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The Rainmaker Blog

Law firm marketing and business development strategies

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Pass the Gravy & Improve Your Google Rankings

Posted in Internet Marketing for Lawyers, SEO for law firms

Pass the Gravy & Improve Your Google RankingsWe’re about a week out from the annual gorge-fest known as Thanksgiving, the top of the inevitable slide toward the New Year. I find this time of year a blur business-wise, with many people’s minds on everything but work.

But who said these things have to be mutually exclusive? What if you could really enjoy your holidays and enjoy learning something that would make a real difference in the success of your law firm in 2018?

So while you’re digesting your turkey and fixin’s, consider watching our online training video on How to Get Great Google Rankings in 2017. It’s free — and the tips will work in 2018 too.

This webinar is available to you free and on-demand. A click of your mouse will take you to the page to enter your info so we can email you a link.

The online training video is conducted by Michael Veinbergs, CEO of Local Marketing Geeks. Michael 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 gives a masterful presentation on getting to the top of Google and it is well worth your time investment to watch it.

Some of the things Michael covers in the webinar include:

  • What it REALLY takes to pull traffic in from Google  
  • 5 ways to get your firm’s website to the top of the organic search results 
  • The 3-step blueprint to online lead generation success  
  • The 7 secrets to converting website browsers into buyers, including 1 tip that can increase conversion on your site by 35-40% virtually overnight
  • How to get the most out of your SEO provider and how to know when it’s time to fire them

And after you’ve finished watching that video, if you have some extra time over the holidays and want to improve your practice even more, check this out: Law Firm Marketing Video Library: 10 Hours That Will Transform Your Legal Practice. This post has links to 10 on-demand videos that cover law firm marketing and management topics like finding the best talent for your firm, law firm finance, social media marketing, legal video, lead conversion tips and more.

10 Tips to Balance Your Life & the Law

Posted in Law Firm Management

10 Tips to Balance Your Life & the LawIf you are unhappy in your law practice, every molehill becomes a mountain that you dread climbing. The fact is, you will not create a successful law practice if you’re just in it for the financial rewards. What happy attorneys have in common is, first and foremost, a heartfelt dedication to serving their clients that goes way beyond earning a paycheck.

If you are struggling for balance, consider these 10 ways tips on how to balance your life and the law:

  1. Avoid what matters least. Your time is finite, so while you are making a list of things to do in 2018, make a list of what not to do as well. And then simply don’t do them.
  2. Do the essentials first. How much time do you spend every day getting sidetracked by email? If we were honest, most of us would probably answer: a lot. When you hit the office, take care of your most essential tasks first and then check your email.
  3. Focus on what matters to clients. If you lose sight of what matters to your clients, you will soon lose those clients.
  4. Find your purpose. When your career is based on your purpose, you will be both more successful and happier.
  5. Support a worthy cause. Research has shown that people involved in furthering worthy causes are generally happier in life. Find a way to support something bigger than yourself or your practice.
  6. Give yourself more choices. If you find yourself feeling fearful and trapped by high overhead and a lack of clients, find a way to give yourself more choices. One sure way to conquer fear is by learning. Learning how to attract and keep clients is the main focus of our Rainmaker Retreat; resolve to attend one session in the next year.
  7. Find a good partner. A good partner in business is as indispensable as one in marriage. If you don’t have someone in your practice whose strengths offset your weaknesses, go find that person.
  8. Tap your peers. Most attorneys like to view themselves as experts, but one problem with being an expert is that it sometimes prevents you from seeing new possibilities. Find other professionals who may be facing some of the same problems you are, and brainstorm some solutions.
  9. Complain less, change more. Gandhi advised us to be the change we want to see in the world. Resolving to be the attorney who can solve the problems of prospects will bring new clients to your door.
  10. Take time to play. Plan next year’s vacations now, and let your work fill in the rest of the calendar. This gives you something to look forward to, and helps you maintain a well-rounded life.

5 Referral Realities Lawyers Need to Grasp

Posted in Generating Referrals for Attorneys

5 Referral Realities Lawyers Need to GraspOne of the things attorneys most frequently ask us is: “How do I find more clients fast?” The answer to this question is deceptively simple, yet amazingly complex to resolve. Referrals are near the top of the list when it comes to the best ways of finding new clients, but there are 5 referral realities that you need to grasp in order to build a robust referral base:

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

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

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

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

Reality #5: Referrals Require a System. Attorneys need to create a referral strategy that includes a process for making referrals happen. A key component is staying connected with prospects, clients and referral partners on a regular, consistent basis. Your referral system should include:

  • Monthly newsletters – keeping them apprised of what your firm is doing, new employees, new practice areas, and content that is beneficial to them.
  • Annual Client Satisfaction Survey – find out what your clients think about the services they have received from your firm and how you can improve.
  • Keep In Touch letters – on a regular basis — every 2-3 months — send a letter to referrals, prospects and clients just to touch base. This top of mind awareness is crucial for generating referrals.
  • Referral Education System – your referral sources need to know what kind of prospects you are looking for. It does no good for them to refer prospects to you who are not looking for what your firm offers. Keep your referral sources updated on your practice areas and any changes in your firm if you want to receive high-quality referrals.

Building a strong referral base does not happen by accident. If you want to take your legal marketing to the next level, you need a systematic approach to developing more and better relationships with a wide variety of referral sources.

Are You Ready for a Rainmaker Retreat? Here’s How to Tell

Posted in Law Firm Marketing, Rainmaker Retreat Boot Camp

Are You Ready for a Rainmaker Retreat? Here’s How to TellDo you go to sleep at night with an uneasy feeling that you should be making a lot more money by now and achieving a level of success that still seems to elude you?

Maybe your revenues and profits are falling faster than you want to admit, and you are finding it harder to land qualified clients.

You may be getting good leads, but you’re having problems converting them. You’re getting more no-shows than you feel you should and there aren’t as many prospects signing up with you after the initial consult.

Your overhead is the same, but with revenues down, you are taking home less now than ever before. This isn’t what you had planned!

If this sounds like you, then you are ready for a Rainmaker Retreat.

The Rainmaker Retreat focuses on the unique problems facing small and medium-sized law firms. You are going up against the big dogs that probably have a bigger monthly marketing budget than your firm makes in an entire year. At a Rainmaker Retreat, you learn gorilla marketing so you can get into the marketing game, get a great return on investment and grow your firm without having to be a big-name, nationwide firm.

Here is just a small sample of the actionable methods you will learn:

Specific strategies highly successful attorneys are using right now on the Internet and with social media to attract hundreds of people to their websites and blogs every month, convert them to paying clients, and keep them coming back and sending a steady stream of referrals!

Dozens of ways to drastically reduce the cost of your marketing campaigns and still get more clients than you might believe possible.

How to implement low cost marketing tools and systems that let you control your practice – instead of your practice controlling you!

We are so confident you will benefit from the Rainmaker Retreat that we offer a 100% money back 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.

You have nothing to lose and so much to gain by attending.

Here are our upcoming Rainmaker Retreat dates:

  • November 10-11, 2017 — New Orleans, LA/Royal Sonesta New Orleans
  • December 8-9, 2017 — Los Angeles, CA/The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey
  • February 16-17, 2018 — Las Vegas, NV/Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas

Go to www.rainmakerretreat.com or call 888-588-5891 to register now and take advantage of our Early Bird registration, which can save you more than 30%.

 

How to Tell If Your Content is Connecting

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

How to Tell If Your Content is ConnectingRecent research has shown that content marketing generates three times as many leads than traditional marketing while costing 62% less.

Of course, to reap those rewards, your content marketing must be firing on all cylinders — especially when it comes to connecting with prospects on your website, blog or on social media.

Some tried-and-true best practices when it comes to creating legal content include:

Create content prospects will connect with and will want to read. People hire attorneys they feel a connection with. If the reader doesn’t connect with your website, blog or social media post, then chances are they aren’t going to call you. By creating content that readers find informative and relevant, easy to digest and in multiple formats (like audio or video as well as written) you are encouraging them to spend more time on your site.

Know the critical keywords prospects use to search. While Google is making sure the context fits the keywords, websites and blogs still need to focus on certain keywords. Start by making a list of at least 20-30 terms you believe an interested prospect might use to search for your kind of services. Then do your research.

Use video to give visitors a sense of who you are. Video is one of the best ways to improve your conversion rates. I highly recommend you record several videos for your website: an overview of each major practice area your firm offers, a few case studies of typical clients you want to attract, a video introduction for each attorney, and reasons why people should hire you versus a competitor. You can also add videos from seminars or presentations you make to add more content to your site.

Add social media to your website to make it easier for people to share your content online. Most major websites people visit have fully integrated social media-whether its Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter you want to make it easy for people to share your content with their friends and colleagues.

Keep your content consistent with your brand. If you’re an estate planning attorney, write about estate planning and rarely about anything else. Professional blogs need to remain professional. The tone, content and focus should demonstrate the type of attorney you are. If your office is more relaxed and friendly, then try to convey that in the tone of your blogs. If your firm is more traditional, that too should be apparent in the tone of your piece.

This Orbit Media infographic shows you 10 ways you can determine if your content is connecting with people you want to attract to your law firm:

How to Tell If Your Content is Connecting

 

Law Firm Intake: How to Close the Deal with a Prospect

Posted in Law Firm Intake

Law Firm Intake: How to Close the Deal with a ProspectOne of the primary reasons that a company or person hires an attorney is to alleviate some type of “pain”. They may use words like “challenges”, “problems”, or “obstacles”, but all of the words amount to the same thing: they are experiencing discomfort; they are experiencing pain. Their “pain” is whatever they are asking you to take care of for them.

Successfully closing a deal with a prospect relies upon your ability to identify their pain and effectively communicate how you will help them resolve it. Too often, attorneys rush to show off their solutions before truly understanding what a prospective client needs. First get to know the issue, then provide the solution.

Before you can ask for the business, you need to form a relationship with your prospect. Some attorneys have a very bad habit of trying to impress prospects right off the bat with their legal knowledge, which makes the prospect feel like they are being “sold” rather than trying to form a mutually beneficial relationship. Realize that you don’t close a deal with the first handshake — you will need to invest some of your time in getting to know them before they are ready to receive your sales message.

Once you’ve identified your prospect’s pain points and started to form a good relationship, you need to prepare to make the ask. Have the necessary paperwork at hand, and then ask for the business. Prospects want to know that you actually want their business — and once the deal is done, don’t be shy about asking for a referral and/or testimonial. This gets you well on the road to your next deal.

In perfecting the close, great sales people:

  • Lead with benefits
  • Can articulate and add value to the conversation
  • Build credibility and trust
  • Identify a prospect’s wants and needs
  • Sell to the prospect’s goals
  • Focus on the prospect’s gaps
  • Demonstrate how they will solve the prospect’s problems or needs

If your goal is to be a successful Rainmaker, you must perfect the art of the close. Remember that people like to do business with those they know, like and trust. Once you have laid that foundation, you will find that the close is a mere formality to establishing an ongoing relationship.

5 Tips to Master Content Marketing for Law Firms

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

5 Tips to Master Content Marketing for Law FirmsGoogle has made it increasingly difficult to rank high in search without putting a lot of quality content online — on your website, blog and social media pages.  If you want to rank well on Google, which allows you to generate more online leads, you must put more and more content online. This is what is known as content marketing.

Content marketing not only helps you with SEO, it also performs the equally important task of differentiating your firm from your competitors. To make content marketing work well for your law firm, remember these five tips:

  1. Keep your language simple. Most people are already intimidated by lawyers, so don’t compound the problem by using a lot of legal terms in your content. Talking over your readers’ heads is a sure way to fail at content marketing. Be sure your content is written using simple language that the average person can understand so they can engage with comments and questions.
  2. Give solutions. You already know what most people who have the kinds of problems you solve want to know. When you develop your content, make sure you are addressing these issues. After all, you are in business to help, so do that with your posts and articles.
  3. Use the news. Commenting on current events is a great way to create interesting content. Help people understand new laws or judicial decisions that will affect their lives. Doing this in a timely manner will demonstrate that you are on top of things and increase the odds that your content will reach a broader audience through shares and likes.
  4. Make it entertaining. We all understand that the law is serious business, but being serious is not a great way to engage readers. Think about how you can lighten your subject matter while at the same time imparting useful information. In a hyper-competitive market for a reader’s attention, it’s the great stories that get read and shared.  Have a great hook to pull those readers in, and be sure your story has a satisfying end that is worthy of the build-up.
  5. Use visuals and video. Content is not just words; it’s also photos, infographics, videos, podcasts, etc. Using different elements in your content marketing will make you stand out and increase the likelihood that readers will respond positively to and share your message. Remember that humans are visual beings, so if you can deliver your information visually in an engaging way, you are likely to see better results than if you just convey it in words.

How to Get Great Google Rankings in 2017

How to Rev Up Your Law Firm’s Revenues in 2 Days

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

How to Rev Up Your Law Firm’s Revenues in 2 DaysIs your law firm’s bottom line exceedingly slow to grow? Are you having problems getting new clients? Are your profits shrinking? Are you spending too much time on administration rather than on building your business?

Then consider this:

If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.

The problems you are having can likely be attributed to doing things the same way you’ve always done them. If your law firm marketing results are not what you want, then you must challenge yourself to break from your past and do things differently.

The answer to building a successful law practice that satisfies you both financially and emotionally can be obtained through effective law firm marketing.

If you don’t have a presence on social media, get one.

If you don’t have a blog, start one.

If your website is old and tired, update it.

If you have scant prospects, start using email and inbound marketing practices to fill the funnel.

If you’re not converting the prospects you have into clients, implement a lead conversion process to change that.

There are abundant resources for you to learn how to effectively do and manage all these strategies. Our Rainmaker Retreat is just one of them. Sign up for a webinar. Attend a workshop. Start reading marketing blogs and learning about all the low-cost ways you can effectively market your practice.

Several hundred attorneys made the first step to do things differently this year by committing two days to attend a Rainmaker Retreat. Here are some of their comments:

“This is the absolute best seminar I have attended in 37 years.  Stephen is direct and clear at defining what needs to be done to succeed.  He knows lawyer marketing and has many personal results from successful lawyers all over the country.  I am on board to be one of them.  Thank you, Stephen!” -Thomas B., Partner, Personal Injury, Fort Wayne, IN

“I have attended lots of seminars and I can honestly say your content is exceptional. Anyone who wants to take their practice to the next level need only implement one of the countless pearls of wisdom you all generously shared.” – Gary M., Marketing, Legal Marketing, Scottsdale, AZ

“The competition in the legal market is tremendous and it is no longer good enough to be a great lawyer. If you want clients, you need leads and conversion. The Rainmaker Retreat will give you the keys to maximize lead conversion in 2 days. Definitely worth the time/money.” – Nicole H., Associate, Immigration, New York, NY

Upcoming Rainmaker Retreat sessions include:

  • October 13-14, 2017 — Dallas, TX/Hyatt Regency North Dallas
  • November 10-11, 2017 — New Orleans, LA/Royal Sonesta New Orleans
  • December 8-9, 2017 — Los Angeles, CA/The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey
  • February 16-17, 2018 — Las Vegas, NV/Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas

Plan ahead and take advantage of the Early Bird pricing, where you can save 30% off the regular price.

Remember: the worst thing that can happen is not failing. It’s doing nothing.

 

A Science-Backed Approach to Winning Arguments for Lawyers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted in Legal Marketing

Whether you argue the law for a living as a litigator or not, the fact of practicing law is that lawyers are always negotiating something with another party.  Even if that party is a prospective client.  And being a skilled negotiator not only takes practice, it also takes knowing how to look for the psychological and physiological clues from the person you’re negotiating with in order to win your argument.

The infographic below from SavingSpot provides scientifically proven tips lawyers can use to win your next argument, negotiate a settlement or get that skeptical prospect onboard:

A Science-Backed Approach to Winning Arguments for Lawyers+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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 lawyers, 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 smaller firms a true unique competitive advantage.

In the 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!

 

Facebook Facts You Need to Know for Law Firm Marketing

Posted in Social Media Marketing for Law Firms

Facebook Facts You Need to Know for Law Firm MarketingIf you’re actively engaged in law firm marketing, you should already know that Facebook has some staggering stats when it comes to audience and reach:

  • 2 billion monthly active users worldwide (that’s 27% of all people on the planet)
  • 83% of women and 78% of men use Facebook; by age the breakdown is:
    • 88% of those 18-29
    • 84% of those 30-49
    • 72% for those 50-64
    • 62% for those 65+
  • Average time spent on Facebook daily per person is 35 minutes

There are also some less common Facebook stats you need to be aware of when you are developing your law firm marketing social media strategy:

3.5 Degrees of Separation

You are familiar with the theory that everyone in the world is no more than six degrees separated — which means that you can connect any two people in the world through six other people. Well, according to Facebook research, everyone on Facebook is no more than 3.5 degrees separated. What this means for marketers is that it is relatively easy to extend your organic reach on Facebook by asking people to share and like your content.

19% of all Mobile Use is on Facebook

The average consumer spends five hours every day on his or her mobile device. Research by Flurry Analytics and comScore shows that the #1 use is Facebook — 19% of an average consumer’s daily mobile use is on the Facebook app. This is yet another reason why you have to have a seamless mobile experience across all your online properties.

Facebook Gets 8 Billion Daily Video Views — 85% are Watched with the Sound OFF

This statistic proves that putting your videos on Facebook’s platform can be a great way to boost organic engagement. But realize that, according to Facebook research, 85% of users watch videos with the sound off. And they hate auto-play sound. If you are putting your videos on Facebook, make sure they are captioned. And be sure they are optimized for mobile viewing.

Images Drive Effective Facebook Ads

In a test of 100,000 Facebook ads, Consumer Acquisition found that, when done correctly, Facebook ads and traffic quality now rival Google’s. Their tips for creating an effective Facebook ad:

  • Choosing the right image is critical — stock photos don’t work
  • Optimize your ad copy — the most effective length is 4 words for a title and 15 words for the link description
  • Be bold with your branding

According to Wordstream data, the average cost per click for the legal industry is $1.32. If you’re paying more, it’s a sign that you may need to tweak your campaign.

The average click-through rate for legal industry ads on Facebook is 1.61% — the highest among all industries. Conversely, the average click-through rate for Google ads is only .35% for the legal industry. This can be attributed to the competitive environment on each platform — your ad is one of many on Google when someone searches for a lawyer, but is likely to be the only one in that prospect’s social media feed.

Time Your Organic Posts Properly

According to SproutSocial data, the optimal times for businesses to post on Facebook are:

  • Thursdayis the most recommended day to post
  • 1 p.m. on Thursdayis the most active time
  • Relatively safe to post any day between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Early mornings and late nightsare the least optimal posting times
  • Wednesday through Sundayare the strongest days to post

Your posts should be short and sweet — no more than 50 characters for optimal engagement.

Want to learn more about leveraging social media as part of your law firm marketing program? Attend a Rainmaker Retreat! Click below for more information on upcoming sessions.