Seven Ways a Blog Can Help Your Law Practice

blogFor many attorneys, maintaining a blog is like eating kale – we know it’s really good for us, but we just can’t seem to get all excited about it. But if eating kale was the best possible way to get your law firm coffers to overflow status, I bet you would be digging into a plate of it every day.

And so it is with blogging, which is one of the best possible ways for you to dramatically increase your lead flow, improve your firm website’s SEO and traffic count, and build a sterling reputation online – all of which can lead to a healthier bottom line for your firm.

Many attorneys I speak with feel they should be blogging, but are not really sure why. Here are 7 ways that blogging can help your law practice:

  1. Increase client engagement. A blog provides an opportunity for you to open a dialogue with prospects and clients and share with them more about who you are, what kinds of legal issues you can help them with, and why they should hire you.

  2. Improve SEO rankings. Blogs are the number one way to add new content to your website, which search engines like Google reward with higher rankings. Over the last few years, Google has favored larger websites with more content over small websites.

  3. Humanizes your firm. People don’t want to hire faceless companies. They want to know they are cared for personally. Blogs provide you with the opportunity to tell the stories of clients you have helped (leaving out their real names and identifying information to protect the innocent), and nothing is better for putting a human face on your law firm. Include videos in your blogs to really humanize your firm.

  4. Showcases your areas of expertise. Regular blog posts keep your website up to date and relevant, letting prospects know you are on the leading edge of emerging legal trends. You can highlight the areas you truly specialize in.

  5. Market segmentation. If your law firm includes more than one practice area, you can segment this more effectively by creating blogs for each specialty area and speak directly to those targeted prospects.

  6. Repurpose content. Your blog posts can be effectively repurposed for free reports, e-books and in your monthly newsletters.

  7. Build trust. Current research shows that 81 percent of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs.

ARTICLE BY Stephen Fairley of The Rainmaker Institute
© The Rainmaker Institute, All Rights Reserved

Six Ways to Build Momentum in your Practice

We have all ‘been there’ finding ourselves too busy with client work to breathe and then the rollercoaster heads downward and we’re searching for new projects. It can be challenging to devote any time to developing new work when your plate is already full. But, what happens when we’ve eaten what we’ve killed, proverbially speaking?

I work with law firm clients consistently who voice the same complaint: “I’m so busy, until I’m not.” This common thread began my wheels turning on how to stabilize the perennial ebbs and flows of business development and how, if at all, can lawyers take proactive steps to get and keep momentum in their practices.

At the outset, I will directly state that those who engage in random acts of marketing such as sporadically reaching out to their network; infrequently scheduling coffee/meal dates with top clients; and other high impact business development initiatives need to just stop it – – – now. It’s a waste of all your resources and, in the end, doesn’t reflect well on you as a business owner. Instead, I offer a better approach: development and maintain a balance approach by creating momentum to your business development efforts.  Read on to learn what you need to know.

Word of the day: momentum. Webster defines it as the tendency of an object to continue movement in a single direction. And, the speed of the movement increases in exact proportion with the degree of momentum. If the speed is very slow, there will not be much momentum, period.

When lawyers genuinely invest in building a prosperous practice, one of the quickest ways to get there is by focusing your time and energy on the concrete steps that matter most: delivering extraordinary service to existing clients (to sow the seeds for recurring assignments) and targeted relationship-building to develop new clients and referral sources.

By taking concrete action in a meaningful and purposeful way, you will generate a certain momentum which must be sustained to build traction with your business development efforts. The more you can ‘just do it’, the more and more momentum you will build, the more comfortable you will be with doing that activity or task, and the more productive and effective you will be – closer to reaching your end goals.

What we often see with clients if they may begin on a high note, commit themselves to one or two business development initiatives, then they really struggle with sustaining the momentum and follow through which is critical to building a prosperous practice.

In short, the momentum is stunted and whatever traction the client created is lost. Among the value that we bring to clients, guiding them along in the business development strategy and execution process and holding them accountability is highly rated, according to our client feedback.

Below are steps lawyers can take to create momentum in building a prosperous practice and sustain it over the long term:

1. Plan for Success – Once and for all, stop the random acts of marketing that wastevaluable resources and, most likely, ends up making you feel like you are failing. Develop a 6-month plan by writing down concrete action steps you will take on a weekly, if not daily, basis to meet your goals (sometimes, getting crystal clear on your goals is the first place to start).

Then, schedule these concrete action steps (such as reaching out to 2-3 referral sources every week for either a coffee date or lunch/dinner; draft a blog post twice month, etc.) in a calendar, whether that is paper or digital, do what works best for you. These should become “non-negotiable” commitments that you will honor and discipline yourself to take. Don’t be shy to reward yourself after each action that you take.

By taking consistent, persistent action on a regular basis, you will create momentum; it’s not good just making an activity a ‘one-off’. One must take purposeful action regularly to build and sustain momentum to carry through to your goals. To make something happen routinely we need to be persistent. Persistence is what separates the men from the boys. Education is great, high intelligence is better, but, it takes a persistent approach to build momentum and build a business.

2. Get Moving – Start reaching out according to your action steps. Begin researching blog topics. Research your LinkedIn connections for prospective introductions. Choose one action item that will contribute to one of your goals and take immediate action. Get moving, today.This means no postponing, no delaying, no procrastinating, no excuses.

3. Stay Focused– Remind yourself of your goals every day and stay focused on them. Post visual reminders on your mirrors at home, on your computer screen at work.  When you find yourself distracted by something that is not directly in line with your goals, ask yourself, “Why?” Identify how you will manage future distractions and look for ways to eliminate them.

4. Stay Active– Do something every day that will bring you closer to your goals. It need not be big – it must be consistent and persistent. If too many days pass between actions, momentum will dwindle and eventually die.

5. Avoid Paralysis by Analysis– Nothing slows momentum more than indecision. Decide as quickly as possible and then take some immediate action to support the decision – no matter how trivial it seems.

6. Seek support- Many successful rainmakers say that you must have an insightful coach and trusted advisor to guide you along the way. Build a strong team of supporters to help you to get and stay focused and to support your desire to bring cohesion and build a strong momentum to your business-building vision. All things are possible, if you keep your eye on the goal.

Remember, my mantra – marketing success comes only through the consistent, persistent massive amounts of action over a prolonged period of time.  There are no magic bullets or shortcuts to success!

© 2013 KLA Marketing Associates.
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How to Write Blog Posts People Actually Want to Read [INFOGRAPHIC]

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The purpose of having a blog is to foster an online dialogue with prospects, clients and referral sources so that when they need someone who does what you do, they will think of your first. Drawing people into your conversation requires you to often step outside your comfort zone, since most attorneys write the way they were trained to do in law school.

But when it comes to writing blog posts that people actually want to read, that just doesn’t cut it.

The most important thing to remember when writing for those who don’t practice law for a living is to be authentic. And the best way to do this is to write the way you talk. As you sit down to craft a new post, imagine you are talking to a friend who needs your guidance on a legal issue. Use the same words you use in your everyday life. Forget the grammar rules and write your draft, then go back over it to correct any glaring grammatical errors.

The infographic below, courtesy of Copyblogger.com, outlines the other essentials for writing blog posts. Print it off and keep a copy by your computer to refer to as you write. Following these simple guidelines will have you authoring a compelling, lead-generating blog in no time.

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Article by: 

Stephen Fairley

Of:

The Rainmaker Institute

Last chance! Register now for the Women in the Law Rainmaker Forum: A Catalyst for Stepping into Your Power

The National Law Review is pleased to bring you information about the upcoming Women in the Law Rainmaker Forum hosted by KLA Marketing Associates.

1.24.14

When

For your convenience, 3 dates and times:

February 17 – Late Afternoon

Feburary 19 – Morning

Februrary 27 – Late afternoon

Where

Philadelphia / New Jersey / Virtual

Join us – a safe, intimate forum where Women in the Law “lean in” and access much-needed resources to develop a prosperous and rewarding practice. Make 2014 the year to take control of your career. 
Join for our popular Forum to:
  • Learn critical rainmaking techniques
  • Brainstorm opportunities
  • Dig deep into your business challenges
  • Tap skills/experience of others  

Four 2-hour sessions to change the

way you do business – and win business!

Special Pricing: $499* for all 4 sessions – – and more. Register now to claim your seat that will change the way you do business!

About the Trainer/Coach
Kimberly Alford Rice, Principal and Chief Strategist of KLA Marketing Associates, has successfully trained hundreds of lawyers to build and grow a prosperous book of business over the course of her 20+ year legal services advisory practice. She deeply understands how to engage the organizational and human factors that drive successful implementation and change through her work. To learn more, check out KLA Marketing Associates website.

What Every Attorney Should Know About Their Client Database

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Do you, as a lawyer, have a client database? Do you have a program (any program) that keeps their names, addresses, and phone numbers on file?
If you do, fantastic!

If not, you should.

Creating (and constantly updating) a database is integral to retaining clients. For every person that you meet with, or even contacts you, you should be getting their information and create a database for mailings.

Why aren’t you sending them out a monthly newsletter to let them know what has been happening in the firm? You may be thinking that people don’t care, right? Well, it’s not entirely untrue. I won’t tell you that people are going to read your newsletters religiously (they might!) but if you keep them in the loop, there is no other lawyer in their minds when they start thinking about signing a contract.

Tell them about a few cases you’ve won, talk about a new employee, or how you’re redecorating your office. Keep everyone in your database (or your “herd”) in the loop.

By taking the time and putting in this effort, you’re becoming more trusted and beloved by members of your herd. Not only do they know what’s happening in your firm, but you are making a constant effort to reach out to them and contact them. It really does make a difference. What other attorney in your area is doing that?

If you think of any at all, it’s probably a very short list. Now think of how many attorneys their actually are in your area. The difference is staggering.

These simple things will make you stand out. You will be different and therefore you will come to mind much more quickly.

Those people will also become excellent marketing that you don’t have to pay for. Word of mouth is one of the best tools to have in your arsonal. Being referred by a client to their friends or family creates another level of marketing that you can’t buy.

Even for other ventures, your herd can be of great benefit to you!

Say you decide to put money into an ad that will run in a newspaper or magazine. Those are great marketing opportunities, I won’t lie, but before you hit the green button, maybe include the ad you want to run in a newsletter to your herd. Make an effort to constantly remind those who already love you what it is you do. Even ask for their opinions! They see your ad from another viewpoint and could even be able to give you some genuine feedback! Show your herd that they are still a priority and you want to keep them around.

This is only possible if you have a database.

Article by:

Ben Glass

Of:

Great Legal Marketing, Inc.