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The first rule of marketing is to never, ever, ever stop marketing. The second rule of marketing is to never, ever, ever stop marketing. Now is a good time to kick-start your law firm's marketing plans to make next year your best year ever. To get started, focus on the first three months of next year. Here are three questions that, when answered honestly, can help direct your firm to get a quick start: What one thing can you do in the first quarter to get your marketing moving forward? What's one thing that scares you, but you know if you did it that it would be a big marketing boost? What's one thing that would give you and your team the most marketing confidence? How you answer these questions will be different for you than for different firms and, unless you just completely drop the ball, there are really no wrong answers. Anything that gets you moving, that motivates you, is worthwhile. With that in mind, let's look at your referral marketing — because referral marketing is one of the least expensive and most productive marketing activities in which you can engage. You need a systematic process for building relationships with key referral...

The greatest challenge in planning an exit strategy from your law practice is that most lawyers don’t think about working today to make their practice more valuable tomorrow. They put off thinking through how to make the practice valuable to a buyer. I have looked at this from many different viewpoints, including selling my practice, looking to buy another practice, negotiating to have lateral partners merge, and examining what is the “real” street value of a practice versus the appraised value. There are three key things to consider working on today that will increase the value of your practice tomorrow. Your case management system. There is tremendous value in an updated, thought out, and organized case management system. If you can email all of your clients to announce a merger, a marketing program, a workshop, or a law change, then you are on the right path. If you are thinking, "That is a really neat idea, but I would never do that," then you may be on the wrong path to making your practice valuable. Your team. How dependent is the law firm on you? In my experience, the more dependent the firm is on your presence, the less valuable your firm...

Do you have a strategy to exit your practice? What are the different options available? How far in advance should you plan your exit? These questions and more will be explored in order to enable you to plan and optimize your exit.

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Fall is here and it’s time to begin implementing your law firm’s holiday marketing plan. Wait, though. You do have a holiday marketing plan, right? If you do, great! Let me know what you plan to do and the results you’re shooting for this year. I’d love to compare ideas. But if you don’t, then I’ve got some great tips below to get you started. Committing to creating your firm’s holiday marketing plan goes a long way to strengthen your law firm’s referral network and grow your practice. In doing so, you can enjoy the season and strengthen your business relationships. This isn’t about buying the biggest and most audacious gifts to stand out from the crowd. It’s more about acknowledging your practice’s top referral sources and strengthening those relationships. I have heard ideas that range from law firm owners dressed as Santa Claus delivering gifts to throwing parties with eggnog and snacks. It’s all about what you feel is the best way to say thank you. Here are some ideas to help you enjoy the holidays while building relationships for the year ahead: You may feel like you don’t have enough time to do some or any holiday marketing. If you have someone you can...

One of the biggest problems facing attorneys trying to market themselves is finding the time to handle the scheduling and logistics associated with marketing lunches, meetings and other social events. Driven to distraction by constant interruptions, difficult staffing issues and demanding clients, most attorneys don’t or won’t take the time to do what it takes. Many attorneys are good at marketing when placed in the right situations; however, getting them there is the problem. Making phone calls with contacts often involves a lot of phone tag, calendaring client development events takes time, planning the basic logistics of marketing is distracting. As a rule, attorneys aren’t very good at the initiation phase of marketing. ...

If you don’t accept payment forms beyond cash or check, you’re losing money. It's obvious that the world of payments is changing rapidly. And for law firms that have been set in their ways for years, demanding payment via traditional checks or cash, it's time to consider other forms of payment acceptance immediately. Some firms and attorneys choose to ignore technology and change altogether, hoping it will just away—but, I guarantee you, it won’t....