Archive for the ‘Tips for New Law Firms’ Category

How to Generate High Quality, Paying Customers Through Your Law Firm Website Instantly

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Here is a secret that hardly any competitor of yours knows.  You can build your own massive lead generation machine and slash your ad budget by 75% or more.

What is the secret?  After working with 3,500 law firms and spend 11 years in this business I have learned that ALL law firm’s make the mistake of trying to take short cuts or the lazy way to advertising and marketing their law practice. However, we are going to show you how spending ZERO dollars for web traffic and investing 10 minutes a day you can generate 6-7 figures in legal fees each year.
HERE’S WHAT THE FUNNY PART is… we are the EXPERTS…We generate  70,000 LEADS PER MONTH but 9 out of 10 law firms that contact us have a we “know it all” attitude so they end up not following this PROVEN LEAD GENERATION BLUEPRINT.  It equates to a lay person representing themselves in civil litigation.

So here is what you need to know about generating high quality cases and clients instantly into your law firm.

SEO is not dead, it has been improved.  What used to take months to achieve, now is achieved in minutes if you have the right tools in place. SEO (search engine optimization) places (or ranks) your law firm website high in Google’s search engine listing results pages. When use with the right types of “ideal” keyword phrases harvested from Google statistics, this can bring more traffic to your site for free.

The first position in organic or natural search result generates 41-45% of the clicks, almost 20 times the amount of clicks the first paid search result receive.  So if you can build quality, original content in the structure that search engines like Google prefer, you can tap into the best “traffic and lead flow” online.

If you generate enough of this traffic and you website has an attractive/credible design to it, you will convert a lot of these visits in to phone inquiries and web requests for more information about your legal services.

FREE ADVICE from a lead generation expert (not a sales rep) concerning business development (client development) for law firms call (769) 218-6099.

How to Retain Law Firm Clients Who Can Afford You

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Know What You Want. Everyone of us is an obstacle to our own success. Attorneys rarely reach their dreams or full potential because they do not clearly define what success means to them. Therefore their marketing doesn’t work, they take whatever business they can get and get only a fraction of the legal fees they would normal get.

My job is to challenge you in order for you discover what it is that you really want. Is it a particular client or case type? The next step is to show you how to make simple changes in your marketing and advertising to reach your desired client or case. Next I will teach you the sustainable, daily habit tin order to achieve it.

Lawyers and law firms: What you don’t know CAN hurt you

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010
Janet Ellen Raasch is a writer, ghostwriter and blogger (www.constantcontentblog.com) 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 Web and social media sites as well as articles and books for print.  She can be reached at (303) 399-5041 or jeraasch@msn.com.

Almost all client defections are predictable – and therefore avoidable – if only lawyers and law firms possess the right information.

“Information is the power you need to control your reputation and career,” said Shari Harley.  “You never want to be caught by surprise.”

Harley is founder of Shari Harley LLC (www.shariharley.com), a Denver-based training and consulting firm that helps organizations create more candid relationships with clients and employees.  She spoke as part of the July program of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association, held July 13 at Primebar in downtown Denver.

“Never assume that you know what a client or co-worker is saying about you to others,” said Harley.  “You might think that you are good at what you do and how you do it, but the fact is that you are not the judge.  Your clients and co-workers are the judges.  You are only as good as other people say you are.”

The easiest way to get the correct information about your reputation — how well or how poorly you are satisfying your clients and co-workers – is to ask.  Before asking, you must give the client or co-worker permission to provide honest feedback.

“It is much more comfortable to ask questions about your performance when you’ve laid the groundwork at the very start of any professional relationship,” said Harley.  “These tactics work with clients – and with supervisors, colleagues and direct reports.

“Start off with this statement:  ‘I want to have a great relationship with you.  If I do anything that violates your expectations or frustrates you, please tell me.  I promise that, no matter what you say, I will say “thank you.”’  Grant permission, ask questions and establish expectations up front,” said Harley.

Harley also recommends following up on that statement with a series of “get to know you” questions.  “Asking questions up front is a great differentiator,” said Harley.  “Surprisingly, very few professional service providers actually do this.  It costs you nothing and sets you apart from your competitors.”

Good starter questions include:

  • Do you prefer to communicate via email or voicemail?
  • Do you prefer scheduled appointments or can I drop by?
  • Do you prefer phone or in-person meetings?
  • What do you want to meet about?  How often?
  • What would you like me to be involved with?
  • What don’t you want me involved with?
  • What are your pet peeves in a working relationship?

It also helps to ask a few questions to determine how much a client or co-worker knows about what you do.

“Clients and co-workers cannot turn to you for help if they are unclear about your capabilities,” said Harley.  “Make sure that the people you work with are aware of your talents and skills.  Speak on your own behalf — without being arrogant.”

Good questions include:

  • What am I best known for?
  • What is my firm/practice area/department best known for?
  • What is my firm/practice area/department not known for?
  • What is the best thing about my/our service?
  • How can I/we improve my/our service?

Once you know the preferences of others, it is essential to respect them.  “There is nothing worse than asking for feedback and then ignoring it,” said Harley.  “Keep your word.  Do what you say you will do.

“As the relationship progresses, remind clients and co-workers that you want their feedback, and continue to ask for it,” said Harley.  “Throughout the relationship, ask ‘What am I doing that works for you?’ and ‘What can I do differently?’  Each and every time, remember to respect your promise and say ‘thank you’ for the feedback.”

Finally, keep in mind that great client and co-worker relationships are not established overnight.  “It takes time and consistency – asking for feedback and acting on it — to create the trust that leads to a candid relationship,” said Harley.

“Stop guessing what your clients and co-workers think of you and what they need from you,” said Harley.  “Just ask.  Make clients comfortable about providing honest and direct answers.  Use that information to control your reputation and your career – and guard against almost all client defections.”

Dress to impress: Use your wardrobe to inspire confidence, enhance words

Monday, July 26th, 2010
Janet Ellen Raasch is a writer, ghostwriter and blogger (www.constantcontentblog.com) 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 Web and social media sites as well as articles and books for print.  She can be reached at (303) 399-5041 or jeraasch@msn.com.

Before we even open our mouths to speak to a new acquaintance, that person has already formed a positive or negative impression of us – based simply upon our appearance.  Even the best of oral statements might not counter a negative first impression.

Research shows that positive or negative impressions are created by what we say (our actual words — 7 percent), how we say it (our tone and enthusiasm — 38 percent) and how we appear (our dress, body language and grooming — 55 percent).

“Verbal communication is important, but non-verbal communication is huge,” said Dana Lynch.  “Lawyers often spend a lot of time planning what they are going to say in the boardroom, the courtroom or at the networking event.  To make the best impression, they should devote at least as much attention to how they appear.”

Dana Lynch is a certified image consultant with Elements of Image (www.elementsofimage.com).  She spoke on “How to take the stress out of getting dressed” as part of the July program of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association, held July 13 at Primebar in downtown Denver.

Lynch shared her top five recommendations for dressing to impress:

Wear tailored suits and jackets.  “Jackets are your friends,” said Lynch.  “A well-tailored suit or jacket makes both men and women appear psychologically ‘bigger’ and more impressive at first glance.  Suits and jackets do not need to be old-fashioned and boring.  There are many modern and interesting cuts and fabrics out there.

“The research is conclusive,” said Lynch.  “People in suits are perceived as more credible, authoritative, knowledgeable, influential, persuasive and stable than those dressed less formally.  Aren’t these all qualities clients are looking for in a lawyer?”

Don’t show too much skin.  “The eye is drawn to contrast and skin often contrasts with the fabric being worn,” said Lynch.  “You do not want those you are meeting with to be distracted by skin showing on other parts of the body.  You want that contrast to be your face and the focus to be on your facial expression.

“This is especially true for women professionals,” said Lynch.  “Do not wear sleeveless tops.  Do not hint at or show cleavage.  Do not wear short skirts.  Take a clue from men.  Do they show up at the office in tank tops – or even short-sleeved shirts?  Don’t disadvantage yourself in the professional ‘power game’ by showing too much skin.”

Do wear hosiery.  “This is a natural extension of the ‘don’t show too much skin’ guideline, said Lynch.  “Study after study shows that women with bare legs are perceived as less authoritative, less credible and less successful than women wearing hose.  Men wear stockings to the office and to court; so should women.”

Avoid open-toed shoes.  “People really notice shoes,” said Lynch.  “Make sure that your shoes are good quality and in great condition.  Men’s shoes should have hard soles — not black rubber, which can really ruin the look of a suit.  For women, closed-toe pumps are classic.  In the summer, you can stretch the boundaries with a ‘peep’ toe or sling-back.

“Believe it or not, many people are distracted by toes,” said Lynch.  “Avoid open-toe shoes.  You want nothing to distract from your message.  Of course, you should avoid sandals and flip-flops in the office.  They are much too casual.”

Draw attention to your face.  “Choose shirts and accessories that direct attention to your face,” said Lynch.  “Men wear neckties for exactly this purpose.  Women can wear scarves or necklaces.  Earrings should be posts or hoops of an appropriate weight.  You want colleagues to be focused on your face and words – not distracted by your earrings swinging or your large bangle bracelet clanging on the table.”

Lynch also suggested paying close attention to impeccable fit, pants length (neither too short nor too long) and consistency of image from day to day.  Do not follow trends blindly.  Use ‘trendy’ items to judiciously update a classic wardrobe – and to enhance your personal style.

“Finally, hold up your head, look people in the eye and smile,” said Lynch.  “The three elements of image are dress, grooming and body language – and a smile is an important part of body language.”

As a certified image consultant, Lynch helps professionals create an external image that reflects and enhances their internal capabilities.  She helps her clients define their personal style based on personal preferences, body type and professional requirements.  She audits her clients’ wardrobes to determine what works and what does not.  She develops shopping lists to “fill in the gaps” and acts as a personal shopper.

After Lynch’s presentation, managers from the men’s and women’s fashion departments at Nordstrom in Cherry Creek predicted trends for the fall season – illustrated with outfits that they brought from the store.

“For men, we are featuring two-button suits with flat-front pants,” said Matthew West.  “You would be hard-pressed to find a three-button jacket or pleated pants anywhere – even though they set the standard ten years ago.  Lapels and neckwear are also thinner.  If you have these pieces in your wardrobe and want to keep wearing them, take them to a good tailor and have them taken in.”

“Women will find suits this fall in many different shades of grey – as an alternative to black,” said Marin Dornseif.  “Brown has been missing from our racks for quite a while.  Many of these tailored suits feature subtle feminine touches – like a hint of lace at collar or hem.  Also, under these jackets, professional women will wear softer tops with more ‘forgiving’ cap or flutter sleeves.”

Impressions are made by what we say, how we say it and how we look.  Make sure that they way you are dressed supports – rather than detracts from – what you will say.

Facebook's "Like" Button Effects Lawyer Rankings on FaceBook

Monday, July 12th, 2010
Facebook is developing their own social search engine to provide better placement of those companies, products or service providers who are well received by Facebook users. Facebook’s Open Graph will have attorneys taking note of the value of their law firm “like” button popularity since this may ultimately challenge Google’s dominance as a search engine.

This shift and the ability to communicate credibility has law firms positioning their law firm’s Facebook like icons on high visibility areas of their web pages. This means that lawyer and law firm Facebook fan pages that have the most Facebook users who “like” what they have to offer will appear higher in Facebook search rankings.

Right now there are two different ways that a Facebook user may “Like” your law firm’s fan page. The first technique is by adding a Facebook “Like” link or plug in on your law firm website so that users of your website may click on your law firm’s Facebook’s “Like” icon. The other option to generate more Facebook.com fan page “Like” votes is by creating a fan page within Facebook for your law firm that is separate from your personal Facebook page which gives Facebook users the option to “Like” your law firm.

Facebook has confirmed that there is no difference, at this point, which option is best for placement on its search engine.

So, what does this mean for lawyer marketing on Facebook? It means there is a value to promote not just your Facebook profile, but more importantly to push users, visitors, clients and colleagues to vote or “Like” your law firm Facebook Fan Page. Also, using a dual strategy where you include the Facebook Open Graph API and website/blog plug-ins you will achieve the very best results.  Also, becoming more active on Facebook with a law firm page is am important step toward increased visibility in social search results resulting in more new clients and establishing effective web credibility.

Lawyer Success, Inc. (lawyersuccess.com), has been a leader in solo and small law firm web lead generation since 2003. We help law firms get ahead of their competition through the use of highly specialized law firm Internet marketing techniques. Call the law firm marketing experts at Lawyer Success, Inc. now at (769) 218-6099 or log on to http://www.lawyersuccess.com to learn more about turnkey blogs, social media marketing and other web lead generation solutions for lawyers, attorneys, legal professionals and law firms of all sizes.

What is the best way for a solo practicing lawyer to advertise for new clients?

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

I am located in the Philadelphia area and I am trying to seek any clients to represent. What is the best resources and avenue for a young attorney to market themself to get new clients?

James Greenier (Law Firm Marketing Expert): Excellent question as I am sure this is on the minds of many attorneys fresh out of law school, or experienced attorneys starting a new law practice due to the changes in the economy.

My advice to lawyers is to spend their time wisely and not try to do everything to market themselves. You will wear yourself thin trying to stay organized and you will have poor results. I see this mistake all of the time. Many attorneys will try one idea then move on to another and repeat this process without making any great strides in client development. The point is you should find 3-5 different marketing strategies that are proven to work and stick to them.

What works in lawyer advertising?

When a lawyer beings a new practice or is starting a new year it is very important that you do not fall into the HYPE TRAP. Social networking is a great example of that. I have been marketing our company on many of these sites and have wasted a ton of time. I wish I had spent my time more wisely on the proven techniques I am about to cover.  Is social networking a complete waste of time? No, but it shouldn’t occupy a significant part of your time investment in advertising your law practice.

Law Firm Marketing Plan

Determine a short term and a long term strategy. Your law firm marketing plan should cover ideas and strategies you can do each day to:

#1 drive new business in the door today.

#2 build a huge lead generation machine for tomorrow.

Short Term Law Firm Marketing Ideas:

1. Pay Per Lead Services for Lawyers offer the best way to make the phone ring instantly. The price is typically around $40 or so dollars for a lead. Make sure the Pay Per Lead programs are designed to have the client call you directly to avoid fee sharing issues. The price is actually pretty good considering the cost of advertising on search engines is about $15 or more for a click and it often takes several clicks to generate one call.

2. Law Firm Article Marketing – Writing and submitting articles to websites such as Law Firm Articles and other article websites is a great way to generate leads because the content is positioned within the search engines, the articles typically get indexed very quickly, the articles stay on the site for as long as you want, and best of all it is free. I recommend submitting at least 1 article per day.

3. Law Firm Directories – Law firm directories are really great opportunities if you can find the directories that have great exposure and few attorneys listed.  I recommend typing in a few different key phrases such as (I will use Dallas, Texas DUI as an example) “Texas Lawyer” “Texas Attorney” “Texas DUI Attorney” “Dallas DUI Lawyer” etc… Look for websites that are showing up multiple times. Visit the sites and see how many attorneys are listed. If you find 5 or fewer paid attorneys you are in luck and should inquire about pricing.

4. Pay Per Click Advertising for Lawyers – An Adwords campaign on Google or a Paid Inclusion program with Bing or Yahoo will generate new business for you instantly. I recommend performing a lot of key word research to obtain the best keywords to use. You want to start with at least 500 key phrases to keep the overall cost per click down. You are going to want to review your clicks each day to see which clicks are converting into leads. Set up a web page with a specific telephone number dedicated to your Pay Per Click campaign to measure results.  Keep in mind it takes about 30-50 clicks to generate a good lead for your law firm.

Long Term Law Firm Marketing Ideas:

1. Get a Real Lawyer Website! – Your website has the potential to generate the most leads for the dollar. Let me say that again… YOUR WEBSITE has the potential to be the best lead generation strategy. The biggest mistake I see is a law firm going cheap on their website. They use the cheapest website designer or get one of the low cost or free websites from Yahoo or Godaddy.com. Trust me, you are going to ruin your domain forever by doing this.  After about 1 year, the average law firm has their website address on over 100 different items such as Bar directory, newspaper ads, letterhead, advertising, business cards, brochures, etc.  It is such a mess when you make the mistake of building a “business card website.” Do not do it.  The cost of damaging your domain with the search engines and losing the ability to rank it high in the search engines is by our estimates between $350,000 and $1 million dollars in legal fees.  DO – wait until you can afford or are ready to develop your law firm website with an expert who understands SEO and content development.

2. Begin a Practice Specific Blogs – Blogging has been around for many years but there seems to be a lot of misinformation about how lawyer blogs work, the type of content you should write and how to generate business off of a lawyer blog. A custom lawyer blog, if design and search engine optimized correctly, can generate very high searhc engine positioning and generate enormous volumes of leads. We set up and teach our clients how to run a successful lawyer blog to generate leads for their law firm. We also help write their content as well.

3. Hire a Legal Content Writer. Hiring an attorney to write content for your website on a frequent basis is a very cost effective way to generate leads for your law firm. Adding regular articles and FAQs to your blog or website will generate new clients for a fraction of the cost of TV, Yellow Page ads, or Pay Per Click.

At Lawyer Success, Inc, we generate substantial business from our website(s) without spending a lot of money. Our website generate 10-20 calls per day from highly qualified prospects. This is done through our website solution service.  If you want to do it right for a few hundred a month and generate the same results call us at (769) 218-6099.