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The Law Practice Doctor - Podcast

The law practice doctor podcast is the place to get the easiest most practical and profitable ways to grow your firm and still have a Life! Its mission is to help solo and small law firms succeed.
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The Law Practice Doctor - Podcast
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Now displaying: April, 2016
Apr 25, 2016

In this week’s episode of The Law Practice Doctor, Sam Gaylord interviews communication strategist Lee Caraher, who is the CEO and President of the PR and digital marketing firm, Double Forte. During the show, Sam and Lee discuss common issues, LinkedIn, websites, professional photo shoots, and working with millennials.

 

Key Lessons Learned:

Common Issues

  • People are spending money but not seeing results.
  • Competitors are out maneuvering, but have a lesser product.
  • Businesses want to do it all themselves and think it’s easy, but aren’t getting results.
  • Hiring interns who don’t do a good job.
  • People feel they can get services cheaper online.

 

Realities

  • What used to work no longer works, and if you aren’t online, you don’t matter.
  • Start at the bottom. It can’t just be a LinkedIn page with no photo and where you went to school.
  • The first piece of being credible is being where those other people and services are.

 

LinkedIn

  • Pay for the monthly fee for the professional service.
  • Get a professional photo taken that indicates to who you want to serve and that you are the person who should indeed be serving them.
  • Build out your profile.
  • Join law groups that are affiliated with your industry.
  • Give examples of cases, not clients.
  • LinkedIn will tell you what you need to add, and you should shoot for 95%.

 

Website

  • You and your firm must be online with a professional looking website.
  • Always opt to post on your channel, as you own it.
  • You can use Square Space, Wix, or buy a good template.
  • Buy professional stock photography from sites such as iStock Photo.
  • Remain consistent across all media including the website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.

 

Professional Photo Session

  • When you have your profile picture session, choose 15 photos to use across your media. This will give consistency.
  • Take 3-4 sets of clothing to your photo session.

 

Create a Group on LinkedIn

  • If there are no groups in your area of expertise, start one yourself and invite lawyers into your private group.
  • This will position you as an organizer of colleagues.
  • Ensure you are posting on LinkedIn in a relevant way at least 3 times a week. This could be your content or curated.
  • Provide relevant information that you have personally vetted.

 

Creating Your Own Posts

  • Posts should be 600-800 words and always think about the graphic. 
  • Look at your billing receipts and what you get paid for. Write posts related to those topics.
  • The pro tip on going to page 10 of iStock Photo is that you’ll find images that are less commonly used by competitors.

 

Search Terms

  • Think about what terms are associated with what you specialize in doing that someone who is looking will use when searching.
  • Who were your last twenty clients, and what did they call you for?

 

Surveys

  • If you give your readers a survey, make sure to report back so people know you listened.
  • Be direct and ask clients, “Where are you struggling right now?”
  • If you solve the struggle, you will be the outlier and known for going above and beyond.

 

Handwritten Cards

  • Send 5 handwritten cards to clients or newsletter subscribers every week.
  • Making a personal touch doesn’t have to be difficult, but it takes time.

 

Millennials and Management

  • The oldest millennial will be 40 in 4 years.
  • If you have a business without a millennial working in it, your business will end soon.
  • The Millennials and Management book is about the myths of working with millennials, faulty stereotypes, and setting expectations.

 

Resources:

Lee Caraher

Double Forte

Millennials and Management (book)

Apr 11, 2016

In this week’s episode of The Law Practice Doctor, Sam Gaylord interviews Scot Malouf, who is a litigator with more than 10 years’ experience in commercial claims, construction litigation, and insurance matters. He joins Sam on the show to discuss the growing field of electronic and social discovery.

 

Main Questions Asked:

  • What is E-discovery?
  • How should people understand E-discovery, and what should they be asking for?
  • What are the tricks for locating party and witness information?
  • Who are the people coming to you for assistance on their projects?
  • How do you approach E-discovery when a judge isn’t familiar with it?
  • What should people focus on when it comes to presenting E-discovery information while using it most effectively?
  • What other social forums should people be looking into?

 

Key Lessons Learned:

E-Discovery

  • Discovery and e-discovery are now one in the same. All the records that at one point would have been in paper documents are now in electronic format.

 

What to Ask For

  • How do we defensively, legally, ethically not do things?
  • Who is involved in this case, and what systems did they use?
  • Are you taking company data off-site (from work computer into personal cloud accounts)?
  • Tally up how much data there is.
  • What types of data exist?
  • Assume there will be problems, and build that into your schedule.

 

Practice Focus

  • Plaintiff personal injury bar
  • There are a lot of laws about preservation and data mapping.
  • Clients are creating a lot of data but don’t have traditional tools that the IT department and data director does.
  • Commercial litigation bar
  • All companies are creating and using a lot of data.
  • Employment
  • Lawyers constantly use LinkedIn, but is it surprising how clients use it.

 

E- Discovery Universe   

  • Facebook: Personal injury matters.
  • LinkedIn: Employment matters.
  • Chat: Instant messaging such as Slack is becoming important in the workplace.
  • Chat is the new water cooler, so there is a lot of informality and authenticity. This backfires, as it is now searchable.

 

How to Be Most Effective

  • Don’t get bogged down by volume, thinking presenting more is better.
  • Similar to all evidence, weave it into your story. Focus on what you are really trying to tell.
  • Try to avoid on-paper, and instead create PowerPoints or show it live.

 

Social Forums For Marketing

  • Attorneys are focused on using social platforms to talk about cases; however, platforms are excellent for listening.
  • Social media is your chance to see the community and what issues they are talking about.
  • How are people talking about their issues, and what terms are they using?
  • Spend time on platforms where prospective clients are.
  • If you speak a foreign language or serve a community that has overseas connections, see what foreign tools they are using.
  • Periscope: Forces attorneys to shed perfection.
  • Twitter: Local media is still accessible on Twitter. 
  • Pinterest: Predominantly female audience. 
  • Social platforms can be industry-specific, as well as generational.
  • Always measure the quality of the website and know how they work.

 

Avvo

  • This is an online legal services marketplace that offers on-demand legal advice through an Avvo advisor.
  • Understand what questions you want customers asking and how are they being responded to?
  • If you claim your Avvo profile, you are ethically responsible for what is put up there.
  • There is a digital code that you can place on your website that shows your rating.
  • The platform brings clients in, but you always want a direct relationship with the client and have them turn directly to you instead of having Avvo bring them to you.
  • If Avvo manages the relationship, and the terms change, then this could be an issue. Always build your personal list.

 

Resources:

Scott Malouf

Avvo

The Social Media Ethics Guidelines

Social Media Jury Instructions Report

Apr 4, 2016

In this week’s episode of The Law Practice Doctor, Sam Gaylord interviews David Ward, who is an expert in the area of marketing and building a profitable practice and using technology to advance the law firms position. During the show, Sam and David discuss marketing, referrals, thinking in terms of clients not cases, systematic follow up, lifetime value of the client, lawyer to lawyer referrals, and website essentials.

 

Main Questions Asked:

  • How do you go about building a referral network?
  • Talk about systematic follow-up after a referral is made.
  • What are common problems lawyers are coming to you with?
  • What is the first step?

 

Key Lessons Learned:

Referrals

  • Think in terms of clients not cases.
  • When you make the referral, always have marketing in your mind to acquire the lead.
  • Stay involved in the process once you have referred a client to another attorney, and follow up to ensure they are getting the attention they need.

 

Systematic Follow-Up

  • If the referral attorney is new on your list, make sure to check up on them and build a relationship so that when they need someone who does what you do, you’ll be the one that they call.

 

Lifetime Value of a Client

  • Embrace the concept of lifetime value of a client.
  • Think long-term and in terms of clients, as it’s all about relationships with people. 
  • You are building a career and not just trying to make this month’s rent, so the person who pays you $1K today may over their lifetime provide you with business and referrals of $50K.

 

Marketing

  • Advertising is a part of marketing, but advertising is not marketing.
  • Marketing is being able to determine what is actually working for you.

 

Lawyer to Lawyer Referrals

  • Approach this with the mindset that if you help enough people, they will be willing to help you.
  • Do a good job of informing other lawyers of what your ideal client looks like so they can do a better job of recognizing them.
  • Put it in writing and let them know the best way to make that referral to you.
  • Prepare a booklet or letter that outlines the referral system and information, and get it into the hands of attorneys you know.
  • You can also deliver the letter to attorneys you don’t know. This is showing that you can help them by handling existing clients and those that they are turning away.

 

Common Problems

  • Most attorneys don’t like or want to market, and prefer a turnkey solution.
  • Delegating the relationship building isn’t the best way to go about marketing.
  • Many attorneys also don’t want to do a lot of advertising and also need to separate the idea of marketing from advertising.
  • A lot of attorneys don’t like the concept of sales; however, a sale takes place when a client signs up, but that doesn’t mean you’re a sales person.

 

Specialization

  • Clients prefer a specialist.
  • If you have a general practice, you will limit the number of attorneys who will want to give you referrals, as you’ll be a direct competitor.
  • Attorneys also need to specialize in the types of clients that are handled.
  • You can accept clients outside of your niche, but when it comes to targeting clients, where do you network?
  • Work smarter, not harder.

 

The Essentials

  • When someone is referred to you, the first thing they will do is go online and try to find you. Make sure they find information that you have created and not some third party.
  • You must have a web presence that you own, and not on someone else’s platform.
  • Even if you aren’t doing things to get traffic, have a place to send prospective clients and professional contacts so they can learn about you.
  • A simple way to show people what you do and how you can help them is by writing about it.
  • Show examples of people you have helped with the very problems people come to your website are likely to have.
  • Show them, don’t tell them, what you do by having updated content.
  • If you have little time, post a description of the services you offer and frequently asked questions.

 

The First Step

  • Take your calendar and carve out 15 minutes per day to start a marketing related activity.
  • Make this a daily appointment with yourself, and focus on the consistency.
  • Your attitude and results will change. You don’t have to take massive action every day, but you do have to do something consistently.

 

Resources:

 Attorney Marketing

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