Estate Planning Attorney Tells His Story: The Fall-Out of Referral-Based Marketing

I had coffee this morning with an estate attorney whose practice is stuck because of the fall-out of referral-based marketing.

estate planning attorney meeting with marketing agent over coffee
Sharing coffee today with an estate planning attorney who tells a familiar tale: His practice is stuck because he relies too heavily on referral-based marketing.

Brilliant lawyer, excellent business man …

But the conventional wisdom about how to grow an estate planning law firm has failed him.

You know the drill. All the “experts” say you grow an estate planning law firm by building referral relationships with financial advisors.

Well, this attorney has done a GREAT job of that and now he has a GREAT BIG problem to solve.

Maybe you do, too?

Here is what he told me is wrong with his practice:

• The firm has too many “eggs” in one “basket,” with the majority of referrals coming from one source and less than half from all other sources combined.

• The financial advisors have too much control over the client relationships.

• Clients are confused about the relationships, even calling their financial advisor when they want changes to their legal documents

• The firm is missing out on at least half of their target demographic who are now self-advised and don’t work with financial advisors.

• They are not getting any business from online marketing because they just don’t know how.

I have good news for him!

** First, it’s not his fault. He followed the advice that nearly every so-called marketing expert in this industry doles out. And got the EXACT SAME results that every estate planning attorney gets when they rely on referral-marketing.

** Second, this is our specialty! It’s what we love to do and what we do every day. Other agencies just build websites. We build law firms. The right way. We help estate planning lawyers build a solid pipeline of new clients without relying on financial advisors or hosting seminars.

In fact, you can learn our exact step-by-step strategy in my newest training. When you’re ready, book a call to see if we can help you, too.

Watch now: http://www.onlinemeetingnow.com/register/?id=igaciv5bdj

Dear Estate Planning Attorney, Get Your Website Act Together!

If this isn’t your worst nightmare, it should be.

Here is an actual email from a law firm. But read the whole article before hitching up your judgey-pants. Could this happen to you?

(Names removed for obvious reasons)

online security for estate planning attorneys
The person … is worried that personal information is floating somewhere on the internet.

A prospective client went on our website and completed a”Personal Information Form” (which is a 4 page form people usually print out, complete by hand, and bring with them to their first meeting with the attorney.). This person said she filled one out online on the website, and sent it back to us. Is there a way to somehow retrieve a completed form if it was sent back to us on the website? Neither the attorney or myself received this in our emails. The person who sent this to us is very upset that we did not receive the completed form and is worried that personal information is floating somewhere on the internet.

How did this happen? Could it happen to you?

Very possibly if you don’t get your online act together!

Is Your Website Secure?

Visiting the lawyer’s website the first red flag is that their site is not secure … When you go to your website, is the address http://www.mylawfirm.com or is it https://www.mylawfirm.com?

If your site address does not have the https, then Google will give visitors a warning that the site is Not Secure.

Every new website we build has a security certificate that gives visitors assurance your website is secure. But if your website is more than a year old, you may have to upgrade to get a security certificate installed and your website reconfigured.

Teaching Point: if your website is not secure, get your act together and contact your webmaster NOW. While security certificates may be very cheap or even free, installing and re-configuring your website may cost you some money. This is a small price to pay for your own peace of mind and that of prospective clients who visit your website.

Do You Have PDF Forms on Your Website?

Do you have a Personal Information Form (PIF) or a Confidential Client Questionnaire on your website as a downloadable PDF?

IF SO, THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU.

A downloadable PDF is not a secure method of collecting client information. I have seen attorneys insist on loading these forms onto their website as a matter of convenience — THEIR convenience — so they don’t have to email, fax or mail the form.

Here’s a clue. NONE of those methods are secure. ALL of them are out-dated. And even if you only have them on your website as a “matter of convenience,” you run the risk that an unwitting prospect will fill one out and try to email it to you. And they may type the email address incorrectly or make some other mistake that sends their confidential information into cyber-space … or literally God-knows-where. Perhaps they only type the first two letters of your email address and their browser “auto-fills” the rest of it with the email of an ex-mother-in-law … who now has all of their personal information, including the value of their estate and a list of assets!

We offer all of our clients a secure website and secure, encrypted data collection as part of an automated, online client intake process so you never have to worry about this happening to you.

Book a free strategy call with James now to learn more.

Learn more about our estate planning websites.

Managing an Estate Planning Law Firm: It’s Lonely at the Top

Managing your estate planning law firm can be a lonely job. Few people really know the weight of the responsibilities you carry every day.

Have you ever sat down at your desk and felt a little panic?

Managing an estate planning law firm
If you don’t know what to do next, you could make a crucial mistake … or worse yet, you might do nothing. The most common response to uncertainty and anxiety is to stop.

Wondering where your next clients will come from … and when they will get here …

Worried about whether you’re really on a path to growth and profitability, or if that light at the end of the tunnel is a train barreling down on you …

You have no idea what to do next, and no one to coach or advise you.

In fact, you really don’t want to let anyone know you’re having this anxiety.

Not your staff. Certainly not your clients or your referral sources. Maybe not even your family.

It sucks, doesn’t it?

And the truth is, this can be a fatal problem for your law firm.

If you don’t know what to do next, you could make a crucial mistake … or worse yet, you might do nothing. The most common response to uncertainty and anxiety is to stop.

And stopping in your law firm means your firm is withering.

If you’re not engaging new clients and growing revenue … you’re stuck.

The longer you stay stuck, the harder it is to get things going again. And the closer you get to losing it all.

The name of the game is being able to quickly and easily get back on track.

Imagine what life could be like if you could just reach out to your coach.

Be perfectly honest, hold nothing back and get no judgment in return.

Just solid guidance and support … from a pro who has been-there-and-done-that … who not only gives you great advice but has a support team of pros to help you get back on track.

Because anyone can give advice. You’ve probably had plenty of advice – some of it good and some of it … not so much.

But someone who understands … has seen it all before … and brings a team of professionals to actually help implement the right strategies … well, that would be priceless, wouldn’t it?

Read more about how we coach estate planning lawyers to greater success.

Having a coach and a team of professionals means you’re never alone … and you’re never stuck.

And those panic attacks?

Just momentary blips on the radar.

In fact, they completely go away as you realize challenges are all a part of the process.

You’re ready for them. You’ve got back-up.

Other law firm marketing agencies just build websites.

We build law firms.

Watch our newest free training now and learn how. Then book a call.

I promise, it will be the best move you’ve ever made for your firm.

Book Your Call Here.

Law Firm Coaching: More Than a Formula

I learned to drive when I was 16 … my daily driver in high school was a stick shift four-wheel-drive International Scout. When I graduated, my dad gifted me with a souped-up home-grown rocket in Candy Apple Red with metallic flake, scoop on the hood, chrome on the wheels and four on the floor.

law firm coaching helps you find more power under the hood
Law firm coaching with the pros at Integrity Marketing can help you find more power under the hood of your estate planning or elder law firm.

All this to say I have a fine appreciation for driving machines.

So imagine my abject embarrassment when the lady in the toll booth at Pikes Peak Highway asked whether I knew how to use the optional manual shifting feature on my auto-transmission Jeep Wrangler …

I had been driving my Wrangler for TWO YEARS, but before I started driving up the mountain, this lady was asking if I knew how to get down … without burning up my brakes.

And I did not.

I did not even know my Jeep HAD a manual-shift option! The toll booth lady had to show me how to use my own car. Which, as it turns out, was a great favor (even if it was embarrassing). She not only saved my day and my brakes, she probably saved me tens of thousands of dollars in unnecessary upgrades. Yes, it’s absolutely possible that after one terrifying descent from the summit of a 14,000-ft mountain I would have driven straight to the dealership and traded my Wrangler for a Rubicon with manual transmission and a stronger transfer case with a lower low range and front and rear Dana 44s factory-loaded with locking differentials and lower gears.

Yeah … that sounds like me.

I wonder … does it maybe sound like you, too?

Is it possible that you have been cruising along in your law firm never even realizing the power that’s right there … right at your fingertips? Like I was with my Wrangler?

What if someone could help you tap into that power? Power that you already have but just can’t quite figure out how to turn on …

That’s what we do for clients in our coaching academy.

It’s about so much more than just knowing some formulas or tracking some numbers. If you’re like me … you already know most of that stuff. I actually KNEW that I could slow the engine and save the brakes by shifting to a lower gear. I just didn’t know that my Wrangler, with its fully-automatic transmission, could actually do that. And even if someone had told me that it COULD do that, it wasn’t until the toll booth lady showed me HOW to do it that I was actually able to drive down the mountain without riding the brakes.

Right now, we’re helping estate planning and elder lawyers diagnose their revenue … find any issues that are holding them back and discover opportunities for increased profitability and growth. But further, we’re showing them HOW to be more profitable and we’re helping them drive new business with the exact clients they want to serve. We don’t just talk about marketing and sales, we actually build the engine and help you drive it to top performance!

Read more about working with Integrity Marketing Solutions.

Do you want more than some lame number-crunching? Are you ready to see just how much power your law firm’s got under the hood?

Book a call now. There’s nothing we love better than finding more horsepower!

Estate Planning and Elder Lawyers Need a New Sales Process

I’m going to be brutally honest for a second. Right now there are thousands of estate planning and elder law attorneys who want to make 2019 the year they grow their practice to six or seven figures.

They want to engage their ideal clients at profitable fees that reflect the value of the work they do and the outcome they help clients achieve.  

sales and marketing for estate planning and elder lawyers
Educational sales processes are outdated and ineffective. Estate planning and elder lawyers need a new, more authentic approach that melts objections and serves clients at the highest level.

But their educational sales process is outdated.

They explain every aspect of how the planning will work.

They’re even adding an extra design meeting to their sales process … trying to close the deal.

Answering questions the client never even asked.

And despite all of that, most of them aren’t engaging more than one or two people a week.

Those strategies are absolute garbage.

You will never reach your revenue goals in a million years if you do those things.

If your sales process falls apart at a price objection …

Or if clients leave without signing a letter of engagement because they have to think about it

The TRUTH is, most objections aren’t real.

In fact, if you’re getting objections AT ALL it means you’re missing the MOST important piece of the initial consultation.

Objections are all about self-protection. These buyer-defense mechanisms are just your clients’ way of protecting themselves from being sold by someone they don’t trust.

When you show up with the right intentions, the right training and the right energy … objections melt away.

It’s only when clients know your intention and believe they can trust you that they are comfortable being honest … having an honest conversation about their problems, needs and goals.

And that is when the magic happens.

That is when you can really serve them to the truth … and to take action to solve their problems.

There is a better way.

At Integrity Marketing help heart-driven lawyers serve their clients at the highest level. What we do is synch everything … sales process, marketing, and client experience … together in a way that is client-focused, congruent and authentic. (Read more about how to grow your estate planning practice with Integrity.)

You can reach your revenue goals … and beyond …

And never sell anyone again.

The best way to get started is to book a call with our team now.

Don’t Fall for the Big Lie

Holy cow. Every time I open my email inbox or Facebook feed, there’s a law firm coach talking about another trick, hack or “secret formula” to grow the estate planning or elder law firm of your dreams.

Law firm coaches teach old strategies because they are too lazy to learn new ones.
So many law firm coaches keep preaching tired, old strategies because they’re too lazy to learn what’s working now.

Coaches who say that if you just track certain (secret) key performance indicators (KPIs), you’ll experience amazing growth … and solve all your problems.

Coaches who keep preaching tired, old strategies because they’re too lazy to learn what’s working now. They teach you to grow your referral network, even though they KNOW that’s giving up your power, freedom and control over your own law firm and career … relying on the kindness of strangers to secure your financial freedom.

They have yet another costly, time-consuming way to get you in front of people doing live workshops … even though they KNOW that workshop attendance is sinking while costs are escalating …

To all the liars telling estate planning and elder lawyers what to do …

The jig is up.

Those guys are just dinosaurs facing extinction … trying to squeeze a few more dollars out of you before they fall into a tar pit and disappear.

The truth is that following their advice drains your bank account and cheats your future!

Every moment you spend chasing no-win referrals, schlepping around to seminars … your law firm is literally dying.

Clients who need your help can’t find you. They either go to your competitors, or they simply ignore their problems and suffer the consequence.

Your competitors are gaining traction, filling their war chests with money and stealing away your best future clients.

Trust me: you don’t need ANY of those old, tired strategies to build a great law firm. Read how a FAST GROWTH strategy nearly bankrupted one “successful” lawyer.

Here’s what you SHOULD be focusing on:

  • How are you attracting new clients? Is it consistent? Predictable? Does it run like clockwork? Or does it depend on luck?
  • Are you engaging new clients at premium price points? Can you do it in the FIRST conversation? If not, why not?
  • Are you serving those clients in a way that meets their needs, delivers a great experience for them, AND total freedom for you?

Here’s the truth: there is NO document drafting software, trick, or hack that’s going to enable you to do ANY of that.

You need a start-to-finish strategy to attract, convert and deliver new clients.

Without that, you’re going to stay stuck.

Imagine a system that automatically attracts the exact clients who most need your help, who value a relationship with their personal attorney, and are willing to pay premium fees …

  • A system that puts you back in control of your time, your law firm and your own financial future …
  • That supports you with forward-thinking coaching and cutting-edge technology …
  • A system that generates profits, not problems …
  • Freedom instead of frustration …
  • And a community of like-minded lawyers who support and share your journey.

When it comes to a start-to-finish strategy for attracting the right clients, at the right price, and puts you in complete control…Integrity Marketing Solutions is the best in the business.

None of our competitors are leveraging cutting-edge technology. None of them give you freedom and control. None of them deliver the goods or have our world-class support.

And none of them CARE about your results as much as we do, period.

That’s why you should book a call now. We’ll get on the phone for about 45 minutes. You’ll tell us what’s not working, and we’ll help you craft a plan to create the income, freedom and lifestyle you want … now and tomorrow.

How to Market an Estate Planning Law Firm … And Take Back Your Control

Have you ever walked away from a lunch meeting with a financial advisor wishing there were some other way … any other way … to market your estate planning practice?

Estate planning marketing by taking financial advisors to lunch.
Taking financial advisors to lunch to market your estate planing practice?

Don’t get me wrong. Referrals are great, especially when they flow naturally from great relationships with clients and allied professionals.

But going out there every day … picking up the tab for lunch after lunch after lunch, auditioning for approval, and begging for business …

It sucks, right? I know — in fact, read my story about How I gained 20 lbs Chasing No-Win Referrals!

And the truth is, relying on the kindness of strangers for referrals can be a fatal problem for your estate planning or elder law firm.

The first time you disappoint your referral source … miss a phone call … or the referral is a difficult client who can’t be pleased … or along comes another, hungrier attorney … your business can dry up and blow away overnight.

The whole process puts someone else in charge of how fast your firm can grow, the types of clients you can work with and even the fees you can charge.

It steals your freedom, your power and your control.

You didn’t go to law school to live like that.

And you don’t have to.

Imagine what your life would be like if you had a reliable, independent source of new clients who need your help, are ready to take action, and value a relationship with their personal attorney.

And even when you’re away from the office – overnight, on the weekends, or on vacation – new clients are completing your intake process online and scheduling appointments.

When you get back to the office, refreshed from a short break, your calendar is full … with people you enjoy meeting, who have problems you can solve and are willing to pay premium fees.

It’s not just a pipe dream.

That is the reality for clients I work with every day.

They still get referrals … great referrals from great professional and client relationships. But they’re not out there day after day begging for business. No one tells them who they can work with or what they can charge.

And they only buy lunch for people they like. Out of friendship rather than obligation.

I’m not saying that to impress you, I just want you to know that it works.

You can learn how now in my newest free training. I’ll show you the exact strategies our clients follow to take back control and grow their estate or elder law firms to seven figures … and more. After you watch the training, book a strategy call with us and see if it makes sense for us to help you, too.

Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm Financials Made Easy

Have you ever been told that if you want to earn six or seven figures from your law firm that you need to dive into your financials, run the critical metrics, tie those into your KPIs (key performance indicators) … and do that every week?

Let me save you some hard work and aggravation.

Estate planning law firm financials
You don’t have to live in Spreadsheet Hell to take your estate planning or elder law firm to seven figures or more.

About five years ago, I committed to scaling up our business and I tried those exact strategies. I spent 16-hour days … 70-hour weeks … grueling months … poring over the financials: defining, tracking, and analyzing the firm’s critical metrics in relation to dozens of KPIs.

Because I lacked confidence in my own ability to grow the company, I listened to the self-proclaimed “experts.”

I believed it when they said that knowing and monitoring all these numbers would catapult my company to multiple seven figure revenue.

But what really happened?

Well, for starters … we didn’t grow.

I was exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed. I lost the joy I’d had in building the company and serving clients. I was disconnected from my team and our clients because I was so engrossed in the numbers.

I even started to hate going to work … my work, my company, the job I created out of love and passion had been reduced to spreadsheets filled with numbers that stubbornly refused to change.

And no matter how many numbers I tracked or how hard I looked at them … they just didn’t budge.

We were stuck.

I felt like I’d hit a glass ceiling and no matter how much time I spent in Spreadsheet Hell, we just couldn’t break through.

Then I asked myself ONE question – what would happen if I stopped torturing myself with all those numbers … and started doing what I do best instead?

I hired an accountant to track the essential financials and give me regular updates. (Oh happy day!)

Then, I got really clear on who I wanted us to be when we grew up – what we valued at our core, how we best served our clients, and my vision for our inspired future.

We love our clients. In fact, you probably will, too. Check out our Gallery of Rock Stars.

And what about all those numbers?

I made ONE change in my mindset:

Instead of focusing on meeting expenses, I focused on meeting our profits.   

It’s simple enough. You get what you focus on. When I focused on expenses, I was able to meet them. But that’s all.

I discovered that when you shift your focus to passion and profitability, your business will automatically show you the path to growth. You figure out what fuels your passion, make that profitable, and dump everything else. That’s law firm financials made easy.

And, within two years I blew through that glass ceiling and left it shattered on the ground! I released irksome clients and committed to ONLY work with clients who truly need, value and appreciate us.

And I rediscovered once-lost joy in my job … following my passion and working toward an inspired vision of the future.

If you want to grow your estate planning or elder law practice to be both more profitable and enjoyable and you want to do it without ever losing your joy, your purpose or your passion for clients, then here’s what I have for you.

Watch my newest training and schedule a strategy call with us. In the training you’ll learn the exact steps our clients take to achieve their financial goals and a law practice they love.

When you’re ready to transform your practice to achieve your own inspired vision, give us a call. We’ll help you get total clarity on where you are now, what success looks like for you, and the steps that will get you there fast, without spending another moment in Spreadsheet Hell.

Grow Your Estate Planning Practice with Integrity

I’m going to be brutally honest for a second.

Right now, there are thousands of estate planning and elder law attorneys trying to achieve a seven-figure law practice and a lifestyle that doesn’t leave them frustrated, stressed and burned out.

  • They’re taking financial advisors to lunch six times a week …
  • They’re running newspaper ads and mailing out invitations for their weekly workshops and seminars …
  • They’re even meticulously tracking every “touch” with their referral sources, living in spreadsheet hell trying to get new business by remembering birthdays, hobbies, and the names of every spouse and child for dozens of financial advisors, CPAs and insurance professionals.

And despite all of that, most of them aren’t even close to profitability … much less financial freedom and a lifestyle they love.

If you’ve been following me for a while, then you know that the strategies I mentioned above – pandering to referral sources and hosting seminars and workshops – are absolute garbage, in my opinion.

If you want to have a law firm you love, financial security and time to enjoy life, you’ll never get there in a million years if you do those things. Following those strategies is like your client who says they want a will to avoid probate … just like a will is your ticket to probate, referral and seminar marketing strategies are your tickets to stress, frustration and burnout.

Take Control to Grow Your Estate Planning Practice

But is that the REAL reason estate and elder lawyers are struggling?

No.

The real reason is that most of them lack a reliable, independent source of qualified prospects.

When business slows down, they start calling on CPAs, financial planners and insurance salesmen.

When seminar attendance drops, they buy more newspaper ads, a bigger mailing list and mail more invitations.

And when revenue sinks, they panic.

…and when that happens … they drop their fees, take on clients who aren’t a good fit for them, and cut back on staff.

Let’s be honest – have you ever done this?

If you have, don’t sweat it. Nobody’s perfect.

But now that you know what happens when you don’t have a reliable, independent source of qualified prospects I believe you owe it to yourself to start growing one, and make that the #1 priority in your estate planning or elder law firm.

What if I told you there were a way you could grow your practice, your freedom and your financial security … without ever hosting another retail seminar or relying on the kindness of strangers to send you new business?

What if there were a way you could consistently attract the exact clients you most want to serve, charge premium fees and maintain total control over your finances, your time and your lifestyle?

Obviously, that’d be really different than what everyone else is doing, right?

Just by displaying a little self-reliance, you set yourself up for financial freedom and the time to enjoy it.

Kyle and I have been where you are. You can read Kyle’s story on our website.

If you want to grow your estate planning practice to be both more profitable and enjoyable and you want to do it without ever compromising your professional freedom or personal life then here’s what I have for you.

Watch my newest training and schedule a strategy call with us. In the training you’ll learn the exact steps our clients take to achieve professional independence and financial security in a law firm they love. Then give us a call. We’ll work with you to get total clarity on where you are now, what success looks like for you, and the steps that will get you there fast, without ever buying lunch for anyone.

How I Gained 20 Lbs Chasing No-Win Referrals

Have you been told that to market your estate planning law firm, you should take someone to lunch five days a week and twice on Tuesdays?

Costs for estate planning marketing add up when you're taking referral sources to lunch six days a week!
Have you been told to take someone to lunch five days a week and twice on Tuesdays? Let me save you some time, money and dignity!

I can save you some aggravation, restore your dignity and help you avoid a fried chicken heart attack.

About 15 years ago, we tried that exact same strategy in Kyle’s law firm. We hustled financial planners, investment advisers, insurance professionals and accountants for new business. We took candy to their offices during the holidays and we interrupted our work days taking them to lunches, breakfasts and coffees.

See, we believed the guys who told us that estate planning marketing was all about meeting with financial advisors, CPAs and insurance professionals. That if we could just find synergy at these meetings, they would become our revenue Holy Grail … sending us an ever-growing stream of pre-qualified and pre-sold referrals. We would never have to worry about marketing again.

I mean, that is what they tell you, right?

But what really happened?

We spent a lot of time and money on those lunches. And we both gained about 20 lbs. We also got a lot of financial professionals calling Kyle for free advice, asking him to pick up half (or more) of the bill for their seminar marketing, and demanding a tit-for-tat referral reciprocity that Kyle simply could not give them.

We even got some business out of it. But it did not last because those referral sources were always looking for a better deal. Some of them wanted to control the relationship, dictate the legal strategy, or low-ball the fees. And at the end of day, they could always find a younger, less experienced, hungrier lawyer to take care of their clients for less.

It was a never-ending struggle to find and cultivate new referral relationships.

It was expensive. And it ate up all of our time. And made us feel terrible.

Kyle did not go to law school to live like that; to let someone else control his career, his clients, and even his financial security.

Then we asked ourselves one question: What would happen if Kyle stopped pandering to financial advisors and used digital marketing to reach new clients directly, clients who wanted to work with him and who value a personal attorney relationship?

First, we changed our mindset and committed to take extreme ownership for our own success. Then, we learned everything we could about attracting clients online so we could focus on what actually works without wasting time and money. Finally, we re-designed the entire client experience — retooling client intake and adopting a sales process that feels better and more authentic for Kyle, and meets the needs and expectations of his new clients.

And, he stopped hustling for new referral relationships. Kyle was able to keep his best referral relationships and give them — and their clients — even better service. New clients who find him on the internet are motivated and ready to take action. They love working with Kyle (click here to see his nearly 300 five-star reviews on Avvo) and his premium fees are now in line with the premium service and client experience he delivers.

Read Kyle’s story on our website.

If you want to learn more about how to REALLY change your outcome in 2019, join me for a 45-minute webinar where I reveal the exact five-step strategy that we use with clients to finally break free from the tyranny of referral and seminar marketing.

Watch now. And when you are ready, book a call to see whether we can help you, too.

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