The Rainmaker Blog

The Rainmaker Blog

Law firm marketing and business development strategies

(888) 588-5891

Lead Conversion for Law Firms: Use These 6 Techniques to Boost Your Conversion Rate

Posted in Lead Conversion

Lead Conversion for Law Firms: Use These 6 Techniques to Boost Your Conversion RateThe art of lead conversion begins with an in-depth understanding of your prospect’s mindset.  You need to know their emotional triggers and their decision-making process and then leverage that knowledge to get them to act.

Use these well-proven persuasion techniques to increase your lead conversion rate:

Reciprocity. The need to repay a favor is deeply ingrained in human behavior. When you offer prospects a free ebook or newsletter, you subconsciously encourage them to offer something to you — their email address and permission to be contacted.

Commitment. Humans have a natural tendency to want to follow through on their commitments. It is part of our self-image, that we are reliable and trustworthy. If you can get prospects to make a small commitment — signing up for a free consultation — they are more likely to make the bigger commitment of becoming clients.

Social proof. People tend to want to do the things that other people do. On the Internet, that is known as social proof — which is why reviews are so widely used. Positive reviews of a product or service lessen the risk that we will be disappointed in our choices. There is security in numbers. Ways to demonstrate your social proof include having testimonials on your website to show others have been satisfied with your work and social media sharing.

Likeability. People buy from people they like and trust, so likeability is a big influencer. You can build trust and relationships by using videos and photos on your website and blog featuring you and your staff, associating your brand with charitable causes and by creating content that mirrors your target market.

Scarcity. People want what they can’t have. The theory of loss aversion — that people would rather avoid losses than acquire gains — is well proven in human psychology. Making limited time or one-of-a-kind offers — a webinar, a special report — will increase the desirability of those offers considerably.

Authority. For the most part, we trust and respect people in authority. Authority can be conferred via a title, an endorsement, or an enviable track record of success. Hosting and posting to a blog regularly can increase your authority, as can participation in LinkedIn groups and publishing in legal directories. Publicizing your awards and your wins also helps boost your authority.

Understood and applied correctly, these time-proven persuasion techniques can help you boost your lead conversion rates dramatically over time.

 

5 Common SEO Mistakes You Could Be Making with Your Blog

Posted in SEO for law firms

5 Common SEO Mistakes You Could Be Making with Your BlogAs a continual source of fresh content, blogging is a great way to boost your SEO while helping you build authority in your practice area. However, to optimize the SEO performance of your law firm blog, you need to be sure you’re not committing one of these five common mistakes:

  1. Too much focus on keywords.

Putting too much emphasis on optimizing blog content for keywords is a common error. Even if your primary objective for your blog is SEO, you can still obtain a good ranking with content that isn’t optimized for keywords. How? By crafting content that is well written and unique and promoting it heavily on social media and email, you build authority, which is also an important ranking factor for SEO.

  1. Not including internal links.

Many marketers focus solely on external links without realizing that once you have established enough authority for your blog, you can use internal links to rank for your important keywords. Internal links let search engines know which pages on your site are important. As you create new posts, link to older posts that have proven popular in the past to drive traffic to your best content.

  1. Neglecting to promote older posts.

Promoting older content is a great way to boost SEO, but is usually neglected by bloggers who tend to focus only on pumping out new content. There are several ways to do this:

Update and relaunch — take a good evergreen article you’ve written in the past and update it with new information or add more content to lengthen your article, then repost it with a note at the beginning that you have updated the post. Be sure to remove any old links that are no longer relevant.

Promote on social media — use a social media scheduling tool to schedule social sharing for older posts to drive traffic to them on an ongoing basis.

Autoresponders — send autoresponders to new subscribers to your blog that direct them to older content they haven’t seen yet.

Email — include links in your e-newsletter or launch an email series that includes links to evergreen posts of interest to your target audience.

  1. Not publishing frequently.

Firms that blog frequently get more traffic. In fact, research shows that companies that blog 16+ times per month get 3.5 times as much traffic as companies that only post a couple of times per month. If you blog for SEO reasons, then you need enough content on your blog to attract search traffic.

  1. Worrying too much about post length.

While long-form content has been shown to outperform short content when it comes to SEO and social sharing, putting out lengthy posts just for the sake of length is not a good strategy. What counts is the quality of your content. Also keep in mind that most people prefer shorter content, spending an average of 37 seconds on an article, according to a Newscred study. The best practice is to write both short and long posts and then check your analytics to see which ones resonate best with your readers.

Elements of Top Converting Landing Pages [Infographic]

Posted in Lead Conversion

Landing pages are critical when it comes to converting visitors to your website, blog, social media post or e-newsletter into qualified leads. So if your law firm marketing is directing traffic to the home page of your website instead of a dedicated landing page, you are missing a big opportunity to capture more leads.

In fact, dedicated landing pages have been proven to more than double conversion rates when compared with website home pages. This is because they are created specifically for converting leads, featuring specialized content and offers that appeal to a targeted audience.

To make your landing pages pay, you need to know the basics about how to create a highly effective landing page.  You can start by reviewing the infographic below that details a recent study of landing pages by Unbounce, which analyzed more than 18,000 landing pages to determine benchmarks for conversion, traffic, speed and content. Use this data to build landing pages for your law firm and see if they convert better than your old landing pages.

Elements of Top Converting Landing Pages [Infographic]

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FREE REPORT: Why Your Law Firm is Failing at Lead Conversion

A topic that should be at the top of every law firm’s radar is how to improve your intake and lead conversion. This skill is woefully overlooked by most attorneys, who continue to focus 99% of their efforts and money on lead generation, fallaciously thinking this will solve their declining revenue problems.

Logically speaking, why would someone continue to spend an increasing amount of money on lead generation if they aren’t doing everything they can to actually convert those leads into paying or retained clients?

Lead generation too often comes down to a firm’s financial ability to “throw money at the problem,” but a lead conversion system can level the playing field and give small firms a true unique competitive advantage.

In the new free report, Why Your Law Firm is Failing at Lead Conversion, you will discover:

  • The 12 critical steps to set your law firm apart and convert more leads into clients
  • The shocking results of our secret shopper calls to 126 law firms
  • How to create a true, unique competitive advantage
  • How to dramatically improve your intake process to convert more clients

Get your FREE report now on Why Your Law Firm is Failing at Lead Conversion and start succeeding at turning prospects into clients!

 

Register Now for My FREE May 2 Lawyer Training Webinar on How to Manage Your Marketing

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

Register Now for FREE May 2 Lawyer Training Webinar on How to Manage Your MarketingAs part of Affinity Consulting’s Customer Appreciation Month, I will be presenting a special 30-minute training webinar for lawyers on how to effectively manage the marketing of your law firm on Wednesday, May 2, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

During this free training webinar, you will learn:

How to get started on a law firm marketing program.

How to select the right marketing tools for your firm.

How to micromanage the client experience.

This webinar is designed to teach you what you didn’t learn in law school about running a law firm like a business, with a focus on how to market to the right audience and the steps you need to take to out-market your competitors. I will address the struggles every attorney must face as you balance your passion for the law with the challenges of growing your practice via proven marketing methods.

While not every attorney will rise to Rainmaker status, every attorney can do something to market and grow his or her practice. During this free webinar, I will provide step-by-step guidance on how to launch and sustain an effective law firm marketing program and provide you with performance-proven marketing tools you can use immediately to boost your bottom line.

In the end, your business will be driven by your vision — and the process of developing that vision is critical to your business success. Emulating someone else’s business model simply because you don’t want to devote the time and resources to developing your own law firm marketing plan is fraught with a number of dangers. For example, if you copy someone else’s business model, you will likely wind up copying their mistakes as well. You can also miss opportunities that are perfect for your business because of your distinctive experience, knowledge, background, location, or target demographics.

Register online now for my free 30-minute training webinar specifically for lawyers on how to manage your law firm marketing on Wednesday, May 2, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

Google Adwords: 8 Tips to Amplify Your ROI on PPC Ads

Posted in PPC Advertising

Google Adwords: 8 Tips to Amplify Your ROI on PPC Ads

The following article appeared in the most recent issue of Attorney at Law Magazine:

Adwords or pay-per-click advertising (PPC) for law firms can really pay off for lead generation, but only if you know what you’re doing. Eighty percent of the most expensive Google PPC keywords are related to the legal profession, so you want to be sure you are putting your money into PPC efforts that can yield the best results.

Here are the top eight tips that will enable you to create PPC Adwords campaigns for your law firm that will deliver more clicks that convert at a lower cost, bolstering your ROI:

  1. Create a unique landing page for your Google ad.

You can’t send your PPC traffic to your website and get results; you need to create a unique landing page for every Google ad you run, with content that delivers on the promise you made in the ad. Each unique landing page should mirror the keyword(s) from the ad that was clicked and offer enough information for the potential new client to conclude that your firm is “the one.” Caveat: the click-to-call mobile ads that we’ll discuss in tip number eight do not require landing pages.

Consider including video on your landing pages to increase the trust factor. Shoot a video of yourself (yes, you can use your phone) explaining what their first visit to your office will entail or talk about what your firm does, focusing on what differentiates you from other firms. Testimonials from former clients, video or written, add credibility and are recommended.

In addition, you need to name your landing page URL properly. Having a landing page URL that reinforces your ad promise and keywords will help your ad’s quality score (we’ll get to quality score in tip #2. Use a concise phrase in your landing page URL like “www.yourURL.com/Free-Consultation,” instead of something generic like “/landing.”

  1. What is a quality score and why you should care?

Your ads’ quality scores are a big deal. They are the shiny trophy on your mantle in Google’s eyes. You want to have the highest possible quality scores because high scores will lower your Adwords cost per click and cost per conversion, give your ads better positioning on search engine results pages (SERP) which means more potential for conversion of new clients, plus it gives you the satisfaction of knowing you’re managing Adwords the right way.

For reference, quality scores range from one to 10. Four is the lowest score you should accept and always strive for better. The higher the score, the more signed clients for you at the lowest cost.

To determine your ad’s quality score, Google uses an algorithm that weighs many factors such as:

  • Landing page relevance and quality.
  • Each keyword’s relevance to its ad group (An ad group contains several ads written for a specific topic; several ad groups comprise an ad words campaign. The campaign hierarchy works like this: Your campaign is titled Personal Injury. Within this campaign you have three ad groups: Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Wrongful Death. The number of practice areas you have typically determine the number of campaigns you’ll need. You can have as many ad groups, campaigns and keywords as you need).
  • The relevance of your ad copy (features, benefits, call to action).
  • Your click through rate (CTR).
  1. Why CTR is important.

Click through rate is determined by the total number of clicks on your ad divided by total impressions during a selected time frame. The higher the CTR, the higher your quality score and the lower your cost becomes. CTR has the highest weight in determining your quality score.

What is your law firm’s ideal CTR? Due to the strong competition within the legal profession, it holds one the lowest CTR across all Adwords categories. That said, don’t compare your CTR with your brother-in-law’s e-commerce store, as it is known to have the highest CTR of all industries. In other words, set the benchmark for your law firm’s CTR to 1.35 percent. If you exceed it, celebrate. If you fall below it consistently, you need to keep fine-tuning and testing your ads, keywords and landing pages to create the iterations that score well.

  1. Use the right keywords in your ads.

An easy way to think of keywords is to imagine what potential new clients might type into Google search to find the services you offer. Make a list and see what you come up with, then compare them with what you find in one or more free top-rated keyword finder tools:

  • Google Adwords Keyword Planner (you already have this!).
  • WordStream Free Keyword Tool.
  • KWFinder
  • MOZ’s Keyword Explorer.
  • SEMrush

A keyword is one word such as “lawyer;” a keyword phrase is usually several words like “experienced trial lawyer,” but you’ll hear them used interchangeably, so don’t get them confused. A longtail keyword is when someone searches for a “top child custody lawyer who can help me keep my kids.”

What about negative keywords? Use them, as they will save you money from unwanted clicks. For example, you’re a bankruptcy attorney but you keep getting people clicking on your ads (and you pay for that) who need help with a traffic ticket or a lease dispute. Simply add “Lease, landlord, tenant, rental” to your negative keywords list and next time someone searches for a tenant dispute lawyer in your area, your ad will not be shown. Just remember, positive keywords invite them in; negative ones keep them out. In your Adwords dashboard, use the Search Terms Report to see the search queries people typed into Google to trigger your ads. You’ll find lots of negative and positive keywords there.

Your main keyword or key phrase needs to be incorporated in your ads along with a relevant benefit and call-to-action. Don’t be afraid to experiment to discover what speaks loudest to your target market.

  1. Narrow your focus with keyword match types.

Keyword match types are parameters used to control your keywords to trigger ads. The four different types of Adwords keywords match types are: Broad Match, Broad Match Modifier, Phrase Match and Exact Match. You may want to think of each keyword match type as a fishing net. For example, if you had a broad match keyword phrase of “divorce and custody attorney consultations,” your ad will trigger any searches for divorce, custody, consultations, attorney and any possible variation of those words including misspellings, synonyms and relevant variations. You could end up paying for clicks for someone looking for “cheap divorce lawyer” “men’s divorce lawyer,” etc. Broad Match is Adwords’ default setting, so be careful there. The legal profession has little or no reason to ever use broad match.

But there is a relatively new Broad Match Modifier — lovingly called “Broad Mod” by users — that allows you to append a “+” to a specific word in your keyword phrase that you want to use. For example, if you are using “divorce attorney,” add “+” in front of divorce to ensure only “divorce attorney” will trigger your ad, instead of every type of attorney that a Broad Match would trigger. Broad Mod is an Adwords user’s favorite because of its power and flexibility.

Phrase Match is a favorite among Adwords users and it works best when using a two-word keyword phrase. Let’s use the Phrase Match “accident attorney.” Your ad will be triggered for any type of accident attorney, such as an auto accident lawyer, a car accident attorney, a bicycle accident attorney, etc.

Exact Match is just that. It’s the most restrictive match type that you’ll probably use as rarely as you use Broad Match, but for the opposite reason. Exact Match’s fishing net is tiny and garners few results.

  1. Prioritize calls over clicks. No landing page needed.

More Google searches are performed on mobile phones than any other device, so you should consider focusing on call-only paid mobile advertising campaigns. Google launched its new call-only campaign earlier this year. Instead of a headline, your ad will feature your phone number that connects a searcher to your intake team. Just be sure you have the capability to have your phones answered 24/7 before opting for call-only campaigns. These campaigns can work great for personal injury firms where someone who’s just been in an accident or is lying in a hospital bed can reach out quickly.

  1. Use ad extensions and sitelinks.

Ad extensions are a set of features, or “snippets,” that increase the size, or footprint, of your Google ad as they allow you to offer more compelling information that you couldn’t fit into the limited character count of your ad. Ad extensions make your ad stand out, improve your quality score and your click through rate.

An ad extension can include location, phone, reviews, sitelinks, callouts and many more information bites that assist potential clients in making a buying decision. As you might imagine, Google has an algorithm that determines which ad extension(s) or sitelinks take precedence.

Google also offers a click-to-text messaging extension where potential clients can text you their questions. Again, be certain you have someone on-call to answer incoming text messages. Personal injury clients and their families who need immediate help use this service most often. Engagement via text messaging increases when you use this Google service.

  1. Invest in display ads and retargeting

One of the keys to standing out among your competition is to invest in remarketing via ads on Google’s Display Network. Display ads are banners that you see on other sites across the Internet. Have you ever wondered how a website you visited keeps following you around when you’re on other sites? This is remarketing and you don’t need a big budget to do it. Most prospects visit more than one website when researching attorneys, and remarketing gives you a great opportunity to stay top of mind when prospects are doing their homework.

Google isn’t the only game in town in terms of a self-service retargeting tool, but it may be your easiest bet. With a small retargeting budget, it doesn’t make financial sense to hire a retargeting agency, so the self-service tools such as AdRoll, ReTargeter, Facebook, Perfect Audience and ExactDrive are smart alternatives.

 

Bankruptcy Attorneys: It’s Not Too Late to Join Me This Week at the NACBA Annual Convention!

Posted in Business Development for Law Firms, Law Firm Marketing

The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) will hold its 26th annual national convention on April 19-22 at the Sheraton Downtown Denver. Whether you’re a member of NACBA or not, there is still time to register and attend!

I will be presenting two workshops:

Thursday, April 19 at 5 p.m. on Top 10 Mistakes Bankruptcy Lawyers Make That Kill Their Lead Conversion Rate

Lead generation is big business for bankruptcy attorneys. You have companies that will sell you SEO, PPC, advertising, and PPL (pay per lead), but who can train you and your team on best practice for converting more of these costly leads into more paying clients? Do you have a system in place to track all of them and measure your true conversion rate and determine if you are making a profit on these leads? My April 19 presentation will tell you what you need to know about:

  • The 5 stages of lead conversion
  • 7 specific strategies to immediately double your lead conversion rate
  • How to fix your “no show” problem of appointments who don’t show up
  • Implementing simple systems to track your leads
  • How to handle pricing questions and why you should never discuss your fees over the phone
  • Improving client communication that leads to ethics complaints

Saturday, April 21 at 9:50 a.m. on Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Moving from a Business Operator to a Business Owner

My April 21 presentation will provide attendees with real-life case studies about attorneys who have gone from working themselves nearly to death and barely squeaking by to tripling their take home pay while working just a few days a week. You will learn:

  • The 4 stages of law firm growth
  • Exactly what you need to do to go from startup to $500,000/year
  • Specific steps you must take to break the elusive 7-figure barrier
  • How to scale your bankruptcy firm to over $3M a year
  • The 6 areas you must upgrade to scale your business
  • How to move from being a business operator to a true business owner

You can still register online now to attend the NACBA Annual Convention and sign up for my workshops.

Not a bankruptcy attorney but would still like to learn what I teach in these eye-opening workshops? Then attend a Rainmaker Retreat! We have the following sessions scheduled through August:

  • April 27-28, 2018 — San Francisco, CA/The Westin St. Francis SF on Union Square
  • May 18-19, 2018 — Atlanta, GA/Omni Atlanta Marriott Marquis
  • June 22-23, 2018 — Chicago, IL/Hyatt Regency Schaumburg Chicago
  • July 20-21, 2018 — Los Angeles, CA/Anaheim Marriott
  • August 17-18, 2018 — Las Vegas, NV/Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas

Plan ahead and take advantage of the Early Bird pricing on a Rainmaker Retreat, where you can save 30% off the regular price. Visit rainmakerretreat.com for more info.

 

10 Things You Need to Know to Run Your Law Firm Like a Business

Posted in Law Firm Management, Law Firm Marketing

How to Run Your Law Firm Like a BusinessThis post was originally published on Oct. 13, 2016 and updated on April 11, 2018.

As the owner of a small or mid-sized law firm, your primary focus – after gaining competency as an attorney – is to understand and apply the key principles of business development, operations, management and law firm marketing every single day.

There are 10 major areas of focus for every successful law firm owner – in this order:

Marketing: The purpose of marketing is to generate leads. There are a wide variety of ways to do this — through your website, blog, email marketing, social media, PPC advertising, etc. All of them work, but they are not always suited for all situations, practice areas or attorneys. Find 3-5 different ways that work for you and use them frequently. Not every attorney will be a top Rainmaker, but everyone can do something to grow and market his or her practice.

Sales: The purpose of sales is to close the deal or sign up the client. Once you start generating leads, you must become better at getting prospects to become paying clients. It is imperative that law firms have a system in place that nurtures a lead through the sales process and people who are accountable for that system. Our experience has shown us that many law firms have the wrong people answering prospect calls. You don’t want people handling your intake process who have a customer service background; you want people who have sold stuff over the telephone. This is best done by people who are particularly skilled at lead response. Your intake team must be able to respond to a lead within five minutes of the initial call and follow up with those who don’t schedule an appointment or retain you after the first meeting at least six times.

Services: Once you have become proficient at generating leads and closing the deal, you must perform the services for the client. When you fix your marketing, then you have a sales problem. When you fix your sales problem, then you have a services problem. See how this works?

Staff: When you become successful at marketing and sales, eventually you will also need more staff to do the work. You cannot hire just any staff; they must be the right staff for you. What kind of culture do you want your firm to have? Who will best fit that culture? Develop a list of qualities and characteristics you need your team members to have. Superstars are the currency of the new economy. You have a limited number of positions to fill in your firm and you can only afford to retain superstars in every position. If you find a position filled with someone who is “good enough,” either eliminate the person or eliminate the position. You set the standard. You raise the bar. Excellence is the only attitude you should allow.

Systems: Policies, procedures and systems allow you to scale to the next level. Without documented systems, you cannot scale your business. You will hit a breaking point. It may be at half a million or more, but eventually you will experience a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering because you didn’t invest in creating written policies, procedures and systems for your law firm. You need written systems for every major part of your business. From marketing and intake to money and metrics, it all must be logically written down so even a brand new team member who knows nothing about your business can follow it.

Space: After you start hiring the right staff because you have more clients to serve, eventually you will need more office space to house them. Far too many attorneys get caught up in renting a much bigger or nicer space than they can afford in an attempt to “keep up with the Joneses” or give off the appearance of being more successful than they are. The pleasure you may gain from a fancy office is nothing compared with the worry of making those big payments every month. Don’t strap yourself with too many financial obligations and be careful about signing long-term agreements, especially when you’re just starting off.

Money: To manage a growing business you must know how to manage your money. You need to know the basics of finance for small business, from reading a profit and loss statement to analyzing your cash flow. Being an owner means other people are depending on you to manage the money wisely.

Metrics: To consistently break a million dollars per year in revenues, there are over a dozen numbers you must be monitoring and measuring consistently. Here are a few of them:

  • Number of leads per month and where they came from
  • Number of new appointments or consultations per month
  • Number of new clients who signed up per month
  • Total amount of new retainer agreements
  • Total amount of cash in the door (actual gross revenues)
  • Total amount of accounts receivable and how long overdue
  • Total amount of cost of goods sold (COGS)
  • Total amount of payroll & non-payroll expenses each month
  • Total amount of net operating income (net profit) each month

This is not a comprehensive list, but if you know, measure and track each of those metrics every month, you’re on your way to comprehensively monitoring your business.

Strategy: While having a great strategy is necessary, most attorneys spend too much time developing a strategy and too little time implementing the strategy! Get some leads in the door. Make the sale. Collect the money. Do great work. Obtain some referrals. Wash, rinse and repeat! Then work on your next level strategy.

Self: Upgrading yourself is the last, but most important step. You need to read business growth books or take classes or seminars if that fits your style of learning better. Hang out around other successful business owners. Join a mastermind group of successful attorneys. Attend a Rainmaker Retreat. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone. You will never build a multimillion-dollar law firm by staying inside your comfort zone.

What Legal Consumers Want & How They Get It [Infographic]

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

Every year, FindLaw conducts a U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey that asks the question every attorney needs to know the answer to: what influences a consumer’s decision to hire an attorney? The 2017 survey revealed some behavioral characteristics of legal consumers that attorneys need to dial into their marketing strategies:

  • 59% take action within one week, so they are ready to act when they contact you
  • 58% only contact one attorney, so they are probably more predisposed to hire you already if they call you, making your intake process critical
  • 85% of those who contact an attorney end up hiring one
  • 50% will not travel more than 28 miles for an attorney and 35% prefer to travel less than 20 miles, so keeping things local will benefit you
  • 58% use search engines and 42% search legal directories online when looking for a lawyer
  • 40% consider recommendations (reviews) as the key factor in choosing an attorney
  • 21% use voice search on a home device

I suggest you share the infographic below with your marketing people and consider what your law firm could be doing better than your competitors when it comes to meeting the needs of today’s legal consumers:

What Legal Consumers Want & How They Get It [Infographic]

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

How to Get Your Firm Ranked on Local Maps Listings

Put Your Law Firm on the Map: FREE Training Webinar Tomorrow on Local Search Ranking

No doubt you have done searches using general terms and Google popped up local providers. That is because Google knows the IP address of the searcher and serves up local options first. You will see a map and a few listings of high ranking businesses. This is the sweet spot, and we will show you how to get there during our free on-demand webinar on How to Get Your Firm Ranked on Local Maps Listings.

During this free training, you will: 

  • Discover the 4 key factors that have the greatest impact on local maps ranking & the 2 secrets to beating the current leaders in your market
  • Learn how to utilize Google reviews to improve your local maps ranking
  • Get a list of the top 50 most important directory sites of the 1800+ local directories out there to determine where your firm needs to be
  • Find out how to get your business listed on literally hundreds of directory sites for about the cost of a nice night out
  • Obtain a step-by-step, paint-by-number instruction on how to optimize your local listings on the top 15 sites if you want to do it yourself
  • Receive a copy of the presentation so you can optimize your listings at your leisure

Register online now to get a link to this free training webinar on How to Get Your Firm Ranked on Local Maps Listings.

 

How Lawyers Can Connect with Today’s Legal Consumer

Posted in Internet Marketing for Lawyers, Law Firm Marketing

Legal consumers today are a lot more savvy than just a few years ago, and law firms need to update their marketing strategies in order to reach and persuade them.

In 2016, an Avvo survey provided a few interesting revelations about the modern legal consumer. The survey of 1,000 adults found that:

  • How Lawyers Can Connect with Today’s Legal Consumer95% said online reviews were important when researching an attorney
  • 76% said they prefer fixed fee billing
  • 47% only want to hire a lawyer to review an online form they prepared
  • 42% perform their own legal research online
  • 45% who get a referral to a specific lawyer will still research that lawyer online

Here are some tips for connecting with legal consumers today:

Have a strong social media presence. When it comes to social media marketing, you should focus on two things:

  1. Frequent the social media sites where your potential clients are most likely to be. Match the demographics of your ideal client with each platform’s demographics to narrow it down.
  2. Implement marketing programs that you can monitor and measure so you can repeat your successes.

When it comes to social media, Facebook is a must for consumer attorneys. One of the most powerful features of Facebook is custom audiences, the ability to layer demographics and interests on top of one another to create a highly targeted audience. This enables you to get your ads in front of people who need your services now. Facebook ads are low-cost, so you can experiment to see what resonates with your potential clients and then repeat what works.

For business attorneys, LinkedIn is the natural choice. This professional network also offers customized targeting with its Matched Audiences feature. And just like on Facebook, you can upload your own email lists and LinkedIn will match those contacts with their membership so you can reach your contacts outside your email marketing program.

Encourage online reviews. Attorneys need to create a process for making reviews happen. Always look for those moments in your relationships with clients to create a review opportunity – when you have won a case for a client, when you have helped someone avoid litigation – all opportunities for you to generate a great review. Make it easy for clients to review you by emailing them a link to post a review on Google. Better yet, create an autoresponder email with a built-in Google review form and send it to them at the appropriate time. When you have receive good reviews or testimonials, post them on your website, in your e-newsletter and anywhere else that potential customers are likely to stumble upon them. And be sure to ask whoever provided you with that great review if they would also submit it to Google so it shows up in search.

Offer a la carte service options. There are millions of people who download legal documents off LegalZoom or Rocket Lawyer for business and personal use. And it shouldn’t surprise you to know that many of them still want a real live attorney to review those documents (which is why the online legal service providers refer customers to attorneys now from their websites). Consider offering unbundled services like online legal document reviews, especially for business clients — the initial fees may not be much, but could lead to bigger things down the road. Remember, many people are looking for a la carte options.

Provide fixed fee options. To be successful with fixed fee billing, firms need to conduct extensive research into their case files going back several years in order to arrive at pricing that will protect profitability. Fixed fees can be staged according to specific phases of a case or encompass an entire legal matter. One of the often overlooked benefits of fixed fee billing is the creation of trust and goodwill — the client understands that the firm is incentivized by results instead of hours and the firm understands it will be fairly compensated for achieving those results. It’s a win-win for both sides, and can be a key component in client retention and referrals.

Provide instant access. Be sure your website is equipped with a Live Chat feature so people can get their questions answered quickly. Our research has shown that law firms can convert up to 75% of live chat leads into paying clients!

6 Tips for Creating a Client Retention Culture at Your Law Firm

Posted in Business Development for Law Firms, Law Firm Management

6 Tips for Creating a Client Retention Culture at Your Law FirmIf you have been practicing law for awhile, you know that there are some reasons clients leave that you can do nothing about. Some may leave you for a competitor. Some may leave because they don’t need you anymore — the matter is over or they have decided not to pursue it.

By far, though, the biggest reasons clients leave is because they perceive an attitude of indifference from your firm or are dissatisfied with your service. And that is something you can change.

Preventing clients from leaving you starts with a commitment to client retention. Here are six tips:

#1: Pick profitable clients.

Sounds simple, yes? But you’d be amazed how many attorneys fail to keep the profit picture in mind when chasing new sources of revenue. You do not want to be the lawyer who signs up everyone who calls. Look at your most profitable clients and create a profile of your ideal client, then qualify your leads to see who fits.

#2: Set some expectations.

Unmet expectations are another big reasons clients leave the fold. From day one of your new relationship with a client, you need to be sure they have realistic expectations of the services you can provide and the outcome they can expect.

#3: Communicate clearly and often.

Nothing will send a profitable client packing faster than poor communication. It’s a bad habit and one you can break, even if you’re a busy solo or small firm. Put a communications process in place to fill in for the shortfalls you’ve created. And remember: when you are communicating with clients, be sure to leave the legal jargon out of the conversation. Stay on their comprehension level and you’ll alleviate the opportunities for miscommunication.

#4: Listen.

Sometimes clients just want a sounding board. You may have heard the problem a thousand times before, but it’s fresh to them — and important. Give the courtesy of being a good listener.

#5: Be really responsive.

The most successful firms I know have a process for returning calls and emails — usually within an hour of receiving them. If you’re going to be in court all day, have your email and phone messages monitored by someone in the office and task them with replying (but not with giving legal advice, unless they are also an attorney). Even if it’s to say you are currently unavailable, this at least lets clients know you are aware they need you and will get back to them as soon as you can.

#6: Maintain visibility.

Don’t just make an appearance when there’s money on the table. Even if you have tasked associates with the work, make sure you maintain some visibility with the client throughout the duration of the case to ensure client retention.