Social Surpassing Search for Driving Traffic to Your Website and Blog

So here’s something interesting:  social media is beginning to surpass online search as the top referrer to other websites:

This news was enough to make the New York Times take notice in a recent piece about BuzzFeed, which just scored a new $50 million investment (its valuation is now at $850 million).

Don’t know BuzzFeed?  It’s a news aggregation site for everything, everywhere.  You’ve probably seen it pop up on your Facebook feed since so many people share its sillier stuff, like quizzes that will tell you how good you are at spelling or which European city you are.  There’s also hard news written by BuzzFeed staff journalists.

BuzzFeed attracts 150 million viewers every month, on average.  Its content is what is driving its growth, and it plans to plow a lot more investment money into creating more content.  And not just content...viral content.  That’s stuff that’s likely to get shared.

And BuzzFeed works very hard to get its content shared on social media, to good effect.  The Shareholic data on the chart above is from its latest quarterly report on traffic referrals to the 350,000 websites in its network. 

Facebook is now responsible for 23.4% of social media traffic referrals to those sites.  Just one year ago, 40% of traffic came from search engines and 14% came from social media sites.  Today, search and social account for 29% of traffic each. 

So what does this mean for you?  A great opportunity to take a page from BuzzFeed’s strategy book and spread your content liberally on social media to drive traffic to your blog or website. 

Hat tip to Kevin O’Keefe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SlideShare: Best Times to Post on Social Media

Bad timing can kill a business, a relationship and, sometimes, a social media post.

Digital marketing intelligence firm TrackMaven has broken down the research on the best times to post on the major social networks as well as the best times to post to your blog and send that marketing email and distributed it via SlideShare.

You can download this slide show and keep it on your desktop or laptop to refer to when you’re scheduling your posts.  Picking the right times is no guarantee that your posts will go viral, but posting at the right times to get maximum potential viewership for what you have to say is just smart marketing.

How to Get Amazing Attention for Your Firm on Social Media

Human beings are wired for loving the spotlight.  When you post something on social media and no one comments or likes, it feels almost like a personal rejection.  And when you’re posting to get attention for your business and no one cares what you’re writing, you are wasting your time.

One of the most important ways to get noticed on social media -- especially on Twitter -- is to make sure your post has a great headline.  There are actually very good psychological reasons for using certain words that makes it almost irresistible for people to click.  Here are 8 proven formulas to craft your headlines around:

  1. Surprise -- using words that surprise or startle captures attention because we love novelty.  Words that break the pattern stand out.
  2. Questions -- using questions works because a question mark stimulates the human brain to seek an answer.
  3. Curiosity -- using incomplete information in your headline to pique curiosity.  A famous example of this is the 1926 ad with the headline, “They laughed when I sat down at the piano...but when I started to play...!”
  4. Negatives -- using negative superlatives like “worst” or “stop” intrigues us because we want to know if there is something we shouldn’t be doing.
  5. How to -- we all want to get better, so using “how to” in your headline makes a promise of improving the reader’s knowledge.
  6. Numbers -- because humans dislike uncertainty, we respond well to numbers in headlines.
  7. Reader referencing -- using phrases like, “For those who don’t know what to do after a car accident” or just the word “you” are powerful drivers.
  8. Specifics -- quantifiable facts and figures that elicit an image in our head are incredibly intriguing.

Here are more than 180 power words to use in your headlines, courtesy of CoSchedule.com:

On Social Media, Listening is the New Lead Generation

Do you know what a lead looks like these days?  I am not talking about a traditional lead, like a referral, a phone call or an email.  I’m talking about how to identify lead opportunities on social media.

If you are frequenting social media sites and participating as you should, you need to become attuned for lead opportunities.  People use social media a lot these days to air their problems or grievances -- problems you may be especially qualified to help with.  People post when they have a car accident.  They post about family problems.  They post about retirement or money issues.  Whatever is on their minds, they post about it!

When you are on social media, you can gain important insights from potential clients who may not even know you exist but know they have a problem.  You want to be that fly on the wall, listening for opportunities to make yourself known.

One great listening post can be found in LinkedIn groups, where people may be posing questions to issues you may face and solve every day.  Jumping in to help with your expertise is one way to turn that casual contact into a bona fide lead.

A good way to listen on Twitter is to create a search list of your relevant keywords and monitor it for people asking for advice.  Build a list of your competitors as well to see what people are saying about them.  Dissatisfied clients?  May be an opportunity for you.

Generating leads via social media takes a different mindset that traditional lead generation, requiring that you find those leads through listening and engaging.  A random comment on Twitter or question on LinkedIn could turn into a potential client for you if you are paying close enough attention. 

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July 28 is Your Deadline to Name a Rainmaker

Monday, July 28 is the very last day for you to nominate an attorney or marketing director (employed in a law firm) for the 2014 Rainmaker of the Year Awards.

Think of the attorneys and marketing directors in your firm ... do they deserve to be recognized?

Or how about a lawyer colleague who you know has worked incredibly hard - implementing strategies to support success?

Monday's deadline is just around the corner.  We need your help with identifying, recognizing and honoring the accomplishments of those attorneys and marketing directors (employed by a law firm) who have applied themselves, demonstrated creative marketing strategies, and are getting real results for their law firm.

Click here to learn more. 

6 Steps to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan for Your Law Firm

If one of your marketing goals is to become proficient at social media networking, then you need to follow the advice of Yogi Berra, who said, “If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.”

Translation:  you need a plan.

Here are the six steps you need to take to create a social media marketing plan for your law firm, inspired by a recent post at Buffer.com:

Step 1:  Choose your social media networks.  Frankly, you don’t want or need to participate on every social media network out there.   Where you need to be is where your clients and prospects are.  For B2B attorneys, that is LinkedIn.  For B2C attorneys, it’s Facebook and Twitter.  And for both, Google + is a must just for the SEO benefits it delivers.  Check out these demographic profiles for the major social media networks from the Pew Research Internet Project to help you figure out where your prospects are likely hanging out online.

Step 2:  Complete your profiles.  Once you have selected your social media networks, you need to complete your profile on each network.  Include both visuals and text and make your profiles consistent across all the platforms.  Be sure to include your address for local SEO and to let people find you easily.  Include your main keywords.  Keep the content fresh by updating.

Step 3:  Find your voice.  Spend some time on each social network you have chosen to participate on to discover the right tone and voice for your posts.  Since social media networking is much like offline networking, be yourself.  Learn what is appropriate -- and not -- to share. 

Step 4:  Schedule your posts.  Participating on social networks means just that -- participating!  Research shows that you should be posting on Facebook 5-10x/week, Twitter at least 5s/day, Google+ at least 5x/day and LinkedIn once every weekday.  For the best times to post, check out this recent timing research from Sumall.  Try to include an image with most if not all posts -- research also shows posts with photos get shared up to 35% more. 

Step 5:  Analyze, test and repeat.  Check your stats on your social media networks to see what posts are getting the most traction online -- you can use a reporting tool like Buffer Analytics to create a dashboard for all your networks so you can review stats at a glance.   Then repeat your successes.

Step 6:  Automate and engage.  There are several online tools you can use to automate the scheduling of your posts that will save you a lot of time and enable you to keep things running smoothly when you’re too busy or away.  However, there does need to be a person responsible for monitoring your social media networks so comments or questions are answered promptly.

If you’d like a little more help with your Internet marketing, call us at 888-588-5891 or click here to sign up for a free one-on-one Strategy Session with a Rainmaker Advisor who will listen to your specific marketing challenges. 

The Rainmaker Advisors are hand-picked and trained to identify marketing strategies that you can implement to grow your practice.

10 Insights You Want to Gain From Your Social Media Monitoring

If you are participating in social media for your law firm, you should also be monitoring whether or not your time investment is paying dividends. 

You should be creating Google Alerts or searching on Social Mention for the name of your law firm and the names of your attorneys at least once a month.  Create alerts for the areas of law you practice as well.  The social media blog site Buffer recommends you keep these 10 insights in mind when reviewing your results:

Sentiment -- Are mentions generally position, neutral or negative? 

Questions -- Look for questions people may have that you can provide the answers to in your social media posts or blogs.

Feedback -- If you see feedback on Avvo or Yelp or some other site that directly affects your firm, you need to listen and respond appropriately.

Links -- keep track of who is retweeting or reposting your content and keep track of who is linking back to you.

Pain points -- absorb what people are talking about online that is of concern to them and use that information to inform your future posts.

Content -- this is where your alerts for your practice area come in handy.  Use these to mine for topics of interest to your target market.

Trends -- recent court decisions or trending news in your practice area should be included in your posts so it is clear you are on top of all the trends.

Media -- journalists spend a lot of time online so pay attention to the areas they are covering that might provide you with an opportunity to reach out as a spokesperson on those subjects.

Influencers -- are there certain individuals who keep popping up in your feeds?  They may be someone it would be advantageous for you to know as an industry influencer.

Advocates -- monitoring is a great way to find and recognize those people who are talking positively about you online.

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July 4th Promotion: 50% Off Rainmaker In A Box, Volume 2

This 5 DVD set includes powerful marketing strategies that you can employ to quickly make it 'rain' new leads and clients. 

Click here to learn more.

Rainmaker In A Box, Volume 2 is a 5 DVD set that will teach you 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! 

It 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

Click here to learn more.

Offer expires at Midnight ET on Sunday, July 6, 2014.

Tips for Growing Your Fan Base on Facebook

One of the biggest challenges for anyone seeking to have a large social media following is growing your audience to a healthy level.  Sometimes it almost feels like we’re back in grade school, looking for other kids to like us! 

Inbound marketing firm Hubspot has a number of informative presentations on Facebook marketing, but this quick slide guide with five tips on how to grow your audience is particularly useful since it visually walks you through the steps you need to take on your Facebook page to reap the rewards from each tip:

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Who Were The Top Rainmakers This Past Year?

LawMarketing.com, The National Trial Lawyers and The Rainmaker Institute recently announced a competition to identify, recognize and honor top Rainmakers in the legal community.

The Rainmaker of the Year Awards recognizes the accomplishments of attorneys and marketing directors (employed by a law firm) who:

  • Have applied themselves
  • Demonstrate creative marketing 
strategies
  • Are getting real results for
their law firm

Nominations are being accepted until June 30th from lawyers, law firms, marketing specialists, recruiters and advisors in various categories.

There is no fee to enter.

Winners will be announced in September 2014. Click here to learn more and to submit your nomination. 

ABA Gives OK to Reviewing Jurors' Internet Presence

In case you missed it, the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued a formal opinion recently on attorney review of jurors’ Internet presence, concluding that:

A lawyer may “passively” review a potential juror or juror’s public Internet presence, but cannot communicate with a juror.  Requesting access to a private area on a juror’s social media network is prohibited.

If a juror or potential juror becomes aware that an attorney is reviewing his or her Internet presence because they receive an automatic notification from their social network, this does not constitute a communication from the attorney in violation of Rule 3.5(b).

If, in reviewing a juror’s or potential juror’s Internet presence, an attorney discovers evidence of criminal or fraudulent misconduct relating to the case, the attorney must take remedial measures including, if necessary, disclosure to the court.

A PDF of the opinion can be downloaded here.

Free Online Conference on The Art of Being Solo

Sarah Poriss, a solo attorney and host of the free online conference The Art of Being Solo: How to Create a Solo Law Practice You Love and Live the Life You Want, recently interviewed me on developing and nurturing leads.

Sarah has gathered a group of legal marketing and practice development experts for her series, which is a great resource for solo practitioners.  I was honored to be a part of this.  It’s a great way to give back to the legal community.

Access to these interviews is free; you just need to register online and Sarah will email you links to these informative interviews that will help you develop and grow your solo legal practice. 

7 Steps to Produce Irresistible Blog Posts

With so much online content competing for your target market’s attention these days, how can you ensure your blog posts are something an audience wants to return to again and again, making it to their “must read” list?  Here are 7 steps:

Take a stand.  It’s human nature to follow the leader, and a leader always has a strong opinion on the things that matter.  Don’t be afraid to let your readers know what you stand for -- it will give your blog a refreshing voice and will attract the people you want to do business with in the first place.

Add value.  It’s always tempting to do a “me too” post, especially when you’re in a time crunch.  However, if you’re not adding something of value to someone’s knowledge base with every post, you are wasting your time and theirs.

Give it away.  Many attorneys are concerned about revealing too much about their area of practice, thinking that if they “give it away” they won’t be hired.  But you don’t want any do-it-yourselfers anyway -- they make horrible clients.  And most people will be pulled in and impressed by the depth of your knowledge.  Plus, giving a free report in exchange for an email address is a superb way to get leads.

Leverage experts you know.  Including quotes and even allowing expert guest bloggers to add to your content will transfer their expertise to you in the minds of your readers.

Keep it simple.  Unless you’re writing specifically for other lawyers, legal jargon is a big turnoff for most readers.  Communicate simply and concisely.

Use case studies.  Everyone likes to read a story with a hero, a villain and a good ending.  Use case studies (with the real names omitted) to illustrate your points and demonstrate that you have an in-depth knowledge of and experience with your topic.

Keep up the good work.  The most-followed blogs are those that post regularly -- every day if possible is the new standard. 

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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 Get More Engagement on LinkedIn

According to the newly released 2014 Professional Content Consumption Report by LinkedIn, the consumption of professional content is increasing dramatically on the site, which is good news for those of us who are taking the time to populate our profiles, company pages and groups with good, relevant content.

Of the 2,701 LinkedIn members surveyed, LinkedIn was the top source for professional content and the top benefits they receive from consuming professional content on LinkedIn were as follows:

So if you are looking for ways to increase your engagement on LinkedIn, the signs clearly point to providing timely and relevant content about the emerging trends in your area of practice, including your viewpoint on recent decisions, legislation impacting your target market or case studies of interest to prospects and clients.

In fact, the report notes that the most popular content types include:

  1. New research (77%)
  2. Breaking industry news (68%)
  3. Career advice (57%)
  4. Case studies (55%)

If you keep these four content types in mind while sharing content on LinkedIn, you should see a correlating increase in engagement from your groups and connections.

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NEW Free Report: How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn

With over 300 million members in over 200 countries (100+ million in the U.S.), LinkedIn has quickly become THE ‘go to’ business-to-business directory and the most popular social networking platform dedicated to professional business development.

To ignore it is the proverbial equivalent of sticking your head in the sand.

Learning how to use LinkedIn to your biggest advantage takes time and effort, but it is time well spent.

If you are new to LinkedIn, it can be confusing, much like any new software that you need to learn to grow your business.

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

  • What LinkedIn can help you accomplish
  • Valuable LinkedIn features that can increase the power of your network
  • Smart ways top attorneys use LinkedIn
  • What your profile needs in order to be effective
  • How to make people want to know more about you
  • And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn.

How It Helps Law Firms to be Human Online

Probably one of the most difficult tasks we face at The Rainmaker Institute is convincing lawyers not to be so...how shall I put this?...”lawyerly” when it comes to marketing their law firms. 

The tendency toward formality is well ingrained in the legal profession, and it can take one whale of an effort to turn that ship around when it’s time to engage with prospects online.  But turn it you must, because you sell legal services to humans, you market to humans and talking to them like a textbook simply does not work.

Here’s what you can gain by being human online:

An emotional connection.  People buy emotionally and justify logically.  You will simply bond better with your prospects online if you expose your real self and present the human side of your legal brand.  By touching on emotions, you engender feelings of loyalty and empathy with your prospects – a path that leads to trust.

Thought leadership.  When you use social media, including blogs, in a way that fosters a back-and-forth conversation and truly engages your audience, you build your reputation as an expert in your legal niche and build trust with your target market.

A wider audience.  You want your good content to be shared so you can build a broader audience for your message.  Once your readers start to follow and know you, the shares, likes and retweets follow, building a broader audience for your marketing message.

Prospective clients value authenticity, so connecting with them in a way that truly “lets them in” while helping them solve their problems is a proven way to generate new business for your firm.

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FREE Online Seminar:  Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

Join Stephen Fairley for a free 60-minute legal marketing webinar: Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan, where you will learn...

  • A proven legal marketing system that has helped 10,000 attorneys convert more prospects into paying clients.
  • Step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.
  • Effective strategies to win clients in today's hyper-competitive online focused marketplace.
  • Creating a marketing plan for your law firm is the first step in building a foundation for a profitable future.  During this complimentary webinar, learn:
  • How to target market to get your ideal client 
  • Why your firm is not getting more referrals and how to change it
 
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
 
  • Effective online and offline marketing strategies
 
  • How to create a financial plan to fund your marketing budget
 
  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
 
  • 4 ways to create a unique competitive advantage
 
  • What is critical to have in place for today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

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

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

What's Working Today in Social Media Marketing

The 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report is out this month, an annual study by Social Media Examiner of what’s working based on data gathered from 2,800 social media marketers nationwide representing all areas of business.

Most attorneys we work with want to know how much time they should be devoting to social media marketing.  After all, time is a precious commodity when it’s what you’re selling.  Here’s what the report found:

Those just starting out on social media spend 1-5 hours per week.

Those with two years of social media marketing under their belts spend more time – 6+ hours per week.

66% of those that spend six hours a week on average on social media have seen their leads increase as a result of those efforts.

Nearly half of those spending at least six hours a week on social media have seen a reduction in their marketing expenses.

60% of those who spend at least six hours a week on social media saw improvements in their search engine rankings.

84% of those who spend at least six hours a week on social media saw traffic gains.

So, according to the report, you stand to gain more in terms of lead generation, reducing marketing expense, increasing SEO and website traffic if you spend at least six hours per week on social media marketing.

The #1 increase in activity for social media marketing is blogging.  The report found that B2B marketers (74%) are more likely to increase their blogging activity in comparison with B2C marketers (63%).

In the #2 spot for increased activity is YouTube, with 67% of marketers planning to focus more attention on this outlet in the future.

Overall, marketers said that their most important content is original written content, which aligns with blogging as the #1 activity for marketers to reach their prospects and customers.

You can download this report for free until this Friday, May 30 by visiting this link on the Social Media Examiner website.

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NEW “Rainmaker Retreat: Unplugged”
DVD Set Now Available!

The 6 DVD set is a live recording of the Rainmaker Retreat, a 2-day legal marketing intensive led by legal marketing expert Stephen Fairley that covers over 65 proven online and offline marketing and business development strategies for law firms.

You will discover:

  • Lead Generation Techniques: how to generate more leads from the Internet, social media and blogs.
  • Lead Conversion Techniques: a proven system to track incoming leads and improve your conversion rates to turn more of those prospects into paying clients.
  • Client Retention Techniques: specific tools to double your referrals and to help you with “Building a Lifestyle Law Firm®”
  • Engaging activities to help you identify your ideal target market so you can powerfully market to them.
  • Over 65 PROVEN online and offline legal marketing strategies.

Click here now to order Rainmaker Retreat: Unplugged.

Facebook for Attorneys: How to Double Your Likes in No Time

Yesterday’s post detailed how business attorneys can double their connections on LinkedIn, but for consumer attorneys the most likely social media platform for your attention is Facebook.

And just like all social media networks, the lion’s share of the attention goes to those who interact frequently – and genuinely – with followers and fans. 

Knowing how valuable and limited your time may be for social media marketing, you need to make efficient use of it to get the maximum benefit.  The infographic below from WhoIsHostingThis.com gives you specific steps you can take to double your Facebook “likes” in just five minutes a day:

How to Become a Jedi Master on LinkedIn

Last week I parsed through data from the 2014 State of Digital & Content Marketing Survey that was recently released by Greentarget, ALM Legal Intelligence and Zeughauser Group, which surveyed in-house counsel and outside law firms on their content marketing habits.

You can read my posts here on the in-house counsel survey and the outside law firm survey.

One of the things that stood out was the increased use of LinkedIn.  The in-house counsel audience that was surveyed said that they considered Linked in either very credible (22%) or somewhat credible (62%) as a source of legal, business and industry news and information.

In addition, a majority of in-house counsel respondents (56%) said they use LinkedIn to connect with outside counsel. 

Of the outside law firms surveyed, 65% said they believe that LinkedIn is a valuable tool for marketing and business development, and 81% said they provide LinkedIn training to lawyers and staff to use the site more effectively.

I just ran across this great infographic from L.A. marketing company Gryffin Media that shows how everyone can become a Jedi Master on LinkedIn – enjoy and learn!

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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 Evolution of the Solo Law Practice

Barry Seidel, who started his own practice upon graduation from law school in 1982, had a great guest blog post today on How Starting a Solo Practice Has Changed at the Solo Practice University blog.  Anyone who is a solo practitioner or is thinking of becoming one needs to read this post.

It was heartening for me to read this post since it aligns perfectly with so much of what we teach our clients at the Rainmaker Institute about how to have a successful solo practice.  In fact, I almost felt I could have written this myself!  But it wouldn’t come with the same authority as someone who has been in the trenches for more than 30 years as a solo practitioner.

Here are some of the salient points from Barry’s post that kept hitting the nail on the head for me:

In 1982, you could make a living from a general practice but today, no one would recommend this path.   Clients want – and will pay for -- a specialist, and the Internet makes it even more possible for them to find one. 

Back in the day, you could build a good practice by word of mouth and networking, along with a little advertising.  Today, lawyers can be found by having a decent website, being on social media and by blogging and use these tools to build and grow a contact list, then market to it.  Solos setting sail today need to define their ideal client, use the terms that prospects are using to search on the Internet and do the necessary marketing to make sure those searching online find them first.

When Barry started his practice, there was no FedEx, no faxes, no email, no cell phones and even computers were scarce.  Today, many older established attorneys are still behind the times when it comes to technology, so there is a huge advantage to be gained by those who utilize current technologies to prospect for and serve clients.

And Barry’s final – and most compelling – point is this:  lawyers have always had student loans to pay off and the job market has not always been great.  But the law is, in his words, “a field where entrepreneurial opportunities abound, and has never been a profession where lawyers as employees did particularly well.” 

What a great way to look at the law -- as a field where entrepreneurial opportunities abound!  I couldn’t agree more!  The Internet and social media has blown the old legal marketing model to bits, and those with the entrepreneurial mindset and vision to harness the incredible power of these modern marketing tools create their own opportunities for revenue and growth beyond their wildest dreams.

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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.

Solutions from the Rainmaker Retreat on No-Shows, Slow-Pays and Social Media Faux Pas

Prospects who don’t show up for an appointment, high accounts receivable and social media lead generation were some of the topics that were top-of-mind for attorneys who attended our recent San Antonio Rainmaker Retreat.

Here are those questions and my answers:

Q:  I have a lot of no shows…any ways to improve this?

No shows are more prevalent for certain practice areas than others, but there are absolutely a few things you can do to improve the number of no shows you get.

Do call reminders the day before and on the day of the appointment.

Send email reminders the day before and on the day of the appointment.

When you set the appointment, say something like:

Thank you for setting the appointment, we have set this time aside specifically for you to speak with (insert attorney name), can I have your commitment that if for some reason you can’t make this appointment, you will call and let us know?

When people put their word on the line, they feel more obligated to honor it.

In some cases it may be appropriate to take a credit card deposit for the consultation.  If the person shows up and hire or retains the attorney, you can apply the fee to their first invoice. If they no show, they are charged.  If they show up and don’t hire you, the decision it yours if you want to refund the charge.

Q:  My accounts receivable are really high, any suggestions to help with this?

We hear this a lot with family or business attorneys. There are a few things you can do in order to improve your accounts receivable.

The first is to educate the individual before they hire you about what the investment will really be. Of course, it may change and you don’t have a crystal ball where you can look into it and know with 100% certainty how much the case will cost, but be honest up front so their cost expectations are accurate.

Every time you are hired and you send an invoice for the first time, make sure you review the bill with the client (in person or on the phone).

Attorneys are notorious for blindly sending a bill that is confusing and the client doesn’t understand what the charges are for and therefore either puts off sending in the money or calls the office and complains. Unfortunately, when this happens many attorneys will feel guilty and back off their fees and lower the invoice. This is ridiculous -- you did the work and you should be paid for it.

If your bills are in five figures, you must bill more frequently. Rather than bill once a month, bill twice a month. People pay payroll and get paid twice a month, so it’s okay to bill that often. Psychologically, individuals have an easier time paying a bill that is under 5 figures. They would rather pay two $5,000 bills in one month than one $10,000 bill. This is especially true for businesses, as cash flow is key and they have payroll to make.

If you have retainers, make sure a dedicated staff member is calling those clients to replenish the amount before it is so low it won’t cover more hours. Be proactive; don’t do the work unless the money is there. That way, you are not chasing it.

Q:  I’m on social media and haven’t gotten a single client, what am I doing wrong?

This is such a great question! Many attorneys are using social media but they are not using it in a way that allows for engagement, builds relationships and compels people to do business with them.

There are a few major mistakes attorneys make when using social media:

1.  They have a Facebook fan page, but never post anything new, they have a Twitter account but have never tweeted and have no followers, or they have a YouTube channel and their most recent video is 3 years old. Essentially, they have the social media platforms but they don’t use them.

2.  They use the social media platforms to sell. Social media platforms are about engaging with clients, prospects and referral sources in meaningful ways and directing them to your website. It is then your website’s responsibility to let others know who you are, how you are different and how you can help!

3.  They don’t keep the conversation going. If someone makes a comment on a post or a tweet or a video, it is key to keep that conversation going and get others engaged. Social media is a two-way conversation, not a platform to say what you want to say and then never address the comment, video, etc. again.

Social media is a long-term strategy, so don’t think you will set up your Facebook fan page today and will get 20 clients tomorrow. It takes time, dedication and using the platforms effectively in order for it to give you a return and help you get more clients and referrals.

Make sure you collect people’s information as often as you can. It is not likely that someone will see one Linkedin update or Facebook status and hire you immediately, so if you can capture their information, you can continue to communicate with them in a meaningful way and compel them to do business with you.

You can drive people off of your social media sites to your website, where you then ask for their contact information in exchange for a free report or a freemium.

If you’d like to learn more about these and other law firm marketing strategies, plan to attend an upcoming Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day legal marketing seminar.  Our next session will be May 30-31, 2014 in Las Vegas

For more information and to register online, visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com or call 888-588-5891.

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NEW “Rainmaker Retreat: Unplugged”
DVD Set Now Available!

The 6 DVD set is a live recording of the Rainmaker Retreat, a 2-day legal marketing intensive led by legal marketing expert Stephen Fairley that covers over 65 proven online and offline marketing and business development strategies for law firms.

You will discover:

  • Lead Generation Techniques: how to generate more leads from the Internet, social media and blogs.
  • Lead Conversion Techniques: a proven system to track incoming leads and improve your conversion rates to turn more of those prospects into paying clients.
  • Client Retention Techniques: specific tools to double your referrals and to help you with “Building a Lifestyle Law Firm®”
  • Engaging activities to help you identify your ideal target market so you can powerfully market to them.
  • Over 65 PROVEN online and offline legal marketing strategies.

 

Click here now to order Rainmaker Retreat: Unplugged.

How to Create the Perfect Post for Each Social Media Platform

Creating the perfect post for your blog or the social media networks you contribute content on is not only a question of finding the right words, but also in structuring your post to give you biggest benefit.

This includes the skillful use of images, links, tags and other factors that make it more likely that people will want to read and pass your posts along. 

Social media marketing company My Clever Agency has provided a guideline that detail the formulas for crafting a perfect post for your blog as well as leading social media networks like YouTube, Google+, Facebook, Twitter and more.  They also provide the optimum times for posting to each platform.

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 ways that blogging can help your law practice

How to create your blog strategy

10 ways to build an audience for your blog

4 sources of information for writing blog posts

And much more!

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

Facebook #1 for Driving Website Traffic; YouTube #1 for Engagement

Two new reports from Shareaholic, a leading content sharing web tool development company, finds that Facebook far outpaces other social media sites when it comes to driving traffic to websites but YouTube is #1 for driving the most engaged traffic.

The 1st Quarter 2014 edition of the Shareaholic Social Media Traffic Report is based on data collected from more than 300,000 websites and examines eight social media platforms referred to those websites from December 2013 through March 2014.  Here are the findings:

Key takeaways from this report:

  • Facebook drove almost one-quarter (21.25%) of the overall traffic websites received in March.  Clearly, Facebook users have made it a habit to click on links in their feeds, so marketers should be sure to include those in their posts.
  • Pinterest’s share of traffic referrals grew an astounding 48% from December to March, making it the second largest referrer.
  • The lowest ranked referrer sites were YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn.

While social site referrals help marketers when it comes to organic traffic, it is also important for marketers to factor in engagement – what people do on your site once they reach it.  And another Shareaholic study shows an almost inverted hierarchy for social media sites that provide engaged social referrals:

YouTube is the champion when it comes to driving the most engaged traffic back to your website.  Google+ and LinkedIn also rank high for bringing engaged traffic – the people most likely to stay on your site after they reach it via these social media sites.

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

According to recent research…

58 million adults looked for an attorney in the past year

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

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

Because they are doing it all wrong!

This seminar will teach you how to do it right.

National Law Review Magazine editor Larry Bodine and Stephen Fairley join forces to deliver a compelling on-demand seminar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients; access this seminar now to learn:

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

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

The Solo and Small Firm Perspective on the Goal of Social Media

Last week Kevin O’Keefe (@kevinokeefe) and I had an interesting discussion on Twitter about the goal of social media for law firms. Nancy Myrland (@NancyMyrland) and Jabez LeBret (@jabezlebret) graciously joined in. Then Kevin posted a good article summarizing our discussion and explaining his perspective that the ultimate goal of social media for lawyers should be to build relationships. I disagree with this perspective.  

Since it's a little difficult to fully articulate one’s thinking on any topic in 140 characters, I thought a follow up post was in order. Kevin’s article was very thoughtful, but I believe it is wrong in several of its conclusions. I believe two of the reasons why he takes his positions come from his background as a litigator and his current work as CEO of LexBlog.

From an outsider’s perspective, it seems like most of LexBlog’s clients are attorneys in mid to large law firms, some of them in the largest law firms in the nation. Indeed, reading LexBlog’s client list is similar to a “Who’s Who” in the legal industry. The majority of our clients are small law firms with 2-25 attorneys in them. The pressure on attorneys in many larger law firms is, “If I don’t bring in new clients, I won't make partner some day.” The pressure on our clients is, “If I don’t bring in new clients, I don’t make payroll,” or, “If this marketing doesn’t pay off soon, we won't be able to afford a family vacation this year.” They can't afford to “join a country club or coach youth sports” with the hope that it some day might result in a new client. They need a specific plan of action that directly results in more and better leads.

In addition, many attorneys in those larger firms are corporate attorneys who work with large clients. Industry recognition and credibility are of utmost import to them. About half of my clients are consumer attorneys (personal injury, criminal defense, family law, estate planning, SSDI, and workers’ compensation) who are more concerned about their current cash flow.

From my client’s perspective, the goal of social media is lead generation and business development, pure and simple. How you get there is by building targeted relationships, providing solid content, and consistently adding value. At my company, The Rainmaker Institute®, we specialize in working with attorneys and regularly receive 100-250 new leads every month just from our efforts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. That’s the point!

We don’t use social media because it makes us feel good or because we want to impress our peers or provide free marketing advice to attorneys. We do it for the express purpose of generating new leads and ultimately new clients! The way we achieve that goal is:

  • By providing excellent content on legal marketing every day of the week
  • By connecting with attorneys in our target market
  • By engaging with others in the legal industry on topics of interest to us
  • By liking posts by our clients so they know we are thinking of them
  • By commenting on posts made by prospective clients so we can better engage with them
  • By inviting interested prospects to visit our blog or website to download a free report or sign up for one of our free webinars
  • By nurturing those relationships with regular, targeted communication

Both Kevin and I would agree that selling on social media is not helpful and will usually result in turning people off rather than attracting them to you. Where we part ways is on the next step to take. Based on his article, I believe Kevin would say once he has developed the relationship on social media that’s as far as he will go. If the person wants his help they can always look him up. I take it one step further and use the opportunity to directly invite the person to:

Back when I lived in Chicago, I had a very well-connected business partner. He had deep roots in the business community and was formerly the CEO of a multi-million dollar business. In fact, the primary reason I brought him into my company was specifically because of his knowledge and his connections. I ultimately found out that those connections did very little in landing us new business because he saw relationships as the end goal, not new clients.

While some may be tempted to misread me and believe I am being manipulative of my relationships, I can assure you that would be missing my point. I have relationships specifically focused on friendship (both on and off of social media). I have relationships specifically focused on mentoring others and being mentored, but I am clear in my goal with the relationships I develop via social media on behalf of my company—it's for the purpose of developing new business or referral partners.  

“The best lawyers get their work via relationships and word of mouth. Always have and aways [sic] will. The Internet and social media did not change that,” wrote O’Keefe in his blog post. Really? I could not disagree more! Outside of rural America, there has been no more powerful force in transforming how attorneys get clients than the Internet and more recently social media.  For many small law firms the Internet is the great equalizer. They cannot compete on television with the mega-firms and their 7-figure budgets and they certainly can't afford to wait 5 years for a relationship to evolve into a new client. They are looking for the most direct route to reach and connect with clients who are looking for an attorney right now.

Many of the best lawyers do not get most of their work from relationships and word of mouth. It is outdated and inefficient views like this that keep attorneys from fully achieving the potential of social media. By the way, just because some attorneys get some of their business from word of mouth does not disprove the rule. Exceptions actually go to prove the rule. The sheer number of attorneys out there today, especially in consumer law, make it virtually impossible to just grow organically by word of mouth. You must be much more proactive and intentional about your business development efforts than just sitting back and letting your work speak for itself.

The Internet and online marketing (including social media) are the fastest growing ways consumer attorneys are finding new clients. Perhaps this is not true of AmLaw 200 attorneys, but it is why more and more small to mid-sized law firms are turning to the Internet and social media as a cost effective tool to grow their business. How do I know this? Because of my experience working with over 10,000 attorneys nationwide and because social media is the #1 topic I get asked to speak on by State Bar Associations. It is also one of the fastest growing parts of our “done for you” marketing services that we offer law firms.

For the majority of attorneys in small to mid-sized law firms, online lead generation and lead conversion has dramaticaly changed over the last decade. Perhaps it's time for the rest of the legal industry to catch up. 

5 Tips for Fixing Your LinkedIn Profile

I see a lot of attorney profiles on LinkedIn, since I connect with many of our clients and those who have attended our Rainmaker Retreat. And what I see mostly is room for improvement.

LinkedIn has become the de facto online Rolodex for keeping up with contacts and referral sources, and is a must for B2B law firms seeking ways to connect with prospects. So why wouldn’t you do your best to put your best foot forward at all times?

Here are 5 tips for fixing your LinkedIn profile:

1. Assess your goals. Why are you on LinkedIn? If it’s to market your firm, then you need to be sure your profile page reflects everything your firm is about, and that starts with loading it with great keywords to attract the broadest possible audience.

2. Kill the clutter. If you have basically uploaded your resume and it reflects all the jobs you’ve held since college, kill the entries that have nothing to do with what you do now.

3. Be personable. Add some flair so people know you as a person. People hire people, not profiles.

4. Include your photo. If you don’t have a photo uploaded yet, do it. A photo acts as your logo; a bad one does nothing for you and a missing one tells people you don’t care. Your photo should reflect who you are as a professional, so skip the vacation photo.

5. Get recommendations. Testimonials are irresistible to read, and tell people visiting your page what it’s like to work with you.

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New On Demand Webinar:  How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn

The Rainmaker Institute’s business development specialist Alec Borenstein is featured on this online webinar that is now available on demand:  From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn.

Most attorneys already have a profile on LinkedIn, but very few know how to effectively use it to build a powerful referral network. With over 238 million professionals on LinkedIn, it has become one of the easiest ways to rapidly identify strategic contacts and build relationships with them!

In this advanced, information-packed 60-minute webinar you’ll learn:

  • How to generate targeted connections using LinkedIn
  • How to join and create LinkedIn groups to target your key referral sources and clients
  • Tools to land 2-4 lunches every month with your connections and referral partners
  • What to say during these meetings to ensure prospects remember you
  • How to follow up after your LinkedIn lunch

Click on this link now to access the one-hour webinar, From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn.

5 Ways to Prove Your Law Firm is the Best Choice

I talk a lot about the importance of differentiating your firm by focusing your marketing efforts on communicating your unique competitive advantage – the benefits a client gets from working with you, the value you provide, the results you’ve gotten for past clients and the creative solutions you employ to solve legal issues.

Once you’ve got your UCA down cold, you can then go about spreading the good word.  Here are some effective ways to do that:

Testimonials. If it’s not barred by your state bar, then testimonials on your website are a good way to verify that people who have used your services are happy with the outcome. It is even better to have testimonials on your behalf on third-party websites like Avvo, Yelp! or Google.

Social proof. Being visible on social networks and having a good crop of followers lets those considering your services get more comfortable with the idea of hiring you – we have a strong herd mentality, and like to know we’re not alone.

Case studies. Posting relevant case studies to your website and your blog that are written for the average person (not another lawyer) can be very effective.

Videos. Populating your website and blog with videos that give prospects a feel for what it would be like to do business with you is another good way to showcase your skills.

Third-party endorsements. If you’ve been profiled in an article or interviewed in the media, post those interviews and articles on your website.

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

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

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

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

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

5 Steps to Use Social Media Effectively for Business Development

One of the best reasons for attorneys to use social media is that it is a very cost effective business development tool. Here are 5 steps you can take to harness the effectiveness of social media for your law firm marketing efforts:

1. Set up a targeted landing page. Your landing page is separate from – but can be connected to – your website. It should feature content that addresses the specific needs of your target market and have one compelling call-to-action that gets them to connect with you.

2. On the landing page offer them something of value.  Offer visitors a free special report, audio CD or white paper on a topic of interest to them.  Again, it must address a specific need of your target market.

3. Drive traffic to your landing page by promoting it via your social media outlets. You can announce your free special report on your Facebook fan page, post a Tweet or promote by including the link to your LinkedIn account.

4. Visitors to your landing page can only obtain your valuable information if they give you their contact information (name, phone and email address) and by agreeing to opt into your database and be contacted by your law firm for further follow-up.

5. Use their contact information to follow up with them. When you connect with visitors to your landing page, you qualify them to see if they are a good prospect for you and then offer them a complimentary consultation, if that's part of your business model.

At The Rainmaker Institute, we have successfully used this exact process with attorneys across the country for almost a decade.  During this time we have generated thousands of qualified leads, for our company directly from our social media efforts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter!  

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NEW Free Report: How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn

With over 238 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn has quickly become THE ‘go to’ business-to-business directory and the most popular social networking platform dedicated to professional business development.

To ignore it is the proverbial equivalent of sticking your head in the sand.

Learning how to use LinkedIn to your biggest advantage takes time and effort, but it is time well spent.

If you are new to LinkedIn, it can be confusing, much like any new software that you need to learn to grow your business.

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

  • What LinkedIn can help you accomplish
  • Valuable LinkedIn features that can increase the power of your network
  • Smart ways top attorneys use LinkedIn
  • What your profile needs in order to be effective
  • How to make people want to know more about you
  • And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn.

How to Choose the Right Social Media Networks for Your Law Practice

One of the most common questions I get from attorneys is how to identify the right social media networks for their practices.  Frankly, it’s not that hard.

The most important thing in identifying the right social media platform is to know your target market.   If you don’t know that, then any marketing you are doing anywhere is just a shot in the dark. 

Once you know the characteristics of your market, you can then focus on the social media networks that do the best job of reaching that audience.  Here are demographic breakdowns on the most popular social networks from the Pew Reseach Center from their 2013 Social Media Report:

If your market is business-to-business, then you want to have a robust presence on LinkedIn.  If you market to consumers, then Facebook is your best bet.  If you want to go after a female clientele, then be sure you have some presence on Pinterest. 

Once you have done the necessary homework on knowing your prospect inside and out, then it’s much easier to find the best places to reach them. 

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FREE Online Seminar:  Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

Join Stephen Fairley for a free 60-minute legal marketing webinar: Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan, where you will learn...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are You Overlooking a Great Social Media Marketing Tool?

Many law firms have a LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profile and the savvy firms are actually publishing some great content and engaging with audiences of prospects and referral sources.  When someone Googles your firm, those social media sites are likely to be among the first results that pop up.

But remember, people buy from people they know, like and trust.  So it’s even likelier that instead of Googling the name of your firm, they could be searching under one of your attorney’s names or another person at your firm.

And that brings us to an often overlooked social media marketing tool: your employees!

No matter what the roles of the people at your firm, all employees should be mindful of how they are representing your firm online.  While you can’t really dictate what they should put on their profiles, you can encourage them to:

Create quality profiles.  Hopefully your employees are proud of where they work, so letting them know how they can help the firm by maintaining a high quality profile on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks makes sense.  Offer them consistent language to use in their profiles that reflect your firm’s branding strategy, and ask them to include links to your firm website and blog.  Have them post professional photos, especially on LinkedIn.

Share valuable content.  You and your employees should always be engaging your connections with valuable content, whether that is a position paper from your firm or something relevant to your clients and prospects from a third party source. 

Keep building your networks.  When you take on a new client, ask to connect with them online.  Do the same with referral sources and prospects, but be sure you actually know them.  Relevance matters when it comes to your connections, even more than size.

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Proven Strategies to Win More Clients for Family Law, Personal Injury and Estate Planning Attorneys

Does this sound like you?

You spend thousands of dollars and countless hours trying to generate more business for your law firm. And still you end up with less business than you hoped. You’ve put “get more clients” at the top of your list, but have no time to do anything about it.

If someone calls your office and doesn’t make an appointment, what happens to them?

What if they don’t show up for the appointment?

What if they show up and don’t retain you?

What if they want to retain you and you never hear from them again?

If you answered, “I don’t know” or “We leave a message,” then this on-demand seminar is for you. Register online to receive the Proven Strategies to Win More Clients seminar, where you will learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • 3 steps for turning more leads into appointments
  • 5 ways to increase your “show up” rates
  • 4 ways to get more appointments to sign up this week
  • What to do when a prospect doesn’t sign up at the initial consultation

Lead Conversion is one of the most overlooked areas at consumer law firms. You spend tens of thousands of dollars every year trying to generate more leads…yet virtually nothing to ensure you convert the maximum amount of those leads into paying clients!

Lead conversion is the 5-stage process of converting more prospects into paying clients and turning more browsers into buyers. Over the last decade, The Rainmaker Institute has become a national leader in assisting consumer law firms to rapidly and dramatically increase their conversion rates.

We have worked with all types of consumer law firms to help them double and even triple their conversion rates within 3-6 months.

If you want to double your revenues this year there are 2 ways you can do it: either double the amount of leads you get each month or double your conversion rates!

Click here now for this on-demand seminar and discover how attorneys just like you are doubling their revenues by converting more of their costly leads into more paying clients!

How to Drive the Snakes Out of Your Social Media Marketing

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and legend has it that this 5th century Irish missionary and bishop drove all the snakes out of Ireland after they attacked him while he was undertaking a 40-day fast.

However, this interesting legend has largely been disproved by modern-day science that shows Ireland most probably never had any snakes in the first place!

If your social media marketing program is not performing to your standards, perhaps it’s time for you to drive out a few snakes.  These mistakes can be poisonous to any social media plan:

No social media brand guidelines.  Have you established guidelines for how your law firm brand will be controlled online?  You need to determine who will be responsible for updating, posting and monitoring all your social media platforms, how often you will post, what kind of content you will post, the types of images to be used and a distinct voice for your brand online.

No engagement.  Do you broadcast your social media messages rather than engage directly with your friends and followers?  Social media is a conversation, and if it’s all one-way (your way), no one will be compelled to follow you.

No schedule.  You need to create a regular schedule for your posts and stick to it.  Social media is a habit, and if you don’t feed this habit, your followers are likely to forget about you.

No strategy.  You need to establish social media goals and use those to drive your messaging, rather than relying on a “spur of the moment” posting strategy.

No response.  You should respond to everyone who asks you a question or posts a comment, and you should do it quickly.  This is another reason it is imperative to have a designated person actively monitoring the social media networks where you are active.

No tracking.  There should be business reasons why you are participating in social media, and you should be tracking against these goals to see if you are reaching your desired outcome.  Remember a key rule of marketing in any medium: if it matters, it should be measured.

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New On Demand Webinar:  How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn

The Rainmaker Institute’s business development specialist Alec Borenstein is featured on this online webinar that is now available on demand:  From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn.

Most attorneys already have a profile on LinkedIn, but very few know how to effectively use it to build a powerful referral network. With over 238 million professionals on LinkedIn, it has become one of the easiest ways to rapidly identify strategic contacts and build relationships with them!

In this advanced, information-packed 60-minute webinar you’ll learn:

  • How to generate targeted connections using LinkedIn
  • How to join and create LinkedIn groups to target your key referral sources and clients
  • Tools to land 2-4 lunches every month with your connections and referral partners
  • What to say during these meetings to ensure prospects remember you
  • How to follow up after your LinkedIn lunch

Click on this link now to access the one-hour webinar, From LinkedIn to Lunch: How to Create Leads and Referral Sources on LinkedIn.

 

New Social Network for Attorneys Now Online

A new social network for attorneys – Foxwordy – has now launched and is offering any lawyer who is “an innovator and influencer in the legal industry” a free three-month membership to what its founder is calling an “invitation-only private social-networking platform brings together relevant top-tier legal colleagues to efficiently collaborate in real-time.”

Forbes ran a story on the Foxwordy launch today, and it appears that this new site is aimed at creating a new attorney-to-attorney referral platform.  Foxwordy founder Monica Zent said that the site provides a way for attorneys to gain a peer validated reputation and encourages collaborations that would normally happen via the phone, in person or by email.

Some of the site’s features include:

  • Real-time collaboration with other lawyers working on common issues
  • Ability for attorneys to share best practices and language for legal documents
  • Listing of job opportunities similar to LinkedIn

Zent says there are currently 1,000 members on the website that is now out of beta.  The network will not be available to the public; it is designed solely as a website for attorneys to share information and collaborate, and membership is by invitation only.  You provide your name and email address on the home page to request an invitation.  

It was unclear on the site how you are vetted for membership; since the site’s revenue model is based on subscriptions alone ($10 per month), I was guessing that the bar isn’t set too high.  And I was proven right after I had one of my non-attorney staff members enter her name and Gmail address, and she received a congratulatory email minutes later on her acceptance.

I’d be interested to hear from attorneys who sign up and participate on this new social network for lawyers – what are you finding of most value for your practice from this new social media tool?

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FREE Report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources

When it comes to the different kind of leads that attorneys can generate for new business, referrals are the gold standard.  They come to you pre-qualified and ready to “buy” from a source they trust – and with a trust transference to you that is built-in.

If you do nothing else with your law firm marketing this year, make it a priority to cultivate more referral sources.  Cultivating referral sources is low-cost and high-reward, and should be at the top of your list when it comes to new business development for your law firm.

This new free report by national law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley can get you started.

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

  • How to identify the referral sources who have relationships with the people you want as clients.
  • How to start the relationship
  • How to build a referral network
  • How to make your referral network successful
  • …And much, much more!

Click on this link now to get your free report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources.

Nielsen Report on Digital Consumer: All Social, All the Time

Nielsen has just released a report called The Digital Consumer that examines how Americans are consuming content across multiple digital devices.

According to Nielsen, a majority of U.S. households now feature multiple devices – high definition TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones – and Americans spend an average of 60 hours per week consuming content on these devices.

Other highlights from the report:

Daily social media use is now standard practice – 64% of social media users visit sites at least once a day, and almost half (47%) access those sites on smartphones.

Hispanics are higher than average content consumers on smartphones, and spend more time consuming online videos than the national average.

Americans own an average of four digital devices.

Time spent consuming online content has decreased on computers and TVs, and increased on PCs and smartphones:

Americans spend an average of 6 ½ hours per month on Facebook vs. only 18 minutes per month on LinkedIn and 36 minutes per month on Twitter.

86% of smartphone and tablet owners use those devices while watching TV at the same time; a majority of those use these mobile devices to surf the Web.

This Nielsen report demonstrates a major shift in how content is consumed online, moving away from PCs and toward mobile devices.  Here are six savvy mobile marketing practices you should be considering as part of your law firm marketing strategy:

Have a mobile-optimized website.   If your website is not optimized for viewing on a mobile device, you are losing more prospects every day as the majority of smartphone owners use their mobile devices for local search for products and services. 

Make messaging relevant. Don’t ever send a message to a prospect or client without a good reason. Email from firms need to be useful and relevant, not random and annoying.

Keep on top of technology. Changes in technology can have a significant effect on your customer base. Firms that use advanced technology stay ahead of competitors.

Give sharing options. Make sure you include social media sharing buttons on all your mobile messages as well as an option for recipients to share via email. This will help you spread the word about your firm or promotional offer.

Use texting. Texting is now widespread enough to be considered a new marketing medium. Communicating with clients via text allows you to share time-sensitive material with prospects and current customers.

Use email. Be sure your emails are mobile friendly, include direct clicks to your phone number and include links to mobile-optimized websites. A majority of mobile users check email more often on their mobile device that they do on a PC.

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How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear

Your price is too high! I can’t afford that.”

“Why should I hire you? I think I can handle this by myself.”

Have you heard any of these objections lately?

How did you respond?

What are the most effective ways to overcome these objections?

How do top Rainmakers reply?

If you’re like many attorneys you hear these objections every day…yet you aren’t sure your responses are effective. We can help you change that!

Over the course of this pre-recorded 60-minute webinar you will discover:

  • The top 5 biggest objections attorneys hear and how to overcome them
  • An easy 2-step process to effectively turn a “No” into a “Yes”
  • How to answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”
  • The #1 reason you are not converting more prospects into paying clients
  • How to get past “price” and uncover the prospect’s true objection

Click on this link now to access the How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear webinar now.

New Study Reveals How Prospects Are Checking You Out

A new study by Hinge Marketing surveyed 1,000 purchasers of professional services – including legal – to determine how prospects check out professional providers as prologue to making a decision.

This chart gives the details:

Note that less than 1% said they don’t check you out.  Which means just about everyone looking for professional services does some sort of online or peer research prior to making the decision to hire.

The most common way that prospects check you out is to look at your website.  What is your current site telling them about you?  Are you addressing the problems your prospects have up front?  Or do you talk about yourself – your great office, your smart lawyers, etc.?

People buy emotionally and justify logically.  Your website must appeal to their emotions, showing empathy for their problems and providing information on how you can solve these problems for them. 

Prospects look for three things:  Benefits, Value and Results.  Address all three and you will have convinced them that you are the one they need to hire for their legal issue.

Note that Google search and social media also rank high as tools prospects are using to check you out.  Google yourself to get an idea of what they are seeing; if it’s not much then you need to pay some attention to repairing and monitoring your online reputation.

The Hinge Marketing report found that the 70% of those surveyed use LinkedIn to check out a prospective professional services provider.  Since LinkedIn is the go-to social network for business, this only makes sense.  How’s your LinkedIn profile looking?  Do you have recommendations from other clients or peers?  Do you have a video on your profile page?  Is there a good photo of you?  If not, get busy!

This study is just one more indicator (of many) that attorneys need to pay as much attention to their online reputation as their offline reputation.  If you’re not paying attention, you’ll be paying the price.

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

According to recent research…

58 million adults looked for an attorney in the past year

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

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

Because they are doing it all wrong!

This seminar will teach you how to do it right.

National Law Review Magazine editor Larry Bodine and Stephen Fairley join forces to deliver a compelling on-demand seminar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients; access this seminar now to learn:

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

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

How to Market to the Wealthy Online

Nielsen recently released a report on the online habits of wealthy Americans, which are defined by Nielsen as follows:

  • Investment assets of between $250,000 - $1 million
  • Median annual household income of $87,500
  • 66% are over the age of 55
  • Suburban empty nesters
  • Primarily Caucasian; above average likelihood to be Asian
  • Work in finance, management, have their own business, or retired
  • Avid readers, online and print

Approximately 12% of Americans fit into this category, and are attractive prospects for most law firms since they have the ability to pay and can appreciate the value of personal legal services.

Nielsen segregated the Mass Affluent audience into two groups – those still working and the retired wealthy.  This chart illustrates the top online activities undertaken by each group, which is key to understanding how to market to them online:

Both groups skew heavier than normal for recreation pursuits online, so it is no surprise that the fastest growing demographic group for social media networks is in the 55+ age group.  Mass affluents are also heavy news consumers online, so you may want to consider the use of press releases as part of your legal marketing strategy.

Members of both categories of mass affluents skew higher than normal for investigating financial and healthcare information online, which provides a good opportunity for legal practices that specialize in areas like estate planning to target this group with relevant messaging. 

Whatever your practice area, it is critical that you identify and segment your target audiences when developing your legal marketing strategies in order to maximize your return on your marketing investment and attract qualified prospects.

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FREE Online Seminar:  Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

Join Stephen Fairley for a free 60-minute legal marketing webinar: Develop Your Law Firm Marketing Plan, where you will learn...

  • A proven legal marketing system that has helped 10,000 attorneys convert more prospects into paying clients.
  • Step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues.
  • Effective strategies to win clients in today's hyper-competitive online focused marketplace.

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

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

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

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

Why Legal Marketers Need to Get Obsessed with Social Media

Even though I have been talking to lawyers about social media for several years, I am still amazed how much pushback I get from attorneys who swear their prospects and clients are not on social media.

Excuse me?  The only way your clients would not be on social media (as a group) is if they are dogs or cats or some other nonhuman species. 

What I have come to realize is that attorneys who don’t “believe” in social media are really just afraid of what they don’t understand.  These are usually people who themselves are not on social media, so they don’t think any of their clients are there either. 

Please remember, you are not your client.

One of the leading voices on all things Internet, the Search Engine Journal, recently produced the infographic below that charts the growth of social media.  Looks across all the age groups and you will see that participation continues to grow, and is really picking up among the older demographic (45-54 and 55-64).  For many, it has become an obsession.

Deny all you want, social media is not going away.  So you can either embrace it and reap the benefits or continue to ignore it and keep placing those good old Yellow Pages ads.  There are so many resources out there for you to explore and learn how to harness social media for marketing your law firm – our Rainmaker Retreat is but one – that you can quickly alleviate your fear through knowledge.

Make 2014 the year you do something really great to grow your law firm.

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Rainmaker Retreat Unplugged DVD Set 50% Off!

Of all the seminars and speeches and presentations I have made to attorney groups throughout the past 12 years, nothing has proven to be more impactful than our two-day legal marketing seminar, the Rainmaker Retreat.

We schedule a session every month around the country and spend two intensive days teaching the principles and strategies of what works when it comes to legal marketing for small law firms and solo practitioners.

But I get that not everyone can leave his or her practice to attend a seminar.  Which is why we recorded a live session recently and created a six-CD set that we’re calling Rainmaker Retreat Unplugged.

Watching Rainmaker Retreat Unplugged on your own schedule will still provide you with an incredible opportunity to learn:

  • Over 65 proven online and offline legal marketing and business development strategies tailored specifically for small firms and solos;
  • Lead generation techniques that will teach you how to generate more leads from your website, social media and blogs;
  • Proven strategies for converting leads to clients and ways to increase your conversion rate so you don’t have to spend so much time and money generating new leads;
  • Ways you can double your referrals over the next 90 days.

Order your copy of Rainmaker Retreat Unplugged online by midnight ET on Friday, Jan. 31 and receive this incredible legal marketing tool for 50% off the regular price.

5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve SEO

Yesterday in my post about how email marketing beats social media for client acquisition, I shared this chart from McKinsey & Co. consumer research:

You will note that the #1 channel for client acquisition is organic search.  And you can’t improve your organic search ranking without paying attention to SEO (search engine optimization). 

Thankfully for small firms and solos, SEO best practices have evolved past backlinking and coding to strategies that you have more control over – content marketing and social media participation.  Here are 5 things every law firm can do right now to improve SEO:

Optimize your law firm website.  You may want to hand this off to the experts, but you can actually do it yourself if you are willing to tinker under the hood a bit.  In fact, Moz has posted an excellent resource called The Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet 2.0, a free download that covers everything that needs to be done to properly optimize a website. 

Blog.  Search engines crave fresh, relevant, compelling content and reward you with a better ranking if you provide it. 

Guest blog.  Having guests post on your blog and vice versa exposes you to a wider audience and gets others to do some of the heavy lifting for you in promoting your content.

Social media participation.  Use your social media network to promote and distribute your blog content.  This provides important social signals back to your website that are important when it comes to SEO. 

Monitor online reputation.  Online reviews are also becoming more important for SEO, so it’s critical that you Google yourself and your firm on a regular basis to monitor what is being said about you online.  Be sure to let happy clients know how much you would appreciate their recommendation online.

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On-Demand Seminar: Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm

We are now providing one of our most popular seminars – Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm – in an on-demand format, so you can watch and learn at your convenience, as many times as you wish.

Over the last decade we have helped over 10,000 attorneys market and grow their business. During this time we have identified many of the key characteristics of highly successful law firms.

One of the more consistent ones is that they track specific numbers and key indicators that give them instant insight into how their law firm is performing on a weekly and monthly basis.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the numbers that make your law firm run. By analyzing these critical metrics, partners and owners of law firms can easily determine whether they are on track to achieve their goals or if they need to retool and refocus their marketing and business development efforts.

In this fast paced seminar, you learn:

  • How to easily identify the 12 key metrics your law firm needs to track and measure
  • How to set up a system to identify these numbers
  • The 7 critical systems every law firm must have
  • CPL and CPC: the 2 most important numbers every attorney must know in order to succeed
  • How to avoid “paralysis by analysis” and being overwhelmed by too much data
  • Delegating roles and responsibility to your staff
  • Using software to track your KPIs

If you’re a spreadsheet and data driven individual then you will love this seminar! However, if numbers scare you or you tend to ignore them because you have a hard time making heads or tails of all the different data you see, then this seminar is a “can’t miss” event!

We cut through the clutter and give you clear and easy to understand guidance on which numbers really matter the most, how to track this information, and what to do with it once you have it!

To get this on-demand seminar, click on this link: Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm

3 Surefire Ways to Fail at Social Media Marketing

A Search Engine Journal article recently took marketing agencies to task for failing clients in three major ways when it comes to social media marketing, providing some cautionary tales for law firm marketers.

At the Rainmaker Institute, we have spent the last decade working hard to provide legitimate social media marketing strategies to more than 10,000 attorneys nationwide and it always pains me to see law firms hire help that hurts instead. 

Just like many things in life, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things when it comes to social media.  And since the landscape is ever changing, marketers that don’t keep on top of the latest trends can do themselves and the clients they serve no small harm when they do it wrong.

The three surefire ways to fail at social media marketing include:

Set it and forget it.  Social media is just that:  social!  Which means you have to participate.  Just like you wouldn’t attend a networking function and sit in a corner saying nothing to no one, you can’t just throw up a page on Facebook or LinkedIn and call it a day.  At the Rainmaker Institute, we add new content to our social media pages and blog every day, respond to those who make a comment and always strive to engage our followers in a conversation.  This is what it’s all about.  If you just have a social media page for your law firm that is devoid of relevant, recent content, you are NOT engaged in social media marketing.  In fact, you are basically telling prospects you have nothing to say.

Post and hope.  As I’ve always said, hope is not a business strategy.  Simply putting up a post on your social media pages and hoping for the best means you have no goal for your social media marketing.  And with no goal, you have no program.   

Lack of meaningful goals.  The purpose of any marketing program is to deliver measurable results, whether that measurement is in terms of increased leads, sales or even improved SEO.  Too often, marketers fall in love with their number of “likes” and “+1s” without discerning if these really add anything to the bottom line.  We see social media as a means to an end, not as an end in and of itself – and the end should be more leads delivered through engaging on these forums.  It takes time and effort, but don’t most good things in life?

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New!  FREE Report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources

When it comes to the different kind of leads that attorneys can generate for new business, referrals are the gold standard.  They come to you pre-qualified and ready to “buy” from a source they trust – and with a trust transference to you that is built-in.

If you do nothing else with your law firm marketing this year, make it a priority to cultivate more referral sources.  Cultivating referral sources is low-cost and high-reward, and should be at the top of your list when it comes to new business development for your law firm.

This new free report by national law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley can get you started.

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

  • How to identify the referral sources who have relationships with the people you want as clients.
  • How to start the relationship
  • How to build a referral network
  • How to make your referral network successful
  • …And much, much more!

Click on this link now to get your free report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources.

Social Media Demographic Profiles Help Attorneys Find Their Prospects

The Pew Research Center recently released its Social Media Update 2013 and included in the findings were clear demographic profiles of who is frequenting the five major social networks, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Reporting on these findings, MarketingCharts.com released this chart that details those demographic profiles:

Based on its survey of more than 1,800 U.S. adults, the Pew Social Media Update reports that 73% of online adults use at least one social media site, with Facebook the clear choice (71%), followed by LinkedIn (22%), Pinterest (21%), Twitter (18%) and Instagram (17%). 

In addition, Pew reports that 42% of online adults use two or more social networks and 36% of online adults stick to just one social media site.  Here are some additional highlights by social network:

Facebook

By far the largest preferred social network, Facebook has shown a significant increase in usage by online adults over the age of 65.  Pew reports that 45% of this age group now uses Facebook, an increase of 10% from the prior year, and that 63% of Facebook users visit the site every day.

Since Facebook is the proverbial 800 lb. gorilla when it comes to social media, it has a place in every law firm’s social media marketing strategy.  However, with the most growth occurring in the baby boomer demographic, it makes sense for attorneys whose practice areas target this age group – especially estate planning and family law (currently, more seniors are divorcing than any other age group) practitioners.

LinkedIn

One key finding from the Pew report is that LinkedIn is the only social media site whose usage among those over the age of 50 is greater than those aged 18-29.  As noted in the demographic profile chart above, LinkedIn also skews male, college educated and higher income.  According to Pew, 13% of LinkedIn users visit the site daily, while 34% use it every week.

Twitter

Pew reports that Twitter usage grew about 2% in 2013, and is a social media platform that is particularly popular among younger adults (18-29) and African-Americans.  Pew says that 46% of Twitter users visit the site every day.

Pinterest

If your practice targets higher income women, then you should be looking for ways to leverage Pinterest – a site whose users share content by “pinning” images, videos and other content to a pinboard -- to promote your practice.  Pew found that 33% of online women frequent Pinterest, compared with just 8% of men. 

So what would attorneys “pin”?  Not pleadings or office photos or the courtroom, but rather things that are of interest to you as a person – your hobbies or collections, for example.  This is simply another opportunity to network.

Instagram

Instagram, the photo and video sharing site, saw its usage among young adults (18-29) grow almost 10% last year and usage among African-Americans grew 11%.  If you are a younger attorney whose practice targets younger adults, then you should consider Instagram.  The Pew research shows that 57% of Instagram users pay daily visits to the site.

While attorneys do not need to be on every social media network, you do need to choose at least one – and your choice should lie with where your target market can be found.

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NEW Free Report: How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn

With over 238 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn has quickly become THE ‘go to’ business-to-business directory and the most popular social networking platform dedicated to professional business development.

To ignore it is the proverbial equivalent of sticking your head in the sand.

Learning how to use LinkedIn to your biggest advantage takes time and effort, but it is time well spent.

If you are new to LinkedIn, it can be confusing, much like any new software that you need to learn to grow your business.

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

  • What LinkedIn can help you accomplish
  • Valuable LinkedIn features that can increase the power of your network
  • Smart ways top attorneys use LinkedIn
  • What your profile needs in order to be effective
  • How to make people want to know more about you
  • And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn.

9 Steps to Develop a Social Media Strategy for Your Law Firm

If you have not yet focused any of your legal marketing efforts on social media, you are already behind the times.

Don’t let another year go by without utilizing powerful social media marketing strategies to attract prospects and improve your search engine ranking results.  Here are 9 steps to create a social media strategy for your law firm:

Mission.  Whether you want to generate more leads or merely enhance your brand in the social media world, you must first set your goals.  Be specific.

Market.  Define your target market and then research their habits, needs and social media activities. 

Message.  Craft the message that will best appeal to the needs of your target market and find the keywords that reinforce that message.

Media.  Decide which social networks are best for attracting followers and readers who are in  your target market.

Medium.  Decide what kind of content will help you reach your target – blogs, videos, photos, etc.

Mix.  Mix in your social media marketing with your current marketing efforts, adding links to your website, blog, e-newsletters, etc.

Management.  Decide who will be responsible for posting , how often you will post, who will manage replies and other management tasks so your social media marketing campaign doesn’t flounder.

Measurement.  Measure your stats to see if your audience is growing and what messages and strategies are paying off for you.  Then do more to build on that success.

Money.  Budget for your social media marketing effort and measure your ROI.  If you need to hire outside help, that costs money. 

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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.

The 12 Days of Legal Marketing Infographics (12 of 12)

I am taking some time off over the holidays and hope you are too.  We all need some time away to refresh our brains and prepare ourselves for the challenges of a new business year. 

While I’m away, I thought I would share 12 of my favorite infographics from this blog in 2013.  Each one of them can help you improve your legal marketing in 2014.

Everyone at the Rainmaker Institute joins me in wishing you the happiest of holidays and a most prosperous New Year!

Free Report: 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.

The 12 Days of Legal Marketing Infographics (4 of 12)

I am taking some time off over the holidays and hope you are too.  We all need some time away to refresh our brains and prepare ourselves for the challenges of a new business year. 

While I’m away, I thought I would share 12 of my favorite infographics from this blog in 2013.  Each one of them can help you improve your legal marketing in 2014.

Everyone at the Rainmaker Institute joins me in wishing you the happiest of holidays and a most prosperous New Year!

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A Holiday Gift for Our Attorney Friends and Fans

As we get ready to close out the year, it's time to take stock of a lot of things, and one of them should be your law firm.

One of things that all attorneys should be thinking about is how to make 2014 your most successful year ever. To build and create a 'lifestyle' law firm, one that is professionally satisfying, but allows you the time to do what is important to you; to live a self directed life with plenty of money to do it with.

The Rainmaker Retreat, our highly successful 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, has been the catalyst for hundreds of attorneys to re-invent their law firm and create automatic systems that consistently deliver a steady stream of new leads and clients. 

My Rainmaker In A Box, Volume 1 is a consistent best seller at the Rainmaker Institute. It's 4 DVDs and a data DVD that pulls back the curtain of our closely guarded Rainmaker marketing system with color-by-the-numbers systems you can use now to rapidly get new leads and clients. We sell a boatload of these every year for $397.

This DVD set is a quick-start guide to the best marketing strategies used by our top clients, filled with the secrets to building a referral-based practice, powerful on-line marketing strategies, and an 8 step system to creating your law firm marketing plan.

It's yours FREE when you register for the next Rainmaker Retreat.

For dates and locations, please click the link below:

www.RainmakerRetreat.com/Events

We only have a limited quantity of the free gifts, so please act now as they will all be gone soon.

All of us at The Rainmaker Institute wish you and yours a joyous holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you at the Rainmaker Retreat.

Happy Holidays!

The 12 Days of Legal Marketing Infographics (7 of 12)

I am taking some time off over the holidays and hope you are too.  We all need some time away to refresh our brains and prepare ourselves for the challenges of a new business year. 

While I’m away, I thought I would share 12 of my favorite infographics from this blog in 2013.  Each one of them can help you improve your legal marketing in 2014.

Everyone at the Rainmaker Institute joins me in wishing you the happiest of holidays and a most prosperous New Year!

The 12 Days of Legal Marketing Infographics (5 of 12)

I am taking some time off over the holidays and hope you are too.  We all need some time away to refresh our brains and prepare ourselves for the challenges of a new business year. 

While I’m away, I thought I would share 12 of my favorite infographics from this blog in 2013.  Each one of them can help you improve your legal marketing in 2014.

Everyone at the Rainmaker Institute joins me in wishing you the happiest of holidays and a most prosperous New Year!

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 10,000 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.

Google+ for Lawyers: How to Get Started

Attorneys need to claim their law firm marketing turf on Google+ business pages for two key reasons:

Google+ is now the #2 social media site with over 540 million monthly active users, and has grown 58% in the last six months alone.

Google is fully integrating Google+ with search results...so if you’re not on Google+, think about what that means for your SEO.  In fact, it has been reported that Google+1’s (which are analogous to Facebook “likes”) are now the #2 search-ranking factor.

Setting up a Google+ business page for your law practice could not be easier – seriously, it takes just a few minutes. Here are 5 steps to set up your Google+ business page:

1. If you already have a personal Gmail account, do NOT use that address – instead, create a new Gmail account that other people who may be administering your Google+ page can access. For example, ABCLaw@gmail.com.

2. With your Gmail address, go to http://www.google.com/+/business/ to create your page – just follow the Google+ wizard, which will give you classification options for your practice.

3. Populate your Profile with your logo and a tagline if you have one.

4. Optimize your Page with bios, photos, links and other content (like from your blog) so when you promote it there is something to interest people.

5. Promote your Page to contacts and your other social networks. One of the great features of Google+ is Circles, which allows you to group your followers are you wish – so if you practice more than one area of law, you can segment by interest and market to them accordingly.

Google+ is here to stay, so get a jump on competitors who may not be as savvy as you are when it comes to realizing the importance of social media networking and start generating leads.

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NEW “Rainmaker Retreat: Unplugged”
DVD Set Now Available!

The 6 DVD set is a live recording of the Rainmaker Retreat, a 2-day legal marketing intensive led by legal marketing expert Stephen Fairley that covers over 65 proven online and offline marketing and business development strategies for law firms.

You will discover:

  • Lead Generation Techniques: how to generate more leads from the Internet, social media and blogs.
  • Lead Conversion Techniques: a proven system to track incoming leads and improve your conversion rates to turn more of those prospects into paying clients.
  • Client Retention Techniques: specific tools to double your referrals and to help you with “Building a Lifestyle Law Firm®”
  • Engaging activities to help you identify your ideal target market so you can powerfully market to them.
  • Over 65 PROVEN online and offline legal marketing strategies.

Click here now to order Rainmaker Retreat: Unplugged.

How to Establish Your Online Authority via Author Rank

If you are doing what you should be doing when it comes to legal marketing, then you are pumping a lot of content out on the web via blogs, websites and social media to help yourself attract prospects and gain authority online.  You are building what is becoming known as your Author Rank.

Right now, your content is ranked on its relevance and how many people find it useful (measured by shares, likes, +1’s, etc.).  However, many SEO experts are guessing that Author Rank will be an important ranking metric in the near future.

One of the most important things you can do to help establish your Author Rank is to have a Google+ profile and link your content to it to establish what Google calls “authorship”.  Doing this allows your name and profile photo to be included in search results for the content you produce. 

Click on this link to learn more about setting yourself up as an author on Google+.

The infographic below outlines what you need to be doing to build Author Rank, thus building your authority online:

The Author Rank Building Machine #verticalmeasures #Infographic #Authorrank
Data Graphic by Vertical Measures

 

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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.

10 Tips For Making Your Law Firm Stand Out on Google+

A recent post at LawMarketing.com provided 10 tips for lawyers to get more visibility on Google+, sharing a good infographic (see below) originally posted by Denise Wakeman.

As we have mentioned here many times, participating on social media can really help boost your ranking in search results as well as build your authority online.  While more and more attorneys are participating on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, there are still not that many who have taken advantage of Google+ -- which means more opportunity for those of you who are early adopters to reap the benefits.

LawMarketing.com is a great resource for legal marketing, with actionable articles from a wide range of nationally recognized marketers just waiting for you to access.  I encourage you to click on this link to sign up for their free newsletter so you can get this valuable information delivered to your inbox every week.

More Americans Turning to Social Media to Get Their News Fix

A new study from the Pew Research Journalism Project examines how many social network users depend on those sites for their news consumption. 

Here are the social media networks that rank as news sources:

Some of you may be wondering about Reddit, which is a source for what is popular in real time on the Internet.  People post a link to a story and there are up and down arrows that appear next to it.  Users vote on how interesting it is to them; the most popular appear at the top of the feed.  It’s news via community.

OK, so what does this mean for legal marketing?  If you examine the general profile of the social media news consumer below, you will see that they skew older (30-64) and upper income ($75K+). 

Digging a little deeper into the demographic data, note that Facebook skews more female while LinkedIn news consumers tend to be male.  Reviewing this data closely with your ideal target client in mind will help point you toward the best social media network for posting news your prospects can use.

The fact that Americans are becoming more accustomed to consuming their news online would also seem to indicate that there are opportunities for attorneys who maintain a news-filled blog to have their content read and shared across many different platforms.

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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.

Most Effective Ways to Get Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the most effective ways to grow your email list, which was based on the latest Audience Growth Survey from ExactTarget, a digital marketing company.

The survey also provided feedback from more than 400 marketers on the tactics that worked best for attracting Facebook fans and Twitter followers.

According to the data, the two most used tactics for Facebook were not considered by marketers to be the most effective.  In fact, some of the highest rated tactics in terms of effectiveness have the lowest user numbers, including:

  • Sponsored Stories/Facebook Ads
  • Facebook Display Ads
  • Offering FAQs and how-tos
  • Answering customer questions

Here is a chart that summarizes the most used/most effective Facebook tactics:

The findings for Twitter tactics were similar to those for Facebook in that the most used were not the most effective in attracting followers.  Here is the data on Twitter tactics:

This survey points up the necessity of examining your tactics to determine if they are actually working to support your marketing goals.  Just doing something for the sake of doing it is a waste of your time and money.  With built-in metrics available for social media networks, there is no excuse for not measuring the effectiveness of your efforts and discarding the things that clearly don’t work for you.

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Get More Proven Legal Marketing Strategies FREE from The Rainmaker Institute

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

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

Social Media Anxiety: How to Get Over It

Fear of the unknown is a basic human instinct, and we see it every day when it comes to attorneys and social media.  But with 72% of online adults using social media, it’s time to face your fears!

One way to face your fear is to learn all about proven social media marketing strategies attorneys have used to build their practices at a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing seminar.

Each Rainmaker Retreat session focuses on the unique problems facing small law firms and attorneys in mid-sized practices, providing advanced hands-on training for lead generation, legal marketing automation, and Internet and social media marketing strategies specifically designed to help attorneys generate more and better referrals for their law firm, and convert more prospects into paying clients.

In the meantime, this Huffington Post infographic does a good job of providing some basic knowledge you need to get over your fear of social media and get on the road to engagement:

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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.

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15 Things Attorneys Can Tweet About

Today’s guest post is by Cindy Greenway, editor-in-chief at LawMarketing.com. This article originally appeared on that site and has some good tips for attorneys who want to engage on Twitter but aren’t sure how to get started. -- Stephen

"What Should I Tweet About?" is a common question attorneys ask when they decide to implement Twitter into their law firm social media marketing plan.

The first thing to remember is that your tweets should be valuable and informational.   You have 140 characters to make a statement, which may not feel like enough, but within no time you will find it easier to create short posts.

Here are 15 simple ideas that will help you come up with an steady stream of tweets.  You can also use these social media tips to inspire updates on Facebook and LinkedIn.

  1. Share and link to your blog posts.  You can tweet about these more than once.
  2. Share and link to your informational videos.  If you're creating videos yet, it's time to start!
  3. Share quotes that are relevant to your practice area.
  4. Link to another blog post that provides valuable content your readers will find helpful.
  5. Retweet another person's tweet.
  6. Share a recent press release.
  7. Share an upcoming event that your readers may be interested in.
  8. Share details about an event you will be speaking at or attending.
  9. Share a link to interviews, podcasts or online radio shows you have participated in.
  10. Promote your own upcoming live or virtual event.
  11. Let people know that your e-newsletter has been published - tell them to read it or provide the link to sign up if they are not yet a subscriber.
  12. Share a link to a book that your readers will be interested in.
  13. Ask questions that you can blog about  -- then tweet the blog post with the answer.
  14. Share a joke about your practice area.
  15. Let people know about a new tool you recently discovered or tested.

When you consistently post and engage via social media, you will see an increase in others also retweeting and sharing your posts.  This allows you to get in front of a broader audience who may start following you and also engaging with you on social media.

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

 

Legal Marketing Strategies in a Social Media World

I’m in Chicago today and tomorrow, making two presentations during the Illinois State Bar Small and Solo Conference. 

In a couple of hours, I will be speaking on Law Firm Marketing Strategies in a Social Media World: Connecting with Clients, Prospects and Referral Sources on LinkedIn and FacebookOne of the tips I will be sharing with the group is a relatively new LinkedIn feature called InMaps which offers a visual representation of what your LinkedIn networks look like.

InMaps can show how your LinkedIn connections form groups, displaying very clearly how your connections are related to one another. Not only is this a great way to understand the relationships between you and all your LinkedIn connections, it will help you identify links within your professional associations you were not aware of, giving you the opportunity to expand your connections.

InMaps is very easy to use; simply visit the InMaps website (http://inmaps.linkedinlabs.com) and grant it permission to connect to your LinkedIn account. InMaps will sort through your contacts and present you with a map of your affiliations. You will see different clusters of closely linked colleagues, and classmates and friends will appear as similarly colored groups. For example, the names of law school classmates may be in red, people in another group may be in green, etc.

Within these groups, contacts whose names appear larger represent those who have the largest number of connections within the cluster, so by clicking on a contact within any circle, you can see their profile and how they are connected to your other contacts!

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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!

 

The Buzz on Hummingbird, Google's Latest Search Algorithm Update

Google unleashed Hummingbird, the biggest change to its search algorithm in more than a decade, about a month ago. Did you notice? 

Google is drilling down past keywords to intent with Hummingbird, trying to suss out what people really want when they use longer sentences or more complex terms to search. Some SEO experts note that Hummingbird doesn’t really change the way Google searches the Internet, it just changes the results in an effort to be more precise. It is trying to get to your true intent to deliver the results you want.

So what does this mean for attorneys who have been banking on keywords to boost their search results? Keywords will still have relevance, but what will become key is trust. Attorneys who want to rank well in search need to position themselves as the prime provider of the answers to questions their prospects are searching for, identifying intent, needs and problems and providing answers and solutions.

Establishing trust means you need to anticipate these questions and provide answers across several different platforms, including your own website, blog and social media. You need to become a relevant source for the answers to questions that potential clients are asking.

Last week, Danny Sullivan at SearchEngineLand.com provided a great FAQ section about Hummingbird.  It is suggested reading for those who want to learn more about the latest updates to Google Search.

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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.

 

What Social Media Users Like to Share

A new study out from market research firm Ipsos reveals that 70% of Internet users have shared content on social media sites in the past month. 

So why is this important?

One of the main reasons attorneys participate in social media is for lead generation, and having your posts shared with others boosts the popularity of that post and gives an implied endorsement to what you have to say.

So it would behoove you to be aware of the type of content that is more likely to be shared. Here it is:

The next time you find yourself stuck on what to post on your social media sites, refer to this list – and include a picture!

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New Free Report! The 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days: Key #1-Press Releases

One of the best ways to get you on the road to becoming a recognized expert is through the use of press releases.

A press release is simply a short announcement about your law firm that may be of interest to the public or news media.

A press release that not only targets the audience you want to reach, but intrigues the editor and/or publisher, will gain free media coverage that surpasses any response you could hope to gain from any of your company’s paid advertising campaigns.

In addition, Google search engines love press releases! 

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

  • What constitutes an effective press release
  • Ideas for press release content
  • How to format your press release
  • Where to submit your press release
  • Best days to send out your press release
  • …And much, much more!

Click on the following link to get your free report on The 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days: Key #1-Press Releases.

 

Why Tweeting Doesn't Make You A Twit

This article originally ran in The Record Reporter, an Arizona newspaper and website that covers legal business news:

I recently presented at the American Bar Association annual conference in San Francisco on “Why Tweeting Doesn’t Make You a Twit!”
 I was shocked and amazed at the number of attorneys I spoke to who still don’t believe that using social media is an effective way to acquire more clients, establish credibility and get a steady stream of referrals.


More often than not I heard comments such as:

                  “Social media is for younger generations;”

                  “People don’t use the Internet to look for attorneys;”

                  “I know firms that spent money on social media and never saw a return;” or

                  “The type of people who I want to do business with aren’t on social media”

These statements are categorically not true. In fact, believing these statements can be detrimental to the success of your law firm. Actively and appropriately engaging in social media is no longer a “nice to have” it is a “must have” if you truly want to build a successful firm.

Think about your own experience. If you are considering buying a new product or service, and you go onto the Internet and can’t find information on a website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon or any other number of social media platforms, your enthusiasm and interest in that particular company or product begins to diminish.

You may even find you trust the company less, are more skeptical of the product or service and begin to seek out competitors who offer the same product or service.

When people search for legal help the process is no different. It’s human nature to want to avoid making bad decisions that cause us financial or emotional harm.

Our fears are calmed and our skepticism is lessened when we can read and learn about the product or service we are about to invest in. When we read or watch third-party reviews we feel safer. When we see that a company is actively offering valuable and powerful information to those who may need the product or service, we believe we are mitigating the risk of a bad decision.

You must always remember that people buy emotionally and justify logically.

That’s why Twitter is one of the fastest growing online social media platforms. When used correctly and ethically it is a powerful part of a firm’s overall online marketing strategy.

Some basic and impressive statistics about Twitter easily demonstrate why this platform must be utilized.

  • There are 200 million active users;
  • 20 percent of individuals who “follow” a company on Twitter do so to give feedback and share ideas;
  • 71 percent of individuals who positively review a company on Twitter (with a Tweet, Re-Tweet) go on to suggest the company to his/her peers;
  • 56 percent of consumers would be more likely to encourage friends and family to try new products from a social brand than in person or over the phone;
  • 63 percent of consumers agree that social experiences make them more interested in a brand’s product;
  • 64 percent of consumers have made a purchase decision based on social content;
  • 67 percent of 18-34 year old consumers prefer to do business with social companies;
  • 91 percent of 18-34 year olds using social media are talking about brands.

If the above reasons don’t compel you to jump on Twitter and actively use it to grow your firm, here are three additional reasons to use Twitter.

With Twitter, you can build a massive platform:

A platform helps you effectively grow the number of people who know who you are, know what type of people/companies you are qualified to assist and know how you are different than every other law firm out there.

Twitter helps you establish credibility:

People do business with people they know, like and trust.

Being active on Twitter helps you establish yourself as a thought leader.

You can effectively position yourself as the “go-to” attorney for your practice area and geographical region.

You offer followers powerful, relevant and helpful information that begins to build a relationship and positions you and or the firm as a valuable and credible source of information.

Drive traffic to your website:

You can engage people on Twitter with powerful information and then direct them to your website. It is your website’s job to educate, engage and compel the viewer to take action and call or email the firm and/or set up an appointment with an attorney.

On your website you can showcase who you are and how you are different from other firms. If you do not actively display how you are unique and different from all your competitors out there, people will begin to make decisions based on price. This is the single worst position you can find yourself if. You never want to get business because you are the “cheapest attorney out there.”

There you can also give viewers the opportunity to: Learn about you and the firm, hear about others’ interactions with you through testimonials (when permitted by state) and case studies (demonstrate expertise), and discover how you can help them navigate their pressing legal issue.

Twitter of course, must be used effectively and ethically. Marketing is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. You must invest either the time or money into these strategies consistently so your efforts can gain traction and eventually give you a return on your investment.

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

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

But is your website working for you or against you?

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

During this complimentary webinar, you will learn:

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

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

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

 

What Works for B2B Content Marketing

The B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn has more than 50,000 members, making it one of the largest groups on the popular business social network. Recently, 815 members of the group responded to a survey about content marketing about what works and what doesn’t for B2B content marketing.

According to the survey results, content marketing is used primarily for lead generation; here are the tactics being employed and their effectiveness rankings:

Not surprisingly, LinkedIn tops the list for the most effective social media platforms for content marketing, followed closely by YouTube. Video is becoming increasingly more popular since it is an easily digestible format:

In addition, the survey uncovered the following trends:

More than 82 percent of B2B marketers are increasing their content production over the next 12 months.

YouTube is gaining popularity as a social media platform to reach and engage B2B audiences – Facebook is losing ground.

Marketing automation is on the rise. 61 percent of marketers use marketing automation platforms, up from 43 percent last year.

You can click on the following link to see a slideshow of the entire survey results: B2B Content Marketing Report 2013.

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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 10,000 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.

 

NEW Free Report: How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn

With over 238 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn has quickly become THE ‘go to’ business-to-business directory and the most popular social networking platform dedicated to professional business development.

To ignore it is the proverbial equivalent of sticking your head in the sand.

Learning how to use LinkedIn to your biggest advantage takes time and effort, but it is time well spent.

If you are new to LinkedIn, it can be confusing, much like any new software that you need to learn to grow your business.

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

  • What LinkedIn can help you accomplish
  • Valuable LinkedIn features that can increase the power of your network
  • Smart ways top attorneys use LinkedIn
  • What your profile needs in order to be effective
  • How to make people want to know more about you
  • And much, much more!

Click here now to receive your free report on How Attorneys Can Make the Most of LinkedIn.

 

Determining Which Social Media Platforms Work Best for Your Law Firm

When you consider the overwhelming number of people who are now using social media, the question you should be asking is not, are my prospects, clients, and referral sources using social media? The question you should be asking is, which network are they using most often?

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are your client.  Just because you don’t actively participate on Facebook or other social media platforms don’t mean your clients and prospects aren’t.   Very few law firms are aggressively going after these platforms; it’s an opportunity to get ahead of the curve. Plus, search engines now rank social media pages, so it’s very important for SEO.

Depending on the demographic of your clientele, you may have more success with one social media platform compared to another. The infographic below, based on the latest social media usage data from the Pew Research Center, can help you determine which platforms can work better for you, depending on the profile of your ideal target market:

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On-Demand Seminar: 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 seminar, 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 seminar 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.

 

Join Me Tomorrow for Free Avvo Webinar on Top 5 Strategies to Drive Traffic & Generate Leads from Social Media

Tomorrow – Thursday, Sept. 5, 2012 – I will be leading an Avvo webinar on the Top 5 Strategies to Drive Traffic & Generate Leads from Social Media. The live webinar, sponsored by Avvo at no cost to attorneys, is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

Social media is the fastest growing marketing strategy top attorneys are using to develop new business.

  • Over 75% of adults with Internet access have already joined Facebook.
  • 50% of small law firms with a blog have already generated clients from it.
  • LinkedIn recently announced they have over 225 million active members.
  • 56% of consumers who search for an attorney use social media.

The question is why do many attorneys not get the results they anticipate when using social media? We have found there are three major reasons: they don’t have a realistic game plan; they don’t implement consistently; and they expect instant results.

In this fast-paced legal marketing webinar, I will cover which practice areas benefit most from social media, how to understand risks of using social media and share actual case studies and real world examples of how top law firms use social media.

Lawyers who attend this webinar will learn:

  • The six major social media tools every lawyers must use.
  • 8 steps to jumpstart your referral efforts on LinkedIn.
  • Unbelievable ways to target your exact perfect client on Facebook.
  • Measuring the return on investment of social media.
  • The Rainmaker Social Media Blueprint: A How To Guide for Marketing Your Law Firm on Social Media.

Click on the following link now to register for tomorrow’s free Avvo webinar -- Top 5 Strategies to Drive Traffic & Generate Leads from Social Media -- at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

 

Creating the Perfect Post for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

It’s Labor Day weekend and perhaps you have a little more time on your hands that you’d like to dedicate to brushing up on your social media marketing skills. 

Inbound marketing giant HubSpot is a great resource for “how to” information, and has created the SlideShare show below to help you conquer the “Big 3” social media networks: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

As I’ve noted many times, you need to be on the social media networks that your prospects frequent, and chances are they are populating at least one of these, if not all three. So spend some time going through the slides below this weekend (it’s not labor-intensive!) and learn to craft the perfect post for your prospects:

 

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Labor Day Special: 50% Off Rainmaker In A Box, Volume 2

Can all the strategies to create a 7-figure law practice get stuffed into one box?

They CAN, if it’s The Rainmaker Institute’s 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, you have The Rainmaker Institute 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.

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 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!

Rainmaker In A Box, Volume 2 usually sells for $397, but from now until midnight on Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, you can order it online for only $198.50!

Click on this link now to get 50% off Rainmaker In A Box, Volume 2!

 

ABA Survey Says Lawyers Getting Clients Via Social Media

A hat tip to my friend Larry Bodine, editor-in-chief of Lawyers.com, who reports on findings from the newly published 2013 ABA Technology Survey in his LawMarketing Blog today as follows:

27% of US law firms now have blogs, up from 22% last year, 15% in 2011, and 14% in 2010. Only 9% of lawyers maintain a personal, professional blog outside the firm. Solo attorneys are the most likely to have a professional blog, as are those between the ages of 40-49.

59% of those surveyed indicated their firms maintain a presence in a social network such as LinkedIn or Facebook, up from 55% last year, 42% in 2011, and 17% in 2010. Of those firms with a presence, the breakout of channels can be seen in the chart below. LinkedIn and Facebook are the most used, but legal-vertical network use remains low.

Individually, 81% of attorneys report using social networks for professional purposes, up from 78% last year, 65% in 2011, and 56% in 2010. LinkedIn usage is nearly universal (98%), with Facebook usage actually falling from 38% in 2012 to 33% this year.

19% of law firms now use Twitter, up from 13% in 2012. Individual Twitter usage by attorneys reached 14%, up from 11% last year. Twitter usage is more common in solo and small firms.

How effective is maintaining a presence in social media? When those utilizing any type of social media/networking were asked if they ever had a client retain their legal services directly or via referral as a result of their use, 19% indicated “yes” (compared to 17% last year and 12% in 2011). Solo and small law firms reported better results than larger firms.

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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 Your Practice Can Benefit From Twitter

Twitter has released the results of a survey conducted by global research firm Market Probe International on how small businesses can benefit from having a presence on Twitter. The survey was split among U.S. and UK adults who currently follow small businesses on Twitter and found that these followers are much more likely to make a purchase from businesses they follow as well as recommend them to others.

Followers also have an emotional connection with the businesses they follow, and use Twitter as a way to provide their feedback and share information. This infographic from Twitter details the key takeaways from the survey:

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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 10,000 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.

 

From ABA Annual Conference: Tweeting for Attorneys Q&A

I was privileged to serve on a panel last Saturday at the American Bar Association’s Annual Conference in San Francisco to address the subject, Tweeting Won't Make You a Twit: Effective Twitter Marketing and Networking for Lawyers.

I wanted to share some of the most common questions I usually get asked when I talk about social media marketing for attorneys at our Rainmaker Retreat events. I’ve included links to past posts here that provide the best answers:

1.       Do people and companies really use social media to find attorneys?

How Social Media Figures Into Consumer Search for a Lawyer [INFOGRAPHIC]

How Companies Use Social Media to Hire Attorneys

Social Media Usage Now Mainstream for In-House Counsel

2.       I’m nervous about my state Bar thinking I’m advertising -- how can I protect myself?

Social Media Marketing for Attorneys: A Question of Time vs. Money

3.      I don’t have anything to say that’s interesting in 140 characters.

Law Firm Marketing: How to Get Your Posts and Tweets Shared on Social Media Sites

What New Twitter Profile Page Means for Branding Your Law Firm

4.       What types of things should I tweet about?

5 Social Media Rules Every Solo Should Know

5.       Can I mix personal and professional on Twitter?

Twitter Best Practices Guide for Attorneys

If you’re looking for ways to use social media to boost your referrals and attract new prospects, you should attend an upcoming Rainmaker Retreat; here are the dates:

  • August 16-17: Las Vegas, NV
  • Sept. 20-21: San Francisco, CA
  • Oct. 25-26: Chicago, IL
  • Nov. 15-15: New York City
  • Dec. 6-7: Los Angeles, CA

You can get more information and register online for any of these sessions at RainmakerRetreat.com.

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About Jessica Johnson, Project Coordinator, The Rainmaker Institute

Jessica comes from a background of business coaching, sales training, public speaking and spent five years as a Director of Operations. She has experience in running a franchise, coaching international companies, running a medical practice and conducting dozens of personal and professional development workshops and mastermind groups to ensure her clients get optimal results.

VIDEO: Why Google+ Is a Must for Legal Marketing

There’s an informative video interview just posted over at LawMarketing.com with Tanner Jones, marketing director for Consultwebs.com, an online law firm marketing consulting firm, about why Google+ is a must for law firms.

If you have been wondering how Google+ should fit into your social media marketing strategy, listen to what Tanner has to say:

Here’s another bonus from LawMarketing.com: click on this link for a great free report on 15 Strategies for Attorneys to Increase Google Rank, Control Online Reputations and Maximize Content.

 

10 Social Media Stats That May Surprise You

Still need some convincing that your law firm would be well-served to participate in social media? Here are 10 surprising social media stats pulled together by social media blogger Jeff Bullas:

1.  189 million of Facebook’s users worldwide are mobile only.

2.  Twitter is the fast growing social network in the world by active users: 44% growth from June 2012 to March 2013.

3.  The fastest growing age bracket on Twitter is 55-64 (up 79% since 2012). 

4.  The fast growing age bracket on Facebook is 45-54 (up 46% since 2012).

5.  The fastest growing age bracket on Goggle+ is 45-54 (up 56% since 2012).

6.  YouTube reaches more adults between the ages of 18-34 than any cable network.

7.  Google+ has 359 million active users; up 33% between June 2012 and March 2013.

8.  Each Facebook user spends on average 15 hours and 33 minutes per month on the site and monthly active users have surpassed 1.1 billion.

9.  There are now 665 million daily active Facebook users.

10.  30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook every month. 

The two key factors driving social media growth in 2013 are the rapid adoption by older users (45+) and the use of mobile (smartphones and tablets) to access the Internet. 

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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.

 

Adult Use of Social Media at All-Time High

The most definitive study of Internet usage by Americans – the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project – reports that social media usage by U.S. adults is at a record high: 72% of online adults report using at least one social networking site, up from 67% in December 2012:

And while growth occurred in every age group, the biggest increases were found among older adults:

43% of Internet users over the age of 65 reported using social networking sites as of May 2013, a big jump from 32% at the end of 2012

60% of Internet users aged 50-64 used social networks as of May 2013, up from 52% in December 2012

Other findings from the Pew Research study:

  • 78% of Internet users aged 30-49 use social networking sites
  • 89% of Internet users aged 18-29 use social networking sites
  • Social media adoption is highest among Hispanics (80%), followed by African-Americans (75%) and white non-Hispanics (70%)
  • More women (74%) than men (70%) use social media
  • 71% of adults with a household income above $75,000 use social media

When Pew Research started this survey in 2005, only 8% of online adults used social media – just 8 years later, that number is now 72%

You get where this is going, right?

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

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

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

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

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

 

How to Create The Perfect Post

While most attorneys are well-schooled in writing the perfect brief, most are not aware of the “tricks of the trade” when it comes to writing the perfect post on social media networks. 

And just like the perfect brief helps you win the case, a perfect post helps you to win fans and followers in order to foster online relationships, which is the point in participating in social media in the first place.

This handy guide on How to Create Perfect Posts on Social Platforms from MyCleverAgency.com is something you should clip and keep on hand to guide you in your social media marketing:

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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 Optimize Your Online Marketing for Social Search

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

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

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

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

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

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

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On-Demand Seminar: 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 seminar, 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 seminar 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.

 

Twitter Best Practices Guide for Attorneys

With more than 200 million active users, Twitter is a major social media network attorneys should not ignore. Twitter can be a highly useful marketing tool for attorneys to promote their blogs and other thought leadership content. 

Here is a best practices guide for attorneys using Twitter:

Tweet 4x/day or less

Use fewer than 100 characters per Tweet

Add links to Tweets to get higher Retweet rates – Tweets containing links get 86% higher Retweet rates

Make sure the links are clickable by including a space before the URL

Tweet on the weekends – engagement rates are 17% higher then

Engage with followers during “busy hours” of 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Include hashtags in your Tweets, but no more than 2 per Tweet – Tweets with hashtags get twice the engagement

Add links to images to increase engagement – Tweets with image links enjoy twice the engagement rate than those without.

Use the word “Retweet” as a call-to-action to prompt your followers to share – Tweets that ask followers to Retweet receive 12x higher Retweet rates

Since Twitter is essentially a micro-blogging site, the same rules apply: create unique, original content that adds value, and your audience will respond.

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

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

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

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

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

To get your free report now, click here.


 

How To Organize Your Law Firm Blog

I’m at our Rainmaker Retreat two-day law firm marketing intensive in San Diego today, talking about how you can hang everything you do on the Internet to a great blog. Create a blog, post to it regularly with great content, then link those posts to your social media profiles and pages, and watch your traffic and search results improve.

Most attorneys find blogging to be cumbersome because of lack of time and lack of ideas for content. One of the best ways to hurdle both of these stumbling blocks is to create an editorial calendar for your blog. Here’s how:

Create a template. Use a calendar template or an Excel spreadsheet, whatever works for you. Decide how many times per week you will be posting (3-5 times is best) and try to plan at least three months out.

Research content. Take your top keywords and create Google alerts for each one. This will funnel news items on these keywords directly to your inbox. Bookmark leading blogs in your practice area at www.justia.com. Scour legal directory sites like JDSupra and Avvo to see what kind of content is trending for your practice area. Check out www.lawprofessorblogs.com and www.lexmonitor.com for practice area-specific blogs to mine for content ideas.

Schedule content. Fill your calendar with specifics for each posting day, including your topic, potential title and your keywords. Populate your calendar with special events and holidays you could use to theme relevant posts. If you’re publishing a special report or e-book, schedule posts to promote those. Leaving a few holes is fine, and will allow you to capitalize on newsworthy items – your calendar is a flexible tool, not something written in stone.

Now you’re halfway to creating a thriving law firm marketing blog that will help you generate more traffic for your website and leads for your practice. The other half of the equation is, of course, actually writing the content. And if you can’t find time for that, we can certainly help!

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FREE 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.

 

Forrester Study Shows Social Media Use "Ubiquitous" Among B2B Decision-Makers

A new study from Forrester Research has found that social media use is ubiquitous among B2B decision-makers in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

According to coverage on the new study at marketingcharts.com, the results indicate that visits by these decision-makers to various social media platforms each serve very different purposes – Facebook is rarely used for business while LinkedIn is used for both business and personal reasons. Other findings:

85% visit brand-agnostic communities or forums at least monthly, with 18% doing so primarily for business purposes, and another 63% for business and personal purposes;

81% visit LinkedIn with that frequency, with 26% doing so primarily for business purposes and another 48% for mixed reasons;

81% also visit Facebook at least monthly, but only 2% do so primarily for business purposes, as opposed to 42% who do so primarily for personal purposes;

80% use vendor support forums or discussion forums on vendor or brand websites (for that specific vendor or brand), with 23% doing so primarily for business reasons;

62% visit Twitter at least monthly, but only 6% do so mainly for business, as opposed to 20% mainly for personal reasons;

Google+ monthly usage stands at 49%, with primarily personal (15%) usage outweighing primarily business-related use (4%); and

32% use Pinterest at least monthly, but only 2% do so primarily for business reasons.

In addition, a vast majority of those surveyed – 98% -- visit social media networks as spectators, reading blogs watching videos, etc. Will any of them find you there?

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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 Leverage LinkedIn for Leads

LinkedIn has been found to be 277% more effective in generating leads than Facebook and Twitter, according to HubSpot research. Since LinkedIn is a social network for professionals, it stands to reason that B2B law firms can get the most out of it when it comes to lead generation; here’s how:

Link your blog.  If you use WordPress to publish your blog, LinkedIn has a WordPress app that automatically publishes each new post to your LinkedIn profile. You can also use an RSS feed to accomplish the same task.

Share your slides. Your treasure trove of PowerPoint slides contains some great content; why not repurpose them for sharing on LinkedIn? Add a call-to-action and share with LinkedIn’s SlideShare app.

Promote your practice to a targeted audience.Your LinkedIn company page has dedicated tabs you can use to promote your practice. If you have multiple practice areas, create a tab for each one and promote to the target audiences that are relevant – you can target based on industry, location, company size, job function and seniority level.

Create banner ads.LinkedIn has an advertising feature that allows you to create banners that promote your next speech, your free report or whitepaper, or any other service or product you desire. You can use the same targeting feature mentioned previously to promote to the right target audience.

Email your group membersIf you have set up a group on LinkedIn, the site allows you to send one email every week to all members. Use this to promote your latest blog post, thought leadership pieces and so on.

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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 Steps to Get You Connected on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is really a must for attorneys who market B2B; here are the latest stats:

  • The most widely used business networking site in the world
  • 225 million active users --- 83 million in U.S. -- as of May 2013
  • Another 2 people join every second
  • 40% of LinkedIn members are senior managers
  • All Fortune 500 companies are represented
  • 53% of B2B marketers have found a customer through LinkedIn

I think that every attorney needs to be on LinkedIn; it’s a fantastic way to connect with referral sources as well as potential clients and build your platform as an expert and leader in your field of practice.  LinkedIn is also a very credible source in the eyes of Google.

Judging from my informal polling, however, many attorneys are still lagging behind when it comes to using LinkedIn for law firm marketing. Here are 8 steps to get you started:

1. Create a comprehensive profile – take your resume and use it all to create your profile. Be sure to use keywords (Google will use your LinkedIn page in search results) and be specific, just as I have done in my profile:

2. Start by connecting with people you know – if you use Outlook or Gmail, LinkedIn will import all your contacts from your email database and compare it with theirs, serving you up a list of your contacts who are already on LinkedIn. Start sending invitations to your contacts to connect with you. Your goal is to surpass the 500 connections mark, which will distinguish you as a “power user” so more people will want to connect with you.

3. Recommend others first, then ask to be recommended – go ahead and provide recommendations for your contacts, then follow up with an email to request they do the same for you.

4. Join groups for attorneys, referral sources & prospects – not only join, but participate! Contribute insights that will help build your reputation.

5. Start a group for your target market – by starting your own group, you get the right to market directly to the members, since LinkedIn allows group administrators to send emails directly to members.

6. Answer questions – another great way to be recognized as an expert.

7. Update your status at least 3x per week – you can use LinkedIn WordPress and Twitter tools to funnel your blog posts and tweets directly to your LinkedIn profile page.

8. List all your events on LinkedIn – someone may want to connect with you offline.

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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 Make Connections on LinkedIn

Sales consultancy company Sales Benchmark Index recently published The LinkedIn Message Writing Guide that provides step-by-step instructions for writing effective messages that will help you connect better on LinkedIn with people you know or want to know.

The guide breaks down four opportunities to connect on LinkedIn:

  1. Asking one of your contacts for an introduction to someone in their network.
  2. Contacting someone you don’t know, but you have a common connection.
  3. Someone shared an interesting link that you read and you want to connect with them.
  4. You shared an article in your network and someone read it.

As the guide notes, the best way to initiate or nurture a personal relationship on LinkedIn is through a personal message. You can do this in four ways:

To download the complete guide, which has four message templates you can repurpose for your own use to capitalize on each of the opportunities above to connect, just click on the link in the first sentence of this post.

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Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD Set

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

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

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

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

 

How to Use Social Media for Lead Generation

If you are still struggling to find the sweet spot when it comes to using social media to generate leads, there’s nothing wrong with following in the footsteps of marketers who have proven to be successful in doing just that.

Using data from several leading social media marketers, Wishpond has created this new infographic demonstrating how others have used social media successfully to generate leads. Follow the leader!

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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 Get More Likes on Facebook

Everyone wants to be liked...but for business users on Facebook, getting liked is critical to creating real engagement with prospects. This infographic by online marketing firm KISSmetrics walks you through the steps you should take to get more likes on Facebook:

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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.

 

Report: Social Media May Soon Eclipse Search Engines in Driving Traffic to Your Website

A recent report by Forrester Research says that social media may soon drive more traffic to websites than search engines, according to a story at Entrepreneur.com.

The shift is being driven by younger Internet users, who typically use social media as their go-to source for research. According to Forrester, half of Internet users ages 18-23 and 43% of Internet users ages 24-32 used Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms to search.

Other highlights from the report include:

Direct marketing works. In 2012, 26% of users reported typically finding websites through corporate and branded emails, an 11 point jump from the previous year.

Sponsored search results surge in popularity. Last year, 18% of Internet users said paid search results helped them find what they were looking for. That's up from 8% in 2011.

Links keep users engaged. Roughly 28% of all Internet users, regardless of age, discover new sites from links on websites they're already visiting.

The Forrester research highlights the importance of having social media as a key component of your legal marketing strategy. While a majority of consumers still use Google and other search engines to discover a product or service, more and more are turning to social media to get trusted input from the people they know.

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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.  

 

5 Social Media Rules Every Solo Should Know

I am in Long Beach today for the State Bar of California Solo & Small Firm Summit, giving 4 separate talks today and tomorrow on creating a lifestyle law firm and social media marketing strategies for law firms.

Here are five rules that every solo practitioner and small firm should know about social media; use them to guide your efforts:

Put out great content. The quality of the content you provide is directly reflective of the quality of your law practice. When you put something out on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, it needs to be something your prospects and followers find valuable. If you’re posting or retweeting another’s content – which is perfectly fine – make sure it meets your criteria for providing value as well.

Engage.  If someone posts or comment or response, be sure you respond in kind. You have to give as well as you get.

Focus. Specializing in your area of practice helps you build trust and authority, so focus in on messages that reflect what your practice is about.

Be real. Write for those you want as clients, not for other attorneys. Let your personality come through in your posts.

Learn the culture. Each social media network has a different culture, and the most successful marketers know how to use it to their advantage. In general, focusing in on two social media networks is generally a good idea for most practitioners – figure out where your target market spends most of their time and be there.

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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!

 

The Social Media Platforms That Marketers Say Deliver The Best Results

The 5th annual 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner looked at how marketers are using social media to grow their businesses today and how they plan to use it in the future.

The top 5 social media platforms used by marketers in the study were Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogging and YouTube:

These platforms were virtually unchanged from 2012. One point of interest for solos is that self-employed marketers were significantly more likely to use blogging than larger firms (64% vs. 48%). 

This data seems to correlate with our experience that blogging helps solos and small firms distinguish themselves better at a very low cost.

There were also differences in platforms chosen by B2C and B2B marketers:

By a significant margin, Facebook outweighed all other platforms as the preference of B2C marketers. The verdict was split between Facebook and LinkedIn for B2B marketers.

Click on the link to download the full 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report.

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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 Time Spent On Social Media Marketing Translates Into Benefits

The 5th annual 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner looks at how marketers are using social media to grow their businesses today and how they plan to use it in the future.

Not surprisingly, the data reveals that those companies that invest more time in social media marketing reap better results, including:

More than half of marketers who have been participating in social media for more than three years report increased sales.

92% that invest 6+ hours per week in social media increased exposure for their businesses.

More than half of those investing as little as 6 hours per week in social media were able to build new partnerships. Marketers selling to other businesses were more likely to achieve this benefit (58%) than those selling to consumers (51%).

64% that spend 6+ hours per week on social media saw increases in lead generation.

Almost half of those that spend 6+ hours per week on social media saw a reduction in their marketing expenses.

62% of those who have spent at least two years using social media realized improved search engine rankings.

78% that spend 6+ hours per week on social media saw increased traffic to their websites.

B2C marketers (71%) were much more likely to develop a loyal fan base through social media than B2B marketers (58%).

Time invested makes a difference. Of those spending at least 6 hours a week, 69% found benefit—compared to 49% of those spending 5 hours or fewer per week.

Tomorrow we’ll examine the most effective social media platforms marketers say deliver the best results.

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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 Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses

The 5th annual 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report is now out from Social Media Examiner, delving into the data that shows how marketers are using social media to grow their businesses today and how they plan to use it in the future.

Over the next few days, we’ll be doing a deep-dive into this report and plucking out the more interesting and relevant bits for law firm marketers to benchmark their own efforts against.

One thing attorneys are concerned about is the time commitment for social media marketing. The report found that the time marketers are spending on social media has increased over the past year, with 62% of marketers spending six or more hours per week on social media marketing:

Tomorrow we’ll post about how time spent on social media marketing translates into measurable results.

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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 Social Media Figures Into Consumer Search for a Lawyer [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Rainmaker Institute recently commissioned a survey by The Research Intelligence Group to find out how consumers use social media in their search for an attorney. I blogged about the details of the survey on Friday at Survey Says Majority of Consumers Use Social Media When Looking for Lawyers.

This infographic was created using the results of that survey; feel free to pass it around:

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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.  

 

Survey Says Majority of Consumers Use Social Media When Looking for Lawyers

A new survey by The Research Intelligence Group has found that 56% of consumers who looked for an attorney in the past year used social media in some way to conduct that search.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted in March by the international market research firm on behalf of The Rainmaker Institute. It found that 25% of those surveyed said they had sought an attorney in the past year. 

Among those who looked for an attorney, 56% said they used social media during their search. The use of social media was higher among males (71%) than females (38%) and highest among younger adults. In the search for a lawyer, social media was used by:

  • 81% of 18-29 year olds
  • 73% of 30-39 year olds
  • 57% of 40-49 year olds
  • 30% of 50-64 year olds
  • 25% of those 65+

In addition, 72% of minorities who sought an attorney used social media. 

How Social Media Is Used to Search for an Attorney

According to the survey, here is how consumers used social media during their search for an attorney:

21% of those searching for an attorney checked out the social media pages of lawyers or firms and 17% indicated that the information they found on the social media pages made a difference in their final selection

Nearly one-quarter used a social media channel such as Twitter or Facebook to ask their friends for recommendations of lawyers or firms they have used for similar matters

20% used social media to create a ‘short list’ of lawyers based on referrals and recommendations received through social media

Almost 20% vetted the names of lawyers they were considering with their social media contacts

Nearly one-quarter made a final selection of a lawyer based in part on what they learned through their social media contacts

Social Media Now a Part of Everyday Life

Judging from the verbatim commentary from the survey, researchers found that consumers use social media to search for an attorney because it is now a part of everyday life and a natural place to turn to for information gathering. 

This is especially true for younger consumers, who have grown up using social media and trust it for helping them make decisions. As one survey respondent noted, lawyers that are visible on social media “show that they are informed about the world and they are willing to communicate with potential clients through new and varying ways.”

It is becoming increasingly clear that simply having a website is not enough to attract new clients in 2013; an attorney’s online presence must extend to social media and outreach efforts like blogging to remain relevant to prospects under the age of 50.

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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!

 

 

What Law Firms Have to Fear From Social Media

A post last week at LawMarketing.com provides highlights from the LegalTechNY Conference in March, where Larry Bodine, editor in chief of Lawyers.com and martindale.com®, and I discussed the fear of social media and its impact on law firm marketing.

Larry said that one of the barriers that stands in the way of many lawyers taking the plunge into social media is their fear of what will happen if they offer an opinion about a legal matter in an online forum.

“One of the risks that attorneys see with participating in social media is that you will gain an unwanted client entanglement,” Larry noted. “But I can tell you from my research there is no ethics opinion, court ruling or judgment involving a legal question that was asked and answered online, and resulted in someone claiming the person who gave the advice was acting as their attorney.”

My belief is that one of the things attorneys have to fear from social media is that their competitors are engaged in it when they are not. And there is definitely a cost to that.

Check out our discussion:

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

 

More from LegalTechNY: How Social Media Impacts Lead Generation

In March, I participated in a featured panel on social media marketing for attorneys at LegalTech New York 2013, the top annual legal technology event on the planet.

Joining me for that session was Larry Bodine, editor-in-chief of Lawyers.com and martindale.com, as well as LexisNexis chief marketing officer Steve Mann.

One of the topics we explored was how social media can work as a lead generation source for law firms and move leads through the sales funnel from “interest” to client. Here is a video outtake of our comments on that subject:

According to the 2012 Attorney Selection Research Study by The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG), 26 percent of American consumers used one of the major social media sites when gathering information about a legal issue and more than one in five (22 percent) said they turned to a social media site to actually find a lawyer they felt might be able to help them with their legal need.

The bottom line is that law firms can no longer turn a blind eye to social media as a source for generating leads. If you’re not there, your competitors surely are.

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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.

 

The Top 5 Social Media Mistakes Attorneys Make

Most attorneys I know feel a sense of urgency to participate on social media networks, but in the rush to join in some are making critical mistakes. If you’re just beginning to dip a toe in the social media ocean, here are 5 things you should definitely avoid:

Hard sell. There’s a reason it’s called social media...it’s social! Just like you wouldn’t give the hard sell to a prospect at a cocktail party, you also need to avoid it on social media.   The way to approach social media is as a tool for building relationships, and from those relationships will eventually flow sales opportunities. 

Self-promotion. Nobody likes to listen to someone talk about themselves ad nauseum. Again, think of the cocktail party analogy...engage and listen. 

Being all things to all people. Your practice has a target market, and different social media networks appeal to different people. Once you have identified your target market, identify where they are hanging out online and spend your time on those social media sites.

Keeping up with the Joneses. If you’re a small firm or solo practitioner, don’t try to compete with the big firms. There is a reason clients come to you and there is real value in being exactly who you are online. 

Thinking social media costs nothing. While it won’t cost you a dime to sign up on social media networks, maintaining a robust presence on these sites does cost you – either time or money, it’s your choice. Monitoring your social media ROI and assigning a number value will enable you to track how effective a tool social media is for your practice.

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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 Get More Shares on Facebook

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

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

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

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

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

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

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

 

Barriers to Social Media Adoption by Law Firms

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

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

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

Here’s a video outtake of our answers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

How to Boost Your SEO with Social Search

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money!

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

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

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

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

 

Improve Email Click-Through Rates with Social Share Buttons

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

This infographic illustrates the results from the new GetResponse survey:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This interview will help you discover:

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

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

 

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

In our Rainmaker Retreat two-day law firm marketing boot camp, I talk about how everything you do on the Internet starts with a great blog. Create a blog, post to it regularly with great content, then link your posts to your social media profiles and pages, and watch your traffic and search results improve.

Most attorneys find blogging to be cumbersome because of lack of time and lack of ideas for content. One of the best ways to hurdle both of these stumbling blocks is to create an editorial calendar for your blog. Here’s how:

Create a template. Use a calendar template or an Excel spreadsheet, whatever works for you. Decide how many times per week you will be posting (3-5 times is best) and try to plan at least three months out.

Research content. Take your top keywords and create Google alerts for each one. This will funnel news items on these keywords directly to your inbox. Bookmark leading blogs in your practice area at www.justia.com. Scour legal directory sites like JDSupra and Avvo to see what kind of content is trending for your practice area. Check out www.lawprofessorblogs.com and www.lexmonitor.com for practice area-specific blogs to mine for content.

Schedule content. Fill your calendar with specifics for each posting day, including your topic, potential title and your keywords. Populate your calendar with special events and holidays you could use to theme relevant posts. If you’re publishing a special report or e-book, schedule posts to promote those. Leaving a few holes is fine, and will allow you to capitalize on newsworthy items – your calendar is a flexible tool, not something written in stone.

Now you’re halfway to creating a thriving law firm marketing blog that will help you generate more traffic for your website and leads for your practice. The other half of the equation is, of course, actually writing the content. And if you can’t find time for that, we can certainly help!

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

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

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

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

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

 

How to Measure Your Social Media ROI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

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

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

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

 

How to Handle Your Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day

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

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

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

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

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Proven Strategies to Win More Clients for Family Law, Personal Injury and Estate Planning Attorneys

Does this sound like you?

You spend thousands of dollars and countless hours trying to generate more business for your law firm. And still you end up with less business than you hoped. You’ve put “get more clients” at the top of your list, but have no time to do anything about it.

If someone calls your office and doesn’t make an appointment, what happens to them?

What if they don’t show up for the appointment?

What if they show up and don’t retain you?

What if they want to retain you and you never hear from them again?

If you answered, “I don’t know” or “We leave a message,” then this on-demand seminar is for you. Register online to receive the Proven Strategies to Win More Clients seminar, where you will learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • 3 steps for turning more leads into appointments
  • 5 ways to increase your “show up” rates
  • 4 ways to get more appointments to sign up this week
  • What to do when a prospect doesn’t sign up at the initial consultation

Lead Conversion is one of the most overlooked areas at consumer law firms. You spend tens of thousands of dollars every year trying to generate more leads…yet virtually nothing to ensure you convert the maximum amount of those leads into paying clients!

Lead conversion is the 5-stage process of converting more prospects into paying clients and turning more browsers into buyers. Over the last decade, The Rainmaker Institute has become a national leader in assisting consumer law firms to rapidly and dramatically increase their conversion rates.

We have worked with all types of consumer law firms to help them double and even triple their conversion rates within 3-6 months.

If you want to double your revenues this year there are 2 ways you can do it: either double the amount of leads you get each month or double your conversion rates!

Register online now for this on-demand seminar and discover how attorneys just like you are doubling their revenues by converting more of their costly leads into more paying clients!

 

 

4 Game-Changing Ways Social Media Works for Lawyers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8 Proven Steps for More & Better Referrals

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

7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Law Firm

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

6 Keys to Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media

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

5 Core Components for Highly Successful Websites & Blogs

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

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

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

Click here now to order!

 

How to Use Your Law Firm Blog to Generate Leads

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This interview will help you discover:

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

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

 

10 Ways Social Media Could Be Benefitting Your Law Firm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

 

Blogs Rank Highest for Influencing Purchase/Hire Decisions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are our upcoming Rainmaker Retreat intensive workshops:

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

April 5-6, 2013 – Dallas, TX

May 3-4, 2013 – Scottsdale, AZ

May 31-June 1, 2013 – New York City

July 19-20, 2013 – San Diego, CA

August 16-17, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

September 20-21, 2013 – San Francisco, CA

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

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Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers

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

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

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

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

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

 

How to Turn Your Law Firm Website Into Your Top Rainmaker

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

Here’s how:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The #1 Secret to Boosting Client Referrals and Retention

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The cost benefits of an e-newsletter

How to incorporate your e-newsletter with your social networking

How an e-newsletter supports your marketing efforts

How to get started right away with your e-newsletter

And much, much more!

To get your free report now, click here.

 

 

 

How to Make Google Fall in Love with Your Website

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

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

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

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

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

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

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

 

The New SEO Rules for Law Firm Marketing

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

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

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

Create content that makes people want to share.

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

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

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

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

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

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money!

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

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

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

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

 

The State of SEO in 2013

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

Content as king. Low quality content – article spinning and output from cheap content farms – will not only do your website no good, it will get you penalized by Google. Bad content really is yesterday’s news, and that is great news for those of us who spend a lot of time producing stuff that people really like to read.

Content isn’t just words. A good mix of shareable content – sharp articles, videos, infographics, interesting photos and social media posting --- all counts in driving traffic to your website and getting some Google love. 

SEO is no one-trick pony. Good SEO practices today consist of great content, link and citation building, site optimization strategies, social media participation and mining your date for insights. 

Long live great writers. Sites with great content that people visit time and again to get information on subjects of interest to them establishes those sites as authorities, which Google sees as a primary ranking factor. If you are not a great writer, hire one. But many attorneys are great writers, so this bodes well if you will make the effort to contribute regularly to your blog or website. Just remember your target market and go easy on the legalese. 

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Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers

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

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

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

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

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

 

How to Tell If Social Media Marketing Will Work for Your Law Firm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the upcoming dates:

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

April 5-6, 2013 – Dallas, TX

May 3-4, 2013 – Scottsdale, AZ

May 31-June 1, 2013 – New York City

July 19-20, 2013 – San Diego, CA

August 16-17, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

September 20-21, 2013 – San Francisco, CA

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

 

How to Create a Successful Blogging Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This interview will help you discover:

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

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

 

How to Monitor Your Online Reputation

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

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

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

This infographic provides some tips on monitoring your online reputation:

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

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

8 Proven Steps for More & Better Referrals

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

7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Law Firm

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

6 Keys to Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media

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

5 Core Components for Highly Successful Websites & Blogs

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

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

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

Click here now to order!

 

Twitter Best for B2B Lead Generation?

In the category of “Things that make you go, ‘Really?!?’” comes this latest study from B2B digital marketing software maker Optify that says when it comes to B2B lead generation, Twitter outperforms Facebook and LinkedIn by a staggering 9-to-1 ratio.

Optify’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report extracted data from more than 600 small and medium-sized B2B websites in the U.S. with 100 to 100,000 monthly visits. This infographic highlights the key findings in the report:



2012 B2B Marketing Trends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Law Firm Blogs: What NOT To Do

This item naturally piqued my interest when I saw the headline late last week at Law.com:

Attorney's blogging prompts ethics complaint

Usually when one of these news items appears, I get emails from attorneys still fighting the social media tide saying something to the effect of, “See! Attorneys who blog are just asking for trouble!”

Well, save your breath. If you read this article, and most others like it, you will see that this particular attorney was using her blog to post scurrilous remarks about the court, judges and other attorneys. 

And this is most definitely wrong on so many levels, including good blogging practices!

The primary purpose for a law firm blog is to gain credibility for your expertise in your chosen field of practice and offer prospects something of value that will encourage them to engage in a conversation with you.

Having a blog associated with your law firm website also boosts the ranking of that site in search engines as a source of ongoing fresh content.

Needless to say, blogs are not a public forum to air grievances about a case you lost or a judgment that didn’t go your way. That would be a demonstration of another kind all together...and not one that puts your firm in a positive light.

To learn how to do blogging right, see my free report offer below.

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

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

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

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

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

 

7 Business Benefits of Google+

Google+ is one of those social media networks that many attorneys are still not sure what to do with...but with more than 500 million members now making it the fastest growing social media site ever, it’s worth your time and attention.

This infographic explains 7 benefits Google+ provides for business:

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Getting to the Top of Google: The Power of Link Building for Lawyers

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

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

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

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

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

Join us and discover:

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

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

 

WSJ Survey: Small Business Says LinkedIn Works Best

A survey by the Wall Street Journal says that 60% of small business owners believe social media is valuable, and that LinkedIn is the most useful of all the major social networking sites:

The WSJ surveyed 835 small business owners for the survey, and published an article about it earlier this week. The survey found that only 40% of the business owners surveyed had employees dedicated to social media efforts; half said they spend 1-5 hours per week on social media and one-third spend no time at all.

One respondent credits social media for increasing his website traffic from 800 to 12,000 visitors per month in the past two years. He says LinkedIn has been the dominant traffic driver for his B2B business.

Small businesses that benefit from social media have figured out what works and what doesn’t. They have a target audience they know well and know where to find. Not all social media networks will work equally for law firm marketers; you need to create a profile of your ideal client then find out which social media sites they are most likely to be found. Create a concise message and be consistent. Engage with relevant content. And keep at it. 

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

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

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

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

 

Hosting Social Media Panel at LegalTech New York 2013

I am in New York today hosting a featured panel on social media marketing for attorneys at LegalTech New York 2013, the top annual legal technology event on the planet.

Joining me for the session today are Larry Bodine, editor-in-chief of Lawyers.com and martindale.com, as well as LexisNexis chief marketing officer Steve Mann. 

Our topic is Taming the Wild West of Social Media: The Secrets of Social Media Success in the Legal Profession, where we explore:

  • The state of social media in the legal industry today and an update to guide attendees through the year ahead.
  • New and improved social media best practices in specific online channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogging, etc.).
  • The various ethical and legal considerations about which law firms must be aware, including an update of key decisions and guidance issued by various state bar associations.

While it may seem like the Wild West at times, social media does have a very real role to play in both the business and practice of law.

According to the 2012 Attorney Selection Research Study by The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG), 26 percent of American consumers used one of the major social media sites when gathering information about a legal issue and more than one in five (22 percent) said they turned to a social media site to actually find a lawyer they felt might be able to help them with their legal need.

If you were not in our audience today, you can still access this knowledge by attending one of our Rainmaker Retreat law firm marketing boot camp sessions. Here are the dates for upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions in the first quarter of 2013:



February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

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

 

12-Point Checklist For Evaluating Your Law Firm's Facebook Page

It’s not enough to have a Facebook business page for your law firm; you want to be sure you have all the bases covered and are maximizing the opportunities for engagement and exposure.

Luckily, ShortStack has developed a great infographic that enables you to easily evaluate your Facebook business page so it is optimized for full fan engagement:

Note: the 70/20/10 rule mentioned under #8 refers to the type of posts on your page, which should be 70% valuable and relevant content, 20% shared content (others’ ideas and posts) and 10% promotional.

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

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

8 Proven Steps for More & Better Referrals

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

7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Law Firm

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

6 Keys to Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media

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

5 Core Components for Highly Successful Websites & Blogs

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

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

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

Click here now to order!

 

Great Advice for New Lawyers: Embrace 21st Century Technology

Carolyn Elefant, a Washington, DC-based solo practitioner who blogs at MyShingle.com, provides some excellent advice to new lawyers in a recent post entitled: Open Letter To New Lawyer: You Should Be Dragging Me Into The 21st Century Not The Other Way Around

Her words of wisdom are not just applicable to new lawyers, either. 

Apparently Ms. Elefant is seeing lots of law school grads with no social media skills to speak of. This is distressing to her:

At 48 years old, I am old enough to be your mother.  And you should be ashamed of yourself.  Here you are, coming to me for a legal job when you don’t know the first thing about RSS feeds, blogging (reading them, let alone writing them), Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube.  And what’s more, you have no comprehension of the importance of these tools to my practice and seemingly no interest in learning how to use them.

As she notes, newbie lawyers are of minimal use to an established practitioner, who must invest time as well as suffer through periods of trial and error in training the next generation of lawyers. She owns that. 

But to be competitive – to get a job – here’s what she says new lawyers need to offer:

You should be coming to me with a week’s worth of proposed blog posts. You should be streaming out a dozen tweets on industry developments and setting up RSS feeds to share with me – not the other way around.  You should have as robust an online footprint as I do, or more – yet I’ve got thousands of blog posts to your…zero? You should be able to figure out, in a snap, how to use video editing tools if you don’t already and volunteering to create cool informational videos so I can market my firm and generate more business that will support more new hires.

This is a savvy solo who obviously gets what it takes to compete in the legal services arena today. She wonders, as have I, why law schools are lagging behind when it comes to training lawyers how to run a successful practice. 

One of the most troubling aspects of her post is the fact that new lawyers are telling her that law school discourages the use of technology, telling students to stay off Facebook and Twitter for fear of creating an adverse paper trail. Horrible advice! 

So if you’re a new lawyer looking for employment, heed Ms. Elefant’s advice: step up and own 21st century technology. Same goes for the rest of you – every lawyer needs to be hired by someone, and being ignorant of how to reach consumers these days reduces the odds significantly that you will make the cut.

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

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

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

 

Join Me in Dallas for ABA New Partner Workshop on Feb. 8

I will be in Dallas on Friday, Feb. 8 for an ABA New Partner Workshop at the Infomart Conference Center. The workshop will provide a full day of interactive learning and networking opportunities, and is specifically tailored for:

  • New partners who need to rapidly build up their book of business
  • Attorneys who aspire to become a Partner and want to learn how to generate new clients
  • Attorneys who have launched their own firm and need help finding effective marketing strategies

What you will learn:

  • How to build a referral-based practice and jumpstart your practice
  • How to double your revenues in 6 months by improving your lead conversion and fixing your follow-up
  • How to build a mid-6 to 7-figure business by applying best practices
  • How to use the power of social media to attract clients and connect with referral sources
  • 5 proven strategies to improve the quality and quantity of your referrals
  • Tips from attorneys who have gone from start-up to 6 figures in 1 year
  • 8 steps to using LinkedIn to build your online presence and connect with other professionals

Tickets for the New Partner Workshop are available through 2013 ABA Midyear Meeting registration. There is no registration fee for the Midyear Meeting, however the workshop registration rate is $249.  This rate includes a networking luncheon.

See you in Big D!

 

Letting the Dogs Out at a Rainmaker Retreat

In Las Vegas today for our first Rainmaker Retreat of 2013, and we’re letting all the dogs out (so to speak) when it comes to educating attorneys about the law firm marketing strategies that will be essential this year, including:

  • Social media
  • Blogging
  • SEO
  • Email marketing
  • Mobile marketing

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

Upcoming dates for the Rainmaker Retreat include:

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

March 15-16, 2013 – Newport Beach, CA

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

 

Will the New Facebook Search Engine Deliver for Legal Marketers?

Facebook announced yesterday that it is unveiling a new search engine called Graph Search that will allow us to search our social circles for things we want to know about. 

It’s not a Google-type search engine; it doesn’t scour the entire Web for results. It only returns the results that are popular within your circle of friends on Facebook. And that can be pretty compelling, since we tend to care more about what our friends think or recommend than strangers.

For example, you can search for how many of your friends like to play tennis if you’re looking for a new partner, or eat sushi if you’re looking for a great sushi restaurant. Basically, the new search engine takes all the information you have shared or that has been shared with you, and makes it searchable.

So is this a big deal for law firm marketing? 

It could be, if people use it to search for legal services. As I’ve noted before, I’m not sure many people ask for attorney recommendations on Facebook for sensitive issues like divorce or if they’ve been charged with a crime. But they probably do ask for recommendations from friends for other specialties – creating a will, drawing a contract and so on.

Graph Search, which is powered by Bing, focuses on four areas: people, photos, places and interests. This also includes shared content, so if you post free reports and articles on your Facebook Business Page that are being shared, you will more likely turn up in the new Graph Search.  

While we wait to see if “the dogs eat the dog food” (Graph Search is in beta now and you have to sign up for it), you should go ahead and take a leap of faith by ensuring your firm not only has a robust Facebook Business Page, but that it is full of great content that you are actively marketing to your connections.

If you need help setting up your Facebook Business Page, here is a step-by-step video guide courtesy of HubSpot:

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

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

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

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

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

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

This interview will help you discover:

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

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

 

7 Guidelines for Measuring ROI for Law Firm Social Media Marketing

Although many law firm marketers are still struggling with how to successfully measure their ROI on social media marketing investments, most realize the importance of having a success metric in mind. Without setting a benchmark, it is impossible to determine your ROI.

Here are 7 guidelines for successfully measuring ROI on your social media marketing efforts:

1.  Set clear and defined marketing goals (generate more website traffic, opt ins, leads, etc.) and identify the social measurements that support those goals.

2.  Create a logical framework for your measurements and metrics (exposure, engagement, outcome).

3.  Since social media is about fostering relationships, take a long-term approach – treat your social media marketing as an ongoing commitment, not a campaign.

4.  Don’t be afraid to use “soft” metrics that can be directly linked to your marketing goals.

5.  Determine how much a customer who opts in to your database is worth to you.

6. Don’t overlook the value of cost savings that can result from ongoing social interactions that provide insights and information.

7. Use technology to create the capability to measure your customer’s complete digital footprint, in real time.

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Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD Set

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

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

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

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

 

 

Internet Marketing for Lawyers: What Works in 2013

In my post yesterday, I shared three simple questions that can change your law practice. The third question had to do with learning from successful people and emulating what they are doing right.

The infographic below shows what is working for marketers when it comes to Internet marketing; the top 5 areas for you to focus in 2013 include:

  • Social media
  • Blogging
  • SEO
  • Email marketing
  • Mobile marketing
Effective Internet Marketing

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

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

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

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

 

Invest Some Time Tomorrow & Reap the Benefit$ in 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

For Engaging on Facebook, Pictures Speak Louder Than Words

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

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

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

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

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

Showcase employees to give your firm a face

Feature photos of events you sponsor or attend

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

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

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

 

16 Social Media Stats You Should Know

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

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

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

Check it out:

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

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

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

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

 

Report: Digital Media the Key to Reaching the Rich

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the upcoming dates:

December 7-8, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA

January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

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

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FREE Rainmaker Retreat Preview DVD – Learn Before You Go!

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

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

 

VIDEO: Top 4 Reasons Why Social Media Matters

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

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

Here’s an excerpt from that webinar:

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

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

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

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

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

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money!

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1. An emphasis on online over offline marketing strategies;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the upcoming dates for the Rainmaker Retreat:

December 7-8, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA

January 18-19, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV

February 15-16, 2013 – Orlando, FL

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

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

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

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

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

 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Avoid Empty Suit Syndrome

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD Set

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

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

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

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

 

Social Media Metrics Every Law Firm Should be Measuring

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To get your free report now, click here.

 

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

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

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

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

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NEW On-Demand Webinar: Business Development Strategies for Litigators

Business development is especially difficult for litigators, who often work for months on a case and bring it to a successful conclusion, only 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.

 

Don't Turn Back the Clock on Your Law Firm Marketing

Did you remember to turn your clocks back one hour last night? If you forgot and have someplace you need to be today – like church – you’ll find yourself pretty much alone for about an hour.

Attorneys who are still doing the same old-same old when it comes to law firm marketing will likely find themselves in the same boat – pretty much alone with few new clients. Don’t believe me? Here are some of the latest statistics regarding Internet and social media marketing:

  • 91% of online adults use social media regularly
  • Internet users spend 22.5% of their online time social networking
  • 80% of active Internet users visit social networks and blogs
  • 57% of marketers acquired customers via blogging
  • U.S. Internet users spend three times longer on social media and blogs than email
  • 93% of U.S. adult Internet users are on Facebook
  • 87% of the Fortune 100 uses social media
  • Every minute of the day:
    • 100,000 tweets are sent on Twitter
    • 684,478 pieces of content are shared on Facebook
    • 2 million search queries are made on Google
    • 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube
    • 571 websites are created

If you’re not taking action because you don’t know where to start, I urge you to consider attending a Rainmaker Retreat, our two–day law firm marketing boot camp that will give you a comprehensive education on marketing your law firm in today’s tech-savvy world.

We have two more sessions before the end of the year:

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

December 7-8, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA

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

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

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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 Much Time and Money Do Small Businesses Spend on Social Media?

VerticalResponse, a marketing services provider for small businesses and non-profits, recently did a survey among almost 500 small business clients about how much time and money those businesses currently spend on social media.

They published the results in the infographic below; it’s worth taking a look to see how your law firm marketing measures up:

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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!

 

What the Latest LinkedIn Changes Mean for Law Firms

Three weeks ago, I posted about How to Follow - and Even Be - the Leader on LinkedIn, reporting on the site’s latest announcement about the 150 thought leaders it had rounded up to post regularly – effectively making LinkedIn a publisher of interesting content from the world’s leading business minds.

A post last week at b2bdigital.net from Eric Wittlake called it out in an even more stark fashion in his post, LinkedIn Just Went Into the Publishing Business.

As Eric notes, “not even the Wall Street Journal, Forbes or Huffington Post can match that contributor list.”  And an audience is following – Quantcast tracked a 7.5% increase in page views on LinkedIn in the three weeks following the announcement.

So now that LinkedIn has morphed into a publisher, what does that mean for law firm marketing?

Add your voice! Rubbing up against the luster of these 150 thought leaders means that some of that social media gold can rub off on you. Find a post of interest and add your own spin or a contrarian view. There are not many comments yet on many of these thought leader posts, and you can take advantage of this to stand out.

In addition, you can capitalize on LinkedIn’s audience grabbing push and push your own content by linking your blog to your profile on LinkedIn. 

These changes remind us of the importance of keeping up with these social media sites as they continue to make changes.   What worked today may not work tomorrow, and you need to actively participate and grow on each site in order to accomplish your law firm marketing objectives.

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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 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

Click on the following link for your copy of 5 Internet Marketing Mistakes Your Law Firm Can't Afford To Make webinar.

 

Content Marketing Tactics That Work for Attorneys

The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs just released their second annual study on B2B content marketing trends and found the following tactics most prevalent among B2B marketers:

The top five tactics – articles, social media, blogs, e-newsletters and case studies – should be in every law firm marketing toolkit and a major focus of your content marketing initiative. 

The number of B2B firms that blog rose almost 30% in the past year, from 51% to 65%, with companies that blog reporting an average 55% increase in web traffic.

Not surprisingly, the study also found that the greatest challenge facing marketers is “producing the kind of content that engages prospects and customers.” Perhaps this is why more marketers are outsourcing content production – the survey of more than 1,000 B2B marketers found that 62% now outsource a portion of their content production, up from 55% just one year ago.

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.

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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.

 

30 Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts

To build and maintain a successful blog, you need to do much more than just post to it on a regular basis – you need to promote those posts so you can draw traffic and prospects in to see what you have to share.

This infographic does a good job of listing the various ways you can promote your posts online and on social media:

30 Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts

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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.  

 

Social Media Marketing 101 for Lawyers

If the attorneys who attend our Rainmaker Retreats are any indication, there are still plenty of you out there looking for information on how to start a social media marketing program for your firm.

Just like with any legal case, it all starts with strategy. Here are the steps you need to take to create a social media marketing strategy for your law firm:

Mission. Whether you want to generate more leads or merely enhance your brand in the social media world, you must first set your goals. Be specific.

Market. Define your target market then research their habits, needs and social media activities. 

Message. Craft the message that will best appeal to the needs of your target market and find the keywords that reinforce that message.

Media. Decide which social networks are best for attracting followers and readers who are in your target market.

Medium. Decide what kind of content will help you reach your target – blogs, videos, photos, etc.

Mix. Mix in your social media marketing with your current marketing efforts, adding links to your website, blog, e-newsletters, etc.

Management. Decide who will be responsible for posting , how often you will post, who will manage replies and other management tasks so your social media marketing campaign doesn’t flounder.

Measurement. Measure your stats to see if your audience is growing and what messages and strategies are paying off for you. Then do more to build on that success.

Money. Budget for your social media marketing effort and measure your ROI. If you need to hire outside help, that costs money. 

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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.

 

Social Networks That Perform the Best for B2B and B2C Legal Marketing

A new report from Webmarketing123 shows that social networks perform differently depending on whether you are a B2B or B2C marketer when it comes to generating leads.

It may not surprise many legal marketers to learn that Facebook performs best for B2C law firms and LinkedIn works better for B2B firms. What you may find interesting is how large the gap is in some areas:

Even though LinkedIn outpaced other social networks for B2B marketers in terms of generating leads and sales, Facebook also made significant contributions for lead generation and sales for B2B – 39% of B2B marketers said that Facebook generated leads and 19% reported sales directly from their Facebook efforts. Twitter ranked third.

For B2C marketers, Facebook and Twitter performed best, followed by LinkedIn.

What this latest data shows is the importance of maintaining a presence on all social media networks for generating leads and sales. But you also need to realize how people are using social networks – the fact is, social networks are now being used as personal search engines for people looking for reviews and recommendations on products and services. 

Instead of viewing social networks as a time-suck, law firm marketers need to realize that social media sites are evolving into referral engines that can deliver prospects and clients quickly and affordably. 

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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: How to Get Your Posts and Tweets Shared on Social Media Sites

I ran across the infographic below the other day that breaks down the mechanics of social sharing by B2B or B2C target markets and wanted to share it with our readers.

I find it fascinating how seemingly small things like adding a question or exclamation mark to your messages or timing your posts just right on social media sites can impact whether or not they are shared – an important goal for all of us. Check it out:

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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!

 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Use Social Media for Business Development

One of the best reasons for attorneys to use social media is that it is a very cost effective business development tool. Below is a description of the steps you can take to harness the effectiveness of social media for your law firm marketing efforts.  (This is how we are using social media to build our business): 

1. Set up a targeted landing page. Your landing page should always discuss the specific need of your target market. 

2. On the landing page offer them something of value.  You could offer web visitors a free special report, audio CD or white paper on a topic of interest to them. For example,

The Top 10 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Divorce Attorney

The 7 Deadly Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Personal Injury Case

The 5 Reasons Why Business Owners Get Sued and How to Avoid Them

3. Drive traffic to your landing page by promoting it via your social media outlets. You can announce your free special report on your Facebook fan page, post a Tweet or promote by including the link to your LinkedIn account.

4. Visitors to your landing page can only obtain your valuable information if they give you their contact information (name, phone and email address) and by agreeing to opt into your database and be contacted by your law firm for further follow-up.

5. Use their contact information to follow up with them. When you connect with them, you qualify them to see if they are a good prospect for you and then offer them a complimentary consultation, if that's part of your business model.

Here at The Rainmaker Institute, we have successfully used this exact process with attorneys across the country for over 5 years.  During this time we have generated thousands of qualified leads, for our company directly from our social media efforts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter!  

In fact, if you would like to see a few of our landing pages and get one of our free marketing reports, click on the links below:  

4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice

5 Easy Steps to Create Your Law Firm Marketing Plan                 

Top 10 Mistakes Attorneys Make and How to Avoid Them

 

How to Follow - and Even Be - the Leader on LinkedIn

Yesterday, LinkedIn announced that you will be able to follow what it calls “the most influential thought leaders on LinkedIn” – people like Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, President Obama, Gov. Mitt Romney and more (you can see the full list here) – in addition to the news you already follow through industry, companies and groups.

You’ll be able to add your two cents as well, with an ability to comment on their posts and engage the influencers in your area of expertise. You can even share insights you like with your own network.

Think you have what it takes to be an influencer on LinkedIn? You can submit a request to join LinkedIn’s thought leader group or, if they have already noticed you have a following already in groups, blogs and on social media, you may receive an invitation from LinkedIn to join.

LinkedIn is migrating from the simple act of connection to a deeper, richer way to connect and share information on their site – a welcome evolution for this leader in business-oriented social media.

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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!

 

Using Social Media to Accelerate the Referral Process

Social media has become a fundamental shift in the way we communicate and find information -- or rather, the way information finds us.  

When you consider the overwhelming number of people who are now using social media, the question you should be asking is not, are my prospects, clients, and referral sources using social media? The question you should be asking is, which network are they using most often?

A survey last year by the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center found that 56% of attorneys are already using a social network. This means for you skeptics out there, if you are not maintaining a presence on at least one social network you are already behind the curve. Of those networks, LinkedIn is the most popular, followed by Facebook – however, Facebook is still the social site favored by prospects.

For attorneys who are looking to connect with consumers (versus business owners), like criminal defense, personal injury, bankruptcy, estate planning, and family law just to name a few, Facebook should be your primary focus because of the sheer number of people that can be found there (over 950 million registered users and growing).  

Depending on the demographic of your clientele, you may have more success with one social media platform compared to another -- but it is important that you have a presence on them all.  For example: Business oriented attorneys, like business litigation, securities, and intellectual property, should focus more of their efforts on LinkedIn. However, LinkedIn also has the highest number of attorneys who use the network so it's a little more difficult to stand out as compared to Facebook or Twitter.

What many people fail to understand is how people are starting to use social media.  Social networks are more and more being used as personal search engines mainly because Google has become too generic and they often don't trust what they find there.  

This trend is especially true in the under-30 age group. In fact, many social media experts are starting to point to Facebook as the new Google! Tens of thousands of searches are conducted every day on Facebook for resources and reviews of products, services, and service providers.  

The long-time phenomenon of asking your friends and colleagues for a referral has simply gone viral and online. Social networks are quickly multiplying the number of connections a person can ask when seeking a referral to a trusted advisor.  

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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 Build Referrals in the Age of Social Media

I’m in beautiful Lake Tahoe today, brought here by an attorney who attended a Rainmaker Retreat in Las Vegas recently, and then invited me to speak to a group of alumni from his alma mater, the Oak Brook College of Law. 

I’m talking today about Building Referrals Through Social Media, a subject every attorney should learn more about since referrals are so highly sought and valued and the proper use of social media makes it easier than ever to gather the referral gold.

Social media networks are not merely places to connect and share with friends anymore, they are now being used more and more as personal search engines. Both Google and Bing have integrated social media into their search results, knowing that whatever you are searching for is likely to be much more meaningful to you if your connections have something to say about it.

Tens of thousands of searches are executed every day on Facebook – the truth is that asking friends and colleagues for a referral has simply moved online. Which is why it is important for lawyers to have a presence on multiple social media platforms, especially the top 2 for referrals: Facebook and LinkedIn.

If you’d like to learn more about how to build referrals in the age of social media, do like my Oak Brook College friend did and attend a Rainmaker Retreat.  

We have one coming up next weekend in Orlando (Oct. 5-6) and two others later in the Fall:

October 26-27, 2012 – Scottsdale, AZ

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

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

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

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Free 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.

 

Your Prospects Are Online...Where Are You?

The LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® Attorney Selection Research Study found that 76 percent of consumers used the Internet to search for an attorney in the past year. 

Are you and your firm up to date on the latest digital marketing strategies and tools to capture all the prospects you possibly can who are searching for you right now on the Internet?

If not, you can get up to speed quickly at a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing boot camp. 

Listen as Ruben Avila of the Law Offices of Mario Avila, who attended a Rainmaker Retreat session recently in Orange County, explains:

We cover everything busy attorneys need to know – and can put to use immediately – at each Rainmaker Retreat. There’s one coming up next weekend in Orlando (Oct. 5-6) and two others later in the Fall:

October 26-27, 2012 – Scottsdale, AZ

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

You can still get in on our Early Bird Discount for our upcoming Rainmaker Retreats, so be sure to register now to receive the $200 discount. The Early Bird Discount for our Oct. 5-6 in Orlando ends today, Sept. 28.

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

 

How Consumers Choose an Attorney: Finding a Lawyer

The LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® Attorney Selection Research Study can now be downloaded for free by clicking the title link. Go get it!

As I noted yesterday, this research found that 76 percent of consumers used the Internet to search for an attorney in the past year. Most consumers used a four-stage process in their search for an attorney: gather information about a legal issue/case, find a lawyer, validate a lawyer and select a lawyer.

During the second stage – finding a lawyer – the #1 source was family and friends, so the Internet has not changed that too much. The study found that 45% of people looked to those they know well for recommendations on a lawyer. The second most popular way was using search engines (35%) and visiting law firm websites (35%).

So what can you do to influence this part of the process? Keep in touch with your clients! Educate them about what makes a good referral for you and encourage them to make referrals. 

Form alliances with strategic referral partners – others who serve your same client profile like CPAs or financial planners – and make it worth their while by reciprocating in kind.

For more information, revisit my posts on How to Build a Referral System That Delivers Results and Law Firm Marketing: How to Develop Referrals.

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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 Consumers Choose an Attorney: Information Gathering

The new LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® Attorney Selection Research Study was just released yesterday and is something every attorney needs to review.  It is chock full of interesting findings from an in-depth look at how people look for and hire an attorney.

Over the next several days, I am going to post about those study results and provide specific action steps on what attorneys can do to capitalize on this new learning.

First, some numbers:

  • 110 million U.S. consumers have sought legal counsel at least once;
  • 58 million have looked for an attorney in the past year;
  • Of those who looked for an attorney, 57% hired one, 15% decided to use a DIY approach and 13% continued to search

The study found that 76 percent of consumers used the Internet to search for an attorney in the past year.  Most consumers used a four-stage process in their search for an attorney: gather information about a legal issue/case, find a lawyer, validate a lawyer and select a lawyer.

So what sources do consumers use on the Internet to gather information?  The study found:

  • 39% used online search engines, primarily Google
  • 34% visited online legal forums
  • 31% used online directories
  • 31% visited law firm websites
  • 29% visited legal blogs
  • 26% used social media sites

Translated into law firm marketing terminology, in order to be found by a consumer searching for an attorney in their first stage of search – the gathering of information – attorneys need to:

Employ skillful SEO tactics on their websites and blogs (see post on Law Firm Marketing SEO: Don't Forget The Basics)

Answer consumer questions on online legal forums (see post on The Do's and Don'ts of Answering Legal Questions on Avvo )

Beef up profiles on Avvo.com, Lawyers.com, etc. (see post on Social Media for Attorneys: How to Leverage Avvo's Marketing Power to Generate Leads)

Have a content-rich, SEO-compliant law firm website (see post on Transform Your Law Firm's Website into a Client Generating Machine)

Have a blog (see post on Law Firm Marketing: Top 10 Ways to Generate Leads From Your Blog)

Participate on social media sites, especially Facebook (see post on Social Media Marketing for Lawyers: How to Increase Your Facebook Fan Engagement)

Of course, we cover all of the above in-depth at our two-day law firm marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat.  There’s one coming up next weekend in Orlando and two others later in the Fall:

October 26-27, 2012 – Scottsdale, AZ

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

You can still get in on our Early Bird Discount for our upcoming Rainmaker Retreats, so be sure to register now to receive the $200 discount.  The Early Bird Discount for our Oct. 5-6 in Orlando ends this Friday, Sept. 28.

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

 

A Law Firm Marketing Guide to Facebook Ads

Facebook offers ad targeting that is hard to beat since you can narrow who sees your ad on Facebook by zip code, by profession, by age, by sex, and by at whole host of interests (anyone market exclusive to, say, Harvard graduates?).

However, with its latest introduction of new ad formats, Facebook has created a lot of confusion in the marketplace.  Here’s a handy guide that aims to calm that confusion:

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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!

Click here now to order!

What New Twitter Profile Page Means for Branding Your Law Firm

Earlier this week, Twitter unveiled a new design for its profile pages and just like the new redesign from LinkedIn recently (see my earlier post on Social Media Marketing for Attorneys: Get Ready for New LinkedIn Company Pages), it relies heavily on imagery to help businesses brand themselves online.

Here’s a look at the new layout:

So what do law firms need to do with this new profile layout to enhance their online branding? 

First, claim your profile space with photos that speak to what it is you do.  Hopefully you have graphics on your website that you chose because they were highly relevant to your practice area – look at repurposing one or two of those that speak to who you are.  

Try to steer clear of the static suit-and-tie studio shots – instead, use photos that show your leadership, like a shot of you speaking at an event.  Be sure to add a link to your blog so those that follow you on Twitter can get the benefit of your deeper thinking in your blog posts.

Twitter is also supporting video on profiles, so be sure your law firm videos (you do have some, right?) are featured on your new profile page. 

Your new Twitter profile page will be available on desktop, tablet and mobile platforms so if you have not mobilized your own site yet, this is a great opportunity to have a mobile presence at no cost to you.

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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

5 Ways Blogging Grows Your Social Media Presence

Blogging should be at the heart of your law firm marketing strategy because of the ways it contributes to growing your social media footprint. Here are 5 ways that happens:

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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.

 

Social Media Tsunami: 7 Startling Facts About Social Media

You can’t operate a business today – and running a law practice is a business – without recognizing the incredible impact social media has made on our lives and trying to find a way to integrate it into your law firm marketing.

The deny-ers are still out there, but they are ignoring some pretty compelling facts about social media at their own risk:

If you’ve become convinced that you need to learn more about social media marketing for your law firm, invest two days and a little cash and come to a Rainmaker Retreat.  Here are the upcoming dates:

October 5-6, 2012 – Orlando, FL

October 26-27, 2012 – Scottsdale, AZ

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

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

For more information, call 888-588-5891 or visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com.

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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!

 

5 Reasons Why Blogging is Critical to Law Firm Marketing

I ran across a great post the other day from John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing on why blogging remains a critical tool in the age of social media. Some people may think that blogging can take a back seat to other forms of social media, but that is akin to putting your best foot backward.

Here’s why:

Blogging is the most stable form of SEO. Google is always taking steps to penalize sites that try to artificially boost their rankings. Blogs provide high quality, education-based, keyword-relevant content that will never be penalized by Google.

Blogging is your hub for social interaction. A blog forms the foundation for your social media efforts. You post a great blog and then make everyone aware of it by reposting on Facebook, Twitter, etc. That drives more traffic to your blog.

Blogging builds your email list. Valuable content entices people to learn more from you by signing up for a subscription to your newsletter or a feed from your blog.

Blogging builds your credibility. By approaching your blog as a publishing platform and pumping out content with a consistent point of view, you build a targeted audience and your expert status.

Blogging gives you options. You can repurpose blog posts into an article, a free report, an e-newsletter or other forms – useful content created on a blog has many potential lives.

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Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD Set

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

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

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

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

 

Social Media Marketing for Attorneys: Get Ready for New LinkedIn Company Pages

Last week, LinkedIn announced upcoming changes to its Company Pages and provided a preview of what those will look like once the change is rolled out to all users:

If it looks a little Facebook-familiar to you, I am sure that is no accident – getting rid of the text-heavy pages in favor of streamlining information and making room for lots of images is in direct response to what people prefer on social networking sites. 

Right now, LinkedIn is just making the new design available to several large beta company users but plans to roll it out to everyone by year-end.   LinkedIn also plans to make Company Pages mobile-friendly to capitalize on the growing use of mobile devices for social networking.

With this change, LinkedIn is making it easier for attorneys to showcase their practices as well as for you to engage with prospective client companies online. You will be able to monitor and track developments at companies you have targeted as potential clients, giving you more information to target your marketing as well as more opportunities to engage those prospects.

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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.  

 

Social Media Marketing for Attorneys: Is it for You?

Two-thirds of adults online currently use social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others – an impressive statistic when you consider that just five years ago, only 5 percent of adults online were involved in social media.

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

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

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

Remember the ITM? I talk about it a lot here and we focus on it at our Rainmaker Retreat session as well. Identifying and targeting the right market is absolutely critical to the success of your law firm marketing plan. If you don’t target the right market, nothing else you do will matter. To be successful as a legal marketer and attorney, you have to start with a clear picture of your ITM.

Take a look at the breakdown of who is using social networking sites (SNS):

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

If you are a bankruptcy attorney, you should know that the average age of a U.S. bankruptcy filer is 40. Social media also makes sense for you.

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

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

September 14-12, 2012 – Orange County, CA

October 5-6, 2012 – Orlando, FL

October 26-27, 2012 – Scottsdale, AZ

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

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

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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.

 

5 Ways Lawyers Fall Flat When It Comes to Social Media

Most attorneys I speak with these days feel a sense of urgency to participate on social media networks, but in the rush to join in some are making critical mistakes. If you’re just beginning to dip a toe in the social media ocean, here are 5 things you should definitely avoid:

Hard sell. There’s a reason it’s called social media...it’s social! Just like you wouldn’t give the hard sell to a prospect at a cocktail party, you also need to avoid it on social media.   The way to approach social media is as a tool for building relationships, and from those relationships will eventually flow sales opportunities. 

Self-promotion. Nobody likes to listen to someone talk about themselves ad nauseum. Again, think of the cocktail party analogy...social media is for engaging and listening. 

Being all things to all people. Your practice has a target market, and different social media networks appeal to different people. Once you have identified your target market, identify where they are hanging out online and spend your time on those social media sites.

Keeping up with the Joneses. If you’re a small firm or solo practitioner, don’t try to compete with the big firms. There is a reason clients come to you and there is real value in being exactly who you are online. 

Thinking social media costs nothing. While it won’t cost you a dime to sign up on social media networks, maintaining a robust presence on these sites does cost you – either time or money, it’s your choice. Monitoring your social media ROI and assigning a number value will enable you to track how effective a tool social media is for your practice.

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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!

 

Announcing Fall 2012 Rainmaker Retreat Dates

Fall is almost here and so is the next group of Rainmaker Retreats!  These information-packed law firm marketing seminars are designed to give small firm and solo attorneys the guidance you need to go back and develop legal marketing strategies that will allow you to build the type of practice you have always wanted. 

The information presented ranges from legal marketing systems and techniques to Internet and social media marketing for attorneys.

The Fall Rainmaker Retreat schedule includes the following dates and locations:

September 14-12, 2012 – Orange County, CA

October 5-6, 2012 – Orlando, FL

October 26-27, 2012 – Scottsdale, AZ

The Rainmaker Retreat is different from other marketing seminars in several ways:

First, it is specifically designed for Attorneys at small law firms and solo practitioners.  While attorneys at larger firms can benefit from the information presented, it is presented with the Small law firm and solo attorney in mind.

Second, it is a working retreat.  You will be creating many of your plans during the retreat.

Third, it is NOT an introductory course. We work very hard to make the material easy to understand and simple to apply, but please understand this is an advanced, in-depth, hard-hitting course.

Fourth, it is designed to maximize the your Return on Investment. Everything about this workshop is focused on one goal—helping you achieve the best results by finding more and better clients in the least amount of time using the least amount of money possible.

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

If you are looking to revolutionize your law firm marketing, register now for one of the Rainmaker Retreats. 

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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!

 

Using Paid Search to Drive Traffic to Your Legal Marketing Website

Prospects for your services will use certain words to search for what they want.  Knowing what those words are – and using them throughout your site in content as well as in paid search campaigns and social media marketing -- is the key to driving targeted traffic to your site. 

Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing is probably the most important development in advertising in the past decade. Never before has it been possible to spend so little to have new, precisely targeted clients coming to your website within minutes. 

However, if all your competitors are using the same keywords to target prospects, you don’t need to add your voice to that fray.  Talk to your prospects and clients and find out what words and phrases they use to look for a lawyer in your practice area.  Research those keywords and find out how many other people use them, then make a list of 20 to 30 words and phrases to use in your PPC campaign.

This infographic shows the current Cost Per Click (CPC) for various legal categories:

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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.

 

Tips on Creating Content Your Blog Readers Will Want to Share

The New York Times did a research study on the Psychology of Sharing to learn more about why people share content on the Internet. 

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 that aren’t seeing much action, you need to examine your content 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 (maintaining privacy, of course) that draws people in and makes them feel something.

Create a conversation. Commenting on the hot 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.

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.

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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.

 

ABA Survey Finds Majority of Small Firms, Solos Get Business From Their Blogs

The American Bar Association’s 2012 Legal Technology Survey finds that half of small firms (2-9 attorneys) and 53.3 percent of solos that have blogs report signing new clients as a result of their blogging efforts, either directly or via referral.

This rate significantly outpaces the results that large firms (100-499) attorneys experience, which was still impressive at 40 percent reporting new business from blogs.

With this rate of success, then, you have to wonder why only 12.2 percent of small firms and solos report having a blog. If there was ever a case of “first to market reaps the rewards,” it can be found in this ABA report.

On the technology front, the use of tablet computers doubled in the past year among attorneys, going from 15 percent in 2011 to 33 percent in 2012. Even though attorneys generally lag behind in the use of technology, smartphone usage is growing with the iPhone gaining and the Blackberry losing ground. 

Solos and small firms also lead the way when it comes to utilizing cloud computing, with 26 percent reporting such usage versus only 15 percent of lawyers in large firms.

If you haven’t started a blog yet – or want more tips on creating a blog that will help drive clients to your door – see my free report offer below.

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

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. 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.

 

Online Reputation Management: How to Track Your Social Mentions

To successfully manage your online reputation, you first need to know who is talking about you, what they are saying and where they are saying it. Fortunately, there are several free online tracking tools available to help you do this:

Google Alerts. Probably the most widely used tool, Google Alerts lets you set up alerts for any mention of your firm and yourself and sends those feeds directly to your inbox on a daily, weekly or “as it happens” basis. Be sure to create alerts for your competitors as well.

Socialmention.com – This cool tool allows you to do a real-time search using any keyword or name, and then creates a page with statistics on the top keywords, top users, sources and sentiment (positive, negative, neutral). You can also sign up for a daily alert feed that scours all social media sites for mentions and delivers them to your inbox.

Klout.com – This site is catnip for attorneys who love rankings and ratings. Klout measures your online influence across all social networks, on a scale of 1-100. Remember that Klout only measures your influence in social media – it doesn’t care if you went to Harvard or chair your local bar association or other real world influencers. 

For more information on this topic, see my post last month on What is Your Online Reputation? How to Monitor and Manage 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.

 

Top 10 Ways Law Firm Marketing Has Changed: The Avvo/LexBlog Report

My post Friday on Law Firm Marketing Survey Finds More Attorneys Engaged in Digital Marketing explored the key findings from the Avvo/LexBlog 2012 Legal Marketing Survey Report.

Today we look at the ways law firm marketing has changed over the past five years, from that same report, based on what lawyers responding to the survey said:

Law firm marketing has moved online and a majority of attorneys want (and need) to learn more about SEO and social media.

Most lawyers now believe they need an online presence to be viewed favorably by peers and clients.

The low cost of digital marketing has leveled the playing field, making it more affordable for all attorneys to participate, which in turn has ratcheted up the level of competition.

Yellow Pages are irrelevant today and print media spend has declined dramatically.

Bar associations are in chaos over the new rules and regulations needed to adapt to new media channels, leading to confusion among practitioners.

Clients are smarter and are doing more of their own research online.

Traditional firms and older attorneys are adapting to the online world.

Overall, attorneys feel overwhelmed by the plethora of different online marketing tools.

Focusing on online marketing makes it harder to develop personal connections.

Mobile is a platform attorneys cannot afford to ignore.

When lawyers were asked what they most wanted to learn about when it comes to legal marketing, the top two subjects of interest were SEO and social media. 

We spend a lot of time on these two areas in our two-day law firm marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat – to get a sneak peak behind the curtain of what happens at a Rainmaker Retreat, see below.

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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 Survey Finds More Attorneys Engaged in Digital Marketing

The Avvo/LexBlog 2012 Legal Marketing Survey Report finds that more attorneys than ever are engaged in digital marketing and using social networks to not only reach out to prospects but to communicate with existing clients as well.

The data is derived from 1,325 respondents to an online survey of attorneys conducted by Avvo and LexBlog in April 2012. Lest you think the age of respondents skewed the results toward digital marketing, the largest respondent age group – 32% -- was over the age of 50. In fact, 59% of respondents were over the age of 40.

Here are the key findings:

Attorneys are embracing law firm marketing activities more than ever before – 80% plan to spend the same or more on marketing in 2012.

Investment in digital marketing is increasing – one-quarter of respondents say they spend 75% of their marketing budget online.

54% of respondents use social media for business development.

LinkedIn and Facebook are the most popular social media sites for new business development; lawyers are also using these to communicate with existing clients.

72% of respondents say they actively monitor their online reputations.

A majority of respondents said that answering legal questions in online forums is an effective marketing strategy for their firms.

Offline marketing remains a priority – 75% of respondents attend conferences to network and more than 50% speak at events to help generate new business.

The report also examines how legal marketing has changed over the past five years – I’ll post about that this weekend.

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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!

 

How to Market to Boomers, The Most Valuable Generation

A new study out from Nielsen calls baby boomers the “most valuable generation” because they will control 70 percent of the disposable income in the U.S. in the next five years.

There are currently 80 million boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 – in the U.S. today and the number of Americans 50+ is projected to grow by 34 percent by 2030. That means that within 20 years, half of Americans will be over the age of 50.

Boomers are also driving the growth of social networking – their usage has doubled to 42 percent in the past year. Currently, Nielsen reports that 53 percent of boomers are on Facebook and they use business-related social sites like LinkedIn at a much higher rate than the average American consumer.

Not surprisingly, the reason behind this (according to Nielsen) is that boomers use technology as a way to stay perpetually young. But you would be wrong to lump all boomers into one broad category.

For example, leading edge boomers (born 1946-55) are pre-retirement or have already retired. Trailing edge boomers (born 1956-64) are still working and earning. If you are an estate planning attorney, you would likely market your services differently to these two segments of the boomer population.  

Boomers continue to be the “me” generation, and have become jaded to mass marketing – one of the reasons their use of social media is so high and growing. They now seek more personalization and customization, which places an increased demand on attorneys to personalize their law firm marketing communications with tools like e-newsletters, blogs and social media messaging.

For boomers, you have to always be answering the question, “What’s in it for me?”

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Learn About Internet Marketing for Lawyers at August 8 Phoenix Legal Networking Group

Having an Internet presence is a must for attorneys who want to effectively market and grow their firms. But how do you know you are going about it the right way?

It should be no secret that the Internet is one of the most cost effective lead sources for attorneys today. Even if a portion of your client base includes referrals, you can be sure that they are checking you out on the Web before they give you a call.

At the August 8 Phoenix Legal Networking Group meeting, you can learn how top law firms are using the Internet, search engine optimization, their websites and blogs to find more and better clients for their law firms.

Come join us and discover:

  • 2 critical keys to getting your website on the front page of Google
  • 3 most important goals of your website & blog
  • The “secret weapon” of Internet marketing for law firms
  • How to avoid the most common pitfalls and mistakes attorneys make with their websites

Date:  Wednesday, August 8; 5:30-7:30 pm (5:30-6:45pm Networking, 6:45-7:30 pm Seminar)

Location: Grimaldi’s (Rockefeller Room), Old Town Scottsdale, 4000 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Speaker: Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute

Cost: $35. This covers drinks, hors d’oeurves, the networking event and the seminar.

Dress:  Business Casual

Sponsors:  Attorney at Law Magazine and The Rainmaker Institute, LLC

Register online now for the August 8 meeting of the Phoenix Legal Networking Group.

 

Check Out This Social Media Checklist for Business

At first glance, the infographic below seems mind-numbingly complicated and could be enough to dissuade even the most ardent believer in the benefits of social media. 

But as I’ve said here before – and you undoubtedly tell your own clients – you don’t have to do it by yourself. There are many resources out there to help you promote your firm in social media (full disclosure: The Rainmaker Institute is one of them). 

So take a cue from our Olympic athletes: find a way to get it done. The reward can be a lifestyle law firm that will allow you to do exactly what you want.

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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.  

 

Creating Lasting Client Relationships As Easy As 1-2-3

The explosion of social media marketing has enabled law firms of all sizes to create more targeted and regular communications than ever with clients and prospects. While some firms have mastered the art, many are still struggling with ways to harness the power of social media to engage with clients.

However, what they may not realize is that the key to building connections with clients online is to start offline, taking your daily interactions with clients and building on them using social media and online marketing tools. It’s as simple as 1-2-3:

1. Create compelling client experiences. When you give outstanding client service, clients return and tell others about you.

2. Use email to connect directly with clients. After you’ve established an offline relationship, deepen it through consistent, relevant email marketing messages.  Provide a useful monthly newsletter, and always offer them a way to opt-out.

3. Extend the conversation through social media. Take your relationship to the next level by engaging your contacts through social media, thereby extending your conversation to your client’s network of friends and family. 

The primary reason that social and online media can be so effective for law firms is because it is simply speeding up the traditional one-on-one relationship that marketers seek to have with customers. Since it is so targeted, your time and money is put to much more effective use in making those authentic connections that translate into retainers.

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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