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.

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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?

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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?

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How Do I Impress My Law Firm’s Leads?

How Do I Impress My Law Firm’s Leads?

How Do I Impress My Law Firm’s Leads?

Half of the competitive battle in turning law firm leads into clients is standing apart from the other lawyers the prospect has reached out to.

With voice search, Google My Business, and click-to-call, it is so easy for prospects to quickly generate a list of qualified local lawyers that they frequently contact more than one. The first law firm to impress the prospect is generally the one to land the office appointment and a signature.

How do you stand apart from your competitors? Here are seven ways. All but one can be created once and used forever.

Starting Strong

1. Lead magnet on your website.

A proven technique that online businesses have been using for years but law firms have ignored is to offer an attractive piece of content on your website using what is called an exit-intent popup.

The exit-intent popup appears when your visitors move their cursors to the website address line, which indicates they are preparing to leave your site. The popup offers an attractive piece of content in exchange for contact information and answer to a qualifying question.

We use an extensive set of frequently-asked questions on our popups, and inquire about the urgency of the legal issue. If the FAQ downloader says the issue is urgent, we call and ask to set an office appointment.

This popup with telephone call generates additional appointments from the same website traffic.

2. Shock-and-awe package.

Every prospect who calls your office, completes your website form, and downloads your lead magnet should receive your digital shock-and-awe package. The best prospects should also receive a hard copy of your package (more on this in the next section).

What should your shock-and-awe package consist of? We use a 200-page book, two educational booklets, a detailed practice brochure, and explanatory cover letter.

The number of lawyers with shock-and-awe packages is miniscule, so the odds are high that none of your competitors will be sending comparable materials to your prospects.

Converting Leads to Appointments

3. Call to offer hard copy and qualify.

We have had excellent results calling leads to offer a free print version of the content they downloaded. Most will say yes to our offer and confirm their physical address. We then inquire about their situation and seek to set appointments with those who are well qualified.

You can readily implement the same approach using your book, FAQs, or other content you offer on your website or through webinars or eblasts. Try it; the technique works well.

4. Nurturing series.

Every lead name you obtain, however you obtain it, should receive a lengthy email series that explains in detail how you help.

Walk your prospects step-by-step through the legal process they will experience when working with you. Empathize with their problem, explain how resolution will occur, and then describe how much better things will be when the problem is resolved. Offer to help and provide your contact information.

Our series run 15-18 letters long, and are sent automatically. The pace varies by specialty, but one email per week is the average. The emails generate appointments that otherwise would be unlikely to occur, for most leads are quick to forget who they reached out to.

Converting Appointments to Clients

5. Office materials.

Your content collection is most effective when tailored to the prospect.

For example, one of our injury-attorney subscribers had an appointment with a seriously-injured prospect who wavered during the appointment and during the follow-up call said he was going to negotiate with the insurance company himself.

The attorney then sent our booklet “How Insurance Companies Work” to the prospect. A week later the prospect retained the attorney, saying he now understood that he was ill-equipped to handle the matter himself.

In addition to sending targeted booklets to wavering prospects, you can display relevant booklets in your lobby, provide them at your front desk, and personally hand them out at the conclusion of your appointment. The key to success is to provide ones directly on point with the prospect’s questions, concerns, or objections.

Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse

6. Welcome kit.

This a modified version of your shock-and-awe package and serves the same purpose — create a positive initial impression. You want your new clients to speak favorably of you and your work, and a well-crafted welcome kit will get them doing so.

In our kits we include a collection similar to the shock-and-awe package, but use booklets that cover questions arising during representation rather than before retention. The cover letter explains what will occur next, and how the client will be updated throughout the matter.

As with many of these techniques, you can create your welcome kit once and use it without modification for years.

7. Reassurance series.

Salesmanship does not end once a client is signed … especially if there is a time gap between signature and visible work. Lawyers are notoriously poor at communicating the work being done behind the scenes.

The easy solution is to create a series of emails that explains what is occurring, and then automatically send these emails at the pace of one per week to every new client. The series, consistent with its name, will reassure clients that work is being done on their matter, all is well, and they don’t need to call your office to ask what is occurring.

We recommend that you set yourself the goal of creating one of these items every quarter. If you have decent website traffic, say several hundred unique visitors per month, adding a popup and placing follow-up calls will prove productive.

Alternatively, you can begin writing educational booklets that can be used multiple ways: as tailored sends and handouts, as part of a shock-and-awe package or welcome kit, and as waiting room reading.

But do begin … before your competition does.

Ready for a demo of our Referral System?

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How Can I Improve the Effectiveness of My Law Firm’s Intake Process?

How Can I Improve the Effectiveness of My Law Firm’s Intake Process?

How Can I Improve the Effectiveness of My Law Firm’s Intake Process?

When it comes to converting leads into customers, small law firms do a lousier job of it than most any other type of business.

In addition to the dozen years we have helped hundreds of lawyers generate leads only to see them mis-handle those prospects, we back up our statement with these two pieces of recent research.

A. No Engagement Device

The primary goal of a website is to capture contact information and build a list of prospects, for most of your visitors will not be ready to take immediate action. When researching our book The Most Effective Law Firm Marketing Agencies, we reviewed the websites of well over 1,000 high-ranking law firms. Less than a dozen offered a lead magnet.

B. Failure to Respond

We completed the website response forms of 25 local lawyers, claiming to have a sizable and urgent legal issue. Only 3 of the 25 called us. The vast majority didn’t even bother to telephone.

Lots of Upside

The positive side of this dismal marketing performance is that your firm, if it is like most small law firms, can provide a material boost to its flow of new clients simply by improving your intake processes.

Here are the seven high-impact intake-improvement steps that we recommend you take. Once set up, none of them should require any material time from you.

1. Periodic Monitoring or Mystery Shopping

Unless you regularly monitor both sides of your intake calls, you won’t know whether your prospects’ calls are being handled with compassion, patience, and purpose. Most important, do they obtain full contact information, learn details of the matter, and set an office appointment?

There are two ways to achieve this monitoring. You can engage a mystery shopping service to periodically call and complete forms, and report their experience back to you. The more modern way is using software (we like Dialpad) which allows you to (a) listen to both sides of any call, (b) at a glance learn the length of each call (a material percentage of short calls is worrisome), and (c) see which calls went unanswered.

2. Dedicated, Rewarded, and Motivated Phone Person

Whoever is answering your phones and responding to your completed website forms should have no higher priority than setting office appointments with as many of the qualified prospects as possible. That priority handling needs to be regularly confirmed with words and financial incentives.

Having hired dozens of phone-team members, and overseen multiple inbound and outbound phone teams, we can confirm that it takes a high degree of empathy, positivity, and confidence to work the phones day after day. Be sure you have the right individual in this very important position.

3. Minimum Follow-up Call Requirements

One of the most common shortcomings we encounter in the intake processes of small law firms is the failure to repeatedly call prospects until a connection is made. The first law firm to have a conversation with a prospect is most often the one who lands the office appointment.

Of course, the fewer prospects you have to call back, the better, so adequately staffing your phones is important. But when a form is submitted or the initial call is not taken live, prompt and repeated attempts to call back must be made. We recommend at least 3 attempts the first day, and 2/day thereafter.

4. Automated Sales Funnel

If your firm’s website does not offer some helpful information using a popup activated when the visitor is readying to leave your site, you are missing a sizable opportunity to engage and convert more visitors than you do now.

A well written and complete sales funnel will include (a) an information offer, (b) a request for contact information, (c) a couple questions asking about the size and urgency of the legal problem, (d) a thank you page offering a phone conversation to discuss the details of the prospect’s legal matter.

5. Shock-and-Awe Package

Assume your prospect has also contacted two of your competitors. Even if your prospect has scheduled an appointment with your office, you can bet that your competitors are also reaching out. To counter their efforts, you will want to stand head and shoulders above them.

By creating an impressive collection of helpful materials one time, and having it automatically sent to every new prospect, you will set yourself apart. And with soft prospects like booklet downloaders, you can call them, explain that you want to send your package of information, ask about their legal issue, and offer an office appointment if they are a qualified prospect.

6. Nurturing Series

In addition to your shock-and-awe package, every prospect should next receive a staggered collection of educational emails. This is also a write-once, use forever endeavor.

Your emails should address: common prospect and client questions, explain the primary legal issues, list the pros and cons of choices to be made, and discuss potential outcomes. Doing so will demonstrate your expertise and show you are ready to help.

7. Results Tracking.

What is measured and incentivized will improve. If you track and publicly display your lead conversion rate, and tie bonuses or prizes to hitting conversion targets, you will turn a higher percentage of prospects into clients.

We recommend separating form fills from inbound calls, and setting different targets for each. Form fills can be tougher to convert, for they require prompt and repetitive phone calls to reach the prospect.

High ROI, Low Spend

Conversion improvements can generate a high return and frequently cost little to implement. The extra revenue generated usually drops unimpaired to the bottom line, for you are signing additional clients while not spending any more marketing company.

Of the seven techniques listed above, we recommend you focus most heavily on #2 Minimum Follow-Up Techniques. The cost is zero, and the return is immediate and high value.

Secondarily, we suggest #7 Results Tracking. If you are not measuring your key performance indicators, you do not know whether you are improving or falling short.

No matter which techniques you choose to begin with, we strongly encourage you to pay more attention to improving your conversion rates. There is little you can do in marketing your firm that will have a higher return on investment.

Ready for a demo of our Referral System?

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Secrets and Strategies for Getting More Referrals

Secrets and Strategies for Getting More Referrals

Secrets and Strategies for Getting More Referrals

James President Kara Prior recently chatted with Ken Hardison at PILMMA on the Grow Your Law Firm Podcast.
What you’ll learn about in this episode:
  • How Kara’s book How Small Law Firms Can Obtain More Referrals offers a detailed roadmap for getting more clients for your firm, and how to get a free copy of the book
  • Why referrals can be a powerful tool for law firms to affordably obtain new high-quality clients, and why it is important to find the time to grow a referral network
  • How Kara and her team help law firms develop strong referral networks, and how their simple and straightforward process works
  • How branded consumer-facing FAQ booklets can be a great value-added way to start off a new relationship on a positive footing and showcase your firm’s expertise
  • How Kara and her team target specific types of professionals as referral sources, such as drug rehabilitation clinics and mental health professionals for criminal defense firms
  • Why past clients can be an incredible resource for referrals, and why newsletters can help past clients keep you in mind
  • Why physical mail newsletters are cost-effective and are a better option than email for making an impact with past clients
  • Why it is important to provide value and offer content to your past clients to help nurture relationships
  • Why branded booklets and books are a fantastic way of helping past clients “break the ice” and make a referral
  • What first steps to take to begin creating a referral network and build relationships with potential clients