We had the pleasure of working with a criminal defense attorney from Michigan. He and his assistant heard a speech I gave at the State Bar of Michigan Annual Meeting/Solo and Small Firm Institute and hired us to build him a website. He had a basic billboard site up and it was not generating any traffic or new clients.
Our team took the time to really sit down with this attorney and target the key words and crimes that would be profitable for his practice. We also started developing a professional logo for his firm and had them take really good photographs.
The next step in the process was the key. Our team builds every website with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind from the beginning. This means proper programming, choice of content management system, plug-ins, keyword analysis, domain name choice. All of these factors combined in a “perfect storm” of SEO when we went live on this new lawyer’s site.
We went live without it being completely finished so that we could start getting time on the domain name. We made sure that all of the client’s contact information was in the bare bones site as well as some down and dirty content just in case someone happened to stumble on the site. However, we never imagined that his rankings would be high enough that soon to generate leads… we were wrong!
Within a week of launch, the site was ranking top page in Google for the search term we were targeting. I then contacted the client with this good news and he mentioned that he had already retained a new client from the website. I was shocked. This is very rare, but basically one week of building his site the right way from the ground up paid for his initial investment…and then some!
This is a perfect example of how a proper investment in Internet marketing can make all the difference in your bottom line. When you combine that with good quality content, photographs and blogging, it will certainly be a good New Year for this solo criminal attorney.
If you would like to experience similar success, contact Attorney McNeil today at 1-866-522-8529Read More
I have been advocating sales training for new lawyers for many years. Many lawyers find the need for “sales” training to be distasteful and a waste of resources. Many attorneys feel that if they are qualified and present those qualifications adequately, the business will come.
The reality of the economic landscape lawyers find themselves embroiled in would portend differently. I primarily practice in the area of criminal defense and competition is fierce. It is equally fierce in the areas of family law and personal injury. Prospective clients today are utilizing breakthrough technology that was simply not available even three or four years ago. With the explosion of smartphones clients are searching for lawyers in their mobile browsers.
I have even seen lawyers developing iphone Apps and I believe that this will continue to be the trend into the future. This means that lawyers who generate client leads through the internet need a unique sales skill set in order to close those cases and get money in the door.
When I train an attorney on sales techniques, the number one thought that I have to drill in their head is that if the client does not reach someone immediately or get a return phone call within 5 to 10 minutes…they are on to the next lawyer in Google. This is very uncomfortable for many lawyers who are used to lag time to return phone calls and to develop new business. In the current economic crisis, it has become even more necessary to have a live voice answering the phone, almost 24 hours a day.
However, a live voice on the other end of the phone is not enough. I would encourage lawyers who have solid internet leads to set up a virtual phone system that connects those callers to his or her cell phone directly using a service like grasshopper or ring central. The clients want to talk to an attorney, not your staff member or paralegal.
Once I have a potential client on the line, I want to make sure and qualify the lead. This means that it is in a county that I can handle and am familiar with and that it is a case that I would normally take. Once they are qualified I try to start educating the client on the process and fill them in on any tips or tricks for that particular court system. Clients want an attorney that is familiar with their court and can guide them through successfully.
You must then qualify yourself. You need to give the potential client enough information about yourself that they feel comfortable with your ability to handle the case effectively. This takes practice to not be arrogant and yet stay professional.
The step that most lawyers skip is qualifying the client financially. Most lawyers save this conversation until it is too late and they have wasted both parties time. I find out if they have the financial resources to hire an attorney or help from family or friends before I go any further. This will also help me to determine how to structure a payment plan if I feel comfortable with the person’s ability to pay.
You must then close the case! This means you need to ask for their business and make it easy for them. You should have an auto-retainer system utilizing an internet link or other easy method for invoicing the client, generating a fee agreement and closing the transaction through the internet. I can have a client closed and money in my bank account within 15 minutes of first talking to them. Use technology and close the gap.
If you feel you or your firm could use sales training to increase your bottom line, contact Attorney McNeil today at (866) 522-8529.Read More
The company that owns Findlaw has recently purchased an Indian legal outsourcing firm for a price in the neighborhood of $40 million. What does this mean for lawyers in the U.S? And what does it mean for clients of findlaw?
I do not believe that there will be an immediate impact on U.S. based attorneys or any change in the level of service or Internet marketing provided by Findlaw. However, there certainly is a possibility of long term effects. Findlaw and its company is essentially competing with the very same clients they are trying to get business through the internet.
Findlaw already serves multiple law firms and attorneys in the same area and has their own clients competing against each other for top spots in the major search engines. Our consulting firm typically will represent law firms exclusively in a certain geographic area if they sign up for internet marketing packages. It does not make any sense to have your clients competing against each other when the number one mission or goal of providing Internet marketing is to drive business to the law firm.
The more dangerous aspect of this purchase is that Thomson is now providing legal services. This directly competes with their interests in serving their attorney and law firm clients. Findlaw will have a vested interest in making sure that Pangea3 (their Indian outsourcing firm) comes up first in all the major search engines. When they are paying an Indian lawyer the equivalent of $7000 a year for an attorney versus $160,000 for some associates in big cities, this makes perfect business sense. There have also been rumors that American based offices are next for Pangea3. That would bring the competition to your doorstep.
See a related article at http://www.law21.ca/2010/11/22/the-law-firm-of-the-future-thomson-reuters/Read More