Webinar: How to Get 7 Figure Injury Cases without Spending a Dollar

John Fisher is a medical malpractice attorney for plaintiffs in New York.

John Fisher will show you how to build a seven-figure injury law practice on a shoe-string budget.

Webinar Title: The Secrets of Lawyer-to-Lawyer Referral Based Marketing
When: Wednesday, 21 February 2018, at 2:00 PM Eastern
Hosts: John Fisher and Larry Bodine

Click here to register for this webinar

Attendance is free, but space is limited.

Where do you get your best cases? It’s no secret, you get your best cases from lawyer referrals. Then, why do lawyers have no systems for lawyer referrals?

This is really important. 98% of lawyers have no system for lawyer referrals. I’m going to show members of The National Trial Lawyers how to do it.

This system for lawyer referrals costs (almost) nothing and I’m going to show you everything. No secrets will be held back!

  • “What would it be like if you didn’t have to spend another dollar on mass marketing?”
  • “What would it be like if your overhead was paid…2 years ahead of time?”
  • “What would it be like if your clients never complain and think you’re an absolute rock star?”

What if you had a system that would (almost) guarantee a steady stream of high-quality referrals from lawyers…while reducing your marketing budget?

What if you had the freedom to pick only the best cases, while leaving the crappy cases for others?

How would you like to be a superstar among lawyers without spending another dollar on marketing?

John Fisher will show you how to build a seven-figure injury law practice on a shoe-string budget. If you are not getting the cases you want, you need to attend this webinar.

Are You Really Paying Attention to Your Business? Working in it or On it?

Harlan Schillinger is a Legal Marketing Expert in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

By Harlan Schillinger.

You might be working, but are you really working on what matters to the growth and positioning of your law firm? Probably not.

Most law practices, both large and small, around the country put way too much emphasis on reacting—to the phone calls and leads that come in the door—rather than building a forward-looking strategy for the future of the firm. After all, You have so much coming at you.

This is no way to become the innovative, thought-leading attorney you once envisioned for yourself. You must turn reactivity on its head—even when you’re making more money than you can count. Why? Because one day that random revenue stream might dry up before your eyes.

We see it all the time: Even when practices throw money at marketing, lawyers are far too quick to call vendors out when the advertising program, for example, fails. But that usually happens when attorneys don’t get vested in the future of the practice. Why? Because it takes time, research, relationships—and guts.

But the truth is this is low-hanging fruit. The best-positioned law firms in the country are taking action rather than making excuses. And the reality is every law firm can start marketing smarter right now.

Relationships are a requirement.

If you thought you could market without caring and involvement, sorry that game is up. When you invest in your people you are building relationships that pay off. But it’s not just about leading and rewarding your own staff—the people and paralegals who answer your phones, execute on marketing tactics and feed you leads. This also applies to your marketing vendors—the experts and firms who know digital marketing, TV advertising, and media placement. Believe us, they want you to be a partner in the process. They want your involvement. They want your communication. They want your partnership in a team effort.

When you hire someone—anyone—you can’t expect that person to do a good job just because you will it that way. You have to get involved in understanding their craft as much as they will rely on you to better understand the legal craft.

When was the last time you sat down with your employees and marketing agency to talk about intake? Do you understand how to work with your digital agency toward a common goal for moving the business forward? You can’t expect people to understand what you want and bank on stellar results unless you put the time into building relationships upfront and ongoing. Managing expectations is important. It’s just that simple.

Messaging matters more than you realize.

One of the biggest missed opportunities in legal marketing is messaging. Lawyers are often so focused on the end result—the calls come in the door—that they forget just whom they should be talking to and what those people really want to hear.

  • Are you separating yourself from your competitors?
  • What is the 2% difference between your firm and your competitor’s firms?

Nailing the right message to represent your practice, whether you’re communicating with audiences online or through a TV commercial, is critical. And, again, the success of this message is measured by your involvement in the process.

Only you know the history and nuances of your law practice. If you’re not willing to share these stories with your advertising team, there’s a good chance you will never reach the right target market. Or generate the public perception you want. Or attract the high-quality leads and cases your business needs to be sustainable.

Metrics count as an investment in the future.

By nature, attorneys like to count. They count clients, outcomes, cash, and accolades every day. But do they invest in understanding the marketing metrics that really count? Most likely not. In fact, ask yourself when was the last time you really looked at all of your matrix. Do you even have solid matrix tools in place to look at?

You might expect your marketing partners to keep track and alert you of how your website is performing, the number of clicks and likes your social media campaign gets, and how many people are calling the office after seeing a TV ad. But this is actually part of your work too if you are truly invested in your practice as a business and not just a job.

Learning the basics of Google Analytics, running and reviewing digital and advertising performance reports, and holding vendors accountable based on real-time data—these are the investments you must make to feel confident in future marketing decisions.

So, take more responsibility for your business. Don’t expect the people around you to read your mind. Communicate from the top down. Look for an opportunity and cash in on what you’ve been missing. It might require building some better relationships, making your messages matter and looking at the facts and figures. But you’re already pretty good at lots of those things. It’s just time to apply those tactics to your marketing.

The reality is, you have to pay attention, be accountable and have tools and software in place to track everything. Communicate this to your staff and to your Vendor Partners. You will get a much better result. After all, “What You Don’t Know, You Don’t Know”!
Harlan Schillinger is a Legal Marketing Expert in Paradise Valley, Arizona. He can be reached at HarlanSchillinger@gmail.com and 303-817-7313. He has four decades of experience in legal advertising with a passion for legal marketing, intake, and conversion.

 


Harlan Schillinger has worked with more than 120 law firms in over 98 markets throughout North America. Currently, he is consulting privately only with lawyers who share his vision of increasing business, being accountable and obtaining high-value cases. He takes, perhaps, the most unique and accountable approach to Intake and conversion.

Currently, Harlan is working with and in charge of business development Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys. With offices nationally, Glen has one of the largest and most successful plaintiff’s practices in America. The firm already takes on well over 1,500 cases a month, and Harlan is positioning the firm for even more growth.

The New Year Is Here! Is Your Marketing Strategy in Place?

Harlan Schillinger, Legal Marketing Expert

By Harlan Schillinger.

As a new year is dawning, your marketing plan is yawning. It’s old. It’s tired. What you did in terms of marketing just last year may no longer be relevant — or aggressive enough.

Spin that to the positive, however, and the start of 2018 can be a time of strategic reflection and renewal. Take the pause you had over the holidays and put that energy toward something great — a masterful marketing plan that will carry you though the whole year.

Keep in mind that your competitors may not even have a strategic plan. Over 90% of law firms don’t. Make that your competitive edge — and get busy. Your 2018 marketing plan should be a comprehensive document or blueprint that outlines all business advertising and marketing efforts for the coming year. It should describe tactics for accomplishing each specific marketing objective within a set time frame.

The world is changing rapidly, and the best-laid marketing plans for 2018 will be those that quickly measure the failures and successes of last year while seeing farther into the future. Your plan should include historical data, future predictions, current marketing position, a discussion of the target market, and a description of the methods or strategies to achieve your marketing objectives. While a marketing plan should have a formal structure to keep you accountable, it should also be held as an informal, flexible document with room for tweaking as needed.

You know what they say about the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. So, stop the insanity by looking at your marketing tactics with a whole new perspective. You must ask yourself, where you want to be this year, next year and in five years.

To build a solid plan that’s relevant by today’s standards, you also have to dig in to the really hard questions, especially in the categories of competition, intake, digital analytics and advertising.

COMPETITION

Start by doing a competitive analysis — a deep dive into your market for 2018. If you haven’t looked at what the competition is really executing on in a long time or even since last year, seize the moment.

Your advertising agency can help you assess your toughest competition by evaluating the effectiveness of their chosen marketing and advertising avenues. What are other lawyers in your market doing with traditional advertising, social media, content marketing and more? Just as important, though, is finding out what they’re not doing. Then use your resources to capitalize on that weakness.

If your legal advertising agency hasn’t sat down with you to work on a strategic plan that includes competitive analysis, fire them. Building a vision on knowing who’s doing what in the marketplace should be at the forefront of your marketing efforts for 2018.

INTAKE

When was the last time you took a hard look at your office’s intake department? If you are honest with yourself and really investigate with curiosity what you can be doing better, you will do better. We can always achieve more when we’re willing to look at the hardest parts of our businesses (usually the ones we’re in denial about, like intake).

Start with some simple yet direct inquires:

Do I even have a formal intake procedure?

Start to put the tools in place to make your intake process more consistent, streamlined and accountable.

Do I really know what I’m missing out on when it comes to intake?

If you don’t have a way to track when, where and how your calls come in, you are most certainly missing out on intake.

Have I considered software to help me manage intake?

Research the best system on the market to make the intake process simpler for your office to manage, track and realize ROI. Ask around. Who’s using what? How is it working? What’s new to the market?

Do I know what my true ROI is from all my marketing efforts?

If you’re not accounting for intake costs in your marketing budget, you’re guessing about ROI. You have to understand what each lead costs before you can study your firm’s true ROI.

DIGITAL ANALYTICS

What’s your marketing plan to reach 75 million millennials? With younger audiences living on their screens, it had better include digital marketing. Do you know how millennials act and what you have to do digitally to reach them? That’s where you should start.

Make 2018 your year to get up to speed on all the rich data and analytics you can be tracking through your digital marketing efforts. Your advertising agency can take the lead and be your guide, but don’t forget to advocate for your own marketing plan this year.

Start diving into these questions to steer your digital efforts in the right direction:

  • How often have you even looked at analytics about who’s using your website or social channels or reading your emails and eBooks?
  • How can I start to read and understand my own free reports, such as Google Analytics?
  • What are the most important diagnostic reports really telling me?
  • Can I be leveraging new technology like Google Play Books to get my message out there?
  • Have I embraced social media? How can I jump in yet be strategic?

ADVERTISING

While legal advertising bucks many trends, it doesn’t change the fact that in general the state of advertising has changed in 2018. You can no longer rely solely on the sway of broadcast advertising. Your strategy must be integrated with other forms of marketing to reach more people and new audiences everywhere they are.

To get more informed, you can start to ask the hard questions of your own advertising buyers and vendors.

  • Do you really understand what your advertising agency is doing for you?
  • Have you studied what your agency did in 2017 in order to build an effective plan for 2018?
  • Have you set clear objectives and expectations for this year’s marketing plan?

If this feels like a lot of questions, there’s a reason for that. The only way forward in marketing your law firm in 2018 is to understand where you’ve been — and where you should be headed to remain relevant. Building a gutsy marketing plan starts with asking real, hard questions.


Harlan Schillinger is a Legal Marketing Expert in Paradise Valley, Arizona. He can be reached at HarlanSchillinger@gmail.com and 303-817-7313. He has four decades of experience in legal advertising with a passion for legal marketing, intake and conversion.

Harlan has worked with more than 120 law firms in over 98 markets throughout North America. Currently, he is consulting privately only with lawyers who share his vision of increasing business, being accountable and obtaining high-value cases. He takes, perhaps, the most unique and accountable approach to Intake and conversion.

Currently, Harlan is working with and in charge of business development Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys. With offices nationally, Glen has one of the largest and most successful plaintiff’s practices in America. The firm already takes on well over 1,400 cases a month, and Harlan is positioning the firm for even more growth.

Attracting New Trucking Leads with the Web, TV and a Book

Dino Colombo is a successful personal injury attorney. Like you, he’s in a very competitive market and invests lots of money to capture the attention of prospects and make his phone ring.

He  has a great website. He advertises on TV. And he is constantly looking for new and better ways to engage his audience, generate new leads, and gain more clients.

His message is powerful, but his 15 and 30 second TV ads and YouTube videos – though effective and well produced – didn’t allow him to say very much. Dino wanted to find a way to say it differently.

Colombo, based in Morgantown, WV, has litigated complex personal injury and wrongful death cases for the past 26 years. Over those years, he has tried nearly 100 cases to verdict and has handled numerous appeals. His cases routinely involve permanent injury, such as brain injury or significant physical deformity.

A resource to his community

He markets by being a resource to his community and provide information for people searching for answers. He does this through the pages of his book.

Dino is now using his book, Never Settle for Less, in his TV advertising to attract more people to request a free copy of his book. Instead of saying the same things the other attorneys in his market are saying, Dino is saying a different message and offering a free resource in his book.

And when someone requests his book, Dino signs it to them and mails it to them. How many times have you received a signed copy of a book from the author? Do you think this makes an impact? Do you think they start to like Dino better? Do you think they will keep his book after they read it?

If you answered “yes” to all of those questions then you understand the power of being an author.

The book works to attract new leads. He uses it to engage with leads so they’ll come to know, like, and trust him more than his competitors. And he uses his book to retain clients for life. 

Dino can also use the book to gain referrals. By handing a few copies of his book to current clients whom he is helping, they will happily hand his book to their friends, neighbors, family members, and co-workers when they are discussing their case. This is a tremendous way to get his message into the hands of more people and become the authority in his market.

Dino found a way to take his message and say if differently. And now, Dino has a tool in his marketing arsenal that he’ll be using for the rest of his career. He paid for it once and it will be paying him back for the rest of his career.

Note: Dino’s advertising costs did not increase one penny. He was already running and paying for the TV ads. All he did was change the message and offer his book for free.

To stand out in today’s ultra-competitive market, you need to be different. The easiest way to do that is to become the author of your own book. You’ll be seen as the authority and you’ll convert more clients using your own book.

Will you make your own way or follow in their footsteps?


Michael DeLon is an author, marketing coach, and President of Paperback Expert

Michael DeLon is an author, marketing coach, and President of Paperback Expert. He can help you create your own book, become the recognized legal authority in your market, and use your book to convert more callers to clients and generate profits.

He can be reached at Michael@PaperbackExpert.com and (501) 539-0038.

The Marketing Lesson that Dale, Stephen and Mr. Hill Discovered

Dale Carnegie published How to Win Friends and Influence People and it changed his life.

Dale was different.

He had brains, talent, and a way with words. What he didn’t have was a way to tell his story in a powerful way. Sure, he could do what others were doing, but Dale was different. He chose another path.

Stephen, too, was savvy. Throughout his career, he studied human behavior and codified a process that was simple to comprehend, yet left his listeners wanting more. Stephen viewed the landscape to see how “they” did it and decided to choose another path.

And dear Mr. Hill; the grandfather of them all knew from the time he set out to interview the world’s wealthiest men knew precisely how he would reveal their secrets so others could learn from them.

Dale, Steven, and Mr. Hill all had something to say. They could have taken the road most traveled and joined the speaker circuit drumming up support for their way of doing things in hopes of generating income.

But they knew there was a better way.

That’s why they each chose to encapsulate their message in a book.

  • Dale Carnegie published How to Win Friends and Influence People and it changed his life.
  • Stephen Covey published The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and became a household word overnight.
  • Napoleon Hill published Think and Grow Rich and changed the way the world thinks.

An enduring platform

These men are legends and icons primarily because they published their thoughts in a book. Only through a book were they able to effectively communicate their message, ensure that it stayed around for years (do you own a copy of these books?), and position themselves as THE expert that others look to.

No other media creates such an enduring platform for your future like publishing your own book. You can speak all you want, write blogs and articles for websites, even record TV and radio commercials. Those are all good, but they pale in comparison to the status and credibility of being an author.

When you want to differentiate yourself, make certain your message stays around a long time, and earn more money than your competitors, you need to do things differently than the others. You need to publish your book.

Are you still wondering if this will work?

Just ask Dale, Stephen, or Mr. Hill.  Before they were published authors no one knew who they were. Today they are household names. THAT is great marketing.

How to Create Your Book

It’s pretty simple to put your name on a book these days, much easier than when Dale, Stephen, and Mr. Hill published their book).

You can publish one yourself (if you have the time). You can license one that someone else has written (a viable alternative). But nothing compares to having your own book that tells your story in your words.

When you are an author, you become an authority in the mind of others. You differentiate yourself from others who are saying the same message. You begin taking calls from prospects who are seeking you out.

Most people think authors earn money by selling their book. That is not the case for them… or for you.

You will earn more money by giving your book away. Give a signed copy of your book to every lead you receive. Every client. Every person you meet. Your book should become your ultimate business card.

Follow in their Footsteps

You get to choose your path. Will you follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing so you end up looking just like them?

Or, will you choose a different path and set yourself apart as an expert, authority, and thought leader in your market?

Dale, Stephen, and Mr. Hill were pretty smart guys. They had something to say and found a powerful way to say it. And because of their choice, they became very wealthy by choosing a road less traveled.

Will you make your own way or follow in their footsteps?


Michael DeLon is an author, marketing coach, and President of Paperback Expert

Michael DeLon is an author, marketing coach, and President of Paperback Expert. He can help you create your own book, become The Recognized Legal Authority in your market, and use your book to convert more callers to clients and generate profits.

How to reach Michael:
Michael@PaperbackExpert.com and (501) 539-0038.

6 Techniques to Maximize the Marketing Impact of Large and Small Verdicts

Recent Personal Injury Jury Awards and Settlements

Your law firm’s case results should tell stories that potential clients can relate to.

By Dan Jaffe, CEO
LawLytics – Legal Marketing System

Which case would you highlight on your website to drive more business to your law firm — a $47,000 car crash verdict or a $55 million medical malpractice verdict? For plaintiff law firm Gilman & Bedigian, the answer is both.

To generate new files from potential clients as well as referring attorneys, the firm’s website used 6 powerful writing techniques to create compelling case histories. Both verdicts telegraph that the firm will take a case to trial when the defendant is evading responsibility for their actions.

Most attorneys would intuitively say that the large verdict is a better result to display. In many respects, they would be correct. However, If a case result is not well-written, or lacks substance it loses much of its impact. This is especially true for more common, or less impressive results.

If the results are merely listed side by side with the monetary value, of course, the $55 million verdict looks more impressive. But simply listing results will diminish your law firm and your accomplishments.

By presenting a well-crafted story, the small verdict can be equally powerful. Your law firm’s case results should tell stories that potential clients can relate to. Good case results pages are not short. That is why LawLytics has a built-in case results module that lets attorneys display each case result on its own search engine-optimized page, while creating a client-friendly index that attorneys can easily reorder.

#1: The case result has a story arc so that it’s easy to read.

While there are numerous ways to create an effective case study structurally and stylistically, it’s important to note that the goal is to create something that your potential clients can relate to.

With offices in Maryland and Pennsylvania, LawLytics client Gilman & Bedigian begins the case report about the $55 million verdict against Johns Hopkins begins dramatically:

“This is the story of Enso Martinez and Rebecca Fielding, who were expectant parents in the Waverly area of Baltimore in March 2010. The couple had planned for a home birth with the help of a midwife. But after several hours in labor, it became clear that Rebecca needed medical assistance.”

“There were obvious signs of fetal distress. These signs required an emergency cesarean delivery. But the medical professionals ignored the signs.”

“The baby was in distress, and the clock was ticking.”

Although the firm has several seven and eight-figure verdicts listed, the potential client will most likely see and read the largest one first.

What happens when an auto-accident client views the $55 million case result? Although it’s an impressive number, the dollar figure is irrelevant. The potential client in an auto-accident case with damages in the five or six-figure range will look a this verdict like somebody looks at a story of somebody winning the lottery or getting a $50 million dollar NBA contract.

That’s nice, she may think, but it’s not me.

Then, when the lower-range auto accident client considers the verdict and the firm’s role in it more closely, she may decide that her case is too “small potatoes” for the firm. If she makes that conclusion, she may then erroneously decide that because their case is small, the firm is less likely to give it their full attention.

The way to mitigate this is to tell the plaintiff’s story and to make sure that other relevant case results are also accessible.

On the other hand, the large verdict is important to every potential medical malpractice client because it shows what the law firm is capable of achieving. The story arc of the malpractice case describes how the parents had to wait two hours for an emergency c-section, how the hospital wouldn’t explain why the baby was having seizures, how common birth injuries are, and how the hospital refused to take responsibility.

The detail in the story brings it to life and makes it relatable to anyone fighting an insurance company or well-known institution for compensation.

It is also convincing to referring attorneys because the verdict shows that the firm is well-funded and able to handle the most complex and highest-stakes cases. This should assure any referral source that the firm is experienced and capitalized sufficiently to handle their case.

#2. The case result shows what the firm did to earn the result.

The malpractice case summary describes how the hospital alternately stonewalled the parents and blamed them for their child’s injuries.

“Despite the prevalence and catastrophic nature of each of these cases, hospitals, their insurance companies and lawyers often play the odds that devastated parents, and their lawyers, will not have the stamina and the financial ability to pursue litigation and prevail. And they’re right because it’s a very expensive and time-consuming process.”

“We understand this, and take our responsibility to secure justice and the maximum compensation for our clients very seriously. This often times means investing years of our time and significant amounts of money into our cases.”

The firm had to overcome defense arguments that the baby’s oxygen deprivation occurred during the stage of labor while the couple was still at home. The attorneys knew that 24 cases of significant birth injury were reported by Maryland hospitals in 2011. They knew that the hospital’s motivation was to avoid compensating the family to save money and avoid attracting similar lawsuits.

“Winning for our clients sometimes involves taking a case all the way through trial and asking a jury to decide,” the firm says. “This was such a case.”

Referral sources want to know that they are sending the client they are referring to an attorney who will handle their case competently and who will treat the client well. The treatment of the potential client reflects back on the referral source. Therefore, they want to make referrals that will make them look good.

A well-written story of a large jury verdict accomplishes two important things for referral sources.

First, the amount itself establishes competence. Second, because the story of the result is something that people can relate to, it’s something that’s easy to share with the potential client as part of the referral process. This prevents the referring professional from having to explain much to justify the referral. It also gives them an insurance policy against the potential client thinking the referral is being made based on something other than merit.

#3. The case result has a protagonist that is not the law firm or attorney (typically it is the client).

Many law firms make the mistake of casting themselves as the hero. In fact, a review of lawyer press releases on PRNewswire and Businesswire.com shows self-aggrandizing headlines like “The ABC Law Group Obtains $2.6 Million Jury Verdict for Bus Driver,” without even bothering to identify the client. Others have headlines that read “ABC Firm Files Class-Action Lawsuit Against DEF Corporation.”

These are examples of law firms talking about how great they are. This erroneous approach conveys that the firm is primarily interested in its own interests, and is simply using the client.

In the auto-accident verdict, Gilman & Bedigian appropriately put the client in the spotlight:

“This is the story about a mother and her two young children who were rear-ended by a negligent driver in Baltimore. It’s about their injuries and the injustice offered by State Farm Insurance. It’s about a big insurance company that wrongfully accused this mother of causing the accident. And this story is ultimately about taking the insurance giant to court in Baltimore, making them admit that their driver caused the accident, and making State Farm pay.”

#4. The case result shows the odds that the client and firm were up against and the struggle that was overcome.

“For years, State Farm stuck to its story that our clients weren’t entitled to a recovery, even though they suffered significant injuries when they were rear-ended by a negligent driver insured by State Farm. State Farm stuck to its position all the way up to trial by blaming our client, the victim.”

State Farm refused to offer a single dollar to settle the claims of the clients, even after the insured driver admitted that he was responsible for causing the collision.

The case study describes the intransigence of the big insurance company, which was “very good at this bluff and stall game.” A reader feels the frustration and exasperation of the injured mother and children, who were offered nothing even though they were struck from behind.

Potential clients will be impressed by the firm’s moxie when they read, “Insurance companies often play this game because they know that many personal injury attorneys are afraid to go to trial, or are simply not good in court.”

When a referral source sees the auto-accident case result, he will feel better making the referral to the firm. He will understand that the firm will take care of his referral, regardless of how big or small the case is (assuming the firm accepts the case). He will be reassured that the firm is not one that churns-and-burns low dollar cases to make quick and profitable settlements that don’t serve the clients’ best interests.

Although case results like this may attract referrals for cases that a law firm doesn’t want to accept because there are low damages or unclear liability, they do increase the number of impressions (interactions with referral sources) that a law firm will have. And the more referrals a law firm entertains, the more likely they are to get even more referrals that result in viable and profitable cases.

#5. The case result shows that justice was done.

The auto accident story concludes with:

“We pressed forward with a jury trial, which lasted two days. In the end, the jury awarded our client and her two children more than $47,000.00.  After hearing the evidence and our arguments on behalf of the mother, the jury saw right through the smoke and mirrors of the Defendant and his lawyer.”

The medical malpractice story concludes with:

“We took this case to trial. The trial lasted two weeks. In the end, a Baltimore City jury returned a record-setting verdict in Rebecca and Enzo’s favor, and awarded them $55 million. This was the highest jury verdict in a case like this.”

The case histories show that the firm got solid results because it was the right outcome. A reader sees that the attorneys had the power of truth on their side. The defendants were rightly held liable, they were not victims of a runaway legal system. They proved their case legitimately to an impartial jury and recovered a just reward.

#6. The case result personifies the client and shows that the law firm cares.

Despite the high-stakes involved in serious birth injury cases, effective marketing for such cases recognizes that potential medical malpractice clients are not making a calculated economic decision.

  • They feel that they haven’t been heard.
  • They have a story to tell.
  • The defendants’ are not going to acknowledge their story.

They are looking for a law firm that sympathizes with them, and that is willing to listen to them, understand them and fight for them. The case result needs to convey this.

The med-mal story states:

“We took the case to help Rebecca and Enzo receive compensation that would allow them to provide a lifetime of care for their severely and permanently physically and mentally disabled child. Their financial needs were significant, including covering medical expenses not covered by insurance, and building a home that could accommodate the child’s needs.”

When a potential client with a catastrophic birth injury sees the low dollar personal injury case result, she will not be deterred by it because it tells a story that she can relate to. She wants to understand that she is choosing a firm that cares about its clients and fights hard, regardless of the stakes. This result will also help relieve any anxiety she is feeling about whether her case is important enough for the firm.

Conclusion

Not all case results are created equal. Sometimes the results differ by orders of magnitude. However, every positive case result is a story worth telling, and telling well.

As you think about how to best present your law firm’s accomplishments, take some time and think through the multiple audiences that you may have for each case result, and take the time to craft each case result into a compelling story that moves your firm’s marketing forward.

For a more in-depth look at the topic, I recommend watching our on-demand webinar on the topic.


Attorney Dan Jaffe is the CEO of LawLytics - Legal Marketing System.

Attorney Dan Jaffe is the CEO of LawLytics – Legal Marketing System.

Attorney Dan Jaffe built thriving law practices in Seattle and Phoenix in the 1990s and 2000s. After getting burned by a law firm marketing company, Dan learned how the internet and search engines really work. He founded LawLytics in 2011 as a response to his frustrations and created the dream legal marketing service and system he wished had been available to him.

Today, LawLytics powers hundreds of the web’s most successful attorney websites and blogs, and our business is doubling each year. Attorneys interested in exploring LawLytics can schedule a call online, or call them at 800-713-0161.

Gilman & Bedigian is a LawLytics Member and Content Client, and the case results used as examples in this blog post were written by LawLytics on behalf of the firm with the firm’s guidance and input.

Why Do Lawyers Push Back On Intake, Conversion, Metrics and Accountability?

Harlan Schillinger Legal Marketing Expert

Harlan Schillinger, Legal Marketing Expert

If you feel your business is in a place where you don’t need to increase it, please don’t read any further. After 40 years in the legal marketing business, I’m not about to mince words anymore.

Lawyers are spending a fortune on advertising, but very few have metrics in place to see what they’re missing. Often attorneys push back on intake, conversion, and metrics because they’re blinded by what’s coming at them – and can’t see what’s actually falling through the cracks.

You can throw more money at advertising, but unless you can increase your conversion rate, you’re operating in the dark. If you’re serious about boosting your cases and conversions, the first thing you need to do is start paying attention to what’s right in front of your nose and what you do not see. What you don’t know, you don’t know.

Legal Advertising is All About Accountability

While there are some exceptions, a majority of law offices don’t know enough about how their business actually works and how successful it actually is or isn’t.

Astoundingly, only about 350 of 3,000 major law firms that advertise in the U.S. are using a software system – rather than a filing cabinet (case management software) – to account for cases. Attorneys are still behind the times, and still buying their way out of marketing mistakes and bad decisions.

So why are lawyers so hesitant about being accountable for intake, conversion, and metrics? If you’re prosperous, why not be even more successful? If you’re motivated by money, why not look deeper to find out how to make even more profit – more efficiently – while still providing great service to injured victims?

The problem, as I’ve discovered over many years of interacting with major law firms, is that the legal breed is so good at arguing the case – pushing back- that it has lost the point of marketing and advertising altogether. Why would anyone fight against the very tactics that could create more value for their investment and help their business flourish financially?

That’s the conflict I want to resolve right here, right now. I would argue that law firms are actually being negligent when they’re too stubborn, afraid or behind the times to look at:

  • How their intake process is really working (typically the biggest hole in the law-firm bucket).
  • Whether or not paid leads are really converting to cases.
  • What metrics are saying about the health of the business.

Remember, what you don’t know, you don’t know. It’s not the time to argue. Now is an opportune  time to redefine your law firm with a few smart moves:

Ask More Questions

To be competitive, you as the owner of your law firm have to stop procrastinating and pushing back – and start paying attention to intake, conversion, and metrics. The best way to do that is to employ an approach that every great lawyer is already trained to do: Ask more questions.

  • What is my true conversion rate?
  • Where are my leads coming from?
  • What’s my true ROI on all my advertising?
  • What is coming to· the firm and where is it coming from?

Invest In Software Now!

If you don’t have a system in place to track all your metrics, you’re kidding yourself. There’s no way to gauge your firm’s level of success with a case management system. That’s just a file cabinet that you put things in and cannot get things out of. If you do, it is difficult. Reports? How is that working for you?

To keep up, lawyers must invest in intake and conversion tracking software. An automated dashboard will allow you to see exactly all the threads of business generation in one location. You won’t believe how this investment alone will pay off over time.

Learn How to Read Metrics

Once you have software in place to track everything that comes into your office, you must put someone in charge of drilling down on data. You need to know:

  • Where did this lead originate?
  • How much did this lead cost the firm?
  • Where can we do better in converting each lead to a case?

There’s no point in having a software platform if you don’t commit to using rich and important metrics to boost efficiency, productivity and profitability. Ask yourself, when was the last time, if anytime, you looked at and understood your Google Analytics? Start there!

Be Accountable and Open

If you’re willing to take the leap into 21st-century legal marketing (progressive firms are already thinking about the 22nd century), then you’ve got to be willing to be open to harsh realities and accountable for your actions. That means learning:

  • How good or bad you’re really doing?
  • How much you really spend and where you really spend it?
  • And, most importantly, what’s your return on investment?
  • Then put your new knowledge to work for your firm.

I promise, if you take a moment to stop pushing back and start being accountable for your advertising, profits will flow – right back to your pocket.

Oh, by the way, 95% of all lawyers that I have met over my 40 years in legal marketing tell me that they have it under control. They get 94% of everything they want. What does that mean? Are you telling me that your conversion rate is 94% of everything coming at you? Does it mean you get 94% of just the cases you want? I think what they are saying is, they get 94% conversion if they are sitting face to face with a new prospect. Maybe. I don’t think so.

Record every new call that comes into your office and you will clearly see what you do not see now.


 

Harlan Schillinger is a Legal Marketing Expert in Paridise Valley, Arizona. He can be reached at HarlanSchillinger@gmail.com and 303-817-7313. He has four decades of experience in legal advertising with a passion for legal marketing, intake and conversion.

Harlan has worked with more than 120 law firms in over 98 markets throughout North America. Currently, he is consulting privately only with lawyers who share his vision of increasing business, being accountable and obtaining high-value cases. He takes, perhaps, the most unique and accountable approach to Intake and conversion.

Currently, Harlan is working with and in charge of business development Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys. With offices nationally, Glen has one of the largest and most successful plaintiff’s practices in America. The firm already takes on well over 1,400 cases a month, and Harlan is positioning the firm for even more growth.

He recently retired from Network Affiliates of Lakewood, Colorado, the nation’s first and largest Legal advertising agency, where he was the leader of their attorney marketing efforts for 33 years. Prior to joining Network Affiliates in 1985, Harlan was Vice President and one of the founding partners of Madison, Muyskens & Jones advertising agency in Lakeville, Connecticut. Along with his partners, Harlan founded the first syndication TV production firm for retailers and Lawyers, creating television commercials that aired throughout the United States and Canada.

When asked about his approach to legal marketing and client relationships, Harlan says, “Creating opportunities and increasing market share for advertising law firms is my #1 priority. The value of the case is everything in such a crowded market.”
To that end, Harlan is committed to understanding each client’s business and discovering new opportunities for their growth.

3 Steps to Increase Conversions and Profits

If you’re trying to fill a bucket with holes in it, which works better?

  1. Pour more water in the bucket, or
  2. Plug the holes in the bucket

The answer is obvious, yet most law firms do just the opposite.

Your “bucket” is your Intake and Conversion Process. You spend thousands of dollars every month to make the phone ring. When it does, what happens?

Most firms convert less than 20% of those callers into clients. That’s a shame.

But instead of looking at your process and plugging the holes, you spend more money trying to get more leads so some of them will make their way past the holes and become clients.

A better approach is to plug the holes in your intake and conversion process. Then you’ll convert more callers to clients without spending more money on advertising.

How to Beat Goliath

Intake and Conversion are where you can differentiate yourself from every other law firm, connect with your lead in a meaningful way, and give them a reason to hire you. This is a leverage point in your marketing that can act as a fulcrum allowing you to convert a higher percentage of callers with minimum effort and cost.

Every law firm advertises. You may not be the Goliath in your town, but you can outmaneuver your opponent with a better process. You know as well as I do that Goliath has holes in his bucket also.

You don’t need to convert every caller. You just need to convert 3% more than you are today. Do this and you’ll have more money than you’ll know what to do with flowing into your pocket every year.

3 Steps to Increase Conversions and Profits

To increase your conversion percentage without spending more money on advertising, there are three steps:

Step 1: Have a solid intake process. Record every call coming into your firm and listen to a dozen of them. You’ll learn a lot. Then implement proven intake processes (there are good companies offering training on this).

Step 2: Send every caller something different than the other firms she is calling. Everyone sends brochures, business cards, pens, CDs, and magnets. You should send something that sets you apart.

Mail every caller a signed copy of your book. Books have perceived value in the mind of your prospect. Everyone can create a brochure. All firms have a website. But only a few have their own book.

A book conveys credibility better than anything else. It allows you to speak to your lead personally, in the privacy of their home. They’re engaged with you in a vacuum since they are not looking at other information when they are reading your book.

When you connect with the issues they are experiencing and relate with them and their emotions, they’ll feel better about you, begin to trust you, and want to hire you.

You’ll stay around longer because they’ll refer to your book more often than anything else you send them. They’ll carry it with them, have it on their night stand, and share it with their family.

But it doesn’t stop there, you need to take the next step.

Step 3: Follow Up Purposefully: The beauty of a book is that when your intake specialist is gathering information, they should know what specific questions and concerns this caller has. And when you mail your book to them, jot a note for them to read chapter 3 specifically, as that chapter addresses the issue they are dealing with.

Now your team has a reason to follow up with your lead. They can call in a couple of days to make sure your book arrived and ask if they’ve read chapter 3. If not, call back in a couple more days. You aren’t pestering them, you are helping them. The information in your book is valuable and will help them find a solution to their problem.

Following up purposefully is basically having a reason to call other than to ask, “Do you have any questions?”

Where You Should Focus

To increase your conversions and increase your profits you need to focus not on spending more money to get more leads. You need to focus on your intake and conversion process, plug the holes, and differentiate yourself from every other firm in your market.

By doing this, and creating your own book that connects with your caller and establishes your credibility and authority, you’ll easily convert more callers into clients and increase your profits.

The business of law is not that difficult. You need to attract leads, convert them to clients, and settle their case.

To gain more clients you need to differentiate yourself from every other firm they are calling. You do this by perfecting your intake and conversion process and sending every caller a signed copy of your own book. This is the fastest and most cost-effective way to increase conversions and increase profits.

This article was adapted from the soon to be released book Michael is writing with Harlan Schillinger.


Michael DeLon is an author, marketing coach, and President of Paperback Expert

Michael DeLon is an author, marketing coach, and President of Paperback Expert. He can help you create your own book, become The Recognized Legal Authority in your market, and use your book to convert more callers to clients and generate profits.

How to reach Michael:
Michael@PaperbackExpert.com and (501) 539-0038.

Law Firm Social Media is a Waste of Time, and Here’s Why

By Jayne Navarre.

Attorneys were slow to catch the social media wave. But once it looked safe to go into the water—the firm next door was doing it—a majority followed.

  • Legal marketers got busy setting up a firm presence on Facebook and Twitter—featuring Super Lawyers, seminars, and seasons’ greetings.
  • Those with greater resources played with Instagram and Pinterest. The goal was to get likes, shares, and comments, with the reward being greater exposure and business opportunities.

But then something very disappointing happened. The “organic” social media produced by law firms—the stuff that was supposed to create conversation and conversion—appeared to be mostly seen and applauded by a handful of their own employees, lawyers, and a few real-life friends and relatives.

Don’t take my word on that, there is evidence.

According to the April 2017 Greentarget and Zeughauser Group survey, social media ranks at the bottom of “most valued content created by law firms.” That’s right, just 4 percent give a damn about your tweets and status updates.

Yet a whopping 91 percent of marketers, who were also surveyed, report they are “investing in social media”!

More attorneys are using digital and social media to reach clients and prospects. To discover if you’re outpacing your competitors, take the new 2017 Attorney Social Media & Digital Marketing Survey. It takes only 2 minutes.

To be fair to the 91 percent, marketing budgets differ from firm to firm. According to the April survey, blogs were seen as a “credible source of legal, business and industry news and information” by 75 percent of in-house counsel compared to 65 percent in 2015. But it is likely that many marketers consider blog writing, editing, posting, and maintenance to fall in a firm’s social media bucket, and thus the 91 percent. I hope I am not being generous.

Still, the April survey authors suggest that firms’ “methods for client alerts and newsletters are part of well-established practices, whereas [emphasis added] social media sharing and amplification is more time-intensive and expensive.” If true, it certainly begs the question: What are attorneys getting in return for their time and expense?

Kill organic social media for the enterprise

Avinash Kaushik blogs at Occam’s Razor. If you’re unfamiliar with his blog or the scientific rule of Occam’s Razor, here’s the essence: The simplest of competing theories are preferred to the more complex.

I assure you that he’s one of the good guys and someone attorneys should be listening to, on a variety of levels and topics.

More recently, Avinash challenged marketers to stop wasting enterprise resources on “organic social media”—defined as the kind where you post meaningful things about your firm/company to build brand loyalty. (And “hope” for increased sales to justify your efforts.)

He writes, “You can imagine how gosh darn excited I was at the advent of Facebook and Twitter (first real social networks). There were a billion people there, spending a meaningful amount of time on these wonderful platforms. Excitedly, brands could have a presence (a “page”) where they could give meaningful updates (info-snacks) to be a part of the organic conversations people were already having by the tens of millions. Daily meaningful brand connections would be converted into brand familiarity, shifts in brand perception, feeding brand loyalty. #orgasmic”

And goes on to say that: “None of the above transpired….”

How does he know? He says all the data you need to see, that your organic social media on Facebook and Twitter has tanked, can be found in three public bits of information. You don’t need to understand analytics, you don’t need to dig, you don’t need to hire a consultant. You just need to look.

Crunching the numbers

Hypothetically speaking, let’s say your Facebook page has 6,000 warm bodies who “like” you. (Probably a stretch for most law firms, but I’m going for a round number.)

  1. Applause Rate. Your most recent post—congratulating newly anointed Super Lawyers—has 50 likes or emotions (I heart this post!). Divide 50 by 6,000 to get your applause rate, which is…drum roll…a paltry .00833 percent. (“A painful stab in the heart.”)
  2. Conversation Rate. Now take the total number of comments on your post—seven—including “Congratulations,” “Well-deserved,” “He gets his work ethic from his mom!” and etc. Divide that by your universe of 6,000 warm bodies and your conversation rate is a glass shattering .00116 percent.
  3. Amplification Rate. This is the number that confirms whether you truly added value on a human scale or merely “pimped” your company. Let’s say you had three shares—one from a proud dad, one from a best friend, and one from the marketing manager who is paid to do it. Three divided by 6,000 is 0.0005%. Heart stopping, right?

With this simple analysis—the potential to engage 50 weeks +7 days +3 people per post—you can decide what part of your marketing budget you should allocate to your enterprise social media. The answer is zero.

Wait, you say that’s not fair? Alright, let’s add up the applause, conversation, and amplification rates on your Twitter and Instagram, and, being generous, your firm-branded blogs. Let’s compute the monthly, quarterly, and yearly totals. There, is that any better?

To be clear, marketing and enterprise brand building differs from business development (sales)— but, you need both. Arguably, a personal Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter presence in deft hands can be an effective tool for “networking” for business, but, it’s obvious to me that organic social media for the enterprise isn’t moving the needle—I’ve looked. (Please correct me if your firm is an outlier.)

Are your social media platforms useless? No, says Avinash. From an advertising perspective, the couple billion people on Facebook and hundreds of millions on other social channels are an audience that might be of value to your law firm. Should you kill your organic social strategy and switch to a paid social media strategy? Yes.

Don’t waste your money on fuzzy organic social media goals. Buy advertising from Facebook. Buy advertising from Twitter, Instagram, and yes, LinkedIn. All of which can give your social media strategy purpose.

“Your [social advertising] strategy can drive short and medium-term brand and performance outcomes,” says Avanish, “You can set aside the useless metrics like impressions and 3-second video views. Set aside hard to judge and equally useless Like and Follow counts. Measure the hard stuff that you can show a direct line to company profit. Define a purpose for the money you are spending.”

I completely agree. In tests I’ve run on organic posts versus promoted paid posts, paid always outperforms. Sure, the click ratio on a paid post can be dismal—particularly if you’re not using best practices—but at least you are reaching a new audience. Even one inquiry from a potential client is a better result than a mom or brother liking your Super Lawyers post.

Law firm content sets a low bar

Enterprise social media aside—yes, you should be advertising—from a pure content marketing perspective, clients appreciate meaningful content in all its shapes and forms—words and images. But, according to the April survey we’re not doing an exceptional job at that either.

Including social media, e-newsletters, blogs, and the like, the survey found that only 52 percent of in-house counsel ranked law firm content “very good-to-excellent,” an improvement from 43 percent in 2015. Ranking in the range of “satisfactory or better but not quite very good,” dropped to 42 percent in 2017 from 49 percent in 2015, suggesting that law firms are getting “better” at content. The survey’s authors purport that it is indeed possible that the (improved) results show that firms with “more defined content strategies” are “separating themselves from the pack while others languish.”

After all these years of producing content, and 48 percent of firms are falling below “very good,” means only one thing to me—nearly half of law firm content is either inadequate, incorrectly distributed, repetitive (you were scooped by other firms that acted quickly), or what you’re producing is just plain crap—excuse me, I mean legalese that has no clear business value. That’s a low bar.

The survey, Avinash and I suggest that you need a purpose, a strategy, and a plan. When you get that plan, then, you need great writing. Writing a brief is very different than writing something the public, even in-house counsel, wants to read. I know “we’re” getting better according to this survey, but not quite very good is not where you want your law firm to be.


Jayne Navarre

Jayne Navarre

Jayne Navarre + Associates has more than 20 years’ experience working exclusively with law firms on strategy for content and communications. The company is forward thinking, entrepreneurial, and works with some of the best law firms, both in the U.S. and internationally. Contact 786-208-9108, jln@lawgravity.com, or http://jaynenavarre.com.

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