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You Probably Don’t Even Know You Are Being Held Hostage

Lawyers rescue people all of the time. They rescue people from situations where they too trusting and not asking the right questions.

Today, I am going to rescue you.

If you worked with a web design company and didn’t ask the right questions, you are probably being held hostage and don’t even know it.

HostageA lot of website development companies are soup-to-nuts. That means that they help you from the planning of your website all of the way to execution. Most lawyers need this level of support because website building is not something they teach in law school. But, if you don’t ask the right questions, your website development company could be in complete control over your website and even your domain name.  

You might be wondering why this is a problem. It is a problem because you are at the mercy of the website development company for each and every change you’d like to make. Not only will changes cost you money, but you are now working on their schedule. What if you are unhappy with their services? The chances are that you cannot take your website or domain with you because the website development company is holding the keys – especially if they set up hosting services and the domain name was purchased under their name.

If you are ready to take back control of your website, here are a few things you should know.

Your Domain Name

You can register your own domain name with registrars such as GoDaddy for about $10 to $15 per year. They even run specials where you can sometimes register them and pay 99 cents for the first year! If you are working with a website development company to create a website, make sure that they know that you want to create your own account so that you control your domain name. If your developer already owns your website, ask them to transfer ownership to you.

Your Hosting Company

Every website needs to “live” somewhere. Web hosting companies like HostGator offer technologies and services that are needed to get your website on the Internet. This is also very inexpensive – typically about $10 per month. Some website development companies “require” that you host your website on their systems. Steer clear of them. Be sure to work with a company that allows you to create and maintain the web host account for your law firm.

Your Content

Some website development companies offer to write the copy that is on your website. Others ask you to write the copy, but they then are in control of putting that content on the website. That may sound ok in the beginning, but what you will find is that you may be nickel-and-dimed because you’ll need to pay them every time you want to add content or make a change. I highly recommend that your website be set up in a way that allows YOU or your team to update and maintain control of your content.

We’ve seen it all over the years, trust me. You do not want to get into a tug-of-war with a website company over your website. Do your homework and make sure you ask the right questions. That way you can rest easy knowing your website is really, truly yours.

This is exactly the kind of information that we share in our Inner Circle Marketing Accountability Mastermind Group along with resources and recommendations so this DOESN’T happen to you! You have access to the entire Legal Marketing Team of experts for all of your marketing questions. Have you joined us yet? You can take it for spin for 30 days for just $1 (after that it renews at the low price of only $97 per month) and wait until you see all of the bonuses!!

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Testimonials Sell!

I’m traveling to Boston this week for the NAELA conference!  It turns out that a bunch of my clients and friends will be in attendance …I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone!

Will you also be there? Shoot me an email back and let me know. I’d love to catch up with you over coffee or a drink. 

Testimonials SellWhat I’m NOT thrilled about, however, is the weather!  This Floridian is digging through her drawers to find something suitable to wear to the chilly northeast.  So much for spring ;( 

This month in our Inner Circle, we are going hard and heavy on boosting firm testimonials heading into the summer.   

Testimonials are so much more than warm, fluffy, nice things that clients have to say about you.  Please understand that TESTIMONIALS SELL. 

The last three professional service providers I hired were specially chosen because of the reviews I read about him or her online.  I looked at their google reviews, I looked on Yelp—then I hopped over to social media to see what was posted there. 

People are typically afraid to hire lawyers, and having the ability to experience what friends and neighbors think about your practice matters.  If you are not generating testimonials each month in an ETHICAL WAY, you are losing out on business to the competition.  It’s that simple. 

As a caveat, I say ETHICAL because testimonials must be solicited a specific way in order for them not to violate bar rules, as well as online Terms of Service.  For example, many sites will NOT allow you to hand a client an iPad in the office for them to leave a review on the spot.  If you are caught, you lose your entire account and all of your hard earned testimonials with it. 

So, if getting more testimonials THE RIGHT WAY is something you are interested in, check out the featured article below for some ideas. You can also get into our Inner Circle Accountability Mastermind Group for just $1 so that you can take part in our trainings, or grab our entire Testimonial Process campaign where you can download the exact website copy, get a fully designed postcard that can be sent out after you finish up client services, and other marketing materials our attorneys use to put the solicitation of reviews on AUTOPILOT.  It’s normally $497 but during this “training focus” you can grab it for $197. 

Let me know how I can help, 

Laura Lee    


3 Easy Ways to Get Testimonials 

Social proof is the psychological experience describing people’s reliance on the feedback and actions of others to determine what is right or wrong. There are a number of studies that show that upwards of 90% of people surveyed are likely to trust the recommendations of others, even if they don’t know them. 

Social proof has been used in the marketing world for many years in the form of testimonials, reviews and referrals. The rise of social media has media has enhanced the importance of social proof because feedback from real people is more easily accessible than ever before. So, how can lawyers take advantage of this phenomenon? 

I know, just the thought of, asking for testimonials makes many lawyers squirm. But really, it is easier than you think. 

Here are a few easy ways to get testimonials: 

1.    Make it as easy as possible! 

One really effective technique for requesting testimonials is to do most of the work for them. You can write a note with some example testimonial statements. The example statements will serve as inspiration for them. Also, you can provide links to review sites such as Google, LinkedIn or Avvo. With just one click they can begin writing. Easy peasy! 

2.    Flattery gets you everywhere! 

I’m not suggesting that you inundate them with insincere praise and adoration. Just be sure to let them know why you chose to ask them. If you are asking them because they are influential in your community, tell them! A few kind words can go a long way. 

3.    Write down off-the-cuff compliments. 

When you are working with clients, keep a keen ear open to listen for compliments about your services. If they let you know that your paralegal went above and beyond, write that down. When their matter is winding up, you can remind them of the compliment they shared and then ask if you can use that as a testimonial. 

These are just a few ideas for getting testimonials. If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them. Just leave a comment below and let me know what’s worked for you.
Posted in Law Firm Marketing, Marketing, Testimonials | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Want to see real results in legal marketing?

Before I spend any time, money or energy working with a service professional, whether that’s a doctor, financial professional or even a contractor for my home…

… I READ REVIEWS.

I scour the internet to read real results that people are having using the services that I’m interested in.  

Most importantly, I want to see CURRENT results.   I don’t care what you did 10 years ago. I want to know how you can help me TODAY.

Maybe you’re like me.  

Untitled Design (13)If that’s the case and you’ve been thinking about upping your legal marketing game, which might perhaps mean bringing in some outside help to assist your law firm…

…I’d like to share with you these three messages that I received THIS MONTH from attorneys, just like you.  They are real, current and show that what we do here at Legal Marketing Maven GETS RESULTS.

  1. Laura Lee- as result of one of the newsletters you mailed out for me last weekish, I got a call from the City of xxx (named removed for privacy) and they want me to talk at their Elder Fest.  Details to follow! – CA Attorney

  2. I wanted to tell you that I received a client from the Sandwich Generation Program you created.  My client’s brother found me on line for him, downloaded the ebook and read it cover to cover!!  They said the information and questions in there were on point and made so much sense!! Thank you!!!- GA Attorney

  3. I cannot recommend Legal Marketing Maven enough. The materials they provide, and ideas they share, are outstanding. Since I have started, my leads from the web have measurably increased, and – even better – the quality of the leads have improved considerably. – TX Attorney

  4. Had to share – did an exhibit booth today at a well attended event. Came away with twenty appointments set for initial phone consults in the next month, and five full “I’m hiring you” appointments. Plus I have a bucketful of email addresses of people who entered my drawing. This was an exceptionally good day. – TX Attorney

I would love to help you experience increased results with your legal marketing as we head into spring.  There are options to work with us on any marketing budget.  Here are a few ways that we can support you.

  1. Join our Inner Circle Program.  This is our private coaching and accountability group where I teach you and your staff strategies each month to grow your practice and streamline your office.  We have a great network of collaborative attorneys that are always available to give you feedback and share their successes with you as well.  It’s only $97 a month and open to attorneys of all practice areas and their staff.  You can take a 30 day trial for only $1!!! Learn more here.

  2. Done-For-You Program- Each month, we create done-for-you marketing campaigns, blogs, newsletters and PR materials for estate and elder law attorneys.  These campaigns are professionally designed to reach a new market each month, ranging from referral sources, local organizations, past clients and other community prospects.  If your team can copy and paste, send mail and follow directions, we’ll put everything else in their hands each month that they need to properly market your law firm. If you mention this email I will discount the monthly fee to $797 a month (regularly $997!).  Learn more here.
  3. Consistent Content Package- If you need CONTENT in your law firm, and you really need someone to just take the reigns and DO THIS FOR YOU, our consistent content package is likely a good fit for your firm!  We’ll take care of creating your blogs and posting them for you, while managing your SEO on your blogs and blog backend; we’ll write you a monthly email newsletter, then professionally design your template in your CRM system for you that will be sent to the clients, prospects and referral sources of your law firm; and, finally, we’ll manage your social media including daily postings on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google +.  This program is open to attorneys of all practice areas and removes much of the burden that you face in creating consistent content and then MANAGING the process of getting it out to your network each month!  $897 per month. Learn more here.
  4. Custom private work- We work privately with law firms to handle the legal marketing in their practice that is most important to them, including full seminar management, website management, social media management, campaign creation, copywriting, ghostwriting, email marketing, newsletter creation, direct mail marketing, team training and more.   All you have to do contact me and let me know what you had in mind, and we can work together to create a marketing plan that suits your needs.

We would be honored to join forces with you this spring to kick up the results of your legal marketing.  

Email us today at help@legalmarketingmaven.com and let’s set up a time to talk about how we can help.  I’d love for you to be our next success story—and empower you to reach more people in your community that NEED YOUR HELP.  What you do is so critically important, and we want to support your firm’s mission and vision.

Posted in Blogging for Lawyers, Coaching with Laura Lee, Law Firm Marketing, Law Firm Newsletters, Marketing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Can We Help You Work With More Special Needs Families?

#LOVEISLOVE (1)Spring is a unique marketing time for attorneys that serve parents with disabled children.

Autism Awareness Month is just around the corner, and local organizations and groups are looking for legal experts to help educate their members on the importance of legal planning.  There are events and workshops being planned RIGHT NOW that you should be apart of!

High school seniors with disabilities are getting ready to graduate soon, and many parents are beginning the process of filing for guardianship.  Now is a great time to start educating parents and schools in your community on the steps to take when a child with disabilities turns 18 to retain complete legal and financial control.

These same parents of high school seniors are making plans for adulthood.  They need your help to put legal plans in place that ensures their child is able to stay as independent as possible after graduation, that they are financially protected, that they are accessing resources and benefits as a soon-to-be-adult, and that their transition to the next phase of their life is a smooth one.

We know that your service to parents in these areas is an important one; we have loved ones with disabilities and special needs here at Legal Marketing Maven and can’t imagine life without a trusted attorney by our side.

We want YOU to be able to give this same peace of mind and confidence to others in your community.  

To help, we are releasing TWO campaigns that you can use to market to parents of disabled children.

We’ve created everything in such away that you can be ready to roll with each piece in under two hours.  No need to hire designers, no need to hire copywriters and no need to distract your staff with the task of create marketing materials when they could be serving your clients.

The first offers materials specifically for parents of teenagers that are now beginning to plan for adulthood.   

The second is for general special needs planning that you may do at your law firm.

We are offering them completely a la carte, meaning that you can access all of the materials, design files and professional copy without signing a contract or joining a thing with us.

As long as we are not currently working with someone in your area, we’ll send you a secure link where you can access your campaign materials as soon as you fill out the form under your desired choice on this page here:

I hope that you’ll take the time to review the campaigns, as well as the bonuses we are offering.   The press release that I’m giving you as a gift has been very successful in landing our clients media coverage for special needs planning. That release, as well as a pitch letter to your local journalists, is yours when you order a campaign.

Simply go here now to reserve your materials
#LOVEISLOVE (1)
If you have additional questions or you’d like to schedule a go-to webinar to see some of the campaign pieces in more detail, simply send us an email and we’ll schedule a time to meet.
P.S. The bonus press release is ONLY available until 3/10!  I’m setting a deadline on it because you need to get it pitched and now is the time to do it.  So don’t procrastinate.
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I’ve got a perfect gift for your “Valentine”

It’s not roses.

It’s not candy.

It’s not diamonds or jewels.

It’s more valuable than any of those, in fact it is something that is simply irreplaceable.

hearts-937664_640What your valentine (and the rest of your family) REALLY wants from you is TIME. Preferably quality time with you present and not distracted worrying about your business.

And I’ve got simple, affordable solutions to GIVE YOU more hours in your week – EVERY WEEK.

If you are spending any of your personal time on any of these tasks, you are simply wasting timethat you could be giving to your loved ones.

  • Copywriting
  • Blogging
  • Social Media Updates (business related)
  • Designing
  • Writing Newsletters
  • Updating Your Website with Information
  • Writing and Pitching Press Releases
  • Managing your CRM
  • Creating Lead Generation Funnels
  • Updating your Local Profiles
  • Updating your Social Profiles
  • Managing Speaking Events
  • …and any other marketing tasks that you are currently handling yourself (or that aren’t getting done at all!)

….I think you get the hint. None of these tasks require YOU to do them completely. The greatest gift you can give is delegating the tasks that don’t require you. Imagine how many hours a week/month you could reclaim. Time is not something we get to put in a bank account and save for later.

Email me at lauralee@legalmarketingmaven.com let’s chat about how many hours we can give you and your family back.

 

Posted in Law Firm Marketing, Marketing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

When Thanking Colleagues for Referrals, Go Old School

Referrals are very valuable. If you aren’t actively and consistently taking action to give and receive them, do something now!

But, here’s a little tip that I wanted to share with you that many lawyers either don’t take the time to do or don’t think about-send handwritten notes.

UntitledI know that many think that handwritten notes are old school and that the primary form of communication is email. That is true, but handwritten notes will demonstrate to the recipient the value you place the relationship. It takes time and effort to write and mail a card, but you will be rewarded because it will place you higher in their minds than those that may, or may not, send an email.

In some cases, the low-technology and old school methods are the way to go!

Do you send hand written invitations and thank you notes to your referral sources? If not, why not? I’d love to hear from you so post a comment below and let’s chat!

We have a lot of little tips and techniques to help you market your estate and elder law practice.  Sign up for our 21 Day Legal Marketing Bootcamp and we’ll deliver them daily right to your in-box!

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Open Rates are Over-Rated

“Ack! My open rate is 25%!”

I’ve heard this a few times from lawyers who believe that they are shooting for a 100% open rate. The thing is, the open rate is not an accurate measure for determining how many people are reading your email or ezines. Here’s why:

Email programs are finicky!

mail-297177_640There are some email programs that are not capable of displaying the HTML (the behind the scenes code that makes your email look good) and images. There are a few programs that only display straight text, and you really need nice looking, easy-to-read content. Even the email programs that allow HTML and images, gives the user the option to turn that feature off. So, if someone opens your email in text-only, the program does not count this as an open. Several email clients also have a preview pane option. Many people read through the preview feature so those would also not count toward the open rate.

Even the email development services will tell you not to expect high numbers. According to Mail Chimp, in the best case scenarios the open rate would be around 50%. When they measured open rate per industry, the found that the average open rate in the legal industry is 22%.

Once explained, we tend to hear something a bit different from our clients. Like this…

Oh boy! My open rate is 25%!

Almost the same words, but with a completely different attitude!

I’m not advocating for ignoring your open rate, just know that this isn’t an exact number and should be used as a guide. If you would like to learn how to get the best bang for your marketing buck, give us a call.

Did you know you can join our Inner Circle Accountability & Private Group Coaching Program for just $1.00?  That’s it!  Click here and you’ll see all that you get for 30 days!

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Mystery Shopping for Law Firms? Absolutely!

As a business owner, it is critical for you to keep a sharp eye on how your team is doing. After all, your business is dependent on how well your team takes care of clients. But, the thing is, you only get an inside view. Have you ever wondered how your clients or prospective clients perceive your law firm? There’s an easy way to do this-mystery shopping!

ID-100161333Mystery shopping has been used in the retail industry for years and years as a way to gauge the establishment’s performance from the other side of the cash register. The idea is to get someone to come to the store or restaurant and simply act like a normal shopper. The mystery shopper would simply ask the staff questions, partake of the service or products sold, and make a purchase. The mystery shopper would then rate the performance and provide feedback. This feedback would then be used to identify where training is needed or where there might be a complete overhaul needed.

But, you might be wondering how a law firm can take advantage of this technique. It’s easier than you think.

Simply enlist the help of a few colleagues or even friends or family members. Ask them to call your office and ask some questions that you’ve agreed to in advance. You should even ask one or two to go so far as to book an appointment. Whether they book an appointment or not, you’ll want to also evaluate what happens after the call. That way you can make sure that your team executes the proper follow-up procedure. How are they supposed to follow up for the people who did not make an appointment? Are they taking the proper steps for the people who did make an appointment? Ask the mystery shopper to follow up with you after every step in the process. They not only need to let you know if the proper follow-up was executed, but how they are treated during the follow up process.

You will be amazed at what you can learn during this process. And, it’s not all about finding out what is wrong with your team. You may find out that team members are going above and beyond to encourage appointments and provide great customer services. Either way, the mystery shopping will be constructive and empower your team in ways you may not have thought of otherwise.

Last week, I posted a challenge in my Inner Circle Accountability Facebook group to set up some “Secret Shopper” calls to your office to support and hold our group accountable! I can not stress how important this is to do if you have any type of team (even if it is just an answering service)!

Do you want to join our private group and kick your 2017 off with a BANG?  We’ll let you in for $1 so you can experience it for yourself!  Click here to register and join the conversation.   Join today and mark your calendar for NEXT TUESDAYJANUARY 24th at 12pm ET/9am PT for our Training Call where we will go over how to process the results and implement systems for your team to feel empowered!

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Add These 8 Activities to Your 2017 Legal Marketing Plans

Our mission here at Legal Marketing Maven is to make law firm marketing easy, efficient and affordable. We do this by offering a wide range of services that will allow you to have access to professionally developed marketing that works. No matter what your budget is, we have something for you. But, there are a lot of things that you can do on your own that cost you nothing to catapult your law firm on the top of the heap of your competitors.

Here are a few very simple ideas for you:

Attend events in your community.

Business networking events are great, but the events that you attend don’t have to be situations where you sell. Attend community celebrations, fundraisers, religious events, the PTA at your child’s school, or any other gathering in your local area. The idea here is to be seen. People want to do business with people they are familiar with so give them the opportunity to get to know you.

Look for opportunities to teach.

You could offer free classes in your community or even serve as an adjunct professor in your local community college or university. Not only do you benefit from getting to know more people, you’ll also be in a position to demonstrate your expertise.

Remember that referrals go both ways.

You know how valuable referrals are to your law firm, right? They are also valuable to others so send referrals to other attorneys and other colleagues. Not only will you be doing a very nice thing for them, you are increasing the likelihood that you will get more from them.

Get to know your clients before you meet them.

Research your potential clients before they meet with you. You might want to pick the brain of the person who referred them, or talk to others who may know them. You can even give Google a try. I’m not suggesting that you stalk them, but having an idea about who they are could go a long way in your first meeting.

Knock their socks off!

It probably doesn’t really need to be said because for most it is common sense, but do a great job and provide great customer service to each and every client. This will set you up very nicely for repeat clients but it will also help your reputation in your community.

Take advantage of social media.

There are just too many lawyers that fail to take advantage of social media. This is a big marketing miss. Unless you truly live off the grid, you must know that this is where people are communicating. Even if you aren’t using social media personally, you can still have a professional presence there. Social media can be used to attract new clients and to keep your past clients interested.

Regularly update your blog.

With so much information available on the internet people tend to turn to search engines for almost every purchasing decision they make. You should be the one who provides that information. You can attract the attention of a lot of potential clients simply by sharing your thoughts and providing basic information. Also, all that new content gives the search engines something to work with. T

Create a marketing plan.

Rather than aimlessly working your way through the year throwing money at this marketing agency or that ad publication, create a plan that allows you to more forward confidently and with much less risk. Not having a marketing plan is like constructing a building without blueprints. You might be able to muddle through, but you won’t be happy with the results. A strategic marketing plan allows you to understand the direction you want to go and determine the actions to take to get you there. Oh, and once you develop a marketing plan, don’t just sit it on a shelf. Use it! As they say, “Plan the work and work the plan.”

I understand that some of these things might not be easy for you to do. In particular, the more technical marketing things. That is why I created this “Keep it Consistent” program. In a nutshell, it is a very affordable service where we do all the heaving lifting to create your blogs, social media content and email newsletter – and, we even manage the implementation. If, while you were reading this blog, you thought, “Oh yeah, but who has the time!” you should take a look to see if this will work for you.

These are just a few of the things you can do to accelerate your marketing efforts. What other things can you think of? Leave a comment below and let’s brainstorm!

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