The Ultimate Step By Step Guide To Growing Your Law Firm

There will be two types of attorneys in the near future.

The first will embrace the future and grow their law firm.

The second will initially stay stagnant, and then slowly fall behind.

As technology and methods of acquiring clients moves forward, the lawyers who embrace it will quickly have a distinct advantage.

After helping over 550 law firms grow, 1.5 million leads in various areas, and 5,000 marketing tests, we tend to keep our finger on the pulse.

And what makes a law firm grow today is completely different to ten years ago.

While you are reading this article there are ‘Super Attorneys’ out there who are making use of these growth strategies.

Although, to the outside world, these super attorneys seem to be ‘lucky’ or ‘clever’, the truth is very different.

Each of these steps is simple and have been thoroughly tested and planned by pioneers in the industry.

There isn’t any guesswork involved. You simply implement the steps outlined, the very same steps the super attorneys have taken, and see the results.

Even though it is simple, very few attorneys are willing to make the small adjustments required to reach the next level in service and income.

That’s the good news. The attorneys who act now will quickly jump to the front of the pack, while other attorneys dither and hesitate.

There are only two ways to grow your law firm:

  1. Get more income from your existing leads and clients.
  2. Get new fresh leads calling your office every week.

We’ll be exploring both.

So here, with all the dogmatism of brevity, are the steps you can take to copy these super attorneys.

PHASE A: How To Get More Income From Existing Leads & Clients Without Raising Your Fees

I know, that’s a pretty big and bold claim. So I am going to invite you to be skeptical.

Read every single word in this guide and see whether or not you can prove my claim wrong. It’ll be very hard to poke holes in these strategies, but I invite you to try.

There are several ways to achieve this, the first being:

Step #1: Make Your Services More Affordable & Get Your Full Retainer Up Front With Financing For Legal Clients

In the early 1900s only the very rich had cars. They were expensive to buy, and even more expensive to maintain. Therefore, only 1% of Americans owned a vehicle.

Today there are 253 million cars on the road in America.

This was made possible via financing.

The firms who offered it grew fat and rich.

The firms who didn’t, withered and died.

Americans now use financing for everything from vacations to furniture.

The legal industry was late to the party. Very late.

Mostly because the Bar Association prohibits attorneys from forcing clients to pay their fees.

When you finance a car, and you don’t make your payments, the car gets taken away and your credit score gets ruined.

Attorneys don’t have any of those options. When you extend terms, you simply have to hope and pray that clients make good on their promises.

This was a problem for a long time, and lawyers up and down America have suffered.

For example. In 1988 the average attorney took home $70,747 per year in today’s money.

And by 2012 that figure had dropped down to $49,130.

It won’t get any better either.

According to a Delloitte Insight report, 100,000 attorneys will lose their jobs over the next few years.

This slow decline in earnings has not gone unnoticed by the super attorneys.

And a dramatic solution, like that of the car industry, was needed.

As it turns out, like all great solutions, this is a simple one.

Instead of offering financing to legal clients, we could offer a way for them to get a normal loan, then ask them to pay your fees up front.

The loan will be independent of the attorney. The client can spend it on whatever they like.

Therefore, the loan technically has nothing to do with the attorney.

You don’t need to chase up payments, you got paid all up front.

Just like getting a loan for a vacation or a couch, clients can now get finance to cover their legal fees.

You, the attorney, gets all the cash up front, and the client pays affordable monthly instalments. And all of it complies with bar rules.

A win-win for everyone.

Attorneys that have deployed this financing strategy have already started to pull ahead of the pack.

The cash flow in their firm has improved dramatically. Some have even increased their fees without losing a single client.

Increasing your fees by 20% could simply mean an additional $25 per month to the client in financing costs. Something they tend not to flinch at.

One dramatic shift has been the savings this has brought astute attorneys.

Not only will your income and cash flow increase, but you will save several thousands of dollars per year according to law firms who are using financing.

Why?

The average law office spends 14 hours chasing up clients who have been offered conventional ‘terms’.

By offering financing that is independent of your law office, you do not need to follow up for payments. That is all handled by the financing company.

Therefore, you can save hundreds of staff hours per year by widely deploying financing in your law firm.

This saves thousands, if not tens of thousands.

The third and final surprising benefit arises from the fact that closing a client becomes dramatically easier.

Let’s say someone walks into your law office and needs $5,000 of services.

They can’t afford it, so you offer them terms.

“Pay $2,500 up front, and the rest on a monthly plan”.

How many times have you heard the client say, “I have to think about it”.

Or “I still can’t afford it?”

Now imagine this scenario:

“It is $5,000, however we have a financing option available, would you like to see what your monthly instalments will be?”

You simply fill out the form and it checks whether or not they will qualify for a loan BEFORE applying for it.

The client then sees a repayment option of $175 per month.

How much easier do you believe it is to acquire a new client by asking for $175 initial payment, than asking for $5,000, or even $2,000?

That’s why attorneys who deploy financing spend MUCH less time convincing potential clients than usual.

To summarize, there are three main benefits you will experience.

  1. You increase your income, because more clients will pay you up front instead of needing to offer ‘terms’.
  2. You save money, because you do not need to pay staff to keep on top of delinquent clients.
  3. You save time, because clients are used to financing. You do not need to hammer out complex deals with them.

Like I said at the start of this article, while you are reading the very words on this page, attorneys up and down the country are growing. Without needing to work more, and without pissing off their clients.

And now you can see why.

If you would like to set this up in your firm, we can help. Click here to schedule a 1-1 appointment and we’ll walk you through your options.

Step #2: Use Automation To Follow Up With Clients Who Are On The Fence

The Greek poet Hesiod, writing around 800 B.C., cautioned not to “put your work off till tomorrow and the day after.”

Since then, not much has changed. Putting off major decisions and actions is part of being human.

The same is true of your clients. The ones that dither WILL need an attorney eventually. And the attorney they pick will be the one who follows up with them.

Once again, technology can help. In fact, technology can make the entire thing seamless and automated.

All you do, is set up a system whereby you label or ‘tag’ prospects.

If a prospect is ‘on the fence’, you can send them out a pre-determined series of emails and text messages.

The sequence below is very simple, yet you’ll find it brings back lost customers more often than not.

  1. Email (send immediately after initial contact): Thank them for coming in or calling. Then include reviews or case studies of previously happy clients.
  2. Text message (send immediately after initial contact): Thank them for considering your firm and prompt them to store your phone number in their phone.
  3. Text message (send 2 days after initial contact): Check if they need any more help or information, and remind them to call you if they need anything.
  4. Email (send 2-3 days after initial contact): Bring their attention to another case study or success story.
    1. By simply following up with them automatically you’ve done what 9 out of every 10 law offices never do.

      Just this one small act can push you into the top 10% of attorneys.

      If you combine this with an incredibly easy financing option, you’ll soon find your competitors falling behind as you pull ahead of the pack.

      PHASE B: How To Get Fresh New Clients Every Single Week

      I am talking about people who need your services calling your office and asking for help.

      Again, this is surprisingly simple, and something you can outsource so that you don’t have to lift a finger.

      This happens in a sequence of steps:

      Step #1: Quickly & Easily Get A 5 Star Reputation For Your Law Firm That Increases Your Referral Quality Leads

      When I moved to Arizona over a decade ago from Connecticut I wanted a good Italian pizza.

      I asked around and got people’s personal recommendations.

      This one place just opened called Cibo, and about 5-6 different people mentioned it. Other places would get maybe 1 or 2 recommendations.

      That prompted me to go there again and again. It was now my regular pizza place.

      The same is happening to law firms online.

      According to a study done by BrightLocal, in 2011, 71% of consumers stated they read reviews, rising to 78% in 2012, 85% in 2013, and 93% in 2017.

      On top of that, 85% of consumers trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation.

      And it is especially true when it comes to picking attorneys.

      A shocking 4% of attorneys are actively getting online reviews today, and they are hoovering up all the best clients.

      Picture this. A potential client with a lot of money sees an attorney with dozens and dozens of 5 star online reviews, and the competitors perhaps have one or two.

      That rich potential client only has one choice that makes any sense to them.

      Have you ever been in a position where clients don’t respect your time, or your worth?

      This could be the reason why.

      So how do you do it?

      How do you quickly and easily get a 5-star online reputation that’ll give you referral quality leads?

      As always, the answer is surprisingly simple.

      According to that same study I cited earlier, 68% of consumers left an online review if a business asked them.

      And naturally, we took advantage of that fact and created a system that is perfectly fine tuned to law firms.

      Have a look at these law firms we’ve recently helped:

      Do you think you’d hire them if you were a potential client?

      Here’s how it works:

      1. You get a business review website.
      2. You collect reviews by offering your existing clients a simple online form to complete.
      3. If it is a positive review they get an email asking them to share it on Yelp, or Google.
      4. If it is a negative review, it comes back to you so that you can address their grievance (we’ve seen this cut down 90% of unnecessary negative reviews).

      If you would like us to set this up for you, click here to schedule a 1-1 appointment.

      Pay close attention to point number 4.

      In the past, an unhappy client will simply go wild and post negative reviews about you online.

      With this review system you have a chance to address it BEFORE it goes out to the world. 9 times out of 10, the unhappy client won’t post anything at all on other websites if it is controlled in this way.

      Step #2: Rapidly Get New Clients Using The Infamous ‘Problem First Advertising’ That Almost All Super Attorneys Use

      About 6 months ago I sat with an attorney from Portland, Oregon.

      “Advertising doesn’t work”, he said.

      “Yes, you are absolutely correct”, I replied.

      “So there’s no point doing it!” he continued.

      “Correct, there is no point”, I said.

      “Wait, but don’t you do advertising on behalf of attorneys?”

      He was right. Advertising, in general, is pointless. And of course, my team successfully run thousands of ads for attorneys across the country.

      How is that possible?

      Simple.

      Most advertising firms treat law offices like they do their other clients.

      However, your law office is NOT the same as a normal business.

      And therefore, normal advertising will NOT work for you.

      Normal businesses cater to people’s desires.

      People desire coffee, flat screen TVs, vacations, cars, houses, new clothes etc.

      Like it or not, but nobody has a burning desire to hire an attorney.

      In fact, the only reason people hire an attorney is because they have a problem that needs solving.

      Nobody sane desires to have problems.

      Yet, you are there to solve them. To you it is just another day in the office, but to your client it may be the worst ordeal they’ve ever gone through.

      Most advertising does not consider any of this. Usually they’ll say something like this:

      “At ABC Partners we’ve got a combined experience of 30 years, right here in XYZ county. Come to our office today.”

      Or.

      “We practice family, commercial, and criminal law. If you are in need of help, we’re here for you.”

      Those kind of ads are not about the client’s problem. In fact, they have absolutely nothing to do with the client at all.

      They are all about the attorney.

      Let’s flip it around and see what some of the most profitable attorneys in the country would do (I know because I do it for them).

      Rapidly Take Complete Control Of Your Divorce Case
      Get your FREE 1-1 consultation now so that you can get the best possible outcome for your divorce.

      This headline speaks directly the problem that the client is facing in that moment.

      Your reputation, your experience, and your location comes after that initial headline.

      Clients first want to know that you can solve their problem, before looking at anything else.

      The more specific you are, the better it’ll be. Here’s another example.

      Rapidly Get Help With Your DUI Today
      We’ll tell you exactly what to do next to get the best possible outcome. The quicker you get in front of the charge, the better your chances of getting out of it. So call us right now for a free consultation.

      You can use that ad inside of Facebook, Google, Twitter, even T.V. and newspapers.

      You can read a more in depth article about exactly how the advertising works here.

      Quick Cheat Sheet To Growing Your Law Firm

      So there you have it. The ultimate guide to growing your law firm abbreviated in a simple step-by-step article.

      But lets take it one step further and give you a quick overview, or ‘cheat sheet’:

      1. Make your services more affordable while getting paid up front with financing for legal clients. This also cuts your costs and increases the number of clients who say YES.
      2. Use simple technology to automatically follow up potential clients using the sequence we discussed.
      3. Acquire a 5-star reputation by using the review system we talked about to skyrocket the recommendations you get online.
      4. Use the ‘problem first’ advertising approach to get more clients walking through the door. Remember, normal advertising will be a waste of money. Make sure you use the method that works for law firms.

      If you want me and my team to kick start any of these 4 growth strategies, then please click here to schedule a 1-1 appointment.

      Talk soon,
      Gary Musler

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