you can focus on strengthening the areas of your practice that will attract these ideal clients, and targeting your law firm marketing efforts at drawing them in.

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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.

 

New Law Firm Marketing Resource: LawMarketing.com

I’m in Las Vegas today speaking at the New Jersey State Bar Association mid-year meeting at the Wynn. I’m with Joseph A. Bahgat of Bahgat Law, LLC and we’re talking about The Art and Science of Retaining Clients, discussing ways to engender trust in clients and develop long lasting attorney-client relationships.

I’m happy to share with you another resource you can use to improve your law firm marketing and client relationship management: LawMarketing.com

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

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

LawMarketing.com will offer the latest legal news, technology updates, events, sales and marketing techniques, advice and resources. The new LawMarketing.com also offers a Consultant Directory, a place to post upcoming events and opportunities to advertise. 

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

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Free Report: 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys From Building A Referral-Based Practice

Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process.  Stephen Fairley unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

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

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

 

Law Firm Marketing for Solos: How Niches Can Lead to Riches

Solo practitioners face a never-ending challenge of taking whatever business comes in over the transom in order to pay the bills, or concentrating on one area to build a niche practice. It becomes a question of short-term focus vs. long-term strategy – and I realize that most solos need to balance both in order to survive.

However, for the long term, nicheing your practice is definitely the way to go. This does not limit you; rather, it helps you better focus your efforts and build a strong base of business.

There are 4 common ways to determine your niche:

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

Industry Niche: transportation, construction, energy, real estate development.

Geographic Niche: L.A., Southern California, Chicagoland, DFW Metroplex, etc.

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

Another way to help determine your niche is to track the inquiries from prospective clients to determine what’s drawing them to you and your services. See if they don’t begin to naturally fall into one or more groups. Becoming aware of these commonalities is a way to let your niche find you, helping you develop your law firm marketing.

It’s fine to have more than one specialty or niche. Often attorneys have a bread and butter niche – a segment that can afford to pay them well -- and another one that they love working with but that pay lower rates. Sometimes it’s helpful to test the waters to see if there’s a demand for your specialty. You can continue working with an established clientele as you determine whether or not to branch out into a new practice area.

Once you niche your practice, you will find that referrals come more readily to you, since it will become clear in referral source’s mind just exactly what it is you do. 

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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.

 

Email Marketing for Lawyers: How to Avoid Being Dissed

Someone visits your website or your blog, finds something of interest, and adds their name to your email list. Great!

But when you start marketing to them via email, they drop you like a hot potato via that handy unsubscribe button. Ouch! 

See below to find out how to avoid this tragic fate when sending your emails to the masses:

A Closer Look at Email Engagement

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

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

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

 

How to Avoid the Legal Marketing Mistakes That Can Doom Your Practice

Did you know…

There are more than 1.25 million attorneys in the United States.

44,000 new ones graduate every year.

98% of all attorneys end up in a small law firm with fewer than 50 attorneys.

The size of the U.S. legal industry is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars annually. 

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

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

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

Building a successful practice isn’t magic -- it is work and it takes a lot of time, energy and money. Every attorney who starts a new practice fully intends to succeed; yet according to research, more than half of them still fail.

We have helped thousands of attorneys achieve their goals of creating a financially successful and personally satisfying legal practice.  Learning the ins and outs of Internet marketing for law firms is especially critical these days – which is why I’m offering a Labor Day special of 50% off one of our most popular webinars on legal marketing. See below for details.

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50% Off On-Demand Webinar: 5 Internet Marketing Mistakes Your Law Firm Can't Afford To Make

The Internet is one of the most cost effective lead sources for today’s attorneys. This fast-paced on-demand webinar provides all the details on how 7-figure attorneys are using the internet, search engine optimization, their websites and blogs to find more and better clients for their law firm, including:

  • The 5 rules for effective Internet marketing for attorneys
  • Do’s and Don’ts: the intersection of ethics and online marketing
  • 2 critical keys to getting your website on the front page of Google
  • How to avoid the most common pitfalls and mistakes attorneys make with their websites
  • Lead conversion pages: how law firms are converting 10-30% of website visitors into qualified leads
  • 3 most important goals of your website & blog
  • The “secret weapon” of Internet marketing for law firms

Now through Labor Day – midnight PT on Monday, Sept. 3 – you can get this on-demand webinar for 50% off its regular price. You pay only $48.50 for one of The Rainmaker Institute’s most popular webinars!

To take advantage of this Labor Day special pricing, click on the following link for your copy of 5 Internet Marketing Mistakes Your Law Firm Can't Afford To Make webinar.

 

A Graphic Look at the Legal Profession in 2012

I ran across the infographic below a few days ago and am just beginning to wrap my mind around the fact that it says only around 62% of law school graduates this year will find a job – down more than 20% from 2011!

And if you’re a lawyer in California, Texas, Illinois, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York or New Jersey, you’re facing the most competition for legal services. So how do you prevail?

As I was explaining to our Rainmaker Retreat attendees in Las Vegas last weekend, in today’s environment, attorneys must be able to differentiate themselves and clearly answer the #1 question in prospect’s minds, “Why should I hire you versus anyone else or doing it myself?”

Many attorneys try to position themselves against other attorneys by comparing “apples to apples,” I hear all the time, “I’m a good quality attorney with low prices and offer great service.” That does NOT differentiate you. It puts you in the mix with your competitors and makes you a commodity.

Commodities are always based on price, so this is a dangerous game to play. Rather, you need to position yourself so people are comparing others who do what you do as “apples to oranges.” This way you become the go-to attorney in that field. To create a powerful positioning statement you need to focus on the “Benefits, Results, Solutions and Values” your firm offers.

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PI Attorneys: Register Now for PILMMA Fall Summit Sept. 21-22 in Las Vegas

Join me at the Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing and Management Association (PILMMA) Fall Legal Marketing & Management Summit on Sept. 21-22 in Las Vegas, when I will be making a special presentation on 5 Proven Strategies to Double Your Referrals.

There are a host of other nationally renowned speakers who will be joining me for this prestigious summit, including:

James Mitchell Brown, author of the book Marketing for the Contingency Fee Law Firm, is the nation’s leading consultant for contingency fee firms. Brown has been an attorney since 1973.  He formed Attorney Consultant Inc. in 2004 and has been recognized throughout the country for his expertise in teaching marketing and business management skills to attorneys.

Mark Wolfe has been practicing in the area of personal injury litigation since 1987 with an emphasis on auto-negligence cases. He is a partner in the Mobile, Alabama firm of Boteler, Finley & Wolfe. He has tried over 200 car crash cases to verdict and handled over 3500 car crash claims or cases.

Patrick Anderson will share the strategies and results of successful PI attorneys who are using iPhone apps to bring in “winnable cases”. His Case Study documents a step-by-step marketing blueprint used by PI firms to generate thousands of legal app downloads in a few short months.

For those who are not already members of PILMMA, you will be able to attend this two-day summit and get two months of PILMMA Gold Membership rights at one all-inclusive rate. PILMMA members and non-members can register online -- simply click this link and learn how you can start snagging these big cases for yourself!

 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Gain A Competitive Edge

To gain that all-important competitive edge, it is vital to have a firm grasp on your competitors – not only their products and services, but how they market and conduct business. 

Here are some ideas for gaining information on your competition:

Scrutinize their website. You might be surprised about how much information you will be able to gather on a company from their website – personnel, clients, marketing materials and more.

Request information. Call the company and ask them to send you more information about their firm. The type of marketing materials they send you – and how quickly or if they follow up -- will tell you a lot about how they conduct business.

Sign up for any online materials or newsletters (using a different email address than your work email address).

Do an online search. Search for the keywords and phrases a potential client would use to find your services, and then spend some time reviewing the sites on the first page of your search results. These are the competitors you need to pay special attention to, since they are making the right decisions and investments in online marketing. 

Review online and off-line media to see how 'visible' they are. In addition, you can create a Google Alert for your competitors by name, which will provide you with news feeds about them.

Business is just as competitive as any sport, and savvy business owners know they need to function like a coach when it comes to learning about opponents in order to win. See below to learn even more.

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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.

 

8 Reasons Your Practice Needs a Law Firm Marketing Plan

A marketing plan increases your chances of survival over the long haul. A solid, well-planned guide keeps you from making serious mistakes that can quickly sink your business.

A marketing plan provides structure. Creating a solid business plan provides structure and a context for everyday activities, while helping to fit daily activities into the context of a larger, more strategic plan of how you are going to grow your business. 

A marketing plan keeps you on track. Staying on track amidst the day-to-day distractions and assessing opportunities to see if they fit with your long-term goals is another way that a comprehensive marketing plan can help you stay on track.

A marketing plan helps you tally the cost of creating before you start building.  By knowing your financial costs and risks ahead of time, you can more effectively plot your growth strategy and manage your budget. 

A marketing plan helps you think outside the box.  Emulating someone else’s business model simply because you don’t want to devote the time and resources to developing your own marketing plan is fraught with a number of dangers. For example, if you copy someone else’s business model, you will likely wind up copying their mistakes as well. You can also miss opportunities that are perfect for your business because of your distinctive experience, knowledge, background, location, or target demographics. 

A marketing plan helps you create a vision for the future. In the end, your business will be driven by your vision -- and the process of developing that vision is critical to your business success.

A marketing plan helps you evaluate your success. It is crucial to set up measurable objectives in advance so you are able to compare your results against those objectives to learn where you succeeded and where you fell short.  If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?

A marketing plan demonstrates you are committed to your business. Being committed to growing your business starts with laying a good foundation for that future growth, with clearly delineated steps for those in the organization to follow so they can contribute to your success.

You can learn what you need to know about creating a law firm marketing plan by attending a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day legal marketing boot camp. See below for more details.

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FREE Rainmaker Retreat Preview DVD – Learn Before You Go!

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 8,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then click here to receive a free DVD of your colleagues (and even your competitors) describing their experiences at our 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat.

Upcoming dates for the Rainmaker Retreat include:

August 24-25, 2012 – Las Vegas, NV

September 14-15, 2012 – Orange County, CA

October 5-6, 2012 – Orlando, FL

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

 

How to Nurture Leads for Better Conversion Rates

Research shows that companies that are good at nurturing leads enjoy 50% more sales at a 33% lower cost than companies that put no effort into lead nurturing.

This infographic explains the lead nurturing process and provides tactics for successfully processing leads through the lead funnel:

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

Newly released! Rainmaker in a Box: Volume 2 includes:

8 Proven Steps for More & Better Referrals

Discover the proven step-by-step system used to double your referrals from current and former clients and how to build a network of strategic referral partners. Top attorneys have used this exact system to double their referrals in 6 months or less!

7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Law Firm

Watch and learn as Stephen walks you through the specific strategies top lawyers are using to increase their revenues in this tough economy-and it doesn’t include reducing their fees!

6 Keys to Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media

Social media has emerged as the fastest way to build a massive platform of prospects! I pull back the curtain and let you in on little known secrets of how attorneys are generating dozens of leads every month from social media.

5 Core Components for Highly Successful Websites & Blogs

Stephen’s interview with nationally recognized personal injury attorney John Bisnar on how his law firm uses search engine optimization and internet marketing to drive tens of thousands of unique visitors every month to his 30 websites and 10 blogs. Discover proven techniques for converting website visitors into paying clients.

Data DVD: 
Includes all 4 PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations. We recommend you print all these off and take notes on them as you experience these information-packed DVDs!

Click here now to order!

 

Sacrifice Your Sacred Cows to Reinvent Your Practice

Economy got you down? When the economy takes a turn for the worse is the perfect time for you to think about doing things differently.

Those “sacred cows” – the way you have always done things – may need to be sacrificed in order for your practice to thrive. Now is the time to challenge the traditional ways of doing business and think creatively about your practice model. The way you conducted business in the past may no longer work for you now. 

Tough economic times often bear witness to a number of paradigm shifts -- breaking out of a familiar pattern in order to create a new one. Too often, we get caught up in doing what is comfortable and what has worked in the past.

We do things based on rules that make sense at the time. Then, with the passage of time, things change. The primary reasons for the rules may no longer exist, but we continue to follow them because the rules are already in place.

Ask yourself these thought-provoking questions:

  • Can you provide your services at a lower cost without sacrificing quality?
  • How price-sensitive are your customers?
  • If you were starting your practice today, how would you structure it to fit with current economic realities?
  • What areas of your practice are the most profitable?
  • Are there any opportunities to expand upon a profitable service, or eliminate those that are a drain on profits?
  • Does your current client base provide opportunities for growth?

To reinvigorate your practice in today’s economic environment, consider making one change in your practice that makes sense today. You should also consider taking in our August 16 webinar that features my interview with top divorce attorney Lee Rosen on How to Make Flat Fee Billing Work for Your Law Firm; the details are below.

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August 16 Webinar: How to Make Flat Fee Billing Work for Your Law Firm

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

On Thursday, August 16, at 2 p.m. ET, tune in for my one-hour interview with Lee as he explains in detail how he set out to fix his cash flow several years ago and in doing so he fundamentally changed his practice – for the better!

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

Listen in as we focus on hot topics like:

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

Register now for this exciting one-hour interview with Lee Rosen on How to Make Flat Fee Billing Work for Your Law Firm

If the time of this webinar doesn’t work for you, you can receive a recording of it to watch at your convenience; all you need to do is register now.

 

Law Firm Marketing: Tips on How to Brand Your Practice

Developing a unique brand for a service business is essential since prospective clients have a number of competitors from which to choose and need to know the reasons why they should select you.

Branding is important to help differentiate your practice by:

  • Delivering your message unmistakably
  • Confirming your credibility
  • Making an emotional connection with your prospects
  • Motivating your prospects to turn into clients
  • Creating loyalty

Here are some questions that will help you begin the branding process for your practice: (If you have problems answering them yourself, ask someone you trust for their answers – others often see things we take for granted.)

1.     What personal traits or values make you who you are?

2.     What are your natural strengths?

3.     What are some of your important career and life experiences?

4.     What is it about you that uniquely qualifies you to serve your clients?

5.     In what areas do you have expertise?

Although these questions may seem simple, they are designed to help you go deep enough to discover what makes your practice unique.  

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

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

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

 

August 16 Webinar: How to Make Flat Fee Billing Work for Your Law Firm

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

On Thursday, August 16, at 2 p.m. ET, tune in for my one-hour interview with Lee as he explains in detail how he set out to fix his cash flow several years ago and in doing so he fundamentally changed his practice – for the better!

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

Listen in as we focus on hot topics like:

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

Register now for this exciting one-hour interview with Lee Rosen on How to Make Flat Fee Billing Work for Your Law Firm

If the time of this webinar doesn’t work for you, you can receive a recording of it to watch at your convenience; all you need to do is register now.

 

Law Firm Marketing Strategies for Making Referrals Happen

Lucky – and rare! – is the lawyer who can sit back and watch the referrals come rolling in day after day.  The hard fact is that referrals rarely just happen; they are the result of infusing your law firm with a referral-cultivation mindset, of having a process in place to plant the seed, nurture the crop and reap the harvest.

Here are some ways you can infuse your law firm marketing program with referral-making strategies:

Make sure all your marketing materials mention how important referrals are to your firm.
From the first meeting, make sure your clients know that referrals are a very important part of your practice.

Continuously educate your referral sources on your target market as well as all the practice areas within your firm.

Work those networking events you attend.  Don’t just automatically say, “Business is great!”  Instead, tell those potential referral sources that things are good, “but we’re always looking for people we can help with (your practice area).”

Always look for ways to refer others and they will in turn feel an obligation to refer you.

Want more tips on how to build a referral-based practice?  I have a free report that includes more strategies for making referrals happen; see below for details.

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Free Report: 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice

Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process.  Stephen Fairley unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

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

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

How To Create A Strong Law Firm Marketing System For Your Firm

It is not enough to have a rough plan and some good intentions about legal marketing. Like any other discipline, it requires good planning, proper staffing, execution and determination to be as effective as possible.  Here are nine tips to help you with your planning:

1.  Create a written 12 month marketing plan for the law firm.  Put down in writing all of the goals and steps necessary to achieve those goals.

2. Develop processes and procedures to capture major marketing metrics and data.  You have to know the “lay of the land” if you are to be effective.

3.  Identify major lead sources and create tracking mechanisms to measure results.  Know where your referrals and leads come from and chart the volume of those leads and referrals.

4. Develop reports for tracking effectiveness of marketing efforts.  You have to know what is working and what is not.  Don’t waste time and money on techniques that are not effective for you.

5.  Create metrics for quantifying ROI of all major marketing initiatives.  If technique A has a ROI of 10 and Technique B has a ROI of 5, which one should receive the bulk of your attention?

6. Develop an online marketing system to generate leads and prospects from the internet. Use your website, blog, news releases and YouTube videos to drive traffic to your firm. 

7.  Build a system to develop relationships with potential referral sources and generate consistent referrals from them.  Take people to lunch.  Meet face-to-face and ask how you can help them with their business. 

8. Create a system for connecting with prospects, clients and referral sources on a regular, consistent basis.

9. Train your staff on how to use the systems you have put in place.  The best plans in the world are useless if they are not implemented. 

Following these guidelines will help you design a legal marketing system that will generate leads and referrals, allow you to convert those leads into clients, who will then generate more leads and referrals. 

 

Best Practices for Becoming a Rainmaker on the Internet, Part 5 of 5

All this week, I am giving readers several of the best practices in becoming a rainmaker on the Internet.
 Today’s post is about article marketing.

Submit your articles online. Submitting short educational articles on the Internet is one of the easiest, fastest, and cheapest ways to increase your visibility and the traffic to your website. There are literally thousands of directories on the Internet that will republish your article on their websites at no cost. Simply Google “article directories” for a list.


Key Action Points:
•    Keep your articles short—between 400 and 700 words. Remember, people don’t read online, they scan. Use plenty of bullet points, clearly differentiate sections, and keep your paragraphs short.
•    Write for a specific audience. Keep in mind your ideal clients, and write the article for them—not for other lawyers. Tell a case study. Use an example. Make it practical, interesting, and personal, as if you were speaking directly to the reader. Never use legal jargon unless you explain it.
•    Grab their attention with the title. Make sure your title is less than ten words, has a number in it when possible, and tells them how to solve a problem. The title must grab the reader’s attention from the start. For example: “5 Mistakes,” “7 Pitfalls,” “3 Steps,” etc.
•    Tell, don’t sell. Focus your article on informing and educating your reader about a specific topic. Don’t focus on “selling” your services. The goal is to get readers to visit your website.
•    Don’t be generic. Give your opinion or state your perspective. People are looking for answers, not just questions.
•    Determine if your article is a good fit for the site. Some sites target business professionals, others target individual consumers. Some have sections for each group. If they give you the choice, make sure you select the category that is most appropriate for your article and that best represents your target market.
•    Only submit to websites that allow you to include your contact information with a live link back to your website. If they are not willing to give you a live link back to your website, go somewhere else.
•    Give people a reason to contact you. Offer them a special report at your website or something else that will give them an incentive to contact you.
•    Create a Google Alert at www.google.com/alerts to help you track where your articles are posted to and when they come out (set either your name or the title of your article as the Alert).
•    Manage your expectations. Writing and submitting articles to various websites will rarely result in a new client. There are three major reasons why you should use this technique: (1) It will increase your visibility on the Internet. The search engines love free information (which is what your article is). (2) It will increase the number of visitors to your website through the direct links at the bottom of each article and by increasing the position of your website on the search engines. (3) It will increase your credibility. When an important prospect searches for your name on the Internet and comes up blank, that doesn’t look good. Having several websites with your articles posted on them immediately increases your credibility to prospects investigating which lawyer they want to hire.

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

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

Over the last decade we have helped over 8,000 attorneys market and grow their business. During this time we have identified many of the key characteristics of highly successful law firms.

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

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the numbers that make your law firm run. By analyzing these critical metrics, partners and owners of law firms can easily determine whether they are on track to achieve their goals or if they need to retool and refocus their marketing and business development efforts.

In this fast paced webinar, you learn:

  • How to easily identify the 12 key metrics your law firm needs to track and measure
  • How to set up a system to identify these numbers
  • The 7 critical systems every law firm must have
  • CPL and CPC: the 2 most important numbers every attorney must know in order to succeed
  • How to avoid “paralysis by analysis” and being overwhelmed by too much data
  • Delegating roles and responsibility to your staff
  • Using software to track your KPIs

If you’re a spreadsheet and data driven individual then you will love this webinar! However, if numbers scare you or you tend to ignore them because you have a hard time making heads or tails of all the different data you see, then this webinar is a “can’t miss” event!

We cut through the clutter and give you clear and easy to understand guidance on which numbers really matter the most, how to track this information, and what to do with it once you have it!

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

 

 

Business Development for Lawyers: What Are You Doing Right?

When it comes to business development, do you know what you’re doing right? Too often, attorneys sign new clients without having a true understanding of how that client came to them. 

How can you repeat your successes if you don’t know what you’re doing right?

Here are some tips for discovery:

Whenever someone calls to inquire about your services, have whoever handles the call ask how they found your firm. If they say on the Internet, ask what search terms they used. If they say they saw an ad, ask where. If they say they were referred, ask by whom (and be sure you follow up with that referral source to thank them promptly!).

Create a spreadsheet so you can track how prospects find you. The idea is for you to be able to tell at a glance what law firm marketing method is bringing you the most leads.

Track how many times you “touch” each lead before they become a client, and what methods you used to keep in touch.

Examine the data for which activities you are currently doing that result in the best quality leads, and which ones are bringing in prospects that are not a good fit for you.

Track costs and how much time you are spending for each of your law firm marketing activities so you can determine your ROI for each activity. 

Have your clients provide feedback on your services – likes, dislikes and be sure to ask if they feel good about referring you to friends and family.

Once you are able to tell what you’re doing right, you can then put your resources to work in areas that bring you the best quality leads.

 

Declare Your Independence from Law Firm Marketing Inexperience: Rainmaker in a Box Volume 1 Now 50% Off Thru July 4!

Can all the strategies to create a 7 figure law practice get stuffed into one box?

They can if it’s our Rainmaker In A Box, Vol. 1!

If you know anything about online marketing and the Internet, you know that nothing stays the same for very long. Tricks that got your website on the first page of Google search results 6 months ago are old hat and ineffective.

Fortunately, we stay on top of the trends and cutting edge strategies for you.

We have one aim in mind – to teach you how to use these little known strategies so you can get more and more qualified leads and dominate your marketplace; to help you create the law firm of your dreams.

Cutting edge strategies! Discover how top attorneys are growing their top line revenues, generating leads from social media and the internet, and increasing the quantity and quality of their referrals!

Rainmaker in a Box, Volume 1 includes:

The 5 Immutable Secrets to Building a 7 Figure Law Practice: How to create an automated marketing system to transform your law firm from a practice into a business. We have studied best practices in law firm marketing and share with you the 5 unchanging secrets they use to build a multi-million dollar law firm.

Secrets of Building a Referral-based Law Practice for Busy Practitioners: Every lawyer wants more referrals, yet for many the steps to get there remain an elusive secret. Listen in and watch as I lay out my 8-step proven system to triple your referral sources in 90 days or less!

The Top 6 Most Powerful Online Marketing Strategies for Attorneys: Internet marketing is one of today’s fastest growing and most powerful marketing tools for lawyers. Yet much of how to generate more business and attract more clients online is still a mystery. Watch as I pull back the veil and walks you through the core concepts and key principles every attorney must understand in order to dominate their competition online and build a powerful Internet presence on a shoe string budget.

Action, Accountability and Next Steps: Knowledge is power. The most difficult part for most attorneys is putting that knowledge into action. In this DVD you will discover an 8-step system for creating your law firm marketing plan and how to take action immediately.

Data DVD: Includes all 4 PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations. We recommend you print all these off and take notes on them as you watch the 4 intense DVDs.

This Independence Day offer expires at midnight ET this Friday, July 6, so click now on this Rainmaker in a Box Volume 1 Independence Day Special link to get this $397 DVD series for only $198!

 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Nurture Leads To Dramatically Increase Conversion Rates

The 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report by MarketingSherpa, which studied almost 2,000 business organizations to identify key industry trends for generating high quality leads, has found that organizations that nurture leads experience a 45% increase in lead generation ROI than those that do not.

At the Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing boot camp, I share the story of an attorney who attended one of our sessions last year. After the first day, she came up to me to say that she had been hearing from us for almost 10 years, and finally decided she needed to attend our Rainmaker Retreat, and how glad she was that she did.

If nothing else, this reinforced to me the importance of nurturing leads. I had no idea it would take someone 10 years to respond to our lead generation efforts, but I’m certainly glad we didn’t drop her off our list. You never know when someone will decide they’re ready to buy, even a decade later!

Lead nurturing is simply helping people rather than trying to sell them something. It is identifying their “point of pain” and giving them the answers that help them alleviate the pain. Those answers can come in many different forms, including:

  • Blogs
  • Answering questions on Avvo, JDSupra or other forums like LinkedIn
  • Offering a free report or white paper
  • Publishing articles
  • Posting videos on your website or YouTube

The content you deliver should benefit your prospect, whether or not they “buy” from you. By having a lead nurturing program in place, the quality of your leads will increase and so will your conversion rates. Even if it takes a few years for some prospects to get there.

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

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

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

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

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

To get your free report now, click here.

 

Could Penny Pinching Be Costing You Clients and Referral Sources?

Lee Rosen is a family law attorney at Rosen Law Firm in North Carolina who writes a great blog called Divorce Discourse, where he talks about family law marketing, practice management and technology. In a recent post, he posed the question: Is Penny Pinching Costing You Clients?  Here’s his answer:

“We don’t have a website yet because it’s too expensive. We’re being very careful with our money.” That’s what the lawyer told me when I asked about being unable to find his site on Google.

“We’re just getting started, and we’re in a small town,” he explained. “It’s just me and my partner, and we’re planning to do that later.”

I got the same answer when I asked about his “@gmail.com” email address. They’d decided that it wasn’t worth the money to commit to their own domain name just yet.

I’ve got to say that I disagree. If he had a site, I’d have found a reason to link to it from here. That would have generated interest and referrals. If he had a site, I’d have added it to my list of referrals on my North Carolina Divorce site, and that would have generated referrals. I would have bookmarked the site in my browser and saved it for when I need someone in his area.

But, alas, no site and nothing for me to save, so no referrals.

Did they save money with that money-saving decision? I don’t think so. It’s costing them—big time.

Here’s what I would do if I were a brand new lawyer running a very low budget, startup operation.

I’d go to a domain registrar and buy a domain name for $10 or less.

Then I’d go to Google Apps for Business and sign up for the free account (good for up to 10 users). It’ll get you hooked up with email from your own domain name (like mine: rosen@rosen.com). The domain name is important because it helps us find your site and start sending others to visit.

Finally, I’d go to Squarespace and build a website. It’s got a deal for $8 per month, and the site has great templates. I built a site the other day as an experiment. It took me 10 minutes. You don’t need anything fancy to start. Just build something simple using the templates and add some pictures you take yourself.

Total investment to have a website and an email domain name? $106 per year.

If you don’t make money on your $106 website, then you’re not trying.

Lee makes a number of good points.   I know there are lots of attorneys out there he could be referring to in this piece. They think that getting online with a website and blog will be expensive, maybe even because they’ve had some pitches from agencies that threw the kitchen sink at them – a kitchen sink that cost a ton.

As Lee so aptly points out, you can get online for a very good price these days. We help attorneys get up and running quickly at a very affordable rate, only a few hundred dollars a month. And not with a template site that will never rank on Google. A custom website with custom content.

Not having an online presence can hurt you in many ways, including sending a red flag to potential clients and referral sources. Are you real? Are you really in business?   Do you take your business seriously? Without a website, the natural assumption is no.

 

Creating the Lifestyle Law Firm: What Business Are You Really In?

"What business are you in?" We all get asked this question a lot, and most attorneys would respond by saying, “I’m a lawyer” or “I practice (fill in the blank) law.” 

But in actuality, you run a business. If you are not in business, you are not practicing law. And the success of your business lies in how well you are able to:

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

Create extraordinary experiences for your clients.  John Bisnar, founder of Bisnar Chase and a multi-million dollar Rainmaker, speaks often about the need to “micromanage the client experience”—controlling every aspect of how the client experiences your law firm. From how the phone is answered, to greeting them by name as they walk in the door, to minimizing the amount of paperwork you ask them to complete, to reserving your conference room with their name on the door, to returning client phone calls and emails consistently and promptly, everything should be focused on creating a positive experience for your clients.

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

You must develop long-term, meaningful and influential relationships with your clients because the most expensive thing you can have is a one-time client. The first step is to stay connected with them. Regular, non-billable communication with clients is more important than ever in these difficult times.

You should be communicating at least 10 times a year with every current and former client. Send out an e-newsletter or email them an article you authored or read that would be of interest to them. Create a game plan for how you can build long term, meaningful and influential relationships with your clients and you will have built a solid foundation for a lasting business relationship.

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New Webinar: How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle

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

In his new one-hour webinar, Stephen Fairley will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues. You will learn:

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

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

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

 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Turn Current Clients Into Repeats & Referrals

I think we are all aware by now that it takes much less effort to keep a client than to get a new one. Yet how many of us fail to keep our current clients or make them satisfied enough to refer us to others?

Here are some surefire ways to tell if you are driving clients away:

Take on everyone. You should be measuring your success in terms of profit, not just revenue. If you are signing everyone who walks in your door or calls you on the phone, you are probably discovering that many are not your ideal client, and are wasting your precious time and resources without hope of a satisfactory outcome.

Fail to set expectations. Most relationships with clients that go south do so because of unmet expectations. Be realistic about the services you provide and the outcome they can expect, and do it up-front.

Ignore clients after they become clients. You don’t mean to ignore them, but you’re busy and time slips by. If you had a process in place for communicating with them regularly, this wouldn’t be a problem.

Talk over their heads. Some attorneys have a very bad habit of making clients feel stupid by using too many legal terms in conversation. Stay on your client’s level and always make sure they understood what you were trying to communicate.

Be hard to reach. When clients need you, they don’t like to keep leaving voicemail messages....worse still is a full voicemail box. Offer your cell phone number or a way they can reach you when they need you.

Don’t listen. Most clients just want to be heard, especially by their own attorneys. This takes time on your part, as well as an effort to understand their point of pain and how to solve it. 

Give them the handoff. If you only make an appearance when money is on the table and then hand clients off to junior associates, you have just created a major disconnect in the loyalty chain.

If you do the opposite of everything I’ve mentioned above, you are going to keep your current clients happy enough to return and to refer you.

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Free Report: 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys From Building A Referral-Based Practice

Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process.  Stephen Fairley unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

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

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

 

R.I.P. Law Firm Business Model?

An op-ed piece entitled The Law Firm Business Model is Dying appeared yesterday on the Wall Street Journal’s website authored by Clifford Winston and Robert W. Crandall of the Brookings Institute. 

Winston and Crandall are co-authors of the book, First Thing We Do, Let’s Deregulate All the Lawyers, which was published last year by Brookings and argues that the legal professional should be deregulated because it is a monopoly, charging prices for services that cannot be economically justified.

The crux of yesterday’s article is that the legal industry business model is unsustainable due to the fact that large clients are taking more work in-house to reduce costs and consumers are using DIY online legal services to achieve the same benefit. 

The authors argue that “the rational response would be for new, low-cost legal firms to start up, and for incumbents to reduce costs and attract new clients by providing innovative services. But that is happening only to a limited extent because of state licensing requirements and American Bar Association (ABA) rules.”

The article has already generated 99 comments, on both sides of the argument.  It makes for some interesting reading.

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 business principles in law school.  

As I have said many times, the legal profession is a business. If you make poor business decisions, you will fail, no matter how brilliant a legal strategist you may be. If you fail to provide value and effectively demonstrate the benefits to your target market of the services you provide, you will fail. 

There is no question that the same forces that enabled Amazon to change the way we buy books and Apple to change the way we buy music are bringing about a similar evolution in the way consumers buy legal services.

The question to be answered now is, will law firms innovate or die?

 

Law Firm Marketing: 9 Keys to Discover Your Ideal Target Market

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

One target market that is growing rapidly these days is one that may have been overlooked by many B2B firms too busy chasing the marquis brand names: the small business owner. 

Today, small businesses employ half of the American workforce and have generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past two decades. About half of small businesses employ less than 100 people. And according to the Small Business Administration, the smallest firms (less than 20 employees) spend 36 percent more per employee than larger firms to comply with federal regulations.

Obviously a targeting opportunity awaits the savvy attorney who deals in tax compliance, employment law, environmental law and commerce law.

No matter what area of practice you are in, you can use these 9 keys to help you determine your ideal client. I suggest that you answer these questions as specifically as you can:

  1. Who’s your ideal client? (Think in terms of age, profession, gender, education, interests, marital status, family size, hobbies, and lifestyle.)
  2. Who can afford your fees? How much can they afford? What’s your value to them?
  3. Who could be a good long-term, repeat client?
  4. What qualities, characteristics and values do they have?
  5. What are you helping them accomplish?
  6. What are their issues, challenges or pain?
  7. What is it like working with them?
  8. Who could be a good source of referrals for these ideal clients?
  9. Who is NOT your ideal client?

Spend some time thinking about these questions and answering them as carefully, as specifically, as you can. When you finish, you’ll have laid a strong foundation for all your legal marketing strategies.

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Free CD: Insider Small Law Firm Marketing Practices

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

  • How 1 piece of simple technology in your practice will drastically increase your communication with prospects, clients and referral sources – resulting in a major revenue boost
  • 5 ways to market and position yourself as a recognized expert
  • How 2 Attorneys promoted their law firms to over 100,000 people for less than $100 in 2 hours
  • The 1 item you must absolutely have to create a Million Dollar Law Practice (hint: Not having this will almost guarantee your failure!)
  • 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.

 

Law Firm Marketing: 5 Ways Attorneys Can Increase Referrals

Do referrals come easily to you? If so, you’re one of a lucky minority. Attorneys need and rely on referrals for new business, but not many realize the concerted effort it takes to create a system that generates referrals.

While you may think your good work speaks for itself, it doesn’t – your clients do. Here are five proven ways to increase referrals:

Get comfortable with “the ask”.  Most people enjoy making referrals to their friends and associates as a way of building social capital.  If you believe the way you practice law benefits your clients, then you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable about having clients refer you to others who may benefit as well.

Mitigate risk.  All referrals involve risk – if you refer a business and it under-performs, you feel badly that you made that referral.  Attorneys who count on referrals for business generation need to take necessary steps to mitigate this risk with communication, education and stellar follow-up.

Create great client experiences.  People who have had great experiences with a product or service tend to refer it to their friends and colleagues.  Which is why cultivating a culture of great client service is a must for gaining referrals.

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

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

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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.

 

How to Create an Effective Law Firm Marketing E-Newsletter

If you’re like me, you get lots of e-newsletters. Some I subscribed to on purpose, others come because I bought something online and forget to un-check the “Send me everything you have to say about anything” box.

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

Here are some hallmarks of effective e-newsletters:

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

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

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

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

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

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Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers Audio CD

Based on Stephen’s highly successful seminar series by the same name, this 3-audio CD program covers dozens of practical recommendations and step-by-step sales and marketing techniques for solo practitioners and small law firms.

More than 8,000 attorneys from law firms all over the country have experienced powerful results from attending the Becoming A Rainmaker seminar. It has been sponsored by more than 22 of the largest state and local bar associations.

In this information-packed audio program, you will discover:

  • How to generate more leads by using education-based marketing
  • The relationship between credibility, visibility, tangibility, and consistency
  • How to position your small firm as an industry leader
  • The importance of being perceived as a specialist
  • Why most advertising is a waste of your money
  • What to expect from a Yellow Pages ad
  • The 3 marketing strategies that will produce 80% of your results
  • How to influence the Know, Like and Trust factors
  • Common marketing mistakes lawyers make and how to avoid them
  • How to answer the question, "Why should I buy from you?"
  • Specific ways you can set yourself apart from low-cost lawyers
  • What to do with the 15% of the population that always buys on price
  • Ways to attract your Ideal Target Market
  • The 6 stage sales process you must follow for maximum success

Click to order Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers.

 

Small Firms Getting Bigger Piece of the Action from Corporate Counsel

An article posted at Law.com today entitled, Bye-Bye Big Firm notes a growing trend of in-house corporate counsel hiring more small law firms – not just to cut costs, but also because of a growing preference to hire based on specialty rather than size.

As the article notes, small law firms are flourishing because client demands have evolved over the past decade.  Legal services have become “unbundled,” and clients are increasingly choosing different firms for different needs. 

While the financial downturn may have spurred this trend, clients say that cost is not the only reason they choose to think small. They point to a lack of conflicts and personal attention as two big advantages in choosing a small firm. 

Lawyers are catching on to this trend and leaving big firms to start their own practices in increasing numbers. According to a 2010 Am Law report, 114 partners left Am Law 200 firms to start or join small practices from October 2008 through September 2009 -- up from 70 partners in the previous 12-month period.

As consultant Peter Zeughauser notes in the article, "There's more and more pressure on firms to be distinctive in the marketplace. Lawyers are picking practice areas to be known for, and eventually that means they'll go to small firms as a platform to grow their practices."

In a recent post, I described 4 ways small firms can successfully differentiate themselves in How to Discover Your Difference & Drive Great Clients to Your Door. The benefits from positioning yourself as a specialist are numerous, including:

  • Significantly higher rate of referrals.
  • Can charge higher rates.
  • More opportunities to offer them more expensive services.
  • Better client retention.
  • Not perceived as a commodity.
  • Value is based primarily on credibility and expertise.
  • Better positioned to get positive media coverage.
  • Easier to dominate your niche.

With the growth in small law firms, effective and focused law firm marketing is now more necessary than ever.

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

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

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

 

Meet Top Nashville Personal Injury Attorney and Former President of the Tennessee Association of Justice Phillip Miller: A Rainmaker Attorney Client Profile

It’s been said that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.  And what I love about my work is interacting with hundreds of bright, passionate attorneys like those I meet at our two-day law firm marketing intensive, the Rainmaker Retreat – people like Nashville personal injury attorney, trial consultant, and the former President of the Tennessee Association of Justice Phillip H. Miller.

Phillip practices personal injury law and we first met a couple of years ago when he attended a Rainmaker Retreat.  Phillip has a true affinity for personal injury law and for helping people from all walks of life.  He and his firm are deeply involved in the Nashville community, supporting the Tennessee Head Start program for the past 19 years, the Nashville Humane Society, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Phillip is an attorney who walks the walk. 

Phillip Miller was recently honored to serve on the faculty of a national program on trial advocacy at Harvard Law School, sponsored by the American Association for Justice.  He is one of only six attorneys on the faculty, and the only Tennessee attorney to serve as a faculty member for this prestigious program!

After attending our Rainmaker Retreat, Phillip became a member of our Attorney Mastermind group, which he says he found highly useful as a way to find out what other top rainmaker attorneys are doing, what works and what doesn’t work. 

We continue to work with Phillip designing, writing and sending out his e-newsletter to interested prospects, clients, and referral sources. Many of our clients have found a monthly newsletter is one of the most cost effective forms of marketing their law firm.

In addition, we have been working with Phillip on generating more business using Internet marketing and search engine optimization. As of last month, his Nashville personal injury website was on the first page of Google for 32 terms of which he was ranked in the #1 position for 18 of those terms!

If you've been reading our legal marketing blog for long, then you will recognize the importance of being found on the first page of Google for your key terms because 90% of people never look beyond the first page when searching for a service provider!

Being on the first page of Google for 32 of his top key terms, like “Nashville car accident attorney,” positions his website ahead of almost all of his competitors. Phillip Miller told us it has resulted in a significant increase in traffic to his website:  “It all comes together.  The link-building The Rainmaker Institute is doing for me raises my website in search results, which leads to more traffic, which has generated cases for my law firm as a result!”

If you are interested in learning how we can help you stay connected with prospects, clients and referral sources with a monthly newsletter or you want to get to the top of Google for your top key terms, then we invite you to give us a call and set up a complimentary Strategy Session with one of our Rainmaker Advisors. You can reach us at 888-588-5891.

We also invite you to learn more about our Rainmaker Retreats:

March 30-31, 2012 – San Diego, CA

April 27-28, 2012 – Chicago, IL

May 18-19, 2012 – Houston, TX 

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

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Free CD: Insider Small Law Firm Marketing Practices

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

  • How 1 piece of simple technology in your practice will drastically increase your communication with prospects, clients and referral sources – resulting in a major revenue boost
  • 5 ways to market and position yourself as a recognized expert
  • How 2 Attorneys promoted their law firms to over 100,000 people for less than $100 in 2 hours
  • The 1 item you must absolutely have to create a Million Dollar Law Practice (hint: Not having this will almost guarantee your failure!)
  • 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.

 

How to Discover Your Difference & Drive Great Clients to Your Door

With the economy still a challenge and law schools churning out new lawyers every year, it is tempting to grab onto every potential client who calls. But defining your ideal target market as “anyone who draws breath” is not a good long-term strategy for the survival of your practice. Hope is not a law firm marketing strategy!

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

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

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

Industry: transportation, construction, energy, real estate development.

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

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

The days of mass marketing are far behind us – today, it is all about micro-marketing, defining that narrow space where you can excel and promoting your prowess to those looking for what you offer via influential blogs and participation on social media networks.

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

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Free Report: 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys From Building A Referral-Based Practice

Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process.  Stephen Fairley unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

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

Click here to get your free report today.

 

How Much Do Attorneys Need To Spend on Law Firm Marketing?

I get asked this question by attorneys frequently: How much do I need to spend on my law firm marketing?  There are a lot of variables to take into consideration when answering that question. Here are a few you need to consider: 

What practice area are you in? Some practice areas require significantly more time and money to market (litigation and personal injury to mention two).  

What are your profit margins? The larger your margins, the more you can invest on marketing and new business development. Some practice areas have bigger profit margins (litigation) while others have notoriously low profits (insurance coverage and residential real estate).  

What are your annual revenues? It is not unusual for successful law firms to spend between 15% and 40% of their annual revenues on marketing. 

Are you targeting other businesses or individual consumers? Any time you are marketing directly to consumers, your marketing budget must be bigger because of the intense competition for consumers’ attention and money. 

What is the size of your competition? Obviously companies trying to take market share from Wal-mart are going to need a lot bigger marketing budget than a beauty salon owner. Analyze your competition— what kind of marketing are they doing? How are they positioning their firm? 

How sophisticated are your competitors when it comes to marketing? Typical companies in service-based industries and professional services (like law firms) are a lot less sophisticated than other industries. 

Are you marketing directly to the end user or through a referral source? Marketing to the end users of your services is more difficult than working through an established marketing channel like a referral source. 

How long is the typical marketing cycle? How long does someone take to make a decision after they have gathered all the information they need? Is it measured in minutes, days, weeks, or months? The longer the marketing cycle, the more money you need to spend on marketing because after you have given them the information they need, you still need to stay in touch with them. 

What's the geographical size of your prospect base? For many professional service firms, like doctors, lawyers and accountants, it is usually limited from 5 to 25 square miles. 

What the average sale size? How much does your average client spend with you? $500? $5,000? $500K? $5 Million? Typically, the higher the price tag, the more you need to educate your customer as to the benefits of your services and provide more evidence of your credibility. 

What's the lifetime value of your average client? How much does your average client spend with you over a given time frame? If they spend $1,000 a month with you annually, and the average customer stays with you for 3 years, then the average customer is worth around $36,000 to you. If you know that, you know how much you can afford to spend on landing each customer before it starts to negatively impact your profit margins.

I put this information – and much more that attorneys need to know about building a successful law practice – into a free e-book you can download immediately. To get the e-book, see below.

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

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

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

 

How to Use Surveys to Improve Your Law Firm Marketing

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

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

Most people are accustomed to taking online satisfaction surveys, which is an expeditious and inexpensive way to conduct customer satisfaction research. It also doesn’t intrude on your client’s time too much. Most of the email marketing services have this functionality, so if you are already using Constant Contact or iContact, it is simple to design a survey and send it out to your contact list. 

Here are some good questions to ask in your survey:

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

In addition, you will want to gather some lifestyle information from your clients that will help you target offers or rewards that will be meaningful to them. Lifestyle information goes way beyond mere demographics – it indicates how a client spends time and their interests, activities and tastes.  

Using lifestyle information, you can find many opportunities to build a meaningful relationship with the client. For example, a client who hunts is much more likely to respond favorably to a Cabela’s gift card than a Starbucks gift card. This one seemingly tiny detail is what creates client loyalty. 

Lifestyle data also helps improve marketing performance, which reduces marketing costs and improves response rates – leading to a higher return on your marketing investment.

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Free CD: Insider Small Law Firm Marketing Practices

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

  • How 1 piece of simple technology in your practice will drastically increase your communication with prospects, clients and referral sources – resulting in a major revenue boost
  • 5 ways to market and position yourself as a recognized expert
  • How 2 Attorneys promoted their law firms to over 100,000 people for less than $100 in 2 hours
  • The 1 item you must absolutely have to create a Million Dollar Law Practice (hint: Not having this will almost guarantee your failure!)
  • 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.

 

The 5 Pillars That Form the Foundation of a Great Law Firm Marketing Plan

Perhaps one of the most frustrating exercises in life is basing a law firm marketing plan on strategies that simply don’t work. We see it all the time, and really, there is no reason for it with all the resources available to attorneys today to develop a legal marketing plan that will deliver real results.

If you are working on a new law firm marketing program for 2012, be sure you include these 5 pillars as the foundation for your plan:

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

Product: Identify specifically what services you provide and the best way to present these to your prospects. Be sure they always know what they will get when they hire you.

Positioning: Take an in-depth look at your competitors and identify why you are different from them. Then educate your prospects about why they should hire you and no one else.

Packaging: When it comes to law firm marketing, the package is you. Decide how you can best project an image that makes people want to work with you.

Place: Be where prospects can find you online, participating in social networks that your target market frequents. Market your articles and other content so you show up well in search. Be where people can find you.

These 5 pillars provide a firm foundation on which you can build a great law firm marketing plan to generate leads and converting those leads into paying clients. 

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Free CD: Insider Small Law Firm Marketing Practices

Get your free CD on Insider Small Law Firm Marketing Practices by #1 best-selling author and nationally recognized law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley, and listen as he reveals a proven system to generate more and better referrals, find new clients fast, and fill your law practice! Discover:

  • How 1 piece of simple technology in your practice will drastically increase your communication with prospects, clients and referral sources – resulting in a major revenue boost
  • 5 ways to market and position yourself as a recognized expert
  • How 2 Attorneys promoted their law firms to over 100,000 people for less than $100 in 2 hours
  • The 1 item you must absolutely have to create a Million Dollar Law Practice (hint: Not having this will almost guarantee your failure!)
  • 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.

 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Become a Go-To Source for Journalists

Do you ever wonder how certain attorneys in your community seem to be the quoted experts in local news and media stories? How did that happen? And why aren’t you being contacted?

The truth is that like most businesses, media has had to become lean and mean in these trying economic times, with fewer journalists covering more ground. So it’s not surprising that journalists are turning to online services that provide them with immediate access to relevant sources for their stories.

The good news is that you can sign up for these services and add yourself to the list of sources for your market area and area of legal expertise. Here are two popular services journalists are using every day to get quotable sources:

HelpaReporter.com – known as HARO (Help a Reporter Out), this service sends you email queries every day that you can sort through to see if you are a relevant source. HARO has evolved into a social media network with more than 100,000 members – including 30,000 journalists. Journalists write their own queries, and when you respond, you are responding directly to the journalist. HARO has several membership levels – from free (you receive all queries, which can be a little cumbersome to sort through) to three levels of paid membership that allows you to filter alerts by keyword, build a profile on the HARO site that journalists can review, access to the online searchable database of queries, text alerts to your phone so you can meet tight deadlines, and more. 

ProfNet Connect – a service of PRNewswire, ProfNet Connect also sends out daily media queries via email to members and you respond directly to the reporter if there is a fit. Members are allowed to create detailed profiles (with keywords) and upload videos, photos and documents that are made available to media as well as indexed by all major search engines.  ProfNet Connect is offered only to PRNewswire members; annual membership fee is $249. 

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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.  

 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Increase Your Email Marketing Effectiveness

With all the legal marketing emphasis on social media these days, it sometimes seems as if that very powerful law firm marketing tool – email marketing -- gets left in the dust. That would be a very serious mistake.

The 2011 Marketers’ Benchmark Report by Focus Research showed that email marketing is still the top performing channel:

Earlier this week, Hubspot provided these tips for proven ways to increase your email marketing effectiveness by improving your click-through rates:

Test subject lines – remember the ingredients for effective email subject lines: deliverability, actionability, personalization, clarity, brevity and consistency.

Keep it brief – keep the copy short and extend your offer early.

Make it social – include social sharing buttons that allow readers to pass along your content.   Research shows that adding these can increase your click-through rate by 30 percent or more.

Segment your lists – whether it’s by geography, new clients, current clients, prospects or practice area, segment your lists and talk directly to the subjects that interest that segment.

Personalize – not only by name, but also by interest. Make the most relevant offers to those who are most likely to be interested in those specific offers.

Remove distractions – don’t clutter your email newsletter with lots of “fun facts” or other esoterica that distracts from your message.

Strong call-to-action – hit your prospects in the face with a strong call to action in the first part of your email and make it impossible to miss.

Include a P.S. – these are irresistible to most readers, and should be used to reiterate your offer.

Optimize for mobile – research tells us that 70 million Americans access email via their mobile devices every day. Be sure your email messages are optimized for mobile.

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FREE Rainmaker Retreat Preview DVD – Learn Before You Go!

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 8,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then click here to receive a free DVD of your colleagues (and even your competitors) describing their experiences at our 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat.

Yes, we know you are skeptical.   So instead of us telling you how these 2 days will transform your business, you can listen to your peers describe their experiences in their own words.
 
Click
here to order your complimentary DVD right now.

 

Your 2012 Law Firm Marketing Plan: Creating Your Unique Competitive Advantage

A Unique Competitive Advantage (UCA) answers the question, “Why should I hire you?”  With so many competitors and choices today, your law firm marketing strategy must clearly set you and your law firm apart from the competition.

How should you position yourself and your services?  Answer these questions to get a good start on developing your UCA:

  • In light of what I know about my competitors and my target market(s), what are the top five to ten reasons why someone should buy from me versus any other company?
  • How can I take advantage of my competitor’s weaknesses? 
  • Why am I the best attorney for this person/company?
  • What skills, abilities, and experiences do I offer clients that they can't receive elsewhere?
  • How can I emphasize the value I bring to the table?
  • What are my competitors known for? 
  • How can I find, retain, and motivate the best people possible that can help me succeed?

There are many ways to create a Unique Competitive Advantage for your law firm marketing plan; here are 10 of them:

Focus on the Benefits: What are the benefits of working with this firm as compared to others? What do you do that other firms refuse to do to better serve your clients?

Focus on Value: Compare your costs versus how much money you save clients. How have you helped other clients take better advantage of opportunities or avoid liability?

Focus on Results: What are some specific results you have obtained for clients in the past? What is your win/loss record? What do you do to achieve better results than your competitors?

Focus on Solutions: Give an example of a creative solution you found to a client’s problem. How did you come up with it? What happened because of your creative solution?

Focus on the Individual Partners: Remember, people don’t buy legal services from law firms; they buy legal services from attorneys. People don’t say, “Go talk to my law firm,” they say, “Go talk to my attorney.” What is different about your partners than in other firms?

Focus on Service: (not the list of services your firm provides, but how you serve your clients). How do your clients describe the way you treat them?

Focus on a Niche: Position your partners as leading experts in a specific industry, not as generalists. To be a generalist for most attorneys is the “kiss of death.” Go deeper, not broader.

Focus on Client’s Feedback: What do your best clients say about you? What would they tell someone else about your services and how it has helped them? Do your clients refer other clients to you on a regular basis?

Focus on Credibility: What is your firm known for in the industry? Talk about how your partners are profiled in the media or are industry experts. What are 3 reasons why your prospects should perceive you as a credible expert?

Focus on Visibility: How visible are your partners within an industry? Do they regularly speak at top industry events? Are they a nationally recognized expert? A published author? What happens when prospects type their name into Google?

By developing a strong UCA, your legal marketing plan will be well ahead of your peers and it will give you the tools you need to implement a strong law firm marketing strategy that tells a prospect why they should hire you.

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Jan. 18 Webinar: Developing Your Law Firm Marketing Roadmap

There’s no better way to start 2012 off right than to create a Marketing Action Plan (MAP).

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, Stephen Fairley will lead you through the 5 critical steps of developing a 90-day game plan for marketing your law firm and give you viable options to help you implement the MAP.

The webinar begins at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT and goes for one hour.

You will learn:

  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
  • View examples of Marketing Action Plans for various practice areas
  • How to create a roadmap to make 2012 your Best Year Ever!

All attendees will also receive a FREE 40 page marketing plan workbook at the end of the webinar.

If you would like to view this webinar at your convenience, then go ahead and register to receive a recording of this impactful one-hour session that will help you plan your work, and then work your plan!

Click here to register now.

 

Law Firm Marketing: Blogs Growing in Influence With Consumers

Distrust of traditional media sources is growing, and so is the influence of blogs on consumers’ purchase decisions, according to the 2011 State of the Blogosphere Report recently released by blog directory website Technorati.

The report shows that more than one-third of the consumers surveyed believe they will be getting their news and entertainment from blogs rather than traditional media over the next five years, and more than half said they trust traditional media less than they did five years ago:

More than half also said they visit blogs to get news or information:

And almost one-third said that a blog is likely to influence a purchase decision:

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.

Blogging is your forum to connect with the community at large and to make it clear that you are an expert in your field.  But to make it the highly effective medium you need it to be, your law firm marketing and promotion strategy should include:

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

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

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Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD Set

The Practice Made Perfect CD set and manual applies Stephen Fairley’s unique High Impact Marketing System to the practice-building challenges faced by solo practitioners and partners at small law firms.  

It includes dozens of specific marketing and sales recommendations that can be easily and quickly applied to your firm, including:

  • The only 7 sure-fire ways to get clients in your door NOW
  • Why advertising doesn’t work for most small law firms
  • The 7 reasons why people don’t buy from you           
  • How to market and sell with USP’s (Unique Selling Proposition)           
  • Using audio logos to attract immediate attention for your business
  • Using low-cost, high impact marketing strategies           
  • Strategies for achieving maximum results from all of your marketing efforts           
  • How to discover your Ideal Target Market
  • 3 critical factors to remember when looking for new clients
  • The NEW sales cycle for professional services
  • How to retain your best clients

Click here to order your Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD set and manual now.

 

Law Firm Marketing Insights From Larry Bodine & Stephen Fairley

My good friend Larry Bodine, Editor-in-Chief of Lawyers.com, and I got together recently to interview each other about law firm marketing. Here’s a short video from that conversation:

If you are interested in building a lifestyle law practice through effective law firm marketing, then register now for the last Rainmaker Retreat of this year:

December 2-3, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 8,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then register now for one of our one-hour complimentary teleseminars:

Wednesday, November 30

11am PT | 12pm MT | 1pm CT | 2pm ET  

Thursday, December 8

12pm PT | 1pm MT | 2pm CT | 3pm ET 

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

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. In a new report on the influence of blogs, eMarketer.com found that in 2010, 51% of Internet users in the U.S. (that’s over 91 million people) read blogs, and they project that usage will go to 60% (150 million) in the next four years!

Still think blogs are a fad?

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

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

Click here to order your free report now!

 

Law Firm Marketing: More Attorneys Choosing Entrepreneurship

A New York Times article last week noted a growing trend among attorneys in their mid-20s to early 40s: opening up their own shops in lieu of pursuing the partner track in larger law firms.

According to the article, a growing number of young attorneys want more control over their time and many are choosing to go it alone or with a like-minded colleague rather than be at the mercy of large law firm layoffs or what has become a slower slog to partnership.

The article profiled five new law firm start-ups and revealed some of the lessons learned from hanging out one’s own shingle:

  • To reach profitability more quickly, run a lean operation
  • Network at every possible opportunity
  • The best clients are the people you would want to socialize with, not just anyone who walks through the door
  • Challenge the status quo when it comes to billing practices – one firm charges a flat rate and bills upfront for third party services
  • Create a realistic budget
  • Effective time management is critical
  • Learn to handle uncertainty – your monthly income is likely to be cyclical until you are well established

Want to learn more about building a successful law practice? See our free CD offer below.

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Free CD: Insider Small Law Firm Marketing Practices

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

  • How 1 piece of simple technology in your practice will drastically increase your communication with prospects, clients and referral sources – resulting in a major revenue boost
  • 5 ways to market and position yourself as a recognized expert
  • How 2 Attorneys promoted their law firms to over 100,000 people for less than $100 in 2 hours
  • The 1 item you must absolutely have to create a Million Dollar Law Practice (hint: Not having this will almost guarantee your failure!)
  • 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.

 

Law Firm Marketing: 7 Ways to Find Referrals Through Formal Networking

One law firm marketing tactic that consistently helps most law firms get new clients is referrals. There are several different ways to get those referrals: initiating a strategic referral development program, informal networking and formal networking.

“Formal networking” involves attending an organized group event such as industry trade shows, bar meetings, rotary clubs, special interest groups, political groups, etc.

Here are 7 ways to find new clients through formal networking:

Join the right groups: Not legal groups or groups where a lot of attorneys gather (unless you get a lot of your business from other attorneys). You need to go where the decision makers meet, not the gatekeepers.

Join elite groups: Groups that cost several hundred dollars a year are better than cheap groups; groups that require a member to sponsor you are even better.

Use an “audio logo”: An audio logo is an idea or statement that clearly and succinctly tells who your intended audience is and what you can do for them.

Most people want to talk about what interests them. They don’t want to talk to someone who’s only interested in how to get their business. So you can use an audio logo to attract attention. Be prepared to give case examples of how you have helped others.

Here is an example of an audio logo: “I help (who your clients are) to (what your solution is or how you solve their problems.)”

Remember your primary purpose: Remember your primary purpose in going to networking events is NOT to get new clients. Your primary purpose is to BUILD A RELATIONSHIP with potential referral sources and to offer yourself as a referral source to them. If you’re going to networking events to get new clients you are not only wasting your time, but you are also coming across as either pushy or desperate to the people you’re meeting.

When you understand the real reason for going to networking events, it takes all the pressure to perform off and keeps you focused on a more productive purpose—building relationships with people you could help and who may also be of help to you.

Ask open-ended questions: Use the 80/20 Rainmaker Rule when you meet them. Ask open ended questions like:

  • What do you like best about the work you do?
  • What are the biggest challenges your industry/company/profession is facing?
  • Where do you find most of your clients?
  • Who is your target market?
  • If one of your prospects asks what makes you different from your competitors, what do you say?
  • How would I know if the person I’m talking to would be a good referral for you?

Be intentional in your follow-up: It does absolutely no good to go to a bunch of networking events, talk to people, collect business cards, and not follow-up. You must have a plan and reasons for following up with people you meet. Your primary reason is to learn more about their business and see if you would be a good referral source for them.

Track your efforts:

  • Contact’s name and full information.
  • Follow-up method used—phone, email letter.
  • Date of 1st follow-up.
  • Dates of each additional follow-up.
  • Date of first face-to-face meeting.
  • Follow-up efforts.
  • Results of efforts.
  • Notes.

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Network With The Rainmaker Institute Tonight!

The Rainmaker Institute is co-sponsoring the Building Your Connections 2011 event tonight – Thursday, Nov. 3 -- beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe, Arizona. Join members of the Arizona Society of CPAs, the State Bar of Arizona and The Risk Management Association for this great networking opportunity. 

Be sure to stop by our exhibit booth and pick our brain with your burning law firm marketing questions – plus, pick up a complimentary copy of our CD packed full of successful law firm marketing strategies!

For more information, click here.

 

Top Strategies to Build a Better Law Firm: Follow Up or Fail

Everyone who has ever attended a Rainmaker Retreat knows this is one of my mantras, but it bears repeating:

"The Fortune is in The Follow-up!"    

I was speaking with an estate planning attorney who mentioned he’d recently had a fantastic meeting with an interested, and very wealthy individual. The attorney made a proposal to the prospect for a comprehensive estate plan and quoted him a fee around $5,000. He was confident in his belief that the prospect would sign up.

However, after thinking about it for a few days, the prospect declined, citing the attorney's high fee as the reason. Now, this potential client's estate is worth well north of a million dollars.  His parents are multi-millionaires, so it's not a matter of not being able to afford it.  

When I inquired as to what my client was doing to follow up and re-sell the prospect, my client stated nothing because his partner told him, "We don't chase clients." 

Now, I am all for attracting clients and not being perceived as an "ambulance chaser." However, I rather pointedly stated I thought his partner was dead wrong!  Now is the time to increase your follow-up, not eliminate it.

I coached him to immediately call and email the prospect and ask for a meeting with him and his parents and in this meeting to emphasize the value of having a comprehensive, bullet proof estate plan versus one cranked out by a trust mill or a generic online form.   

In the law firms who have hired The Rainmaker Institute to consult with them on improving their conversion rates, we have found if they fix their follow-up they will fix their cash flow!  If you are struggling with negative cash flow you need to immediately look to your system of follow-up or the lack thereof.  

Every lead, every prospect, every referral source and every client needs to have a follow-up in a timely and consistent fashion. Since you have a very limited amount of time to do so, you must learn how to automate the follow-up process. We recently helped one of our clients set up an autoresponder series to do just this.  

An autoresponder is an automated process that sends out a pre-written series of emails to a qualified list to encourage them to take a desired course of action. 

For example, if you meet with a prospective client who does not make a decision to retain you immediately, you can set them up (with their full permission of course) to receive information from your law firm via email.  

This may consist of a series of five to ten emails that is sent every three to five days. The first email may consist of a simple "Thank you for coming in to see us. Here's a link to our website for more information." The second email may be "There are 10 questions you must ask any attorney before you hire them to take your case. Here's the first two questions..."   

On average, people require at least seven to ten meaningful touches to move from being interested in you to being ready to buy from you. Most attorneys stop after two or three touches because they falsely believe they are "bothering" or "chasing" the person.  

As long as you are professional and courteous in your email communications, most people perceive your persistence as caring about them and wanting their business, not bothersome.

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Want to Learn More Marketing Techniques for Attorneys? Attend 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:

  • November 11-12, 2011 – Chicago, IL ***4.25 General MCLE credits***
  • December 2-3, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA
  • February 10-11, 2012 – Orlando, FL

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 8,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then register now for one of our one-hour complimentary teleseminars:

Wednesday, November 2

1pm PT | 2pm MT | 3pm CT | 4pm ET  

Thursday, November 10

12pm PT | 1pm MT | 2pm CT | 3pm ET  

Wednesday, November 16

10am PT | 11am MT | 12pm CT | 1pm ET  

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

 

Law Firm Marketing: On Successfully Chasing Prospects Instead of Ambulances

The new John Grisham novel The Litigators is out and the reviews are good. The author is turning up on all the morning talk shows to promote his new tome, which is about a small law firm of...well, there’s really no other way to say it...ambulance chasers.

CNN interviewed Grisham, who said the spark for his new book was “what seems to be a deluge of lawyers advertising on television. The airwaves are just flooded these days with what I find to be unseemly appeals for cases...I’ve been intrigued with that aspect of the practice of law and advertising in general, and one thing led to another.”

Most people find the kind of attorney advertising Grisham talks about to be distasteful, and are distrustful of lawyers who sell legal services in this fashion. Which is why we have always been an advocate of education-based marketing rather than mass media advertising.

Education-based marketing is one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of lawyers. There is a great amount of basic information you know that prospects want. And there are a number of tools available for you to disseminate this information to them, including:

Blogs – Blogs are a great, inexpensive way to disseminate your knowledge quickly – plus, search engines love blogs because they provide fresh content and are usually very search engine friendly.

Online Article Marketing -- Did you know there are hundreds of websites that will publish your articles for free? All you have to do is submit them and within a matter of weeks you will begin to see your online presence grow. These short, education-based articles are written specifically for your niche. If you can write 500 words on a topic, you can use this simple strategy.

Free Reports -- Think about some of the questions your clients have and put together a short report (three to six pages long), a PowerPoint presentation, or even an audio CD, and offer a free copy to website visitors who give you their contact information. (Remember, if you cannot get visitors to call you directly, the second-best alternative is to persuade them to give you their contact information with permission to contact them.)

This kind of free educational information is a great tool you can use to start building relationships with many people who need your help but aren’t ready to walk in your door. It is not enough simply to offer people a free consultation. Almost every lawyer does that. Take it one step further and give them some great information that will help them think through the issues and challenges they are facing.

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Get All the Law Firm Marketing Strategies You Need to Create A 7-figure Law Practice with Rainmaker In A Box: Volumes 1 and 2!

Want to discover Proven Marketing Strategies that Top Law Firms are using right now to generate more leads and referrals and convert them into paying clients?

Rainmaker In A Box: Volume 1 and Rainmaker In A Box: Volume 2 contains highly valuable legal marketing information you absolutely need to know!

Rainmaker in a Box: Volume 1 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
  • Data DVD: Includes all 4 PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations. We recommend you print all these off and take notes on them as you watch the 4 intense DVDs.

Rainmaker in a Box: Volume 2 includes:

  • 8 Proven Steps for More & Better Referrals


  • 7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Law Firm


  • 6 Keys to Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media


  • 5 Core Components for Highly Successful Websites & Blogs

  • Data DVD: 
Includes all 4 PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations. We recommend you print all these off and take notes on them as you experience these information-packed DVDs!

Purchase both sets on our website and get 25% OFF!

Click here now to order!

 

Phoenix Legal Networking Group Nov. 2: Get the Answer to "Why Should I Hire You?"

Do you have an answer to the #1 question prospects are thinking but few ask: Why should I hire you?

If not, you’ll want to attend the November 2 meeting of the Phoenix Legal Networking Group on Wednesday, Nov. 2 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

When faced with this question, most attorneys fall back on talking about the quality of their services, their experience and the size of their law firm. Prepare to have your eyes opened to the truth:

  • The #1 reason why prospects “shop you on price”
  • How most attorneys completely miss the point when talking about their experience
  • The 4 biggest reasons to emphasize when talking with prospects
  • Overcoming common objections attorneys encounter

The networking event and marketing seminar will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at Target Market Media Publications (Attorney at Law Magazines), 4647 N. 32nd St., Suite B-280 in Phoenix.

Cost is $20 if you register by Oct. 31, $30 if you register by Nov. 1 and $35 on the day of the event.  This covers drinks, hors d’oeurves, the networking event and the workshop.

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:

  • 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

To register for our Nov. 2 networking and legal marketing event, co-hosted by Attorney at Law Magazine, Coash & Coash Court Reporting and The Rainmaker Institute, visit www.therainmakerretreat.com/network or call 888-816-8935.

If you would like to be notified of specifics for future meetings, please go to www.therainmakerretreat.com/network and sign up by clicking the box “Can't Make It, Send Me Future Dates.”

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Can’t Make Our Nov. 2 Phoenix Legal Networking Group Meeting? You Can Still Get the Answers to “Why Should I Hire You?”

If you can’t make it to the November 2 meeting of the Phoenix Legal Networking Group but still want access to the information being given at the workshop, then get our one-hour How to Answer the Question, “Why Should I Hire You?”: Creating a Unique Competitive Advantage webinar online to watch at your convenience. Learn:

  • Why quality does NOT matter! (Yes, you read that correctly, quality does not matter when it comes to closing a prospect)
  • The #1 reason why prospects “shop you on price”
  • How most attorneys completely miss the point when talking about their experience
  • The 4 biggest reasons to emphasize when talking with prospects
  • Overcoming common objections attorneys encounter
  • Winning over skeptics by focusing on the numbers of your practice
  • Case studies of how top attorneys respond when asked the ultimate question
  • How to overcome price objections even before you meet with a prospect
  • How to respond if someone says, “Your price is too high” or “That’s too much money!”
  • How to get potential clients to stop making price an objection once and for all
  • And 8 more effective ways to answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”

To access the webinar online, click here

 

Law Firm Marketing Strategies: Speak the Right Language to Successfully Market Your Services

If your law firm is not growing (or worse yet, shrinking) and your revenue stream is down to a trickle, it's time to start being proactive with your marketing.

One of the most important aspects of successful law firm marketing is the ability to clearly define and demonstrate the services that you offer.

After years of helping more than 7,000 attorneys implement effective law firm marketing strategies, I have seen a common problem. Many attorneys communicate with prospective clients in a way clients do not understand.

One of the biggest mistakes a lawyer can make is to use "legal jargon" when speaking with prospects. No one wants to feel stupid and would rather save face than risk embarrassment by asking you to define what you believe is a "common legal term".

Effective marketing for attorneys rests on your ability to be understood; without a clear understanding of what you can do for them, most clients will head for the nearest exit.

As a lawyer, you must uncover the words and phrases your clients use to describe their goals, challenges and problems. You must cross their "language barrier" before you can begin to entice them to learn more about how you can help them.

For example, unless they have experienced it, most people don't know the difference between Chapter 7, 11, and 13 bankruptcies. Nor do they know the difference between a will, a living will, and an estate plan.

Here is a simple exercise that will help you accurately demonstrate your product and services:

1. Write down the terms and language you use to describe what you do to another professional in your field.

2. Now, write down the key words and phrases your clients use to describe your services to you. (If you can't complete this step, start asking your clients and listen to them as they describe their problems.) Your ability to succeed in law firm Marketing will rely, in part, on your willingness to write down the key words and phrases your clients are using and committing them to memory.

These two lists should be very different. If they overlap by 50% or more, you are probably not listening closely enough to prospects and clients. It is recommended that you go back to square one and ask more questions, listening more intently, if you expect your legal marketing efforts to be effective.

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Free Report: 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys From Building A Referral-Based Practice

Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process.  Stephen Fairly unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

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

Click here to get your free report today.

 

Law Firm Marketing: Differentiation is the Key to Getting Hired

Nobody wants to hire a lawyer, but there are certain events that cause consumers and business owners to seek out a lawyer:

  • Purchasing real estate
  • Getting a divorce
  • Starting a company
  • Creating a estate plan

The struggle comes when consumers are faced with an overwhelming number of choices. Regardless of practice area, most consumers and business owners do not know how to distinguish a great lawyer from a mediocre one.

With over a million attorneys in the nation, there are thousands of lawyers in every major city who provide the exact same services. Unless attorneys seriously reconsider how they differentiate themselves from other law firms they will continue to flounder.

In Practice Made Perfect, our business development CD set for attorneys, we cover 10 specific ways to differentiate your services. Here are just 3 of them:

1. Create a micro niche. If you develop a tumor on your brain you would go to neurologist, not a general practitioner. It's the same way with law firm marketing. You must position yourself as a specialist, not a generalist. One way to do this is by focusing on a very defined niche. For example, "I concentrate on helping inventors and owners of small software development companies in Los Angeles with less than $1 million in revenues protect their intellectual property and develop creative ways to generate multiple revenue streams from their invention."

2. Focus on the benefits, value and results. Too many attorneys try to sell their legal services. People never buy legal services. They buy solutions to their problems. When meeting with a prospective client emphasize the benefits you offer to clients and the value you bring through your specific experience with their kind of legal problem. Discuss the results you have achieved for other clients, but be careful not to overstep the ethical boundaries or promise results based on someone else's case.

3. Build an online presence. The Internet has changed everything when it comes to law firm marketing and how consumers select law firms. Today, most people will check attorneys out online before they ever hire them.  Having a robust presence on leading social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube), an interesting blog and a website that reinforces why you are different is key.

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Want to Learn More Internet Marketing Techniques for Attorneys? Attend 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:

November 11-12, 2011: Chicago, IL

December 2-3, 2011: Los Angeles, CA

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 one of our one-hour complimentary teleseminars:

Thursday, October 27

1pm PT | 2pm MT | 3pm CT | 4pm ET  

Wednesday, November 2

1pm PT | 2pm MT | 3pm CT | 4pm ET  

Thursday, November 10

12pm PT | 1pm MT | 2pm CT | 3pm ET  

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

 

Law Firm Marketing: Discover the Importance of Positioning

Positioning is one of those little-known and less understood law firm marketing ingredients that can make a very big difference in the success of your law firm marketing approach. So what is positioning?

Positioning is the unique place your firm carves out for itself in your area of practice.

It is the perception your firm wants to instill in the client’s mind.

It defines how your services are different from and how they are like the competition.

It spells out what place you hold in the competitive landscape.

In essence, it defines how you practice your particular area of law and why clients should choose you (and you can have more than one positioning statement if your firm practices more than one area of law).

But positioning is only valuable to your law firm marketing strategy if it is done well.

All too often, positioning in law firm marketing is used to make your firm look, sound and act like every other law firm in your field of practice.

Like many business people, attorneys sometimes think there is only one “right” way to position themselves in the minds of clients.

The problem is, if you look, sound and act like every other firm, you give clients no reason to choose you. In fact, if all firms were exactly alike, there would be no reason to choose at all. One firm would be the same as the next.

The truth is that there are unique reasons why clients should choose your firm.

Perhaps it is because you specialize in a little-served niche that no one else serves.

Perhaps yours is a personal injury firm with long-standing connections to the automotive industry that enable you to settle sooner and for a higher amount.

Perhaps you serve as an elder care advocacy firm and you make a point of getting to know your clients on a personal level.

Your positioning says something unique about the firm that is meaningful to the end client. That is the point.
 And by successfully positioning yourself as a specialist, you will enjoy these benefits:

  • Significantly higher rate of referrals.
  • Ability to charge higher rates.
  • More opportunities to offer clients more expensive services.
  • Better client retention.
  • Not perceived as a commodity.
  • Value is based primarily on credibility and expertise.
  • Better positioned to get positive media coverage.
  • Easier to dominate your niche.

If you want to increase the return on your law firm marketing investment, spend some time clarifying your law firm marketing positioning.

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Watch-When-You-Want Webinar: How to Answer the Question, "Why Should I Hire You?"

One of the toughest questions attorneys get from a potential client is, “Why should I hire you?”

When faced with this question, most attorneys fall back on talking about the quality of their services, their experience and the size of their law firm.

Prepare to have your eyes opened to the truth by accessing our one-hour How to Answer the Question, “Why Should I Hire You?”: Creating a Unique Competitive Advantage webinar online to watch at your convenience. Learn:

  • Why quality does NOT matter! (Yes, you read that correctly, quality does not matter when it comes to closing a prospect)
  • The #1 reason why prospects “shop you on price”
  • How most attorneys completely miss the point when talking about their experience
  • The 4 biggest reasons to emphasize when talking with prospects
  • Overcoming common objections attorneys encounter
  • Winning over skeptics by focusing on the numbers of your practice
  • Case studies of how top attorneys respond when asked the ultimate question
  • How to overcome price objections even before you meet with a prospect
  • How to respond if someone says, “Your price is too high” or “That’s too much money!”
  • How to get potential clients to stop making price an objection once and for all
  • And 8 more effective ways to answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”

To access the webinar online, click here

 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Create A Call to Action That Creates Action!

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

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

A great call to action works when it:

  • Triggers an emotional reaction;
  • Show exactly how to make a purchase;
  • Creates a sense of urgency to make the purchase;
  • Provides incentives or an offer that is too good to ignore.

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

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

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

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

On your social networking sites. Facebook and Twitter are great vehicles for reaching prospects in real-time and testing a variety of calls to action to see what works best for your legal service. These venues are an inexpensive and effective way to test what works best for your target market.

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Want to Learn More Effective Marketing Techniques for Attorneys? Attend 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:

October 7-8, 2011: San Francisco, CA

October 21-22, 2011: Livingston, NJ

November 11-12, 2011: Chicago, IL

December 2-3, 2011: Los Angeles, CA

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 one of our one-hour complimentary teleseminars:

Thursday, September 29:

11am PT | 12pm MT | 1pm CT | 2pm ET  

Wednesday, October 5:

1pm PT | 2pm MT | 3pm CT | 4pm ET  

Thursday, October 13:

12pm PT | 1pm MT | 2pm CT | 3pm ET  

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

 

When It Comes to Law Firm Marketing, Bring the B-V-R (Benefits, Value, Results)

When it comes to doing business with an attorney, prospects only care about 3 things:

The Benefits they receive because of your services

The Value they perceive a relationship with you will bring

The Results they achieve from your service

If you're an estate planning attorney, don’t sell estate plans.  If you're a family law attorney, don’t focus on the types of family law services your firm provides.  If you're a defense attorney, don’t focus on how many different types of crimes you can represent.

These are all features of your service. People don’t buy features. They buy benefits.

They buy solutions not service, because they expect everyone to have great service.

They buy other people’s experiences of your service.

They buy your credibility as presented by your marketing image.

They buy based on their emotions, but they want logical reasons to justify their decision.

And they buy guarantees and promises, so don’t make them if you can't keep them.

Fundamentally, the reason why people or businesses seek out your law firm is because they have a problem and they are asking you, “Do you have a solution?”

In the past I’ve talked about the 15 percenters—the 15% of the population that always and only buys on price. Your job is to weed them out and focus on the other 85%. However, the other 85% will also buy on price—unless you give them a reason not to.

That’s why your law firm marketing plan must focus on more than just the features of your product or service.  You must make sure all your law firm marketing efforts answer the questions that prospective clients are asking, not just giving them a laundry list of everything you can do.

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

 

Law Firm Marketing: Tips on Creating Content Readers Want to Share

The New York Times has done a research study on the Psychology of Sharing to learn more about why people share content on the Web. 

You can download the report for free here.

The research found that these were the top five reasons people share content via email or social networks:

1. To bring valuable and entertaining content to others

2. To define ourselves to others

3. To grow and nurture relationships

4. Self-fulfillment

5. To spread the word about causes or brands

So if you have posted content on your blog or created articles on JD Supra, Avvo or other legal info sites that isn’t seeing much action, you need to examine it to see if it is meeting any of these needs that people have for sharing.

Here are some tips for creating great content that people want to share:

Make it real. Don’t simply deal in hypotheticals – tell a story with a good outcome for a client (maintaining privacy, of course) that draws people in and makes them feel something.

Create a conversation. Commenting on the hot legal topics of the day with a unique viewpoint increases the chances your content will get shared. Ask others’ opinions on your blog and post comments.

Speak like a human being. Do not use legal jargon or write above your target market’s head. Use a conversational tone in your posts or articles in a voice people can understand.

Make a list. People love to read and share lists, so get a little creative and develop lists that will get noticed – for example, The Top 5 Divorce Disasters you’ve seen in your family law practice, and so on.

Understanding the psychology behind what makes people want to share content and then crafting your content to fulfill those needs will ensure your words get the reach you’re hoping for when creating content.

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Get All the Law Firm Marketing Strategies You Need to Create A 7-figure Law Practice with Rainmaker In A Box: Volumes 1 and 2!

Want to discover Proven Marketing Strategies that Top Law Firms are using right now to generate more leads and referrals and convert them into paying clients?

Rainmaker In A Box: Volume 1 and Rainmaker In A Box: Volume 2 contains highly valuable legal marketing information you absolutely need to know!

Rainmaker in a Box: Volume 1 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
  • Data DVD: Includes all 4 PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations. We recommend you print all these off and take notes on them as you watch the 4 intense DVDs.

Rainmaker in a Box: Volume 2 includes:

  • 8 Proven Steps for More & Better Referrals


  • 7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Law Firm


  • 6 Keys to Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media


  • 5 Core Components for Highly Successful Websites & Blogs

  • Data DVD: 
Includes all 4 PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations. We recommend you print all these off and take notes on them as you experience these information-packed DVDs!

Purchase both sets on our website and get 25% OFF!

Click herenow to order!

 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Optimize Your JD Supra Content

Optimizing your content is something you should be doing everywhere you appear online, and your presence on JD Supra is no exception. 

Last week, the law firm marketing minds at JD Supra provided a list of five ways you can optimize your content on their website. I’ll paraphrase:

1. Review your analytics regularly. By logging in to your JD Supra account and looking at how many people have viewed your profile or your articles, you will be able to see what is striking a chord with your target market – and, equally important – what is not.

2. Review the trend reports. Every month, JD Supra emails their Pro account holders a trend report for each practice area. Take note of what the hot topics are and generate content that will appeal to those readers.

3. Feed your social networks. Make sure that JD Supra is feeding your content to all your social networks – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. If not, contact them to set up the automatic feed. Also make sure all your social network links are on your profile.

4. Share all your content. Add all your content from publications and blogs to your JD Supra site monitoring and distribution plan.

5. Monitor feeds. JD Supra has subject-specific feeds on all the major social networking sites so you can choose the ones that matter most to you and follow them. This helps you keep track of your own content as well as follow what your competitors are doing.

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Looking for more legal marketing 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.

 

Don't Let These Law Firm Marketing Mistakes Kill Your Practice!

There are more than 1.2 million attorneys in the United States, and many continue to struggle to create a financially successful practice.  Why? 

Through our work with over 8,000 attorneys over the years, we have found one common denominator among attorneys who struggle with practice building: they believe the best use of their time is to practice law.

Which is why I tell them: You are not in the business of practicing law. You are in the business of building relationships (also known as marketing) so that you can practice law. 

Building a successful practice isn’t rocket science; it’s work and it takes three important things: time, energy and money. Every attorney who starts a new practice fully intends to succeed; yet according to research, more than 50% of them still fail.

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

  • How to avoid the top 10 marketing mistakes before they destroy your practice
  • 3 tools top Rainmakers use to automatically attract more and better clients
  • Specific keys for building a powerful online presence
  • How to market and position yourself as a recognized specialist
  • The 1 thing you must never do when marketing your law firm
  • The top 2 online resources for small and solo law firm marketing
  • The advertising secrets they don’t want you to know

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

Join Our Rainmaker Retreat Via Twitter: I’ll be in Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday at our next Rainmaker Retreat session. You can “listen” in and see the action happening in real time via your Twitter account.  Just add #Rainmaker to the “Follow Your Interests” area found on the front page. I’ll post more details about this on Friday morning.

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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.  

 

Law Firm Marketing: ABA Wants Educators to Provide More Practical Training

Last week, the ABA House of Delegates adopted a resolution urging law schools to better prepare students for the “real-life experience” of practicing law and for CLE providers to help bridge the gap between education theory and real-life practice.

Here’s the resolution:

RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association, take steps to assure that law schools, law firms, law examiners, CLE providers and others concerned with continued professional development provide the knowledge, skills, values, habits and traits that make up the successful modern lawyer.

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges legal education providers to implement curricular programs intended to develop practice ready lawyers including, but not limited to enhanced capstone and clinical courses that include client meetings and court appearances.

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the constituent bodies of the American Bar Association consider the requirements for the success of future lawyers as they carry out their responsibilities.

As I’ve said many times: law schools are great at teaching their students how to think like lawyers, but fail miserably at teaching them how to actually be lawyers.

If the 50+ comments to this announcement on the ABA Journal website are any indication, this is a long time coming. One attorney from Atlanta posts: “I have NO IDEA what I am doing.” 

Some commenters posit that law schools have traditionally relied on law firms to provide the practical knowledge to newbies. However, the old model of getting a law firm job fresh out of law school is no longer the case, as noted by a Wall Street Journal article late last week on how the downturn in the economy has affected the hiring of law school graduates, who are increasingly going straight to work (when they can find it) for companies that are now hiring direct from law schools.

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.

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Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD Set

The Practice Made Perfect CD set and manual applies Stephen Fairley’s unique High Impact Marketing System to the practice-building challenges faced by solo practitioners and partners at small law firms.  

It includes dozens of specific marketing and sales recommendations that can be easily and quickly applied to your firm, including:

  • The only 7 sure-fire ways to get clients in your door NOW
  • Why advertising doesn’t work for most small law firms
  • The 7 reasons why people don’t buy from you           
  • How to market and sell with USP’s (Unique Selling Proposition)           
  • Using audio logos to attract immediate attention for your business
  • Using low-cost, high impact marketing strategies           
  • Strategies for achieving maximum results from all of your marketing efforts           
  • How to discover your Ideal Target Market
  • 3 critical factors to remember when looking for new clients
  • The NEW sales cycle for professional services
  • How to retain your best clients

Click here to order your Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD set and manual now.

 

Rocket Lawyer: Just Another LegalZoom...Or the Fastest Growing Legal Start-Up We've Never Heard Of?

There's a "new" player in town and they go by the name "Rocket Lawyer." "Who?" you ask. Followed by, "What do they do?"

Just like many of you, I was caught off guard when I read the Forbes post yesterday about Google investing a big chunk of change in a company called Rocket Lawyer.

That's correct, according to Forbes,  Google has "entered the online legal marketplace" with an investment in a San Francisco start-up called Rocket Lawyer.

Rocket Lawyer was founded three years ago “to make legal services easy and affordable for everyone,” according to their website. Users can access legal form templates, customize them, download and share and also have their documents reviewed by “a real lawyer” for $19.95/month for personal legal documents or $39.95/month for both personal and professional (business) legal documents.

Rocket Lawyer also has a lead referral service they call Smart Referrals Program – an attorney can pay by the month ($89.95) or by the year ($899.95) for local referrals the website generates.

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting some of the staff from Rocket Lawyer while speaking at the California Bar Solo and Small Firm Summit. They were very sharp and excited about their business.

However, when they started talking about the amount of website traffic they were generating, I must admit I was very skeptical.

As someone who tends to stay current on what's happening around me -- and especially in the legal industry -- I had heard their name before, but didn't know anything about them or their services.

As it turns out, they may just be the fastest growing legal start-up we've never heard of. With revenues of more than $10 million this year, and a series of venture capital investments by some major players, CEO Charley Moore has certainly positioned the company to grab a lot of market share in the upcoming months!

From a strategic perspective, I think there's a lot of room for these types of service providers in the legal industry and Rocket Lawyer may be perfectly positioned to become a market leader...as long as they can avoid 2 major pitfalls:

1. Getting in trouble with the State Bar Associations like LegalZoom. When the Forbes writer tried to differentiate the two services, he didn't get it quite right when he said that LegalZoom doesn't work with attorneys. I have it from an inside source that this is precisely one of the growth strategies that LegalZoom is actively pursuing--working with actual attorneys in the form of...wait for it...using the pay per lead (PPL) model!

From what my source has told me, they are seeking to set up what could become that largest PPL provider in the legal industry. So from the legal industry's perspective, that's not really a true distinction between the two.

In case you aren't aware of the fast changing game of law firm marketing, let me give you some context of the newest business model: Pay Per Lead (PPL) is when attorneys pay a set amount per lead that is provided to them, regardless of whether or not that lead becomes a client.

Total Attorneys, a nationally recognized PPL company that provides leads to primarily bankruptcy attorneys on a pay per lead basis (they have leads for other practice areas but are most well known in the field of bankruptcy), has taken the lead on proving this new business model.

They have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps even millions, defending over 40 different lawsuits defending the right of attorneys to obtain leads on a PPL basis.  To the best of my knowledge, they have won every single one of them and--kudos to them--have also paid all of their clients’ legal bills as well. Now, many other companies and websites are getting into the PPL model--including LegalZoom.

So, if both LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer work with and refer to licensed attorneys, what's the real difference? I don't know.  Rocket Lawyer will need to build their case and quickly before attorneys and the Bar Associations make up their minds.

Here's the second pitfall Rocket Lawyer needs to avoid:

2. Having attorneys see them as competitors. If they aren't careful, they can end up just like LegalZoom and become the new "evil" that is "leading consumers astray"...or something like that...which is how most attorneys I meet now look at LegalZoom .

Instead, Rocket Lawyer needs to actively develop specific ways for attorneys to see them as a benefit and even possibly a lead generator for their law firm, as well as a way to assist clients who aren't willing or financially able to spend money on hiring an attorney for basic documents.

Only time will tell which road they will choose and how attorneys, the legal industry, and thus Bar Associations will perceive them, but as of now the choice is still theirs to make.

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Free Report: 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys From Building A Referral-Based Practice

Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process.  Stephen Fairly unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

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

Click here to get your free report today.

 

Not Attracting Enough New Business? Make Sure You're Not Making These Law Firm Marketing Mistakes!

It’s no revelation that business is down for many law firms, but if your law firm marketing plan is not working for you, you need to examine the reasons why....fast!

Here are several common law firm marketing mistakes you may be making and what you can do to fix them:

You have failed to convince them of the value your service gives to them specifically. Solution: Go back and do more research on your target market's "points of pain." Use more of these in all of your conversations with prospects.

They don't trust you. Solution: Develop a list of specific things you can do to build your credibility. Examine your personal image: your clothes, your mannerisms, your listening skills. Analyze your business image: your office location, your office furniture, the quality of your stationary, your business cards, etc.

They perceive your cost outweighs your value. Solution: Either temporarily reduce your price or immediately find ways to significantly increase your perceived value.

They don't believe your benefits or values because you haven't demonstrated them. Solution: Find a way to give them a FREE sample of your services.

Their risk seems too great. Solution: Find creative ways to reduce or eliminate the risk of working with you.

They don't feel like you listen to them. Solution: Stop talking so much during your presentation. Ask more questions. Develop a list of questions to ask prospects. Work on reading their body language. Use active listening skills and reflective feedback. Use the 25/75 Rule. A good attorney talks less than 25% of the time during the initial interview. They ask good questions and then listen 75% of the time. The interesting thing is that prospects will feel you are more competent the less you talk, the more you listen and the better your questions are.

Prospects will not hire you when they don't want you, don't believe they need you or can't afford you. Solution: Cut your losses and move on. They are currently NOT in your target market.

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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.
 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Make Referrals Happen

Lucky – and rare! – is the lawyer who can sit back and watch the referrals come rolling in day after day.  The hard fact is that referrals rarely just happen; they are the result of infusing your law firm with a referral-cultivation mindset, of having a process in place to plant the seed, nurture the crop and reap the harvest.

Here are some ways you can infuse your law firm marketing program with referral-making strategies:

Make sure all your marketing materials mention how important referrals are to your firm.
From the first meeting, make sure your clients know that referrals are a very important part of your practice.

Continuously educate your referral sources on your target market as well as all the practice areas within your firm.

Work those networking events you attend.  Don’t just automatically say, “Business is great!”  Instead, tell those potential referral sources that things are good, “but we’re always looking for people we can help with x (your practice area).”

Always look for ways to refer others and they will in turn feel an obligation to refer you.

Want more tips on how to build a referral-based practice?  I have a new report out that is yours totally free of charge -- see below.

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Free Report: 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice

Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process.  Stephen Fairly unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

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

Click here to get your free report today.

How Much Do You Need to Invest in Your Law Firm Marketing Efforts?

Implementing an under-funded marketing plan is just as bad as not using any marketing plan at all because of the Law of 7 Touches – which means it takes 7 to 10 meaningful touches to move someone through the sales process to get them to the point where they are ready to buy from you. 

If your marketing plan only has enough steam in it to produce 3 meaningful touches, it will be almost as if you never touched prospects at all because it won't break through all the other marketing efforts made by other attorneys vying for that person’s time and money, including your biggest competitors. 

So how much do you need to invest in your marketing efforts? 

There are a lot of variables to take into consideration when answering that question. Here are a few you need to consider: 

What practice area are you in? Some practice areas require significantly more time and money to market (litigation and personal injury to mention two). 

What are your profit margins? The larger your margins, the more you can invest on marketing and new business development. Some practice areas have bigger profit margins (litigation) while others have notoriously low profits (insurance coverage and residential real estate).  

What are your annual revenues? It is not unusual for successful law firms to spend between 15% and 40% of their annual revenues on marketing. 

Are you targeting other businesses or individual consumers? Any time you are marketing directly to consumers, your marketing budget must be bigger because of the intense competition for consumer’s attention. 

What is the size of your competition? Obviously companies trying to take market share from Wal-mart are going to need a lot bigger marketing budget than a beauty salon owner. Analyze your competition— what kind of marketing materials do they put out? How are they positioning their firm? 

How sophisticated are your competitors when it comes to marketing? Typical companies in service-based industries and professional services (like law firms) are a lot less sophisticated than other industries. 

How much time can you devote towards your marketing plan? In general, the more time you can devote towards implementing the plan, the less money you have to use. For example, if you use direct marketing as part of your plan, you can spend less money and send out fewer messages with less frequency if you're able to follow up with a phone call. 

Are you marketing directly to the end user or through a referral source? Marketing to the end users of your service is more difficult than working through an established marketing channel like a referral source. 

How long is the typical marketing cycle? How long does someone take to make a decision after they have gathered all the information they need? Is it measured in minutes, days, weeks, or months? The longer the marketing cycle, the more money you need to spend on marketing because after you have given them the information they need, you still need to stay in touch with them. 

What's the geographical size of your prospect base? For many professional service firms, like doctors, lawyers and accountants, it is usually limited to up to 25 square miles. 

What’s the size of the average sale? How much does your average client spend with you? $500? $5,000? $500K? $5 Million? Typically, the higher the price tag, the more you need to educate your customer as to the benefits of your services and provide more evidence of your credibility. 

What's the lifetime value of your average client? How much does your average client spend with you over a given time frame? If they spend $1,000 a month with you year round and the average customer stays with you for 3 years, then the average customer is worth around $36,000 to you. If you know that, you know how much you can afford to spend on landing each customer before it starts to negatively impact your profit margins. If your average client only makes one “purchase” from you and never comes back, then you will need to use lower cost marketing strategies to reach them. 

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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. 
 

 

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Can All The Law Firm Marketing Strategies To Create a 7-Figure Law Practice Get Stuffed Into One Box?

They CAN, if it’s the new Rainmaker Institute “Rainmaker In A Box: Volume 2!”

If you know anything about online marketing and the Internet, you know that nothing stays the same for very long. Things that were effective last year now don’t work at all. Tricks that got your website on the first page of Google search results 6 months ago are old hat and ineffective.

Fortunately, we’re staying on top of the trends and cutting edge strategies for you. We have one aim in mind – to teach you how to use these little known strategies so you can get more and more qualified leads and dominate your marketplace; to help you create the law firm of your dreams.

Rainmaker In A Box: Volume 2 includes:

8 Proven Steps for More & Better Referrals
Do you have a referral plan? An actual written plan where you can measure your success? Discover the proven step-by-step system used to double your referrals from current and former clients and how to build a network of strategic referral partners. Top attorneys have used this exact system to double their referrals in 6 months or less!

7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Law Firm
This recession has hit the legal industry incredibly hard! How is it possible that some attorneys are bucking the trends and having their best years ever? Watch and learn as I walk you through the specific strategies top lawyers are using to increase their revenues in this tough economy-and it doesn’t include reducing their fees! You can’t afford to miss these!

6 Keys to Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media
Do you want to learn how to leverage LinkedIn? Feed Facebook? Tweak Twitter and use YouTube to generate more leads for your law firm? Social media has emerged as the fastest way to build a massive platform of prospects! I pull back the curtain and let you in on little known secrets of how attorneys are generating dozens of leads every month from social media. We guarantee you have never seen any social media system like this one!

5 Core Components for Highly Successful Websites & Blogs
My interview with nationally recognized personal injury attorney John Bisnar on how his law firm uses search engine optimization and internet marketing to drive tens of thousands of unique visitors every month to his 30 websites and 10 blogs. Discover proven techniques for converting website visitors into paying clients.

Data DVD:
Includes all 4 PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations. We recommend you print all these off and take notes on them as you experience these information-packed DVDs!

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

Click here now to order!

 

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Study Shows Legal Directories and LinkedIn Used Most by In-House Counsel to Vet Referrals

Legal research firm BTI Consulting was commissioned by LexisNexis to conduct an online study of how in-house legal professionals vet referrals.  The study was conducted in December 2010 and January 2011, and includes responses from more than 570 in-house legal decision makers.

Key findings from the study:

  • 77.1% of in‐house counsel and staff use a legal directory or online lawyer profile to validate the credentials of a referral.
  • 80.8% of corporate counsel and staff use online lawyer profile services to identify attorneys in unfamiliar jurisdictions or areas of expertise when a referral is unavailable.
  • In‐house legal departments use online lawyer profile services for an average of 4 key activities when selecting, evaluating and hiring outside counsel.
  • Absence from a legal directory hinders up to 51.4% of clients from hiring a law firm.

The bottom line: if you rely on business from in-house legal sources, you better have a robust and up-to-date profile on the leading legal directories and LinkedIn.

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

 

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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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Law Firm Marketing: How to Turn Pain Into Gain

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

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

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

  • They may not be thinking too clearly and may make irrational decisions (like hiring the wrong lawyer).
  • They don't use the right terms to describe their pain (they ask for mediation when they really want a divorce lawyer).
  • They may not see what's really causing their pain (they may focus on the immediate or surface problem and not see the root cause, in which case their pain may resurface in the future).
  • They may use things or people to conceal the true source of their pain (they may point to the wrong person or company as the source of their pain).
  • You can use this knowledge to increase your effectiveness.

Key Points to Remember:

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

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

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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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NY Times Touts Online Video as Low-Cost Marketing

A feature article earlier this week in the New York Times touted the virtues of online video as a low-cost marketing tool for companies of all sizes.  As the Times reported:

Online video is becoming a first stop for many customers. It is akin to what the Web page was a decade ago — something that can give early adopters an edge over competitors. It gives them a channel to talk directly to customers in ways previously accessible only to large companies that could afford TV advertisements.

Online video is a highly underused form of law firm Internet marketing that promises a big return. Whether you place your video on the homepage of your web site, or upload it to YouTube, the benefits are undeniable.

Use these five simple guidelines to make a highly effective online video for use in your law firm Internet marketing efforts:

Use real people, using real words. One of the biggest mistakes attorneys make is using video the way they use PowerPoint. Stringing together static images accompanied by a faceless voice on audio is not an effective use of online video. While this may get seen by some potential clients, it is not nearly as valuable as giving them a chance to see your face and hear your sincere words.

Create a well-thought out script designed to persuade potential client to call you. To accomplish that, ask yourself what makes your law firm different from, and better than, your competition – and then build your script around those key points.

Focus on the viewer, not yourself. It is easy to get caught in the trap of thinking potential clients want to hear about all of your qualifications. The real truth is they want a law firm that understands their problems, and knows how to solve them. Your script should describe some of the problems clearly, and then explain how you can solve them.

Use sidebars to emphasize key points. The time to use still images in your online video is in a sidebar to emphasize your most important points – such as key statistics related to your area of law.

Include your contact information 2-3 times within your video. The goal of your online video is to persuade potential clients to call you. Yet, no matter how well crafted your video is, if those clients do not know how to reach you, it’s wasted effort. With that in mind, say it once within the video, usually at the end, and “write” it at least once in full screen, at the beginning and the end.  By including it at the beginning, return viewers can quickly get your contact information without wading through the entire video again.

If you are looking for a way to connect with clients and prospects, make online video a part of your law firm Internet marketing strategy.

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Want to Learn More Internet Marketing Techniques for Attorneys?  Attend 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:

  • April 8-9, 2011 – San Diego, CA
  • May 13-14, 2011 – Scottsdale, AZ
  • July 15-16, 2011 – San Francisco, CA

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 click here to receive a complementary DVD of your colleagues (and even your competitors) describing their experiences at our 2 day law firm marketing boot camp.
 

 

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Meaningful Ways to Reward Employees This Holiday Season

The days of big-budget office parties and bonuses to match are behind most of us in these lean times, but that doesn’t mean you can’t motivate your employees through a strategic reward system. John Bisnar, Esq, an attorney and founder of California personal injury law firm Bisnar Chase, provides 10 tips for rewarding your employees without breaking the bank:

  1. Say Thanks: Whether you approach your employees personally, send them a note, or praise them in a staff meeting – it’s important to express your gratitude whenever they’ve done a good job. Saying thanks is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to make your employees feel appreciated.
  2. Lunch Meetings: Nobody will turn down a free meal – and a lunch meeting gives you the opportunity to reward your staff with great food while also bringing everybody together to share their successes, stories and struggles.
  3. Focus on the Family: Each of your employees has family members they love and care about. By showing that you value their families, you can cultivate a deeper sense of loyalty with your employees. Some family-based rewards can be as simple as a “free night at the movies” or an all-expenses paid dinner.
  4. Change Job Titles: Believe it or not, the more inflated the job title the more your employees will work to live up to it. If you hire somebody as a “janitor” he will pick up your trash. But if you hire somebody as a “workplace environmental consultant”, he will keep your office clean and provide insight on how to make things more efficient.
  5. Staff Newsletter: Newsletters are a great way to highlight individual performances as well as birthdays and other events. It is also a great way to help your employees get to know each other better through surveys, spotlights, and news sections.
  6. Book Bonuses: Instead of paying for your employees to attend an expensive seminar or workshop, you can purchase relevant and worthwhile books for your best performing staff members each month.
  7. Dress Down: Yes, you run a professional law firm that fights hard to maintain a certain image – but that doesn’t mean your employees can’t have a casual day once every quarter. Doing something different is a great way to get your staff excited.
  8. Friendly Perks: Flowers, in-office massages, or gym passes can be a great way to reward employees for great work.
  9. Upgraded Office: Is there any way you can improve your employee’s office area? A new computer monitor, chair, or printer would go a long way in reminding your employees that they are valuable to your law firm.
  10. Flexible Hours: Providing a bit of flexibility is often greeted with increased productivity. Whenever possible, see if you can let your employees tweak their schedule to meet their specific needs – whether it’s a longer lunch or mid-day break to go the gym.

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

To order this information-packed set click here.

 

 
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Law Firm Marketing: Don't Do It All On your Own

To be successful with Internet marketing and social media, you must recognize and play to your strengths and weaknesses.
 
The goal in life is not to eliminate your weaknesses.  In fact, many people make the mistake of focusing too much on trying to overcome their weaknesses when their time and mental energy would be much better spent in trying to maximize their strengths.

There are two major reasons why you should spend time identifying your marketing and business development strengths and weaknesses. It helps you surround yourself with the right people and it gives you a clear picture of what areas you need to spend your time on versus outsourcing.

If writing a blog post 5 times a week or posting updates on a Facebook account multiple times a week for your firm is not your thing, you need to find a reliable resource who can take charge of these and similar tasks, because developing and implementing a powerful marketing strategy is critical to the success of your business.

Many attorneys waste far too much of their precious time, energy, and potential profits by trying to do everything for themselves as a way of "saving a little money" or not wanting to give up "control."

Remember, control is an illusion. Don't let your need for control or your need to be right every time get in the way of becoming a successful entrepreneur.

When it comes to taking on another project or heading up a new initiative, consider the real cost to your business in terms of lost time, wasted efforts, poor productivity, and decreased revenues. You are the most important person at your firm and your time is valuable.

It used to be said that 'time is money,' but that's not true in our modern society. Time is worth more than money because you can always make more money but you can never make more time.
 
Here are a few common examples of what many attorneys try to do single-handedly when they would be better off delegating or outsourcing:

  • Creating, maintaining and writing for a monthly E-zine (e-newsletter) to send to current and prospective clients
  • Setting up and writing for a weekly blog
  • Setting up an maintaining Twitter and Facebook Accounts for your firm
  • Writing and distributing press releases
  • Creating and launching a direct mail campaign
  • Developing their own law firm websites or learning how to build one from scratch
  • Search Engine Optimization to increase traffic to your Internet Marketing efforts
  • Designing a comprehensive law firm marketing plan or strategy
  • Implementing systems and processes to better manage their client and prospect relationships
     

I'm not saying you should outsource your entire firm or use a law firm marketing company for everything, but unless you have a lot of extra time or specific experience in certain areas, you will not be able to represent yourself and your firm in the best possible light without the help of other experienced professionals. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength and wisdom, not weakness and senility.

There are many ways that you can alleviate the pressure of developing and effectively using all of these exciting and effective marketing strategies on your own:
 

  • Use existing staff in house who have talents and abilities in certain areas that you may not have been previously aware of and assign them specific tasks such as writing a blog 5 times a week or compiling a contact list with updated email addresses for past or prospective clients.
  • Outsource just the initial set up of specific marketing tools or hire an outside firm to set up, write and maintain the entire initiatives from start to finish.
  • Work with a law firm marketing professional to create a Marketing Action Plan (MAP) to focus your efforts and avoid common pitfalls.

If you need help creating a MAP for your law firm or want some help in jumpstarting your business development efforts give us a call at 480-659-9700 or contact me and let us help you get moving in the right direction. 

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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.

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

Thursday, December 2, 2010
1-2pm Pacific | 2-3pm Mountain | 3-4pm Central | 4-5pm Eastern

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

Thursday, December 16, 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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Law Firm Internet Marketing: Benefits of Social Media for Small Business

A survey of small business owners by American Express OPEN regarding social media habits shows that in the past year, social networking use has quadrupled.

In September 2010, 39 percent of small business owners surveyed said they used social media marketing, compared with just 10 percent one year ago.  The key driver is sales – attracting new customers by connecting with them online. 

 

The preferred social network for small business owners is Facebook, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter.

Attorneys and law firms should consider using social media, but keep it in its place. In other words, be sure you are focusing on the major parts of your marketing first like generating referrals from current and former clients, seeking referrals from other professionals (attorneys and non-legal professionals), networking, getting your website up, blogging, THEN using social media.

Social media is the #1 fastest way to build your platform (how many people know who you are, who you help and how you are different).

The Rainmaker Institute has close to 60,000 people following us on Twitter and several thousand ‘fans’ and friends on Facebook.

Social media can also be the most cost effective way to build your list.  The key to social media is to build your platform and then entice them to visit your blog or website to opt-in to your list using a free special report or free CD or DVD or newsletter.

Let us know if you want some help in figuring out how to get started or how to leverage social media to build your list and generate leads for your law firm.

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Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD Set

The Practice Made Perfect CD set and manual applies Stephen Fairley’s unique High Impact Marketing System to the practice-building challenges faced by solo practitioners and partners at small law firms.

It includes dozens of specific marketing and sales recommendations that can be easily and quickly applied to your firm, including:

  • The only 7 sure-fire ways to get clients in your door NOW
  • Why advertising doesn’t work for most small law firms
  • The 7 reasons why people don’t buy from you  
  • How to market and sell with USP’s (Unique Selling Proposition)  
  • Using audio logos to attract immediate attention for your business
  • Using low-cost, high impact marketing strategies  
  • Strategies for achieving maximum results from all of your marketing efforts  
  • How to discover your Ideal Target Market
  • 3 critical factors to remember when looking for new clients
  • The NEW sales cycle for professional services
  • How to retain your best clients

Click here to order your Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD set and manual now.




 

 
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Law Firm Internet Marketing: Reaching Journalists Through Blogging

Digital research firm eMarketer released a report last week about how blogging has become more fully integrated into marketing communications. 

According to PRNewswire and PRWeek statistics, about one-third of journalists reported they used corporate blogs as research sources in 2010, up from one-quarter a year ago.  Almost two-thirds of journalists use blogs to publish and promote what they write, so it is apparent that blogs have become a widely accepted and credible source among the fourth estate.

Here is a graphic showing the results of an April 2010 survey among journalists on the research tools they use when developing a story:


Journalists operate on tight deadlines, so the use of the Internet as an information-gathering tool for stories should not be a surprise to anyone.  However, this also reinforces the need for attorneys looking for press coverage to have a robust law firm Internet marketing plan in place to help accomplish this goal.

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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.

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

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


11am-12pm Pacific | 12-1pm Mountain | 1-2pm Central | 2-3pm Eastern

Thursday, November 4, 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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Marketing for Lawyers: When Opportunity Calls, You Pick Up the Phone

If you are like many attorneys, this economy has really taken a toll on you.

Fewer clients are calling for repeat work...fewer people are willing to pay your fees. 

More clients are paying slowly...or not at all. 
If this sounds like your law firm, there is hope.

Join us for a complimentary Rainmaker Retreat Preview Call one week from today – Wednesday, October 20 at 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET.

Go here to register: www.RainmakerRetreat.com/previewcall

Join us to learn:

  • 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

Schedule an hour next week to pick up the phone and learn about the opportunities you can create for your law firm using a proven legal marketing system that has already helped over 7,000 attorneys find more and better clients.

Register now for the free call at: www.RainmakerRetreat.com/previewcall 
or call: 888-588-5891.

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Phoenix Legal Networking Group: Learn How to Use Blogs and Internet Marketing to Generate More Leads at our October 19 Meeting

At the October 19 Phoenix Legal Networking Group meeting, Stephen Fairley will make a presentation on How to Use Blogs and Internet Marketing to Generate More Leads.  Join us next Tuesday to discover:

  • Why blogs are one of the most effective lead generation tools—if you do it right
  • Top reasons every law firm should have a blog
  • Proven ways to use your blog to generate leads
  • Top 10 questions about law firm blogging answered
  • 3 major benefits for law firms that blog
  • How long it will take for your blog to produce revenue

The event will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 19 at Monti’s, 100 S. Mill Ave. in Tempe.

Cost is $20 per person if you register by October 15, $30 if you register by October 18 or $35 on the day of the event.  This covers drinks, hors d’oeurves, the networking event and the workshop.

To register for the October 19 networking and legal marketing event, co-hosted by FindLaw, Attorney at Law Magazine and The Rainmaker Institute, visit www.therainmakerretreat.com/network/ or call 888-816-8935.


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Transform Your Law Firm's Website into a Client Generating Machine

Marketing for lawyers on the Internet can be a very effective tool for generating highly qualified prospects, if you do it right.

Here's the first tip: Don't wait any longer to start marketing your law firm online.

Every week you wait, it just gets more competitive. Don't give other law firms sole access to all of the potential clients to be found online. Develop a client generating website for your law firm.

Here are some online law firm marketing secrets you can start using to attract more and better clients:

Create a website that targets your ideal clients. Don't make the common mistake of trying to be everything to everyone. People don't want to work with a generalist. They want to trust specialists. When it comes to marketing your law firm online, focus is critical to your success.

Give website visitors a reason to contact you. Every law firm's website has a place for a free consultation. How boring! That's simply not enough to attract someone's attention. Offer them a free special report or white paper or a tip sheet; something that educates them about a problem they have and then positions you as the best possible solution.

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

Write compelling content for your law firm website. Please remember, writing for the Internet is not the same as writing a legal brief. My recommendation is to hire a professional copywriter who has experience writing for law firms. Don't know any? Email me and I'll send you a list of recommended writers. The cost is well worth it.

Work with an SEO firm. Search engine optimization is the technical process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to your law firm's website. Once you have developed your website into exactly the format you want, you can begin using online legal marketing strategies to market it.  You can expect to invest several hundred to several thousand dollars per month on a top notch SEO firm.  Make sure they have experience in the highly competitive field of legal marketing.  Send me an email if you want a referral to who I think is the best one out there.

Submit educational articles to online directories. There are hundreds of places online where you can submit articles for prospective clients for free.

Transform your website into a client generating machine and watch your profits increase from the many different prospects you will reach by marketing your law firm on the Internet.

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BALIF Rainmaker Institute Event on October 14 in San Francisco

On Thursday, Oct. 14, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF) will present a 1-day workshop designed for busy attorneys, partners, associates, and their staff who want to discover how to apply proven marketing strategies and top tips used by some of today’s biggest Rainmakers to create a 7-figure lifestyle law firm.

Rainmaker Institute CEO Stephen Fairley will be speaking on Proven Strategies for Today’s Rainmaker: Increasing Revenues and Referrals Using Networking, Internet Marketing and Social Media In the New Age.  This one-day seminar includes 1 hour of MCLE Ethics Credit for California attorneys.

This one-day seminar also includes 1 hour of MCLE Ethics Credit for California attorneys.

The October 14 seminar is open to all BALIF and Minority Bar Coalition members as well as interested non-members.

For more information and to register online, go to www.rainmakerretreat.com/balif/ or call 888-588-5891 to register by phone.


 

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Law Firm Marketing: Sacrifice Sacred Cows to Find Out Where the Beef Is

We may have all heard that the Great Recession is over, but I don’t really know how many of us are feeling a recovery.  At best, the recovery is predicted to be a slow one – about one percent per year – which means that for your practice to thrive (or even survive), you need to think about doing things differently.

Now is not the time to coddle your sacred cows. It's time to challenge the traditional ways of doing business. To think creatively about your business model. What may have made sense in the past may no longer work.

Creative thinking involves breaking out of one pattern in order to create a new one.  All too often, we become ensnared by the familiar phenomenon:

We make rules based on reasons that make a lot of sense.

We follow these rules.

Time passes and things change.

The original reasons for the rules may no longer exist, but because the rules are still in place, we continue to follow them.

Ask yourself these challenging questions:

  • How can you provide the same level of services at a lower cost?
  • How price-sensitive is your target market?
  • How can you structure payments to better fit the new financial realities in our economy?
  • What parts of your practice make the most profit?
  • Should you expand your practice areas or get rid of one?
  • Should you really hire another associate or paralegal or could you outsource it to a part-time contractor for half the price?
  • Does your current client base present opportunities for growth? 

Start by making at least one change in your practice that makes sense today, and continue to identify those areas that no longer serve your best interest or your bottom line.

Maybe you just need some new ideas to spark that new train of thought.  Well, you can get those by attending a Rainmaker Retreat

I’m in New Jersey all this week presenting Becoming a Rainmaker seminars in different locations around the state that are sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Association and local County Bars.  Go to www.BecomingARainmaker.com/njsba -- there is still time to sign up!

I will also be holding a session of our two-day legal marketing boot camp this Friday and Saturday in New Brunswick at the New Jersey Law Center.  There’s a special discount available for NJSBA members.  Go to www.rainmakerretreat.com to sign up for this session or one of our upcoming sessions in Scottsdale and San Francisco.

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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.

 

Law Firm Marketing: What the Dancing Merengue Dog Can Teach Lawyers About Online Video

Last week I pulled up the Yahoo! home page and one of their promotional boxes was urging me to click on a video of a dancing dog.  For some reason, it just caught my eye and so I clicked and – I have to admit – it was a pretty amazing performance.  (You can catch it here.)

Monday night I turned on Letterman and noted his guests were Bill Clinton and...the Dancing Merengue Dog, from that same video.  I just checked it again and it has over 5.5 million views on YouTube and a movement is afoot to get the dog a spot on Dancing With The Stars!

So how does a dancing dog fit into your law firm marketing plan?  Look at the video.  It was shot in a parking lot.  Production value is pretty poor, but that didn't matter -- the video has turned that dog into a worldwide sensation.

Whenever I talk to lawyers about adding video to their websites or blogs, the first thing I usually hear is, “I don’t want to spend money on a film crew and make it a big production.”  The lesson from the Dancing Merengue Dog is you don’t have to. All you need is a $200 video camera (they're all pretty high quality these days) and something interesting to say (to your potential clients, not other lawyers!).

Online video is a highly underused form of law firm Internet marketing that promises a big return. Whether you place your video on the homepage of your web site, or upload it to YouTube, the benefits are undeniable.

Video adds value to your law firm Internet marketing approach in three ways:

  1. It engages the viewer immediately and convinces them to stay awhile and listen to your message;
  2. It provides the viewer (aka potential client) with a chance to hear the authority in your voice, to see the sincerity in your face, and ultimately to get to know you, trust you and choose you;
  3. It enables you to tell the client precisely what makes you the better choice in legal support over your competitors.

If you are looking for a way to connect with clients and prospects, make online video a part of your law firm Internet marketing strategy.

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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.

 

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Law Firm Marketing: Using Video to Move the Masses

Remember when you were in school and how happy it made you to show up for a class and find out the teacher was going to show a movie?  I hope you recapture that feeling today, thanks to this little gem created by the Consumer Attorneys of California (kudos to the Gillin Jacobson Ellis & Larsen blog where I first saw it):
 

 
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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 m