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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.


Would you like to talk about how we can help you save time on your marketing and help you turn ideas into action? Simply schedule a time on my calendar for a no-strings virtual cup of coffee.


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, simply schedule a time on my calendar for a no-strings virtual cup of coffee where we can talk about how we can help you save time on your marketing and help you turn ideas into action. 

5 Things You Absolute Must Get From Your Logo Designer


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 fileAt 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 imagesThe 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 numbersNow 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 OptionsThe 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 NameIf 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.


Do you want to talk about other strategies to help you implement your marketing plan? Feel free to schedule a time on my calendar for a no strings virtual cup of coffee to chat about your business. I promise you will come away with a good plan for turning your ideas in actions!


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.


Would you like to talk about how we can help you save time on your marketing and help you turn ideas into action? Simply schedule a time on my calendar for a no-strings virtual cup of coffee.


The Joy of Delegating

The Joy of Delegating

No one needs to tell you – lawyers are busy people, especially if they run their own practice. Sometimes, they’re so busy running their practice, they don’t get to spend too much time doing what they got into law to begin with: helping people achieve the best outcomes possible and providing peace of mind that their affairs are in order. And that’s where delegating comes in.

Building a confident, cohesive team that you can depend on to run your law office while you focus on helping your clients will put you on the path to success. In order to do that, though, you need to learn which tasks you can delegate and choose the right people for the job. Here are some of the key tasks you’ll want to delegate in order to build that successful law firm you’ve always dreamt of:


One of the most important tasks to delegate in a law firm is accounting. Why? Because that’s how you get paid! I don’t know how many lawyers I’ve spoken to who are constantly seeing clients, but their cash flow just doesn’t reflect that fact. Managing invoices, accounts payable, trustee accounts, and payroll is a huge task – especially on top of all the legal work that comes along with being a lawyer. Hire a bookkeeper – full-time, part-time, or even virtual –and you may see an increase in your finances and, just as important, a decrease in your stress levels.

Phone Calls and Paper Work

How much of your day is spent taking phone calls or filling out paperwork? A competent administrative assistant can definitely help in this regard. You need someone who can handle difficult phone calls, answer a wide range of questions (and also know when not to answer a question), and take care of the mountain of paper work that comes with running a law office. If you’re running your office on a budget, consider hiring a virtual receptionist to pick up the phone for you.


Separating the good potential clients from the bad can be a time-consuming process, and one that requires a person skilled at intakes. You don’t want to bring in every person who calls – you’ll spend all your time in initial consultations that never go anywhere. And obviously, you can’t be TOO picky otherwise you’d never see any clients. A good intake specialist can make or break your business, so fill this role carefully.


You went to law school to become a lawyer, not a manager. Let someone else handle employee disputes, vacation requests, and all the other little day-to-day things that keep you from focusing on the practice law. Give them enough input so they know how you want your firm to run, then let them have at it!

If you want to talk more about delegating tasks in your law office and freeing up your valuable time, along with how we can save you time on your marketing, then schedule a no-strings virtual cup of coffee with me and let’s chat about how many hours we can save you each month.

5 Ways Law Firms Waste Money

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“You have to spend money to make money.” That’s a well-known saying and there’s a lot of truth to it.  I’ve worked with law firms for MANY years and I see these same 5 mistakes over and over. All of these mistakes start out as good intentions, but the good intentions never make it through to full implementation which results in a losing investment. The list is shared with you to help you avoid, or correct, your good intentions gone wrong.

1. Hire a great receptionist, but never train him to close the deal

You place ads or hire recruiters to find the best candidates. You take your valuable time reading resumes and interviewing them. You bring the best candidate on-board paying a competitive salary and benefits. Good job! You did all of the right things. But, if you fail to train him to “close the deal” with prospects who call your office, you might as well toss all of that money and time spent out of the window! Your receptionist, or whoever answers your phone, should be fully trained to be able to talk to prospects and convince them to make an appointment with you. Make sure that this person understands your ideal client’s pain points and can describe how you can help them. Good customer service is great, but being able to talk about your services and persuade them to make an appointment is invaluable.

2. Not following up on workshops, seminars or presentations

This one really causes me pain. I know that workshops and presentations take a lot of time and effort. Finding the presentation and workshop opportunities, advertising the event, the costs of the workshop such as food or hand-outs, not to mention the time it takes for you to prepare, is really expensive! So many lawyers bring a list of names back to the office and hope they’ll call the office and make appointments. You stopped short of what you need to do to get the best bang for your buck. It is critical that you follow-up with these people. They are obviously interested in your services or they wouldn’t have taken their time to attend your event. For whatever reason, many people will still drag their feet about calling your office to schedule a time to see you. You need to properly finish this process with a well thought out follow up plan. You might schedule a series of calls or you might choose to follow up via email or snail mail. Or better yet, do both!

3. Not using CRM properly

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can be pricey. Make sure that you are taking full advantage of your system. It’s easy to use CRM for contact management, but you need to use the powerful tools many of them have that can automate your practice management activities as well as your follow up activities. Setting up a CRM and the automated systems takes time, but you really aren’t getting your money’s worth if you invest in one and don’t take the time to use it to its fullest extent.

4. Advertising with brochure ads

Advertising takes money. You need to spend money on a designer who will create your ad and then the fees of the publication to place the ad. Advertising can reap great rewards, but only if you have a fully developed strategy. Many law firms pay big bucks to place ads, but the ads are just all wrong. If you have an ad that only provides your name, contact information and a list of services you provide, you are wasting your money. Before you do anything else, develop your marketing strategy and make sure it includes non-threatening ways for them to take another step toward you. For example, you could create a free report and offer that through your ad. They are more likely to go to your website and download a report than to call your office right after seeing the ad. When they download the free report, make sure to collect their email address and other contact information so that you can follow up with them.

5. Learn tips and not implement

With the power of the internet, you now have scads of great law firm marketing tips at your fingertips. If you follow this blog, you know that I provide tons of tips and tricks that you can easily implement. If you haven’t already, sign up for our 21-Day Marketing Bootcamp and you’ll see what I mean. But, don’t just stop at reading – implement!  Take steps, even small ones, every day to grow or tweak your marketing. Don’t just learn it, DO it!

If you would like to learn more about legal marketing AND be held accountable for taking those consistent steps to implement, check out our Inner Circle Accountability and Private Group Coaching Program. In fact, here is a coupon that will discount the month fee to $97 – just enter SAVE at check out.Our group is lively and fun and best of all, I will hold you and your team accountable each month to achieve consistent and measurable growth. This is the perfect group for you if you need help and encouragement to get things going and keep them going.

Will New Ad Blocker Trends Affect Your Law Firm?

Are you one of the many lawyers running online Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns to try and boost business for your law firm? If so, you’ll want to take a second and read this article to learn more about ad blocking, which is a trend that’s changing the landscape of digital marketing.

Ad blocking is a way to basically tune out pop-ups, banners, and other intrusive ads that can ruin your web browsing experience. Ad Block Plus is the most popular ad blocking plug-in, as it can be downloaded for free right from their website. In fact, Ad Block Plus claims it is the most popular web browser extension in the world. However, Ad Block Plus has been shown to be a bit overzealous when it comes to which ads the extension blocks: Google AdWords, Facebook ads, and Twitter ads have all been affected. Thus, if you’re currently spending money on any of these PPC campaigns, you may be at risk of not reaching your target audience and, depending on the specifics of your campaign, you may be charged for ads that no one is even seeing.

So what can be done to combat this new trend? As of this writing, advertisers and developers are working on ways to make ads un-intrusive by focusing a better user experience and creating ads that are less bulky and do not take up a lot of bandwidth, since these issues were the the whole reason ad blocking software was developed. AdBlock Plus is also working with Google and Twitter to find a solution to this issue, though whatever solution is reached will likely cost those companies extra money – and that cost will presumably be transferred to you, the ad buyer. However, none of these solutions are imminent, meaning some extra steps need to be taken in regards to your law firm’s digital marketing strategy.

While PPC marketing can get your law firm to the top of Google searches through paid means, there’s a very good chance potential clients will not see your ads. Instead, a marketing strategy that relies on content and SEO rich blogs will help your law firm rank higher on search engines and will be visible to your specific audience. Organic searches are not affected by ad blockers, and the content you offer will be beneficial to your audience, who may then share it with others who may be in need of your services. Blogs, YouTube videos, and ebooks are just some of the many marketing materials you can use to get around the ad blocking trend.


Would you like to talk about how we can help you save time on your marketing and help you turn ideas into action? Simply schedule a time on my calendar for a no-strings virtual cup of coffee.

Boost The Effectiveness of Your Legal Marketing by Leading With “What’s In It For Me”

A common complaint I hear from attorneys is that they are diligently DOING marketing, or what they believe to be great marketing, and they are just not seeing any significant results or ROI from their efforts.

As someone who managed law firms for 20 + years, I understand how frustrating this can be.  When you have employees to pay, expenses to take care of, and oh, let’s not forget about your own paycheck too, having the phone fail to ring…and worse, throwing a ton of money at something that is not bringing in any results can really hurt and sting.

I want to keep this article realistic and admit upfront that not every campaign you run will work, and you should be prepared for a few misses here and there.  For example, what is working for other firms may not work for you because your demographic is different, it’s not a practice area you feel totally comfortable with and so on.

But when you are CONSTANTLY missing the mark on your marketing goals, that is a huge problem.  And I’d venture to say that 99% of the time when I review marketing that isn’t working, it’s not the medium that’s wrong, it’s the MESSAGE.  The attorneys are simply failing to lead with a powerful principle known as “What’s In It For Me” in their letters to referral sources, print ad campaigns, networking attempts and so forth.

In order to be great at crafting an effective marketing message, you have to learn how to uncover and tap into the unspoken desires of your target market so that you are able to hit their deepest pain points and offer solutions to what matters most TO THEM.

Think about the marketing that YOU respond to.  Think about the invitations to host collaborative events that YOU jump at the chance to participate in.  You usually don’t have to wade through a ton of B.S. before you find out how YOU can benefit.   Go even deeper and think about what exactly it is that is driving you in each situation. Maybe it’s:

  • An opportunity to get in front of an untapped audience of potential clients
  • Free media exposure
  • A chance to network with really great potential referral sources
  • You have the chance to get something at a great discount or for free
  • You can take advantage of education opportunities that will make you more money down the road
  • … etc.

Marketing that compels and incites action will not only hint around at these selfish desires, but will position the company or person crafting the advertising as the answer to the problems you face.

Let me give you a recent example.  A client showed me a letter that she crafted to go out to senior organizations to have her come in and speak about Veterans Benefits Planning.  In the letter, she simply introduced herself, came out strongly with some information on her expertise (she IS a noted leader in her field, but that message just got lost in the mix), and included a few bullet points on what she could teach on.

The message was ignored by everyone she sent it to.  Why?  Because it was all about HER and failed to explain what was in it for THE FACILITY DIRECTORS to take on the time and expense of hosting a workshop and having her come in to speak.

When I got her on the phone, I started working with her to drill down deeper on WHY having her in to speak would be beneficial for THEM.   Turns out, many of the seniors in her area are unable to move into facilities because they don’t yet qualify for Medicaid, or all of the Medicaid beds are full and the seniors just don’t have enough money to private pay.  They are simply hanging out on waitlists until their financial situation changes.

The pain point for the facility then would be getting these people OFF the waitlist so that they can fill their non-Medicaid beds and bring in more income.  They are, after all, a business too.

We redrafted the letter to lead with this key point… that by teaching on VA Benefits Planning, our attorney would be able to help those who are on the waitlist, who also happen to be wartime veterans, begin to collect additional income through the VA so that they have a better chance of private paying to receive the care they need.  Win for the senior and WIN for the facility!

So, was the letter effective? You bet.  She had calls from directors right away to meet for lunch and talk further about her proposal.

I hope you can see the difference in how these two letters were framed.   One led with why she was so special and her expertise while the other lead with why having her in would make good financial sense for the FACILITY and their seniors on the waitlist.

As you create your marketing, be sure to go back and look it over with the “What’s In It For Me” principle in mind.  Are you addressing your target audience’s needs, wants and desires… or are you simply concerned about your own?

A few simple shifts in this area can uplevel your marketing dramatically.  Give it a try and track your results.  Please also feel free to send me some of your materials if you are in need of an honest critique.


Would you like to talk about how we can help you save time on your marketing and help you turn ideas into action? Simply schedule a time on my calendar for a no-strings virtual cup of coffee.

I love this marketing strategy that NEVER goes out of date!

Lawyer Marketing Strategies: Direct Mail

As a strategy for marketing law firms, direct mail has been around forever. It was there before business websites, e-newsletters, and social media. Considering the convenience and low cost of digital marketing methods, many lawyers find themselves wondering if direct mail is even a good strategy for marketing a law practice in today’s world.

In a word, yes. Direct mail marketing might not seem as modern as the other strategies listed (which are also good strategies, by the way), but it’s still around for the simple fact that it works. We’ve told you again and again that the best way to succeed as a small law practice is to take care of the clients you already have. This keeps them coming back, as well as referring their contacts to you.

However, it’s impossible to overlook the need to cultivate new prospects, and that is where direct mail marketing really pays off. Direct mail allows you to target potential new clients based on a variety of factors such as income level and geographic area. One direct mail piece can reach thousands of potential clients at once, and it does it in a way that people don’t find particularly intrusive. According to a study done by Epsilon, 70% of participants reported that they prefer direct mail to email when receiving unsolicited information!

Another advantage of direct mail is that it’s less likely to get lost in the shuffle than email. For one thing, you can make a direct mail piece completely unique. Skip the boring form letter and find cool and unusual ways to market your law practice by using different types of paper, dye-cut brochures, interestingly folded documents, and so much more. A surprising direct mail piece can really capture potential clients’ imagination and is more likely to be kept for reference than an unsolicited email that would probably get no more attention than is necessary to hit “delete.”

Remember, prospects (and everyone else, it seems) can receive hundreds of unwanted emails a week. Because it’s an easier approach, many law practices rely on it far too heavily for marketing. That’s certainly not to say you shouldn’t use email to market to current clients, but it’s not necessarily the best path to take to reach new folks. On the other hand, it’s been found that direct marketing pieces can also bolster your email marketing. Consider sending a unique direct mail piece to current clients letting them know to watch their email inbox for an upcoming offer, and you’ll likely find that the open rate on that future email outpaces most of your others by a long ways. Similarly, you can use your direct mail piece to invite prospects to log on to your website in order to access a special promotion.

Law practice marketing is certainly a different beast than it was 20 or even 10 years ago. That doesn’t mean, though, that the old-school marketing techniques don’t still have their place in your strategy!


Would you like to talk about how we can help you save time on your marketing and help you turn ideas into action? Simply schedule a time on my calendar for a no-strings virtual cup of coffee.

Online Reviews…The Good, Bad and Ugly

There are so many ways for clients to tell everyone they know about you, and thanks to the Internet, they can even tell people they don’t know!  This is great if the things they’re saying make you look good.  If they’re posting negative reviews and comments, however, it can feel like a punch in the gut to someone running their own small firm.

So, what do you do if someone is trying to sabotage your legal marketing plan by saying nasty things on Yelp, their blog, or your Facebook page?

First, don’t panic.  This is a time to keep your cool, because how you respond is more important than whatever this person had to say in the first place.  Keep in mind that even though this negative comment is out there, it is certainly not the only thing out there.  It is one person’s opinion in a sea of opportunities for you to present yourself as you’d like.  It’s annoying and infuriating, but it is not the end of the world.

Once you’re calmed down, not just pretending to be calmed down—take a day or two if you need to, you can plan how to respond.  Because of their background, a lot of lawyers jump right to the idea of writing a cease and desist letter.  There are some problems with this.  For one thing, it could theoretically add legitimacy to whomever made the claim against you.  It can also be really hard to even find out who made the comment as so many of those things are done anonymously.  And in the grand scheme of things, the letter might not even work.

With the idea of a letter considered and thrown away, you can now look at actually responding to the comment.  Most of the review sites will allow you a way to respond to the negative comment.  In doing so, you don’t want to come off as anything but professional.  You can use the opportunity to explain your side of the situation—oftentimes the individual is mad that they lost their case, not because there is actually anything wrong with you—but do it in a calm, rational way that doesn’t sound overly defensive.  If the person responds back, make a point to only engage if you can do so calmly and in a way that shows you in your best light.  Remember, too, that there’s no rule saying you have to respond at all.

Finally, consider asking your clients, colleagues, and supporters to visit the site and leave their own feedback. This will “bury” the negative comment down to a lower position that will probably not be seen by many.  In addition, when you have a bunch of five-star ratings or comments about your professionalism, it shows that the negative comment is not par for the course and is likely coming from someone who is bitter.

A bad review here or there isn’t going to completely destroy your legal marketing efforts.  If you find that you are getting a lot of negative reviews, however, it may be necessary to take a look at what you’re doing and make some changes.

Marketing to Other Lawyers?

The idea of marketing your law practice to other lawyers might sound a little strange at the outset, but there is a method to the madness.  After all, you likely get a portion of your work via referrals from other lawyers.  (If you don’t, then you should REALLY start doing that.)  Just as you market to former clients in order to get repeat business and their referrals, you should also be marketing your practice to other lawyers in order to get theirs.

Choosing who to target with your marketing is a first step.  The most obvious criterion is that they provide different services than you do.  No one is going to refer their clients to you rather than take them on.  It may be necessary, though, to educate the other lawyers on what it is that you do and how it can be beneficial to their clients or to potential clients who come to them first but are really in need of your services.

An excellent way to turn this concept into a powerful piece for marketing to other lawyers is to find a way to add value to their own practice.  For example, you might offer to write a guest column for their blog or newsletter that focuses specifically on your area of law.  Another way you can add value for them is to offer consultations to their clients free of charge.  The other lawyer will be able to tell potential clients, “Come to me, and you’ll get so-and-so’s input as a bonus!”

Meeting these other lawyers is the missing piece of the marketing puzzle.  In order to get to a point where they are comfortable referring their clients to you, they’ll likely need to know and trust you.  In-person networking is generally the best way to make sure this happens.  Find places and groups that are lawyer-friendly and then make a point to socialize with those who are outside of your area of practice.  Joining committees with various lawyers’ associations is a great way to spend time with a few targeted members in order to get to know each other better while also being productive for the cause.

If face-to-face networking is not an option for you (for time or other personal reasons), we’ve also had great success sending letters and brochures to other attorneys letting them know exactly what our clients do and how we may be able to help add passive income to their practice by way of referrals.

Just remember to design your materials in such a way that they get past the attorney’s gatekeeper! If they look like marketing materials, they will end up in the trash!  Instead get creative and make an offer to go to lunch, or mention how you’ve heard great things about the attorney from other professionals or clients of yours and you would like to learn more about how your practices can collaborate together in the future.

In business, marketing to other businesses is referred to as B2B.  You marketing to other lawyers is also B2B.  And, while it should probably go without saying, the favor of getting referrals should be reciprocal.  Just as you’re hoping the family lawyer you met last week will send you estate planning clients, she’s hoping you’ll direct custody cases her way.

Remember, if creating these types of materials or referral outreach campaigns is something you would love to do but simply don’t have the time for, we can help.

Would you like to talk about how we can help you save time on your marketing and help you turn ideas into action? Simply schedule a time on my calendar for a no-strings virtual cup of coffee.

Quitting Facebook!

The days of free advertising on Facebook are over.

Many firms are up in arms after recent changes to Facebook’s Algorithm, Edgerank, that have altered the way fan page posts are showing up in other people’s newsfeeds.

According to this article in Time Magazine , most companies are reporting a reach of less than HALF of what they are used to seeing.  And eventually, Facebook plans to dial that reach down to 1-2% of fans.

Nerd translation:  Unless you are advertising with the social media giant, the fans of your firm’s page will rarely see your content when Facebook ultimately has its way.

This change has been extremely frustrating for firms that spent a tremendous amount of time and energy building up their fan pages, only to find out that their content would not be seen by the very fans they worked so hard to acquire.

Some small businesses have openly talked about quitting Facebook pages all together and going back to personal pages where at least they know they’ll be seen.

Is that such a good idea? Do we think you should abandon your Facebook fan page?

Our answer is NO.  Fan pages are still extremely useful and there are a number of work arounds to ensure that your content is being seen.   Here are some easy ways to increase your visibility and reach on Facebook, even on a shoestring advertising budget.

1. Share great content– This seems obvious, but now it’s more strategic than cliché.  Friends of fans will see when someone likes, shares or comments on your posts.  By having this type of engagement, it’s an opportunity for more people to see your content without spending a dime. Don’t just post to post. Think hard about what will resonate with your fans that will result in more likes, comments and shares!

2. Mix up your content– As of right now, studies show that Facebook favors text-only posts over posts with links and memes.  Does this mean you should stop posting links? NO! Posting links back to your site is still great for SEO (that content is indexed!).  But you want to be sure to mix up your content for increased visibility and engagement. Give tips, ask questions, ask for recommendations, etc.  Be creative!

3. Start a small advertising campaign– For as little as $5-10 a day, you can run a successful advertising campaign on Facebook.  This can come in the form of running “like ads” that show in the newsfeed (i.e. friend and friend like this page…you should too!) or a “boosted post” where you pay to promote a particular piece of content on your newsfeed.

4. Consider a “retargeting” campaign– These are the “stalk me” ads that show up all over Facebook after you visit a particular website.  Did you know you can set them up for your firm too? It’s another great way to be seen constantly on Facebook without a super huge advertising budget.

While there may come a time when you are seriously forced to “pay to play” on Facebook, for now, the opportunity still exists for low-cost and organic marketing campaigns to clients and POTENTIAL clients of your firm.   These are people who don’t even know you exist and SHOULD.

So don’t give up on your Facebook strategy just yet. Implement the tips in this post and keep an eye on your numbers to watch your reach grow and improve.


Would you like to talk about how we can help you save time on your marketing and help you turn ideas into action? Simply schedule a time on my calendar for a no-strings virtual cup of coffee.

9 Signs You Need A Website Overhaul

Spring is just around the corner (thank God!) and now is the perfect time to do a quick audit of your website.

The design and functionality of your website is critically important. A website that motivates clients to call the office must be clear, easy to navigate and built to rank well in the search engines.

This is your first impression—and you must make it a good one if you expect phone calls from the internet.

Here are a few areas to “audit” as we head into spring:

1. Is your contact information displayed prominently on the site? You would be surprised at how many websites we audit that force us to HUNT for this information!

2. Do you have a page for each of your practice areas? A bulleted list of what you do is simply not enough. If you want to rank better in the search engines and clearly explain your expertise to prospective clients, you must have a dedicated page for each area in which you practice.

3. Is your site visually appealing or does it look like a DIY job? If you’re seeking high-end clients and cases, the “face” of your company should have a high-end look too.

4. Is the website designed to “build your list?” Are there free reports, audios or kits that people can download? Is it easy to join your mailing list? Do you even have a mailing list?

5. Does the website tell your “firm story?” Of course you need a professional bio, but what about the story of why you do what you do? What makes you different and unique? This type of copy helps clients feel like they know you and helps you stand out from the crowd.

6. Are you displaying badges and logos of your affiliations, media appearances and awards? These help to give 3rd party credibility and validation that you are who you say you are and can do what you say you do.

7. Do you have testimonials from happy clients on the site? Testimonials from happy clients SELL legal services!

8. Do you have correct title tags on each page that are properly optimized for SEO?

9. Is your website a WordPress site? WordPress is one of the best sites for SEO, functionality and usability (translation: it makes it SUPER easy for you to edit your own site without help from tech geeks!).

These are just a few things to look for when reviewing your site this spring. If you determine your website is not up to par and you would like information on a redesign, please feel free to reach out to us for help. Whether it’s a few copy edits or an entire website overhaul, we can help you get it done in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Happy Auditing!


Would you like to talk about how we can help you save time on your marketing and help you turn ideas into action? Simply schedule a time on my calendar for a no-strings virtual cup of coffee.

Ten Simple Affordable Marketing Strategies for Lawyers

Just like with any other type of small business, a lot of today’s marketing for lawyers should focus on the Internet: web sites, banner ads, blogging, Facebook and Twitter, etc. But you don’t have to take my word for it…

According to a survey by The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG), 3 out of 4 consumers seeking an attorney over the last year used online resources at some point in the process.

Since most people are spending a great deal of time online these days, it just makes good sense to invest your focus there as well. Time, effort, and money should absolutely be devoted to developing a strong “virtual” campaign.

But, there are a lot of other methods for marketing your practice. Some are pretty “old school,” but they’re still around because they work. They are time-honored practices that not only get business but also just fit in with the strong “relationship-based” business model of the legal industry.

What follows are ten marketing strategies for lawyers who want to augment their online activities with real-world actions.

  1. Business Cards: Hand those suckers out! You can really amp up their power, though, if you take a little effort to come up with something unique. You might not want to be too gimmicky (or maybe you do), but a card that is different will stand out and get you remembered.
  2. Be an Expert: Offer your expertise to local reporters who need someone with your knowledge to provide background or quotes for their stories. Not only does it get your name out, but it also means that people recognize you as a go-to person for your field.
  3. News Clippings: When you read through newspapers or magazines, it’s certain that articles will remind you of referral sources, clients and other people you know. Why not cut out the article and send it to them with a quick note letting them know you thought of them? It’s a quick and cheap strategy for nurturing relationships.
  4. Press Releases: Speaking of the news and journalists, don’t forget that you can send out press releases when you have something interesting to share. Tying a story idea in to a current event helps improve the odds that your press release will get noticed and picked up.
  5. Holiday Cards: Sending out holiday cards is smart because it reminds clients and others that you’re out there, and it lets them know that you appreciate their business. Sending them out a little early is even better because many people display the cards they receive, and yours will be out even longer.
  6. Send Other Kinds of Cards: Keep track of client’s birthdays, anniversaries, and other big events, and make a point to send out cards on a regular basis. This is easy to do with today’s wonderful card-sending services.
  7. Personalized Calendars: Along with those holiday cards, you might want to consider a nice looking calendar that clients will look at nearly EVERY DAY for an entire year. Make it attractive, and make sure it is branded.
  8. Do Presentations: From workshops to Rotary lunch presentations, there are a lot of opportunities out there to share your knowledge with those who would benefit. As a bonus, they will remember you when they need an attorney…or better yet, will realize they need one during your presentation.
  9. Chamber of Commerce: The Chamber is just one type of organization that will provide many networking opportunities, as well as the chance to become visible in the business community of your city.
  10. Elevator Pitch: Make sure you have a smooth, well-practiced 30-second speech that clearly describes what it is that you do, and then make sure that everyone who works for you also knows it by heart.

These are just a few easy and affordable marketing tips for lawyers. Despite the fact that some of them are fairly obvious, they sometimes go overlooked in the age of online marketing. Don’t forget that there are other ways to grow your practice and be consistent!!


Would you like to talk about how we can help you save time on your marketing and help you turn ideas into action? Simply schedule a time on my calendar for a no-strings virtual cup of coffee.

3 Online Legal Marketing Updates You Should Know About

There’s only one thing certain about marketing your practice online…and that’s constant change.

Practice owners and their teams always need to be on their toes and adapting to the latest changes in SEO strategies, social media techniques, email marketing best practices and more.

This week brings a few new changes in the online world that I thought were important to share with our readers.

1. Google Will Now Encrypt Most Keyword Searches

In plain English, this means that you will no longer be able to see the keywords that people are using to access your site when browsing through your Google Analytics account.  This article  explains why this is happening and some workarounds for accessing at least some of that valuable data.

And while this month also marks the death of Google’s free keyword tool, this article from our friend Kim Garst offers 4 alternative tools that you can use to find the best keywords from the start.  Remember, SEO and optimized content still matter…you just won’t have that end-result confirmation of exactly which keywords are causing people to visit your page.  So choose carefully from the beginning!

If this is still too complicated (or annoying), we always recommend talking to local friends, family and neighbors to ask how they would search for your services.  You may be surprised to hear keywords with specific geographical slang that you wouldn’t have thought to use otherwise (i.e. bankruptcy attorneys in South Jersey) or more layman’s terms to describe your services (i.e. will lawyer vs. estate planning lawyer)

2.    Fake 5-Star Reviews Are A BIG No-No

For local search engines like Google Plus, Yahoo Local and Yelp, reviews are a MUST.  Most firms know this….and they also know how hard it is to get clients to visit each and every site to leave a review.  It’s not uncommon when a client sends in a testimonial for a staff member to post their happy experience on these sites for them as a matter of convenience.

Of course, some firms post fake reviews with ill-intent. But regardless of motive, the New York Times  reports that local search engines are cracking down on these practices BIG TIME….even imposing hefty fines on offenders.  Lawyers are specifically mentioned in this article, so it’s important to take note and make sure all reviews are from legitimate clients and referral sources ONLY.

3.    Attorney Charlie Thomas is Blogging

While we mostly focus on marketing for estate planning lawyers and large membership organizations, more than half of our newsletter subscribers are in other practice areas and email regularly for assistance or referrals to trusted help.  This week, we were excited to learn that a very good friend of LM2, Charlie Thomas, has decided to pursue his passion of writing about the law, rather than continue to run his solo practice.  For those of you who have emailed us about ghostwriting and blogging services for your criminal, immigration, real estate, business firm (etc!), Charlie is your man.  With some of these new SEO changes, having great content is more important than ever, so don’t wait to get in touch.  You can email him directly at and let him know we sent you!


Would you like to talk about how we can help you save time on your marketing and help you turn ideas into action? Simply schedule a time on my calendar for a no-strings virtual cup of coffee.


Attracting the Types of Cases You Want with SEO

Because of the specialization within the field of law, you clearly don’t want to attract every kind of case.  Any tax lawyer who has friends asking her for family law advice knows this only too well.  You have your specific knowledge base, and you want to use it.  When potential clients are coming to you for the wrong things, it wastes everyone’s time.  Worse yet, what about those who have exactly the right kinds of cases but aren’t bringing them to you at all?

Perhaps one of the most important marketing tools you have at your disposal is your business’ web site.  Fortunately, it is also fairly easy to manipulate your web site into helping drive very targeted traffic to your door.  The nature of search engines like Google and Bing provides you the opportunity to narrow down the types of clients who are finding you and calling you for help.

Through search engine optimization (SEO), you are able to develop your web site in a way that helps you to be found by those who are looking for precisely what you offer, while also discouraging those who need a different type of attorney altogether.  If you’ve optimized your site correctly, you are more likely to pop up in the search results for “estate planning attorney orange county” and pretty unlikely to pop up for “elder lawyer in California.”  (Assuming you are an estate planning attorney and not an elder lawyer, of course.)

Pay Attention to Your Copy

You will come across lots of tips when it comes to SEO, but as with most things on the Web, the answer boils down to those three words: “Content is king.”  You want the content on your site to clearly reflect who you are and what you do, without any ambiguity.  If you don’t provide representation for divorces, avoid using the word “divorce” on your site.  On the other hand, if you assist with prenuptial planning, be sure to mention it, and to do so repeatedly.  You can improve your chances of being found by including your city or state, too, even going so far as to use phrases like “prenuptial lawyer in Denver.”  That way, you’re more likely to show up in results when someone is looking for a Colorado-based lawyer and less likely to show up when they want someone in Hawaii.

The goal isn’t to “spam” the system, though.  Remember that real people will be reading your copy, and if it’s full of obvious keyword phrases that don’t flow well or that appear too often, it’s going to be a turnoff.  Instead, think of the phrases that will speak to your target market and then sprinkle them naturally throughout your site.


Would you like to talk about how we can help you save time on your marketing and help you turn ideas into action? Simply schedule a time on my calendar for a no-strings virtual cup of coffee.

Making a Case for Hiring Out Your Legal Marketing Efforts

We’ve talked before about how a lawyer running a practice has to be a little of everything to everyone. In addition to actually using the skills that you went to law school to learn, you’re likely also overseeing nearly every tiny detail of running your business. When you’re busy juggling employees’ schedules, paying the utility bill for your office space, attending meetings—oh, and actually working with clients—it’s easy to put marketing on the back burner.

But, that’s a dangerous place for it. Your ability to do all of those other things relies on the fact that you have clients in the first place. You need to keep in touch with former clients, give great service to current clients, and reach out to potential clients. And you need to do it all simultaneously. That’s marketing.

Since good marketing builds a solid foundation for your law business, you either need to devote a lot of time to it or hire a marketing company with experience in law. That way, many of the activities that would otherwise fall to you can be taken off your plate. And, let’s be realistic, a lot of the marketing stuff that you “should” be doing, just isn’t getting done anyway. Am I right?

Let’s suppose that you make the argument that you do have the time to do your own marketing. I know a lot of lawyers that really enjoy marketing because they like talking and writing about their services. I love marketing too so I totally understand this! But, you need to be realistic; do you really understand the mechanics of marketing? Can you create your own professional-looking client newsletter using sophisticated design software? Can you use the right meta tags, URLs, and keywords to dominate Google? Do you have time to create brochures, fliers, e-books, white papers and other collateral that is critical to effective lead generation? If your answer is “yes” you probably do not have enough clients!

And, there’s the conundrum – not enough clients because you aren’t doing marketing well and not getting the professional marketing you need because you don’t have enough clients.

This is exactly why we created the Done-For-You program. We provide lawyers all over the country with professional marketing material that gets results at an absolutely rock-bottom price. All of the material is ready to customize, which they can do with minimal time invested. Then, they simply shoot it out of the door. Easy, peasy. 😉

So, how are you managing? Are you trying to juggle the many balls of running your law practice and letting the marketing ball fall helplessly to the ground? There’s really no reason for that. If you haven’t already, check out our Done-For-You program. I promise you that you will feel like a 50-pound weight has come off your shoulders!


Would you like to talk about how we can help you save time on your marketing and help you turn ideas into action? Simply schedule a time on my calendar for a no-strings virtual cup of coffee.

What’s the SWOT?

When you’re running your own practice, you are so much more than “just” a lawyer. You also have to be a manager, a planner, and a marketer. All of these roles take a different set of skills, and to be successful, you need to have at least a basic knowledge of each. In some cases, though, there is a single thing you can do that works for all these different categories. One of the activities you can, and should, do in order to be a better manager, planner, and marketer is to identify your business’ S.W.O.T.

The S.W.O.T. is a part of strategic planning that helps to identify where your business is now and help steer it in the right direction for the future. It takes some work on your part, but by the time you’re done, you’ll likely have identified several areas that you can use to bolster your marketing plan. Sharing what you’ve learned with your employees also works to make sure that everyone is on the same page and working toward the same goals.

So, what is the S.W.O.T?

S = Strengths: When you look at your business as objectively as possible, what do you feel your strengths are? Perhaps you have specialization that sets you apart from other attorneys in the area. Maybe you are great at “hand-holding” new clients who are intimidated by the legal process. Spend some time and come up with at least five strengths and put some thought into how you can leverage them in your marketing to really shine.

W = Weaknesses: It’s not necessarily fun to look at your own flaws, but when you do it from an objective perspective, it can be a really powerful exercise. Weaknesses are those things that you want to target for elimination. For example, maybe you are having trouble keeping up with the workload and some things are falling through the cracks. By writing this down, you can give yourself permission to find a solution, such as realizing that it’s time to hire some help.

O = Opportunities: Uncovering opportunities for your business is one of the most enjoyable parts of the S.W.O.T. process. Opportunities are things that you want to capitalize on, either now or in the future. Are there services that are lacking in your area that you could add to your practice? Do you have ideas for a referral system that could pay off? It might be helpful to lay out all of your opportunities with some deadlines and milestones for making them into reality.

T = Threats: Threats are those things that could negatively impact your business but that you don’t have any direct control over. For example, are there some changes in the law coming up that may cost you clients? Is a rough economy a problem when it comes to building your client list? The point of listing your threats is to give yourself the chance to monitor them and find ways to mitigate their impact.

Realistically, it doesn’t have to take a ton of time to do a cursory S.W.O.T. analysis. The important part is that you take that time to identify what is working for and against you so that you can take steps to capitalize on that knowledge.


Would you like to talk about how we can help you save time on your marketing and help you turn ideas into action? Simply schedule a time on my calendar for a no-strings virtual cup of coffee.

WARNING: Before you sign with a coaching or marketing company this Spring, read this

Did I get your attention? Good, because this is important.

Spring tends to be an “open enrollment” free-for-all for many coaching, training and legal marketing organizations. We will in fact be having our own webinar March 5th to share details about our programs…..but that’s not the point of this post.

What you may not know about me or my company is that we regularly get to see the inner workings of many of these organizations. You might be surprised to know that we do behind- the-scenes campaigns, business development and copywriting for quite a few of them….many of which are well- known and highly- respected in this industry (and whom you may have considered our competition).

On the flipside, through our client base, we’ve worked with many other lawyer marketing and training organizations that are a mess internally and have significantly drained the finances of our clients. We are often hired to implement what these “coaches” or programs are teaching–and more often that not, it turns into our team cleaning up a huge mess when the attorney breaks up with the company or quits the program.

It’s no wonder why I’ve been bombarded with Facebook messages and emails this week asking me what I think of the various offerings, enrollments and teleclasses happening right now.

Let me first be clear that there are some very good companies and organizations out there....and hiring a coach or a legal marketing agency can be one of the best decisions you will ever make in the quest to grow your firm. Again, I don’t just speak of our company… because there are MANY times that I refer clients to trusted colleagues who may be a better fit. But as a whole, if you are serious about taking things to the next level in your practice, getting a mentor or some hands-on help is a great place to start.

But there are also companies in the legal industry right now who are all smoke and mirrors and quite frankly dangerous to your sanity and your bottom line.

In an attempt to help you make the best decisions if you are looking to join a program or hire a legal marketing company this Spring, I’ve compiled a few “warning signs” that I’ve been offering to the attorneys reaching out for my opinion. Heeding this advice could mean the difference between having a thriving law practice or one saddled with six-figures of debt with little to nothing to show for it next year. Here they are:

1. Avoid companies that could hold your intellectual property hostage– Without mentioning names, it has shocked some of our clients to find out that they are merely RENTING their fancy website or other IP from their marketing agency each month. When they decide to part ways the company, they retain ZERO ownership of the site and many times ZERO ownership of the content. We had one client who signed with a well-known company and when they launched her new site, they completely deleted her old one with all of her blogs and links that she worked so hard to build for SEO. Then once she realized this company was taking her for a ride and she quit, they deleted her site a second time and she lost everything AGAIN. We’ve also seen marketing agencies and companies who insist on “hosting” websites, email lists and client databases so that you can’t access them or make changes without their help. They retain all the power and you are at their mercy in a sad attempt to get you to stay on board. Avoid these situations at all cost!

2. Watch for companies and organizations that make you scrub content when you’re not in “good standing.” Imagine this: You pay 6-figures to be in a program and invest in their marketing campaigns, systems and products. Over the course of time, you outgrow the program or it’s not a good fit. After dealing with the expected calls & emails trying to get you to stay in the program, the company then comes back with a vengeance, stalking you at every turn and insisting that if you leave, you must remove every blog article, report and campaign that YOU PAID FOR because you are no longer in good standing and it really never belonged to you in the first place. Unbeknownst to you…your six-figure investment only allowed you to “rent” some marketing and ideas. We see it happen almost monthly and it infuriates me. That’s why when we create marketing for clients, they own it. If we spend time building their blog up, we aren’t going to sabotage their SEO years down the road and insist everything comes down if we part ways. So before you join any program, get clear on content ownership and their rules for usage. Then decide if it’s palatable for you if you breakup in the future.

3. Long-Term Commitments– As a marketing professional, I understand that some commitment time is necessary to truly gauge your results, but be cautious of long- term commitments that leave you stuck if the program turns out to be the exact opposite of what you signed up for….or just not the right fit for YOU. It happens and you should be prepared for it.

4. Make sure you can speak to CURRENT CLIENTS– A company may put out great testimonials showing results of their clients, but go one step further and ask to speak to people who are currently in the program. You may be surprised to see a company using testimonials that speak of results from 5-10 years ago, which have not been duplicated since (I’ve actually seen companies using testimonials from lawyers whom I personally know went out of business and no longer practice law!)

5. Do they work with your competition? A VERY important question to ask right up front is whether the company or agency works with other attorneys in your geographical area. If so, how many and what’s the scope of the work? Here’s why this matters. Let’s say you hire someone to do SEO. If the company is trying to increase rankings for you and your competitor down the street, they are essentially competing with themself. Will you come out on top or will their other client? It’s unethical and puts you and them in a bad position. Or say you hire a PR person. You don’t want someone approaching journalists or producers with the same exact press releases being used by someone else. That’s a fast way to make a bad name for yourself in the local media. Or, in the case of marketing materials,   you don’t want the exact same newsletter going out to the same pool of people in your community….and you don’t want to be reaching out to referral sources with the same campaigns and seminar info as the guy down the street. As a rule of thumb, we only take one client per media market, because we do PR & blog content for SEO. We literally have waitlists because of this rule, and I’ll be the first to admit that as a business owner, it’s hard to turn away a paying client. But any other way would be icky, and my integrity and the peace of mind of our clients means more to me than money. Of course this can vary based on the nature of the services being offered, but make sure your coach or agency feels the same.

6. Is there “stickiness” among the members?- Pay close attention to whether or not the company or coach has long-term clients. For example, one particular organization for estate planning attorneys that we work with has had members in their program for over 15 years! That says something about an organization. On the flipside, if they are a newer agency or organization, check out the results of the leaders. Have they successfully done what they want to teach you how to do? Are they still doing it, or did they get lucky for a year and now they are trying to cash in on that fleeting success? Have they been successful at duplicating their efforts….or are they all talk and theory and no action? This matters more than you think.

7. Who is on the team? With many companies transitioning to done-for-you services these days (hey–we’re trendsetters…what can we say!), it’s important to scrutinize the actual team since they will probably have more interaction with your firm than the company’s figurehead. For example, everyone on our team has a legal background and most have worked in law firms. I would never allow someone control over an attorney’s social media accounts, for example, who didn’t understand the law….or have a basic understanding of the English language. Other companies are using outsourced teams overseas to do these tasks. Your image and your ethics are on the line. Find out who exactly will have their hands on your account and make sure everything is to your satisfaction.

8. If you are working with an agency, where are they driving traffic? Not long ago, one of our clients hired an outside agency to do Pay-Per-Click ads for them. Instead of driving to the firm’s website, they company insisted on creating separate sites using ALL OF THE FIRM’S CONTENT! They were basically “duplicating” the site exactly and driving the ads to the site they owned with a different phone number. They also wanted to change the local profiles in Google and Yahoo using this “duplicated” site as well. Again, the name of the game is to stay in control so always find out where your leads are driving to and what happens when the company is no longer in the picture.

These are just a few things to look out for if you are seeking to hire a marketing agency or join a coaching program this year. Of course no company is perfect and it’s important to have a realistic expectation of results going into it. Your results could vary on your budget, your niche, your area, etc…..but these are some steps you can take to ensure you suffer the least amount of pain and financial loss if the services are not what you expected them to be.


Would you like to talk about how we can help you save time on your marketing and help you turn ideas into action? Simply schedule a time on my calendar for a no-strings virtual cup of coffee.

Low Cost Easy Ways to Repel Tire-kickers and Attract Deep-Pocket Clients To Your Firm

If you’re sick and tired of tire-kickers and D-list clients finding their way to your office, it’s time to take a look at your overall client experience and see how you can create an environment that attracts only the best and ideal clients to your firm.

The good news is that it doesn’t take deep pockets to attract those who have them. If you’re goal is to reach affluent clients, or simply those who can easily afford your services, a few simple positioning techniques will do the trick.

My right hand gal, Amber, decided to surprise her foodie husband for Valentine’s Day by taking him to Eleven Madison Park, a restaurant in New York City rated the 10th best in the world. At $195 a plate (not including drinks!), they certainly know something about attracting affluent customers.

As she shared her experience with me, we noticed that many of the techniques they used to create an exceptional client experience and attract high quality patrons were similar to how we accomplish the same goals for the firms we work with. I want to compare these strategies and give you 4 easy steps that you can implement this week to start attracting
better quality prospects to your firm. Here we go:

1. They secured the reservation with a credit card. This is HUGE. This 5-star restaurant knew the value of their tables and only allowed reservations if you gave a credit card number to hold your place. If you canceled within 48 hours of your dinner, you were charged $125 per person because they lost valuable time and money that could have been spent serving other patrons. YOUR time is equally valuable!If you struggle with cancellations or a lack of respect of your time, it’s time to start securing free consultations with a credit card. Have your staff tastefully explain that while there is no charge for the meeting, you do require a credit card to hold the space and it will only be billed in the event of a no-show, as you often run a waitlist during the month. This step alone will weed out those who would have wasted your time in the first place, and subliminally conveys to the prospective client the true value of working with you.

2. They maximized 3rd Party Endorsements– How did Amber know the restaurant she picked was the best? Because everything she found online and on their website told her they were the best! They prominently made mention of their Star Michelin rating and had plaques of their awards around the restaurant. They had great reviews that were easily found online. They had tons of fans and followers on social media networks that built credibility and trust. These types of third party endorsements MATTER to those who would consider spending a lot of money with you. They want reassurance that you are the best and that they are making the right decision. The good news is that this is super easy to pull off. Start gathering testimonials from happy clients and putting them on your website, your brochures, your welcome packet, etc. If you’ve won any awards (even if you paid for them like “Best Attorney in Town” in the local paper) flaunt them! Start writing press releases or letters to the editors that land you media coverage you can use as an “endorsement” from the press. Ask people to leave you great reviews on Google Places, Yahoo Local, Yelp, etc. Run a Facebook ad to build up your social media “Fan” base. When prospects know you’re good, they’ll be a bit more prepared to pay your fees…and these steps offer a great way toot your own horn without crossing ethical lines.

3. They Clearly Set Expectations from the Start– We’ve all had those needy clients who harass your staff, complain about everything and insist on talking to you almost daily. By the time you calculate the time spent with these people, minus your fees, you’re almost guaranteed a financial loss. This can easily be mitigated, or eliminated all together, by setting expectations right from the start. Although Amber made her reservation online, she received a phone call the next day from the Maître d’. He confirmed that she understood the pricing, explained that it would take 3 ½ hours to complete the 15-course meal and discussed dress code. It was a very friendly conversation but set expectations right from the start of what was and was not acceptable. You can accomplish the same goals in your office. Every client who schedules a consultation should receive a pre-meeting package. This may contain answers to frequently asked questions, your fee schedule, office policies, contact information of people on your staff, etc. The goal is to answer all of their questions and suppress complaints before they even have a chance to voice them. Tell them how your communication policy works and how often you’ll be in touch. Think of qualifiers you can convey to ensure you are only meeting with people ready to move forward with your services. For example, one of our clients insists married couples come in together for a consultation. If one is not available for the meeting, the appointment is rescheduled for a time when he or she can be. It’s practically impossible to move forward without the other present, so she sets the expectation and guards against time wasters right from the start. Think of ways you can do the same in your firm.

4. They Shocked and Awed– While she wasn’t particularly in-love with the food (her husband happens to be a great cook and she’s spoiled), Amber couldn’t deny the first class service she received that truly made it a worthwhile experience. They were greeted by name by people waiting to take their coats. The staff was polite, accommodating and made them feel like the only people in the room. Details mattered. Extra and over-the-top touches were the norm. They were even presented with a gift of granola for breakfast the next day! These are all critical things that you must be doing in your office, starting TODAY. Think of ways to make working with you a first-class, red-velvet rope experience. Invest in the “people skills” of your staff. Insist on a culture of first-class service in your office.Make people feel welcome and important. One of our clients has welcome signs printed for clients with their name on it and they are instantly greeted with waters, snacks, coffee and tea as they wait for their appointment. Overhaul your décor and look for ways to create a more warm and non-threatening environment. Create your own over-the-top touches. Another client of ours gives beautiful cakes from a bakery with their firm logo on it to every client after their document signing. You can imagine the impression this leaves and people can’t stop talking about it! Simple attention to detail will make people feel good about their experience and encourage them to refer their friends and family—which are typically warm and better quality leads right from the start!

Working with YOU should be a 5-star experience, and as you can see by these examples, it doesn’t take a whole lot of time or money to raise the bar. When you create a culture of quality and excellence, you’ll attract higher quality clients…causing you less stress.


Would you like to talk about how we can help you save time on your marketing and help you turn ideas into action? Simply schedule a time on my calendar for a no-strings virtual cup of coffee.