The Rainmaker Blog

The Rainmaker Blog

Law firm marketing and business development strategies

(888) 588-5891

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:

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.

 

5 Tips to Leverage Your Law Firm Blog for Better SEO

Posted in SEO for law firms

5 Tips to Leverage Your Law Firm Blog for Better SEOAs a constant source of fresh content, your law firm blog is a great tool for building your online authority and boosting your SEO. Research shows that blogs consistently deliver the goods in terms of more traffic to your website, more leads, and higher ranking in search engine results pages.

But could you be doing more? Could you think more strategically about how to squeeze every bit of potential good from your blog? Of course you could! Here are five tips to get you started:

#1: Don’t just 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.

#2: Include 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 pages on your website that support your subject matter as well as to older posts that have proven popular in the past to drive traffic to your best content.

#3: 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.

#4: Publish 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.

#5: Don’t worry 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 recent 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.

 

Avoid These SEO Mistakes to Improve Your Law Firm’s Search Ranking [Infographic]

Posted in SEO for law firms

Getting on the first page of Google is every law firm marketer’s mission.  That’s because current research shows that most people — 94%! — won’t look beyond the first page of their Google search results.  So acquiring that piece of rare real estate is key if you want to build a strong online presence for your law firm.

Competition is fierce in the legal category and you need to use every weapon available to fight your way to the first page. Many of these are technical issues that are easily remedied — but first you need to be aware of their importance and the impact they have on your search ranking.

This infographic from SEMrush identifies 40 technical SEO mistakes that could be hurting your ability to rank high on search engine results pages. Hand it off to your SEO team and ask them to make sure your site is not committing any of these violations:

Avoid These SEO Mistakes to Improve Your Law Firm’s Search Ranking [Infographic]

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

FREE WEBINAR for Attorneys: How to Manage Your Online Reputation

A bad reputation could cost you everything, but this online training course on How to Protect, Build & Leverage Your Online Reputation will cost you nothing!

Take a moment right now and Google yourself. If you don’t like what you see, maybe you need to make more effort to manage your online reputation. And if you don’t have a clue how to do this, then this free online training session is for you!

Here’s what you’ll learn during this free one-hour online training session:

  • How to get feedback from 100% of your clients without risking a negative review online.
  • How to address both positive and negative reviews online so that both of them bring you business.
  • How to use online reviews to beat your competition, no matter what their marketing budget is.
  • A proven process for requesting and collecting reviews that will outperform anything you’ve ever tried.
  • series of word-for-word scripts that you can use to build your reputation today.
  • The top 5 ways to use your best reviews to boost conversion rate and maximize your marketing ROI.
  • How to put little-known best practices to work for you and gain from the experience of thousands of clients who went before you.

This online training event is presented 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 is a UCSD graduate and a 28-year sales and marketing veteran. He started his first marketing agency in 2009, offering web development, SEO, PPC marketing and more.

Register online now for the free online training on How to Protect, Build & Leverage Your Online Reputation. We’ll send you the link via email and you can share it with your staff and other attorneys in your practice.

6 Winning Search Strategies for Law Firm Marketing

Posted in SEO for law firms

6 Winning Search Strategies for Law Firm MarketingLaw firms should take it as a given by now that online search plays a crucial role in business development, especially for B2C law firms. Consumers needing legal services will turn to the Internet first to research their options. Even when a friend has recommended an attorney, you can bet that referral is being researched online before a call is made.

If you do not rank well in search — being on the first page is key — you are losing potential clients to competitors that have deployed better search strategies than you have. So it’s way past time for law firms to get savvy about search.

Here are six organic search tactics that have proven to be especially effective for law firms:

  1. Focus on specialized keywords.

When potential clients search for an attorney online, there are specific keywords they typically use that are related to:

Location — search engines like Google know that when we search for a business service, we are likely to be looking for one nearby. This is why when you start typing what you are looking for in the Google search bar, the words “near me” are likely to pop up in association with the service you’re searching for. Using location-specific keywords like “Phoenix divorce attorney” is key in ranking well for location-specific searches.

Area of practice — people looking for a lawyer rarely search using just the word “lawyer.” They are much more likely to search for specific practice areas — divorce lawyer, business lawyer, personal injury lawyer, etc. Be sure you are using keywords that focus on your specific practice area(s).

Purchase intent — consumers ready to hire an attorney right away usually use keywords that signal where they are in the buying cycle. High-intent keywords may include the term “best” as in “best Phoenix divorce attorney,” while those who are in the early stages of the buying cycle use low-intent keywords like, “what does a divorce attorney cost?” Using high-intent keywords enables you to capture more search traffic from prospects that are ready to hire.

  1. Boost SEO with optimized content.

Demonstrating expertise in your practice area through your website and blog content not only helps you connect with prospects, it can also help you rank better in search. Develop optimized content that addresses the common issues your clients face in a few different formats — as blog posts, Q&A section (for voice search), and individual pages on your website. If you need help, consider adding the SEO Writing Assistant tool from SEMrush to your WordPress blog or Google document that will let you see how well your content is written for SEO purposes and makes recommendations for improvement.

  1. Choose a GMB niche.

Your Google My Business (GMB) page allows you to choose a niche for your law firm. Don’t make the mistake of just choosing “attorney.” Instead, choose the category that describes your practice area — tax attorney, bankruptcy attorney, patent attorney, etc.

  1. Focus on link building.

Having links from other authoritative websites with high traffic will really help improve your search ranking. Broken links will put a ding in that score, so first review your website or blog to see if there are any broken links that need to be fixed. To get links, you need to concentrate on producing high quality content. Guest posts on blogs and website in your niche help you gain valuable backlinks. So does adding your website to highly reputable lists like these:

  1. Utilize schema markup.

Schema markup is code that tells Google important things about your business that can then be more readily displayed in Google’s search engine results pages. If you use WordPress, there are plugins available that will generate the schema for you. There are also online schema markup generators that makes it easy to produce schema markup for your content.

  1. Obtain more reviews.

Reviews count for a lot in search results, so you want to be sure you have them on your website and highly trafficked review sites, including legal platforms like Avvo. Read my previous post on 5 Tips for Getting 5-Star Reviews.

New Consumer Insights Your Law Firm Marketing Plan Needs to Consider

Posted in Law Firm Marketing

New Consumer Insights Your Law Firm Marketing Plan Needs to ConsiderConsumer insights are important when crafting a law firm marketing plan, and they have certainly changed a lot in the last few years. A new consumer content study by Adobe lists five significant changes that you need to dial in to your marketing planning for 2019, including:

Consumers spend almost 9 hours on average every day engaging with digital media.

Does that number sound high to you? Then consider this: Millennials (23-34) spend 10.9 hours and Gen Z (18-22) spends 11.4 hours on their digital devices daily. According to the Adobe study, you can attribute much of this phenomenon to FOMO — Fear Of Missing Out — as well as the advances in technology that allow us to do almost anything on our phones today.

This means a couple of things for marketing your law firm — (1) there is no doubt that you should use digital marketing to reach your target market; and (2), you need to be as different as possible with your content to stand out.

Consumers are impatient.

The Adobe study found that more than half of consumers surveyed said they will abandon content that is too slow to load. And “too slow” usually means content that doesn’t appear immediately — within a few seconds. They will also abandon content that is poorly written and websites that are poorly designed.

And here’s a surprise: the demographic groups that are the least patient when it comes to content not displaying quickly or well enough are Baby Boomers (50-64) and Traditionalists (65+)!

Reviews matter.

The #1 place a consumer visits when researching a purchase (goods or services) is a brand’s website, but a close 2nd is online reviews, followed by social media and video channels.

Voice search emerging in importance.

While sounding the death knell for the keyword is premature, emerging technologies like voice search are on the rise. Crafting content that makes it easier for consumers to find you when using digital assistants like Google Home, Siri, etc., will only continue to grow in importance.

Trust in social media is high.

It’s not surprising that the generations that grew up with social media — Millennials and Gen Zers — trust it the most. However, social media is also trusted by 70% of Gen Xers (35-49) and 52% of Baby Boomers. According to the Adobe study, Facebook and YouTube are the most trusted social networks and both have earned a place in your law firm marketing plan.

Twitter Tips for Attorneys to Increase Engagement

Posted in Social Media Marketing for Law Firms

Twitter Tips for Attorneys to Increase EngagementIf you’d like to start using Twitter — or if you’ve already started but want to do better — here are some tips for attorneys on how to engage:

Pick a trending topic and offer your own spin. Every time you sign in, your Twitter home page will give you a list of topics that are currently trending on the site. You can even customize this feed for your geographical area. Picking a trending topic and adding your own spin on it is a good way to get more attention for your posts.

Perk up your profile. Be sure you have a current photo of yourself on your profile. Most people prefer to follow a person instead of a company.

Add followers. Syncing your contact list to Twitter is a good way to get followers quickly.

Use visuals to be visible.  Posts with photos and video get more attention on Twitter than strictly text posts.

Share amazing content. Don’t tweet unless you have something of value to your followers to offer. Quality always trumps quantity (pun intended).

Share and share alike. Share any engaging content your followers have posted by retweeting their messages and they are likely to return the favor.

Mind your metrics. Keep track of your Twitter stats — how many engage or click on your tweets — so you can gauge what’s working and what’s not.

In addition, here are some best practices for attorneys using Twitter:

  • Don’t tweet more than four times a day
  • Try to keep your tweet under 100 characters
  • Remember the 80/20 rule — 80% conversation/20% promotion
  • Use links as much as possible in your tweets — these get 86% higher retweet rates
  • Be sure your links are clickable by adding a space in front of the link
  • Weekend tweets get more engagement
  • Afternoon tweets get more engagement
  • Be judicious in your use of hashtags — no more than 2 per post
  • Include the word “retweet” in your posts — studies show these receive 12x higher retweet rates

Armed with this information, you should now feel comfortable engaging clients and prospects on Twitter with timely, topical tweets.