Is Your Law Firm’s Website Up to 2019 Standards? A slow, poor-performing site won't help you con

Your law firm is ready for peak performance this year. Is your website? If it hasn’t been updated in a while, take the time to evaluate whether your website is still serving your firm’s needs. Is it communicating the right message? Easy to use? Ready to help you convert leads into clients? You don’t want to do all the work and commit to the cost of driving people to your website through social media, paid search and digital advertising, only to have them bounce off the site due to performance issues. Three Steps to Ensure Your Website’s Performance Is Up to Snuff There are plenty of things you can do to boost your site’s performance. For example, you might be thinking about adding call track

Guide to Mindfulness

I encourage you to be mindful of your thoughts and move your awareness to your breath whenever you noticed yourself slipping into a mindless, anxious or reactive mode of thinking. If you heed my advice and consistently engaged in this practice, congratulations! You are well on your way to being a mindful business person, and a more peaceful, happier person. Don’t worry! It is still a new year and a new opportunity to commit to being a more mindful person. Here are a few tips to get you started. Awareness Takes Practice Awareness, like a muscle, must be exercised to be increased and maintained. If you have ever tried a new diet or started a new fitness routine, you know your worst enemy is th

No Country for Old Lawyers

When attorney Phil Garland first hung his shingle in Garner, Iowa, there were five lawyers in town. Over 40 years later, that number hasn’t changed. What has changed, though, is those lawyers’ ages. “We’ve got three guys in their 60s,” says Garland, who is 73. Garland is the only one who has hired a younger associate to take over when he retires. That means in a few years, the town and its 3,000 residents could be down to just one attorney to handle everything from real estate transactions and probate work to juvenile issues and criminal cases. And Garner isn’t the only small town facing that problem. Adams County, Iowa, for instance, boasts only one attorney for its 3,686 residents, whi

Ways to Ignite Your Professional Passion

Burnout. It’s particularly prevalent this time of the year. It’s dark when you come into the office. And it’s dark when you leave. For weeks and weeks, you’ve been striving hard to finish out the year, yet the work seems never-ending. It’s tough to feel a sense of accomplishment if you leave at the end of the day with more work than when you started. Typical run-of-the-mill burnout might just mean you need a good night’s sleep and a day off. However, there is a more sinister and serious type of burnout that needs to be addressed. It’s Called ‘Secondary Trauma’ When your job is to deal with people and their problems, the risk of burning out is high. Think doctors, nurses, social workers — and

How to Make the Most of Client Visits A well-executed meeting on your client's home turf is a va

In one of the most memorable client interviews I ever conducted for a firm, a gentleman said to me, “I’ve been working with that law firm for 20 years and no one has ever been out here to see my shop.” There is nothing like in-person interaction to help you build your relationship and better understand the client. A client visit has numerous potential benefits. It can be used to learn more about the client’s business and legal needs, understand protocols and processes better, explain or get feedback on the work that you have done, introduce or meet additional people and simply build a personal rapport. What you accomplish will depend on the client and your relationship. Here are some thought

Tired of Paying Google Adwords?

Over the last two years we have been quietly developing a new and transformative advertising network that is altering search engine advertising. Working with dozens of existing software developers, our team has built a frame extension that is only activated when a search engine user types in an exact match keyword that has been secured by one of our clients. As of October 2014 our network now incorporates millions of computers, 90% of them in the United States. The system is very simple to understand, and we are breaking new ground for revenue potential. When a potential customer types in an exact match keyword in browser address bar or in search bar of major search engines such as Google, B

How to Start a Successful Law Firm Newsletter

If you’re a successful lawyer, you’ve already mastered how to communicate with your clients one on one, keeping them informed about their cases and what to expect next. But what about reaching out to all your clients at once through an email newsletter? An email newsletter can be an inexpensive and easy way to reach out to clients and make sure they think of you the next time they need your services, especially if you are not in regular contact with them via ongoing legal work. Let’s walk through the steps involved in launching an effective email newsletter. Good news: Technology has made it easier than ever to create and send an email newsletter, as well as track its effectiveness. Step 1:

Ten Things Lawyers Should Stop Doing in 2019

Most of us entered the new year with great intentions to make changes to boost productivity. And then we got smacked in the face by the unceasing demands and stressors that pummel modern-day professionals. Good intentions succumbed to urgency. The problem with resolutions, goal setting, intentions — whatever you want to call the trigger for behavioral change — is that we typically focus on adding some new layer of complexity into our days. We zero in on efficiency gains, which involve getting more things done in less time, rather than effectiveness gains, which involve getting the right things done. The downside of focusing on efficiency rather than effectiveness is that, even if you squeeze

Dealing with Non Paying Clients

very month, my biller hands me a stack of invoices to review. It contains the client bills for work performed in the past month and the client bills that are more than a month past due. I have seen the same unpaid invoice for some of these clients every month for over a year. I deal with these people professionally, but sometimes I wish I could send a more colorful letter: Dear Client: We have a signed agreement with you. We agreed to provide legal service, and you agreed to pay for said services. We performed as we promised. It’s time for you to do the same. We’ve been more than patient with you, but this is ridiculous. We’ve sent you invoices (and you know we take partial payments). We’ve

Professional Services Thought Leadership 2.0 Explained

Recently, a potential client was trying to set up a meeting with her team to discuss content strategy. This professional services firm (not a law firm) was unaccustomed to publishing. The question that came back from her team was: “What is thought leadership, and why should we care about it?” It gave me pause at first, as if someone had asked, “Why shoes?” But I soon realized it is a very relevant question and one for which the answer has changed over time. As content marketing has become pervasive (somewhere between Poor Richard’s Almanack and the past 20 years), “thought leadership” has gone from new and insightful, to maligned and satirized, to what I now think of as the “new normal” for

How to Get Organized Despite the CHAOS

Research for my upcoming book on modern-day office management revealed stat after stat on the deluge of data and constant ringing, dinging and what-not that goes on in everyone’s daily life. Once you jump into the digital pool, there is no way to stop it from becoming an ocean of data and distractions. In dealing with the realities of life in a law firm — the stresses, messes and pain points of going digital — over and over I meet unhappy and overwhelmed professionals. Sadly, the feeling of being stressed about “the office” is a common complaint shared by almost everyone who is electronically connected to their business. I call it the CHAOS of office life — “Complete Havoc and Overwhelming S

Five Local Search Tactics Lawyers Shouldn’t Ignore

Are you paying attention to how your firm appears in local search results? Local search changes rapidly. Over the past year, Google added numerous features to Google My Business (GMB) listings, and it has shifted the importance it places on a number of search factors. It’s important to keep your local presence up to date because most consumers research lawyers based on location first (“DUI lawyer Waukegan”). Here are tactics you should be using if you want to rank well and stay competitive in your particular niche. 1. Claim and Optimize Your GMB Profile There are many components to successful law firm SEO, but one of the best things you can do to stay ahead of the pack is to claim and optim

How to Meet Billable Targets and Find Time to Build Your Network

Lawyers who have fulfilling, profitable practices know the importance of cultivating relationships with key referral sources, clients and other professionals. Yet finding the right balance between building a strong network and meeting billable targets can feel overwhelming. Meeting billable targets is critical, of course, but if it’s your sole focus, you’re probably missing out on opportunities to keep your name and reputation visible. That means you won’t be top of mind when someone has a problem you excel at solving. How do you find the time to develop a strong professional network? Here are three steps you can take. 1. Clarify Your Message Start with identifying a core message that will h

Is your customer service WOW worthy?

Even in this high-tech age, focusing on the human element of your law practice can be your most valuable tool in impressing clients and potential clients. In fact, a report by information consulting firm Walker forecast that by 2020, customer service will replace price as the key brand differentiator. Surprised? Consider this: Word-of-mouth continues to be the most effective form of marketing in the business toolkit, and it is virtually free. So, how do you also create experiences worthy of your clients’ loyalty? Here are tactics used by Ruby Receptionists. Enter the Service Pyramid Inspired by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Ruby’s Service Pyramid starts with basic business fundamentals and wo

Are Google and Facebook making it harder for you to advertise your law firm?

Many lawyers use online advertising to generate traffic for their website with the goal of gaining new business for their firm. While there are opportunities to advertise on legal-specific directories such as, FindLaw or Avvo, many firms like to use the biggest online advertising players available: Google and Facebook. Complexities of Google Ads If you are using Google Ads (often called Google pay-per-click or PPC), you know the legal industry has some of the most expensive keywords on Google. It’s not uncommon for new campaigns to cost over $50 per click. When I compare notes with agency colleagues who run Google Ads campaigns for e-commerce companies, they are shocked at the co

By: 2019