You never meant to take a vow of poverty when you opened your estate planning or elder law practice … but sometimes it just feels that way, right? The truth is that most lawyers in estate planning and elder law struggle to create personal wealth … and the irony is that the very people who work every day to help other families preserve and protect generational wealth, seldom do the same for their own families!
Here are the top five mistakes we see lawyers make that prevent them from building personal and generational wealth.
The Essential Social Solution provides social media management, SEO and lead flow for you and your business.
You don’t have to spend hours a day on Facebook or spend non-billable hours creating and posting content that may, or may not reach the right client.
Instead, the Essential Social Solution utilizes proven strategies that can maximize your return and continue growing your business. Depending on who you ask 2020 was either their best year, or their worst.
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If yours is an estate planning law firm, you’re no stranger to hard work.
We’re willing to bet that you serve the heck out of your clients, and that it comes at a high cost. Especially if you built your practice networking with financial advisors and hosting live workshops.
Our own president, Kyle Krull Esq., employed those old strategies back in the day, and discovered it was just about impossible to scale his estate planning firm using those methods.
So we turned to digital marketing and got savvy. When we saw the strategy working so well for him, we started sharing with other firms around the country.
We figured out how to take law firms and reinvent them as digital hubs where ideal clients find them — and we did it over and over again. We nailed it down to a science.
And yet… we stayed away from cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all formulas, knowing, as we do, that every law firm is unique.
This is why every service IMS provides is customized and tailored to the estate planning firm we serve.
What Premium Service Looks Like
Premium service is tailored service that leverages the genius of a team. It’s training, personal coaching, and done-for-you solutions all wrapped into one.
We discovered that our clients had the most success when we partnered with them to help them go digital.
So in other words, we don’t dump a “How to Go Digital” manual in your lap and wish you luck. We go all in and stay with you until your law firm is actively thriving.
Here’s what that process looks like:
Three months of in-person coaching
Personal coaching means we listen, trouble-shoot and come up with a plan together. It means being heard and seen by a coach who understands estate law. It means weekly palavers with James Campbell, Director of Sales and Jennifer Campbell Goddard, our CEO.
Personal coaching = meetings with the boss? Yup.
An online client academy that gets updated consistently
When our platforms change, when pandemics strike, when technology morphs — we update the academy to reflect those changes.
That means no falling behind and drifting in dinosaur-land.
Cutting edge sales training
We teach you to find the RIGHT clients for life and make sure you have the skills to close sales using a process that honors the client, uncovers the real issues, and delivers tremendous value.
Done-for-you services including website design, SEO, webinar marketing, Facebook advertising, videography and blogging
Yes, we literally create your Facebook ads, your website, your video, and write your website’s blogs for you. Take a moment to grasp what this means…
It means not burning out trying to do everything yourself, and not getting stuck fixing the shoddy work of freelancers.
And because we don’t hire general freelance writers who don’t know jack squat about estate planning, you actually get blogs written by legal writers who specialize in your niche.
Remember our president, Kyle Krull, Esq.? Even though we trust our legal writers, he edits and reviews what they write before blog posts are given to you. As for volume and consistency? You can choose up to five blog articles per week on your website.
If you’re wondering how important blogging is, Kyle’s own estate planning law firm sees 35% of web traffic coming from blog articles.
When we help our estate planning law clients go digital, the growth they experience can’t be matched by their competitors.
We have the stats and client success stories to prove it. One of our newest clients, David Payne from Missouri, had this to say:
“Each team member I have worked with has been engaged with my concerns and needs at every step. The online academy was really invaluable to me in so many ways. The number one aspect was the benefit of using it on my time schedule and when best for me. James Campbell’s guidance, insight and advice has been the most beneficial aspect of my experience.”
Enter a new reality for law firms …
… a reality where ideal clients find you, instead of you pounding the pavement to search for them. That’s the old way, and — newsflash — it’s become impossible during the pandemic.
Admit it: it’s tough to do everything yourself. And even tougher finding experts in your profession who “get it.”
But you found us. You’re here, and it’s not by mistake.
Now all that’s left to do is schedule your complimentary breakthrough session with our team.
Q: Aside from basic follow up, what do you have for automations for a client who did a consultation but is unsure about signing? I already have a monthly newsletter. Thank you!
This question came up recently in an estate planning forum. If you’ve been practicing in estate planning for a couple of minutes or more … you’ve run into the “Think About It” objection, too. Prospective new client schedules an initial consultation, completes the intake questionnaire, shows up in your office and you spend the better part of an hour with them.
But … when it’s time to sign the engagement letter … they don’t.
Instead, they say they have to “think about it.”
Is there an “automation” that can turn this around for you, once they have left your office?
Truthfully … the chances are really slim.
The real problem is not in the follow-up. It’s in the sales process.
That’s right — your initial consultation — that’s where something went wrong.
Your prospects jumped through a lot of hoops to get into your office for an initial consultation. They were motivated. They definitely were not just “window shopping.” Believe me, nobody goes to talk to a death attorney just for fun. They were not there to be educated. They were definitely not there to think about estate planning.
They jumped through all of those hoops to solve their problem, once and for all.
Their — and your — best chance to do that is in the initial consultation.
Where did things go wrong?
There are lots of possibilities, but this consultation probably went wrong in the Uncover the Problem stage.
When people tell the truth about their anxieties, worries, and fears … and you stand with them in compassion … you get to the real problems that moved them out of their comfort zone of denial and into your office. When they are deeply connected to their needs … (and not until then) … you can show them a perfectly connected solution.
When things go wrong, it’s usually that you didn’t go deep enough in Uncover. When this happens, people only share the surface, or superficial things. They don’t trust you enough to tell you the whole, painful, unvarnished truth. Then, when you show the solution, you are only solving the surface-level problems.
It doesn’t feel urgent … vital … necessary.
In fact, it feels kind of expensive. And time-consuming.
And that is why people put up their buyer’s defenses and say things like, “We need to think about it.”
The answer to the “think about it” objection is not a better email automation.
The answer is a better sales process … and getting better at connecting with people on a much deeper, more authentic level … while you have them right there in your office.
We coach our clients on exactly how to do this — eliminating most objections, handling the few that do come up, and truly serving clients to solve their problems.
Rosa left the hospital last Sunday afternoon … leaving behind her best friend and husband of 53 years.
It was a lonely drive home … and it was hard to face that empty house. Her husband, Frank, had been in the hospital for almost a week and though he would be coming home soon … Rosa was scared. They may have dodged the bullet this time … but what would she do if she lost Frank?
Alone in the empty house on a Sunday evening, she hopped on Facebook … hoping to connect with friends or family to ease the loneliness … and find some comfort.
While scrolling through her news feed, she came across an ad from one of my clients … an estate planning law firm in her area. The ad piqued her interest, she and Frank had been talking about getting their affairs in order … but they never quite got around to it.
She clicked on the ad and saw that the lawyer offered a master class — and she could register and watch it right away.
Rosa watched the class that Sunday evening. She liked the lawyer, she liked what he had to say. At the end of the class, she quickly clicked on the button to schedule a free call to talk about her situation and what steps she and Frank should take next.
With the phone call booked for Monday morning, Rosa went to on to bed. She slept well that night, knowing she was finally on the right track. She had taken a positive step.
My client shared this story with me earlier this week.
He was so excited that, because he chose to advertise on Facebook, he was able to be there when Rosa needed him! The phone call went well and Rosa and Frank came in to the office together on Wednesday. Their estate plan should be wrapped up and ready to sign next week.
Rosa and Frank … and their family … are in good hands now because my client showed up at the exact moment, in the exact place that Rosa needed him.
Every estate planning lawyer should be stepping up to the plate right now…instead of forcing people to do DIY estate planning … because you weren’t there when they needed you.
That’s right. Too many estate planning attorneys are still living in their ivory towers … waiting for referrals from financial advisors or CPAs … instead of showing up for people where they are … online!
Who DOES show up online instead? Legal Zoom. Rocket Lawyer. And dozens of other DIY estate planning services that make it oh-so-easy to enter a credit card and create a will or trust … that may or may not even be valid!
If you are an estate planning or elder law attorney, you have tremendous opportunity … RIGHT NOW … to make a decision that will change your life today and in every tomorrow.
People are scared. They desperately need you.
But if you don’t show up for them — if you don’t lean into this opportunity — it’s very likely they will turn to an online document service, or DIY estate planning, instead.
They won’t have the benefit of trusted counsel guiding them through some of the most difficult times of their lives. They may end up with a faulty document that doesn’t even come close to accomplishing their goals.
Don’t go dark now. Show up for those who need you.
How to scale your estate planning or elder law firm … almost every attorney we talk to is anxious to grow and scale their firm.
Most will never get there.
Because most lawyers do not have control of their revenue …
There is a big difference between growing revenue and taking control of your revenue growth.
Why Is It So Hard?
Estate planning and elder law attorneys have a marketing imperative. If you don’t have appointments booked, you don’t have any money coming in the door. There are few retainers or large settlements in these practice areas … and you are only as good as last booking.
It doesn’t help that everything you were taught about how to grow an estate planning law firm is wrong.
It’s not your fault.
Grow your referral network, they said. That’s the key to profitability.
Now, I’m not saying that referrals can’t be great for your practice — but they don’t put you in control of your revenue. And if you don’t have control, you can’t scale.
I know. I’ve been there.
Referrals start trickling in … then maybe they start streaming in … and just when you think you’re on the road to prosperity … they stop.
It’s designed that way, guys.
When the people who send you those referrals start to see your practice growing, see the income from those referrals flowing to … YOU … they get greedy. They want something back. Maybe they want you to give their clients special pricing, or a discount. Maybe they tell you that your fees are getting too high … or you’re doing “too much” planning for their clients with “simple” estates. Or they want you to send some business back THEIR way. They may even ask for a referral fee (which of course you can’t share legal fees, but they don’t necessarily know that). Or … their brother-in-law’s nephew just graduated law school and they start sending all their business to the new kid on the block.
Bottom Line: You Don’t Have Control
Getting control of your revenue STARTS with getting control of your LEAD FLOW.
That’s right. Every dollar that flows into your law firm starts with a lead (or a PNC, Prospective New Client).
No Lead Flow = No Revenue
Once you have control over your own lead flow, there are lots of levers you can pull to accelerate revenue. But you have to get into the control booth first!
I’ve recorded a new FREE training that shows you exactly how to get control of your lead flow and scale your law firm.
The Kansas City Chiefs are down 20-10 behind the San Francisco 49ers.
The small-market team is led by Andy Reid, a coach who had never won a Super Bowl, and 24-year-old quarterback, Patrick Mahomes.
Here’s what USA Today had to say about Mahomes when the Chiefs drafted him back in 2017:
Calling Mahomes a project is a major understatement. He’s nowhere near ready to play in the NFL. And, honestly, he may never be. Between his inconsistent accuracy due to poor mechanics, his tendency to bail from clean pockets and his lack of field vision, he’s going to leave as many big plays on the field as he creates.
And yet …
The Chiefs pulled off one of the Super Bowl’s greatest comebacks, scoring three touchdowns and driving 190 yards … in the last eight minutes of the fourth quarter!
And … that was the THIRD time in the post-season that the Chiefs overcame double-digit deficits to win in the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter.
That’s exactly where you are right now. Top of the fourth quarter of 2020.
And even if you’re down double-digits, your absolute best chance to win is NOW!
Here are three reasons why you can still pull off the greatest come-back of your estate planning or elder law career … right NOW!
1) You Are Trending on Google Right Now!
Under normal circumstances, estate planning and elder law are not particularly high-volume searches on Google. But COVID changes everything and these search terms are actually trending on Google!
In fact, search volume on Google is up more than 250% for both estate planning and elder care lawyers.
There has literally NEVER been a better time for you to reach motivated clients online — they are literally searching for you online RIGHT NOW. Online marketing for estate planning and elder law is THE key to success now.
2) You Are Essential
Regardless what happens next with the virus, your legal services are ESSENTIAL. And, most states have enacted changes that allow for greater use of technology and remote notarization and witnessing (for more about this, visit the ACTEC web page, EMERGENCY REMOTE NOTARIZATION AND REMOTE WITNESSING ORDERS).
You are in the perfect position to serve clients who desperately need your help through this crisis.
3) Your Competitors Are Falling Apart
The unspoken secret to the Kansas City Chiefs’ comeback Super Bowl win? The 49ers basically fell apart. It was the fourth quarter … and it seems both football teams and law firms have a tendency to blow off the fourth quarter.
Lots of lawyers have already set the cruise-control and are just going to coast into the end of the year.
If you take action NOW — you will blow right past them like the Chiefs over the 49ers!
Ramp Up Your Estate Planning Marketing Online … Now!
Get your digital, online marketing team out on the field!
As an estate planning attorney, you want your clients to know you’ve got their back. You want them to feel confident you’re giving them every piece of information that could possibly help them plan for an uncertain future.
You don’t hold out on your clients, and neither do we. We stay up-to-date on current trends in estate planning law — just in case it benefits your clients — and therefore, you.
With that, we’d like to let you know about a brand new Facebook feature that allows a person to memorialize their Facebook account in the event of their passing. Are you helping your clients make decisions about their digital assets?
The importance of digital assets is often overlooked in daily life. We usually don’t think about material stored on hard drives or locked away in our social media accounts during end-of-life planning.
Reminding your clients about things like photos stored in “the cloud,” along with videos, PDFs, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and written social media posts can help them feel that everything is accounted for. For some people, personal posts represent the unique footprint of their lives. Digital assets like photographs and videos of once-in-a-lifetime events can be irreplaceable.
Something to tell your clients about right away is Facebook’s new memorialization feature. Memorialized Facebook accounts are a place for friends and family to gather and share memories after a loved one has died.
Memorialized accounts have the following key features:
Once an account has been memorialized, the word, “Remembering” is visible next to the deceased’s name on their profile.
Depending on the privacy settings of the account, friends can share memories on the memorialized timeline.
Content the person shared during their life stays on Facebook and is visible to the audience it was originally shared with.
Facebook also allows users to appoint a “legacy contact,” someone with the authority to make decisions about an account once it has been memorialized.
A legacy contact can write pinned posts on the deceased’s profile to share memories or offer information about a memorial service. He or she can decide who posts tributes, respond to friend requests, update the profile picture and cover photo, and basically manage the account.
Or, if your client wishes, they may decide to have their Facebook account deleted upon their passing. You can provide clients with very simple instructions to arrange for account deletion or appoint a legacy contact right from Facebook’s website: https://www.facebook.com/help/103897939701143
We stay on the cutting edge of new trends in estate planning because we never want you to get left behind. Make sure you check our blog often for content that can serve your clients.
How to succeed in estate planning? Even now … during a global pandemic?
To succeed in estate planning now, you have to change.
Every change begins with challenge.
It’s usually a challenge that gets an attorney looking for us … an income challenge … a challenge with lead flow … or simple overwhelm. Sometimes these challenges even affect their personal lives.
One thing we know: Life wasn’t meant to be a long, arduous ride on a hamster wheel that never moves closer to your goals.
So what makes the difference for our clients? Is it simply that they worked with us?
It would be ridiculous to say that we guarantee instant success. We’ll never promise that.
Our most successful clients do things differently than those who fail.
First, they were willing to admit something was wrong.
Second, they confronted the problem(s) head-on.
And finally, they accepted the challenge of change.
Here are a few rules our clients who succeed in estate planning live by:
1. Jump In, Ready or Not
Our clients understand that clinging to old strategies is the enemy of growth. They are willing to let go of the ledge and swim in unfamiliar waters.
2. Charge Premium Rates
Our clients put the fear of scarcity and competition behind them. They step into a higher level of service, knowing their ideal clients will pay premium fees.
3. Ignore the Naysayers
No one loves change. When our clients start changing, sometimes the naysayers come out in force … sometimes their inner naysayer comes out, too. But our clients who succeed in estate planning ignore the naysayers and keep moving forward.
4. Embrace Change
Our clients accept that they need to pivot and adapt when challenges show up, as they always do.
The pandemic may be the biggest challenge you face right now … especially if you relied on workshops and referrals to get new clients. If this was a recipe for inconsistent income before, it’s now a recipe for disaster.
Big change like this is the catalyst that will make or break your law firm.
At the end of the day, our clients are the heroes, not us. They are the ones with the vision and the daring to adapt and dream bigger. We’re just the guides. And because we’ve been where they’ve been, we know the terrain.
We know how to take a struggling law firm, no matter how small, and scale it. We know how to get estate lawyers in front of their ideal clients … who are willing to pay premium rates for excellent service.
And it sure as heck doesn’t involve seminars held in public.
We know how to build a strong, reliable system for steady leads … that become steady income.
But here’s the thing: our team is small by design. We can’t build digital online empires for everyone. We can only take on a certain number of clients. So, we must be selective.
If you’re ready to admit that what you’re doing isn’t working … and you want to confront your challenges head-on … we want to hear from you.
Be honest: deep down, in the recesses of your mind, do you secretly wish that someone or something would come along and “rescue” your estate planning business?
Most people won’t admit to this, because it takes guts to realize things aren’t as good as they could be. Plus, we’ve all been conditioned to be ashamed of wanting to be rescued. We’re told we have to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and be our own heroes.
At Integrity Marketing, we already know you’re the hero. After all, you went into estate planning to help people. We understand that you’re busy being a hero to your clients. You don’t have time or energy to rescue your business, nor should you.
But it IS possible to have the kind of quality help that lifts you and your law firm out of obscurity and struggle.
We help our clients go digital. Why? Because begging for referrals and eeking out a living through obsolete in-person networking and seminar marketing is killing law firms.
We should know … we’ve “been there, done that.”
So when estate planning lawyers decide to go digital — either because they understand it’s the new way forward, or because the old strategies of referral marketing aren’t supporting them — the way they implement their digital system will make or break their business.
What breaks their business is deciding to go it alone and do everything by themselves. No one has ever achieved massive results in a short period of time without a mentor or guide helping them avoid costly mistakes.
Another business killer is hiring different professionals to work on different aspects of an online business, i.e., hiring one company to design or redesign a website, hiring another to do advertising, and getting yet another to help shoot a video. The result is a hodgepodge online presence that feels cobbled together.
Another mistake is simply hiring a business coach to help. While that coach might be brilliant when it comes to advising other coaches, he or she probably doesn’t know anything about running an estate planning law firm, and even less about managing digital marketing to drive revenue! Plus, most business strategists and coaches overwhelm you with information, to-do lists and homework, and leave you to implement everything by yourself. You almost have to quit your job to get it all done.
This is one of the biggest fears estate planning attorneys have when it comes to bringing their businesses online. They worry that’s it’s going to command more time than they have to manage all the components, and that the learning curve is simply too big to master. So the whole project gets put on the back burner while they continue struggling to get referrals and word-of-mouth clients.
Enter the forbidden desire for someone or something to rescue you…
What if we told you that we’re in the business of rescuing law firms, knowing that we aren’t the heroes… you are.
What if we told you that we know the business of estate planning and we also know what it takes to build a digital empire…
This is exactly why we can’t take on more than a few clients at once. We go ALL IN with our clients. We create their landing pages. We set up their Facebook ads. This is after we sit down and get to know them and who they serve.
Heck, we will even get up at dawn to video the sunrise over the community where they live. Our video expert helps them authentically communicate their message to all the people who will be visiting their new website.
And when we go home? We don’t just leave them hanging. We drive traffic to that new website with targeted Facebook ads designed to attract their ideal clients.
Meet Andrew Sigerson. He’s a client of ours who owns a law firm with three offices — one in Omaha, Nebraska, one in Iowa Falls, Iowa, and one in Minot, North Dakota.
Before we flew to meet him in person, we pre-planned all our video shots. Once on location, we woke at sunrise and worked till sunset to capture the beauty of the communities he serves on camera. We spent our days in the firm’s conference room capturing Andrew and his lawyers interacting with clients. We filmed Andrew and his family walking to lunch.
You see, one of our gifts is storytelling. We create video scripts that personalize the attorney as someone clients will trust and respect, because we believe in your ability to help and support your clients — and be their hero.
So like we said, we CAN and we DO come charging into your world on a white horse, but we’re not the heroes. You are, and we shine a spotlight on that for your ideal clients to see.
This summer, 2020, we are helping Andrew set up two webinar marketing programs for his two areas of law: elder law and estate planning.
But we can only help a few clients at once. Our staff is small and we like it that way. This allows us to do our best work without “too many cooks in the kitchen.” We collaborate with you and with each other for one outcome: the resurrection of your law firm.
It’s up to you to recognize you need the help and ask for it. Your firm can be rescued, and you can be a hero to more people who need you.
Disclaimer: Growing a small law firm to six or seven figures (or more) is not easy. The journey is both challenging and exhilarating. At every step you may be tempted to quit. Those who succeed are committed, coach-able and resourceful. If that’s you, let’s talk.