The Heart of My Success

Although I’m a relatively quiet man, I’m proud of my achievements. When I talk about building one of the most successful law practices in North Carolina, I don’t do it to brag; I want to demonstrate to other lawyers that the advice I offer them is credible and proven to work. They want to see the marketing I used to grow my practice and the employee Read more [...]

Time Away From The Office

I hope you had a chance, like I did, to recharge your batteries this last July 4th weekend. At PILMMA we closed the office on Wednesday evening, giving the team a four-day weekend, which was appreciated by all. The extended weekend gave me an opportunity to wind down and spend some time with my family. On Friday morning we all hit the beach, and Read more [...]

Anything is Possible

When I hire employees for my law firm, I often prefer hiring people who have raw skills but have not developed years of experience working in another law practice. I do this because experience can bring excess baggage with it. A new hire with years of experience can be set in their ways, doing things the way they’ve always done them. I want Read more [...]

Belmont Stakes & Law Firm Marketing: Sore Losers vs Better Strategies

Although I’m not a big fan of horse racing, I found myself watching the Belmont Stakes on Saturday and saw Tonalist win the race by a head, before I changed the TV channel. It was only when I read the Sunday newspaper that I found out about the apparent controversy created by Steve Coburn, owner of California Chrome, which came in 4th in the race. At Read more [...]

Learn A Lesson From The VA – Go For A Walk

After I spat out my breakfast in disgust at the Veterans Affairs scandal which occurred last week, it got me thinking about management and incentives. The scandal concerning VA medical centers revolves around veterans being put on unofficial waiting lists so that the official waiting lists met incentivized targets. In simple, plain English, VA administrators Read more [...]

The “Drunk Facebook Posts” Of Legal Marketing

Remember when people used to “drunk dial” you late at night? It doesn’t really happen any more. When I was at college we didn’t have cellphones and there was no such thing as Facebook. People didn’t send letters while they were drunk – it required too much effort. Plus, you’d probably be sober by the time you finished the letter. So typically Read more [...]

9 Ways To Inspire Your Staff

Here at the PILMMA offices we’re finishing up our annual review of our processes, systems and procedures for our operations manual. I’m a big fan of systems because they make it so much easier to run a business. You don’t have to be held hostage by any one employee because the operations manual means that they can be easily replaced if necessary. I Read more [...]

My Golf Swing Sucks!

I have a confession to make. My golf swing sucks. It’s worse though. I’ve been taking golf lessons. After playing golf for more than 30 years, I decided it was time to be humble and invest in some lessons with a golf pro. No doubt my golf buddies will get a big kick out of my confession. My swing didn’t always suck. I was a 20 handicap Read more [...]

The Lie You’ve Been Told About Advertising

It should come as no surprise that, as a lawyer, I have come across many “reformed characters” in my career. You’ve probably also met your fair share of people who made mistakes in their younger years before finding a better path. There’s another type of reformed character I’ve had dealings with – the reformed advertising sales executive. Read more [...]

Learning Never Ends

Perhaps, like my children (and me, who no longer has to pick up their tuition fees), you’re glad that you left school behind you and no longer have homework assignments. However, as a lawyer building a successful law practice, ongoing learning is a necessity. While CLEs check that you’re keeping up to date on the law, the skills that enable you Read more [...]

Measuring and Tracking Your Leads and Conversions

In the last couple of weeks I’ve explained the importance of calculating how much you need to spend on marketing to grow your caseload and the difference increasing your conversions can make to your bottom line. Some readers asked me how they should prioritize their investment in different marketing strategies and lead sources. To do that you need Read more [...]

Increasing Intake Conversion Shouldn’t Be Overlooked

In last week’s Bright Idea for marketing your law practice, I outlined the questions you need to ask yourself in order to calculate how much of your gross revenue you should spend on your marketing. Using examples from my own law practice, I illustrated how the amount you need to spend depends on how many new cases you want, your cost per lead and Read more [...]

Law Firm Marketing – Are You Asking The Wrong Question?

One of the questions I’m most frequently asked by lawyers is “How much of my gross revenue should I spend on marketing?” There is no correct answer to this question because you first need to ask yourself the following questions: How much do I want my law firm to grow? How many new cases do I want? What are my conversion rates? How much Read more [...]

Social Media: Are You Guiding The Conversation?

I remember how proud I was when I bought my first car, a 1969 Volkswagen. As I’ve gotten older and more sensible, my cars have gotten younger and more stylish. I enjoy the comfort of my current car, a Mercedes S400 Hybrid, on long journeys, but I don’t really get excited about cars any more. Well, with two exceptions; when I’m looking to buy a Read more [...]

Don’t Follow The Herd – Be More Helpful And Stand Out In Your Market

As I was scanning LinkedIn this morning, I noticed that a number of lawyers are sharing links to online news stories about the Honda Odyssey recall. Models of Honda’s minivan from 2005-2010 have a fault with the fuel pump that could cause them to catch fire. Thankfully there have been no fires or injuries reported. According to Autoblog, Honda Read more [...]

My Daughter’s Memorable Engagement Is A Lesson In Law Firm Marketing

The Hardison household is in the grip of wedding fever. My daughter, Beth, is getting married later this year to her fiancé, Jeffrey Bell from Tabor City, North Carolina. This past weekend she went with my wife, Terry, and the bridesmaids, to look at dresses. All this wedding planning should allow me some time to do what I love the most – go fishing Read more [...]

Are You Better Than The National Enquirer?

The National Enquirer bills itself as “Celebrity gossip, scandals, and the latest from Hollywood. (Enquiring minds want to know!)” This publication certainly knows how to get attention with its bright covers and trashy headlines. Personally, I’m not interested in reading the National Enquirer, but I know people who are and they buy a copy every Read more [...]

Automate Your Law Firm Lead Capture And Conversion With Auto-Responders And Drip Campaigns

There are several stages to gaining a new client through your website. The first step is traffic – getting potential clients to visit your website. The second step is getting your potential clients to raise their hands once they’re on your website and become leads. The final step is converting the leads with raised hands into clients. There’s Read more [...]

NBC’s Starbucks Speakeasy in Sochi – Serious Customer Loyalty

This week we learned that NBC has been running a Starbucks speakeasy at every Olympic Games since Sydney in 2000. News has broken that NBC is paying for a Starbucks, along with Russian baristas, to provide its Winter Olympics team with their favorite brand of coffee for free. It demonstrates considerable customer loyalty for NBC to create their Read more [...]

Show Some Love From Your Law Firm On Valentine’s Day

This Friday is Valentine’s Day, the one day of the year when we make a point of showing our love for those we care about. Valentine’s Day also offers a bunch of opportunities to spread awareness of your law firm by engaging with current and past clients, as well as people who have never dealt with your law practice. Here are several ideas to Read more [...]

The Super Bowl Ads – Lessons to Stop Your Law Firm Fumbling Your Marketing Dollars

Like much of the country, I was watching the Super Bowl on Sunday, rooting for the losing team, the Denver Broncos. I know I wasn’t the only person who thought the game was boring; I found more entertainment watching the ads. To be perfectly honest, I was not entertained by the cleverness of the ads they were running. No, the marketer in me Read more [...]

What Comedian George Lopez Can Teach Us About Making A Lasting Impression

While much of the country, including the PILMMA offices in South Carolina, is experiencing a deep freeze, I’ve been in sunny California attending several events.  But it’s not my opinion of the beautiful weather I want to share with you this week; instead, I want to share a story I heard. It seems that attending events in warm climates is Read more [...]

Is Your Law Firm’s Direct Mail Boring?

When was the last time you threw your new mail straight in the garbage? I know some people who go through their mail while standing over their trash can. So ask yourself if the same thing is happening to the mail your law firm sends out. If your direct mail is boring, then the people you mail it to may also be tossing it straight in the garbage. This Read more [...]

Congress To Restrict Tax Deductibility On Advertising? Here’s What To Do In Your Law Firm

Proposals in Congress to limit the deductibility against taxes on advertising expenses are not proving popular, according to Advertising Age. Last week it reported that “The proposal put forth by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., in November would allow companies to deduct 50% of their advertising costs in the year they Read more [...]

Grow Your Law Firm Referral Network by Finding ‘Connectors’ In New Circles

Networking is one of the lowest cost and most effective marketing strategies a lawyer can use to get new cases and it’s one of my favorite. Whether you get a case directly or by referral, the biggest cost with networking is the time it takes out of your day. The problem with networking is that we usually stick to circles within our comfort zone Read more [...]

Generate Publicity For Your Law Firm By Starting A Movement

As tomorrow brings in a new year, the inevitable end-of-year-reviews remind us all of the ‘newsworthy’ events which got people talking over the previous 12 months, such as the inauguration of a new Pope, the Obamacare crisis, the Royal baby, ‘Twerking’, the death of Nelson Mandela and the launch of new gaming consoles on a crazy Black Friday. There Read more [...]

Market Your Law Firm With Everything You Do

Producing regular content for your blog, website and social media can be challenging. Sometimes I have to sit and think about ideas that I can share on this blog that are new, educational and easily actionable for other lawyers to implement in their practices. Even I can overlook the obvious from time to time and think too hard about my content. The Read more [...]

5 Steps to Successful LinkedIn Group Participation

LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool that you may not fully appreciate. I’ve had a LinkedIn account for some time but I really started to get more active with it this year. I spend 10-15 minutes every day on LinkedIn building my relationships with other people. I’ve also participated to a much lesser degree in LinkedIn groups and decided to Read more [...]