Archive for April, 2009

Lawyers Who Let Their Phone Ring Too Long, Lose Clients.

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

If you don’t want to lose potential clients then train your receptionists to answer the phone within the first 3 rings.  It is a scientifically, well maybe not so scientifically,  proven fact that people will hang up or will be less likely to hire your law firm if the phone rings more than 3 times.

The bottom line, make sure your receptionist is trained to answer the phone within 2-3 rings. This is based on real market research. Call LawyerSuccess at (769) 218-6099 if you would like a free lawyer marketing consultation.

Attorney Web Design That Works

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Web design is crucial to get right for the success of you and the company.  This in turn draws clients and traffic to your site.  Many people are drawn visually to a website, not bland schemes that turn off viewers.  Websites are an informational and promotional tool. 

 

If you are to sell your services, the first step is to sell your website to the clients or customers.  That is what Lawyer Success does well. Allowing your website to strive through Lawyer Success drastically puts your website at the forefront of the Internet.  Get a professional look with a web design that will put the competition to rest. 

 

Choosing the right designer for your attorney web design is important and you will want to leave the job to the professionals.  You’ve worked hard to get your law degree and have spent countless hours studying and researching.  Why not be rewarded with a attorney web design that will draw viewers and clients to your site, which in turn means more business for you. 

 

Don’t short change the opportunities that are presented to you.   Generate real results for your website.  There is a sea of untapped knowledge on web designs and web design marketing and that is something Lawyer Success continuously strives to do well, pushing the envelope and creating and giving you the design your law firm is worthy of.  See the success of your firm before your very eyes. 

 

Put your hard earned money to good use and take full advantage of the opportunities and services through Lawyer Success.  At Lawyer Success you’ll find a professional attorney web design company with all the right tools, personnel and equipment to produce the very best in web site design and marketing. 

 

Call (769) 218-6099 today for a rate quote and a free consultation so that you too can have the best lawyer website in your market. 

Emotional Intelligence: Key To Professional Success

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Emotional Intelligence:

The ability to assess and manage emotions

Is key to professional success

 

 

Janet Ellen Raasch

 

Janet Ellen Raasch is a writer, ghostwriter and blogger who works closely with professional services providers – especially lawyers, law firms, legal consultants and legal organizations – to help them achieve name recognition and new business through publication of keyword-rich content for the Internet as well as articles and books for print.  She can be reached at (303) 399-5041 or jeraasch@msn.com.

 

 

Most lawyers are “book” smart, which leads them to law school and helps them succeed in that traditional academic environment.  The best lawyers, however, are also “people” smart – good at understanding and managing human emotions.

 

Some lawyers can have a hard time understanding and managing their own emotional status – and the emotional status of clients and colleagues at work as well as family and community members outside the office.

 

Why should this matter?  Research indicates that an individual’s emotional intelligence (EQ) accounts for 60-80 percent of success in the workplace and in life, while cognitive intelligence (IQ) accounts for just 20-40 percent.  In an environment like law, where everyone is cognitively smart, EQ is a significant differentiator.

 

At the leadership level of an organization, EQ becomes even more important.  Research by the Center of Creative Leadership shows that almost half of all executive fail at their positions within two years.  The reason they fail is not a lack of technical competence or cognitive ability, but a lack of emotional intelligence.  Executives who fail lack sensitivity to the emotional status of others.  In other words, they lack EQ.

 

“The good news is that lawyers (and other professional services providers) can learn to understand and use emotional intelligence to manage themselves and their relationships with others,” said Dr. Laura Belsten.

 

“Although IQ remains pretty much the same throughout our lives, EQ can be enhanced – and continues to develop throughout life as we acquire experience,” said Belsten.  “Older people tend to have higher EQs than their younger counterparts.”

 

Belsten presented her findings on the relationship between EQ and professional success at the monthly educational program of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association, which took place May 12  in Denver at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

 

Belsten is the founder and president of CEO Partnership (www.ceopartnership.com), a Denver-based executive coaching and leadership development firm with a national practice.  She is a Master Certified Coach and author of Coaching Emotional Intelligence.  She also developed the Emotional Intelligence Profile test.  She has taught leadership and communication at the University of Denver for nearly 20 years.

 

Emotional Intelligence

 

Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of our own emotions and the emotions of others – and to use that information to manage ourselves and our relationships.

 

“Research shows that organizations that recognize and cultivate emotional intelligence are more productive and more successful at recruitment and retention,” said Belsten.  “They are also more profitable.  In law firms I have worked with, high-EQ partners are significantly more profitable than low-EQ partners.

 

“In the area of retention, common wisdom states that ‘employees join companies but leave supervisors,’” said Belsten.  “Where supervisors are trained in the use of emotional intelligence, turnover rates go way down.  People with ‘good’ bosses (defined as having high EQ) are four time less likely to leave than those with ‘poor’ bosses.

 

“In addition,” said Belsten, “there are proven health and medical benefits to working in an environment that values and rewards emotional intelligence – an environment that is the exact opposite of most law firms.”

 

Belsten developed the Emotional Intelligence Profile to measure individuals for 24 competencies that have been linked to emotional intelligence and success in the workplace and life.  Those who score well in some areas but poorly in others can build upon their strengths to make improvements.  Those who score in the “cautionary” or “vulnerable” range can enhance their careers with focused training and coaching.

 

The 24 competencies are grouped in to four emotional quadrants:  self awareness, self management, social awareness and social management.

 

“Self” awareness and management

 

The self-aware individual exhibits three competencies to understand self:

 

n    Emotional awareness – Recognizes own emotions and the mental and physical effects of these emotions; uses feelings as a valuable source of insight and information about self, others and situations

n    Accurate self-assessment – Knows strengths and limitations

n    Personal power – Exhibits a strong sense of self-worth and capabilities; self confidence

 

The self-managed individual exhibits nine competencies to manage emotions:

 

n    Behavioral self-control – Keeps disruptive emotions in check

n    Integrity – Maintains high standards of honesty and ethics; chooses to “do the right thing”

n    Innovation and creativity – Actively pursues new approaches and creative ideas

n    Initiative and bias for action – Proactive; ready to act on opportunities

n    Resilience – Perseveres in the face of adversity and setbacks; bounces back

n    Achievement drive – Strives to continuously improve

n    Stress management – Works calmly under stress and pressure; uses tactics like biofeedback, exercise and good diet to manage stress

n    Realistic optimism – Expects success; sees setbacks as manageable

n    Intentionality – Thinks and acts deliberately and “on purpose” to control outcomes

 

“Other” awareness and management

 

The socially aware individual exhibits three competencies to understand others:

 

n    Empathy – Senses the feelings and perspectives of others; takes an active interest in their concerns; walks “a mile in their shoes”

n    Organizational awareness – Reads the social and political currents in a group or organization

n    Service ethic – Anticipates, recognizes and meets client needs

 

The socially aware individual exhibits nine competencies to manage others:

 

n    Develops others – Identifies the developmental needs of others and helps them enhance their abilities

n    Influences others – Uses effective tactics to persuade

n    Communicates – Listens attentively and fosters open dialogue

n    Manages conflict – Negotiates and resolves disagreements involving difficult individuals, groups and situations

n    Leads – Inspires, guides and mobilizes individuals and groups; articulates a clear, compelling and motivating vision for the future

n    Catalyzes change – Initiates, manages and leads change

n    Builds bonds – Nurtures and maintains relationships and networks; connects with others on a deep level

n    Collaborates – Works with others toward shared goals; creates group synergy in pursuit of collective goals

n    Builds trust – Is trustworthy and ethical when working and relating to others; establishes a bond of trust

 

EQ assessment tools can be self-scoring instruments, where an individual rates him- or herself, or a 360 process, where an individual’s rankings of him- or herself are compared with rankings of the individual prepared by supervisors, peers, direct reports – and even clients.  “A reasonably smart person might try to ‘game’ the results in order to look good,” said Belsten.  “A 360 approach helps prevent this from happening.

 

“Organizations that want to be competitive in today’s marketplace need the ‘EQ’ edge to set themselves apart,” said Belsten.  “It is EQ that will solve retention and morale problems, improve creativity, create synergy from teamwork, enhance communication, drive purpose and ignite the best and most inspired performance from others.”

 

Best Lawyer Website – How to generate real results!

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Want the Best Lawyer Website in your city?

If you want to have the very best website presence in your area here are the top 5 things you need to do and services we can help you with to accomplish this goal if you need help. 

  1. Design – Today having a website is not enough. Your law firm’s website is the face of your law practice. It represents who you are and how credible you are as a legal services provider. Of course you can purchase one of those cheap templates but is that the image you wish to portray to prospective clients. Let’s face it, image is everything. You have only 8 seconds to make the right impression. Break the competitive threshold with a design that creates a “Wow effect” with potential clients because your competitor is just a click away. 
  2. Content - Traffic is determined by the number of different keywords your website has. The more content you provide, the more hits to your website you will receive.
  3. SEO – Search engine optimization is the programming that the search engines read to index your web pages. By providing the search engines with meta tags, keyword tags, descriptions, header tags and ALT tags you will allow the search engine to find and display your web pages within the very best positions in the search results. Keyword research and keyword placement within the content of your web pages is also very important to search engine rankings.
  4. Links – Forget the link pages or automated link building programs. Google and all other search engines are way to advanced for those techniques to work properly. Links from credible and authorative legal sources provide the best value to rank well within the search results.
  5. Exposure - There are many social network site, video sites, attorney directories and search marketing solutions that can drive substantial and qualified traffic to your website.

If you focus on a strategy that targets these 5 areas of website promotion, you will generate more qualified leads for your law firm than any other source at a cost per lead far less than any other form of advertising.

If you need help in any of the preceding strategies call us for a rate quote and a free consultation so that you too can have the best lawyer website in your market. Call (769) 218-6099 today.

 

Converting website traffic into leads through call to action on lawyer websites

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Having strong “call to action” can make a huge difference in how many web visits you can convert into leads. Simply burying your contact information or providing a link to your contact page is not enough. The best call to action tells the web visitor what to do, how to do it, when to do it and what they should expect in return.

For example, a well designed website will have both text and graphical displays that tell the customer to “Call now for a free, instant case review.”  You cannot assume that the user that is visiting your law firm website will now what to do. You must guide them into the contact phase of the website visit.

I recommend that you do not over use the call to action by placing your contact information more than 3 times per web page. The “call to action” plus your contact detains should be located at the top of the website, within the body of the content and at the bottom of your website.

Call us today for a free user experience review of your law office’s website. Call (769) 218-6099 today.

Lawyer Blog, Blogs, Weblogs, Blawgs, Blogging for Lawyers

Monday, April 20th, 2009

It is essential to arm your website with as much firepower as you can.  A lawyer website design must be done professionally in order to get the look and the feel that you need.  As part of creating a website, one has to realize that marketing the site is as important as the design itself. 

How does a lawyer make the client stay for longer periods of time?  The answer is the blogging.  A Lawyer Blog or Weblog is a great way for you to build your base of knowledge.  Through your blog, you can be as creative as you wish to be or as serious as you want.  The blog gives you free reign to show your knowledge of your field of practice. 

Did a new law come out that effects your client base?  How about a Congressional law that just passed that affects the world in general? 

You can do creative things with blogging that will boost exposure to the site, too.  You can install Hyperlinks. 

 

Hyperlinking is a great way to incorporate research and other important documentation into your blog.  Rhetorically, it is sound, solid and professional.  Think of it like writing a research paper, except casually. 

The blogs’ potential is untapped and it is one of most underrated things one can do to market their website.  Because blogs or blawgs have archives, clients can see your musings in the past.  Be professional, but you can also have fun with it. 

 

Blogs are fun, but it can also boost your exposure two-fold.  A lawyer website design doesn’t always have to be serious.  Have fun with blogging and take your business to the next step. 

 

If you need help in any of the preceding strategies call us for a rate quote and a free consultation so that you too can have the best lawyer website in your market. Call (769) 218-6099 today.  We offer Lawyer Blawgs as well.

Oregon Lawyer Advertising Rules – Attorney Directories Are OK!

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Today I spoke with a Portland, Oregon law firm that was who questioned me about whether or not it was ethical for a law firm to participate in online attorney directories. After quickly reviewing the Oregon State Bar Ethics rules posted on the state BAR website, I was amazed to see how little restrictions are placed on lawyer advertising in that state.

In fact, as long as you are not paying for referrals based on actually retaining the referral you are pretty much good to go. So Oregon attorneys can list on attorney directories as long as they are paying for the exposure.

Law Firm Website Design – See Results in No Time.

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Art and Design: One of These Things is Like the Other

 

What do clients look for in a law firm website?  I think the answer is simple.  Creativity and ingenuity.  Those two facets are what Lawyer Success does well.  Nobody wants to look at a drab website.  The key is to create something that will be remembered.  Many law firm website designs look the same. 

If you want something to stick out from the competition then Lawyer Success is the way to go.  Teamed with a group of professionals who understand what it takes to succeed, Lawyer Success provides you with the tools to gain more clients. 

 

Professional designers have always said, websites should be designed and created like an artist drafts their paintings.  It should be express something: an idea, a theme, history, but most importantly, your business. 

What does that involve? That involves more than just two or three colors that mesh with each other or stand alone.  That’s boring.  It takes an interconnectivity of schemes, templates, designs and graphics to really succeed.    Most importantly, it should reflect your business, your personality and your work ethic. 

 

There is a growing demand for attorneys so why not take advantage of the fact that you could have a really great website and gain clients over your competitors.  After all, you deserve it after all the hard work that you put into getting your law degree.  All those hours of studying, all the money you spent on tuition, and all the research you’ve done should count for something.  Let the professionals handle your website and you’ll see results in no time.

 

For a free rate quote and a free consultation so you can have the best law firm website, call (768) 218-6099.  You don’t want your hard earned money put to waste. 

Legal Website Design Services

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Legal Website Design

Lose Them Fast, Lose Business

 

Legal website design can be tricky, but it can also be profitable for you and your company.  In order for clients to be drawn to your website to elicit your services.  Be serious about drawing clients to your site.  You get great prices for the services you get.  Help your website thrive with the presentation of your site.

 

 

When business clients make presentations to customers, they must be well prepared and have all the information on hand.  A well prepared presentation is the ticket to a client or clients.  Don’t miss out on the chance to have your website presented a most professional manner. 

 

It has been said that you have approximately five seconds to win or lose a visitor over to your site.  Look at in terms of buying a book at the store.  What’s the first thing you see?  You see the cover, then the title.  After that you flip it over and see the back cover and read the back blurb, if they have one.  Next thing you know, you come across the decision on whether you want to buy the book or not.  Presentation is everything.  Just having a product isn’t good enough.  It must be put in the best light possible.

 

Finding the right legal website design isn’t hard.  All you have to do is contact Lawyer Success and they’ll get you on your way.  By taking advantage of our services, you will have more clients than you know what to do with.  Get real results with real people, not a call center that will route your question or concerns three days from tomorrow. 

 

If you need help in any of the preceding strategies call us for a rate quote and a free consultation so that you too can have the best lawyer website in your market. Call (769) 218-6099 today.

 

Alaska Lawyer Advertising Rule 7.1 and 7.2 – Ethics Rules

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

INFORMATION ABOUT LEGAL SERVICES

Rule 7.1. Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services.

A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services or any prospective client’s need for legal services. A communication is false or misleading if it:

(a) contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading;

(b) is likely to create a reasonable but unjustified expectation about results the lawyer can achieve, or states or implies that the lawyer can achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;  or

(c) compares the lawyer’s services with other lawyers’ services, unless the comparison can be factually substantiated.

(SCO 1123 effective July 15, 1993; rescinded and repromulgated by SCO 1680 effective April 15, 2009)

ALASKA COMMENT

The Committee revised Model Rule 7.1 to address the situation in which a lawyer might provide misleading information with regard to a potential client’s needs for legal services from a particular lawyer.

COMMENT

[1] This Rule governs all communications about a lawyer’s services, including advertising permitted by Rule 7.2. Whatever means are used to make known a lawyer’s services, statements about them must be truthful.

[2] Truthful statements that aremisleading are also prohibited by this Rule. A truthful statement is misleading if it omits a fact necessary to make the lawyer’s communication considered as a whole not materially misleading. A truthful statement is also misleading if there is a substantial likelihood that it will lead a reasonable person to formulate a specific conclusion about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services for which there is no reasonable factual foundation.

[3] An advertisement that truthfully reports a lawyer’s achievements on behalf of clients or former clients may be misleading if presented so as to lead a reasonable person to form an unjustified expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client’s case. Similarly, an unsubstantiated comparison of the lawyer’s services or fees with the services or fees of other lawyers may be misleading if presented with such specificity as would lead a reasonable person to conclude that the comparison can be substantiated. The inclusion of an appropriate disclaimer or qualifying language may preclude a finding that a statement is likely to create unjustified expectations or otherwise mislead a prospective client.

[4] See also Rule 8.4(e) for the prohibition against stating or implying an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.

Rule 7.2. Advertising.

(a) Subject to the requirements of Rules 7.1 and 7.3, a lawyer may advertise services through written, recorded, or electronic communication, including public media.

(b) A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer’s services except that a lawyer may

(1) pay the reasonable costs of advertisements or communications permitted by this Rule;

(2) pay the usual charges of a legal service plan or a not-for-profit or qualified lawyer referral service.  A qualified lawyer referral service is a lawyer referral service that has been approved by an appropriate regulatory authority;

(3) pay for a law practice in accordance with Rule 1.17; and

(4) refer clients to another lawyer or a nonlawyer professional pursuant to an agreement not otherwise prohibited under these Rules that provides for the other person to refer clients or customers to the lawyer, if

(i) the reciprocal referral agreement is not exclusive, and

(ii) the client is informed of the existence and nature of the agreement.

(c) Any communication made pursuant to this rule shall include the name and office address of at least one lawyer or law firm responsible for its content.

(SCO 1123 effective July 15, 1993; rescinded and repromulgated by SCO 1680 effective April 15, 2009)

COMMENT

[1] To assist the public in obtaining legal services, lawyers should be allowed to make known their services not only through reputation but also through organized information campaigns in the form of advertising. Advertising involves an active quest for clients, contrary to the tradition that a lawyer should not seek clientele. However, the public’s need to know about legal services can be fulfilled in part through advertising. This need is particularly acute in the case of persons of moderate means who have not made extensive use of legal services. The interest in expanding public information about legal services ought to prevail over considerations of tradition. Nevertheless, advertising by lawyers entails the risk of practices that are misleading or overreaching.

[2] This Rule permits public dissemination of information concerning a lawyer’s name or firm name, address and telephone number; the kinds of services the lawyer will undertake; the basis on which the lawyer’s fees are determined, including prices for specific services and payment and credit arrangements; a lawyer’s foreign language ability; names of references and, with their consent, names of clients regularly represented; and other information that might invite the attention of those seeking legal assistance.

[3] Questions of effectiveness and taste in advertising are matters of speculation and subjective judgment. Some jurisdictions have had extensive prohibitions against television advertising, against advertising going beyond specified facts about a lawyer, or against “undignified” advertising. Television is now one of the most powerful media for getting information to the public, particularly persons of low and moderate income; prohibiting television advertising, therefore, would impede the flow of information about legal services to many sectors of the public. Limiting the information that may be advertised has a similar effect and assumes that the bar can accurately forecast the kind of information that the public would regard as relevant. Similarly, electronic media, such as the Internet, can be an important source of information about legal services, and lawful communication by electronic mail is permitted by this Rule. But see Rule 7.3(a) for the prohibition against the solicitation of a prospective client through a real-time electronic exchange that is not initiated by the prospective client.

[4] Neither this Rule nor Rule 7.3 prohibits communications authorized by law, such as notice to members of a class in class action litigation.