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Law firm marketing and business development strategies

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7 Tips to Popularize Your Law Firm Blog

Posted in Law Firm Blog

7 Tips to Popularize Your Law Firm BlogThere are lots of legal blogs out there. Many of them may be by your competitors. So how do you ensure that your law firm blog will find a good following when there are so many choices? Here are 7 ways to gain readers for your law firm blog:

Take a stand.  It’s human nature to follow the leader, and a leader always has a strong opinion on the things that matter.  Don’t be afraid to let your readers know what you stand for — it will give your law firm blog a refreshing voice and will attract the people you want to do business with in the first place.

Add value.  It’s always tempting to do a “me too” post, especially when you’re in a time crunch.  However, if you’re not adding something of value to someone’s knowledge base with every post, you are wasting your time and theirs.

Give it away.  Many attorneys are concerned about revealing too much about their area of practice, thinking that if they “give it away” they won’t be hired.  But you don’t want any do-it-yourselfers anyway — they make horrible clients.  And most people will be pulled in and impressed by the depth of your knowledge.  Plus, giving a free report in exchange for an email address is a superb way to get leads.

Leverage experts you know.  Including quotes and even allowing expert guest bloggers to add to your content will transfer their expertise to you in the minds of your readers.

Keep it simple.  Unless you’re writing specifically for other lawyers, legal jargon is a big turnoff for most readers.  You want to make your reader feel comfortable with you, not like you are always talking over their heads. Remember, your prospects are coming to you for insights on problems they have that they don’t really understand — make it clear that you do understand their pain.

Use stories.  Everyone likes to read a story with a hero, a villain and a good ending.  Use stories (with the real names omitted) to illustrate your points and demonstrate that you have an in-depth knowledge of and experience with your topic.

Keep posting.  The most-followed blogs are those that post regularly. You should be adding new content to your blog several times a week to satisfy your readers as well as Google, since search engines rely on fresh content to rank the relevance of websites.

 

 

The Client Exit Interview Script That Leads to Retention & Referrals

Posted in Law Firm Management

The Client Exit Interview Script That Leads to Retention & ReferralsConducting exit interviews with a client after their legal matter has been concluded is essential. Yes, it can sometimes be uncomfortable. But it is almost always beneficial, since the insights you gain can be used to improve your firm in ways that will eventually lead to more business and happier clients.

Here are 6 critical questions you need to ask each client after the case is closed:

  1.  Are we easy to do business with?

The reason that this is the first question is simple: clients who find you easy to work with are much more likely to retain you in the future and refer you to people they know.  The answers to this question will give you important insights into how your operational system is working to increase client satisfaction — and if your system is flawed, you can learn how and fix it.

  1.  What did you like about our services?

This answer will not only provide you with information on what your client found most important, but also what they wish you offered that you currently do not. There may be some opportunities for new services you could provide that would mean incremental income for your firm.

  1.  What could we have done differently?

Clients usually let small annoyances slide, but those can build up over time. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what is lacking that you can easily fix so you can rid your firm of irritating or unproductive practices?

  1.  Did our team communicate effectively with you?

The #1 complaint bar associations get from clients is that their attorneys do a poor job of communicating with them. If your team is not doing what they should to keep clients up to date on their legal matters, you need to know it and fix it.

  1.  Did we meet expectations?

A negative answer to this question can tell you if your firm is doing a poor job of either setting or managing client expectations, or if you are failing to meet them altogether. Then you can work to prevent similar failures in the future.

  1. Would you refer us to friends and family?

Most people believe lawyers don’t want or need referrals or they get all their clients from their own advertising efforts. Help them understand that your business is just like any other profession and relies on referrals to friends, family members, colleagues, business associates, etc. If you’re a multi-discipline firm, educate them on the scope of your firm’s services. Tell them what a good referral looks like to you by explaining the profile of your ideal client. Instruct them on the best way to make a referral to you — if you prefer an email introduction or a phone call.

Asking these six simple questions can go a long way toward providing you with a more productive law firm and new referral sources that bring you more clients.

 

How to Grow Your Law Firm by Hiring the Right People [Free Webinar]

Posted in Law Firm Development, Law Firm Management

How to Grow Your Law Firm by Hiring the Right People [Free Webinar]

The nation’s unemployment rate is at the lowest it’s been in almost 20 years — 3.8% in February — and still trending downward. In real estate parlance, this means it’s a seller’s market and buyers (employers) are finding it harder to recruit and retain top talent in almost every field, including legal.

I’m not talking about lawyers here; as far as I know, there’s no shortage of those. I am talking about the people who make your law firm run — receptionists, assistants, sales and marketing people, etc. — all of whom are critical to a service-based business.

So how can you find and keep the best possible talent for your law firm? People who can add value right out of the box and make a real difference in your bottom line? Our free webinar on How to Find, Train and Retain the Best Talent can get you on your way.  You can access it for free and watch it at your convenience.

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

Some of the topics Jay covers include:

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

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

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

3 Social Media Marketing Tactics That Are a Must for Law Firms Today

Posted in Social Media Marketing for Law Firms

Time for Lawyers to Review Their Social Media Marketing TacticsIn January 2018, Facebook announced that it was changing its algorithm to prioritize posts from friends and family over business posts. By August 2018, the News Feed algorithm change had resulted in a drop in engagement for business pages — by as much as 50% for some categories.

Although there are a few reports of a rebound, being able to count on organic reach via social media alone to reach your potential clients is pretty much over.

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 3 of the best tactics you should be deploying for social media marketing:

Video

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 Hubspot, 55% of Internet users view video online every day and 78% view it every week — and 85% view video on Facebook.

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. 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.

Mobile

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 with 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.

 

8 Email Marketing Myths That Are Truly ‘Fake News’!

Posted in Email marketing, Email marketing for law firms

Don’t Be Misled by These 8 Email Marketing “Alternative Facts” Not only is email marketing NOT dying, it is still the most trusted form of communication. Combine that fact with the reality that it is also the most cost effective way to market to clients and prospects and you have a real winning proposition!

Since email marketing has been around since the advent of email, there are some myths that persist about the practice. Here are 8 of them and the research-backed reasons why they are untrue:

  1. You annoy your clients when you send frequent emails. Research shows that if you are sending relevant content, readers are happy to read them and take action. Just one extra email campaign a month can net you significantly greater opens and clicks.
  2. Timing isn’t everything. 85% of email opens occur within two days of receiving an email, so don’t get caught up in thinking your email needs to be sent on a certain day at a certain time.
  3. “Inactive users” should be culled from your list after six months. Actually, 20% of your annual openers do so after being inactive for six months.
  4. Consumers mark most branded emails as spam.  Less than one subscriber in every 2,000 will mark an email as spam.
  5. The more email a brand sends, the more they are ignored. Actually, if you send four emails a month instead of just one, this actually doubles the number of readers who will open one or more of your emails.
  6. You get better results with short subject lines. It depends on how you define results.  Research shows that email subject lines with under 60 characters increases opens, but subject lines of more than 70 characters increases the number of clicks received. Actually, readers are much more likely to read an email because of who it’s from than the subject line.
  7. Email goes to a spam folder because of subject lines. According to an analysis of 540 billion emails, spam keywords like “free” have little or no effect on whether they will end up in the junk folder. Spam filters are much more sophisticated these days and are more likely to use reputation rather than certain keywords in identifying spam.
  8. Never send the same email twice. In 2018, the average open rate for legal email marketing campaigns was 21%. That means 79% or more may have never read your email. If you’ve sent an important email, don’t fret about sending it again — just be sure you send it only to those who didn’t open it the first time or use a different template and images with the same copy.

 

3 Steps to Create a Steady Stream of Referrals

Posted in Generating Referrals for Attorneys

3 Steps to Keep Referrals Coming How do you continue to build relationships with referral sources when you are always crunched for time? Just like anything else that matters, you have to carve some time out for the things that are meaningful to you — and few things are more meaningful when it comes to building a profitable law practice than a constant source of referrals.

Developing that referral network takes time and attention, but if you get organized, you can still do it no matter how many balls you have in the air. Here are 3 steps you should take to keep the referrals coming your way:

Step 1: Be Proactive

Don’t wait for someone to take the initiative to contact you – be the first to reach out. In the last few years we have coached and trained thousands of attorneys and the ones who are the best Rainmakers are those who make at least 3-4 contacts with potential referral sources every week.

Take a few minutes and scan your contact list. Select 15 to 20 names of potential or current referral sources and send them an email or better yet, pick up the phone and call them with an invitation to lunch or coffee. Set a goal of having at least two face-to-face meetings every week for the next three months.

Step 2: Increase the Frequency of Your Contact

Try as we might, it’s difficult with our hectic schedules to meet with every potential referral source on a regular basis. Here’s one strategy I teach lawyers: Set up a Google Alert for a specific phrase that would be of interest to your referral sources. When one you think will hit your contact’s hot button hits your Inbox, forward it to him or her with a personal note.

Several of my clients have doubled and tripled their referrals in six months using this simple technique to stay in front of their referral sources on a frequent basis. You can set up a Google Alert at google.com/alerts.

Step 3: Focus on Serving, Not Selling

When you meet with referral sources, don’t make the mistake of dominating the conversation. You are there to listen.  Any attempt to “sell” them on your services will be a complete waste of your time and theirs. Look for ways you can serve them and their clients by connecting them with other resources or pointing them in the right direction regarding a legal issue. Ask a lot of questions about their business. Ask them about the attributes of their ideal client or customer so you can reciprocate when appropriate. Then be sure you keep educating them about your ideal client so they don’t waste anyone’s time sending you people you can’t help.

Attorneys who want to become top Rainmakers don’t wait for someone to knock on the door, for the phone to ring, or for the referrals to come in. They take the initiative, stay in touch, and focus on serving their referral sources.

Finding Solutions to Your Law Firm’s Most Challenging Problems

Posted in Law Firm Marketing, Rainmaker Mastermind Group

Finding Solutions to Your Law Firm's Most Challenging ProblemsImagine what it would be like to have skilled and focused law firm partners helping you find solutions to the most challenging questions and issues in your practice. You would get many lives of experience, resources, education and insight from which to draw. There are few things as powerful.

This is what membership in the Rainmaker Mastermind Group provides.

In the Rainmaker Mastermind Group, success is not merely hoped for, it is assured. Our mastermind group allows you to use the full strength, training, experience and knowledge of other elite members as if they were your own. Each of the minds involved are expanded and reinforced by exposure to other minds.

While all members are unique in many ways, everyone encounters many of the same struggles, and it is only in being aware of these truths and opening ourselves up to assistance that we overcome challenges and reach our goals sooner and easier.

If you are truly dedicated to scaling your law firm to the next level, then you must surround yourself with people who are further ahead in the growth cycle than you are. Joining the Rainmaker Mastermind Group is one of the best ways to do that.

Here are 5 key benefits to being a member of the Rainmaker Mastermind Group:

  1. Specialized Knowledge: No one person knows it all, which is one of the most common reasons people fall short of their goal or choose not to take chances. People believe they don’t have the knowledge or required education to get where they want to be. The fact is, no successful individual has become successful because he knew everything. The most successful people are not the ones who know how to do everything, but the ones who know how to get people to assist them with what they don’t know. While it is your duty to be experts in your particular area of law, it is not possible for you to know everything there is to know about all aspects of the law or building a law practice. For instance, you may know little about law firm marketing, law firm websites, Law firm marketing plans and the like. But by being part of a mastermind group, you can leverage the knowledge and strengths of everyone around you to move forward more quickly toward your goals.
  2. Definiteness of Purpose: Definiteness of purpose is a key to your success. If you do not know with absolute certainty what you want, you are not likely to reach the level of success that is possible. Mastermind groups offer knowledge, information, and direction. Members will help you stay on track, call you out when you are not doing what you say you are going to do, and generally serve as the more rational voice inside you to keep your eye on the prize. However, you have to be clear on your own purpose if you expect to get the most out of the experience. The clearer you are about your purpose, the more success you will find.
  3. Infinite Experience: An individual who is trying to develop a strategy to grow his or her law practice for the first time has a higher probability of failure because he or she has finite experience. You have only what you currently know to guide you. However, the mastermind group has infinite experience. It has years of combined experience, knowledge and insight from which you can draw to accelerate your learning curve.
  4. Group Energy: Many attorneys at small and solo law firms struggle without consistent interaction with their peers on a daily basis. They may work with clients and attend events a few times a month, but working in isolation can limit your growth. Having a mastermind group keeps you connected, helps you to see that your struggles are not unique, and that you can have outrageous success even if you stumble once in a while.
  5. Higher Levels of Accountability: When you have a group of likeminded people committed to you and your goals, it is much more difficult to let things go than when you are working alone. Having others who are expecting you to achieve the goals you have set for yourself can often add that little extra bit of motivation you need to follow through. In addition, when you know that others feel accountable to you, there is a sense of responsibility you have to do what you say you are going to do. Accountability works both ways and it is one of the primary reasons why mastermind groups are so effective.

If this sounds like something you could benefit from, I invite you to click here to learn more about the Rainmaker Mastermind Group and see if you qualify.

 

9 Social Media Musts for Law Firm Marketers

Posted in Social Media Marketing for Law Firms

Social media is the way people connect today and you want your law firm to be in the thick of it. But if you’re a newbie to social media for business, then there are 9 social media “musts” you need to follow to connect with your target market:

#1: Define your target.

Defining a target market is critical for any marketing initiative, and even more so when you use social media. These days, Facebook is pretty much for everyone and the space is crowded. You will probably not make much of an impression if you just try for organic reach; you’ll have to add Facebook advertising into the mix as well. If you’re a B2B attorney, then LinkedIn is a key network for you. If you market primarily to women, check out Pinterest. Define your target market by demographics and then see which social networks come closest to attracting those audiences.

#2: Narrow your networks.

You don’t need to be everywhere; you just need to be where your target market is on social media. Start out your social media marketing program with two platforms and post to them regularly.

#3: Scrutinize metrics.

The top social media platforms have built-in reports — Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, LinkedIn Analytics — that tell you which posts resonate with followers. Scour them to keep refining and building on successful messaging that hits the mark with your target audience.

#4: Tailor your content.

Every platform has its own conventions, so familiarize yourself with what works where. Photos work on Instagram and Pinterest; link to a compelling blog post on other platforms but use different visuals — video if you can — to keep your followers engaged on multiple levels.

#5: Check your timing.

The best time to post on social media is when your target market is actively participating. This infographic from CoSchedule aggregates 20 studies on that subject to arrive at the optimal times for posting on several different platforms:

Social Media Mistakes Newbies Make & How to Avoid Them

#6: Less is more.

Twitter already limits the number of characters you can use in your posts, but other platforms don’t — although research shows that shorter posts do better. In fact, short posts on Facebook (250 characters or less) get 66% more engagement than longer ones. If you’ve got a lot to say, write a blog post and then link to it with a short, 1-2 sentence summary.

#7: Use visuals and video.

Posts with arresting visuals — photos, graphics or video — get more than twice the engagement than posts that are purely text. Social media has evolved to be all about the visual, especially video.

#8: Go beyond basic with your bio.

Your bio is your face to the social media world, so make it compelling. Show your human side by including photos of your people and office, and include some persuasive content that will speak directly to your target audience, like why you do what you do.

#9: Follow the 80/20 rule.

Social media is about promoting your law firm subtly, which means that 80% of your posts should be content of interest to your target audience and only 20% should be about you or your firm.

To learn more about how to handle your social media, click below to get a link to my free report:

SEO Efforts a Bust? Here are 10 Reasons Why

Posted in SEO for law firms

SEO Efforts a Bust? Here are 10 Reasons WhyYou know the importance of digital marketing for law firm business development. You realize that much of your online success — if and when it comes — depends on doing the right things SEO-wise so your law firm website shows up on the first page of Google. You know that you certainly do not have the time (nor the inclination, probably) to become an SEO expert. You did not go to law school for this.

So you hire someone to take this on — either someone on your staff or an external resource. Because it’s important. It must be done, and done right. So why aren’t you seeing the results you want? A recent post at Search Engine Watch provides 10 reasons why your SEO campaign might not be working:

  1. Poor content.

Poor content is the #1 reason why SEO campaigns fail. If the traffic on your site is close to abysmal, this has a real (bad) effect on your SEO. People are only going to stay on your site if they find something of value; absent that, they will leave as soon as they arrive and will not come back. Your content must be original and error-free, and include a good mix of various types of content — text, photos, video, infographics, etc.

  1. Poor host.

If the company hosting your website is unreliable, the performance of your site will be compromised and that results in loss of rank. Don’t make your decision of a website host provider based on price; base this important decision on reliability and competence.

  1. Lack of links.

The content you have on your website and blog needs to have backlinks from authoritative websites as well as hyperlinks that help attract visitors to your site. Curate these carefully, as Google will know if you are buying backlinks and penalize your site.

  1. Not keeping up with Google algorithm updates.

Google is constantly changing its algorithm in a series of updates that must be taken into consideration by your SEO strategy or the search results for your site will be affected in significant ways.

  1. High bounce rate.

If people are leaving your site after viewing just one page, you will incur a high bounce rate and that is bad for SEO. You need to routinely check your Google Analytics to monitor the bounce rate for your site.

  1. Outdated SEO strategy.

Change is the name of the SEO game, so if you are still deploying old SEO strategies, you are going to get hurt.

  1. Dwell time is short.

If people are leaving your home page, landing page, or blog right after they get there, your SEO suffers.

  1. Too great expectations.

You won’t see SEO results over night, so you need to adjust your expectations. Your SEO efforts will take at least three months before bearing fruit, so be patient.

  1. Neglecting social media.

Google uses social media signals to gauge the popularity of your online properties, so be sure you are active on the social media sites where your target market likes to hang out.

  1. Your site is not mobile-first.

This is a basic requirement since Google made mobile-first a ranking priority three years ago. In 2019, your sites need to be responsive and mobile-friendly so they display content correctly no matter what device is used to access those sites.

 

The 5 Key Benefits of a Mastermind Group

Posted in Rainmaker Mastermind Group

This weekend I’m meeting with the Rainmaker Mastermind Group, an exclusive group of non-competing attorneys and law firm marketing experts who meet a few times a year for an intense, two-day strategy session.

Here, attorneys have the opportunity to learn in the company of other top attorneys where to find the necessary resources, tap into creative ideas and apply the skills they need to transform their current practice.

There are 5 key benefits to being a member of the Rainmaker Mastermind Group:

1. Specialized Knowledge: No one person knows it all, which is one of the most common reasons people fall short of their goal or choose not to take chances. People believe they don’t have the knowledge or required education to get where they want to be. The fact is, no successful individual has become successful because he knew everything.

The most successful people are not the ones who know how to do everything, but the ones who know how to get people to assist them with what they don’t know.  While it is your duty to be experts in your particular area of law, it is not possible for you to know everything there is to know about all aspects of the law or building a law practice. For instance, you may know little about law firm marketing, but by being part of a mastermind group, you can leverage the knowledge and strengths of everyone around you to move forward more quickly toward your goals.

2. Definiteness of Purpose: Definiteness of purpose is a key to your success. If you do not know with absolute certainty what you want, you are not likely to reach the level of success that is possible. Mastermind groups offer knowledge, information, and direction.

Members will help you stay on track, call you out when you are not doing what you say you are going to do, and generally serve as the more rational voice inside you to keep your eye on the prize. However, you have to be clear on your own purpose if you expect to get the most out of the experience. The clearer you are about your purpose, the more success you will find.

3. Infinite Experience: An individual who is trying to develop a strategy to grow his or her law practice for the first time has a higher probability of failure because he or she has finite experience. You have only what you currently know to guide you. However, the mastermind group has infinite experience. It has years of combined experience, knowledge and insight from which you can draw to accelerate your learning curve.

4. Group Energy: Many attorneys running smaller law firms struggle without consistent interaction with their peers on a daily basis. They may work with clients and attend events a few times a month, but working in isolation can limit your growth. Having a mastermind group keeps you connected, helps you to see that your struggles are not unique, and that you can have outrageous success even if you stumble once in a while.

5. Higher Levels of Accountability: When you have a group of likeminded people committed to you and your goals, it is much more difficult to let things go than when you are working alone. Having others who are expecting you to achieve the goals you have set for yourself can often add that little extra bit of motivation you need to follow through. In addition, when you know that others feel accountable to you, there is a sense of responsibility you have to do what you say you are going to do. Accountability works both ways and it is one of the primary reasons why mastermind groups are so effective.

Learn more about the requirements if you are interested in being considered for membership at Rainmaker Mastermind Group.