No-Cost Programs to Create Your Own Custom Videos

Experienced online marketers know that custom videos are the most effective way to build trust and familiarity with prospective clients, and distinguish your firm from the competition.

If your website doesn’t offer videos where the prospect can see and hear you, you are likely missing the opportunity to convert those page visitors into paying clients.

Most attorneys don’t have custom videos because they don’t want to pay thousands of dollars and spend multiple days filming. Here we outline four low-cost and no-cost video creation programs to get the job done.

VIDEOASK

Videoask is an app that allows you to shoot with your phone and embed the videos on your website without any coding. You can use conditional logic, multiple response options and contact forms to direct the conversation with your website visitors. You can also reply to prospects within the VideoAsk platform.

Create interactive videos to put a face to your firm and warm up your leads, while also answering your prospects’ questions in the moment.

Their most basic tier is free, and it includes all the tools you need to get started.

ZOOM

Zoom lets you record as well as share your screen, so it is easy to create a compelling presentation in one take. You can easily display slides or other visual aids on your screen while you present.

We’ve become used to seeing everyone from politicians to celebrities via Zoom these days, so viewing a Zoom-quality presentation has become acceptable for all levels of information-conveyance.

Their basic package is free.

LOOM

Like Zoom, the similarly-named Loom allows you to record quick videos of your screen and your camera that are instantly ready to share and watch. You can connect with your prospects and clients asynchronously to speed up communication.

Your face will appear in the corner of the video, with the main focus being what’s on your screen. This is your chance to show potential clients your personality and establish trust.

Their free package has all the basics you need to create your videos.

SCREENCASTIFY

Screencastify is a free Chrome extension that lets you record you and your screen, plus has a flexible editor to polish up your videos.

Their easy-to-use annotation tools allow you to call attention to what’s important and keep your audience focused.

Their free version has a 5 minute limit per recording. The best videos are brief to accommodate website visitors’ short attention span.

GETTING STARTED

A few pointers to help you get started:

— If you are going to shoot with your smartphone, a phone tripod or stand will be helpful. Amazon offers several for under $20 each.
— If you want to lift your video quality, invest in a quality webcam. Virtually all of them cost less than $100.
— Don’t feel that your presentation has to be error-free. A corrected mis-statement, hesitation, or “um” here and there will make you more human and approachable.
— If you want to have your shoots edited, you can find video-editing pros on Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com at reasonable prices.

We hope this provided enough options and inspiration to get started on your own videos. If you simply don’t have the time to do it yourself, we offer a done-for-you solution.

11 DIY Tips That Will Improve Your Marketing Results

11 DIY Tips That Will Improve Your Marketing Results

11 DIY Tips That Will Improve Your Marketing Results

7 DIY Tips That Will Improve Your Law Firm’s Marketing Results

Suggestions from Nick Jervis, Samson Consulting

The fastest and least expensive way to increase your firm’s revenue is to generate more clients from the people who are already finding you. These 7 tips will help you do exactly that.

GENERATING CALLS

1. Every web page should end with two calls-to-action. Because of 3/4s or more of the time your website is viewed on a smartphone rather than a desktop or laptop, each page on your website should prominently display a: (a) click-to-call phone number and (b) link to your inquiry form.

A floating bottom bar can work well to display these two items, or the text on each web page can end with, “To learn more about how we can help you, call 000-000-0000 or submit this form.”

If your website lacks these two items, fixing the shortcoming will have a material impact on your call volume. Tell the agency handling your website that this is a high-priority project.

2. Put your clients first in every piece of marketing writing, and be different. What benefit do your clients receive by retaining you? How does working with your firm differ from retaining your competition?

Closely examine your marketing message … especially the top copy on your website. Does it sound similar to your competition’s? Without a distinct and compelling sales message, your marketing will perform poorly.

TURNING CALLERS INTO CLIENTS

The easiest way to boost your firm’s profits is to improve your conversion percentage. So many firms fall short in how they handle prospect inquiries that this subject should be your top focus.

3. Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up. Law firms as a group are terrible at lead management. They don’t make handling prospect inquiries a priority, they are slow to return prospect calls, those calls frequently lack empathy, and rarely is there any follow-up with prospects who don’t immediately sign.

Lead handling is sales. Like any other endeavor sales requires training to be good at it, which few lawyers have received or have any interest in obtaining. The solution? Put a person with sales talent and experience in charge of handling your prospect inquiries. Establish an aggressive lead follow-up process that includes repeated attempts to connect by phone or email, a shock-and-awe package and nurturing series for the undecided, and a monthly newsletter. You will see a meaningful bump in your conversion rate, revenue, and profitability.

If you cannot afford a salesperson or your lead volume does not justify the expense, listen to a sampling of your inquiry calls or make a few ghost calls. At minimum, you need to learn whether your front desk person is costing you business.

4. Focus on the prospects and their legal problems. Too many inquiry calls are handled with the law firm’s interest in mind rather than the prospects’.

You have to find out what matters to the prospective client in order to stand apart from the other firms being considered. That requires asking detailed questions about the prospect’s situation, and identifying the aspects of the legal issue that most concern the prospect. Challenges that concern you as a lawyer are likely not what worry the prospect. Try asking:

— How is the situation affecting you?
— What are the biggest challenges that ____ is creating?
— Are you concerned that ______?

5. Begin with a fixed price service. Hourly billing makes prospects nervous. If that is how you bill, at the initial consultation experiment with quoting an affordable fixed price for your initial steps. That gives the prospect a chance to try out working with you at a known cost.

Once the new client is then comfortable with the value and service you are delivering, migrate the client to hourly charges. It will be much easier for a new client to say yes to an unknown cost once the client trusts you.

6. Set weekly and monthly file opening goals. Whether you are the only fee earner, or you have several billers on your team, setting and monitoring targets for signing new clients will place attention on this critically important task.

What gets measured gets improved. Calls from prospective new clients will move up in priority, and will not be left to linger for hours or even days.

7. Publicly assess new-business numbers. For all your attorneys and other fee generators, you should lead a weekly or biweekly 15-minute meeting that has them report:

— Inquiries from prospects received last week
— Number converted to clients
— Reason why some did not convert
— Chargeable hours for the week
— Billings for the week

Interested in improving the results generated from your current marketing efforts?
Schedule a call with President Kara Prior.

Takeaways from How Lawyers Can Boost Their Marketing ROI

With Bill Hauser of SMB Team

Lawyers tend to say the same things as their competitors, and prospects cannot distinguish one attorney from another.

Having a unique selling proposition is critical, according to Bill at SMB Team. Embrace your insecurities and make them your USP. If your firm is new and small, talk about how that allows you to devote extra time to each client and case, and how important each client and case is to you.

The key marketing amplifier is brand. Brand creates trust. Without building a brand and creating that trust, cold marketing will not work well.

ROI obsession holds lawyers back. Instead they need to focus on educating and helping prospects so they build name recognition and trust. Without that, your leads will be skeptical and hard to convert.

The more important metric to measure instead of marketing ROI is, “Are you reaching your revenue goals?”

Second is cost per lead, but do so on a macro basis, not by channel. We live in a multi-touch society, and the last touch before call is not always the most important one.

The third marketing measurement to make is booked consult conversion rate.

Building pre-eminence is the highest return marketing task. Execute by giving away so much free information and assistance that the market trusts you.

Marketing only captures leads, which are opportunities to profit. But it takes effective intake and efficient processes to turn those leads into profit.

Form relationships you feel unworthy of creating. Don’t self-limit when networking.

Before you blame your agency for not performing, first look at your law firm. Is your intake as strong as it should be? Am I persistently, positively following up with and educating my leads? Do I have a high-energy, service-oriented person answering the phones? Do you have a strong selling proposition? Do you have a proprietary marketing strategy that your agency executes?

Book Summary: The New Law Business Model Revealed

by Ali Katz

This well-written title from Ali at New Law Business Model is aimed at lawyers who want to shift their practices to a fixed-fee model, and do so by selling estate planning services. But in doing so, it also details an approach that can be used by lawyers in other specialties, including bankruptcy, business transactions, divorce, immigration, and personal injury.

Below we summarize tips from the book that can be used to advantage whatever your specialty. However, for estate planners … both current and future … much value will be obtained from the book and we recommend buying a copy ($37 paperback / $19 Kindle on Amazon).

WHERE TO FOCUS

1. Five key metrics. You should weekly track for your firm: (a) its number of inquiries, (b) how many of those inquiries turned into booked appointments, (c) how many of the booked appointments were kept, (d) how many kept appointments turned into paying clients, and (e) at what average fee. The author’s free site MoneyMapforLawyers.com can help you determine how many you need at each level.

2. Structured initial consultation. Author Katz through her agency teaches lawyers to provide structured initial planning sessions that require prospects to complete homework beforehand or pay $750 to do the homework during the session. The technique is usable by bankruptcy, divorce, immigration, and personal injury lawyers. Unlike most initial consultations, the emphasis is on planning, not selling.

3. Targeted marketing. Creating targeted services for niches, in the author’s case — families with young children, business owners, and retirees — brings focus and differentiation to your marketing, and allows you to become the go-to lawyer in your community for those highly-targeted services.

4. Quality referrals. Initially the author wasted much time trying to build a sizable network of referral sources. She learned over time that it is far more productive to focus on cultivating and educating 3-4 referral sources. For referral sources, quality counts more than quantity.

Most important for the author was educating the sources on how she and her services differed from other estate planners. [Again, here is that differentiation thing. Getting the message?]

5. Affinity groups. Speaking to groups having the right prospects is the author’s number one source of new business. Best of all, this type of marketing is free. Key to its success is an automated follow-up program. The author obtains a 15% open rate for her follow-up emails, and frequently hears, “Ali, it is great to meet you at last. I’ve been getting your emails for so long I feel as if I know you.”

The lawyers the author advises are hosting 2-6 presentations/month, and any paid advertising they do is aimed at getting prospects to attend the presentations. She strongly recommends no paid advertising until your client conversion rate hits 80%.

6. Higher signup percentage. The author has helped bankruptcy and divorce lawyers materially improve their conversion percentages by giving their initial consultations a name, a purpose, and a value. Prospects receive the planning session free only if they do their homework, and that commitment is backed with a credit card.

Want to convert more of your leads into paying clients?
Schedule a call with President Kara Prior to learn how we can help.

Marketing Tip of the Month

from Andy Stickel, Social Firestarter

“Here are 4 of the biggest mistakes lawyers make with their marketing (according to Andy at Social Firestarter):

1. Not treating leads as urgent. Clients calling want help now. If they are not treated like a priority, they will go elsewhere.

2. Failing to train your phone person to capture leads. The person answering your phone must obtain a caller’s name and phone number, and promise a quick return call from the attorney.

3. Using a call menu or phone tree. Every extra step is one more chance for the prospect to hang up. Get rid of them.

4. Not using an answering service after hours. You must have 24-hour call service. One extra case/month will pay for the service. Noting on your Google My Business listing that you are open 24/7 will increase your call volume.”

Meet The Law Office of Brian Jones, “Ohio’s first line of defense”

Meet The Law Office of Brian Jones, “Ohio’s first line of defense”

This criminal defense firm founded their business with clear goals – “to defend your rights as we’d want ours defended” and according to Records Manager Chris Short this is a statement they live by every single day.

Having been in business for over 13 years, this firm has had the time and opportunity to grow their reputation in the surrounding area, and while they are experts at practicing law and defending their clients, they were still looking for a better way to communicate with and support their clients.

Why criminal defense firm The Law Office of Brian Jones uses James Marketing Amplifier

“For most of our clients, going through a criminal situation is not a normal occurrence,” Short explains. “Being able to put an individual through the [nurturing series for prospective clients] and have weekly emails explain certain processes that they are either currently going through, or will go through is pivotal in being that forward individual that has the information they’re looking for.”

The James Marketing Amplifier system frees up your time to focus on what you do best. Practice law. While still providing your clients with consistent education and information that sets you apart as an expert, but also as a client-focused firm.

Before the James Marketing Amplifier system, The Law Office of Brian Jones did not have an organized and methodical approach to keeping in contact with clients, leads, or past clients.

“Now we have a platform and dashboard through James Publishing to differentiate potential clients, new clients, and past clients, so we can specify the exact message we’d like to send them.”

Consistent communication throughout the client lifecycle

Mr. Short touched on something a lot of criminal firms have experienced: “Current clients need hand holding. They need to be told everything’s going to be okay and we’ve got their cases.”

This law office already has over 50 clients subscribed to either a nurturing series, a reassurance series, or a monthly newsletter blast within their portal.

“Our current clients need that consistent touch, need that consistent information, need the consistency of [us] letting them know that we are here for them. That’s what [the James Marketing Amplifier] represents for our current clients.”

But the journey often does not end when a case is closed. “For our past clients, we believe in the holistic approach,” Short explains. Before the James Marketing Amplifier System, “we really weren’t doing newsletters. That’s something that I’ve always wanted to implement” Short said. “Finally, with James Publishing, we got that opportunity”

“Having past clients understand that we still care for them beyond the case, that we care that their wellbeing is okay, and psychologically and physically, that they are maintaining their probation points or maintaining whatever they need to be doing to better themselves so they don’t re-offend or don’t call us again…(as much as we would like that for our business), we care more and it’s more important that those individuals get remediated and fix the issues that they needed.”

What makes James Marketing Amplifier unique?

There is a ton of legal software out there focused on helping you manage your clients. But there is no software out there that is totally client-focused and client based. The Marketing Amplifier program has taken years of legal materials, and our expert attorney editors to build an unmatched library of client facing materials – from booklets, to brochures, to videos.

“It’s different in the fact that it’s very user friendly,” Short says. “The dashboard is simple to utilize. The knowledge base is there for shareability and having that extensive knowledge base is helpful. And that it’s consistently growing!”

Since starting their program in mid-August, The Law Office of Brian Jones has already shared materials with over 50 individuals from the Your Library section of their portal. Clients, leads, and past clients have received booklets such as Your Right to a Speedy Trial, Quick Tips – Traffic Stops, 7 Ways a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help and more.

So why does James Marketing Amplifier work for The Law Office of Brian Jones and their many clients?

The James Marketing Amplifier program is “client-focusing, and client-based. It’s legal software for the client.”

If you’d like to learn more about what Amplifier can do for your firm, complete the form below.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How Long Does It Take to Get Law Referrals from Professional Sources?

How Long Does It Take to Get Law Referrals from Professional Sources?

How Long Does It Take to Get Law Referrals from Professional Sources?

If you only have a couple new referral partners, timing can vary widely … from almost instantly to waiting six months for the first referred clients to appear. We have seen both outcomes.

However, if you assemble a larger group of partners, timing as well as volume of referral flow become more reliable and predictable. This latter approach is what: we recommend, detail below, and takes six months to achieve.

Finding New Law Referral Sources

In your first three months as a subscriber to the Marketing Amplifier, we guarantee you two phone appointments each month with high-quality and interested referral partners. After the first three months, we calendar one or two appointments for you each month.

We follow that approach to kickstart your new referral partner group before dropping down to a volume of introductions that is more readily handled.

While we assist with cultivation of your new partner group, your personal attention to the new relationships is also needed. For that reason, once you have a core group of partners, you will find that talking to one or two new prospective partners each month will keep your referral group growing at a healthy but manageable pace.

Expect that some new partners will send no referrals, others will send modest volumes, and a few will be highly productive. You only need four or five prolific referrers to give your practice a material boost. Be on the lookout for those especially productive sources while you continually seek and cultivate new partners. When you find those winners, pay special attention to them.

Ways to Cultivate New Referral Sources

We help you cultivate your new referral sources. How we do that is detailed in our article How Do You Help Me Stay in Touch with My New Referral Sources? Here we provide ways you can supplement our efforts.

  • Visible effort to refer. Inquire about the type of legal business wanted. Learn the characteristics of your new referrer’s ideal client. When and where is that ideal client likely to surface?
  • Inclusion. Invite the referral source to your firm parties and client gatherings. Introduce them around.
  • Publicize. Welcome and describe your new referral partners in your law firm newsletter. Follow them on social media and share their articles on your pages.

Results to Expect

If you take the calls we set up for you, use our partner cultivation materials, and add a bit of your own attention and care, you can expect referrals to begin flowing after three months and rise up to a reasonably predictable level within six to nine months.

The keys to obtaining growth in your initial number of referrals are

  • Taking good care of the referred clients
  • Keeping the referrer informed 
  • Thanking the referrer
  • Staying in touch
  • Regularly approaching potential new referrers

Contrary to popular perception, cross referrals are not necessary to a successful referral relationship. They certainly help, and some referral sources will dry up without return referrals, but many referral sources will continue without them. And properly maintained, those sources can remain productive for years.

Ready for a demo of our Referral System?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How Do You Help Me Stay in Touch with My New Law Referral Partners?

How Do You Help Me Stay in Touch with My New Law Referral Partners?

How Do You Help Me Stay in Touch with My New Law Referral Partners?

Establishing referral partnerships is similar to creating new friendships.

You meet someone new, find you have common interests, and resolve to get together soon. Then work and life get in the way, you never meet up, and that promising new friendship never gets started.

However, if you stay in touch after your first meeting with a potential new friend using email and phone, and provide assistance in several ways, that friendship is likely to deepen even though you haven’t yet had an opportunity to meet up a second time.

New referral relationships work the same way. Neglected, they wither; nourished, they can thrive even without meetings.

Because we have found that our Referral System subscribers don’t have much time to cultivate the new referral partnerships that we are helping them establish, we have created the following six solutions. All are included at no extra charge.

For Your Partners

1. Prosperous Professional journal.

Every other month we postally mail our print periodical to you and your new referral partners together with a personalized cover letter from you. This meaty journal contains articles on practice management, marketing, technology, finance, and people. Also included are interesting articles on life outside the office.

2. Coaching emails.

In the intervening months we send an email from us to both of you suggesting ways of working together that can benefit both your practices. For example, we discuss joint webinars, cooperative eblasts, booklet sharing, social mentions, and more.

3. Follow-up calls to lawyers.

Lawyers in complementary specialties will frequently be your most productive referral sources. A few weeks after we learn you had a promising initial conversation with a prospective lawyer referral source, we will telephone that lawyer to offer from you a couple of our booklets, complete with custom branding, and at no charge.

We will also inquire about the status of the budding relationship and seek to schedule a second phone conversation between you and the new partner.

4. Partner portal.

A variety of our information products that we make available to your referral partners will be displayed on a custom page that we create in your name on your Referral System software portal. Our coaching emails will link to these free products.

For You

5. Teaching materials.

Even the best networkers can learn from other lawyers what is working to help grow referrals. With us helping over 100 lawyers with their referral relationships, and setting over 75 new-partner phone appointments every month, we have many hard-learned lessons to pass along. We do that with videos, emails, and courses.

6. Timed nudges.

Short emails and simple texts coming directly from you can do much to cement new relationships. We help you remember to devote a few minutes to your new relationships with emails and texts sent to you at six-week intervals based upon the date of your first phone call with each new partner. Thus, even with six active new partnerships, you are only being nudged once a week.

Regular outreach is key when establishing new partnerships. With a small portion of that regular contact coming from you and the bulk of it coming from us in your name, together we can grow your referral partnership network.

Ready for a demo of our Referral System?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.