Beware of Backlink Schemes for Your Estate Planning Website

Let’s talk SEO — search engine optimization for your estate planning website.

More specifically, let’s talk about backlink strategies and LOCAL SEO.

What is LOCAL SEO and why is it so important for estate planning and elder law websites?

Here’s the deal: SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of optimizing a website for indexing by the search engines. There are lots of things that go into optimization – from how long it takes your website to load to how many people visit your site, and especially the actual content on your website.

In a nutshell, SEO is how we get your website found when people are searching online for an estate planning or elder law attorney.

However, it doesn’t do you much good to have nationwide or global SEO … because you don’t really care if people visit your site from a state where you’re not licensed to practice. In fact, it can be a little annoying to get inquiries from people you can’t serve.

What you do want is to rank very well in your local market. You want your website to show up for people who would actually become new clients. That usually means they are within driving range of your office – maybe within a 15- or up to a 50-mile radius around your office, depending on your market.  It’s really important that these people can find you when they are searching for an estate planning attorney or an elder law attorney.


Now there’s not a high volume of search on these terms, but when someone in your local market is actively searching, it doesn’t take a high volume, because research shows they are ready to hire an attorney. They’re at that point where they’re deciding, so it’s very important for you to have great LOCAL SEO.

When we look at LOCAL SEO, one of the strategies that can be very confusing is what’s called a BACKLINKING STRATEGY.

Now many years ago, in the olden days of the internet (five years ago) backlinks were super important and it didn’t seem to matter where they came from. The more websites that linked to yours (and that’s what a backlink is — a link from another website to your website) the better you would rank.

That gave rise to a lot of these SEO companies that would specialize in buying backlinks, or setting up backlink farms that exist solely for the purpose of artificially backlinking to their clients’ websites.

Well, you can guess what happened next.

Google got onto this and now they will penalize your site if they detect these unnatural backlinks.

So, yes, backlinks can tank your estate planning website.

In fact, Google now advises against even implementing a backlinking strategy.

Instead of chasing a bunch of backlinks … to the degree they are still important to your LOCAL SEO, Google wants you to EARN BACKLINKS from local, authoritative sites.

A Sad Story

Let me just share a story with you about a client who got taken in by one of these SEO companies that promised to boost her website fast with a big backlinking scheme.

Her website was new and Google wasn’t sending her a lot of traffic yet.

If you’re in this position, remember that the best cure is just a little time. There are no shortcuts on SEO.

SEO is like a game of King of the Hill. There are only so many listings on page one, and they don’t expand the page for you. You have to knock somebody off … and it’s going to take some time for you to establish the credibility to convince Google your site is more valuable to their users than any of those sites that are already on page one.

So, if you’re in a competitive market, which this lady was, it’s going to take a little more time to overtake the competition.  You’re just not going to do that overnight.

But she was impatient.

So she hired one of these companies (against our advice, but hey, those guys are convincing!) and they started this big backlinking scheme.

What happened next is really sad.

Her site went from having a handful of visitors to almost 20,000 visitors in one month.

Sounds great, right? Looks like it worked!

But, remember I mentioned that pesky penalty Google imposes when they detect these artificial backlinking schemes.

As you can see from the chart – yes, she had a huge spike in traffic. Chart shows backlink disaster

But Google detected it and penalized her site.

Her traffic dropped off just as quickly as it had picked up.

This lady not only wasted her money on that SEO company, she did some serious damage that’s going to be hard to repair. Now she has to climb out of Google’s penalty box, and that can be very difficult.

I don’t want you to get hooked into something like that.

Don’t employ an SEO company to implement a backlinking scheme for you.

Here’s what you want to do about backlinks.

Earn your backlinks!


  • Get involved in your local community.  Speak at local events. Join the Chamber of Commerce. Sponsor a local event or join a civic organization. Then, be a little bit savvy and ask for your new local “partners” to add a link to your website from theirs. Now you have an authoritative earned backlink. You can do this through sponsoring local events, through sponsoring local organizations.
  • Join business directories that are local for you.
  • Become a source for local media on financial, legal or even health care issues. When they quote you, ask them for a link to your website from their digital version of the story.
  • Consider publishing local press releases. They may not get picked up by your local media, but they will show up online and Google will recognize them (they have a short shelf-life, but every little advantage matters in the SEO game).

I know a lot of you already are active in your local communities: you’re sponsoring walks for Alzheimer’s, you’re sponsoring walks for breast cancer, you sponsor a Little League team or a hole in a local charity golf tournament. That’s all good stuff, but just start being a little bit savvy about it and ask for the backlinks.

Now in your local community, depending on the size of your market, there may not be a lot of backlinking opportunities. That’s okay.

Just remember that when it comes to backlinks, it’s not about the quantity.

It’s the quality of the linking organization that will help boost your LOCAL SEO.


ONE-DAY VIRTUAL EVENT: How to Succeed at Webinar Marketing … Even on a Tight Budget

Webinar Marketing SummitSavvy estate planning and elder lawyers are crushing it with webinar marketing!
Everybody had to pivot in 2020 … but lawyers who succeed with webinar marketing say they will NEVER go back to hosting live workshops.
This strategy is just too good.
It’s the LEVERAGE they’ve been looking for to finally scale up their revenue … while winning back their lives!
On Wednesday, March 16, we’re going to pull back the curtain and teach you how to build, optimize, and leverage a webinar marketing campaign — soup-to-nuts.
Whether you’re already crushing it with webinar marketing or haven’t taken the plunge yet … if you wish you could but are worried because you’re on a tight budget … this training will transform your revenue picture for 2022!
We’re going to show you how to put this together, even on a shoestring budget.
  • Learn how to create a powerful webinar
  • Build a marketing and sales funnel for it
  • Grow and optimize your funnel for the best returns
  • Strategies and secrets to getting webinar attendees to book a call with you
  • How to convert those calls into new clients … at Premium Fees
I’m also going to show you how to avoid some of the biggest self-sabotage mistakes that I’ve personally committed, and that I’ve (sadly) watched others commit.
In the five years that we’ve been running webinars for ourselves and our clients, we have seen just about every challenge that could come along with this type of marketing effort.
AND, we know how to beat them!
Save $300 now with coupon code EARLYBIRD.
This is an all-day event, 100 percent virtual. Attend from anywhere you have a strong internet connection.

Dropping the Professor Role in Estate Planning and Elder Law

Sales Training for Lawyers Pays Off … For Clients AND For You

Client Drops the Professor RoleWe got this message today from a grateful client who saw the power of the “doctor frame” when meeting with prospective clients.

“James Campbell, thank you for your support around sales and the coaching you gave me last week. I took it to heart, I reviewed all of your modules and tried very hard this week to make the mental shifts I needed to truly serve. Today I held the Doctor frame and implemented everything the best I could. I engaged my clients for a fee of (redacted fee) and I feel so energized — not the depleted professor feeling I told you about. Thank you again!”

One of the biggest mistakes that estate planning and elder lawyers make in growing their practice is slipping into what we call the “professor mode,” during the sales process. It usually comes from the best of intentions — wanting to be sure the prospective client fully understands every legal aspect of their planning options before making an “informed decision.”

The problem is that professors are lousy influencers.

When meeting with a prospective client, it’s important to remember that education is not your job.

You are talking to someone who has a problem. Sometimes, it’s a very serious, perhaps even urgent problem.

Their biggest risk right now is indecision.

You know, people don’t just window-shop for a death attorney. Typically, something is going on in your prospect’s life that feels very threatening to them. A spouse or parent needs nursing care before something (even more) dire happens. A loved one has just gotten a bad medical diagnosis. Or worse.

Education is not what this person needs.

They need to be coached into making a good decision. 

And, in the vast majority of cases, that will include hiring you and moving forward quickly to solve the problem.

We like to think that we can educate to motivate prospects.

But that’s not what happens.

Instead, we over-educate, we over-inflate the importance of their ability to understand every possible legal ramification and option … and the prospect is not better-informed.

He or she is confused.

And a confused mind will always say some version of “no.”

“I need to think about this.”

“I need to talk this over with my financial advisor.”

Or … a buyer’s defense mechanism would be to feign understanding and offer up a price objection. This actually makes perfect sense because literally any amount of money sounds like too much if I am confused and not sure you’re going to actually solve my problem.

And it’s easier to say “That’s a lot of money,” than, “I don’t understand.”

We coach our clients every day on how to meet people where they are and lead them to making good decisions.

The first step is to drop the “professor role” and adopt the “doctor frame” instead.

Great things happen when you do.

Clients see the value of your solution and price objections disappear.

You get paid for the value you bring … AND

The client gets their problem solved!

Book a Call now to learn more about our sales training for lawyers.

You Don’t Have to Get Back on the Seminar Marketing Treadmill

Jennifer Goddard, CEO
Jennifer Goddard, CEO

I just got off the phone with someone who is anxious about ramping up his seminar marketing again …

I mean he has anxiety about it.

He’s starting to see the ads in his market again … free lunch, free dinner, even free bottles of wine …

Come learn about wills and trusts … 
The carnival call resumes as pandemic restrictions subside.

He’s worried that if he doesn’t jump back into the fray, he will lose out. But at the same time, he is not excited about buying a new list, a new advertising campaign, packing up a mini-van full of presentation materials and hauling assets from restaurant to country club to public library again … night after night … day after day … just to give the same spiel over and over to a handful of people with tight wallets.

I feel his pain.

I know, all too well, what it’s like to be on the seminar marketing circuit. After all, every marketing guru on the planet says seminars are the e-ticket to a seven-figure law firm … right?

I bought that line, too.

Traveling from dinner to luncheon to nursing home lobby, the local senior center … and beyond.

It was exhausting. …

And … it was boring beyond belief to give the exact same spiel twice a day, twice a week, week after week … answering the same questions over and over … making the same small talk … eating the same rubber chicken and chugging the same too-sweet punch.

It also ate way too much of my time …

I missed my kids’ football games in the winter, their baseball games in the summer, and far too many family times year-round.

And … since we spent all our time planning, promoting and presenting seminars … most weekends were spent playing catch-up on the real work of running a law firm … appointments stacked up, drafting got behind, asset transfers seemed like a never-ending annoyance to wrap up …

And we did it all for pennies-on-the-dollar of what we should have been charging!

Meanwhile … the costs just kept going up … and up … and up … Printing costs. Postage costs. Expensive dinners. Overtime for staff.

Not to mention the toll it was taking on us just to keep up the never-ending grind … because the MINUTE you stop doing seminars … revenue comes to a screeching halt …

That’s what this guy is anxious about … he really does not want to go back to that lifestyle … working so hard for so little …

That life doesn’t look anything at all like the one he imagined when he started law school … when he graduated with honors … passed the bar … and embarked on what he thought would be a satisfying and rewarding career in a noble profession …

Reduced now to feeling like a carnival barker …

Get your red-hot living trust, right here … step right up, ma’am, a free chicken dinner with every trust and a bottle of wine with every will …

Here’s the bottom line: if you go back to the seminar circuit now, you’ll never get the freedom, the joy or the reward of scaling properly to a seven-figure law firm.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

While most estate planning and elder lawyers are dragging themselves back onto the seminar circuit, a small handful of smart lawyers are quietly building seven-figure incomes without ever hosting a single event … without giving up even one more evening with their family to talk about living trusts with a roomful of strangers.

They are working with clients they love. Clients who need and want their service … and who pay premium fees to work with them.

And they’re doing all of this while enjoying life … and without blowing up their overhead, hiring more staff … or feeling like a carnival barker.

How are they doing it?

If you watched our webinar, Five Steps to Seven Figures in Estate Planning and Elder Law, you already know the strategy.

Now, it’s up to you.

The only difference between you and our clients who are loving their law firms, loving their lives, and building legacies of personal wealth … is a phone call.

Book your strategy call with my team today.

You can get off the treadmill and have the law firm you always wanted. Just make the call.

P.S. Remember to join our Free Facebook Group, The  Art of Growing a Law Firm

Five Mistakes That Keep Estate Planning Lawyers Broke

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.

Reinvent Your Estate Planning Law Firm: A Rare Opportunity to Go From Getting By to Getting Steady Clients

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.

Your Estate Planning Law Firm as a Digital Hub
Imagine your estate planning law firm as a digital hub where ideal clients find you.

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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Unmatched Growth

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 Campbells 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.


Handling Objections in the Estate Planning Consult

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!

Handling ObjectionsThis 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.”

Now what?

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.

Want to know more? Let’s hop on a call.

Book a strategy call now.


Are You Forcing People to Do DIY Estate Planning?

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.

DIY estate planning

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.

Book a call with our team now. Find out what next steps YOU should take … so you can show up for every Rosa who needs you … right now.

Book Now.


Ready to Scale Your Estate Planning Law Firm? Start Here

How to scale your estate planning or elder law firm … almost every attorney we talk to is anxious to grow and scale their firm. Scaling Your Law Firm

Most will never get there.

Why not?

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.

Register to watch here:

Help Your Estate Planning Clients Make Decisions about Digital Assets

Estate Planning for Digital AssetsAs 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:

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.

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