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Law firm marketing and business development strategies

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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 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.

Take One Hour to Transform Your Law Firm Marketing Program

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

Take One Hour to Transform Your Law Firm Marketing ProgramDo you have one hour to dedicate to learning about new ways to vastly improve the results you are getting from your law firm marketing program?

If you’re interested in growing your law practice, you should constantly be looking for ways to improve on what you’re already doing when it comes to marketing your services. A good place to start is with my one-hour legal marketing webinar. It’s free, it’s an hour of great insights, and it’s on demand, so you can watch anytime, anywhere.

In my legal marketing webinar, you will discover:

  • 3 Critical Areas You Must Focus On To Make This Your Best Year Ever!
  • Why Your Law Firm Is Not Getting More Referrals And How To Change It Fast
  • How To Find More Clients You Love To Work With And Who Consistently Pay You On Time
  • How To Select The Right Marketing Tools That Will Work For Your Practice And Personality
  • The Most Cost Effective Online And Offline Marketing Strategies For Your Practice Area

I also give you a sneak preview of the 65 different marketing strategies taught at our newly revamped 2-day legal marketing seminar, the Rainmaker Retreat.

If what I have to share with you during this webinar sparks a desire in you to really pursue law firm marketing like your business depends on it — which, by the way, it does — then you really do need to consider attending a Rainmaker Retreat.

We have designed this 2-day intensive workshop to be content-rich, loaded with practical information on the latest strategies that work online and offline for law firm marketing.

We are so confident you will love the Rainmaker Retreat that we offer a 100% unconditional money-back guarantee! At the end of the first Rainmaker Retreat, if you don’t believe you have already received your money’s worth, simply tell one of the staff, return your 70-page workbook and the CD set you received, and we will issue you a 100% refund.

Here are the upcoming sessions we have scheduled around the country:

  • 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

Book early and save 30% off the registration fee — only $697 for two days that will transform your law firm! Visit for more info.

4 Things Prospects Want to Know from Your Law Firm Website

Posted in Law Firm Websites

4 Things Prospects Want to Know from Your Law Firm WebsiteWhen someone visits your law firm website, you don’t have much time to engage them – industry research indicates most prospects spend less than 10 seconds evaluating your website or blog and if they find nothing immediately relevant to them, they quickly move on. You must grab them from the very first moment they land on your site.

Here are four questions your prospects want answered when they visit your law firm website:

#1:  Do you practice the kind of law I need? Whatever type of law you practice should be spelled out clearly with words and visuals. It should be blatantly obvious within seconds, even to the casual observer. This is not the time or place to tell them every single thing you can do. Focus on your major practices, not the one that you helped one client with five years ago. Position yourself and your firm as a specialist.

#2:  Do you understand my specific problem? Get as many legal words off your pages and speak to prospects in their language so that they understand that you understand. This builds trust and if they don’t trust you, they won’t do business with you. For example, no consumer uses the term, “family lawyer.” Many of them don’t even know what it means. Only 5 percent of visitors that end up at personal injury websites use the term, “personal injury lawyer.” 95 percent are searching for something else (car accident lawyer, dog bite attorney, etc).

#3:  Can I relate to this attorney? Lots of law firm websites have information that clients want to know hidden under a “References” or “Resources” tab. While information and education are important, what people really want to know is, “Can I relate to this attorney?” and I know of no better way to demonstrate this than through video. There should be multiple videos on your website — one on your home page, your bio page, each of your major service pages, as well as your contact page. Talk about why you got into law, what your passion is, what kind of clients you love to work with, frequently asked questions they have, and successes your firm has achieved.

#4:  What are the benefits, value, results and solutions this attorney has achieved? This is a tough one for most lawyers because they don’t really understand the benefits of working with their firm, so you must spend some time giving serious thought to what makes you different. When asked, “Why should I hire you?” most attorneys give the same stale responses: “We have good quality services,” “We have a lot of experience,” and “We are a boutique law firm that will take care of you.” The problem is when you look and sound like everyone else, people start to view you as a commodity. Instead, focus on the benefits you bring to your clients, the results you have achieved, and the creative solutions you have developed. Use client reviews to help tell your story — text is good, video is better.

Best Practices for Converting Law Firm Leads [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted in Lead Conversion

The Internet has made it much easier to target the types of clients you want and cheaper to generate new leads. For most of my almost 20 years in law firm marketing, I’ve mostly heard attorneys talk about how to get more leads. A lot of them were already getting a fantastic amount of leads, but it never seemed to be enough.

I wondered, what was happening to all those leads? It then became clear that firms wanted more leads because they were simply lousy at turning leads into new clients. They didn’t know how to convert!

So I began helping firms understand that they could significantly slash their lead generation budget and increase their bottom line if they only got better at converting the leads they were getting.

There are several common mistakes that attorneys make that results in leads not converting into appointments and, eventually, into clients. The infographic below from details the best practices in lead response management, based on research from more than 4,700 sales teams.

This research clearly shows how imperative it is that law firms have a system in place that nurtures the 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.

Check out the data below and evaluate your intake process against these best practices to see where you can make improvements to your process and your bottom line.

Best Practices for Law Firm Lead Management [INFOGRAPHIC]

Time for Lawyers to Review Their Social Media Marketing Tactics

Posted in Social Media Marketing for Law Firms

Time for Lawyers to Review Their Social Media Marketing TacticsThe questions surrounding the legitimacy of social media posts by fake news organizations is driving big changes in the way businesses will use social platforms to connect with consumers. Facebook recently announced that it was changing its algorithm to prioritize posts from friends and family over business posts. Other platforms are examining their feed priority mechanics as well.

In other words, organic reach via social media is pretty much dead.

This means it is imperative for lawyers to change what you’re doing — not only because the world has changed, but also because what consumers used to read on social media they now want to watch, primarily on their phones. Here are some of the new tactics you should be deploying for social media marketing:


Social networks not only allow you to post a produced video, but you can live stream as well. All this is happening because of demand. People want video. According to Cisco, video content will drive 85% of search traffic in the U.S. by next year.

So if you are lagging behind on video content, it’s time to catch up. Video is a key element in getting attention for your law firm on social media today. Talk about the things that are plaguing your target audience on video and post them. Share videos of interest to your prospects that someone else has produced (obviously not a competitor). Get in the game, either by doing it yourself or finding someone who can help.


According to comScore, 80% of social media usage is from mobile devices. Most people prefer using a mobile device for content consumption, as long as the experience is a good one.   Some people only use mobile, having abandoned their laptops and desktops long ago.

Facebook recognized the shift to mobile marketing a couple of years ago with their introduction of Lead Ads, which is perfect for your free ebook, newsletter or webinar signup offers. With Lead Ads, users are taken to a form that is automatically populated with their contact information after they click on your ad’s call-to-action. Lead Ads can greatly increase your mobile campaign conversion rate.

Social Ads

Social media advertising is no longer a want, it’s a need. You need to use paid media to support your organic social media marketing campaigns. People no longer want to be pushed off their Facebook or LinkedIn page to your website. They want to engage with you on their platform of choice.

Luckily, social media advertising is fairly cheap so you don’t need a big budget to be successful. You can scale your buy up or down, depending on your conversion rate. Driven by a need to monetize their platforms, social media networks have made advertising extremely affordable with some exciting solutions that allow you to really zero in on your target market.

Today’s social media is yesterday’s Yellow Pages — it’s where your prospects are going to find you. Be there — on mobile, on video, with ads that forge a direct connection with your clients and prospects.

How Lawyers Can Use LinkedIn More Effectively for Leads & Referrals [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted in Social Media Marketing for Law Firms

We all know that building long-term, meaningful and influential relationships is foundational to a successful legal practice. After all, people don’t hire law firms; they hire an attorney.

And the more people you connect with, the more opportunities you have to build meaningful relationships, and the more potential clients and referral sources you can generate.

With 133 million users in the U.S., LinkedIn is the most popular social networking platform dedicated to professional business development.  As soon as you start networking on LinkedIn, you increase your chances of reaching new clients and referral partners.

However, be prepared to work at it. You need to keep your LinkedIn profile alive, updating it often with your work experience, volunteer efforts, blog posts, articles and videos. Engage with your network by commenting, liking and sharing what they are doing.

Tip:  If you don’t have time during the day, add the LinkedIn mobile app to your phone and/or tablet and network in your downtime.

If you follow the steps in the infographic below from, you will start to see your LinkedIn network mature over time, leading to more prospects and referral partner relationships.

How Lawyers Can Use LinkedIn More Effectively for Leads & Referrals [INFOGRAPHIC]FREE Webinar: Leveraging the Power of Social Media

According 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 this 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.