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Law firm marketing and business development strategies

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Survey Identifies Top 5 Challenges Facing Small Law Firms

Posted in Law Firm Development, Rainmaker Retreat Boot Camp

Survey Identifies Top 5 Challenges Facing Small Law Firms Thomson Reuters recently completed a survey of small law firms (less than 30 attorneys) to identify the biggest challenges these firms face and what they are doing to address them.

The top five challenges in order of importance include:

  1. New client acquisition
  2. Too much time spent on administrative tasks
  3. Cost control and expense growth
  4. Lack of internal efficiency
  5. Rate pressure from clients/clients demanding more for less

So how are small firms dealing with these challenges? Unfortunately, most are not:

 

Challenges

% of firms identifying as moderate or significant challenge % of those firms NOT addressing that challenge
New client acquisition 75% 71%
Too much time spent on administration 70% 81%
Cost control and expense growth 61% 74%
Lack of internal efficiency 60% 72%
Rate pressure/more for less 59% 80%

One of the most interesting insights was how attorneys at small law firms spend their days. Attorneys in small law firms report spending almost 40% of their work day on tasks other than the practice of law. Survey respondents that rated their law firms as “very successful” reported 8.7% of their time is spent on administrative tasks, while those rating their law firms as “unsuccessful” reported spending almost twice as much time — 15.3% — on administrative tasks.

This chart shows what the survey respondents said were the important positive factors that drove firm performance over the past year:

The factor rated as most important was increasing referrals from existing clients, followed by becoming more efficient and growing relationships with existing clients. These were the top 3 most important factors that drove revenue for the firms surveyed in the past year.

Of note is an emerging challenge identified by 17% of survey respondents: DIY legal websites. In the previous year’s survey, this challenge was identified by only 11% of firms surveyed. Unsurprisingly, the smaller the firm, the more that DIY legal sites were viewed as a threat; only 3% of firms with 11-29 attorneys viewed these sites as a threat vs. 28% of firms with 2-3 attorneys.

What is most troubling about the results from this survey is that while small law firms can readily identify the challenges facing them, a majority are not addressing these significant barriers to their growth. Why?

It is human nature to not want to deal with things you don’t understand. But there is a simple solution: attend a Rainmaker Retreat, where you will learn how to address all the top challenges identified in this survey and more. Here are the upcoming sessions:

  • *July 20-22, 2018 — Los Angeles, CA/Anaheim Marriott
  • August 17-18, 2018 — Las Vegas, NV/Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
  • September 14-15, 2018 — Atlanta, GA/The Ritz Carlton Atlanta
  • October 12-13, 2018 — New Orleans, LA/The Roosevelt New Orleans
  • November 9-10, 2018 — Miami, FL/The Ritz Carlton Fort Lauderdale

* Includes a free third day — Digital Sunday — devoted solely to advanced online marketing training on SEO; Paid Search, Retargeting and Geo-Fencing; and Managing Your Online Reputation.

Register online now and receive Early Bird Pricing — 30% off the standard registration fee — for our upcoming retreats.

How Marketing Automation Boosts Law Firm Efficiency & Effectiveness

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

How Marketing Automation Boosts Law Firm Efficiency & EffectivenessMost attorneys have a finite amount of time to dedicate to legal marketing, so having a process in place that nurtures a lead along the path to becoming a client and having data that demonstrates the most effective marketing tools for your law firm is a great benefit. That is what marketing automation delivers.

Among many things, marketing automation allows you to:

  • Identify, track and engage prospects online.
  • Segment your prospects for targeted messaging.
  • Nurture leads through drip email campaigns with no human intervention necessary.
  • Create and manage lead-generating landing pages.
  • Measure the revenue contribution of every email, e-newsletter or other marketing effort.

Email marketing is one of the most effective uses of marketing automation. Consider these statistics:

  • Companies that automate emails are 133% more likely to send messages that coincide with the purchase cycle of their customers.
  • Relevant emails drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails.
  • Personalized emails generate up to 6x higher revenue than non-personalized emails.
  • The #1 reported benefit of email marketing automation is the creation of more and better leads.
  • Automated emails get 119% higher click rates than broadcast emails.

If you have not invested yet in marketing automation — either by purchasing and implementing a software solution within your firm or outsourcing to a marketing company that can deploy marketing automation on your behalf (like The Rainmaker Institute) — you probably don’t understand the true benefits in terms of saving time and money that marketing automation can provide for:

Social media — using automation for your social media posts and updates can save you more than six hours every week on managing your social media.

Dynamic content — being able to personalize offers and content based on a visitor’s past browsing history delivers an average increase of 20% in sales.

Content amplification — by automating your follow-up emails and outreach, you can increase your reply rate by up to 250%.

Client appointments — using an automated tool to set appointments can save up to 80% of time spent by your sales team on scheduling.

Lead nurturing — businesses that automate lead nurturing with precisely timed emails realize a 10% increase in revenue.

Marketing automation makes you smarter, faster, and more efficient — giving you more time to focus on growing your firm through activities that require your personal touch.

 

5 Keys to Effective Law Firm Development

Posted in Law Firm Development

5 Keys to Effective Law Firm DevelopmentGuiding the growth of your law firm takes a disciplined approach to law firm development. While you may not have learned much about the business of law as your pursued your JD, you will need to master certain business disciplines — planning, hiring, financial management, technology, and marketing — to make your firm successful. There are 5 keys to effective law firm development that demand your focus:

#1: Make a plan.

To start and run any business, you need to focus on the big picture, but you can’t let that blind you to the importance of detailing the steps you need to take to make your firm a success. Having a plan helps you keep on track to achieving your goals and make important adjustments along the way.

#2: Develop a team of Superstars.

You need to create a team that will make your business successful, bringing the best people onboard in the different disciplines you need for financial management, marketing, sales, etc., and ensuring they succeed by investing in the latest technologies to support their efforts. 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.

#3: Take care of business first.

Too many times lawyers focus solely on their clients without focusing on the bottom line. The result is devastating: not sending out invoices on time, not raising your rates for years, not actively cross-promoting other services your firm offers, and not staying connected with former clients. Be sure to put processes in place for each of these important disciplines so nothing falls through the cracks.

#4: Invest in technology.

Can you imagine practicing law without a computer or the Internet? In 5 years, you will be saying the same about financial management and marketing technology. For the 21st century law firm, you must take advantage of advanced technologies that make you more efficient and effective.

#5: Track the ROI of all your marketing programs.

With the increased competition and level of sophistication in the legal marketing industry, to get ahead you must be faster, smarter, and more effective than your competitors. Your ability to leverage digital and social media marketing and automate your marketing system will allow you to dominate larger firms with bigger budgets; however, every dollar must be accounted for and every effort must be measured for ROI.

Lawyers’ Guide on What, How & When to Post on Social Media [Infographic]

Posted in Social Media Marketing for Law Firms

Social media is so prevalent today that there is a ton of research out there on what marketers really want to know: what, how and when to post on social media.  Unfortunately, not too many of us have the time to scour all that research and organize the rich insights into information that will benefit us when we’re in a posting rut.

Worry no more.

Below are 4 infographics we’ve pulled together that tell you three critical things about posting on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram:

  1. What type of content works best on each platform.
  2. How to write for each platform in terms of post length and use of hashtags and emojis.
  3. When are the optimal times to post on each platform.

Save each of these on your desktop for a handy reference when you’re getting ready to rev up your social media posting machine.  It is all research-based information from reputable sources (see list at bottom of post with links).  We’ve just made it easy for you to access (you’re welcome).

How, What & When to Post on Social Media [Infographic]

 

 

 

Sources:  MarketingProfs.com, Buffer Social, CoSchedule

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FREE Webinar: Leveraging the Power of Social Media

Leveraging the Power of Social MediaAccording to the ABA, over 90% of attorneys are on LinkedIn, but very few of them generate any referrals from it. Facebook is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools, but most attorneys overlook it.

Learn about the social media networks that will work best for your firm and how to leverage them to get more leads by watching my latest free webinar – Leveraging the Power of Social Media.

During this free one-hour webinar, you will learn:

  • 3 low cost marketing tools for maximizing your results from social media
  • The 3 biggest mistakes lawyers make with social media and how to avoid them
  • Top 10 steps to jumpstart your referrals on LinkedIn
  • Using Facebook to connect with potential clients and referral sources
  • How to get qualified leads on Facebook for 90% less than on Google PPC
  • How to use content marketing to position yourself as an industry thought leader
  • Insider secrets to getting more leads from your blog

If you want to discover real-world strategies that work for attorneys when it comes to generating and converting leads using social networks, learn how by watching this free webinar.

Register online now for immediate access to this free one-hour webinar.

Drop In On Us Today at Lawyernomics 2018 in Las Vegas!

Posted in Uncategorized

Drop In On Us Today at Lawyernomics 2018 in Las Vegas!

The Rainmaker Institute is a Gold Sponsor for this week’s Lawyernomics 2018 Conference in Las Vegas. Stop by the Palazzo Ballroom at The Venetian and visit the Rainmaker Institute booth, where we’ll be talking about the latest trends in law firm marketing and giving away an RC sports car to one lucky winner.

Avvo’s Lawyernomics Conference brings together thought leaders, legal tech innovators, and hundreds of attorneys for three days of inspiration, networking, and learning. It’s a dynamic, don’t-miss event for attorneys who want to excel at marketing their law firms!

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]

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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.