New Date for Webinar: How to Get New Business from Your In-Person Marketing

business developmentWho: Presented by Larry Bodine, Editor, The National Trial Lawyers

What: A free webinar, How to Get New Business from Your In-Person Marketing”

New date: Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at 1 PM Eastern | Noon Central | 11 AM Mountain | 10:00 AM Pacific.

Why: You will discover:

● The Top 4 Most Effective Business Development Techniques
● Easily Connecting with People
● Building Your Reputation
● Generating Referrals
● A Plan that Produces Results

Register now: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5181966806523277314 


Learn from an expert

Are you marketing more these days and getting less in return? Then you are the perfect attorney to attend our free webinar that reveals the most effective in-person marketing techniques that reliably produce new business.

Many attorneys are frustrated because they devote effort and money to grow their law firms, and they get the feeling that some or all of it is wasted. For answers, you’ll want to hear from attorney Larry Bodine.

Larry, who is the Editor of The National Trial Lawyers website and Sr. Legal Marketing Strategist of LawLytics, has been advising lawyers on business development since the 1990s. He will cover the face-to-face methods that reliably produce new files and new clients.

In-person marketing is essential to growing a law firm. Larry will present the best of tried-and-true plus shiny-and-new business development techniques that will work for you.

We’ll cover where clients come from, the 4 tactics that rainmakers use to get new business, networking with a purpose, elements of a 30-second commercial and getting referrals.

Register now for free at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5181966806523277314


Larry Bodine

Larry Bodine

About our presenter:

Larry Bodine is a marketing writer and editor who helps law firms get more customers and generate more revenue with content marketing. An attorney, journalist and marketer, he brings the skills to business messaging that produce results.

He is the Editor of The National Trial lawyers website and Editor of the soon-to-be launched News.law website

Bodine is the Senior Legal Marketing Strategist for LawLytics, the #1 choice for websites for small law firms.

Recent projects include:

  • Law Tigers association of motorcycle attorneys: 28-page
    downloadable e-book on niche marketing
    , and two email marketing
    campaigns with 10 messages per campaign.
  • LawLytics Legal Marketing Suite: Developed the web strategy for a local Maryland law firm to become the national source of information about Taxotere mass tort litigation. see https://www.gilmanbedigian.com/taxotere
  • Mass Tort Nexus: wrote daily blog posts for an educational company about product liability cases involving dangerous drugs and medical devices. See https://goo.gl/RwKnsi
  • Larry Bodine Marketing Blog: author of a legal marketing blog for more than 15 years on business development for attorneys. https://www.larrybodine.com/blog
  • Lawyers.com: served as editor-in-chief of consumer website for LexisNexis for three years.

Since he launched his consulting practice in 2000, Larry has advised more than 250 law firms — as large as a 3,000-lawyer global law firm and as small as a husband-wife litigation boutique – on their business development strategies and tactics, and Web
sites. For more information, see www.LarryBodine.com. He is a cum laude graduate of both Seton Hall University Law School and Amherst College.

5 SEO Practices That Will Hurt Your Law Firm Website (and 3 That Will Help)

SEO GoogleStepping into the world of search engine optimization for the first time can be bewildering. At times it can seem like all of the “experts” on the subject have a different idea of what constitutes “best practices.” Also, the fact that the specific functions of search engine algorithms are kept secret from the public does not make the learning process any easier.

Worst of all, SEO professionals (SEOs) and marketing salespeople often sell services to attorneys under the guise of SEO, even when those services have nothing to do with SEO whatsoever (as in the case of reselling pay-per-click ads, for instance), and might actually damage the visibility of your website on search engine results pages (SERPs) in the long run.

As you begin your personal foray into SEO for your law firm website, you will want to familiarize yourself with the webmaster guidelines for each search engine (Google, Bing, and Yahoo are still the largest search engines in the US). Adhering to the webmaster guidelines of search engines will help your website to avoid the de-ranking associated with algorithmic updates meant to target webspam. Straying outside of those guidelines, however, can land your website a search engine penalty, or could even cause your site to be de-indexed from a search engine altogether.

The information contained in this post will help you stay in the good graces of search engines while avoiding penalties associated with so-called “black hat” SEO activities. For a more complete introduction to law firm SEO, download the free eBook, “SEO Basics for Lawyers,” published this year by LawLytics.

 

SEO Tactics That Will Hurt Your Law Firm Website

Set It and Forget It

Some attorneys operate under the assumption that their law firm website will function much in the same way as a sign hanging outside of their office. These attorneys believe that once their site is live, their work on the website is done, and the site can be left alone to begin gathering leads for them independently. Unfortunately, this is not true.

Websites are more like living organisms than static pieces of marketing material. They need to be updated and added to regularly in order to maximize their value to your law firm. In fact, Google appears to use the “freshness” of content as a ranking signal, meaning that sites which are left alone for long periods of time may experience “decay” with regard to their visibility on SERPs.

Further, because attorney websites affect the “future happiness, health or financial stability” of search engine users, according to Google, it refers to them as “Your Money or Your Life Pages.” The search engine holds these sites to a higher standard than those belonging to local restaurants or entertainment sites, for example, and therefore requires that attorney sites are updated with regularity.

The process of gaining visibility on SERPs through “white hat” SEO tactics (those which are within the boundaries of search engine webmaster guidelines) is not one that lends itself to overnight success. Rather, the best and most trusted sites need to be nurtured, improved, and updated to ensure that the information provided therein is always accurate, informative, up-to-date, and valuable to search engine users.

New call-to-action

Hiring the Wrong SEO Company

There are a number of ways in which hiring the wrong SEO professional can wind up hurting your law firm. Most importantly, attorneys will always be held responsible for any advertising—including online advertising—done on behalf of their firms. Therefore, if your SEO provider is not well-versed in legal ethics they could accidentally violate an ethics rule on your behalf. Simple mistakes—like labeling your firm as “the best” in its area of practice, or changing the wording of a phrase in a way that alters its legal meaning—can attract negative attention from your peers and disciplinary authorities.

Often, SEOs bill themselves as “experts” or “specialists” in the field of legal marketing, though there is no standard for how much experience qualifies one as an SEO expert. Nor is there an equivalent of the MPRE that SEOs must take to prove that they understand how to act ethically in their business practices. It’s not uncommon for law firm SEO “specialists” to also claim specialties in any number of unrelated fields—from plumbing to eCommerce—in addition to “specializing” in law firm SEO.

Some SEOs work outside of webmaster guidelines and will perform “black hat” practices as part of their “services.” Should you allow a “black hat” SEO to work for your law firm, their tactics could land your website with a search engine penalty that may be difficult, or even impossible, to recover from. For these reasons, it’s a good idea for attorneys to either handle their SEO efforts themselves, or to at least fully vet any SEO they intend to hire to work on their behalf. (LawLytics, for example, makes it easy to do-it-yourself, or to safely delegate tasks to qualified, knowledgeable professionals.)

 

Keyword Stuffing

In the early days of search engines, it was relatively easy to trick algorithms into ranking sites higher in SERPs than those sites merited on their own. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, one of the most popular black hat SEO methods was to stuff keywords on sites at high densities, sometimes in ways that made those keywords invisible to users but still indexable by web crawlers. But Google caught on to many of those tactics quickly and started combating them with updates to its algorithm. The value of keyword stuffing has been on a rapid decline since Google’s “Florida” update in 2003, and more complicated methods of keyword stuffing (such as hidden text and keyword-stuffed meta tags) were addressed by later updates, most notably the Panda and Penguin updates of 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Web crawlers still use keywords as signals to help index content, though the presence of keywords in unnaturally high densities now serves as a spam signal to the search engine and will actually hurt a website’s SEO. Writing content for your website with users in mind rather than search engines should naturally, as a byproduct of good writing, include keywords at a favorable density, so there is no need to stuff extra keywords into your content for the sake of SEO.

Blog labeled with key places on a web page.

Using keywords in key places can still help crawlers index your online content, but keyword stuffing will hurt your site’s SEO.

Finally, an artificial intelligence element known as “machine learning” was incorporated into Google’s search algorithm with the implementation of its RankBrain feature in 2015. This feature helps the search engine to better understand synonyms and user intention based on context clues, meaning that the SEO value of specific keywords will likely continue to lose traction as a ranking signal over time.

 

Link Exchanges and Link Schemes

When Google was founded in 1998, it used a scoring system called PageRank to evaluate the “importance” of a website. The idea was that external links essentially served as endorsements. Ergo, the more links pointing to a particular page, the more endorsements it had and the better its ranking should be. But spammers and black hat SEOs got wise to this game and developed ways to cheat it. Simple link exchanges formed (e.g., “Link to my site, and I’ll link to yours.”), and as Google got better at detecting them, they evolved into more complicated “web rings” and “link prisms” that traded links across multiple sites in an effort to conceal that the exchange was taking place.

Companies developed solely to conduct the “business” of buying, selling, and distributing links across the web. Spammy websites appeared that served no purpose other than to provide long lists of purchased links. For many years, trading in link schemes seemed to work.

Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

              -Google 

Today, the presence and quality of external links pointing to a site is still a factor when it comes to rankings on SERPs. But Google and other search engines have gotten much better at detecting and penalizing link schemes. Google has also begun evaluating the quality of external links more carefully and now associates websites with the sites they link to, as well as the sites linking to them (an association known as a site’s “link neighborhood”).

Some link exchanges still exist today, though their effectiveness and value has plunged dramatically (and your firm’s past participation in one can be a toxic asset which you must affirmatively disavow). Though some online visibility may be obtained in the short run through participation in a link scheme, if caught, offenders can be hit with a manual penalty (a rankings penalty that is applied manually by a search engine employee) from a search engine. Such a penalty not only affects the visibility of a site on SERPs, but it also instantly negates the value of those links (along with whatever it cost to get them in the first place). And, unless those links are removed—which can be difficult to accomplish—it can be extremely difficult to pull your site up from a penalty applied as a result of participation in a link exchange.

In short, if someone asks you to participate in a link scheme, or to pay to have links placed for you across the web, know that it’s against Google’s guidelines to do so, and the risk of participation usually outweighs its SEO value. It is better to earn links to your site the old fashioned way—by providing content on your website that is good enough to warrant a citation elsewhere on the web. People link to good content that provides valuable information without asking for or accepting compensation. And these organically placed links will be your site’s most valuable endorsements.

 

Providing Thin and/or Duplicate Content

Google has tasked itself with the stated mission to “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” And because the bulk of the company’s revenue comes from selling pay-per-click ads (PPCs) that appear on SERPs following relevant searches, the company’s business model depends on returning the best information possible for each and every query it processes. Therefore, returning low-quality results for searches is bad for a search engine’s business, and providing thin, low-quality content for the search engine to index is bad for your website’s SEO.

But what exactly is thin content? Google’s Panda update targeted sites called “content farms,” which existed for the sole purpose of inflating site rankings by providing low-quality content with high keyword densities. Often, these “articles” were auto-generated by software programs, or were composed of long lists of keywords that were incomprehensible when read by human users.

Thin content is essentially content that is made with search engines, as opposed to search engine users, in mind. If the content on your website provides value to users in the form of thoughtful, original information meant to answer specific questions, Google will register that content as high-quality. If you are ranking well for a search phrase like “What should I do if I’m charged with a DUI in Michigan?”—but you direct users from that search result to a page displaying only your law firm’s contact information—that’s thin content. Duplicate content or content that is “scraped” from another online source is considered thin. This includes practice area pages on your law firm website that are cut-and-pasted from one another with only the location information (such as the city or county name) changed between them.

Keep your potential clients top-of-mind when you write content for your site, and do your best to write in a way that will appeal to those clients, and you can avoid search engine penalties associated with publishing low-quality content on your site.

 

SEO Tactics That Will Help Your Law Firm Website

Make Sure Your Website is Secure

Transfer Layer Security (TLS; also known as “secure sockets layer,” or SSL) is a third-party certificate that indicates that the information transmitted between your site and its users is encrypted and safe from hackers. It is this certificate that differentiates a site served over older HTTP communication protocols (the insecure version) and HTTPS (the secure version). In January of 2017, Google began showing a warning in its Chrome browser for insecure sites that request password or credit card information. In July 2018, all sites without a TLS/SSL certificate will come with a warning in Chrome.

Chrome is the market-leading browser as of this writing, with more than 57 percent of market share (Apple’s Safari is second with less than 15 percent). Though it may not affect your site’s placement on SERPs yet, user engagement metrics that suffer as a result of this warning may have a negative effect on your site’s SEO in the near future. Therefore, if your site is not served over a secure HTTPS protocol, it’s a good idea to begin migrating to a secure platform sooner rather than later.

 

Think Locally

Search engines take a user’s location into account during searches. Therefore, search engines sometimes return local information for searches that do not specifically include local terminology. Including local information on your law firm website can help you corner the market on certain local search terms. Many attorneys write content that is too general to be returned for local search results. Many marketing and SEO companies typically do not have the bandwidth or regional knowledge necessary to include such information on the websites they manage without making the local content spammy. This creates an opportunity for your law firm website to address specific local queries relevant to your practice area that are likely to be of interest to your potential clients.

Even when the relevant laws are created at the state level, many of your potential clients—especially those not well-versed in the law—will search for information on the local level. This is because search engines and your potential clients tend to think locally, not legally. There are many ways to add local information to your law firm website, and doing so can help boost your local SEO, and therefore, drive more potential clients to your law firm.

 

Focus on Long-Tail Search Terms

Many attorneys don’t understand how their potential clients search for legal information online. Specifically, attorneys may assume that their potential clients know up front that they need an attorney and will, therefore, perform a search like “criminal defense attorney New York” or “personal injury lawyer Seattle.” For this reason, competition for general keywords and search phrases tends to be fierce and costly. General legal search phrases tend to be among the most expensive search terms to bid on, and maintaining a high ranking on SERPs for those phrases is usually an uphill and sustained battle.

The fact of the matter is that your potential clients may not know that they need an attorney as soon as they begin facing a particular legal issue. Many will begin searching for specific information that applies to their situation first. Thus, long before searching for “Baltimore birth injury lawyer,” a potential client might search for “injury from extraction device during birth.” It is at this point that you want to put yourself in front of potential clients by capitalizing on the often-undervalued, yet highly convertible long-tail search phrases.

Chart showing decreased competition and increased conversion rate for long-tail searches.

Competition for long-tail search terms is less fierce. Long-tail searches are also more likely to convert searchers to clients.

Long-tail search phrases are those which contain more than a few words, including complete questions. By anticipating the questions that your potential clients will ask on search engines, and then answering them one-at-a-time, attorneys can capture the attention of potential clients early, and therefore remain top-of-mind with those potential clients when they decide to seek counsel. Competition for long-tail phrases tends to be less intense than for general searches, and conversion rates for long-tail searches tend to be higher than conversion rates for shorter phrases. Further, with the rising prevalence of voice search, the average search phrase is getting longer and more conversational, meaning that targeting such phrases on your website now is likely to continue to pay off, long-term.


 

Craig Baker

Craig Baker

Craig Baker is a former journalist with several years of experience working in the marketing sector. He currently creates educational blog posts, eBooks, and infographics at LawLytics, the leading online legal marketing platform for lawyers who want to grow their marketing without wasting time or money.

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.