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REVEALED! The “Secret Sauce” of Marketing

We often come across law firms that are unintentionally throwing their money away using what we call “shotgun marketing.” Shotgun marketing works like this:

  1. You look at your calendar for the next several months and discover that you have a LOT of time on your hands. Where are the new client appointments? Panic sets in.
  2. You quickly throw together some type of marketing campaign.
  3. You execute that campaign and wait for the it to work – with no client appointments.
  4. The campaign brings in a flurry of potential clients. Whew! You now have a decent amount of meetings for the next two months.
  5. You bask in the glory of your success and thoroughly enjoy your client meetings.

id-10077222Two months go by, and then…

1 You look at your calendar for the next several months and discover that you have a LOT of time on your hands. Panic sets in.
2. You quickly throw together a marketing campaign…..

On and on and on it goes…

Shotgun marketing is very flawed. This feast and famine is no way to run a business. The good news is that there is an easy answer…

Consistency.

Your marketing needs to be consistent to keep the flow of new client appointments coming in. Keeping your pipeline full will increase your number of new clients. No more months of panic!

Here’s how to achieve consistency:

  1. Plan your marketing a year in advance. (I can almost hear your audible gasp!) Yep, a YEAR in advance. Just set up your marketing calendar and select a theme for each month. It’s sometimes fun to plan around holidays or national observations. For example, since Veterans Day is in November, plan to reach out to VA groups, hospitals, and people who provide services to veterans and invite veterans to your office for free basic wills. This will also help you get the word out about other services you have to offer.
  1. Schedule time for your marketing. Now that your marketing calendar is filled out, schedule a monthly marketing development meeting with your marketing person, the marketing agency you work with, or, in the case of solos just starting out, just yourself. In this marketing development meeting you will plan the steps of your marketing campaign. Make sure that you are planning at least 3 months in advance so you have time to develop and execute your campaign.
  1. Create your marketing material. It is possible that you can do this step yourself if you have some knowledge, but a lot of lawyers depend on others to develop the materials you will need for your campaign. If you have someone who does marketing in your firm, delegate this task to him or her. If you need help, hire a marketing agency. Believe me, having someone who knows what they are doing will save you endless hours of grief and frustration.

(Shameless plug warning!) As you probably know, we have a select number of private clients for which we serve as their marketing department. If you are interested in working with us send an email to help@legalmarketingmaven.com. But, for those of you will smaller marketing budgets, we have a “Done for You” marketing program where we send you professional and fully tested marketing material automatically every month and its ready for you to customize and execute. (End shameless plug)

  1. Execute your marketing. This is when you’ll complete the steps in your marketing campaign. You’ll do things like get your ad in the paper, make phone calls, create and monitor your Facebook ads or whatever steps that you identified for your campaign. Again, this is another place where you should delegate if at all possible. This will save more of your time for client work – and because you are consistently marketing you will need it!

Many lawyers mistakenly believe that consistent marketing will take too much time and cost too much money. But, with advanced planning you’ll spend less time than you think and you’ll see a steady flow of billable work – no more periods of famine!

There you have it! You now know the secret sauce of marketing. Having a consistent marketing schedule really will change the way your law firm operates for the better. There will be less stress for you and more money flowing into your firm.

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Networking for Dummies…and Lawyers

Networking is really all about developing new relationships and opportunities. That seems simple enough, right? Well, some lawyers are really great at it. Others….not so much.

id-10032685You are building a law firm. You are doing that by seeking out potential clients and converting them into paying clients. If you have been connected to me for any length of time, you know that I frequently share ideas for doing that. I speak a lot about referral marketing because word-of-mouth is probably the most effective way to get clients. We have several plug-and-play referral marketing campaigns from which to choose to obtain referrals from professional acquaintances, colleagues and friends and family. But, another great way to get referrals is to attend networking events. Networking events are really great because all you need to do is show up. No pre-work necessary. But there is a process that you should follow so that you spend your time at networking events wisely.

  1. Engage

This is no time to be shy! Constantly look for people to speak to and when you have their attention, make sure they have yours as well. Keep the conversation going by asking questions about their business and then listen carefully to the answers. Resist the urge to look at your phone! Be sure to pass out your business cards and gather ones from people you’d like to continue getting to know.

  1. Share

Generosity gets you everywhere. There are many ways to show your generosity. You could offer to give presentations or speak to civic groups, let them know about the free reports you have to offer that teaches them the basics of your area of practice, and even doll out a little free advice if warranted. Beyond sharing your knowledge, you should share opportunities. Look for opportunities for your networking colleagues to provide their services to you and others you know. The “give” part of give-and-take is important and will go a long way in cementing solid business relationships.

  1. Follow-up

As you probably know, following up with your potential clients is a really effective way to turn them into paying clients. You also need to follow up with your networking colleagues. Send them a card or call them immediately after the event and let them know you enjoyed meeting with them and suggest that you meet again over coffee or lunch. You would be surprised how well people respond to gestures like this.

Once you have made a solid connection, you should start to see referrals come in. But remember this; relationships go both ways, be sure to send referrals to them as well.

Many lawyers understand and can easily do number one above, but you’d be surprised at how many don’t do the next two. Networking is a process just like everything else. Follow this process and let me know how it goes. I love hearing networking success stories!

If you want to discover the basics of legal marketing join our FREE 21 Day Legal Marketing Bootcamp.  Click here to join now!

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Do you have a “marketing” Nag?

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow is THE DEADLINE – to purchase any of the campaigns that are in the vault!

A couple of my team members have asked about the number of messages we have sent out over the past two weeks about these campaigns via email and social. So I thought I’d address that real quick.

One of the greatest benefits that clients get when they work with us in an ongoing relationship is me and my team being their marketing “NAGS”. Despite how busy they are, we MAKE SURE that they are taking time to get us what we need to get their marketing DONE!

I have worked with estate and elder law attorneys for a VERY long time – well over 25 years now (Yikes that makes me sound old), and I KNOW you – and how you work.

  • You work by deadlines
  • Client work comes first
  • Working on YOUR business typically takes a back-seat (until the phones aren’t ringing)

These are the reasons I have been nagging you, and making sure you take a few minutes to look at these materials.

I know these campaigns will help you bring in and convert new business in 2017, and I don’t want you to miss out on the huge savings we are offering. These campaigns are tested, and I know they GET RESULTS!

Yes, you can watch the video where we walked you through them and swipe all of the ideas and do it yourself. But here is what I know, you probably won’t. Because it takes a LOT of time to write and design and lay it all out before you can roll it out. And, you get busy with client work and client deadlines and it doesn’t get DONE.

With these materials, we’ve done the hard part. They are ready for you and your team to ROLL OUT. And they are priced at a ridiculously low price point. (if you have ever hired a marketing company to write and design any marketing campaign for you, you know I am not exaggerating!)

So, yes, I’ve been a NAG and I’ve sent quite a few messages reminding you to not overlook this opportunity and to take action before the deadline tomorrow. But it is because I want to help you spread your message and do MORE of what you do best in 2017!

Click here to see if your area is available. Let’s get this done before tomorrow’s deadline.

Laura Lee

PS – once the deadline has passed these campaigns – IF available – will cost a minimum of $697! We only run this special once per year, don’t procrastinate.

 

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Two Legal Marketing Black Holes and A Easy Fix!

is this youI’ve had the pleasure of speaking with a bunch of attorneys this past week about their marketing, what they are doing, what they are NOT doing, what is working and what is not working. In almost EVERY conversation, I found a huge hole that NEEDS to be filled to convert more prospects into clients. I wanted to share it with you because, I’m worried that you may have it too, and it is easy to fix.

Actually, there are TWO!

First, many of you are doing workshops and seminars to help people understand the importance of doing an estate plan. You are spending a whole lot of money, time and effort to promote the seminars and get people in the door. For the most part, these seminars are generating appointments. But here’s the deal, not everyone is going to make that decision immediately.

So what happens to them? If you are like so many of the lawyers I spoke to, I was shocked to find out that they are just going into a black hole. No follow up, no ongoing communication.

YOU MUST FIX THIS! These prospects are very hot, they have taken time out of their busy schedule to come learn more. They just need a little more “nurturing”. And sometimes, it may take a while. Don’t flush your marketing dollars down the drain by not continuing the conversation and building the relationship.

In our MEGA SEMINAR CAMPAIGN that is available in the Vault, this is just ONE PIECE of the campaign (THE AFTER the seminar follow up!) We are giving you the pieces to do this effectively and we have seen the results of more conversions to appointments when we use these with our private clients.

Everything in the vault has been tested – and we know it works!

Now, once you have done the immediate follow up, make sure that you continue to communicate with these prospects! A simple monthly electronic newsletter is an EASY way to do that. If you aren’t sending one regularly, please reach out to me, we can help you make that happen!

Now the second big hole I am hearing about is with prospects who do NOT ENGAGE. Let’s face it, most of us do not have 99.5% engagement rate if we are meeting with a lot of prospects each month. Simply put, not everyone is ready to immediately move forward (we just talked about that).

Sometimes, especially with the elderly they want to talk to their adult children, or there may be other reasons that it simply isn’t a decision they can make right then.

What happens to them? Is this another black hole in your office? If you think something IS happening when is the last time you actually checked to ENSURE it is happening? – Do that.

In our findings, many times it is like crickets. Sometimes, there is a phone call or two made. And MAYBE a CYA letter goes out to ensure the prospect knows that no attorney client relationship has been formed….maybe.

Here is what actually works. Have a campaign – a SYSTEM for what these prospects receive. In our Did Not Engage campaign, we have created materials that go into a folder that the prospects walk out of the office with (never let someone leave empty handed!) These materials RESELL your services! They are reading materials for the prospect to read through or to share with their adult children. They agitate all the reasons planning is so important and reinforce why working with you is the right decision to make.

But, it doesn’t stop there. There are then follow up steps that are taken after the prospect leaves the office. Letters, emails, calls and then of course, we continue to “nurture” by way of consistent communication aka a monthly electronic newsletter, print newsletters, social media, other events, etc.

Look, here is the deal, I have worked in the Estate Planning world for almost 30 years now. I get this stuff, I know what works. And I know you don’t have huge marketing budgets, which is why I do these specials every year.

If you know you have these HOLES in your marketing, I’m going to make this a no brainer decision for you to take action today. Go to the vault and find out if your area is available. If it is, buy these two campaigns. I am going to give you SIX MONTHS to implement these and if either campaign does not pay for itself 10 TIME OVER (that’s really just one or two clients because these materials are SO INEXPENSIVE) I will refund your money.

I want to help you reach more people, I want to help you put plans in place so families don’t encounter some of the things I did in my 12 years of caregiving for my mom, dad, husband and mother in law. Like I said, I get it. What you do is important in so many ways. Let me help you.

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What are you handing referral sources & prospects?

Referral sourceDo you need print collateral for your firm?

… then be sure to checkout the many print materials we have available in my pre-holiday vault sale.

Some of the print items you can choose for your practice include:

  • Special Needs Planning Tri-Fold Brochure
  • Probate Tri-Fold Brochure- “7 Steps to Take After The Loss of a Loved One”
  • Pet Trust Planning Tri-Fold Brochure
  • Tri-Fold Brochure on Planning for Minor Kids
  • Flyers & Invitations to Promote Live Workshops for Estate and Elder Law Topics
  • End of Life Planning Comprehensive Checklist (Great for hospice facilities and nursing homes)
  • Tax Time Estate Planning Checklist
  • Sandwich Generation Tri-Fold Brochure
  • Expo Collateral Materials for Marketing at Live Events, Including Table Signs, Raffle Signs and Sign Up Sheets
  • VA Aid & Attendance Tri-Fold Brochure
  • Medicaid Planning Tri-Fold Brochure
  • Print Materials for to give to clients that leave your office without engaging to help them make a final decision with their loved ones.
  • Our Mega Seminar Marketing Pack– Including Invitations, Flyers and Promotional Materials for Self-Hosted Estate Planning Seminars.

We know how important it is for you to have these materials available for your law firm. Print materials are powerful marketing and education tools that you can physically PUT IN THE HANDS of potential clients and referral sources, to keep you top of mind and ensure you are the one that will receive their business.

When you order our “Bundle,” you can secure all of these print materials that are professionally written and designed for a ridiculously low price (LESS THAN $200 each!). And, you get the rest of our marketing campaigns to boot.

Imagine having ALL OF YOUR MARKETING in place for 2017. If your team can copy and paste, they’ll be ready to roll with everything as soon as you download the files!

To see what’s available for your practice, click here now.

Then, if you need to more guidance, connect with me and let’s talk about what might be a good fit for you. I will help to steer you in the right direction so you are able to laser focus on the marketing plans that will bring you the most ROI as we head into the new year.

Here’s the link again.

Laura Lee

PS: If you are looking for something specific that you don’t see here, please email help @ legalmarketingmaven.com and let me know. This is just a FRACTION of the materials we have in our arsenal. I want to help you make 2017 rock!

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HEADS UP!!!  I’m opening the vault ON FRIDAY

Just a quick heads up that on Friday, I am opening my private vault to give you access tovault key never before released marketing materials for your practice as we head into the holidays.

Nothing to join and no strings attached.

Here’s a quick sneak peak; we will have campaigns available that will help you reach out to:

  • Special needs organizations
  • Funeral Homes
  • Parents of minor kids
  • People interested in Pet Planning
  • Reaching out to attorneys in complimentary practice areas for referrals
  • HR Departments of large companies to schedule employee “lunch and learns”
  • Asset protection marketing materials for physicians
  • Outreach to hospice organizations
  • CPA referral campaigns
  • Trade show and expos materials
  • Marketing to clients that have yet to formally engage you for services
    …and more!

And, if you want our “Bundle,” of all 18 campaigns, you can snag our goodies for less than $200 a piece.

I only open the vault once, if most twice a year and these are never before released campaigns designed to completely fill your pipeline full of clients in 2017.

(I JUST hung up with a client that is booking OVER TWO MONTHS OUT now using our materials!  Trust me—you’ll want to check out what I’m releasing).

Be watching out for our email Friday….(if you aren’t on the list, be sure to sign up above!)

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5 Things You Absolute Must Get From Your Logo Designer

Checklist

Your logo is the most prominent visual for your brand. It should be simple, memorable, versatile and appropriate for your audience. If your logo doesn’t meet these criteria you might want to consider an update. There’s a great company that I recommend to lawyers who are just getting started and need a new logo, or those looking for a refresh. The company is 99designs and it is very affordable and offers a wide range of talented designers. Actually, there are a lot of great design agencies and independent designers that will be happy to work with you. Maybe you even know a talented designer.

But no matter who you work with, there are 5 things you’ll need from them after the design is final. Most lawyers aren’t graphic designers and don’t speak “design-speak” so I wanted to be sure that you know what to ask for.

  1. The native file 

    At the end of the design process, you will most likely get the design in jpg, gif, pdf or tiff format.  However, you should also ask the designer to give you the native file. The native file is the format that the design software produces. The format is identified by the extension just like .jpg, .gif, etc. But it is very specific to the software. For example, if the designer uses Photoshop, the extension you are looking for would be “.psd.” If the designer uses Adobe Illustrator, the extension would be “.ai.” There are several types of design software programs and it isn’t important that you know what kind of software they use, just know that you will need to request the native file that will have an extension that you don’t readily recognize. Also, you won’t be able to open the file unless you have that particular type of graphic software on your PC or mac. Even though you can’t use that format, it is so important to have it so another designer can modify or manipulate it if needed. You won’t be able to do that unless you have the native file.

  2. Layered and non-layered images 

    The designer will provide you with a non-layered, or flat, image so that you copy and paste it easily. However, you’ll also need the layered image so that if it needs to be modified later, a designer will be able to pull the different pieces apart to make intricate changes. Most likely, if you get the native files (as mentioned above) you’ll get the layered image as well. But, to be safe, be sure to ask your logo designer for both types.

  3. RGB and CYMK numbers 

    Now we’re getting really technical! But, RGB and CMYK are a set of numbers that represent the very specific color used in your logo. In order to keep your brand consistent, you’ll need to make sure that the colors look the same every time they are used, no matter where they are used. Knowing these numbers will allow that to happen. Just so you know, RGB color numbers are needed for digital applications and CMYK are needed for printing applications. However, all you need to know is the values for both. When the time comes, you’ll give these numbers to the designer who will know exactly what to do with them.

  4. Color and Grayscale Options 

    The final file will most likely be delivered to you in a full-color file. However, there may be times where you need your logo in black and white. The majority of the time you’ll use your logo in color, but if you happen to need it in black and white, it is best for the designer to do this. Ask your designer to provide your logo in color AND grayscale. Grayscale allows your logo to maintain the subtle shades that may exist in your logo rather than simply turning it to black and white.

  5. Font Name 

    If your logo includes your law firm name and/or any other letters, numbers or symbols, you should ask the designer for the name of the font used. There are a plethora of fonts and chances are that your designer has used one that is not common in an effort to make your logo look unique. Even if you think you know, ask your designer to provide the name of the font used so you can replicate it.

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2 Devastating Mistakes That Will Kill Your Print Marketing

Important stampAs you know, I am a big believer in using social media to advertise your law firm. Our clients have had significant results from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other channels. But, just like everything in life, it’s not a good idea to put all of your eggs in one basket. You need to use a wider range of advertising channels to stay competitive.

Print media is another important outlet and is still very relevant. Some attorneys, especially those just starting out, shy away from this lucrative advertising method because they fear the cost.

But, print media in the form of post-cards and ads in publications still work! However, you need to pay close attention to details when you are creating print media advertising. It is possible to completely waste your money on print if you make one (or both!) of these devastating mistakes.

Let me tell you about a recent experience that could have been very painful for an attorney that I know.

This attorney had all the right pieces for what could have been a fabulously successful print ad campaign.

  • A beautifully designed ad that was going in a local publication that was targeted and would reach the exact prospects she was looking for.
  • An amazing eBook that was filled with great content that her prospects needed.
  • A really effective landing page that her prospects would use to request the report or a consultation.
  • A great follow-up campaign that was sure to get appointments made.

When she asked me to take a look at the campaign, I had nothing but praise for the pieces of the campaign. Then I took the next step, the step that a lot of attorneys forget, and that is to go through the entire process.

By the process, I mean to go through the steps as if you were a prospect. Start at the ad and follow the steps.

If the prospects look at the ad, do they know what to do next? If so, GREAT! Continue your testing process by actually taking that next step, then the next step, all the way through all the pieces of the campaign: (type the url into the computer, call the phone number, read the follow up emails/letter, etc).

When I tested this process, I found two painful and potentially devastating mistakes.

  1. Typo in the URL

The ad was promoting the awesome eBook. I went to the page that was on the ad and successfully downloaded the eBook. So far so good! As I have already mentioned, the eBook content was great! At the end of the report there was a link on the PDF directing me to a page where I should have been able request a consultation. Guess what, the URL in the eBook was broken! It took me to a “Page Not Found”! Ugh! But, that was not the only problem.

  1. No contact information!

When I realized that the URL was broken, I then thought that there could be a way to save a potential prospect. Even though there are a lot of prospects that would give up there (remember – short attention spans!) maybe they would look through the eBook to find the contact information to make an appointment. Guess what? There was no contact information in the eBook! Most people download eBooks and read them later. There’s a small chance that someone might remember the law firm name, but that’s doubtful. Put your contact information on every piece of your marketing campaign!

Between these two devastating mistakes – this attorney would have gotten VERY FEW, if any, responses on that ad.

Luckily, this attorney was part of my Inner Circle and had asked me to review her campaign. We caught everything and corrected it before the ad hit mailboxes. But, because many people fail to test the process, this happens more than you might think. It may have already happened to you!

The moral of this story is to test, test, test! Have multiple people test every link, call every phone number, check every URL – you get the idea, before an ad hits the street. With all of the pieces in order and the process in place, you are going to see results.

Ad review is just one of the many benefits of our Inner Circle program, to learn more and take a 30 Day trial for only $1 – click here.

 

 

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Using Project Management Systems in Your Law Firm

Legal project management systems can be a great way to increase efficiency in your law firm, which leads to more clients and more revenue. Introducing project management strategies to evaluate your practice, identify strengths and weakness, and implement a plan for strategic growth may be one of the best investments you could make in your law firm. But as with any practice management change, you’ll have to get buy-in from your staff. Here are 5 tips for presenting legal project management to your staff in order to get the best outcome possible:

Guidance

Let’s face it, even if your staff needs help in becoming more efficient, it doesn’t mean that they’re completely incompetent – in fact, no one knows how your law firm works better than your staff. That’s why any project management approach should not be about teaching your staff things they already know, but more about guiding them to the path of more efficient outcomes. Acknowledge that your staff is aware of the basic tenets of project management, and explain that you’re merely putting their knowledge and experience into a more structured and streamlined approach in order to become more efficient and effective.

Simplicity is Key

Don’t try to achieve grand goals all at once, or take up copious amounts of work time on training sessions. Instead, focus on the simple aspects of the practice that you can turn around and make more efficient through proper project management. In fact, in order to get better buy-in from your staff with this approach, you should come to your staff and ask them what they need help with or what processes they’d like to see improved.

Concentrate on One Thing at a Time

As stated before, simplicity is key. That means you should focus on improving just one process at a time when engaging in project management in your law firm. This way your entire staff can focus on improving one aspect of the firm without losing track and getting caught up with other projects. Once this pattern sets in, your staff will become more efficient at identifying issues and – more importantly – discovering effective solutions.

Follow Up

Track your staff’s progress and follow up with them so your project management strategies don’t fall through the cracks. It’s very easy for new initiatives to fall by the wayside, especially when there is a glut of day-to-day work to contend with, but it’s important to stay on track in order for your law firm to grow.

Discuss and Debate

The most valuable information you’ll receive during the project management process is the feedback from your staff. Allow them the opportunity to discuss and debate the effectiveness of their undertakings and learn from what they’re saying. However, it’s extremely important to make sure that discussions and debates have a positive focus and that the end goal is about improving your law firm – there should never be a discussion or debate that ends without a resolution.

Would you like to learn more about implementing project management strategies in your law firm? Then please feel free to email me here or schedule a call so we can discuss how you can become more efficient and gain staff buy-in!

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