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Law firm marketing and business development strategies

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10 Things You Need to Know About Advertising Your Law Firm on Facebook

Posted in Social Media Marketing for Law Firms

10 Things You Need to Know About Advertising Your Law Firm on FacebookEven if you have been advertising on Facebook for some time, you may not realize that, like Google, Facebook algorithms change all the time and the strategy you set for your ad campaign yesterday may not work in the same way for you today.

Here are 10 things about Facebook advertising you need to take into consideration when developing your social media marketing campaigns:

  1. Different devices call for different campaigns.

Facebook’s ad platform offers ad delivery across multiple devices automatically. However, since different devices (smartphone, tablet, desktop, laptop) have different ad requirements and a prospect using a mobile device may have a different intent than those using a desktop computer (immediate need vs. research), you should create different ads for each platform in order to maximize your ROI.

  1. Image ads deliver better results.

Facebook prefers image ads with little or not text over those with heavy text and delivers ads accordingly. Image ads enjoy a higher distribution rate and lower cost per impression. Keep this in mind as you create your Facebook ads and pay attention to Facebook’s image to text ratio, which is highlighted as you set up your ads.

  1. Save video for your posts.

Video ads do not perform as well as image ads on Facebook, so you should save your video clips for posts on your own page if your strategy is to generate clicks with your ads.

  1. You need to change up your ads often.

A majority of Facebook campaigns do not allow you to control how often your ad is served up to the same user. This can lead to ad fatigue, causing users to ignore your ads if they keep seeing the same ad over and over. To avoid this issue, refresh your creative and content often.

  1. Ad bids are sensitive to seasonality.

Similar to Google Adwords, Facebook ads are subject to a bidding system that determines impression price based on a number of factors. One of those key factors is how many bidders are bidding on a specific audience target at the same time, making Facebook’s bids sensitive to seasonality. Therefore, you will see a higher cost per click at certain times of the year, like the holidays.

  1. You can limit your ad’s exposure on Facebook’s Audience Network.

Facebook’s Audience Network allows advertisers to extend the reach of their campaigns beyond Facebook to reach their audiences on third party websites and apps, using the same targeting criteria you set for your Facebook ads. However, many advertisers believe the Audience Network doesn’t deliver the same ROI they get from advertising on Facebook. There are also websites on the Audience Network where you may not want your ad to appear. You can either create a block list to exclude these types of sites by category (dating, gambling, mature, tragedy and conflict, and debatable social issues) or upload a list of websites you want to exclude.

  1. Audience insights allow you to refine your targeting.

By using Facebook’s audience insights with conversion data, you can access more ways to target prospects based on their historical online behaviors, buying habits, and more. You can choose to look at a number of different audiences, from everyone on Facebook to people who have liked your page or a custom audience, which you can create by adding your current client contact list or have Facebook create a custom audience based on traffic to your website. Examining this data will help you expand the reach of your campaign and provide better ad performance.

  1. Facebook’s pre-selected similar reach targeting option extends ad reach.

Similar to its lookalike targeting, where Facebook takes the data you have used to build Custom Audiences and uses it to target other people who are similar to those on that list, this option delivers ads to audiences that are similar to what you’ve already selected and that are most likely to deliver extra conversions at a lower impression cost. This can help you expand your ad’s visibility and reach.

  1. Facebook has a Click-to-Chat option.

One of the least used ad options on Facebook is the Click-to-Chat ad option in the website campaign category. If you have already integrated Live Chat into your law firm website, you know that this can deliver highly qualified leads. This ad option works in a similar manner. If you choose it, just be sure you have a trained intake team to capitalize on these Facebook ad leads.

  1. Bid strategies need to be reviewed regularly.

As mentioned above, Facebook bids are sensitive to seasonality and changes to the site’s own algorithms, so the bid strategy you are using today may not work tomorrow. This is why you need to review your ad statistics weekly to be sure your bid costs are not creeping up and negatively affecting your ROI.

 

Free Webinar 1/15: Top 5 Ways Lawyers Are Filling Up Their Calendars With Appointments Fast – and Signing More Cases Every Month!

Posted in Law Firm Marketing, Lead Conversion

Free Webinar 1/15: Top 5 Ways Lawyers Are Filling Up Their Calendars With Appointments Fast - and Signing More Cases Every Month!It’s the second week of January and you have a lot of slots to fill on your calendar with appointments that will hopefully turn into new clients. So how are you going to do it?

You can begin by watching my free webinar on the Top 5 Ways Lawyers Are Filling Up Their Calendars With Appointments Fast — and Signing More Cases Every Month on Tuesday, January 15 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

This free webinar will help you discover:

  • Top tips for answering your phone
  • Tracking your leads for maximum conversion
  • Components of a well-written script (greeting, length, appointment setting, overcoming objections, and integrating with other software programs)
  • Best practices for small and solo firms
  • How to select the best answering service for your law firm
  • How to handle calls during after hours, nights, weekends, lunch times, and the “Monday morning rush”

I’ll be hosting this one-hour live webinar and joining me will be Jamie Lowary, Channel Relations Manager at PATLive, a 24/7 live answering service for businesses. With top-notch agents and proprietary technology, PATLive answers calls for thousands of businesses nationwide. Jamie will be sharing her insights on best practices for managing your phone intake process and turning calls into appointments.

Although you may get excited about the calls coming in from your latest law firm marketing efforts, it’s not the number of calls that counts — it’s your ability to convert those calls into appointments. After all, an unconverted call is just money left on the table. If you don’t pick it up and pocket it, it does nothing for you.

If your intake team is having problems converting calls into appointments, then this free webinar is a must-see for you! Register online now for the Top 5 Ways Lawyers Are Filling Up Their Calendars With Appointments Fast — and Signing More Cases Every Month on Tuesday, January 15 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

NOTE: If you are unable to attend the live event, you should register anyway so we can send you a link to a recording of the webinar.

5 Ways to Improve Your Content Marketing in 2019

Posted in Content Marketing

5 Ways to Improve Your Content Marketing in 2019Having high quality content on your website, blog, and social media pages is the best way to improve your Google search ranking and online authority. When people — your prospects — like what you have to say online, you are rewarded by Google as well as by those who are ready to hire an attorney to help them solve their legal problems.

But creating good, consistent content is not easy. Too often, the task of continually pumping out articles and posts for all your online properties falls by the wayside when you get busy doing other things. This is why creating an editorial calendar for your content is so important. It serves as a guide and a reminder to keep putting that good content out there so you can reap the rewards.

If you think you have exhausted your supply of ideas on what to write about, here are five ways you can gain fresh insights that will generate great content:

  1. Discover what people are asking about online.

Your best content ideas come from questions people are asking about the type of law you practice. There’s a great tool called TextOptimizer that enables you to research these questions in one spot. All you have to do is type in one of your keywords in the Topics Ideas section; in this example, I typed in “child support” and got these results:

This tool has other features to help you really drill down into content suggestions and helping your find combinations that better match search engine expectations.

  1. Have your intake team record prospect’s questions.

In addition to the standard information your intake team gets from prospects, ask them to start recording questions they are getting from callers. You can use an app like Slack or Google Docs to build a database of all the questions and then you’ll be able to view them easily in one place.

  1. Take note of seasonal trends.

Include seasonal trends like holidays, back to school, summer vacation travel, Super Bowl, etc., in your content calendar. For example, if you practice family law, you know that divorce and parenting topics are popular around the Christmas holidays. If you practice estate planning, you know that tax topics are popular in the month before April 15.

  1. Use keyword research tools.

Keyword research tools are not just for SEO; they can also provide you with some real insight into your potential clients’ interests and questions. There are a couple of tools you can use to generate content ideas:

Kparser — type in a main topic idea and this tool will generate a ton of keyword ideas around that main topic. I typed in “divorce” and it gave me a topic that I’ll bet most of you have never written about: divorce in the bible!

Answer the Public — type in a keyword or phrase and get an aggregated view of questions people ask Google and Bing. You can download the results in a spreadsheet or in a graphic format. I typed in “child support” and got this:

 

  1. Repackage old content

Create new content by taking some of your best old content and repackage it into an ebook, webinar, newsletter, podcast, video, infographic , or email series. So what is old becomes new again!

What Attorneys Need to Know About Online Reputation Management

Posted in Business Development for Law Firms

Reputation is everything for attorneys. A good one gets you more clients through referrals; a bad one pretty much dooms your practice. So it’s no surprise that attorneys tend to pay close attention to cultivating a good 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.

The infographic below provides the 5 steps lawyers can take to manage their online reputation; look it over and then click on the link below it to watch my free webinar specifically for attorneys on managing your online reputation.

What Attorneys Need to Know About Online Reputation Management

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FREE WEBINAR for Attorneys: How to Manage Your Online Reputation

FREE WEBINAR for Attorneys: How to Manage Your Online ReputationA bad reputation could cost you everything, but this online training course on How to Protect, Build & Leverage Your Online Reputation will cost you nothing!

Take a moment right now and Google yourself. If you don’t like what you see, maybe you need to make more effort to manage your online reputation. And if you don’t have a clue how to do this, then this free online training session is for you!

Here’s what you’ll learn during this free one-hour online training session:

  • How to get feedback from 100% of your clients without risking a negative review online.
  • How to address both positive and negative reviews online so that both of them bring you business.
  • How to use online reviews to beat your competition, no matter what their marketing budget is.
  • A proven process for requesting and collecting reviews that will outperform anything you’ve ever tried.
  • series of word-for-word scripts that you can use to build your reputation today.
  • The top 5 ways to use your best reviews to boost conversion rate and maximize your marketing ROI.
  • How to put little-known best practices to work for you and gain from the experience of thousands of clients who went before you.

This online training event is presented by Michael Veinbergs, CEO of Local Marketing GeeksMichael is an online marketing expert, a well known speaker and the owner of one of the premier online marketing agencies in the country focused on helping attorneys build their practice. He is a UCSD graduate and a 28-year sales and marketing veteran. He started his first marketing agency in 2009, offering web development, SEO, PPC marketing and more.

Register online now for the free online training on How to Protect, Build & Leverage Your Online Reputation. We’ll send you the link via email and you can share it with your staff and other attorneys in your practice.

 

How to Emulate the Top 7 Habits of Successful Law Firms

Posted in Law Firm Management, Law Firm Marketing

There are certain traits successful law firms share.  I call them habits, since they must be deeply ingrained in an organization to bear full fruit.  A few years ago, Forrester Research — a global business research and advisory firm — studied the successful habits of small businesses, and it is uncanny how those habits match up with the ones I’ve observed (and help put in place) at highly successful law firms:

  1. How to Emulate the Top 7 Habits of Successful Law Firms An emphasis on online over offline marketing strategies.
  2. A focus on new business leads and client lifetime value over client acquisition cost savings.
  3. The execution of highly-optimized, multi-channel campaigns leveraging email, digital 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 repeat and improve.
  6. A willingness to change business models that are no longer working for the firm because of changes in the marketplace due to technology or consumer preferences.
  7. Maintaining — or even increasing — marketing budgets in order to increase business momentum, seize new opportunities, and gain a competitive advantage.

If you’re still struggling to find success for your law firm, consider attending one of our Rainmaker Retreats in 2019. Many attorneys fail to recognize that the business of law is much more than just the practice of law. This is not surprising, since the business side of the law is not taught in law schools. The purpose of the Rainmaker Retreat is to teach small and mid-sized firms how to succeed at the business of law.

Here are the upcoming sessions for the next three months:

  • January 18-19, 2019 — Las Vegas, NV/Aria Resort & Casino
  • February 15-16, 2019 — Miami, FL/DoubleTree Ocean Point Resort & Spa
  • March 22-23, 2019 — Scottsdale, AZ/Talking Stick Resort

If you feel it’s time to stop making excuses for your lack of success and do something about it, register online now for a Rainmaker Retreat or call 888-588-5891 for more information.

In addition, I recommend that you start the year off right by reading my interview with nationally recognized business guru Michael Gerber; click below to get this free report

2 Critical Numbers Every Law Firm Must Know

Posted in Business Development for Law Firms, Law Firm Management

2 Critical Numbers Every Law Firm Must Know Do you know how much money each lead is really costing you? How much does it cost you to get a new client? Knowing the answers to these questions can mean the difference between a profitable firm and a struggling one.  These numbers are known as “KPIs” — Key Performance Indicators. They are the critical numbers or metrics that run your law firm.

Two of the most important KPIs that every law firm should be tracking include: (1) your Cost Per Lead (CPL) and (2) your Cost Per Client (CPC). 

There are some simple ways to calculate your KPIs to help you maximize your marketing efforts:

Measuring Your Average Cost Per Lead 

Every law firm must have a solid grasp on how much it costs their company to generate a lead. I’m going to share with you how you can quickly estimate your CPL. Notice I said “estimate” as this is not a perfect calculation, but it will give you a pretty good indication and it’s a lot better than what most of you are currently doing to find out… which is nothing.

The first step is to create a clear definition of what a “lead” is. I have been in far too many firms where the partners had one definition of a “lead,” which was completely different from the definition the associates and staff had. Everyone in the firm must all have the same clear definition of what a lead is.

Here are the 3 criteria we use at The Rainmaker Institute to define a “lead”: 

  1. Someone who has never done business with you before. Regardless of whether you handled a matter for them six months ago or six years ago, that person or company is not a “lead;” they are a repeat client.
  2. They express an interest in your services.
  3. Everyone who contacts your firm, whether it’s by phone, email, a referral, showing up at a seminar you are giving, filling out a form on your website, being sent to you by a pay per lead company, or any other way.

A lead is counted upon the initial contact with the firm, not after an appointment is set, not after their appointment is kept and certainly not after they sign up to be a new client. At the very least, every person who answers the phone in your office should have a lead-tracking sheet in order to keep track of all the leads your firm receives in a month.

Once you have a good handle on truly how many leads your firm is already generating in a month (from all sources) you can estimate your Cost Per Lead (CPL) by using the following formula:

  1. Select a time frame (a month, a quarter or a year).
  2. Determine how many “leads” were produced during that time frame.
  3. Add up how much money the firm invested in marketing and business development during that same time frame.
  4. Divide the amount of money by the number of new leads produced.

For example, if you invested $20,000 in marketing and business development over the course of three months and generated 100 leads, then your average CPL is $200. The question you want to ask yourself is, is that good or bad?

Well, it depends on two things: what your average client value (ACV) is and how good your lead conversion system is. If your ACV is only $1,500, like for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, then $200 per lead may be acceptable, but it’s not fantastic.

However, if you’re a commercial litigation attorney and your ACV is $20,000, then paying $200 for a lead is a no-brainer.

If you have a very low conversion rate of 5-15% (measured by how many new clients you sign up/retain for every 100 leads you produce) and a low ACV, then you likely cannot afford to pay $200 per lead. But if you have a high lead conversion rate of 30-50%, then paying $200 per lead will work even if your ACV is on the low end.

Once you have a solid estimate of your average Cost Per Lead you should measure it monthly, quarterly, and annually. Some marketing expenses may only come once per year (like a big ad campaign or a new website) while others can be a monthly investment. Comparing them month over month, quarter over quarter, and year over year will give you great insight into how effective your lead generation efforts are.

Measuring Your Average Cost Per Client

The next number you need to know for your law firm is your average Cost Per Client (CPC) – i.e., how much does it actually cost your business to produce one new client? Not how much it costs you to perform the work, but just to get a new client to sign up or retain your firm.

Similar to CPL, you first need to define what a “new client” is for your law firm. This is much more straightforward for most firms. We define a new client as someone who pays you money or signs a retainer agreement if you are a contingency-based law firm.

To estimate your average CPC use the following four steps:  

  1. Select a time frame (a month, a quarter or a year).
  2. Determine how many “new clients” were produced during that time frame.
  3. Add up how much money the firm invested in marketing and business development during that same time frame.
  4. Divide the amount of money by the number of new clients.

For example, if you invested $20,000 in marketing and business development over the course of three months and generated 100 leads, then your average CPL is $200. If those 100 leads turned into 10 new clients, then your average Cost Per Client is $2,000. The question you should be asking again is, is that good or bad?

It depends upon your Average Client Value (ACV). If you practice estate planning law, paying $2,000 for a new client is untenable. However, if you focus almost exclusively on asset protection and your ACV is $10,000 to $20,000, then paying $2,000 for a new client is very acceptable. It still leaves you enough money to perform the work and have a healthy profit margin.

As you review your efforts and results from this past year and consider the changes you need to make next year in order to achieve your goals, I invite you to make a commitment to yourself and to your business that you will get a handle on these two critical numbers: Cost Per Lead and Cost Per Client.

Based on our experience of working with over 18,000 attorneys, without these two numbers you will continue to struggle and fall short of building a lifestyle law firm — a firm that produces enough money to give you the ability to lead the life you want to lead, enjoying your friends and family, taking more vacations, and eventually to leave the legacy you want to leave.

If you’re ready to take your firm to the next level and would like some assistance in achieving your financial goals, I invite you to sign up for a complimentary strategy session with one of our trained Rainmaker Advisors. We have helped attorneys across the country discover the secrets in building a financially successful and personally satisfying legal practice and we would love to have your law firm be our next success story!

 

5 Lessons on What It Takes to Build a Successful Law Firm

Posted in Law Firm Development, Law Firm Management

5 Lessons on What It Takes to Build a Successful Law FirmOne important lesson you have probably learned by now if you’ve been practicing law for any period of time is that knowing the law is very different from learning how to run a successful law firm. There are lessons that only experience can teach us; my experience of helping more than 18,000 attorneys learn how to build a lifestyle law firm — one that enables to do what you want, when you want — has revealed these 5 key lessons:

  1. Exceptional client service is a competitive advantage. Exceptional client service begins with doing what you say you will do. It becomes a competitive advantage for your firm when it permeates everything – from whom you hire, to how employees are trained, to how you run your firm. There is no replacement for a great client experience.
  2. Your job is to solve problems. People hire lawyers to solve a problem. But everyone’s problems, and their approaches to a solution, differ. You must help them reach their goals using the skills you have by understanding what is important to the client, not on the outcome you necessarily believe is best.
  3. Appearances matter. The minute a prospective client walks in the door, your office environment tells them a story about the level of service they can expect from you. Greet them warmly, offer them a beverage or snack, and don’t make them wait!
  4. Great people make law firms great. Nothing speaks more loudly about your firm than the people that work there. Make every hire a great one, and train your people in how you want your firm represented. Empower them to find solutions for clients and loyalty will follow.
  5. Everyone has a different definition of service. This is an important one. We have lots of clients; some want to talk to us every week, and some want their law firm marketing program to run smoothly without their direct involvement. This is why we tailor all our service offerings to each individual client. They are all important, but they are all different. Learn the differences and how you can meet their individual expectations.

As you plan for 2019, keep these lessons in mind and examine the areas that need improvement within your law firm to reach new levels of success in the new year.

Does Size Matter When it Comes to Law Firm Marketing?

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

Does Size Matter When it Comes to Law Firm Marketing?At some time, you’ve probably been told that it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog (especially you litigators!). So while big firms do have some advantages over small to mid-size firms when it comes to resources available for law firm marketing, my experience in working with more than 18,000 attorneys over the past two decades has shown me that size does not have to matter when it comes to out-marketing your competition.

That said, I think there are four critical factors where the size of the firm does matter when it comes to law firm marketing — but these can be overcome if you have the right tools:

Time.

Usually in a big firm, there is a staff member or a team of people responsible for managing the firm, preparing documents, marketing the firm, and collecting overdue invoices. All the attorneys need to do is practice law and build great relationships with their clients. Most of our clients in smaller firms have to wear 5 to 10 hats every day — from business development, to building relationships with potential referral sources, to meeting with prospects, fulfillment of services, managing a practice, collecting fees and operating the firm.

When it comes to learning how to market and grow their law firm, smaller firms must do it in a compressed time frame and then get back to work. This is why we developed our Rainmaker Retreat, an intensive, deep dive into practical techniques and proven strategies that are specifically designed to help attorneys in small and medium sized firms. It covers over 65 different strategies in a step-by-step fashion that focuses on implementation and taking rapid action to achieve maximum results.

Money.

Many large law firms have a marketing budget bigger than the annual revenues of small law firms whose marketing plans must be designed to be easily implemented on a low cost budget.

We teach our clients one of the best returns on investment a small firm can implement is a monthly e-newsletter. Our clients tell us that almost every time they send out their newsletter, referrals start coming in.

Number of decision makers.

Committees make most marketing decisions at many large firms. Theoretically, I understand the benefit of committees (getting all the interested and vested parties together in the same room and thereby ultimately making a better decision). However, some of the worst decisions (and indecision) I’ve seen have come from committees.

I understand that being the decision maker puts significantly more pressure on the attorney in a smaller practice to make the “right” decision, often based solely on their experience. When you are making a big decision about marketing your law firm, I recommend you assemble your people to get their input, but then take personal responsibility as the owner of the firm and make the best decision you can given the information you have at that time. Taking action immediately and consistently will cover a multitude of sins when it comes to law firm marketing.

Need for immediate ROI.

Large firms can afford to be patient and wait months or even longer before they see a positive return on investment. Smaller law firms require a much shorter timeframe within which to measure their ROI. This may be weeks or a few months, but for most firms several months is simply too long to wait and see if a marketing strategy is going to pay off.

Many of the business development strategies we teach our clients at a Rainmaker Retreat are focused on a shorter timeframe. At the same time, you cannot expect instant results because the clients you get today come from the marketing you did three to six months ago.

Law firm marketing is not magic and it’s not easy! It’s hard work, but part of the reason why some firms are so successful and others are still struggling is because only a relatively few are willing to do the hard work it takes to implement a truly effective marketing strategy. Building a lifestyle law firm is a long-term commitment that has massive dividends down the road.

5 Bad Habits That Inhibit Law Firm Growth

Posted in Law Firm Development, Law Firm Marketing

5 Bad Habits That Inhibit Law Firm GrowthThere are some things you may be doing that, if you quit doing them, would bring you more success when it comes to growing your law firm.

We are approaching another new year quickly. If you have any of these 5 bad habits, resolve to change that in 2019:

  1. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity — doing the same thing and expecting a different result — is something we’ve all heard but that few of us take to heart. When it comes to law firm marketing, there are plenty of attorneys out there still doing the same old thing but expecting different or better results. When you open yourself up to new approaches to the same problem — whether it’s lack of leads or converting those leads into appointments — your firm will be better served if you learn what has been working for other law firms and put together a lead generation/lead conversion process for your firm based on proven best practices.

  1. Saying yes to everything and everyone.

We all have the same 24 hours each day in which to make a positive impact on our business and the world. When you say “yes” to one thing, you are also saying “no” to something else. If you say “yes” to every prospect that comes through your firm without determining if they are a good fit, you are likely turning away business that is better for your firm. If you have not yet created an ideal client profile for your firm, make it a goal to do this so you can focus on saying “yes” to clients that you can serve better and who can better serve you by bringing you profitable work.

  1. Striving for perfection.

When it comes to law firm marketing, one of my go-to-mantras has always been, “Done is better than perfect.” Many attorneys struggle with perfectionism, and while this can be a useful trait in the practice of the law, it will not serve you well when it comes to marketing your law firm. You will simply miss too many opportunities if you dither over every semi-colon in a blog post or color scheme on a landing page. Consider your hourly billable rate — your time is much more valuable being spent on profit-making tasks. Work with someone you trust with sterling credentials in law firm marketing. Hold them to your standards but don’t hold your marketing program hostage to indecision or perfectionism.

  1. Procrastination.

We all tend to postpone working on things that are difficult, but those things are often what will contribute the most to our success. When it comes to law firm marketing, attorneys typically put it off because they don’t understand how to do it. If this rings true for you, it’s time to step up and educate yourself. There are a number of valuable marketing workshops, seminars, webinars and books you can use to educate yourself. For a truly immersive experience, attend a Rainmaker Retreat, our 2-day law firm marketing workshop. See what other attorneys have to say about it here.

  1. Believing everything will work out on its own.

Things don’t typically work out on their own; you have to take on the responsibility of making them work. Prospects are not going to suddenly start booking appointments with you unless you have a lead conversion process in place to make that happen. Referrals are not just going to start flooding in without some work on cultivating referral sources. It takes proactive leadership to get things done in every facet of your business.

Law Firm Management: 12 Tips to Inspire Peak Performance in Your People

Posted in Law Firm Management

Law Firm Management: 12 Tips to Inspire Peak Performance in Your PeopleHaving outstanding people working at every level of your law firm is one thing that can truly differentiate you from your competitors and keep clients coming in the door.

Unfortunately, I hear from many attorneys that finding and keeping good people is a major challenge when it comes to law firm management. This is something that bedevils a lot of businesses, not just law firms.

After 25+ years of running several successful businesses, I know the importance of dedicating real effort every day to ensuring that everyone who works for me is motivated to do the best possible job for our clients and our company. Here’s what I’ve learned about motivating people:

  1. Hire good people. You can’t fix stupid, so don’t hire it. Sure, we have all made hiring mistakes — people who interview great but their rubber never meets the road. Learn from those mistakes and put together a process for hiring that ensures you get the best possible people.
  2. Give them freedom. Good people hate being micro-managed, so as soon as they have proven themselves, give your employees the freedom to do their jobs. If they have a great idea for doing something different than the way you’ve always done it, listen. If it makes sense, run with it. Incentivize them for ways to cut costs and serve clients better.
  3. Make it easy for them to do their jobs. The actual work you do is not easy, so why make it more difficult by having outdated systems or processes? There are so many great automated tools out there to make the work process go more smoothly; invest in as many as you can and you will reap the benefits in a better work product from your people.
  4. Get rid of the weak links. Bad employees kill the motivation in good ones. As soon as you discover you have a rotten apple, toss it.
  5. Say thanks: Whether you approach your employees personally, send them a note, or praise them in a staff meeting – it’s important to express your gratitude whenever they’ve done a good job. Saying thanks is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to make your employees feel appreciated.
  6. Do lunch: Nobody will turn down a free meal – and a lunch meeting gives you the opportunity to reward your staff with great food while also bringing everybody together to share their successes, stories and struggles.
  7. Focus on the family: Each of your employees has family members they love and care about. By showing that you value their families, you can cultivate a deeper sense of loyalty with your employees. Some family-based rewards can be as simple as a “free night at the movies” or an all-expenses paid dinner.
  8. Change job titles: Believe it or not, the more inflated the job title the more your employees will work to live up to it. If you hire somebody as a “janitor” he will pick up your trash. But if you hire somebody as a “workplace environmental consultant”, he will keep your office clean and provide insight on how to make things more efficient.
  9. Friendly perks: Flowers, in-office massages, or gym passes can be a great way to reward employees for great work.
  10. Upgraded office: Is there any way you can improve your employee’s office area? A new computer monitor, chair, or printer would go a long way in reminding your employees that they are valuable to your law firm.
  11. Flexible hours: Providing a bit of flexibility is often greeted with increased productivity. Whenever possible, see if you can let your employees tweak their schedule to meet their specific needs – whether it’s a longer lunch or mid-day break to go the gym.
  12. Celebrate! I love to celebrate with the people I work with, whether it’s an informal lunch in the office where we can spend a little downtime just shooting the breeze or it’s a big holiday do. We have a holiday extravaganza every year with lots of great gifts for everyone; not only is it a wonderful way to show your appreciation for the hard work all year, I’ve also found that it really gets everyone fired up for the new year!

No one succeeds alone, so spend the time and effort to motivate your team and you will reap the rewards.

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Free Webinar: How to Find, Train & Retain the Best Talent

You can’t get the lifestyle law firm you’ve always wanted by yourself.  You need Superstars in your organization to make this happen and our free webinar on How to Find, Train and Retain the Best Talent can get you on your way.  You can access it for free and watch it at your convenience.

The webinar is led by Jay Henderson, founder of Real Talent Hiring, and one of the nation’s leading authorities on how to find and hire the right talent to grow your business. Having good people is what separates good law firms from great law firms. If you want to hire better, more productive people, you cannot afford to miss this webinar.

Some of the topics Jay covers include:

  • The 3 P’s of hiring and driving performance
  • The Superstar Profile
  • The Superstar Magnet for attracting talent
  • Best interviewing strategies
  • Testing: Should you test candidates and what to be aware of

Studies show that companies with happy employees are 12% more productive and 20% more profitable than those with unhappy employees.  Once you have a group of Superstars working for you, you will never want to settle for anything less.

Register online now for the free webinar, How to Find, Train and Retain the Best Talent, and start hiring the people you need to succeed!