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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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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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